It is certainly a course I imagine that the modern day professional will enjoy playing. It is long - over 7,500 yards at present and no doubt some more tees will go in over the next couple of years.
And it is also a very fair course – everything is pretty much in front of you. What you see is what you get. Tee shots ask multiple questions on both line and carry and you will likely get what you deserve.
There are large, strategically placed bunkers, heroic water hazards and some impressive green complexes.
In fact the greens and their surrounds are what takes this course to the best of its class. There are some devilish recoveries to be had at many of the elevated greens which are surrounded by short, firm turf. And the putting surfaces are exceptional, not only in trueness but the contours which fit perfectly.
Modern parkland golf is not really my bag and I certainly didn’t travel all the way to the South-West of Ireland to specifically play here but it is as good as it gets for this type of golf.
What also adds to the experience here is the condition of the course. It’s as good as I’ve ever seen. It was absolutely immaculately presented with literally not a blade of grass out of place throughout, you almost felt guilty taking a divot.
I had played here over 10 years ago and although a lot of money has been spent on it in recent years, including a sub-air system on the greens, the layout and feel of the course has not altered too much. Par is 72 and the maximum yardage is 7,509 although the more manageable White tees are 6,505.
As we say at Marco Simone in the 2023 Ryder Cup I suspect the last four holes here will throw up plenty of drama. The 15th is a driveable par-four alongside the water, the 16th is a par-three over water and although the 17th is a little mundane in comparison the par-five 18th which crosses the River Maigue will no doubt set up some 'death or glory' moments.
To describe the course the Club probably say it best on their website, “Celebrated golf architect Tom Fazio has taken what was already an award-winning course and transformed it into a parkland paradise befitting a country in the top tier of global golfing destinations. The new course has been created in harmony with the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings: lush, softly rolling terrain, mature tree scaping, and the sweeping banks of the River Maigue.”
Adare Manor, host of the Irish Open on two occasions, does not come close to being comparable with some of Ireland’s top links courses but it will certainly appeal to a certain clientele of golfer (especially rich ones!) as the entire set-up is luxury 5-star.