The numbers tell a story in itself: over 90,000 square metres of topsoil, some 7,000 tones of rootzone in rebuilding greens, 2,000 tonnes of gravel and 5km of drainage . . . and, moneywise, an estimated investment of €10 million!
The regenerated Druids Glen – with a new clubhouse and a reworking of the original Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock design by Peter McEvoy – will reopen to visitors on June 1st after a three years-long redevelopment project aimed at getting the Co Wicklow course back among the top parkland venues in the country.
A former Irish Open venue – with Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia lifting titles there – and also a multiple host venue for the old Seve Trophy, the rebirth of Druids Glen, which will play to a 7,222 yards Par 72, is set to give a shot in the arm to golf tourism in the region and potentially make it available for future professional tournaments.
Quite literally, no stone was left unturned in the redevelopment with the list of world-class contractors including McEvoy, Jeff Lynch of Regolf, John Clarkin and Julian Mooney of Turfgrass, Darr Golf Construction, AquaTurf and RainBird.
“We have made a significant financial commitment to the renovation of Druids Glen golf course and clubhouse, with the aim of bringing it to the very top of the list of world-class golf courses. This included rebuilding the greens, which is expected to result in perfect surfaces and modernised tweaks. We believe that the renovations have elevated the resort to a new level, and we can’t wait to see the impact they’ll have on our guests and the local community,” said Séamus Neville of the Neville Group, owners of the resort.
Clarke books his Open ticket
Aside from the $3.6 million payday in the Wells Fargo, Wyndham Clark secured a bonus of earning his place into the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool in July.
Although, the likelihood is that Clark will qualify through the world rankings – with his breakthrough PGA Tour win moving him to 31st in the updated world rankings – which means Brendon Todd will potentially benefit.
Clark, Denny McCarthy and Michael Kim were the three top finishes at Quail Hollow not previously exempt for the British Open . . . but the qualifying criteria is likely to see Clark elevated to the world points criteria and open the door for Todd.
“Besides probably playing at Augusta, [St Andrews] would be the No. 1 course I’d want to play, especially a Major championship. Tiger [Woods] played and all the greats have played there, so to make it in again is amazing,” Clark said.
“Obviously it makes the schedule, me planning my schedule a little easier. I love going to play links golf, so I’m real excited playing it.”
By the numbers: 1-1-2-2
Skinny pickings this week for Irish players on the main tours: Séamus Power is the lone Irishman in the field for the Byron Nelson Classic on the PGA Tour; with Leona Maguire skipping the Cognizant Founders Cup, Stephanie Meadow is the only Irishwoman competing in New Jersey on the LPGA Tour; while Munster duo Gary Hurley and John Murphy are the two Irish players competing in the Belgian Open on the DP World Tour.
Meanwhile, Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke are competing in the Regions Tradition, the first Major of the season on the Champions Tour.
Word of Mouth
“I felt so uncomfortable over the ball this weekend, I literally didn’t feel like I could hit a good shot” – Tyrrell Hatton on how the mind plays tricks. Despite his discomfort ahead of hitting shots, Hatton finished third behind Wyndham Clark in the Wells Fargo Championship which pushed the Englishman to 27th in the updated FedEx Cup standings and to 17th on the official world rankings.
On this date: May 9th, 1993
Paul Broadhurst had to hang on for dear life down the closing stretch of the Benson and Hedges International on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at St Mellion, but hang on he did!
Broadhurst had led through 54-holes but, with Ryder Cup teammates Jose Maria Olazabal and Mark James putting on the pressure, the Englishman was forced to dig deep in adding a final round 71 for a 12-under-par total of 276 that gave him a one-stroke winning margin.
It was the third win of Broadhurst’s career and the £91,660 payday enabled him to splash out on a new house in a season in which he finished 19th on the order of merit.
In his European Tour career, Broadhurst – who’d kept down jobs as van driver and gardener to support himself as an amateur – won rookie-of-the-year honours on turning professional in 1989 and played 588 tournaments on the circuit.
I don’t really care much for the Ryder Cup . . .But, in saying that . . .if Adrian Meronk isn’t in the European Team for Rome, there surely has to be a inquiry . . . #JustSayn #GolfLife – Scott Hend with an Aussie take on how Meronk, winner of the Italian Open at Marco Simone, is well on the way to be being a history-maker as like the first Polish golfer to play for Europe.
Superb win for @AdrianMeronk. Some solid golf played all week and came up with the right shots when he needed them most, starting to make winning a habit. Well done Adrian – guess Luke Donald was keeping a close eye on the Pole.
In the end, I didn’t play good enough defense to defend my title, however I’m very happy for @Wyndham_Clark on the win!! T-8 and some good stuff to build off of going into the PGA Championship. All offense as I haven’t won that Major before so no defending needed – Max Homa talking the talk.
Know the Rules
Q A player finds her ball lying next to a half-eaten apple in a bunker. She decides to move the apple but, in doing so, accidentally causes her ball to move. She places her ball back on its original spot and plays from there. What is the ruling.
A The player gets one penalty stroke for causing her ball to move. Such a situation is covered under clarification Loose Impediment/1 and Rule 15.1b: Fruit that is detached from its tree or bush is a loose impediment, even if the fruit is from a bush or tree not found on the course. The player gets a one stroke penalty for causing their ball to move while removing a loose impediment.
In the Bag
Wyndham Clark - Wells Fargo Championship
Driver – Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)
3-wood – TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15 degrees)
Utility iron – Titleist T200 (3)
Irons – Titleist 620 Forged CB (4-9)
Wedges – Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46, 52 and 56 degrees)
Putter – Odyssey Jailbird Versa
Ball – Titleist Prov1