Thursday, May 5, 2016

Portmarnock Links Uplifted

The par three 9th
The recently completed €1 million investment in the golf course at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links is already paying dividends... both for the resort... and for Irish golf.

Barry O’Connor, Director at the resort, said that the limited membership programme announced at the time of the
redevelopment has been almost fully subscribed. Green fee revenue is also increasing.

The work on the golf course was the first phase in an initial multi-million investment in both the golf course and the hotel. Work on the hotel is currently underway with a completion date of early July.    

The investment in the golf course included the creation of a wonderful new short game area, a new natural grass path between greens and tees, and the refurbishment of many revetted bunkers.  Much needed new equipment has also been acquired, along with a new irrigation system.

Part of the new short game area
Speaking about the golf course, Barry O’Connor said that they have had tremendous feedback in relation to the course both from members and green fee golfers. The general belief is that the course is back at the level it had been when it hosted the Irish Ladies Open.  

“This is just the first steps of a planned ongoing programme aimed at ensuring that the course will continue to be ranked as one of the true great links courses on the east coast of Ireland.”

Following the golf course investment work on the hotel began in February. Upon completion in early July the hotel redevelopment will have seen:

·       The refurbishment of 90 bedrooms
·       New meeting / conference rooms
·       The creation of a new Spa and Gym
·       A new Seaview Lounge
·       The extension of the main restaurant
·       A new entrance and car park

Approach to the 16th green, showing off the excellent bunkering
The existing Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links was built on the site of the one-time home of the Jameson family, the creators of Jameson whiskey which today is the best-selling Irish whiskey worldwide. The Jameson Bar in the hotel is a part of the old family home as are a number of the meeting rooms, while the golf course was created on lands that once were home to a twelve hole Jameson family golf course. 

Speaking about the overall investment plans, Barry O'Connor said the intention was to highlight the Jameson connections in the refurbished property. 

“We attract a large number of both American and European tourists initially drawn here for the opportunity to play a great links golf course. They are fascinated with the connections to the Jameson family and inevitably always want to know more. It is our intention to highlight this rich history".
Views back down the 18th (from the back 1st tee)
He also said that while international tourism business was important to the hotel it also had a strong local business that had supported both hotel and golf course during the recession and which would continue to be important going forward. 

“The business has been built on the best of Irish hotel values - traditional Irish hospitality and a welcome for everyone. We want to retain that friendly approach and the investment being made is as much a thank you to our local support as it is to attracting more international business. Our way of doing business will not change.

"What we will be looking to do is to expand the business. We strongly believe we have one of the best locations in Ireland. It is 10 minutes from Dublin Airport and 10 miles from the heart of Dublin. Add in a championship links golf course, a five mile long Blue Flag beach, restaurants and other local attractions and it is hard to beat".

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