Journalists from some of the country’s top national, golf and online publications joined key figures from leading golf travel companies including Your Golf Travel and Golfbreaks.com and Irish representatives for a fun-packed day at the famous West Sussex venue.
After enjoying the chance to play 18 holes on Goodwood’s renowned Downs Course – regularly rated among England’s top 100 courses – guests were then treated to some of the prestigious resort’s legendary hospitality with a three-course dinner and prize-giving ceremony.
Figures released earlier this year revealed that the economic impact of golf tourism across Ireland has risen by £6million to £33million in the last 12 months, with its popularity among golfers set to grow even further in 2015 following the appointment of Darren Clarke as Europe’s new Ryder Cup captain and the forthcoming Irish Open at the end of May.
Clarke will be the second Irishman in a row after Paul McGinley to captain Europe when he leads the team at Hazeltine National in Minnesota, USA, in September 2016, while world number Rory McIlroy will head a star-studded field that gathers at Royal County Down for the Irish Open from May 28-31.
“There are so many positive things taking place with Irish golf at the moment and it’s a really exciting time for everyone involved in the game in the country,” David Boyce, head of sports tourism for Tourism Ireland, told the gathering at Goodwood.
“We have the world’s number one golfer, the new Ryder Cup captain and golf courses that are a match for anywhere across the world. With the ease of access and the traditional warm welcome that awaits visitors, there is no better time to enjoy a golf holiday in Ireland.”
As well as highlighting the Irish Open, the Goodwood event was also organised by Golf Ireland – the golf brand for Tourism Ireland – to help promote its position as one of the world’s leading golf destinations, including the many links courses along its new Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route.
In addition, Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity this year will also focus on areas including some of the many local golf competitions taking place this year on course around the island; TV, press and online advertising in conjunction with top online golf tour operators; a presence at events like the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May; and e-newsletters to a database of more than 10,000 golfers around Britain.
Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and Tourism Ireland is committed to promoting the message that a golfing holiday on the island is about much more than a round of 18 holes – with the combination of Ireland’s world-class golf product and its unique brand of hospitality playing a key role in attracting golfers worldwide to visit.
With some of the most famous venues anywhere in the world, Ireland offers golfers the complete package with top championship courses, stunning scenery, fascinating history and some of the best craic around.