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Published on : Friday, May 13, 2016
The build-up to the Open Championship returning to Northern Ireland in 2019 continues to gather pace with the launch of a new annual parkland golf tournament as part of Tourism Ireland’s long-term strategy to promote golf to a global audience.
The Belfast Parkland International tournament has been created by the Greater Belfast Golf Cluster to promote Northern Ireland as a must-see global destination, and is the first regional golf cluster to be set up under Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland’s golf tourism strategy.
The competition will showcase five prestigious golf clubs in the Belfast area and offer golfers the opportunity to play three, four or all five parkland courses, including the home course of four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, Holywood Golf Club.
Open to both men and women, the Stableford event will take place from July 3-9 and will feature a range of top prizes. Entry prices start from £120 per person and, as well as golf, competitors will also enjoy an opening reception and gala prize-giving ceremony on the final night.
Belfast is the pilot cluster in ongoing work by Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland and the industry to develop further geographic golf cluster groups in Northern Ireland as part of its golf tourism strategy, which aims to make golf tourism worth £50 million to the Northern Ireland economy by 2020.
The founding clubs in the Greater Belfast Golf Cluster are Holywood Golf Club, Belvoir Park Golf Club, Malone Golf Club, Royal Belfast Golf Club and Shandon Park Golf Club.
Simon Wallace, Tourism NI golf sales and marketing manager, said: “Our links courses such as Royal Portrush and Royal County Down are world famous and rightly so, but we have a host of fantastic parkland courses also, with some of the best located within the Belfast cluster.
“The Belfast Parkland International tournament will therefore be an excellent vehicle to promote the quality of Northern Ireland’s parkland golf and indeed further enhance our reputation as a premier golf and tourism destination.
“Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland is also committed to growing the value of golf tourism and to the development of further golf clusters. They will work on a collaborative marketing group basis to grow golf visitor numbers and revenue, and showcase Northern Ireland as a must-visit golfing destination in key markets.”
The Belfast Parkland International tournament venues and dates are:
July 4 2016 – Malone Golf Club
July 5 2016 – Royal Belfast Golf Club
July 6 2016 – Holywood Golf Club
July 7 2016 – Belvoir Park Golf Club
July 8 2016 – Shandon Park Golf Club
Promoting Northern Ireland as a leading global golf destination remains a major focus for Tourism Ireland in Britain and other key worldwide markets in 2016 as preparations continue to the 2019 Open Championship, which will take place at Royal Portrush for the first time since 1953.
With some of the most famous venues anywhere in the world, Northern Ireland offers golfers the complete package with top championship courses, stunning scenery, fascinating history and some of the best craic around.