Royal Portrush to host the Open in 2025

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 8, 2021 11:10

Royal Portrush, which hosted the Open in 2019, is to do so again in 2025, providing another outstanding showcase for golf in Northern Ireland.

Following the success of the 148th Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, the first minister for Northern Ireland, Paul Givan MLA, junior minister Declan Kearney and economy minister Gordon Lyons joined Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, and Dr Ian Kerr, captain of Royal Portrush Golf Club, at the renowned links on the Antrim coast to announce that the championship will be played there in July 2025.

The Open generated more than £100 million for the economy of Northern Ireland two years ago, attracting a record attendance for the championship outside of St Andrews of 237,750 fans throughout the week. More than 5,400 hours of television coverage were broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers globally as Irishman Shane Lowry lifted the famous Claret Jug.

The return of the championship to Royal Portrush for only the third time in 74 years has been supported by the Northern Ireland Executive and Tourism Northern Ireland as well as the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Martin Slumbers said, “We could not be more thrilled to be bringing the Open back to Royal Portrush in 2025. There will be huge excitement among golf fans around the world to see the best men’s players facing the challenge of this magnificent links once again.

“The Open in 2019 was a massive success and showed just how much collective enthusiasm, passion and commitment there is to make Royal Portrush one of the leading venues for the championship and to build a distinctive golf tourism brand for Northern Ireland. We greatly appreciate the support we have received from the Northern Ireland Executive, our partner agencies and, of course, from the club and its members. We look forward to working with them to deliver another fantastic celebration of golf in four years’ time.”

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive, the R&A, David Meacher, Chairman Professional Championships Committee, the R&A, Paul Givan, Northern Ireland First Minister, Declan Kearney, MLA Junior Minister, Gordon Lyons, MLA, NI Minister for the Economy and Dr Ian Kerr, Captain of Royal Portrush pictured with the Claret Jug at the 153rd Open championship announcement press conference at Royal Portrush Golf Club on September 8, 2021 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. The Open championship is returning to Royal Portrush golf club in 2025 after it’s successful initial return in 2019. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

First minister Givan said, “Following the outstanding success of the Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 I am thrilled to welcome the return of the championship in 2025. It has been a key aim of the executive to bring the Open back to Northern Ireland quickly and as we start our preparations to host the championship again I am certain that it will provide a platform on which to build a global golfing destination brand for Portrush and Northern Ireland to complement that of St Andrews and Scotland, in partnership with The R&A, as well as an opportunity to stimulate additional private sector investment in the Covid-19 recovery era.”

Attending the event on behalf of deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill, junior minister Declan Kearney said, “I wholeheartedly welcome the return of the Open in 2025 along with the anticipated business and jobs that it will bring to these shores. We are an island with a wonderful golf product and in a normal year we welcome hundreds of thousands of golf visitors. 2019 was an exceptional year for golf here when we staged the 148th Open at Royal Portrush and attracted almost 240,000 spectators over the course of the week. Following a tumultuous period that has greatly affected travel, tourism and events I now look to the future with greater optimism as well as look forward to welcoming our international visitors back to the north coast to explore the very best of what we have to offer.”

Economy minister Gordon Lyons said, “As the home of some of the world’s best golfers and the location for some of the finest golf courses that can be found anywhere in the world, I am determined that Northern Ireland should make the most of its golfing assets and achieve strong economic benefits from them. The benefits to Northern Ireland in excess of £100 million from the Open in 2019 demonstrate the sheer scale of our success and are a reflection of what can be achieved through collaborative working across public and private sectors, focusing on a shared and common goal.”

Dr Ian Kerr, captain of Royal Portrush, said, “We are delighted to see the return of the Open to Royal Portrush Golf Club. This is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and to see it return to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush so soon, is a recognition of the excellent work done by all involved in 2019. The Open in 2019 created a positive festival atmosphere in the area and we look forward to hosting this wonderful event once again.”

Mayor councillor Richard Holmes of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, added, “The Open will be etched in the memories of those people who either live, work or were fortunate to be visiting the borough between the 14th to the 21st July 2019, so I am delighted to learn that we will again be hosting and enabling the largest sporting event on the island of Ireland.

“Based upon the way the whole of Northern Ireland embraced the 148th Open, I have no doubt that in collaboration with The R&A, Royal Portrush Golf Club and the other delivery partners, we will honour this incredible event and build upon the achievements of 2019.”

An independent report produced by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University found that the 148th Open delivered a direct economic impact of £45 million to the Northern Irish economy. An additional £37.3m of Advertising Equivalent Value (AEV) was generated by global television coverage and Tourism Northern Ireland assessed £23.7m AEV in other media coverage.

Royal Portrush joins a formidable line-up of venues for the Open in the coming years with the 150th Open being played at St Andrews in 2022 and then Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon hosting the championship in 2023 and 2024 respectively.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 8, 2021 11:10
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