Is this Ireland’s next Ryder Cup host?
Rory, Padraig, Paul and Shane think the revamped Adare Manor could easily stage it
There’s an unwritten rule that a golf course is only as good as the people who officially open it. So, it stands to reason that expectations were high when Rory Mcilroy, Padraig Harrington, Paul Mcginley and Shane Lowry officially reopened The Golf Course at Adare Manor in County Limerick, Ireland last month. The 7,509-yard championship layout had already been tipped as a potential Irish Open and Ryder Cup venue by owner JP Mcmanus, and now some of the best players in the world are saying the same thing. As first impressions go, it’s got a very good chance.
Originally designed by the late Robert Trent Jones, the par-72 course has been completely transformed by famed architect Tom Fazio, with the help of Harrington, in the space of just 21 months. Now, 220,000 tonnes of sand and 50 miles of drainage pumps run underneath the parkland to provide firm and fast surfaces all year round.
Comparisons with Augusta are inevitable, and not just because Fazio redesigned both. The greens are fearsome and the slopes subtle. Misjudge your approach (or putt) and white sand bunkers and large run-off areas await. And if they don’t catch you out, the many lakes, streams or the River Maigue might. These water hazards now intersect all but four of the holes, while 12 hand-cut stone bridges add to the many ‘signature’ features that occupy the 842-acre estate. Among them is a five-star castle hotel, which reopened in November and houses a 42-bedroom wing, ballroom and cinema. The entire property is dripping in prestige and has the star power and a billionaire owner to boot.
What’s more, they also know how to attract a crowd. Around 1,500 spectators watched the ceremonial exhibition match which ended in a draw and helped raise €250,000 for charity. All four pros also confirmed that they’ll be back again for the JP Mcmanus Pro-am in 2020, by which point Adare Manor should know if it has won the rights to stage the 2026 Ryder Cup. But as far as Rory and co are concerned, there are few courses better equipped...
‘I THINK WE HAVE THE FACILITIES TO HOST IT AND WE’D LOVE TO HAVE IT. WE’LL PUT OUR NAME IN THE HAT’ Owner JP Mcmanus on the 2026 Ryder Cup