In March, we learned that the new owner of Rory McIlroy’s old mansion in Northern Ireland had plans to use the property as a wedding venue, among other uses. This week, we found out that it’s basically a vacation home and can be rented out for a cool $20,000 a week.
Naturally, we started to book our vacation at Robinhall House. And that’s when we discovered the best part about this place: the Golf Experience.
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Of course, the Back9 crew would want to hack away on the nine-hole course – and what a course it is. Basically, McIlroy designed it to prepare him for the career grand slam, which he could obtain at the ripe old age of 25 if he prevails in April at the Masters. This course might be a big reason why.
The first hole is called Pebble Beach: “Similar to Pebble Beach and Oakmont, which both host the US Open, the green has two USGA specification bunkers to the left and right of it and a fescue approach,” says the Robinhall House website. The second hole, St. Andrews, was “built to replicate conditions at the British Open courses.” The third is called Congressional, after the course on which McIlroy won his first major, the 2011 U.S. Open. And the fourth is, of course, Augusta.
Aspects of the other holes replicate conditions found at the home of the Masters, but the fourth green is special: “The Sub Air system which is unique to this course in Ireland and a replica of the system at Augusta National can both suck moisture out of the green or blow air into it introducing a firmer green that can test even the best players in the world.”
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Knowing this, it’s a wonder that the Masters is the major McIlroy has yet to collect. Then again, he was in complete control of the 2011 Masters through three rounds before collapsing and carding an 80 on Sunday. That would have been his first major, and when you’re 21 years old, no amount of time on similar conditions at home can prepare you mentally for holding the final-round lead in the world’s most popular golf tournament.
But now that McIlroy is the hottest golfer on the planet with four career majors to boast of, he’s in much better control of his nerves. So it won’t be a surprise to hear about the lad visiting his old property in the coming months. He built this course to largely model Augusta, and the Masters is now the only major he needs. The current owner of Robinhall House, property developer Gary McCausland, has said McIlroy is welcome back any time.
Let’s hope McIlroy doesn’t find it tough to find an open week. The place has been available for rent since the spring, but with its former owner’s big summer, it’s starting to get some more attention. Or is it a coincidence that the Robinhall House’s PR group sent out a release hours after McIlroy’s latest triumph?
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