Adare Manor, a farmhouse-style mansion in the Limerick countryside, could host the next Ryder Cup at 2024. Until then, its new bosses plan a major overhaul to maintain its position in the championship rotation.
Simon Bennett, the businessman behind Adare Manor, confirmed it was in the running to host the fourth Ryder Cup at the end of the 2027 season. “I can confirm to you it is a three-year window and we will be competing with facilities in the likes of Kapos, according to Seve Ballesteros who said he favoured Kapos,” Bennett said.
“I am in discussions with the people who run the Masters and PGA Championship, who have been speaking to the PGA Europe and the Ryder Cup people. We have been working with the world golf council to make sure the plans we put forward are agreed by them and the players. It’s not a forgone conclusion and we have to do it properly.”
Winding up the conversation, he said: “If this thing is going to go right there is no time to lose. It’s not about saving money, it’s about saving time. We would like to be in the rotation in 2024, we would love to be in 2020 and we would love to be at K Club [the 2018 Ryder Cup venue in Kildare].”
At the moment, the 2020 Ryder Cup is earmarked for Lake Nona in Florida – although Adare Manor does have a golf course on offer in nearby Belle Vue, while one of the most attractive sites under consideration is a large tract of newly-developed land at Royal Monmouthshire in south Wales.
The under-used Highland course at Padraig Harrington’s Crosshaven in the Irish Republic is also being considered, although it has been suggested it could be turned into a grandstand.
Although private projects such as Adare Manor need to pass planning stages before being publicly considered for the Ryder Cup, Bennett insists it was not simply a bid to save costs.
“Somebody told me that: ‘It’s cheap, it’s cheaper than Madrid’, but it’s not cheap. It’s one of the most expensive venues and only host the event every 20 years. We will need to build state-of-the-art facilities with state-of-the-art facilities that other countries are now competing for.”
Bennett indicated he would not reveal a budget for the current phases of the renovations, saying: “What we have decided we will not be releasing details on those improvements. We’ve not gone out to bid, but we have asked the Golfworld magazine and NBC television as guests of Adare Manor what they would prefer – the remote driving range or the velour lounge with the bar and darts and the live-action sports centre? It’s going to take a while.
“If we got approval now for what we are going to spend, and everyone understood our costs and what we can deliver, that would be great. If we weren’t so busy with the massive restoration work, and everyone saw what we would build and they understood that it wasn’t going to cost them a penny. It’s very early days, a lot of people want to sit and study what is going to happen here for three years.”
The future of the venue, which was bought by an Irish investment fund earlier this year for €63m (£60m), is not uncertain. In addition to the Red Roost clubhouse which, for the time being, is serving as the Ryder Cup headquarters, there is a further redevelopment plan under consideration.