Golfing Ireland

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

It seems that Irish golfers – and in particular Northern Irish golfers – have given the province the amount of publicity that tourism officials dream about. Having three players who have won majors has made commentators wonder what is in the water. Which vitamins are they on? Are Northern Irish courses the best breeding grounds for new champions?
Whatever it is Tourism Ireland has launched a £1.8 million campaign to persuade us to visit Ireland, not just the north, and to sample their courses. The strapline for the campaign is “Home of Champions” and this was devised before the recent success of Darren Clarke at the British Open at Royal St George’s. A useful offer for golfers is that if they fly with bmi, the airline won’t charge them for carrying their clubs. And that applies whether they fly into Dublin or Belfast.
The Solheim Cup will be played this September at Killeen Castle and Tourism Ireland will be hoping that this promotion – plus the interest in McDowell, McIllroy and Clarke will encourage more visitors to go there during the cup run.
And where will this promotion run? In the UK it will be on specialist channels like TalkSport and golfing publications as well as the business press. The business press? It appear Tourism Ireland still thinks that golf is primarily a rich businessmen’s sport although try telling that to fans in the bars of Temple Bar on a Saturday night.
Tourism Ireland isn’t the only agency pushing the benefits of golfing holidays. Wales, building on the success of the Ryder Cup last September and Scotland, just because it is the home of golf, are also encouraging visitors. Are there enough golfers to go a round?

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