Is this Ire­land’s next Ry­der Cup host?

Rory, Padraig, Paul and Shane think the re­vamped Adare Manor could eas­ily stage it

Today's Golfer (UK) - - First Tee -

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

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