Irish Open

06 May AA Roadwatch Guide to the Irish Open

Words by Adrian Harmon


@Adrian_H21 on Twitter

The K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare is the venue for this year’s Irish Open which runs from Thursday 19th until Sunday 22nd May. The venue, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, will play host to the world’s top golfers, including reigning Masters Champion Danny Willett, as well as Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Germany’s Martin Kaymer and South Africa’s Trevor Immelman.

The weekend is sure to be an exciting one with over 100,000 golfing fans expected to attend and we have put together this guide to ensure you have a great weekend.

Getting There

The K Club is located in Straffan in Co. Kildare just a short drive from both the M7 Dublin/ Limerick Rd  and M4 Dublin/ Sligo Rd.

Gardai will be on point duty and there will be two large public car parks (north and south) located either side of the venue. There will also be an additional four smaller car parks in the vicinity of the venue. Like all major events, delays are likely on main approach routes and through the village itself and motorists are advised to leave plenty of time for their journey.

Driving from Dublin

The venue is easily accessed via either the M7 or the M4.

If you’re using the M7, exit at J7 Kill and take the local Straffan Rd straight to the venue. If you’re taking the M4 instead, motorists should exit at J7 Maynooth, then take the Straffan Rd (R406) to the venue.  Be aware that traffic is usually very heavy through Maynooth during rush hour and especially if there’s an event on nearby.

Driving from Galway/ Sligo

Travel towards Dublin via the M6 and the M4 before exiting at J7 Maynooth. Then take the Straffan Rd (R406) to the venue. Expect very heavy traffic through Maynooth during rush hour and before and after the event too.

Driving from Cork

Motorists should travel via the M8 and then the M7. Make sure to exit at J7 Kill and take the local Straffan Rd straight to the venue.

Driving from Limerick

Take the M7 as far as J7 Kill before exiting onto the local Straffan Rd straight to the venue.

Driving from Waterford

On the M9 exit at J1 M7 , then exit the M7 itself at J7 Kill and take the local Straffan Rd straight to the venue.


  • Dublin to the K Club: Approx. 40mins
  • Sligo to the K Club: Approx. 2hrs 20mins
  • Galway to K Club: Approx. 2hrs
  • Limerick to K Club: Approx. 1hr 50mins
  • Cork to K Club: Approx. 2hrs 25mins
  • Waterford to K Club: Approx. 1hr 40mins

Where to Park in The K Club

For a larger version of this map, just click here. If you need a hand planning your journey to the Irish Open, you can use AA Routeplanner.

Public Transport

Good news if you’re using public transport to get to Maynooth as a complimentary bus service will operate between Maynooth Train Station and The K Club for the duration of the tournament.

It will transport passengers to the event every half hour between 6:50am and 1:30pm. The return service from The K Club to Maynooth Station will operate every half hour between 3pm and 6pm.

When arriving at the station, the bus will be waiting at the entrance. Spectators returning to Maynooth Station from The K Club should travel to the South Entrance Bus Stop at The K Club.

For more information and to book your ticket, see

Where to Dine

Where to Dine

Barton Rooms - Barberstown Castle, Straffan

Address: Barberstown Castle, Straffan, Co Kildare


Phone: 01 6288157

Located just north of the village of Straffan, Barberstown Castle’s Barton Rooms offers Irish country house dining with a French influence. It holds two AA Rosette Awards for culinary excellence. Sunday to Thursday, it offers an A la Carte dining menu. On Friday and Saturday evenings, a five course menu for €55 per person is available.

Westgrove Hotel – Clane

Address: Abbeylands, Clane, Naas, Co. Kildare


Phone: 045 989900

This superb hotel is a mere 10 minutes from the M4 at Maynooth and the M7 at Naas and is easily accessible from the K Club. The hotel’s Italian restaurant, Assaggio, provides a warm and relaxing atmosphere and serves both old family favourites dishes and more adventurous courses too. If Italian isn’t your thing then fear not, The Oak Bar in the hotel serves bar food and carvery throughout the day.

The Village Inn – Celbridge

Address: Main St, Celbridge,, Co. Kildare, Ireland


Phone: 01 6288836

Centrally located on Celbridge Main St, this is your go-to place for tasty and filling pub grub. The Village Inn has an extensive menu serving all sorts of hearty food from sizzling steaks to slow-braised lamb shoulder. It boasts a friendly but busy atmosphere and you can expect a lot of people around throughout the Irish Open. The gastro pub is also based at the birthplace of Arthur Guinness and the site was where he brewed his first pint so of course, the Guinness served here is second to none!

Bistro 53 – Maynooth

Address: No. 53, Main St, Maynooth Co. Kildare


Phone: 01 6289001

A popular spot amongst locals, Bistro 53 is a family run restaurant, approx. a 15min drive north from the K Club in the town of Maynooth. It’s rated number one in the town on TripAdvisor and offers Mediterranean food and live music on a Saturday night. The Early Bird Menu runs from 4pm to 7pm. Lunch from midday to 4pm – prices from €11.95 for two courses and pre-booking is strongly advised as this can be very busy at peak times.

Picaderos – Maynooth

Address: Main St, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland


Phone: 01 629 2806

Picaderos has a very wide-ranging menu of Spanish, Southern-American and Mexican cuisine including paellas, fajitas, burritos & grills. However, they are most renowned for their mouth-watering tapas which are well worth a try if you’re around Maynooth for a few days. You can also enjoy your Prawns Pil Pil or Mexican Nachos with authentic live Spanish music playing in the background – what’s not to love? It is a good idea to book beforehand though, as this is a very popular spot.

Other Things to Do

Other Things to Do

While the action on the course will be the main attraction throughout the weekend, it’s worth noting that there’s plenty happening elsewhere in the county to keep you and your entourage entertained.

Curragh Guineas

One of the big flat racing events of the summer is conveniently taking place the same weekend on both the Saturday and Sunday. The event is part of the Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival. On the Saturday, racing takes place between 3:25pm and 6:45pm. Then on Sunday, the first race is at 1:20pm and the last race is at 5:10pm. Fashionistas are set to be out in force on the Sunday for the Best Dressed Lady and Gent competition. Large crowds are expected over both days for what’s expected to be a great days racing.

Full details on the event can be seen here.

Kildare Village

If it’s retail therapy you’re after then look no further then Kildare Village. Located just off the M7 at J13 Kildare and approx. 30min drive from the K Club, the outlet centre boasts 80 fashion and lifestyle boutiques and offers savings of up to 60%. It’s open from 10am to 7pm daily.

Need help planning your journey? Use the AA Routeplanner.

Maynooth Castle & University

Located in the heart of the town, the 13th century castle stands at the entrance to Maynooth University and is a popular tourist attraction in the county. The university then was founded in 1795 as a college and is famous for the education of the Irish Catholic priests.

The castle is open Wednesday to Sunday. The last guided tour is at 4:30pm while the grounds close at 5:45pm.

Castletown House and Parklands

Situated in Celbridge, this 18th century Palladian house was the country estate of the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, William Connolly. It’s set in beautifully landscaped parkland and there are guided tours of the house daily. It boasts immaculately preserved rooms and contents, not to mention a colourful history. While you’re there, take a stroll through the woodlands and along the river, marvelling at the architecture and historical buildings. The main car park is situated just off the M4 at J6 Celbridge and is well signposted. Some parking is also available in Celbridge Village and it’s a 10-15min ramble up the avenue to reach the house. For more details, you can check out their website.

Sharron Lynskey