Local pop music fans will be heading in One Direction - to Galgorm Castle - for a glimpse of one of their heroes today (Wednesday).
Niall Horan, one-quarter of the boyband phenomenon, will be taking part in the Pro/Am event at the Ballymena course, ahead of the start of the Tayto Northern Ireland Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank, which begins on Thursday.
But before the professionals show us all how it should be done there will be a chance for golfing fans across the country to enjoy some stargazing as household names from the sporting and entertainment worlds tee it up in the NI Open.
Golf enthusiast Horan is sure to be a star attraction at Galgorm. He for one is looking forward to the week-long festival of golf at the Ballymena venue.
“I’m delighted to be involved in the Northern Ireland Open and to get the chance to play in the Pro-Am and represent Modest! Golf Management,” explained Horan, who is one of the directors of Modest! Golf Management, the Official Sports Management Company to the NI Open.
“The NI Open is such a great event for all the family and we are sure to have a bit of fun on and off the course during the Pro-Am. I recommend all the family comes along to Galgorm and gets involved because there is so much to see and do. I for one can’t wait to play Galgorm.”
Horan is most definitely one of the standout names plus there will be many other familiar faces playing at Galgorm such as Northern Ireland goal-keeping legend Pat Jennings or Ulster and Lions player Stephen Ferris who have supported all the events at Galgorm over the years.
Pro-Am day will also mark the official opening of the Fun Golf Area, a brand new six-hole complex where golfers of all levels can try the game or get advice from the PGA team. There is also the Himalayas Putting Green, a replica of the famous oversized green at the Home of Golf in St Andrews, Scotland.
NI Open Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey will be on hand at the official opening where some of the stars like Horan will get their chance to try and beat the five-time European Tour winner.
Modest! Golf Management have become actively involved in golf in a short time and are keen to support the game at grassroots and unearth the next big talent. It is no accident one of their first moves was to invite Northern Ireland’s latest teenage sensation Tom McKibbin to compete at Galgorm.
“The next generation of golfers is a huge focus for us as a business,” added Horan. “You need only look at the history of the Challenge Tour to see the calibre of player it produces.
“Tom has clearly got it; he has his head screwed on plus he’s a really nice lad. It’s a great opportunity for him and hopefully he’ll make the best out of it. We want to look at young lads like Tom and give them a chance. He’s the future of the game.”
The week-long festival of golf, combined with the dedicated Food Festival, art exhibition from golf portrait specialist Mark Robinson, Interactive Zone (Kids Fun Area, CGI Swingzone and Pitch & Putt), NI Open Village and more promises to serve up something special for all the family. The NI Open tournament takes place from July 28-31 and is FREE to enter by simply registering online at niopen.golf.