THE International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) have hosted their annual Awards Ceremony in Valencia, Spain and Ardglass Golf Club has shared in the honours as it is a member group of the winner, the North & West Coast Links Golf (N&WCL).
The group accepted the award for “European Golf Destination of the Year 2011” for North West Ireland. Over 1,200 industry professionals from 52 countries attended the gala dinner to recognise and reward the exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel, voted for by IAGTO operators and the IGTWA’s golf travel writers.
350 international golf tour operators from 52 countries across the world voted and initially selected 20 European golfing regions before whittling down the competition to just 6 finalists for the awards ceremony including Fife in Scotland (which includes the world famous Old Course at St. Andrews), the Czech Republic, Tenerife, Murcia in Spain and Lisbon in Portugal, along with North West Ireland.
Over the past few years the world’s most high profile destinations have won the coveted title including Provence and Cote D’Azur, the Algarve, and Andalucia. John McLaughlin, General Manager of North and West Coast Links Golf said on behalf of the member groups on accepting the Award, “We are thrilled to accept this Award on behalf of the region, as it gives the courses in the area the recognition they deserve amongst their global counterparts. The region has injected significant investment over the last 10 years to bring their golf product up to the standards expected from today’s golfer, and we are delighted that the IAGTO Members have recognised the hard work and investment put in by all those working in the region.”
Established as a small marketing cooperative over 20 years ago, N&WCL has grown from just four clubs, to now being considered the premier golf marketing organisation in Ireland, through representation of 12 of the finest courses in Ireland, which include Ardglass Golf Club, Connemara Championship Links, Carne Golf Links, Enniscrone Golf Club, Co. Sligo Golf Club, Donegal Golf Club, Narin & Portnoo Golf Club, Rosapenna Golf Resort, Portsalon Golf Club, Ballyliffin Golf Club, Portstewart Golf Club, and Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The region benefits greatly from golf tourism, with an estimated €350m spent annually by visitors to the North West region, and this Award is another great boost and will ensure that this figure continues to grow year on year. North and West Coast Links Golf act as the International Marketing Arm of the area and provide worldwide marketing representation for the region. In any given year N&WCL will attend 20-25 golf shows/events around the world, as well as facilitating familiarisation trips for journalists, tour operators and group leaders.
Those who have been lucky enough to visit the North West, are aware that the appeal of the area lies not only in our quality golf product, but in the value and quality of the complete package – first class accommodations, restaurants, lively bars, stunning scenery, value for money, and genuine hospitality. Some of our more famous visitors will recall their fond memories of their time spent on the links. Whether it be Rory Mcllroy in his early years winning back to back
West of Ireland Championships at Co. Sligo Golf Club, Tom Watson dropping in for a leisurely game with friends at Connemara, or Major Champion Graeme McDowell coming home to Royal Portrush.
Given the unique product that is links golf, the West and North West of Ireland is the ideal destination for today’s golf enthusiast, offering a world class, value for money destination.
Visit www.northandwestcoastlinks.com or Call +353 (0)91 868642 for further details on the North & West Coast Links.
To view imagery of the 12 links courses log onto http://www.northandwestcoastlinks.com/image-gallery.