The world-renowned Glasson Golf Course, famously designed by Christy O’Connor Jnr who passed away just four years ago, is undergoing major redevelopment as part of an overall transformation of the 175-acre resort and hotel. The newly designed and upgraded course is set to be unveiled in May 2021, and in its inaugural year will play host to The Faldo Series as well as The International King’s Cup Amateur Golf Tournament (Ireland versus USA, played in honour of Golf’s Greatest Ambassador, Mr Arnold Palmer).
Overseeing the redevelopment work of Glasson is golf course designer David Jones, working with golf course construction company Golflink Evolve, headed up by Esie O’Mahony, who have recently finished Loch Lomond. Both parties bring a wealth of knowledge as well as an understanding of the course and the importance of its lakeside location.
David Jones’ ideas, which will see significant changes made to the lower five holes, were enthusiastically welcomed by Glasson Lakehouse owner Paddy McKillen Jnr, who plans to transform the wonderful 175-acre resort, first opened by Tom and Breda Reid in 1993, and make it into one of Ireland’s leading leisure destinations.
David Jones, who was one of Christy Jnr’s closest pals on the European Tour and a big admirer of his work, says of the redevelopment: “I told Glasson Lakehouse owner Paddy that Christy Jnr was a great friend of mine, a great icon of Irish golf and that he needed to do this golf course justice. I told him Christy O’Connor Jnr’s legacy would be safe with me because he and I talked a lot about design over the years.”
The plan involved a redesign of the par-five 14th hole, which will become a 450-yard par-four, played to a new green protected on the left by marshland and on the right by a lake which will be walled with local rock.
The new 15th will measure around 350 yards and play back up the hill through what was a wild area between the 14th and the old 16th. From there you play a par-four back down the golf 16th fairway to the new 16th green before taking on the signature, par-three 15th across the lake, which will now become the 17th.
As for the 18th, the tee will be raised with the green moved left of the existing green, setting up a rousing finish.
“I think what I have done here is quite dramatic and I am looking forward to the reaction to holes like the new 14th.” Jones said.
PGA ProLynn McCool, Glasson’s Director of Golf has been overseeing the development of the Golf Club, and over the last six months has been transforming the offering available for the 270 members and visiting guests.
“We are very fortunate to have an Irish company investing so heavily in the resort, we have recently added 24 new buggies and a significant amount of greenkeeping equipment, but that’s only the start of the investment here,” McCool says.
There are plans to upgrade the already excellent practice facilities which include an indoor studio that McCool uses for teaching large groups, frequently staging ladies’ retreats with fellow professional Hazel Kavanagh.
The upgrade of the golf course and facilities is just one part of the ambitious redevelopment plans for Glasson Lakehouse by the Press Up Hospitality Group. The 70 bedroomed hotel and wedding venue has already gotten a fresh new look internally, with the addition of a Shebeen style bar called ‘Tom’s Bar & Tackle’ (named after Glasson’s original owner Tom Reid), a dedicated kids room, and a boutique gym called Power, as well as an upgrade to the upstairs function space and reception rooms, one of the most popular wedding destinations in the midlands. Outside of the main building a new BBQ area has been added, as well as the purchase of lake boats, kayaks and bikes, so guests can make the most of the hotel’s stunning lakeside location.
Well known Chef Dee Adamson, most recently of Athlone’s award winning Fatted Calf restaurant, joins the team at Glasson as Executive Chef. Dee will oversee and transform the food offering at the hotel, with a focus on using seasonal and local produce.
With further developments planned, Glasson Lakehouse is set to become one of the most sought-after leisure destinations in Ireland.