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Guest Blog: 4 Reasons Why a Package for the 148th Open is a Great Idea

January 30, 2019
Open Championship

By Jordan Fuller

Traveling overseas to watch the Open tournament is an exciting proposition for golf fans of all levels. For golf history buffs, the ability to walk the grounds of the legendary Royal Portrush Golf Club, following your favorite professional golfers is an adventure that cannot be replicated by any other golfing venue or tournament.

But watching the Open is just the tip of the iceberg of golfing opportunities available in Ireland. The island has a rich golfing heritage boasting some of the most respected golf courses in all of the world. For the traveler, witnessing just the second Open championship outside of England and Scotland in the tournament’s history coupled with playing some of the country’s most stunning courses is a trip that must be considered.

Here are four great reasons to visit Ireland and experience golf on the island.

The Tournament

Golf’s longest running and most thrilling major championship, the Open has been held annually since 1860. The Open offers golfers and spectators the distinct opportunity to see championship golf on links-style courses. When golf’s other three majors are held in the United States, links courses are seldom used as the backdrop to the championship tournaments.

Links golf is typically played on courses that rest along coastlines bringing in elements of wind and weather against the beautiful backdrop of the natural surroundings. As a result, links golf can be challenging and, for the spectator, can create a dramatic event to witness. The private grounds of Royal Portrush will not disappoint those looking for an authentic European golfing experience.

The Open brings together the world’s best golfers from countries all around the globe. With good health, the field will include such golfing legends as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Ernie Els. Major winners like Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, and Justin Thomas will also test their skills at the Irish course. And finally, you can be sure that 2018’s Open champion, Francesco Molinari, will return to defend his title on the historic grounds of Royal Portrush.

The Course

Formed in 1888, Royal Portrush Golf Club has the historical distinction of being the first club ever to host the Open tournament outside of mainland United Kingdom. The links course is known for its gorgeous landscape and stunning views.

Located in Northern Ireland, Royal Portrush has been acclaimed by golf writers as one of the best golf courses in the world. In 2007, Golf Digest named the Irish course as the 4th best course outside the United States.

With the course being private, travelers are rarely given a chance to visit the course. But, by hosting the Open, non-members have been given the rare opportunity of exploring the historic grounds.

And those that attend the tournament will be treated to a brand new layout at Royal Portrush. Holes have been redesigned, and the layout is reconfigured to create an 18-hole challenge that professional golfers will never have played before.

For just the second time in the tournament’s rich history, the Open will once again, be hosted by a golf club outside England and Scotland. For the avid golf fan, attending the 148th Open tournament at Royal Portrush will be a unique experience that rewards the journey.

Playing Ireland’s Great Courses

By attending the Open in Ireland, golf lovers will have the opportunity to play and walk some of the country’s most beautiful and challenging courses. Since the island is only around 300 miles at its longest point, then travelers can cover quite a lot of territory and therefore, explore many different golf courses.

Courses such as Ardglass, Royal Belfast, Castlerock, Ballyliffin and Portstewart offer the traveling weekend warrior the chance to make the trip to Ireland, a full golfing adventure. Each course draws on Ireland’s distinct natural features to craft a playing experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.

Visiting Ireland to watch the Open doesn’t mean that your time around the great game has to end there. With tens of great courses around the country, a golf traveler can live the dream of experiencing true European golf.

Enjoying Ireland’s Rich Culture and Accommodations

When the golfer isn’t watching or playing golf, Ireland is a terrific place to enjoy the vivid landscapes and vibrant culture. Whether it be visiting a castle or riding the seas, the country can entertain and delight an energetic traveler like few other places on the planet.

Hotels in Ireland’s largest cities provide exceptional accommodations with all the relaxing features that a traveler can expect from five-star establishments. Located in cultural districts, visitors can expect incredible restaurants as well as entertainment, mere blocks from their hotel. And of course, no trip to Ireland is complete without having a staple of Irish cuisine, the Irish breakfast.

Without a doubt, Ireland is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy.