Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort
18th Hole / Par-5 / 584 Yards
Adare, County Limerick, Ireland
Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Sr. (1995); Course renovation: Tom Fazio (2016-17)
Numerous courses are seizing the opportunity to upgrade and renovate their respective golf courses throughout the world. The reason is simple — in today’s challenging environment those facilities that take proactive positions will likely maintain their position as being worthy of golfer’s time and money.
Proving that point is Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort. Set on 840 acres of well-attended grounds, the original design of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. was well received but over the course of time it had become clear an updating of the course was clearly needed.
The course has had a complete reconstruction — aside from the routing and presence of the Maigue River everything has changed from grass types, green complexes, presence of rough and a technologically advanced sub-air system for the putting greens.
The course is routed around historic Desmond Castle — circa-1200 A.D. — and through the ruins of the Franciscan Abbey — circa-1464 A.D. While inland golf often takes a backseat to the top tier links courses along the coastline — Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort clearly provides the total experience for those wishing to experience its many exceptional offerings.
The 18th demands a well-positioned tee shot at the outset. The Maigue River protects the entire left side so any shots that start left will result in a wet finish. Those able to marry length and accuracy face a big time decision. Should they opt to go for the green which is well-protected by the same river encountered on the tee shot. Laying up is also can option but that route doesn’t assure a simple pitch onto the green. The river runs parallel to the line of play so getting to the green requires the proper line to avoid a watery grave.
The putting surface is quite long — 40 yards from front to back. Placing the pin nearest to the river is a common tactic and it’s essential that golfers especially have their yardages correct — whether going for the green in two or three shots.
The green provides a range of challenging contours and nothing is ever secure till the ball has dropped into the hole. Scores can range from eagle three to double-bogey or worse.
Purchased on January 30, 2015 by Limerick businessman J.P. McManus, the facility has hosted a range of events. Most notably, the 2007-08 Irish Open. Renowned Irish golfer Pardraig Harrington won a sudden-death playoff against Welshman Bradley Dredge to end the 25-year wait for a home winner of the event. There was also the J.P. McManus Invitational Pro-Am in ’05 and ’10 at the facility.
Just recently, Rory Mcilroy and Paul McGinley & Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry participated in an Exhibition Match to officially open Adare Manor in front of around 1,500 spectators, raising 500,000 Euros for charity in the process.
McManus is also pushing for a return to Ireland of The Ryder Cup Matches in ’26. The country initially hosted the bi-annual matches in ’06 at The K Club.
Should McManus be successful the 18th hole will likely play a pivotal role in determining whether Team Europe or USA hoists the most sought after team prize in golf.