Playing a Ryder Cup course is a sheer privilege. The Golf Course at Adare Manor in Ireland has not hosted the Ryder Cup yet, but it will do so in 2027. A lot to look forward to, so I went there to give the course a test drive.
Arriving at the entrance of Adare Manor you know immediately it will be a special day, the friendly doorman checks if your name is on the list and you pass the practise facilities on the right. There are beautiful trees everywhere and it looks like the best-maintained park you have ever seen. At the (former) Carriage House where they have situated the clubhouse now the staff is super friendly and professional. The 18th century Manor house along the River Maigue was once the residence of the Earl of Dunraven, it is the eye-catcher of this 800 acres property.
The club is owned by Irish billionaire JP McManus who purchased the property in 2015 and closed it for a monumental facelift. The Course was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. but McManus hired Tom Fazio in 2016-2017 to redesign the course and make it ready (again) for the Irish Open and a possible Ryder Cup. Optic fibre cables were put in everywhere for the broadcasters, SubAir systems under all greens, including the practise greens and Fazio put down an extra 200.000+ tons of sand to reshape the course.
The Carriage House was voted the Best Clubhouse in the world recently and is very nice. The carriage in the entrance and the wine cabinets are magnificent. The club sandwich is definitely recommended if you decide to have some lunch before you play. Looking out the window on the left, you get a first view of the Manor. It looks like Wayne Manor from the Batman movies, but even cooler and really incredible. Also, on the golf course, there are spectacular views of the Manor. We didn't stay there but heard from several people the rooms and service are second to none.
Tom Fazio’s renovation/rebuilt resulted in a beautiful playable parkland course where you will hit a lot of drivers from the tee, but because of the generous landing areas without any rough and the great maintenance, you will even find your most errant tee shots. Like more Trent Jones/Fazio courses the real challenges arise when hitting your approach. The green complexes are amazing with huge run-off areas and putting can be very challenging. Also, plenty of water comes into play, so do bring some (extra) balls if you want to go for it!
It will be interesting to see how they will set up the course when Adare Manor hosts the 2027 Ryder Cup, because to me the design and set-up (at least when we played it) seem somewhat American and so in favour of the US team. That can't be right, can it?
The front nine are situated in fairly open terrain but when you reach the halfway house at the 9th green/1st tee you will have an amazing view of the Manor and the back nine is more tree-lined. My favourite stretch of holes is 13 till 16. The 13th is a beautiful par-4 with a majestic pine on the right and a crown-shaped green that is the best example of the toughness of the greens on this course. Hole 14, especially with a pin-tucked to the right is super tough but an amazing risk/reward approach. Hole 15 is a relatively short par-4 where you can take out your driver but the best scoring option is a mid-iron and a wedge. The 16th is a beautiful par-3 over water with an 80-meter-wide green where again the pin position is cardinal to the playability of the hole. Hole 18 is a great final hole playing over the river to the Manor, several routes can be chosen depending on the ability of the golfer and the pin position.
There are some amazing risk and reward holes on the back nine definitely designed to stimulate thrilling matchplay roars, so I really can't wait till 2027. I think Adare is one of those few courses that tick all the boxes service-wise, maintenance-wise, and surrounding and it just results in a bucket list experience. Check out their bag tag!
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