Today at Enniskillen Castle, the Fermanagh community including schools, golf clubs, tourism industry representatives and sports stars joined together to celebrate the return of The 148th Open Championship to Northern Ireland for the first time in almost 70 years. Tourism NI’s community event, The Epic Journey to The 148th Open, rolled into Enniskillen on the second stop of its 500-mile journey. The celebration is taking place across every county in Northern Ireland, along with Dublin City.
The community got involved in the buzz and civic pride surrounding golf’s most prestigious championship coming to Northern Ireland in July, including snapping pictures and videos of Tourism NI’s giant #TheOpen letter sculpture made from 4,000 golf balls.
It is truly an epic year for Northern Ireland tourism as The Open Championship at Royal Portrush will be beamed live to over 600 million viewers across the world. It is set to attract 190,000 eager spectators, with a team of 6,000 staff and 500 volunteers from all over Northern Ireland warmly welcoming visitors. The Championship has already achieved record-breaking ticket sales as the first ever Open to sell out.
Leanne Rice, Golf Marketing Manager at Tourism NI, said: “The 148th Open is the biggest event that Northern Ireland has ever held. We are delighted to be able to bring a part of it to Fermanagh and celebrate its return. The Epic Journey is engaging the community and golfing fans alike, with the opportunity to win coveted tickets to The Open at each stop. It has been a great occasion in Enniskillen as The Epic Journey is a wonderful way to take the excitement on the road.
“We are also partnering with Sport NI, golf clubs and councils at each Epic Journey event to drive interest and participation not only in golf, but also in all sport to ensure that hosting such a major event offers a lasting legacy for many years to come.”
The Epic Journey to The 148th Open also brought Rory McIlroy’s replica Claret Jug, from his Open win in 2014 at Royal Liverpool, to Enniskillen for all to admire.
Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, said: “The Council was pleased to host The Epic Journey event at Enniskillen Castle, enabling residents to get involved in the build up to The Open. We hope The Open will inspire more of our residents to get outdoors, get active and to have a go at golf or indeed another sport.
The Open will also set Northern Ireland on a global stage, and we hope that this platform will encourage even more people to come to Northern Ireland and in particular to visit the Fermanagh and Omagh District to experience all that it has to offer.”
Practice day tickets are available for sale from TheOpen.com and a limited number of new hospitality tickets are also available across Championship days.
For further information on Tourism NI’s ‘Epic Journey to The 148th Open’ campaign visit discovernorthernireland.com/epicjourney