GOLF: Irish Open Schools Trophy Tour returns

The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour and Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour.
The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour and Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour.

Following the huge success of last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour, schoolchildren throughout Northern Ireland are once again being invited to create history for their school as part of a nationwide competition organised by The European Tour and the Rory Foundation.

Supported by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition will give four lucky pupils across the country a chance to win an historic opportunity for their schools to host a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy, which is currently in the possession of defending champion Søren Kjeldsen.

To enter the competition, children between the ages of 9 and 15 are being invited to tell The European Tour why their class or school deserves a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy.

Not only will the winning pupils have a chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy, they will also receive a host of other unique ‘money can’t buy’ prizes for themselves and their schoolmates.

These include a Q&A session with representatives of The European Tour and Rory Foundation and an insight into the life of a professional golfer from Ireland’s Dubai Duty Free golf ambassador Des Smyth, eight-time winner on the European Tour, who played in two Ryder Cups in 1979 and 1981 and was a vice-captain of Europe’s victorious 2006 and 2014 Ryder Cup teams.

Each winning pupil’s class will also receive tickets to go to the Pro-Am event on Wednesday May 18 while the overall winning pupil will receive family tickets for the Pro-Am and a VIP tour with a chance to meet some of the world’s top golfers.

And if that isn’t enough, the four winning schools will also enjoy a fun introduction to golf through the CGI’s ‘Golf Awareness Clinic’ which will give children a fun introduction to the sport through a variety of golf-related games including putting games and hitting real golf balls into a blow up net, and virtual golf on the Wii console.

To enter, schoolchildren aged 9-15 should simply send an email to trophytour@irishopen.ie outlining in no more than 250 words why their class or school deserves to win this unique and historic prize – clearly stating their name, age, address and school.

Closing date for entries is April 17 with the prize to be taken between April 25 and May 13.

“Last year we were overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of entries we received for our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition,” said Antonia Beggs of The European Tour.

“We received hundreds of letters from kids throughout the island of Ireland telling us why they deserve to win this historic prize and we are delighted to be in a position to run the competition again this year.

“It is such a wonderful way for schools to get involved with such a big sporting event that attracts so many high-profile professional golfers and worldwide interest,” she added.

“We’re incredibly lucky that, as one of the best golfers on the planet, our tournament host Rory McIlroy is an inspiration for all children to be as good as they can in whatever they choose to be. This is a very strong message that we want to convey to children with our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour Competition.”

Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation added: “The Trophy Tour was a huge part of the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for us and something that Rory McIlroy himself was really delighted to get behind.

“Rory is extremely proud of where he comes from and it’s important for him to be as good an ambassador as he can for Ireland, north and south. In addition, his commitment to helping children all over the world through the Rory Foundation is a real passion and one he feels very strongly about.”

For more information on the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation or to purchase tickets www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com.