Written by By Meredith Alfano, CNN
Known to locals as “Kembe” because it sits about 40 minutes east of Dublin on the highway to the airport, the 18th-century estate of Adare Manor has just been bestowed with another moniker: the venue for the 2022 Ryder Cup.
This is the first time the biennial tournament, traditionally played in the US, has been held outside the US — at one of Europe’s 10 wildcards nations. Adare will not only feature in the competition for the first time but also host the opening ceremony, practice rounds and golf seminars.
A view of Adare Manor, one of Ireland’s most famous hotels. Credit: martin Schernid, Yachts Photos Ireland/Courtesy of Adare Manor
“This is an event that hasn’t really taken place in Europe before. It’s a great opportunity to showcase Ireland, and I would imagine as it happened, the Royal County Down Golf Club wouldn’t have been too far from our minds,” said property manager Hetty Cline.
For Cline, the most tangible realization of the event’s significance was the arrival of the 35-strong Ryder Cup team.
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© Ciaran Dunphy, Photographer
“It was great to see the Ryder Cup team arrive, which was a little bit emotional, because it was them taking the responsibility of getting this event. It’s their work that’s paid off, and it’s really an honor to see that,” she said.
From the landscaped gardens to the nine bedrooms inside, the outdoor grounds offer a truly Irish experience. The estate is dotted with the stunning stone homes of some of Ireland’s most notable families, including the Stanleys (Probst and Durbridge of Merry Mullins gin fame), the Clearys (creator of “Bodyguard” fame Jed Mercurio’s family) and, indeed, the Stanleys themselves (founder of the popular Sean-O-Scots brand of whiskey).
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The estate’s spectacular views of Slieve Bloom Golf Resort. Credit: martin Schernid, Yachts Photos Ireland/Courtesy of Adare Manor
But Adare is more than just home to some of Ireland’s most famous entrepreneurs.
According to staff, it also houses an archive of more than 50,000 previously unseen images, giving the rooms and grounds a unique visual identity of their own.
1 / 9 – Irish golf renovations were not planned when Adare Manor opened in 1884. Now, the course is re-designed to make it a backdrop for the Ryder Cup. Credit: Martín Schernid, Yachts Photos Ireland/Courtesy of Adare Manor
“We got five or six photos that hadn’t been seen by anyone for many years. They’re some really beautiful images of golf courses from the past, and we put them together, interspersed with photos of the landscape, with elements of what we think of the landscape now,” said Cline.
Towards the end of the stay, one of the housekeeper’s maids brought out a few items that were too good to be destroyed: snapshots from the early days of the estate, when there were few servants and guests arriving and departing, and the property was visited by special visitors who wanted to see the farm house.
Conversations inevitably turned to what will happen in 2024, when next year’s Ryder Cup will be played in America.