Posts Tagged ‘K Club’

Portstewart ready to take centre stage at Irish Open

July 5, 2017

The spotlight is firmly on Portstewart Golf Club this week.
So often in the shadow of neighbour, Royal Portrush, the Strand course will be centre stage for the DDF Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
To face up to the challenge presented by some of the world’s finest golfers a number of holes have been tweaked ahead of the tournament.
“The significant changes are on the back nine,” said Portstewart GC’s resident PGA professional, Neil Graham.
“The left-hand side of the 10th green has been lifted and a dune system has been built around the 10th green and between the 13th green. That has narrowed the approach into both greens.
“The 14th tee has been moved and a dog-leg has been created on that hole. A bunker has also been installed at around 280 yards from the tee. On a calm day, from the back tee it probably won’t be much of a problem but if the wind is into or across then it will get the players thinking.

“It demands a fade shot off the tee to avoid that big bunker and the two other bunkers that are on the left-hand side of the fairway.”

Neil is convinced that Portstewart will stand up to the test this week. Tournament host Rory McIlroy has given the course his seal of approval describing the opening nine holes as amongst the best in the world.
“Links golf depends on the weather. If it is relatively calm, with light winds, it will play into their hands and these guys are so good now that you could see 18 under win,” added Neil.
“It will be different if the wind gets up. The rough is thick and tangly simply because of the rain and the heat we’ve had in recent weeks. You can lose a ball very easily.

“In that case, it will be about plotting your way around and not necessarily hitting driver everywhere. It will put a premium on hitting the fairway and we’ll see a lot of long irons and hybrids being used.”

It’s obviously been a busy few weeks for Neil as he gears up for tournament week but he has taken the chance to scope out some of the better viewing points on the course.
“It’s been a fantastic experience to be involved ‘on the inside’ over the last couple of months, watching as the infrastructure goes up around the course,” he added.
“I stood on the top of the grandstand at the sixth tee the other day and if I had the time that’s where I would park myself.
“When you are on top of that stand you can see the sixth obviously but you can also see the fifth and the seventh. You can look at the fourth green and you can also see the 12th. It is a fantastic viewing point. Take a packed lunch, you could sit there happily for a couple of hours.”


Portstewart to host Irish Open in 2017 as part of links swing before Open Championship

July 27, 2016
Rory McIlroy with Colm McLoughlin, the Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club

Rory McIlroy with Colm McLoughlin, the Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club

Portstewart Golf Club will host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open next year, launching a three-week spell of links golf culminating in the Open Championship.
The Irish Open was held at the K Club in May this year and won by tournament host Rory McIlroy, but in 2017 it will move to July 6-9, immediately preceding the Scottish Open at Dundonald and the Open at Royal Birkdale.
The move to Portstewart had been widely touted and followed the European Tour’s decision in April to take the event away from the Lough Erne Resort, but the change of date is a significant boost for the tournament which will be supported once again by the Rory Foundation.
“We’ve been working hard with The European Tour over the last couple years to try and find suitable venues and a suitable date for The Irish Open,” said Rory during Tuesday’s press conference ahead of the US PGA Championship at Baltusrol.
“We sort of knew a long time ago that Portstewart was going to be probably where we were going to go play it in 2017. To get that date right before the Scottish is huge.

“To play a round of links golf leading into the Open, hopefully we can attract some marquis names to come over and play. With it being at the start of July, hopefully, fingers crossed, we can get some decent weather.

“I think it can only be good for the event. I’m really excited for it. I’m excited that The European Tour have worked with us and helped us getting that date and getting suitable venues going forward. I’m excited for Portstewart next year.”
It is the third time the tournament will be played in Northern Ireland after previous outings at Royal County Down (2014) and Royal Portrush (2012)
McIlroy added; “Portstewart is an excellent links course and one of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems, so it’s great news that we are taking the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open there next year.
“Winning at the K Club earlier this year was without doubt one of the highlights of my career, and I’m already looking forward to defending my title at Portstewart next July.
“The crowds at Portrush and Royal County Down were unbelievable and I’m sure the people of Northern Ireland will come out to support the tournament again next year.”
The Scottish Open is guaranteed its coveted place in the calendar up to and including 2020, although the Irish Open is keen for that to change.
Speaking earlier this month, Martin Gilbert – chief executive of Scottish Open sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management – said: “I keep telling them they should switch the Irish and the French Open, and then you have the Irish, Scottish then the British. That would be the much more logical arrangement.”

Have a look at what the players will face next year

Founded in 1894 and long considered one of the country’s finest links courses, Portstewart will be staging a European Tour event for the first time when tournament host Rory McIlroy defends his title there next summer.
Portstewart features three 18-hole layouts, with the Des Giffin-designed Strand Course – which will host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open – considered the jewel in the crown.
The Strand Course has hosted numerous amateur tournaments including the 2014 Amateur Championship, which was won by Bradley Neil and just this month, staged two rounds of qualifying for the North of Ireland Amateur Championship.
Michael Moss, General Manager of Portstewart Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to team up with The European Tour to host the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
“The Club will embrace the challenge, and we have no doubt that the Strand Course will provide nothing less than a worthy test of golf.”
For more information about tickets and corporate hospitality visit

Irish Open Schools Trophy tour is back for 2016

March 8, 2016
The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth and Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour 2016.

The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth and Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour 2016.

FOLLOWING the huge success of last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour, pupils across Northern Ireland are once again being invited to create history for their school as part of a nationwide competition organised by The European Tour and the Rory Foundation.
Supported by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition will give four lucky pupils across Ireland a chance to host a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy which is currently in the possession of defending champion Søren Kjeldsen.
To enter the competition, children between the ages of 9-15 are being invited to tell The European Tour why their class or school deserves a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy.
Not only will the winning pupils have a chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy, they will also receive a host of other unique ‘money can’t buy’ prizes for themselves and their schoolmates.
These include a Q&A session with representatives of The European Tour and Rory Foundation and an insight into the life of a professional golfer from Ireland’s Dubai Duty Free golf ambassador Des Smyth, an eight-time winner on the European Tour who played in two Ryder Cups in 1979 and 1981 and was a vice-captain of Europe’s victorious 2006 and 2014 Ryder Cup teams.
Each winning pupil’s class will also receive tickets to go to the Pro-Am event on Wednesday May 18 while the overall winning pupil will receive family tickets for the Pro-Am and a VIP tour with a chance to meet some of the world’s top golfers.
And if that isn’t enough, the four winning schools will also enjoy a fun introduction to golf through the CGI’s ‘Golf Awareness Clinic’ which will give children a fun introduction to the sport through a variety of golf-related games including putting games and hitting real golf balls into a blow up net, and virtual golf on the Wii console.

To enter, schoolchildren aged 9-15 should simply send an email to outlining in no more than 250 words why their class or school deserves to win this unique prize – clearly stating their name, age, address and school. Closing date for entries is April 17 with the prize to be taken between April 25 and May 13.

“Last year we were overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of entries we received for our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition,” said Antonia Beggs of The European Tour.

“We received hundreds of letters from kids throughout the island of Ireland telling us why they deserve to win the prize and we are delighted to be in a position to run the competition again this year.

“It is such a wonderful way for schools to get involved with such a big sporting event that attracts so many high-profile professional golfers and worldwide interest.”
Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation said: “The Trophy Tour was a huge part of the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for us and something that Rory McIlroy himself was really delighted to get behind.
“Rory is extremely proud of where he comes from and it’s important for him to be as good an ambassador as he can for Ireland, north and south. In addition, his commitment to helping children all over the world through the Rory Foundation is a real passion and one he feels very strongly about.
“We immensely enjoyed our visits to last year’s winning schools and we are all thrilled once again to be able to engage with schoolchildren throughout Ireland to stimulate pride in their class, school, where they’re from, and their own achievements.”
For more information on the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation or to purchase tickets visit http://Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2016 is also supported by the Irish Government under the auspices of the Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland.

Don’t miss out on your chance to play in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro-Am

February 23, 2016
Announcing details of the initiative are (l-r) K Club Lady Captain Angela Cirillo, Captain Tony Kelly, European Tour Championship Director Rory Colville and Dubai Duty Free golf ambassador Des Smyth. Dear member of the media, please feel free to use the following gratis preview from the Dubai Duty free Irish Open preview (which must be credited to Golffile and used in conjunction with this release only) in your respective publications with immediate effect.

Announcing details of the Irish Open initiative are (l-r) K Club Lady Captain Angela Cirillo, Captain Tony Kelly, European Tour Championship Director Rory Colville and Dubai Duty Free golf ambassador Des Smyth

The theme for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation, is ‘History in the Making’ and that will certainly be the case when one lucky club team lines up to play alongside a top golf professional in the event’s Pro–Am at The K Club on Wednesday May 18.
For the first time ever, The European Tour and Dubai Duty Free are giving golf clubs around the island of Ireland the chance to play alongside international golf superstars and world famous celebrities following the launch of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Club Challenge.
Part of Rory McIlroy’s ‘five point plan’ to encourage golf clubs to help make this year’s Irish Open one of the best yet, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Club Challenge is a nationwide golf tournament in which all of Ireland’s 420 golf clubs are eligible to compete for one coveted tee slot for three of its members alongside a top professional.
Rory is asking clubs to use existing club competitions to find a Men’s and Ladies’ champion who will then go on to represent their club in regional qualifiers with a national final to be held at The K Club.
The winning team will be invited to participate in the Pro-Am courtesy of title sponsor Dubai Duty Free, which has kindly donated one of its own Pro-Am team spaces for the competition.
Tournament host Rory McIlroy said; “As a huge fan of the Irish Open, it has always been important to me to ensure its longevity and success. I believe that giving a golf club the opportunity to play in what is one of the most exciting events of the week is a great way to encourage clubs to get behind this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“When I was starting my golf journey at Holywood Golf Club, I would have loved to have an opportunity like this, so I am urging all golf clubs to get involved. I’m really looking forward to seeing the winning team at The K Club on May 18.”

How to enter

Golf clubs wishing to enter the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Club Challenge competition must register their interest at before February 29.

The competition works by each club selecting an existing Men’s and Ladies’ singles competition to serve as a team qualifier, in which Junior Members are also eligible to compete. This competition must be held and confirmation of the names of the winners received before April 10, 2016.

The winner of each Men’s and Ladies’ competition selected by the club will form the club’s two-person team, which will then compete in one of 4-6 regional qualifiers which will be held throughout Ireland in late April.

The winners of each regional qualifier will then go forward to compete in the All-Ireland Final, to be held on the Smurfit Course at The K Club in early May.

The winning club will be invited to send their team (male and female participant) as well as an official nominated by the club to compete in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The format for the regional qualifiers and final will be four-ball better ball.

The Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) will administer entries and will conduct the regional qualifiers and All-Ireland final.

Copy via Ciara Jordan (Duffy Rafferty Communications)