June 23, 2017
In July, the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation will return to Rory McIlroy’s home country, taking place just four miles from Royal Portrush. This will be the third time in the last six years the event will be staged in Northern Ireland after previous outings at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down. Now part of the Rolex Series – an exciting new alliance of leading tournaments – the prestigious event will be contested at Portstewart Golf Club on July 6 – 9.
Portstewart has long been considered one of the finest links courses in the country, but this will be its first time hosting a European Tour event. “Portstewart is an excellent links course and one of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems,” said tournament host McIlroy. It will provide a stern test for even the most accomplished golfers.
McIlroy, who won last year’s event at the K Club in Kildare County thanks to his remarkable approach shots to 16 & 18, will face an incredibly strong field when defending his title. Some of the top players competing for the $7 million prize include world number two, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and PGA Tour rookie, Jon Rahm.
The Irish Open will be contested on the Strand Course – one of Portstewart’s three 18-hole layouts. Established in 1894, Portstewart began attracting international attention in 1992 when seven new holes – Nos. 2 through 8 on the Strand Course – were carved through the towering dunes.
A true championship links course, the par-72 Strand is the jewel in Portstewart’s crown. Situated on dynamic dunes hugging the Causeway Coast, the Strand features one of the most stunning opening holes in links golf. The elevated first tee offers brilliant views of monstrous sand dunes set against a dramatic backdrop of the North Atlantic.
The par-68 Riverside Course and par-64 Old Course round out Portstewart’s golf offerings. While visiting Northern Ireland, Castlerock is another “must-visit” golf club. Just a 20-minute drive from Portstewart, Castlerock features 27 engaging holes. The 18-hole Mussenden Course abuts the Atlantic, making wind an important factor. A railway line runs the full length of the course’s most recognizable hole, the par-3 4th known as “Leg O’ Mutton,” which plays to an elevated green. The Bann Course is home to the club’s additional nine.
Golfers and non-golfers alike will enjoy visiting the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent collection of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. A visit to the region isn’t complete without a stop at one of the oldest distilleries in the world: Old Bushmills Distillery. Other famous local destinations include Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle. Game of Thrones fans will recognize Dunluce Castle as the House of Greyjoy on the hit HBO drama.
Located in the heart of the Causeway Coast, The Bushmills Inn is conveniently located just two miles from the Giant’s Causeway. Its historic ambiance and luxurious accommodations make the four-star boutique hotel an ideal place to stay during an Irish golf vacation. Read our Perfect Pairing to learn more about The Bushmills Inn.