Adare’s Diamond to get Polished

One of my all-time favourite places on the planet, the amazing Adare Golf Club, is due to close on Wednesday 20th January 2016 for a course revamp while the awesome Adare Manor itself will also get a revamp including a proposed 40 new bedrooms along with a ballroom which is due to have a capacity for up to 350 guests. The plans for the golf course include some course redevelopment, due to be under the guidance of legendary golf course designer Tom Fazio, while the clubhouse will undergo extensive refurbishment. Interesting times indeed in County Limerick and as my good aul buddy Ollie Ryan said recently – “the old diamond is just going for a polish“!

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Since local Limerick businessman JP McManus bought Adare Manor last year there has been much talk regarding what his plans were for the fantastic golf course, manor house, clubhouse and the overall estate as well. Rumours of a second golf course among other things abounded but now we know that the legendary Limerickman is investing further funds to turn Adare is something even more special that it already is, along with many other people I simply cannot wait for it to re-open!

Having worked at Adare for 6 years, from 1996-2002, I have had first hand experience of how special Adare is – as an employee and then over the past few years as a very happy customer. Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort has everything – an already phenomenal golf course (the last ever design by the one and only Robert Trent Jones Snr), a marvellous manor house that is a very unique place to stay or even visit briefly and facilities clubhouse and practice facilities as well. There is also something quite fantastic about Adare village, which ties in so well with Adare Manor itself. Many a night we spent in Pat Collins Bar spending our wages from Adare Manor in Adare village! We still spend our money in Collins Bar but it’s generally earned outside of Adare these days!

OJ Ryan 2009aFeaturing some of the finest holes to be found on any course, especially the near perfect par-4 13th and the best finishing hole in Irish golf in the par-5 18th, there is much the Irish golfing public and wider golfing public at large will miss while Adare is closed during the redevelopment work. It is tough to know exactly what JP McManus’ plans are for the County Limerick venue, in golfing terms it could point to a potential tilt for The Ryder Cup or a return of The Irish Open in the future. Is an unlikely staging of the PGA Championship outside of the United States likely at Adare? Whatever happens at Adare Manor, which I’m sure will be amazing, I’m just sorry I couldn’t make it to tee it up recently on a golf course that is so close to my heart for one last round!

Ballyneety Golf Club awarded Munster Golf Club of the Year 2014

Ballyneety Golf Club, formerly Limerick County Golf & Country Club, was awarded the prestigious honour of Munster Golf Club of the Year for 2014 by the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) on Tuesday last, 25th November. This is a far cry from only 4 years ago when the club went into liquidation and seemed doomed for permanent closure. One of the new club’s founders, Liam Lawlor commented recently on the award:

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Everyone is delighted. It was unexpected really because 2014 was our first year open with the full course in operation. We are all absolutely thrilled that the course has returned back better than ever. The former members were despondent when it closed and now that we have reopened it is a dream come true. The response from the community and members has been magnificent.”

Ballyneety Golf Club is based on the former site of the Limerick County Golf & Country Club and also boasts an excellent driving range facility to go along with its 18-hole golf course and clubhouse bar & restaurant. It is testament to work of previous members of Limerick County who, led by Liam Lawlor, Minie O’Brien & PGA Professional Donal McSweeney (all pictured right), garnered the support of the local community and also sought outside investment to establish the new golf club in 2012. Even though the golf course was only partially open at that stage, they had 300 members paying fees for 2013. Now they have over 600 members which is a fantastic achievement in the face of an industry that is struggling to maintain members on a national level.

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There are also ambitious plans to build on the revival of the facility by using part of the 183 acre site for a recreational park to include a walking & nature trail, archery, mini-golf, Astroturf pitches, handball alleys, camping facilities, a crèche and a playground. The Ballyneety Members Golf Club Project is now working with local Philanthropist and former CEO of Kentz Corporation, Hugh O’Donnell, and Limerick City & County Council to make this expansion a reality. The plan is that the “redeveloped project will eventually be owned and operated by the members. The Ballyneety Golf Club facility currently employs 36 people and the recreational park project has the capability of increasing this figure to over 50 positions” which is great news for the local economy.

The 18-hole course was designed by 2014 Ryder Cup Vice-Captain, Des Smyth, and Irish Amateur International, Declan Brannigan. It was opened back in 1994 and went into liquidation in 2010, having re-opened in 2012 it has enjoyed great development culminating in their recent award as Munster Golf Club of the Year 2014. Fair play and congrats to all at Ballyneety Golf Club!

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Limerick Golf Club Update – Volunteers Needed

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED 
This week volunteers are needed for clean up on holes 1 and 4, if you have some spare time this week if would be greatly appreciated if you could help out on these holes. Please bring a rake of a leaf blower if you have one available.

Weather permitting and with the help of volunteers, golf will resume on holes 1, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 10 – 18 for the weekend.

Thanks to everyone who have given so freely on their time over the last number of weeks and also to those who have supported the Club by using the Bar and Catering, it is greatly appreciated.

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DIARY DATES
Tuesday 11th March at 7.30 pm – Special General Meeting (Details on Website and Notice Board)

Monday 17th March – Semi Open Team Event (Men’s, Ladies and Mixed)

Friday 21st March at 8pm – Inter Club Table Quiz in Adare Manor Golf Club

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
As we continue to collect subscriptions the Board of Management are asking members to put arrangements in place if they have outstanding subscriptions.

Limerick GC Limerick GC In better weather!

Social Media Open 2014

On the back of a hugely successful Inaugural Tournament in April of 2013 during Masters week in Ireland, the Social Media Open returns to these golfing shores in April of 2014 for its 2nd Annual Tournament. With over 50 golfers already down to play next year it promises to be a great event once more and very competitive one. Playing in during Masters week as well means playing golf by day and watching the finest golfers in the World battle it out at Augusta by night, with maybe a few social drinks to accompany the evening’s festivities!

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There are a couple of changes for the 2014 Tournament, Doonbeg replaces Mount Juliet as the venue for Day 1 on Wednesday 9th April while Adare swaps with Castlemartyr as the Limerick course will now stage the 2nd Round while the Cork venue hosts Round 3. As expected, the Old Head Golf Links provides the crescendo with the Final Round being played there on Sunday 13th April 2014.

Doonbeg Golf Club is a true links course and the County Clare venue has one of the finest backdrops for golf, based right beside Doughmore Beach. It will definitely provide a great test on Day 1 but one I’m sure all the competitors will enjoy! Accommodation will be available at the Lahinch Golf Hotel that evening for those on Play & Stay Packages.

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The awesome Adare GC will host the 2nd Round, returning by popular demand from the Inaugural Event where every competitor was delighted with the course and especially the condition of the greens. The Trent Jones Snr design, his last ever actually, has consistently been ranked as the No.1 Parkland course in the country and it is easy to see why. We are very much looking forward to playing this course again in 2014. The road to Cork then beckons for the next 4 nights and 2 rounds as Kinsale becomes home for the majority of the field.

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The short trip to Castlemartyr for those on Play & Stay packages awaits on the morning on Day 3. The Ron Kirby design, of Nicklaus Design and Old Head fame, provides a good challenge around the grounds of the estate. There are some very quirky holes here and with some tight short par-4s to negotiate, especially on the front 9, the course will ensure any score you get here you will deserve. The closing 6 holes here are particularly good and provide for a great finish. For those on Play & Stay packages it’s back to Kinsale to enjoy the 2nd Round of The Masters, with a day off to come on Saturday 12th April it could be a late night! Talk of whiskey tasting at The Folkhouse is already abound.

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Saturday, as was the case for the Inaugural Event, will be a Rest Day and it was much needed after the first 3 rounds in 2013. Extra golf can of course be arranged but most people decided to take it easy as it was the only day to recharge the batteries. There were plenty of competitors who decided to sample the fine watering holes around Kinsale this year though and I’m sure this will be the same again in 2014 – The Greyhound, The Market, Oscar Madisons and The Folkhouse being likely venues for some craic!

Greyhound Bar       White Lady3

Sunday the 12th April 2014 will be the Final Day of the Social Media Open with the Old Head Golf Links hosting the Final Round. One of the most spectacular courses in the World, the Old Head became an instant favourite among all SM Open competitors with the vast majority of them having not played the course before. It was a must that this amazing course would be on the itinerary for the 2nd Annual Tournament and we are delighted that it will be. The Prize Presentation will take place after golf in the Old Head Clubhouse, 1st Prize being a Custom Fit Driver for each member of the winning team from Fore Golf, the opportunity to defend your Title in 2015 with Free Golf for all tournament rounds and of course you also get The Grace Murphy Trophy to take home for the year as well!

Winners 2013    Defending Champs!    2012-11-21 10.05.01

Other prizes include PING wedges; Golf Breaks to Killarney and Kilkenny; Golf vouchers for Old Head, Doonbeg, Adare, Castlemartyr, City West and Tulfarris; Swingbyte 2.0 units, Metro Golf Dublin Vouchers, Royal & Awesome pants & hats and MyCoverPics covers!!

If you have any queries on the 2014 Social Media Open email socialmediaopen@gmail.com, team spaces are filling up fast so we are likely to sell out before our entry deadline of Friday 29th November.

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