The course at Adare Manor in County Limerick, Ireland, has recently undergone a major overhaul led by Fazio Design. GCA spoke with Tom Fazio about his firm's work, and how the course is likely to play once it reopens later this year.
What do you consider to be the most significant features of this project?
Adare Manor has always been a great fun place to stay and enjoy Irish hospitality with a beautiful setting along the River Maigue. The challenge was to create a course that tourists would want to play on a golf trip to Ireland, which is known for oceanfront, windswept links golf. To accomplish this task on an inland site which is definitely not links, we went the other way and created a strategic, park-style championship venue that will be meticulously manicured. Most golfers will have never seen anything like this course. It is unique and special, with its own very distinctive Irish vegetation and wildlife. Through extensive redesign and shaping of every hole and installing 135 acres of drained, sand-capped, fast and firm, low cut turf, wall to wall, this golf course looks and plays like no other course in Ireland.
How satisfied are you with the result?
We look forward to opening the course this year and letting the world play Adare Manor. This will be a stand-out course in Europe and with the manor hotel refurbishment, this will be one of the finest stay-and-play venues ever created. The manor hotel is fabulous, everyone is going to want to see this place.
Are there any holes/aspects of the course that you feel are highlights?
Every hole is strategic and very playable. You can hit it anywhere and not be in the rough, and see the back of the ball. However, to score and win, you have to place the ball on each shot. The greens will be fast and very firm, as the SubAir system will be on daily, removing the Irish mist. The finishing holes, fourteen through eighteen, are perhaps the most memorable stretch, with great views along the river and the manor in the backdrop.
Tom Fazio is the principal of Fazio Design
This article first appeared in issue 51 of Golf Course Architecture