Galgorm Castle Golf Club has been awarded the “2014 IGTOA Parkland Golf Course of the Year” in recognition of the Ballymena venue’s consistent “high standards and quality of course” and the key role it plays in promoting Irish golf tourism to an international audience.
“We would like to recognise the high standards and quality of your golf course, facilities and attention to detail provided for golfers and levels of service that your company has developed and maintained, plus the hard work of you and your team in the marketing and promotion of your golf course,” said Stacey Williams of IGTOA (Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association)
“We would also like to recognise your contribution to the promotion of Irish golf tourism internationally by hosting the Northern Ireland Open Challenge.”
Representatives from Galgorm received the prestigious award at the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association awards ceremony held at the Knockranny House Hotel in Westport. The glittering gala evening formed part of the 17th National Golf Tourism Conference held over three days at the same venue and Westport Golf Club.
“We are delighted to receive this wonderful award,” said Gary Henry, Managing Director, Galgorm Castle Golf Club & Estates. “For a number of years we have continued to invest in what we believe is one of Ireland’s finest destinations here at Galgorm.
“This year we hosted the second Northern Ireland Open, which set new attendance records on the European Challenge Tour with almost 35,000 spectators witnessing Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren’s dramatic win.
“The phenomenal success of our top golfers in recent years has placed Northern Ireland in the global shop window. That is thanks in no small part to our Major champions like Rory (McIlroy), Graeme (McDowell) and Darren (Clarke), plus our NI Open Tournament Ambassador and Galgorm Touring Professional, Michael Hoey, himself a five-time European Tour winner.”
“Through the NI Open we hope to play a part in the ongoing success story by providing a platform to help develop the stars of tomorrow as they aspire to become the next Rory McIlroy.”
The NI Open continues be such a great success due to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes but also for the quality of the Simon Gidman designed parkland, which first opened in 1997.
Oliver Wilson, the recent Dunhill Links Championship winner at St Andrews, was one of the many players who has competed at Galgorm and heaped praise on the venue.
“This is the best Challenge Tour event I have played in, simple as that. Everything you would expect from a main European Tour event is here,” said Wilson.
“Very nice people and great crowds. Great course with some of the best greens we putt on all year, really pure and excellent for putting,” added former European Tour winner Maarten Lafeber from The Netherlands after this year’s NI Open.
Galgorm’s proactive approach continues beyond the fairways with the second phase of The Courtyard Business Park at the estate’s castle underway as part of an £8 million investment programme, while the Creative Gardens Centre is already a great success. In 2015 work will complete on the new Himalayas putting green and six-hole pitch and putt course to further enhance Galgorm as a destination for all the family.
Galgorm Castle Golf Club www.galgormcastle.com
Irish Golf Tour Operator Association www.igtoa.com