Northern Ireland gets worldwide golf push from Sky Sports and NBC Golf Channel

A new series on Sky Sports showcasing some of Northern Ireland’s best golf courses has the potential to reach more than 500 million households in 189 countries.

By Graeme Cousins
Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 11:53 am
Paul McGinley and Chris Hollins at Ardglass golf course
Paul McGinley and Chris Hollins at Ardglass golf course

The six-part series ‘Golf’s Greatest Holes: Ireland & Northern Ireland’ began on Monday night, hosted by former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and broadcaster Chris Hollins.

The programme, which will be available on demand, will take viewers on a golfing adventure introducing viewers to world-class clubs and passionate people, phenomenal food and a bit of craic along the way.

The first episode featured signature holes at Royal Belfast, Ardglass in Co Down, Carne in Co Mayo and Old Head in Co Cork.

NBC Golf Channel host Alexandra O'Laughlin and a film crew were in Northern Ireland last week. Pic: Michael Copper

All of the episodes were filmed earlier this year when McGinley and Hollins travelled the length and breadth of the island playing iconic courses including Royal County Down, The K Club, Portmarnock, Druids Glen, Royal Portrush, Adare Manor, Lahinch, Enniscrone, Rosapenna and Mount Juliet.

Former Ryder Cup captain McGinley said: “I’m so pleased Chris and I had a chat about this idea a few years ago, because I got to go back to some of the courses on the island of Ireland that are very special to me. But I also occasionally got to visit some places I had always wanted to play. And boy, were they incredible.”

Hollins, a Strictly Come Dancing winner and keen golfer off a seven handicap, said: “The show delves into why certain holes are so special to Paul – some are for golfing reasons, such as the challenge, the risk and the reward – and others for the way they make him feel due to the views and the memories.”

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Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to support the production of this new six-part TV series. With a huge number of viewers across Britain set to tune in to watch the series on Sky Sports, we’re presented with a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on the island of Ireland’s world class golf offering and encourage GB golfers to visit Ireland for their next golfing holiday.”

Tourism Ireland has also teamed up with the NBC Golf Channel to promote Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland to golfers in the United States.

Golf Channel host Alexandra O’Laughlin and a film crew were in Northern Ireland last week filming a video showcasing the Emerald Isle as a golf holiday destination.

The global interest in golf in Ireland comes on the heels of the announcement that in 2025 Royal Portrush will host the 153rd Open championship.

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