Following Darren Clarke’s emotional win at last year’s Open Championship many golf fans and players from around the world called for the Open to head back to Northern Ireland and the famous links of Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951. Royal Portrush is the only golf course outside of Scotland and England to have hosted the Open Championship and although the R&A have promised to review whether or not it could be a suitable future host of the Open, it seems that problems regarding infrastructure and Portrush’s ability to cope with a huge influx of visiting golf fans may well prevent the Claret Jug from heading back to Northern Ireland.
The good news for Royal Portrush though is that the Irish Open will definitely be heading there for the foreseeable future. The decision to move the European Tour event northward from Killarney Golf & Fishing Club in County Kerry, in the Republic of Ireland comes on the back of the outstanding achievements of Northern Ireland’s three major winners in the last two years. Darren Clarke’s dramatic Open Championship win followed US Open wins for both Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy and it seems as of their efforts are to be rewarded.
It is hoped that a successful staging of the Irish Open at the end of June will add further momentum to the campaign to bring the Open Championship itself back to Northern Ireland. God only knows the quality of the courses on offer is high enough…after all if Royal Portrush isn’t an option, Royal County Down would also be an fantastic host course…or Portstewart…or…you get the point!