Protracted birth of Marlbrook

By Brian Keogh

The movers and shakers behind Padraig Harrington’s first design project were put through a SEVEN HOUR meeting by the European No 1.

Project director John Kent knew he was onto a winner when the European No 1 arrived for a major pow-wow with two box files labeled “GOOD” and “BAD”.

Seven hours later, Harrington had explained exactly what he did and didn’t want for the Clonmel course that will carry his name.

And Kent is delighted that he decided to go with the reigning European Order of Merit winner for a project he insists is a long-term investment.

Kent said: “We wanted to get this right and detail matters. This is not a five year or ten year project for us. This is a project for 25-years and on and getting the right people on board was key.

“It took us six months to work out if it would work for Padraig and if Padraig would work for us.

“But we hit it off right from day one and I have to compliment Padraig on his attention to detail.

“When he arrive with the two files and spent seven hours explaining his vision for the course we knew we were on a winner.

"Padraig has seen so many courses around the world that he already had a vision of what constituted a good and a bad hole."