Meet the giant spirit of golf in Northern Ireland

A newly released video highlights the history and passion behind Northern Ireland’s fantastic golf scene.

Narrated by acclaimed actor James Nesbitt OBE, the Tourism NI video showcases how Northern Ireland, as the home of world-class courses, major champions and prestigious events, is truly ‘Made for Golf’.

“No-one experiences the giant spirit of Northern Ireland quite as intensely as the golfer”, explains James Nesbitt, who is a big fan and player of the game. “It’s in our history – we’ve had a passion for golf for almost a century and half,” he says.

The video highlights the tournaments Northern Ireland has hosted down through the years, starting with The 80th Open Championship in 1951, which was hosted for the first time outside of England and Scotland at the famous Royal Portrush in County Antrim, still regarded as one of the world’s finest links courses.

Also included are the 2012 Irish Open, the first ever European Tour event to completely sell-out, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, and the ISPS Handa World Invitational, which saw international men and women pros compete for equal prize money for the first time in 2019 – the tournament is set to run again this year from 28 July – 1 August at Galgorm Castle and Massereene golf courses.

The Tourism NI video then captures some of the amazing scenes at the 148th Open Championship. Held again at the iconic Royal Portrush in 2019 and attended by almost 240,000 spectators, it has been described at the most successful Open in history.

The video also includes footage of major-winning heroes from Ireland, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, as well as leading LGPA Tour professional Stephanie Meadow.

For those who seek an encounter with the giant spirit of golf in Northern Ireland, a fantastic golfing getaway can easily be teed up on its array of excellent fairways. 

The premium golf destination boasts two of the world’s top 10 golf courses – Golf Digest has ranked Royal County Down at Number 1 for three consecutive years and Royal Portrush is at Number 8.  Only two hours apart, they make the ultimate dream trip following in the footsteps of golfing giants. 
Other links courses on the must play list include the superb Ardglass Golf Club, spectacularly situated on the coast of County Down, as well as Portstewart and Castlerock, both close to Royal Portrush on the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. 

Ardglass Golf Course. Picture by Bernie Brown

There are plenty of options for parkland fans too, with a base in Belfast giving easy access to the premium courses at Malone, Belvoir and Balmoral, and the chance to nip out to Rory McIlroy’s home club at Holywood just outside the city.

With a collection of 90 excellent courses, meeting and exceeding golfing expectations is second nature in Northern Ireland. From the welcome you receive, to the clubhouse facilities, the standard of the golf courses themselves and the fun of the 19th hole, the golfing experience at every step is exceptional.