Adare Manor - Limerick - Ireland

Adare Manor,
Co. Limerick,

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Adare Manor is set in more than 800 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens. The 18th century manor house, located alongside the River Maigue, is an architectural masterpiece of towers and turrets. It was once the ancestral home of the Earls of Dunraven. Now it’s an opulent, luxury hotel.

Adare’s original course opened for play in 1995 and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr. It was a typical Trent Jones design, stretching out a massive 7,453 yards from back tees to a more modest 5,082 yards from the forward tees. The course displayed all Trent Jones’s hallmarks - cloverleaf bunkers, American-styled mounding, and lots of water. The result was extremely challenging, pleasant but rather predictable despite plenty of natural features and hazards, including the stately trees and the River Maigue, which meanders nonchalantly through the course.

The course has hosted a number of important national tournaments, including the Irish Seniors Open, held here for three consecutive years starting in 2002. The 2003 Irish PGA Championship was also staged at Adare in 2003, when Paul McGinley emerged victorious. Two editions of the Irish Open were also contested in 2007 and 2008, with Pádraig Harrington and Richard Finch winning these events.

The Irish Open put the dashing and stylish Adare Manor firmly on the map and as a consequence the event cemented Adare's position as one of the best inland tracks in Ireland. But the course began to drop down the golf course rankings becoming just another pleasant, but tough, resort course.

In 2015, Irish businessman and racehorse owner J. P. McManus bought Adare Manor for an estimated €30 million and immediately embarked on a redevelopment programme. It was reported that the businessman purchased the property with a view to returning the Irish Open to Adare and with a long-term view of bringing the Ryder Cup back to Ireland in 2026.

Golf course reconstruction started in March 2016 under Tom Fazio’s guidance, the architect commented as follows: "Most golfers will never have seen anything like this course. It looks and plays like no other course in Ireland. This will be a stand out course in Europe and, with the Adare Manor house and estate as its setting, will be one of the finest stay and play venues ever created – everyone is going to want to see this place.”

The brand new golf facility reopened in Spring 2018 with SubAir systems installed for the first time in Ireland. The golfing bar, condition-wise, has been stratospherically elevated and the course significantly altered by Fazio Design.

The site was capped with more than 200,000 tonnes of sand, 50 miles of drainage pipes were installed and fibre optic conduit buried around every hole for future television requirements. All told, there’s now 135 acres of maintained grass on the property. The course routing remains intact but the fairways have been regraded to improve playing surfaces and promote firm and fast playing conditions.

Overgrown areas have been cleared, with non-native species removed, allowing light and air to enhance the quality of the greens and fairways, as well as opening out views across the estate. Green sites have also been raised and there are now only 42 bunkers in play throughout the course. Great credit is due to Atlantic Golf Construction for transforming the old course into the pristine layout now in operation.

It’s too early to tell whether or not the makeover will propel Adare Manor back up the golf course rankings. Some golfers will love the opulence, service and immaculate grooming. Other golfers will choose to head to the coast to savour Ireland’s classic and modern links courses. We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not the extraordinary investment in Ireland’s heartland pays off.

Adare Manor to host 2026 Ryder Cup was the July 2019 announcement, but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the 2020 event at Whistling Straits to be delayed by a year. Consequently Adare Manor will now host the event in 2027.

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Reviews for Adare Manor

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Description: Following J. P. McManus’s acquisition of Adare Manor in 2015, the old RTJ-designed parkland course has gone, replaced by a new Tom Fazio layout which opened in May 2018. Rating: 7.8 out of 10 Reviews: 5
Neil White

“Have yourself a magical time!”

It was as if we had entered a Disney resort rather than a Ryder Cup venue, as the gent in the top hat waved our people carrier through to one of the most opulent settings in golf.

For 24 hours only, we had the chance to live how the other half do and play the same track as a dazzling array of stars in a pro-am this July.

Yep, like us, Tiger Woods will be able to have his photo taken and see his face in the foam of a pint of Guinness, thanks to laser technology.

Details matter at Adare Manor and, as the robotic lawn mowers did their stuff, we bathed in our surroundings rather than consider the astronomical cost for a game of our favourite sport.

From this season, it has become compulsory to stay at the hotel before booking the already expensive tee time and mandatory single-player caddies.

The service from the chap at the entrance onwards is of the very highest standards, matching the glamourous surroundings, created by JP McManus.

But does the golf course stand above all else? In some respects, yes, but in others, no.

The backdrop makes for some spectacular holes and the caddie adds to the experience but not all of the 18 are memorable.

We played as the mist was lifting but it was already clear that three days of balls rolling on dry links courses on our trip to the west of Ireland had not prepared us well for Adare Manor.

Put simply, we had to hit the ball a lot harder and have no slip-ups on the way to the green.

I recognised early that decent course management was imperative and consequently laid up at the first which has a stream in front of its target.

Sadly, I duffed my chip and carded a six. It would not be the last time that my touch deserted me on this day.

The stream, a pre-cursor to much wider water features to come, is again present on the straightforward second but my undoing here was my inability to read the subtleties or pace of the putting surface. This theme remained throughout.

The run-offs at Adare are also extreme as I discovered after a tee shot was just short of the greenside bunker on the par-three sixth.

I flicked a chip which seemed spot on only to watch the ball cruise past the hole and then, annoying slowly, slink off over the bank and into the water.

The first hole which set my pulse racing was the par-five seventh which bends around a trout-filled lake.

Its beauty is surpassed by the ninth on which the manor house provides a stunning backdrop to a monster green guarded by deep bunkers.

Attempts to avoid them could well result in the ball swirling down the huge fall-away to its rear.

A salmon gate is in the stream at the side of the picturesque par-three 11th with its two-tier green and dangerous slopes.

For me, Adare Manor requires too much hammer for a course which prides itself on finesse.

I played pretty well off the tee but was constantly reaching for my three-wood or long irons in order to score. However, neither had the pinpoint accuracy required.

Perspective was provided by my caddie who reckoned my drive on the 12th was “as long as Bryson’s – but he’ll be teeing off about 150 yards further back!”

In saying that, the final five holes will guarantee excitement at the 2027 Ryder Cup.

The 14th emerges from Adare Manor’s woods to a target which has a ruined abbey at its rear and a lake to its right. I tried to play it cutely but again the pace and borrows were my undoings.

One of the few that I felt I conquered was the short par-four 15th, alongside the River Maigue and the awe-inspiring manor house. My ball landed in a bunker off the tee but I found the back of the green from the sand.

Emboldened by a rare moment of glory, I armed myself for the wonderful par-three 16th only to slap my ball straight into the water.

This was a waste of a classic tour hole with a slither of green between the lake, sand and extreme slopes. I can’t wait to see how the pros handle it.

Similarly, the 18th will give them an enormous challenge.

I have never seen a hole like it – a long par-five which has fairway all the way down the side of the river but its target on the opposite bank.

A par would have been one of my finest but I missed the putt. However, testament to the acceptability of my bogey was the huge number of balls which could be seen at the bottom of the river.

And that was it.. a quick wash and brush up in the impressive changing rooms, a final Guinness with the clubhouse name in its foam and it was time to return to normal life.

As for Adare Manor’s golf course – there is no doubt it has a very high-quality run-in and some very attractive holes but I am a man of quirks and courses which require more clubs in the bag than it did.

Nevertheless, my compadres and I loved the experience.

May 03, 2022
7 / 10
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David Oliver

At €375 a green fee (and compulsory caddie), the experience should be high end and it is. The course conditioning was truly remarkable. There are many wonderful holes (especially 8, 9, 11 and the truly world class par 4, 13th). In addition the 18th will provide much drama in the Ryder Cup (hopefully more matches will go to the 18th than they did at Paris National). The greens are sublime (fast, true, contoured) and very challenging. I believe that it is a second shot course as the fairways give room and appear inviting. The course beats you up around the greens as the majority are raised to some extent. The run offs are shaved and are as good as most courses greens, making any pitch with loft requiring exemplar technique and nerve ! The percentage shot is a putter, but unlike the challenge Martin Kaymer overcame at Pinehurst in 2014, the grass on the run off areas at Adare Manor are different to the grass on the greens and although smooth, roll substantially slower. Therefore there is huge premium on hitting the greens which means ball striking will be key for the pros in 2026. As an experience, I am glad i played. Would I go back ? Probably not (the green complexes were too tough for me ).

September 15, 2019
9 / 10
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David Oliver
September 19, 2019

Apologies, but forgot to say that Adare Manor is definitely a GB&I Top 100, probably just Top 50.

M. James Ward

Give the Tom Fazio team -- most notably Tom Marzolf -- credit for improving the course. The look of Adare Manor is clearly impressive and I was told the grass is cut by tweezers -- only joking -- but I took it seriously given the painstaking levels of detail on the grooming side.

I didn't find the outward half of holes really noteworthy and the inward half is where things begin to percolate. The par-3 11th is especially good with water nearby and a green that falls-off for any wayward plays. The par-4 13th has been mentioned and I do concur it's a quality test. You also have the 15th hole which can be reduced in yardage to play as a driveable par-4 which is likely to happen should owner J. P. McManus secure the Ryder Cup Matches for '26.

One of the really fun and beautiful holes comes with the par-3 16th. The green is riveting because of its narrow nature and wide set-up. Getting close is truly a challenge because three-putts can easily occur with a misfire.

The 17th hole is a good long par-4 but it's the green that makes the difference. The closing par-5 is much ballyhooed and credit the Fazio team for installing a rock wall down the right side just off the green. Any shot that fails to carry will undoubtedly find H20. Without any doubt the backdrop as you walk down the 18th hole is mesmerizing.

Adare Manor is a fine parkland layout but I have played better on that front. The conditioning is truly amazing given when I played in '18 the rest of the country was going through a massive lack of rain. No question the amenities are first rate with SERVICE in CAPS but for me the golf side is just not consistent enough to attain the highest of levels.

M. James Ward

July 24, 2019
7 / 10
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M. James Ward
January 03, 2022

Just a quick postscript -- I am happy to see Adare Manor will serve as host site for the '27 Ryder Cup Matches although it would have been a real plus if a true links course was selected. Nonetheless, kudos to J.P. McManus in his efforts to have the matches return to the Emerald Isle.

One other note -- I found it disheartening to see that the name of original course architect Rober Trent Jones, Sr., has been erased from mention. The layout that the Tom Fazio team updated contains the same routing pattern and for the most part the same hole types - including the much-heralded par-5 18th.

I know of other courses which have done similarly -- trying to spin history as they see fit. The various architects need to be mentioned. Augusta National says it is a MacKenzie / Jones creation but for whatever reason leave out the other key names that have contributed -- most notably Jones, Sr., who created the present-day 11th and 16th holes.

Andy Newmarch

I first played at Adare Manor eleven years ago and the holes along the River Maigue (15th and 18th) were memorable but the course then was good but not great. My visit in April 2019 brought a completely different experience – I had heard of the investment levels on and off the course plus the desire to bring golf’s biggest team event here in 2026 but I was not expecting the improvements to be at the level that they are – completely off the scale. The work that Tom Fazio has done here is unbelievable – the course is un-recognisable from before.

If could be lazy writing to say that the course now is ‘Augusta like’ but it really is a decent comparison. Everything is first class and with 55 green-keepers the course should be in perfect condition and it is – presentation is not everything but when it is either good or bad it is very noticeable.

Your round starts with a caddy Adare Manor Golf Course - Photo by reviewer be assigned who will be at your side for the next 6 hours or so – as he carries your bag to the practise ground you can stride out in front, hands in pocket (Rory like) and just hope that you do not make too much of a mess of the professional range! After this, stops at the very impressive chipping green and then a few practice putts, you and your ‘man’ amble to the first tee – stocking up at the restaurant style halfway house on the way. For handicap golfers, this is just not a normal way to prepare for golf but what a treat the whole experience is.

Right from the opening hole, you are well aware that this is likely to be one of the very best inland courses you’ll play – with a tricky approach to this 400-yard hole across water at the offset green. I will mention the very next hole because of a very special personal moment; after an ok drive I was left with 204 yards to the flag (my caddy gave me this accurate yardage) – next came an out of body experience as my shot with a 5-wood flew high and with a slight cut was to reach the green – the bonus being it then rolled twenty feet and into the cup! Two under par for the first two holes, playing on this course and having such a ‘pro’ experience, my day was complete in the first hour.

Back in 2008 I was not that impressed with the middle of the front nine – well guess what? I am now, the par-4 5th turns right after crossing the river and then is uphill to the green and the par-3 6th has water on three sides and has a fantastic sloping green. The front nine ends with a par-5 that can play up to 633 yards – a great strategic hole with a slightly raised green that has the most severe and classy run-off behind the green that I have ever seen.

Collectively, the back-nine edges the front in terms of variety and although I have not been to Augusta, there are places that you get the hairs on the back of the neck moment that make you think you could be. The place where I got this most was whilst playing the 13th; 454 yards from the very back (I played at 403 yards) – this hole has pine trees all around (not too dense though), the recognisable pine straw all the way down the tree lines too. The hole turns a little Adare Manor Golf Course - Photo by reviewer right, the fairway slopes a little left and then to another raised green protected by a lone bunker with the blinding white sand – after tapping in for a double bogey six, I turned and looked at the hole just played and what a special moment – a hole from the very top drawer. The 16th hole is first class too – here is a par-3 (102 to 157 yards) over water to a very slim green, maybe just 10 yards deep – but the two big selling points here are, the green is 87 yards wide with what seems like dozens of potential hole positions and once again like the 9th, the run-off behind the green has to be seen to be believed. If you get your distance wrong by just a few feet, you are in a tightly-mown valley with a roller-coaster of a shot back to the pin, aiming back to the water – good luck!

The final hole is world-class – I remember playing it in 2008, which was also the year that Adare Manor hosted the Irish Open, when Richard Finch won (check out his third shot on YouTube) – he made the green in three shots but the stumble into River Maigue is as memorable as the win. The river is in play for every shot and even if you are in good position after two, approaching the green needs utmost concentration – the final green probably has the most severe run-offs on the whole course, so just being dry in regulation does not easily secure the par, the demands of this course continue to the very end.

The experience continues post round; super locker rooms, fine dining and all with the Irish craic that the world loves - your day ends as it has been throughout, on such a high level.

As mentioned, the owners have made it clear that the 2026 Ryder Cup is the event they want and I wish them good luck and I hope that it happens – maybe just to see if the Tour pros can eagle the 2nd hole – I hope not!

April 07, 2019
10 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary

In recent months, the Adare Manor resort in Co. Limerick opened its renovated championship golf course. The layout is a sight to behold and will not resemble anything you’ll have ever seen in Ireland before. The club’s owner, Mr. J.P McManus, opened his deep pockets to create a facility which is head and shoulders above everything else in Ireland from a quality and service perspective. It’s a super exclusive high-end resort with a newly overhauled Tom Fazio layout. The grass on the golf course feels like carpet and is maintained to standards I’ve rarely Adare Manor Golf Course - Photo by reviewer seen anywhere in the world. It’s the first and only course in Ireland to install USGA sub-air systems to control the temperatures of the greens. There’s more state of the art technology under this golf course then you can even imagine, and it’s effortlessly hidden out of sight. If there’s a need, that need is fulfilled with no hesitation. For the 18 holes, there are 55 (yes, 55!!) green keepers. On average, I’d expect 10-14 greenkeepers – but Adare Manor not only raises the bar, it lifts it so high that it’s out of sight.

The front nine is relatively flat and feels wide open. In places, with limited trees, the front side feels like a huge green velvet tablecloth has been placed on the ground with a handful of yellow flags dotted around the horizon. With such little movement in the terrain, Fazio’s shapers were working overtime to create the cryptic greens and lethal aprons. Violent undulations protect the greens and will strike fear into the heart of many. The green keepers roll the greens, and another group of maintenance crew roll the aprons, which is sight to see. In addition, formations of mowers plot their way up and down the fairways bringing the quality of the playing surfaces to be in line with the extraordinarily high standards only seen in the wealthiest US clubs.

The front side is not as memorable, and essentially Adare Manor Golf Course - Photo by reviewer is all about mastering the greens, whereas the back nine has a much different personality. The course gets tighter, the tall trees begin to line the fairways and we are introduced to significant change in elevation. I personally felt the golf course stepped up its game architecturally starting on the 12th tee. You’re faced with an uphill dog-legging par 5 which I thought was brilliant.

The par 4 13th hole is the favourite hole of many with a blind tee shot to a downhill protected green. The golf course is now hugely more interesting. The hole moves gently left to right and is framed beautifully by the trees. The par 4 14th requires less than driver off the tee to stay short of the water, but requires precision with the approach into the deep narrow green. Moving along the fabulous short par 4 15th which is a drivable hole with water running the entire way up the right-hand side. On one side of the river you have fisherman peacefully waiting to catch their Adare Manor Golf Course - Photo by reviewer lunch, and on the other side of the river, you have golfers shivering in their boots wondering what to do off the tee. Play it safe? Or go for glory? The magnificent Manor hotel providing the backdrop just adds to the excitement, and adds an element of theatre to the hole.

It gets better with the daunting par 3 16th playing anywhere from 140 to 180 yards over a large deep pond to a very shallow green that must be 80 yards wide. This dance floor is nothing but a sliver in the horizon and requires the highest levels of skill to hit the green. Short is death, and over the back has waves of very deep undulating tightly mown hollows to add to your misery. The par 4 17th brings you back into the forest and is a very stern test all the way to the green. The last hole will be familiar with many golfers around the world. Again, with the Manor as the backdrop, this treacherous par 5 has water up the left off the tee to a narrow fairway. The green sits on the other side of the river and emphasizes a number of strategic decisions. If you lay up, you’ll face a short wedge over the water to a newly contoured green that will reject even the Adare Manor Golf Course - Photo by reviewer best of shots. If you open your shoulders and take the chance to cross the river with your second shot, there’s no easy place to attack the flag from. It’s a massively demanding closing hole – and with the 2026 Ryder Cup in mind – the back nine at Adare Manor will hopefully provide an epic test to the world’s best players.

You can conclude from my review that the back nine is significantly more interesting from an architectural and topography perspective.

The staff at the club are committed to providing the highest level of service imaginable and creating an experience for visitors unlike anywhere in the world. From a golf perspective, if you’re not staying at the Manor, the green fee is 280 Euros and caddies for 55 Euro are mandatory. Caddies will greet you at the front door, get your clubs from your car and escort you around. Irish golfers won’t be accustomed to this treatment. With an estimated 15000 thousand rounds a year, I expect the majority of players to be international guests with deep pockets who seek out privacy, peaceful seclusion and the finer things in life. Like everything in the world, you get what you pay for – and nothing at all has been spared thanks to Mr. McManus’ vision for his home county. The experience of Adare Manor will stay with you forever and you can expect to be treated like a King in truly palatial surroundings from the second you’re escorting inside the guarded gates. While Ireland has nothing even remotely like this, it’s wonderful for our country to have a facility that strives for levels of perfection that are sky-high and will show the world that the Emerald Isle has unveiled yet another slice of paradise.

May 31, 2018
6 / 10
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