Golfers set sights on ‘par-fect’ NI Open trophy with Game of Thrones link
‘Winter is coming’ and so is the opportunity for golfers from around the world to scoop the coveted Northern Ireland Open trophy made from trees from the Dark Hedges.
In just a few days’ time golfers will swing into Mid and East Antrim to take their best shot at winning this year’s Northern Ireland Open.
The Northern Ireland Open supported by The R&A was added to the European Challenge Tour’s 2020 Road to Mallorca schedule and will be played at Galgorm Castle from September 3-6.
The iconic trophy, which was first introduced to the competition back in 2017, was made from trees from the famous Dark Hedges in Ballymoney.
Some of the trees from the mysterious tunnel-like avenue of beech trees, made famous by HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’, were blown down during Storm Gertude in January 2016.
Fergus Wallace, the founder and chief executive of PerformanceACTIVE, the Northern Ireland Open's technology partner, decided that a trophy for the tournament could be made from the trees that had fallen.
His concept would be that it would tip its hat to some of our most famous landmarks.
At the time, local wood tuner Gerard Grey was asked By Fergus to harvest and craft the sacred wood into a new trophy for the event at Galgorm Castle and it has since been a very special part of the tournament.
Despite the challenges that Covid-19 has presented, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort has been successful in securing two of golfing’s biggest tournaments next month with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open also being held at the location from 24-27 September.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston, said he was delighted both tournaments were coming to Mid and East Antrim which would showcase the beauty of the borough around the globe.
“The securing of two golfing tournaments at Galgorm will allow us to show what our borough has to offer.
“The trophy that the lucky winner will receive is the perfect way to recognise their success.
“It is a stunning one-off design, handmade with iconic images from Northern Ireland such as Slemish Mountain, the Glens of Antrim, Giant's Causeway and Galgorm Castle.”