Business Irish

Friday 22 November 2019

John McHenry


Former European Tour golf pro and K Club figure John McHenry is believed to be involved with a group eyeing up a €20m Nama property.

From a comfortably off Cork family, McHenry won a golf scholarship to college in the US, where he took a degree in economics and business.

After winning a string of youth titles, he spent just over a decade on the European Tour and won three Challenge titles between 1987 and 2000. A solid rather than stellar contender, his most significant win was a third place finish in the 1998 Irish Open at Druid's Glen.

He was hired by Michael Smurfit's K Club in 2001, first as head professional, giving lessons to visiting billionaires, and then as director of golf and the face of the club's highly successful hosting of the Ryder Cup.

McHenry went on to set up and run the luxury Moyvalley golf resort in Kildare, which opened in 2008 with a Darren Clarke designed course and a €70m investment.

A legal wrangle later ensued over €1m in fees that McHenry claimed was due to him from the club's developer, Belfast businessman Alastair Jackson's EASSDA.

McHenry has a British Virgin Islands registered golf consultancy business and is a well-known TV and press golf pundit. His McHenry Golf Limited (MGL) advises existing golf resorts and new ventures on set-up.

He's reported to be leading a consortium that wants to buy the luxury five-star Fota Island hotel and golf resort, with hoteliers Carl and Gerard Hanratty also involved.

Thai billionaire Andrew Yau is said to be a rival bidder. Priced at €20m, it's on the market for less than a quarter of its original €90m development cost.

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