Resort Shorts: Kirby design opens in Ireland

Castlemartyr, Ireland: Capella Castlemartyr has opened the remaining nine holes on its Ron Kirby-designed course. The first nine holes at Castlemartyr Golf Club opened for play last fall.

Capella Castlemartyr, located in southwest Ireland, is a 220-acre resort with a spa and 109 guest suites – 11 of which are located in a restored manor house that is adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old castle (pictured). It is part of the Capella Hotels and Resorts chain.

The resort also will arrange tee times for guests at nearby Old Head Golf Links, a Kirby design in Kinsale. Visit

Haines City, Fla.: Arnold Palmer Design will oversee a renovation of the West Course at what previously was known as Grenelefe Golf and Tennis Resort. The course will close in October and is scheduled to reopen by the end of summer 2009.

Feltrim Developments has contracted to acquire the resort, which will be called Horizons at Grenelefe, and plans to spend $300 million redeveloping it. Feltrim intends to refurbish 450 condos and 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and add a hotel and spa. Also planned: a clubhouse, fitness center, new condos, and a commercial real estate village.

Northbrook, Ill.: KemperSports assumed management of LinksCorp’s 14 properties, which are based primarily in the Southeast. LinksCorp president Ben Blake will become executive vice president of KemperSports. Blake worked for KemperSports before starting LinksCorp in 1991.

KemperSports now operates in 27 states, Puerto Rico and Latin America.

French Lick, Ind.: French Lick Resort Casino this year will operate a Ladies Golf Academy, where instructors will include Susanne Noblett, Midwest LPGA teacher of the year.

Two three-day academies are scheduled, on May 18-20 and June 22-24. Prices start at $1,406.99 and include three nights of individual lodging. Visit

Uncasville, Conn.: Mohegan Sun plans to open Mohegan Sun Country Club on April 7. The resort acquired the course, formerly known as Pautipaug Country Club, last June. The course is private, but resort guests can book tee times.

Mohegan Sun resort, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, currently is undergoing a renovation, called Project Horizon, which calls for a new, 922-room hotel with 261 House of Blues-themed rooms, the addition of 115,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and the new 64,000-square-foot Casino of the Wind. Work is expected to be completed in 2010. Visit

St. Augustine, Fla.: The Renaissance Resort at World Golf expects to complete a $10 million renovation by May. The lobby atrium, restaurant and bar, all 301 guest rooms, meeting areas and hotel corridors are being remodeled.

In conjunction with the renovation, the resort is offering a new Florida Champions Golf Package, which includes two nights in a remodeled guest room, golf for two on each of the resort’s courses, and two tickets to the World Golf Hall of Fame. The cost is $555 per person from May 12-31, with the price declining slightly from June through September. Visit

Orlando, Fla.: Marriott Golf will require 34 of the courses it manages in North America and the Caribbean to become Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries by the end of 2008. The mandate affects 25 properties.

To become certified, Audubon International requires golf courses to pay a $200 annual registration fee and meet criteria dealing with: environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; water quality management; and outreach and education. Audubon International provides site-specific reports and assists courses in implementing their environmental plans.

To date, six Marriott-operated properties have been Audubon-certified, including Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., and the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and Grande Pines Golf Club in Orlando.

Greensboro, N.C.: Troon Golf was selected to manage Forest Oaks Country Club.

Clarification: An item in the Marcn 10 Resort Shorts said that Josh Lesnik had been appointed president of KemperSports. Lesnik already held that title.

– Martin Kaufmann

Show Hide