With the Irish Open approaching next month, many of the world’s golfing eyes are focused on Ireland. Along with a rich history, spectacular scenery, and warm hospitality, here are a few reasons why golfing in Ireland is one of a kind.
1. There are over 400 golf courses on the island of Ireland, including over 30% of the world's seaside links courses, which “offer a fantastic playing experience, particularly to those unfamiliar with true (not man-made) links golf – its lumpy, undulating fairways, roughs with thick patches of fescue and gorse, shifting sandy sinkholes and pot bunkers. (source)
2. In 2012, the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club had a record attendance of 112,000 over four days. This was the only time a European Tour event has sold out prior to play on all four days and the highest attendance ever recorded on the European Tour. (source)
3. Ireland was named International Golf Destination of the Year 2004 by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. (source)
4. Having frequently golfed in Ireland, Bill Murray had this to say about his experiences: “My favorite place to play golf is in Ireland … it’s the most beautiful country to play golf in, and when you come as a guest to play golf you are treated like a king.” (source)
5. Founded in 1891, the Golfing Union of Ireland is the oldest golfing union in the world. (source)
6. The Tralee Golf Club was named to the Top 10 Ocean Courses … Each hole has a picturesque view and a story behind it. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the view of the beach at the back of the 1st hole and to the right of 2nd hole was the location of the beach scenes of the 1970 epic movie Ryan’s Daughter. The tower at the back of the 3rd green dates back to the 1190s. (source)
7. Victory has been achieved via a playoff on 11 occasions since 1975, the last one coming in 2009 when Shane Lowry won as an amateur. (source)
8. The 19th Hole. “From traditional pubs in local villages to the golfer’s clubhouse – part of the pleasure of golfing in Ireland is the warm welcome and the good 'craic' (fun) after a round. From a trad music session in a rural pub to top gourmet grub in a gastropub, you’ll find the ‘if only’ shots take on a life of their own when retold.” (source)
The 2014 Irish Open will take place at Fota Island Resort in Cork from June 19-22. It promises to be an entertaining affair both on and off the course. With top-class golf, food festivals, and a Championship Village with bars and shops, there’s something for everyone. Get your tickets here.
Ireland is continually ranked as one of the top worldwide golfing destinations. Want to know what all the fuss is about? Visit us in Cork on one of our golf packages and experience first hand all that golfing in Ireland has to offer.