Adare Golf Course - Par 72 - 7,138 Yards
Adare Manor was purchased by an Irish-American businessman in the early 1990's and has been transformed into a stunning 5***** golf hotel. Robert Trent Jones was persuaded to undertake his only design outside North America and the result is a terrific 18-hole golf course in the grounds of the manor estate.
Adare has two loops of 9. The first loop features 14 acres of natural lakes and streams and Jones' ever present bunkering. The first and second are excellent par-4's that are also protected by trees. The par-3 third is a beguiling hole, almost completely surrounded by sand and with the River Maigue sufficiently close to the back of the green as to pose a threat, especially as the perception makes club selection a challenge.
The 7th hole is a par 5 with an extremely challenging tee-shot diagonally across a huge lake. Finding a line that will find the fairway without sacraficing too much distance is the key to the tee-shot, then avoiding the lake on the right and bunkers to the left on the approach shots is the next step.
The second loop is through mature wooded land that is intersected at three holes by the River Maigue, a large and wide river that lends to the challenge of Adare. The par-3 11th requires a tee-shot to be played from one riverbank to the other - a great short hole.
The par-4 13th is probably the best hole on the golf course. A tee shot to a sloping fairway that funnels between lines of high trees will leave a mid-iron approach to a green slightly set below the fairway protected by bunkers and more trees on all sides.
The par-4 15th is short, but the right-hand side of the fairway runs all the way along the bank of the River. No room for error on the right. The par-3 16th is also across water.
The 18th runs in the opposite direction of the 15th, with the water this time challenging the left side. This applies to the first two shots to this par-5 and then there's the rub - the final approach is again played across the river to the final green just on the far side of the opposite bank. Getting the second shot into the correct position without sacraficing a ball to the waiting salmon is what this hole is all about.
Adare is an excellent parkland golf course, superbly designed and recent investment in drainage systems have ensured that it will always be in superb condition.
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