"We are in regular communication with the Italian Golf Federation..."

"We are in regular communication with the Italian Golf Federation..."

We're assured it is very much a procedural technicality within the Italian Senate but if the perfect storm happens and Rome is unable to host the 2022 Ryder Cup, one wonders who might step into the breach.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the organisers of the 2022 Ryder Cup in Rome will have to find new funds or risk losing the event after the president of the Italian Senate "stripped off an amendment to a bill that would have provided a guarantee of €97 million ($103 million).

"The guarantee is one of the conditions necessary to organise what ranks among golf's most important tournaments.

"The amendment was approved on Tuesday by the Finance Committee, but Senate President Pietro Grasso said Wednesday that its content was unrelated to the legislation it was attached to.

"The Ryder Cup is and remains a great opportunity for the country," said the president of the senate's culture and sport committee, Andrea Marcucci. "Grasso's decision is technical; it's not about the content of the amendment.

"I hope the government quickly finds a solution which responds to the prerequisites asked for by the organisers. I want to remind everyone that the tournament has a considerable economic spin-off and television rights. The amendment in question didn't call for further public spending."

The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia, just outside Rome, needs a complete overhaul to host the Ryder Cup and the powers at Wentworth are keeping a very close eye on the always interesting Italian political situation.

Asked for comment on the news from Italy, a spokesperson for Ryder Cup Europe said: "We are in regular communication with the Italian Golf Federation as we have been since December 14, 2015, the day Italy was awarded the honour of hosting The 2022 Ryder Cup, and we continue to be so."

We are in regular communication with the Italian Golf Federation as we have been since December 14, 2015
— Ryder Cup Europe

According to AP, "funding for major events in Italy has become an issue after Rome withdrew its bid for the 2024 Olympics following Mayor Virginia Raggi's rejection of the candidacy in September over cost concerns."

Should the unthinkable happen and Rome cannot host the Ryder Cup, one wonders where it could be played at short notice.

 Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome

Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome

Should a recent European venue, such as Gleneagles, Celtic Manor, The K Club or The Belfry be unable to do the job, there's always the mouth-watering prospect of going to a revamped Adare Manor, where JP McManus is investing an estimated €50m in the hotel and the golf course.

While he has not said publicly that he wants the 2026 Ryder Cup, McManus did say, when asked at an awards function in Dublin last December about his major ambitions for the resort, that "you are always hoping."

"For me, I love Adare," he said. "It is close to where I spent a lot of my life. I love the village. I think it has a lot to offer. And I hope we will leave it in a better place that it was."

The golf course and hotel reopens in September and it looks spectacular.

Pádraig Harrington was called last month to test several types of sand being considered for the bunkers at the five-star venue, purchased by the race-horse owner and businessman for an estimated €30m in 2014.

 The new 18th green at Adare Manor

The new 18th green at Adare Manor

Not only is the neo-Gothic manor being painstakingly restored and extended with the addition of a ballroom in its new wing, but the renowned American golf course architect Tom Fazio has revamped the Robert Trent Jones golf course.

The attention to detail is mesmerising and the multi-million euro project  — a figure €50m was mention in the Limerick press last year — is being designed to be envy of world golf.

The resort has installed, it says, "the latest Capillary Concrete liner drainage technology, alongside cutting-edge SubAir technology beneath every putting surface."

The bunkers will also be top class and Harrington, winner of the Irish Open at Adare Manor in 2007 and considered one of the finest bunker players in the game, dropped in just days before the start of his season to give his expert view.

 (Left to right) Gary Howie (Golf Professional), Alan MacDonnell (Golf Course Superintendent) and Colm Hannon (CEO) listen to Pádraig Harrington   

(Left to right) Gary Howie (Golf Professional), Alan MacDonnell (Golf Course Superintendent) and Colm Hannon (CEO) listen to Pádraig Harrington

 

 Pádraig Harrington tests the sand

Pádraig Harrington tests the sand

 Padraig Harrington on a recent visit reviewing the progress to date on the golf course with (L-R) Colm Hannon (CEO), Alan MacDonnell (Golf Course Superintendent) and Gary Howie (Golf Professional)

Padraig Harrington on a recent visit reviewing the progress to date on the golf course with (L-R) Colm Hannon (CEO), Alan MacDonnell (Golf Course Superintendent) and Gary Howie (Golf Professional)

Armed with two clubs, he examined what Adare Manor described as “six different sand samples from a few different countries" plus one from a local supplier.

Adare Manor CEO Colm Hannon, club professional Gary Howie and golf course superintendent Alan MacDonnell accompanied the three-time major winner, who has tested sand options at the venue before.

No decisions about which country or venue will host in 2026  have yet been made, but European Ryder Cup director Richard Hills admits he’s been following the progress of the Adare Manor rebuild via its Facebook page.

"I think it has to be admired what is going on down there,” Hills said recently. “I was down there just after the acquisition for something else and did drop in, yes. It’s impressive what’s going on."