Guests and dignitaries were in attendance for the official opening of the Fun Golf Area at Galgorm Castle where this week’s Tayto Northern Ireland Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank, gets under way today (Thursday).
The Fun Golf Area is another exciting new development at Galgorm Castle where golfers of all abilities can try their hand at the game through the brand new six-hole short course and Himalayas putting green, a replica of the iconic attraction at St Andrews, the Home of Golf in Scotland.
Renowned golf course architects, MacKenzie & Ebert, designed the holes at the Fun Golf Area. The company are the responsible for much of the upgrade work at Open Championship venues, including work being carried out at Royal Portrush ahead of the 2019 Open Championship. The Fun Golf Area will help develop the game and encourage more people to play golf in the Ballymena area and beyond.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA, was in attendance at today’s official opening and welcomes Galgorm Castle’s latest offering.
“The Fun Golf Area is a great addition to Galgorm Castle and an excellent way to introduce young people to the sport. This new family friendly initiative, combined with the new Galgorm Castle Trails, will extend the tourism offering helping to attract visitors to the Ballymena area to try their hand at golf while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the Castle.
“I’ve no doubt that the Fun Golf Area will be a big draw to the many families who will visit the Northern Ireland Open this weekend. Nearly 40,000 visitors attended the 2015 event. I’m sure this year’s event will once again prove to be just as popular in attracting big crowds coming to see the established and up and coming golfing stars of the future.
“Golf Tourism and the revenue generated is hugely important to both the local and Northern Ireland economy. Events like these are critical in the delivery of the Northern Ireland Golf Tourism Strategy bringing significant economic benefits while showcasing Northern Ireland in the global shop window. I wish the organisers every success.”
Galgorm Castle’s Christopher Brooke is delighted with the outcome and believes the Fun Golf Area will be popular with all members of the family.
“The objective of the Galgorm Castle Fun Golf Area is to help develop the game of golf in Ballymena. The Fun Golf Area is a stunning addition to Galgorm Castle where everyone in the family, young and old, can enjoy the game,” said Brooke.
“The six-hole par three short course is the perfect layout to introduce juniors to the game and offers a fun and time friendly option to ‘get into golf’. The complex also houses the Himalayas putting green, a scaled replica of the famous St Andrews attraction and is sure to be a hit with golfers whatever their level of play.”
New Galgorm Castle Trails will also run out of the Fun Golf Area, which will offer fun and educational activities for all the family as guides take them on journeys around the grounds and explain the history behind one of the province’s most storied estates.
NI Open Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey was also in attendance and hit the opening tee shot at the Fun Golf Area. Hoey was then challenged in a ‘Beat the Pro’ competition by Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA.
This week’s NI Open is FREE to enter with the European Challenge Tour event getting under way from July 28-31.