The 2019 Open Championship – the 148th edition of the oldest major in golf – will be held outside of Scotland and England for only the second time in the event’s illustrious history.
The Open will be played at Royal Portrush, marking a historic return to Northern Ireland for the first time in almost 70 years.
Located in County Antrim and overlooked by Dunluce Castle, Royal Portrush was established in 1888 and was originally designed by Harry Colt.
The course – significantly tweaked by Mackenzie & Ebert ahead of return to the Open rota next year – is widely considered to be one of the best in the world. It is currently ranked seventh in Golf Digest’s list of the world’s 100 greatest golf courses.
Royal Portrush is also the only course to host the Open outside the island of Great Britain, when Englishman Max Faulkner lifted the Claret Jug in 1951.
The 2019 championship is expected to be the biggest sporting event ever held in Northern Ireland, generating more than £75million for the economy.
Royal Portrush also hosted the Irish Open in 2012, the first time since 1953 that the tournament had been held in Northern Ireland. Welshman Jamie Donaldson ran out the winner on that occasion, in front of a capacity crowd. Indeed, it was the first time in European Tour history that a tournament was a completely sell-out.
Royal Portrush is popular with many of the leading names in the sport, and local man and former Open champion Darren Clarke is delighted that the Open is returning to his home country.
He said: “To have the world’s biggest and best golf championship played at such a fantastic venue as Royal Portrush, with all the passion that the Irish fans will bring to the event, is going to be amazing.”
The 148th Open Championship takes place at Royal Portrush from July 18-21, 2019.