|The European Club|
Ruddy lives and breathes the game, and his passion is illustrated at The European Club. Once he had the 20-hole layout in place and built a modest golf shop and an inviting but understated clubhouse for members and guests, Ruddy added an apartment upstairs with living quarters, a lounge and an expansive library, which he plans to expand into an archive of golf literature.
It is from this roost that Ruddy wanders out to the course at quiet times and finds ways to enhance The European Club. "The sand is always moving," he confided. "Like an old man looking in a mirror, we do not go a year without finding more wrinkles as fairways rise or fall unceasingly."
|The opening hole at The European Club|
In 2006 at the height of the Irish property boom, Ruddy and his family were offered about €40 million for the golf course and adjoining property, but he refused to sell. "We have no hotel and no housing," Ruddy said. "Money is not the driving force. We are here for the golf. It was founded because I wanted a place of my own to play golf, or play at golf, whenever the mood took hold. If it pays for itself then that is a bonus."
|No. 3 at The European Club|
The course is a combination of rugged dunes, deep bunkers (101 of them, all lined with railroad ties - or "sleepers," as Ruddy calls them), sea breezes and large, wavy putting surfaces. Add to that fast-running fairways, greens that are receptive to the ground run-up and acres of tall, bordering Marram grass and golden-flowered gorse, the golfer has all he wants and more.
|Irish golf course designer Pat Ruddy, owner and creator of The European Club|