13 Jan 2020
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be heading back to Northern Ireland in 2021 as Portstewart becomes the venue for the major golfing event for the second time in four years.
The news follows the overwhelmingly successful staging of 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush, a mere five miles down the road on the famous Causeway Coastal Route, in July last year.
US Open Champion and local hero Graeme McDowell has also been confirmed as the 2021 tournament host, which will follow his first stint in the role when the European Tour event heads to Mount Juliet this year.
The iconic County Kilkenny venue will host the island’s national open for the first time in 25 years from 28–31 May.
The luxury five-star resort boasts a world-class golf course designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. Defending champion Jon Rahm will return to defend his crown alongside the likes of Tommy Fleetwood and previous tournament host Rory McIlroy in what is one of the great events of the Irish sporting calendar.
The Portstewart links, which backs onto a beautiful golden strand, last hosted the Irish Open in 2017, with Spaniard Jon Rahm clinching the first of his two victories in the contest and declaring the course’s front nine as the most beautiful he had ever played.
The Irish Open's swift return to Portstewart is more good news for golf on the Causeway Coastal Route, which has long been recognised as a leading golfing destination, and extends an incredible period for the sport on the island of Ireland.
With Shane Lowry famously becoming just the fifth Irish winner of golf’s original major in 2019, the announcement that The Ryder Cup will return to Irish soil in 2026 and the anticipated return of The Open Championship to Northern Ireland sometime in the next decade, there has never been a better time to enjoy Irish golf as player or spectator.
With over 90 diverse courses, where major-winning champions like Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell honed their skills, Northern Ireland offers new places, new stories and new golfing experiences to last a lifetime.
Whether you’re seeking the world’s number one course at the Royal County Down, as voted by the panellists of Golf Digest, breathtaking landscapes, a slice of history, links or parkland golf, or the chance to squeeze in as many courses as you can, Northern Ireland is simply made for golf.
And the game isn’t over until you’ve experienced the 19th. After an hour or two you’ll realise how the clubhouses, wherever you go, are the perfect way to end the perfect golfing experience.
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