Ballyliffin and Royal Portrush Golf clubs have joined forces in a united cross-border bid to bring Golf’s Irish Open to Ireland’s North Coast.
Details of this exciting initiative were revealed at a media briefing for the Seniors Irish Open which will be staged on Ballyliffin’s classic ‘Old Course’ from June 20-22 of this year.
This year’s Seniors Open will attract a very high profile field that includes Eamonn D’Arcy, Des Smyth, Sandy Lyle and Sam Torrance among others to Ballyliffin’s world famous links in Inishowen in North County Donegal.
Not satisfied with this, the very progressive Inishowen club sees this as a mere “stepping stone” in their effort to bring the Irish Open to the north coast in conjunction with Royal Portrush in 2010 and 2011.
Ballyliffin Golf club and Royal Portrush are both part of the North West Links alliance which consists of several world-class links courses in the region.
Ballyliffin hope to stage the Irish Open on their Glashedy Links in 2011, coinciding with the opening of a new four star, 120 bedroom hotel at Pollan bay nearby.
It’s envisaged that the cross border “Toursim Ireland” along with Failte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist board will share the €5m-plus annual cost of staging the Irish Open with the Tour and commercial sponsors as part of ongoing government efforts to strengthen the economy in the border areas and in the North in general.
Martin Donnelly of Failte Ireland pointed out that there are 13,000-plus hotel beds and a total capacity in excess of 25,000 in the region.