JP Raises The Bar With The Golf Course at Adare Manor
Just over thirty years ago I returned to Ireland from my on the job ‘What They Don’t teach You at Harvard Business School’ education with Mark McCormack in Cleveland and Hong Kong. To my shock I realized that Jack Nicklaus, the world’s greatest player had never set foot in Ireland. With the support of the late ‘Toyota’ Tim Mahony we rectified this and brought Jack to Dublin to play against Seve at Royal Dublin in front of 10,000 fans for the Toyota Challenge of Champions. This led to Tim asking Jack to design Mount Juliet for him, which he did.
When Mount Juliet opened in 1990 with an exhibition between Jack and Christy Snr. with my father refereeing, I will never forget the reaction from the golfing spectators from around Ireland. They had never seen or experienced the level of quality manicured grasses or such high maintenance standards. “These tees are better than our greens!!” I heard several times on the way around. Mount Juliet had set a new standard and was the catalyst for change in cultural practices for golf course maintenance for all inland courses in Ireland.
On Friday last I had the pleasure of being invited to the Charity match to launch the opening of The Golf Course at Adare Manor, the ‘pet’ project of the unassuming Limerick philanthropist, JP McManus. The big four of Irish golf Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and Paul McGinley played with €500,000 donated to Charity and the 2020 JP McManus Charity Pro Am was announced.
My brother Marty and I toured the Manor House, the new clubhouse, spa and state of the art maintenance facility. The Manor House, which is more like a castle, has been restored and returned to its former majestic glory. Every window pane, stone and slate has been painstakingly restored and the extension is hard to differentiate from the original house. The smells from the wood burning fires and gentry smoking for hundreds of years has seeped its way into the old wooden floorboards and mahogany antique furniture and radiates throughout the Manor. It is a constant reminder of being in such an old and historic place.
The dining rooms have a solemn almost church-like feel to them that heightens expectations of the gourmet cuisine you will enjoy. Most of all and apart from the grandeur there is a sincere, warm and genuine Limerick welcome from the proud locals working there.
21st April 2018
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