GOLF

Ballyliffin Golf Club set to host 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

World's best golfers could be coming to Donegal next year

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Ballyliffen

Ballyliffen Golf Club could play host to the Irish Open in 2018

Donegal is set to play host some of the world’s greatest golfers with the news that Ballyliffin Golf Club will host the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. 

It’s wonderful news for sports fans in the county and a timely boost for the tourism industry here.

It comes as Portstewart Golf Club in Derry gets set to host this weekend’s 2017. The Irish Independent reports this morning that Ballyliffin Golf Club will be officially confirmed as the 2018 host this weekend.

Back in 2008 Ballyliffin hosted the Irish Seniors Open for the European Seniors Tour and in 2002, the North West of Ireland Open, an event co-sanctioned between the European Tour and the Challenge Tour, was also played there.

The European Tour is expecting a sell-out, 100,000 crowd to attend this coming weekend’s event in Portstewart where Rory McIlroy will headline the tournament, playing alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Spain’s Jon Rahmfrom on Thursday and Friday.

Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Pádraig Harrington are among the early starters on Thursday.

If, as expected, Ballyliffin is named as host for next year’s event, it will mark the start of a busy 12 months for tourism officials here.

Tourism NI Director of Events and Business Support, Aine Kearney said Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is the perfect opportunity to showcase the region’s world-class golf courses to golfing audiences around the world.

"The potential of golf tourism is huge with the average golf visitor spending over £1,700 per trip,” she said.