Adare Manor is the Ultimate Irish Golf Experience
Taking the back roads through County Limerick with my tour guide, and navigating all of the twists and turns like a local, I was taken aback by the simple beauty of the Irish countryside. But today wasn't supposed to be about the scenery. It was all about golf. But as it turns out, it was about the scenery as well!
As we pulled in to the gates of the Adare Manor, a property that dates back to the late 1800s, I knew I was in for something extraordinary. I was about to golf on the grounds of a castle. Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort was the last golf course to be crafted by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Senior, and it may indeed be rated as his finest. It was voted the best parkland course in Ireland 6 years running, and has hosted many prestigious events, including the 2007 and 2008 Irish Open.
After picking up a set of beautiful rental clubs and balls from the pro shop, I got in the cart to play the back 9 of this stately course. With pin placements that allowed great golfers to challenge the course, there was still enough room out there for the intermediate golfer like myself.
The fairways are in immaculate condition, and the greens are like putting on a pool table. Water comes into play throughout the course, requiring well placed shots in order to score low. As we played in and around medieval ruins it was difficult to concentrate on the next shot, rather than the scenery around me. Coming off Hole 14, I thought we must have missed a turn somewhere as Hole 15 ran along the river in front of the Manor. On any other golf course, this would be the signature 18th hole, but not here. You putt out on the 15th green just across from the castle with a smile on your face because there are still another 3 beautiful holes to play.
The final hole runs alongside the river, with the green on the other side, contained within a beautiful flower garden on the manor grounds. As we left the course, I couldn't believe just how lucky I was to play such a stately, imaginative, challenging, and most of all FUN round of golf.
Practical Information for Adare Manor Golf
While the weather might be slightly cooler in December, January, February, and March, the reduced green fees will surely warm your heart. 9 holes is 45 Euro, while 18 holes is 80 Euro. In the peak of summer, prices do increase significantly, rising up to 125 Euros. Still, this is more reasonable than many other Irish golf courses, where prices can reach upwards of 200 Euros.
Throughout the year, there are package specials combing accommodations at Adare Manor with golf and other activities which might present future savings opportunities. Even if you are not staying at the Manor, be sure to give yourself some extra time to tour the lovely grounds and gardens.
A beautiful and very filling afternoon tea is offered in the Manor for 27.50 Euros and is the perfect way to warm up and refresh after a brisk morning on the course. The service is impeccable, and you get treated like a king – in your own castle! For heartier (and more economical fare), the Carriage House clubhouse offers sandwiches for around 10 Euros and hot meals like Irish beef pie for 17 Euros.
It may be a bit out of the way for those visiting Dublin, but Limerick County is a must see, and Adare Manor is a must golf destination. I can’t wait to go back!
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Ryan's green fees were compliments of Adare Manor as part of a sponsored trip with Failte Ireland. This did not influence his review and all opinions remain his own.