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Secretary of State visits 2025 Open Championship host

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, has today (Monday 28 August) visited Royal Portrush to welcome the return of the world-renowned The Open Championship, in 2025. The Secretary of State heard the club’s exciting plans for 2025 and also enjoyed teeing off on the famous course, following in the footsteps of golfing greats such as 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry.

2025 will be the third time that Royal Portrush has hosted the major competition, following the most recent success four years ago. The Secretary of State’s visit to the North Coast highlighted the crucial role of tourism and sport and their contribution to NI’s economy. He also praised the efforts of local stakeholders who were instrumental in ensuring the Open will return to Portrush.

The 148th Open, which took place just a few years ago, was one of the fastest – selling events in the Championship’s history. With 237,000 spectators attending in Portrush, it broke records as the best-attended Open outside of St Andrew’s. The Open also generated £106 million of economic benefit for Northern Ireland.

Speaking during his visit to Royal Portrush, the Secretary of State said:

“There has been an incredible effort by the local community and various bodies to bring The Open back to Portrush in 2025, and I am confident that it will further consolidate Northern Ireland as a competitive golf tourism destination while boosting the economy.

“Royal Portrush is an iconic venue that attracts local players and golf’s elite, and events like the Open put a global spotlight on Northern Ireland.

“With exciting events such as The Open, the future is bright for Northern Ireland tourism.”

General Manager of Royal Portrush John Lawler also shared his excitement for the 2025 Open Championship:

“We are proud to host the Open Championship again in 2025. The Open is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and to see it return to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush so soon, is a recognition of the wonderful work done by all involved in 2019.

“The event provided a festival atmosphere in 2019 and drew spectators from golfing and non-golfing backgrounds.

“We are excited that the eyes of the world will once again be on Royal Portrush, the Causeway Coast & Glens Area and Northern Ireland and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best golfers back to challenge themselves on the Dunluce Course.”

The latest figures also show the surging popularity of golf within Northern Ireland. In 2022, there were 762,575 bookings made by visitors at the 75 golf clubs in Northern Ireland. This is compared to 587,199 bookings made in 2019 – a 30% increase.

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