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New Norman Course for Ireland


Work is under way on a new 18-hole links course designed by former world No 1 Greg Norman in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland.

Doonbeg Golf Club, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is being funded by two American-based companies - Kiawah Development Partners and Landmark
National - who previously collaborated on the creation of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina - venue of the infamous 1991 Ryder Cup.

The consortium also plan next year to start building a hotel and perhaps
even a small village.

There has been little digging or excavation at Doonbeg because every green follows the natural lie of the undulating land, and the fairways have emerged naturally on the terrain following a precision cut of the long grass. Some parts of this environmentally sensitive property, particularly those within the permanently protected dunes, have been identified as the natural habitat of a minuscule and extremely rare snail. This means there can be no excavation, pesticides or chemicals in these areas.

When work on Doonbeg started last May, a former deputy head greenkeeper
at Wentworth, Jim McKenna, was taken on as course superintendent. He had
the task of choosing the turf maintenance equipment and Toro won a
250,000 exclusive supplier contract for Doonbeg's mowing and aeration equipment.

The course is scheduled for completion within six months and it should
be available for limited play in August and September. The official
opening is planned for next year.

 
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