Construction work has begun on the accommodation and clubhouse phase of Doonbeg Golf Club, the West Clare links course designed by Greg Norman. The start of the construction was celebrated yesterday by an official groundbreaking ceremony held at the club.
Work on the overall project began in 2000 with the golf course itself officially opening for play in July 2002. Last year over 15,000 golfers from all over the world played the course. When complete the total project will represent an investment of €150 million by the US company Kiawah Development Partners (KDP).
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony Charles P “Buddy” Darby III, chairman and CEO of KDP, said that the start of construction was an historic day for the project. “Given the wonderful publicity the course has received worldwide it is essential that our clubhouse and accommodation is put in position as soon as is realistic.”
He noted the challenging work programme that had been put in position but said he was confident that the team would meet the deadline of a Spring 2006 opening for the clubhouse and lodge. “Site work is well underway and we would hope to have the foundations laid by late August 2004.”
The main two contractors for the project are John Paul Construction, Dublin and L & M Keating, Kilmihil, Co Clare. Dublin based architects Campbell Conroy Hickey will be working with architects John Haley from Kiawah Island, South Carolina on the architecture.
Sales of the Lodge Suites, which began in June 2003, have surpassed all expectations. To date, 21 suites have been sold for a total of more than $24 million. Buyers have come from Ireland, Europe and the United States. Sales for phase 2 of the project, which will include 21 suites, are scheduled to begin in August.
Located adjacent to the golf course, The Lodge at Doonbeg Golf Club will be comprised of three buildings: the Lodge, the Garden House Suites and the Norman Suites.
When complete, Doonbeg will feature 56 Suites and a series of Links Cottages. The overall design of Doonbeg will be based on a “village” concept, with the cottages laid out at different elevations along the entranceway to the course. The Lodge will be set near the first tee box and the eighteenth green to maximize views of the Atlantic.
KDP is the master developer of Kiawah Island, a 10,000-acre sea island located 21 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. The company’s subsidiaries include Kiawah Island Real Estate; The Kiawah Island Club, which encompasses the Tom Fazio-designed River Course, the Tom Watson-designed Cassique, The Beach Club and Sasanqua, the members-only spa; and Doonbeg Golf Club in Ireland. For more information about KDP, visit www.kiawahisland.com.