Galgorm Castle Golf Club, home of the Northern Ireland Open, is delighted that five time European Tour winner Michael Hoey will represent the Ballymena venue as the new Touring Professional.
Hoey, who turns 35 this week, is no stranger to Galgorm as he lives less than 30 minutes from one of Northern Ireland’s standout championship venues. He and his wife Bev already enjoy a great working relationship with Galgorm through Hoey’s role as tournament ambassador at last year’s Northern Ireland Open, the first European Challenge Tour event to take place in the province for 10 years.
“I am thrilled to continue the strong working relationship we have with Galgorm Castle,” explained Hoey. “I was fortunate enough to take on the ambassador role for the Northern Ireland Open and will continue to do so for this year’s event. To become Galgorm’s Touring Professional forges an already strong bond between us.”
The link with Galgorm is a natural fit, for like the Ballymena venue, Hoey’s story has been a progressive one. The Amateur Championship and Walker Cup success in 2001 were early indicators of his prodigious talent. However, after joining the professional game a number of seasons were spent cutting his teeth in the lower ranks before making his mark on the main European Tour.
Hoey’s most recent European Tour win came at last season’s Russian Open in Moscow. The dominant manner of his four shot victory further illustrated he is the type of player who knows how to get the job done when in contention. This season he will strive for greater consistency in a bid to climb the world rankings and hasn’t ruled out playing in the Ryder Cup one day.
As for Galgorm, securing Hoey couldn’t have come at a better time. “We are delighted Michael will represent Galgorm Castle on tour and promote one of Northern Ireland’s top destinations,” explained Gary Henry, Director Galgorm Castle.
“We feel Michael is the perfect ambassador to profile Galgorm Castle on the international stage. Michael has retained his close connections with Northern Ireland and we look forward to supporting him as his career develops.”
The announcement coincides with the next phase of the ambitious £8 million redevelopment programme at Galgorm Castle where the Creative Gardens plus new Eagle Bar and Grill at the clubhouse has just opened and is headed up by former Northern Ireland Chef of the Year Chris Bell.
Such projects further enhance Galgorm as a world class destination and complements the existing golf offering of championship parkland, driving range and short game academy plus modern clubhouse, which is also utilised by the local business community at Galgorm Castle’s Courtyard Business Park.
For years Galgorm has been attracting visitors to Ballymena by hosting key events. Professional tournaments began with the PGA EuroPro Tour before progressing to the European Challenge Tour event where record crowds of over 20,000 came through the gates last year.
Hoey shares Galgorm’s aspiration of creating a lasting annual event for Northern Ireland, growing year on year as one of Northern Ireland’s annual core international tourism events.
With Hoey on board as the new Touring Professional, GalgormCastle will now be placed in golf’s global shop window.
GalgormCastle Golf Club www.galgormcastle.comCaption for Pic:
Galgorm Castle’s new Touring Professional Michael Hoey tees off from the 18th tee during last year’s Northern Ireland Open at the Ballymena venue (Credit: PressEye)