Tayto has announced it is getting behind the Northern Ireland Open, set to take place at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena from 29 August – 1 September this year.
The showcase event, which is part of the European Challenge Tour, marks the first time Northern Ireland has been on the map for this competition in more than 10 years. The European Challenge Tour plays a major role in the development of many young professionals and also provide many experienced players the opportunity to re-establish themselves within European golf “Ones to watch” in the past have included Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen and local hero Michael Hoey, who is Ambassador for the tournament. Around 30,000 spectators are expected to flock to the event, which has a prize pot of €170,000 and will see stars of the future battle it out with the stars of today including Michael Hoey, Kenneth Ferrie, Oliver Wilson and Nick Doherty to name but a few.
Paul Allen, Tayto Group Chief Executive was out on the course at Galgorm Castle to launch the company’s sponsorship. He said, “This is a stunning setting and a superb course. With the clubhouse developments which are now being completed, Galgorm Castle is looking very proudly placed to host this event.
“We are really excited to be getting behind the Northern Ireland Open Challenge: this is where the future stars of the golf world will battle it out with the stars of today in their bid to make it onto the world stage. We have a strong story in Irish and Northern Irish golf at the minute but for this to continue, it’s important to invest in professional tournaments that give rising talent the opportunity to compete at a high level and play alongside some of the more established names. We’ll see players from all over Ireland competing against some of the best golfers from all over the world – it’s set to be a fantastic event.
“We are especially delighted to announce that as part of our involvement in the Northern Ireland Open Challenge, Tayto alongside Junior Golf Ireland are providing free kids’ golf lessons across the four days of the tournament. What better way to inspire the next generation than against the backdrop and buzz of a high profile tournament at a local course. Youngsters who may never have had a golf club in their hands can learn the basics of the swing, try their hand at driving and practice putting. We’re hoping this little taster will excite a few more local children to get involved in this great game.”
Christopher Brooke of Galgorm Castle Golf Club said, “We are very pleased indeed to have Tayto on board with the Northern Ireland Open Challenge. This year we are putting the event back on the map and there’s no other Northern Irish name that’s better known than Tayto: it’s a perfect match. We are also impressed with their initiative to give young people a chance to try golf for the first time.
“The game of golf is at such an exciting stage now, it’s important we keep the local momentum going. We’ve seen how many of the local and international stars started out at a really young age, with famous video footage of both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods playing as boys. The chance to see not only the future golfing heroes play in this auspicious tournament here at Galgorm Castle but also the spark of a brand new young player is inspiring for everyone involved in golf.”
For information on tickets and to book a free junior taster golf lesson during the tournament, visit www.niopen.co.uk