Golf course development company Turfgrass Consultancy has released details of the construction, renovation and maintenance work that was carried out at Adare Manor, as the Limerick-based venue prepares to host the Ryder Cup in 2026.
Wicklow-based Turfgrass was hired as the agronomy, course specifications and construction management experts to carry out a large part of the brief that was handed to course architect Tom Fazio and all the consultants involved in the remodelling and rebuilding of Adare Manor, working closely with the Adare Manor team, Fazio Design and Atlantic Golf Construction on all areas of the design to deliver a course worthy of hosting one of the most eagerly anticipated matches in tournament golf.
Adare’s Golf Course Superintendent Alan MacDonnell said: “John Clarkin and Julian Mooney became our agronomists in 2015 to assist with all aspects of the construction, the specification of materials, the sourcing of materials, the grow-in and the development of the course. They have really become trusted colleagues and friends of Adare Manor and we are very thankful for their involvement in helping us produce the quality befitting Tom Fazio’s design.”
Adare Manor is a purpose-built golf course. Both the design and construction of the course were specifically aimed at producing a challenging, yet memorable playing experience for golfers of every level and, most importantly, to attract premiere professional and amateur tournaments. Both of these objectives were met by the introduction of the very best and latest in golf course maintenance and grass technology, such as wall-to-wall sandcapping, ensuring a dry playable golf course all year round, with SubAir built into each of the 19 greens which regulates air, water and temperature, creeping bentgrass on the greens and surrounds and wall-to-wall low cut maintained rye grass.
Julian Mooney, director of agronomy at Turfgrass, said: “We have amble experience preparing for large tournaments, working on the last four editions of the Solheim Cup that were staged in Europe, nine Rolex Trophies, and countless other events, the team and I are well aware of all the requirements and pressures that such a tournament can put on playing surfaces and infrastructure of the golf course.
“The primary aim between now and 2026 is to continue to produce exceptional playing surfaces, and if this can be achieved, Ryder Cup preparations should be relatively straightforward. Agronomically, some of the greatest challenges are influenced by weather and environmental conditions, for example, the relatively short growing season and extended cloud cover makes producing best-in-class creeping bentgrass a challenge. Some focus points between now and 2026 will be the management of traffic, weed grasses, and plant parasitic nematodes, which is an ongoing concern.”
Describing the continued development of the course preparation pre- and post-tournament, Turfgrass managing director John Clarkin said: “There will be some infrastructural improvements to ensure the movement and flow of spectators throughout the golf course, specifically a focused sand top-dressing programme to increase the depth of sand in the rough to protect the course long term from the heavy traffic. While, to complement their tournament experience ahead of Ryder Cup, Alan [MacDonnell] has sent employees to numerous high-profile tournaments such as the Irish Open at Lahinch, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. It will be remarkable to see the return of the Ryder Cup to Irish soil 20 years after the K Club hosted the matches. It will be a proud moment for Ireland, and an especially proud moment for Irish golf and the people in the industry.”
Adare Manor by Numbers
Some key statistics relating to the construction of Adare Manor
12,055m² Area of Pure Distinction, Creeping Bentgrass greens built to USGA specification.
75 Hectares of low-cut sand capped grass on the course with no rough in play.
19 SubAir vaults in greens to aid plant health, drainage and surface firmness.
83,000 linear metres of gravel trenches and perforated pipes.
41 capillary concrete lined bunkers.
250,000 tonnes of sand.
1,291 sprinkler heads.
127 newly planted mature trees.
77 new tee boxes measuring 10,777m².
6,600m² of driving range tees.
17,003m² of sand-based Penn A4, Creeping Bentgrass approaches and green surrounds.
50 turf management professionals to manicure the golf course.
170,000m² of ryegrass fairways.