It may be four years away, but people looking to rent out their properties for the 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor, Co Limerick, have already teed off. Some houses in a 150km radius of the venue are being offered at staggering prices.
But are such heady expectations – a four-bed in Castletroy, Limerick, is listed at almost €40,000 for example – a mere flight of fancy, or should homeowners in the region consider moving out to make a significant windfall when the golfers arrive?
There’s no doubt that golf is big business. This week the region around the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, northeast of Rome in Italy, will get an expected $250 million (€234 million) economic boost from the competition as European golfers, including Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, get ready to take on the giants of US golf, with the US team including Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler.
With or without the Ryder Cup the Irish economy already benefits, with international golf tourism said by Fáilte Ireland to be worth more than €300 million a year. Some 200,000 golfers come here annually for the country’s 400 golf courses, while they generate almost two million bed nights.
The golfing set are big spenders. The typical golf visitor spends three times more than the average leisure tourist, Fáilte Ireland says. Most of that goes directly into local economies – that’s accommodation, transport, pubs and restaurants, the research says.
Locals in Limerick and the surrounding counties will be hoping that when the Ryder Cup comes in 2027 (after Rome it heads to Long Island, in the US, in 2025), its players and followers will be prepared to spend.
Homeowners have started to advertise homes for rent for tens of thousands of euro. Many of these are on the Accommodation for the Event site, which tries to match golf tourists with local accommodation. Some of the events listed on the site include the Irish Open 2024 in Co Down, the US Open 2024 in North Carolina, and the Women’s Irish Open 2024 at Carton House.
Some of the most expensive properties listed on the website for the 2027 Ryder Cup are a six-bed property in Killarney for €60,000, and a four-bed townhouse in Listowel for the same price
Some of the most expensive properties listed on the website for the 2027 Ryder Cup are a six-bed property in Killarney for €60,000, and a four-bed town house in Listowel for the same price. One of the least expensive listings is a two-bed apartment in Killarney priced at €9,500.
Most of the ads don’t stipulate the length of stay, but Ryder Cup matches play over Friday, Saturday and Sunday with three ticketed practice days in advance.
Prices for many of the properties advertised far exceed rental norms for their area, with many being offered at several multiples of peak-season values.
A four-bed semidetached house in an estate in Castletroy in Limerick is advertised for €37,250, while in Blarney, Cork, a five-bed house is listed for €50,000. Another home in Furbo, Co Galway, located some 136km from the Adare course, is “price on application”.
Some homeowners are offering extras, including a chauffeur service, breakfasts, cooked dinners and tour guides.
Homeowners pay €195 to advertise on the website, which was founded before the last Ryder Cup was hosted at the K Club in Co Kildare in 2006.
Brian Higgins, accommodations manager at Accommodation for the Event, says he doesn’t know how many of the houses he advertises are ultimately rented. Asked how many of the homeowners who advertised their properties for the Ryder Cup in Rome this week rented them, he says: “We don’t formally collate that information.”
“The Irish Ryder Cup has broke records for us in regards to confirmed bookings,” he says. One homeowner phoned to say they had received a booking deposit in September last year, he says.
The house was “a five-bed in Co Limerick”, says Higgins.
It is a homeowner’s decision how much rent to charge, he says. “Some of the prices, they might list above €50,000 and even as high as €65,000, we don’t really recommend that because we want to be fair to the renter and fair to the homeowner.
“They might put a figure on a property and if it’s too high, they might get very few enquiries or none at all, so they need to be competitive, but also there are pro-golfers who are willing to splash out and be in a very comfortable private home.”
‘Pie in the sky’
But will such prices be achieved? Or are some homeowners taking a punt on their €195 listing fee paying off spectacularly come 2027?
Eamonn Ryan, a member of the Irish Self-Catering Federation, is sceptical about the high rents being sought.
He owns what he says is the nearest self-catering cottage to Adare Manor. “I’m no more than 20ft from the gate of Adare Manor,” he says.
“There is a great feeling naturally enough around Adare about the Ryder Cup, but there is a lot of stupid talk going on as well,” he says, adding that “you can forget about” getting €30,000 or €40,000 or €50,000 for a rental.
“That’s pie in the sky, they won’t get it,” says Ryan.
He has already had enquiries from golfers about renting his thatched cottage in September 2027. “I would say I would most probably put a premium of about 15-20 per cent on it, and that’s it. I’m being realistic,” says Ryan.
In the months of July and August, self-catering accommodation in the area rents for €250-€300 a night, he says. “Those living in the real world would probably be charging €400-€450 a night for the Ryder Cup,” he says.
Ryan has also worked as a driver for professional golfers at tournaments for the past 17 years, including the Irish Open, the British Open and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
“I’ve had almost every one of them in my car,” says Ryan. “A highlight this year was that I drove Rory [McIlroy] four times.”
“I was over in Liverpool for the British Open this year. I know the properties the golfers are renting and that’s not going to happen here,” he says.
The golfers and their families will likely stay at Adare Manor, and the nearby Dunraven Arms and Woodlands hotels. Every other hotel in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Galway, Kerry and Cork will accommodate thousands of overseas golf fans on package tours.
Renting private dwellings, especially at high prices, is not what golf tourists want, he believes.
“I went to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and if you looked at accommodation, they were looking for £15,000-£50,000and on the day the Ryder Cup started, those houses were still available,” says Ryan.
While those living in the vicinity of a sporting event may want to capitalise on it, a market for renting a private dwelling house for tens of thousands of euros may not exist. Moreover, those interested in letting out their home should be aware of new regulations governing this. Fáilte Ireland is working to establish the first register of all short-term tourist lettings across the country.
Part of the Government’s Housing for All Plan, the register will impact up to 31,000 properties being advertised to tourists in Ireland. Property owners renting for periods of up to and including 21 nights will have a statutory obligation to register their property with Fáilte Ireland. The register will be launched following enactment of the relevant legislation.
Dedicated accommodation websites sprang up in advance of the last Ryder Cup here in 2006, with homeowners believing advertising their homes could get them a bumper return.
Weeks before the event however, many properties remained available, as reported then in this newspaper.
They included a six-bed detached bungalow on the Enniskerry Road in Dublin, then asking $30,000, and a three-bed house in Finglas, described as “ideally located” to the Straffan resort, listed for €5,000. A three-bed apartment in Cabinteely was asking €6,000 for the week of the event while in Carlow, a three-bed semi was advertised for €8,000 for two weeks. An “enormous number” of homes in housing estates in areas such as Straffan, Sallins and Celbridge were also said to have been empty.
“You could go to Dunshaughlin for the Solheim Cup back in 2011 [it was on in nearby Killeen Castle] and people were looking for crazy money. None of them rented. It never happened,” says Ryan.
“If there were four guys coming from America to watch the Ryder Cup and you are being asked to pay €50,000 for a house, wouldn’t it be cheaper for them to get some place in Naas and get a helicopter?” says Ryan.
A bypass of Adare village, the plans for which were first unveiled in 2005, has not yet been built. Without it, Ryder Cup fans will experience the lengthy traffic jams those travelling on the Limerick to Kerry national primary route have endured for decades.
Adare estate agent John Giltinane, who has offices on the main street, is also cautious about whether high rents sought by some homeowners are achievable.
“I hope they are but I would have a lot of doubts about that,” says Giltinane.
He is receiving two enquiries a week from homeowners interested in renting out their homes for the event, and he will rent a limited number of properties, he says. A four-bed house in Adare typically rents for €2,500-€3,000 a month, he says.
“The Ryder Cup situation will be different, but I’m not entirely sure if outside of a few miles of Adare, if there will be huge prices given for houses.”
Nonetheless, there may be a more significant long-term fillip to the local market, as a Ryder Cup ripple is already being felt.
“We have ‘sale agreed’ two properties to American buyers in the last couple of months. They liked the place, they were big golfers, and the Ryder Cup is attractive to them,” says Giltinane.