Fore! Beware of the summertime rain

BUILDING on the success of the Irish Open, Fáilte Ireland is this week hosting a group of predominantly US golfing journalists who are playing a number of courses on the Wild Atlantic Way, including four-time Irish Open venue Killarney.

The promotion is in partnership with Tourism Ireland who market Ireland overseas.

The group includes writers, broadcasters and online media from the US as well as top UK blogger Ben Smith. With an estimated combined audience reach of over nine million, the travelling media arrived from the British Open to play and experience Killarney’s Killeen, Dooks and Tralee as well as Lahinch and Doonbeg in Co Clare.

Bernard McMullin, Tourism Ireland, deals with the first rainfall in weeks before driving off on the Killeen course at Killarney Golf Club

Martin Donnelly, Business Development Manager with Fáilte Ireland, remarked: “Golf plays a significant role in Irish tourism and it is important that we do all we can to support the industry to reach key overseas markets, helping to boost visitor numbers across the country”.

He added: “We know we can provide world class golfing, great value for money and fantastic holiday experiences to our international visitors with more than 400 golf courses throughout Ireland, many providing a great showcase for our spectacular scenic landscapes.”

Over 200,000 overseas visitors take part in golf during their visit to Ireland every year, contributing almost €270 million to the economy and driving over 1.7 million bed nights right across the country.

After several weeks of drought-like conditions, the heavens opened for the VIP visiting golfers in Killarney this Thursday but, although umbrellas were as necessary as putters, it merely served to provide a sterner test on the course known as Killer Killeen.

Killarney Golf Club General Manager, Cormac Flannery, said: “The North American market is undoubtedly the most important segment for Irish golf tourism. We delighted to have the opportunity to showcase our Killeen course to members of the US media, particularly as we celebrate our 125th anniversary at the club this year.”

Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan. Click on individual images for details
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