Join the K Club — if you have right links

Its fortunes may have waned in recent years but it’s still a case of who you know if you want to get into the K Club.

Faced with dwindling membership, people may join the K Club Country Club for a dramatically reduced price for a limited time — but applicants must be introduced by a current member.

If they do, the usual joining fee of a cool €80,000 will be waived and all you have to pay is an annual rate of €4,500 (plus VAT) as a man and €2,250 as a woman.

If you’re lucky enough to get full membership, you are entitled to play both of the K Club’s courses — the Smurfit Course and the Palmer Ryder Cup Course, full access to K Health and Fitness, K Spa, fishing on the resort as well as various benefits and discounts across the resort.

Even if you have no connections, the famous golfing establishment is offering people a new option of membership at the famous Smurfit Course. Designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer and built in 2003, it has played host to three European Opens.

Now, even the plain old hacker can become a member of the course for €1,900 a year with an initial joining fee of €500.

The membership fee could see you rubbing shoulders with some of the club’s most famous members including Ronan Keating, Bill Cullen and horse trainer and former club captain Tom Taaffe.

Not only that, members of the Smurfit Course also get access to the members’ locker room, complete with private sauna and steam rooms. The first 100 members will even be allocated their own locker. All members can enjoy full use of the extensive practice facility including a chipping and putting green and a driving range.

Founded in 1991 by Smurfit packaging empire chief Michael Smurfit, membership of the K Club was a seen as the epitome of Celtic Tiger success, even hosting the Ryder Cup in 2006. Since then, things have gone downhill and in May Mr Smurfit became sole owner of the resort after agreeing a €40m deal to buy developer Gerry Gannon’s 49% share.

The sale was facilitated by Nama, which is overseeing loans and assets held by Mr Gannon’s development group.

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