Fresh from a successful Open Championship, two-time major winner John Daly, returned to Cork to catch up on the progress of his signature 18-hole championship golf course at The Blarney Golf Resort situated in the beautiful Shournagh Valley, which provides a classic backdrop of rural Irish beauty.
Standing at the black John Daly tee box on the sixteenth, a 620 yard par five monster, Daly said, “It’s great to be back in Blarney and see what’s been happening. Now that I can see the progress that all the Blarney Golf Resort team has made since I was here last year, I’m beginning to get really excited. This was cow pasture last year, now it’s nearly ready to play. With a name like Daly I’ve got to feel at home here. This is my only signature course in Europe so I can’t wait to hit some balls with the members when I come next time”.
John took a particular interest in the par fives at the course. Although the course will measure over 7,000 yards from the championship tees, Daly emphasised that a selection of tees makes the Blarney Golf Resort a playable experience for golfers of all standards. The Blarney Golf Resort, at Tower, Blarney, will be open for play in spring/summer 2006. However, the hotel will open by the end of 2005.
The entire complex is situated on 164 acres in Tower, three miles from Blarney and eight from Cork City. The location features 40 acres of protected woodland. Blarney Golf Resort comprises a four star luxury Ramada Hotel, Suites and Spa, 54 luxury lodges, clubhouse and the championship length golf course.
The resort is the brainchild of local developer John Kelly and his partner Frank McCarthy. The course has been designed by John Daly and Mel Flanagan of Irish Golf Design. “Obviously the thrill of designing a course in a beautiful rural setting like the Shournagh valley is a great honour. To do it with one of the game’s true legends and longest hitters is a privilege,” commented Flanagan.
John Daly shot to international sporting fame almost overnight in 1991 when he took the US PGA Championship in explosive fashion. His victory catapulted him into golf’s highest echelons and his reputation was secured when he won his second major, the Open Championship at St Andrews in 1995.
Through his company, John Daly Golf Design, John has co-designed the acclaimed Wicked Stick course in California. Blarney Golf Resort is his first course-design venture in Europe.
Ramada Worldwide is a division of the Cendant Hotel group with over 6,500 hotels worldwide and the largest franchising company in the world. Ramada Hotel & Suites at Tower in Blarney will be the sixth Ramada Hotel in Ireland to join this fast growing hotel group.
The spacious contemporary hotel will be a mix of 62 well appointed guestrooms and 54 comfortable lodges set around the 18 hole John Daly designed golf course with its own club house. Offering bars, restaurants, lounges, fully equipped conference facilities for up to 275 delegates and health centre including spa, state of the art gymnasium, sauna, steam room the resort will fill a need for a complete golf, spa and leisure resort close to two major towns.
“We are delighted to be managing this superb hotel complex,” says Michael Knox-Johnston CEO. of Ramada Ireland “and to play a part in the opening of this wonderful golf course designed by such a well respected tournament golfer as John.”
Irish Golf Design, run by Longford man Mel Flanagan, has designed and built courses in Ireland, England and mainland Europe. His work includes Forest Hills in London, St Oswald in Linz and Rathcore in County Meath.. He has also collaborated with Nick Faldo on Bartragh Island in Mayo and Lough Rynn in Mohill.
John Daly www.johndaly.com
The Blarney Golf Resort www.blarneygolfresort.com
Irish Golf Design www.irishgolfdesign.com