What we say
Is Adare Manor going to be the finest Ryder Cup host for 25 years? Very possibly.
This is Adare Manor, in Limerick, Ireland, and it has enjoyed the kind of money-no-object makeover that makes footballers’ wages seem a bargain.
When it was bought by horse racing billionaire JP McManus in 2014, it was already one of the world’s elite golf resorts. But the famously forthright Irish businessman had grand plans – with the ultimate goal to host the third biggest event in sport.
He drafted in Tom Fazio – who created his courses at his Sandy Lane resort in Barbados – and, it seems, gave him a blank cheque book to turn Adare Manor from special into peerless.
The Robert Trent Jones Snr original from 1995 has not been changed in its routing, but now looks and plays very differently.
The key changes centre around its playability. When Golf World played there three years ago, the rough framing every fairway was the thickest we had ever witnessed. It was brutal; long and thick, and finding it meant a lost ball unless you were extraordinarily lucky.
Now, the whole site is mown down, so the only time you will wave goodbye to your ball is if you find water on the 14 holes that the lake or the River Maigue are in play.
There are also just 42 bunkers, albeit used astutely to give the skilled and brave player the best route into greens, which is where Adare Manor's real challenge lies. Most are elevated and there are significant undulations on them.
The course will also always be in immaculate condition. The low-lying site would get soft in winter (and beyond), so 180,000 tonnes of sand, sub-air systems for every green and miles of drainage piping now sit under the pristine turf. It will now, incredibly, play firm and fast in parkland terms. Further expense saw mature trees and white sand brought in to give the look of, dare one suggest, Augusta National.
There were 150 men involved in the project – including, word has it, input from Irish greats Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley – and a small army of bulldozers and a myriad other machinery.
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Yet it ran bang on time, as did the refurbishment of the hotel; scarily, the course work was only a fraction of the overall bill. No expense was spared on this project, so don’t be surprised if Ryder Cup players are waxing lyrical come 2027.
Adare Manor's renovation in numbers
127 new mature trees
170,000m2 of manicured fairway
170 acres of low-cut sand capped grass, wall to wall, with no rough in play
180,000 tonnes of sand
12,055m2 of Pure Distinction bent grass USGA greens
18 greens with Sub Air system to remove moisture through vacuum pumps
14 - Water features on 14 holes
77,000 linear meters of gravel trenches and perforated pipes
6,641m2 of bunkers
77 new tee boxes measuring 10,777m2
17,003m2 of A4 bent grass approach surfaces
12 new hand-cut stone bridges
1,291 sprinkler heads
6,600m2 of closely mown teeing area on a new practice facility
41 capillary concrete strategic bunkers with the finest Scottish sand
1 River Maigue
- Costs -
- TG Rating
- Players Rating
- Address Adare, Co Limerick, Ireland, , Adare
- Tel 0800 904 7523
- Website www.adaremanor.com
|Course Length||7,469 yards (6,830 metres)|
- Course has: Bar
- Course has: Buggy Hire
- Course has: Driving Range
- Course has: Practice Green
- Course has: Pro Shop
- Course has: Restaurant
- Course has: Trolley Hire
- Course has: Dress Code
- Course has: Club Hire
- Course does not have: Handicap
Forget the K Club, this is the best golf course in Ireland.
Long and tough, on a good day or bad!