Pre-paid credit cards worth €10,000 each, gifted to the wives and girlfriends (Wags) of golfers taking part in the JP McManus Charity Pro-Am, have resulted in a bonanza for businesses in the village of Adare.
Billionaire McManus, who hosted the event at his luxury Adare Manor hotel and golf resort this week, dispatched 60 cards worth a total of €600,000 to spend in the Co Limerick village.
It is understood that 20 per cent of all purchases on the card system will go directly to mid-west charities supported by the JP McManus Foundation.
Kay Mulcaire, owner of clothing boutique Isobel on Adare's Main Street, said: “It’s to give back to the local economy, to spend in Adare. It’s lotto for us, a great idea and JP just keeps giving back and back.”
She said wives and girlfriends of golfers had been visiting the store, adding visitors staying at Adare Manor "want to shop".
"I firmly believe we could open a Chanel store and it would work," she added.
“We are nine months in advance for the stock, I mean we haven't a cashmere jumper left, and they’re not cheap.”
We haven't a cashmere jumper left, and they’re not cheap
Ashling Maher, who also runs a clothing boutique in the village, said the credit card initiative had been a “massive boost” following the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It has been a really good incentive to encourage all the golf wives and girlfriends to leave Adare Manor, see the village, and to give all of us a boost,” she said.
Located close to Adare Manor, the Dunraven Arms Hotel was also benefiting from the buzz surrounding the Pro-Am.
Manager Hugh Murphy said: “It’s the profile it gives the village and it’s the media coverage, it’s been shown on Sky Sports and on Golf Pass, Virgin, so it is being shown in the US and it looks incredible on television.”
“It’s not just the tournament’s two days, it is the long-term effect and we know we are very, very lucky,” he added.
Adare Manor’s 18-hole championship course is scheduled to host the 2027 Ryder Cup which will inject an estimated €200 million into the local economy.
US golf legend Tiger Woods, a personal friend of Mr McManus and a major figure at the Pro-Am, said on Tuesday that he would be touring Irish links courses over the next few days in preparation for his planned participation in the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, Scotland, from July 14th to 17th.