5 Minutes With… Andy McMahon
Director of Golf Operations and Padel Club, Andy McMahon joined the Adare Manor team five years ago from The Grove hotel in London. During this time Andy and his team have won several prestigious awards, including European Golf Resort of the Year 2020 and Ireland’s Best Golf Course 2021. A qualified PGA Professional, Andy’s love of golf began at just two years old. His golf career also started at an early age collecting balls and working on a driving range near Stirling after school.
We caught up with Andy to discuss his favourite features of the golf course, the upcoming JP McManus Pro-Am and what he is most excited about for the future of golf at Adare Manor.
What does a typical day at Adare Manor look like for you?
Really no two days are the same. I start by ensuring that the team are briefed on all the events of the day from a golf standpoint, followed by our resort briefing to ensure that all our bases are covered for all members and guests. Each day my team try to provide an unforgettable experience for our guests, while having fun at the same time.
When did your love of golf begin?
My family are all golf mad, especially my parents and uncle. I was pushed around in a pushchair at The Open when I was two years old! Every weekend would involve the golf range in the morning. I am the third child in my family, so my motivation was to be allowed to play in my family fourball! I was allowed to take my sister’s place when I got down to single figures which I did aged around thirteen. I had the opportunity to work in golf when I was fifteen years old and for the last twenty-five years I have always tried to ensure that the members and guests enjoy their golf experience as much as I do.
What are you most proud of now, having been working at Adare Manor for five years?
I am extremely proud of working with all the team in helping to open, in my opinion, the best new golf course and golf experience worldwide. Also, to have been awarded the hosting of the Ryder Cup in 2027 is recognition of the wonderful work that has been carried out in Adare Manor and is a career and life highlight.
What are you most excited about for the future of golf at Adare Manor?
Without question the JP McManus Pro-Am in July 2022. The Pro-Am has helped raise over €140 million for charitable organisations in the mid-west region of Ireland since its inception in 1990.
Eight of the current top ten players in the world golf rankings will be appearing at the Pro-Am next month. The field is worthy of a major championship! Seeing how Tiger, Rory and all the top pros play and the feedback we will get from them will set us up nicely for the Ryder Cup in 2027.
Why is Adare Manor so special and what makes the golf experience different and distinct?
We complement the other top courses in Ireland. If you travel to Ireland you will want to play the championship links courses to experience the sand dunes and the rugged coastlines etc. Adare Manor offers the golfer something completely different. Beautifully manicured fairways, fast pure bent grass greens and approaches so tightly mown that you feel nervous to chip from. The golf course is presented in top class tournament condition throughout.
What is your favourite feature of The Padel Club?
It is hard to single one area out. The pool area, yoga studio and gym are all finished to the highest standards, with huge windows overlooking beautiful trees to really create a tranquil setting. But if I had to choose I would say I love walking into the padel courts. You open those dark wooden doors and leave the ambient lighting of the reception area behind you. The size and brightness of the padel courts immediately hits you, with floor to ceiling glass and high density lights overhead.
What is your favourite feature of the golf course at Adare Manor?
The conditioning is exemplary and the work that Alan MacDonnell, the Golf Course Superintendent and the greenkeeping team do can’t be underestimated. I really like a golf course that has a figure 8 layout – where the 1st and 10th tees are in close proximity. World renowned course designer Tom Fazio retained the routing of the original course. However the changes that have been introduced are significant and the run off areas created are a real standout for me. You need a really strong short game to score well around here!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received since working in the golf industry?
I have been so lucky to work for great bosses and owners here in Adare Manor and at The Grove in London. One thing that sticks out for me is PEOPLE. Nothing good happens without good people. Hire good people, look after good people and listen to good people.
Describe the feeling for both you and the team when Adare Manor was awarded the Ryder Cup?
There were so many rumours and from the moment the announcement was made my phone went red hot. It is an incredible achievement and you could sense the pride in the whole team. The first thing the golf team wanted to know is when the Adare Manor Ryder Cup clothes would be delivered!
How do you think the 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor will be remembered?
I would like to think that we will create a Ryder Cup experience like no other. We know how great Irish people are at being hosts and will ensure all visitors enjoy the on course and off course activities. It will be a great spectacle to put Adare Manor, Limerick and the whole island of Ireland at the forefront of the sporting world.
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