The Open Championships is set to make its anticipated return to Northern Ireland as the R&A announces the competition will return to Royal Portrush in 2025, marking a new chapter in the historic championships.
The renowned course, located on the Dunluce links on the northern tip of County Antrim, was the first course outside of England and Scotland to hold The Open back in 1951, where golfer Max Faulkner was crowned with his one and only major. In more recent the years, the venue also hosted The 148th Open Championships in 2019, where popular Irish golfer Shane Lowry held off Englishman Tommy Fleetwood to claim a six-shot victory, lifting the glorious claret jug.
Based on an independent report assembled by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, the 2019 competition brought about a significant rise to the general Northern Irish economy by producing more than £100million. The report stated that The Open produced a direct economic impact of £45million towards the Northern Irish economy, and an additional £37.3million of Advertising Equivalent Value (AEV) was generated by universal television coverage and Tourism Northern Ireland assessed £23.7million AEV in other media coverage.
Furthermore, it lured record crowds for the Championship outside of St Andrews, with 237,750 golfing fans attending across the week. Due to this, many people have come out and expressed their joy for the competition retuning to Northern Ireland.
Chief Executive of the R&A, Martin Slumber expressed his excitement for the return of The Open Championships to Royal Portrush saying: “The Open in 2019 was a massive success and showed just how much collective enthusiasm, passion and commitment there is to make Royal Portrush one of the leading venues for the Championship and to build a distinctive golf tourism brand for Northern Ireland”
“We greatly appreciate the support we have received from the Northern Ireland Executive, our partner agencies and, of course, from the club and its members. We look forward to working with them to deliver another fantastic celebration of golf in four years’ time.”
Royal Portrush, which is hosting only its third Open Championships In 74 years, joins an impressive line-up of courses for The Open with the 150th edition of the tournament taking place at the distinguished St Andrews course in 2022, followed by Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon hosting the two competitions after, in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Paul Givan MLA, the First Minister for Northern Ireland revealed his delight for the return, “Following the outstanding success of The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019 I am thrilled to welcome the return of the championship in 2025.”
“It has been a key aim of the Executive to bring The Open back to Northern Ireland quickly and as we start our preparations to host the championship again, I am certain that it will provide a platform on which to build a global golfing destination brand for Portrush and Northern Ireland to complement that of St Andrews and Scotland.”
Captain of Royal Portrush, Dr Ian Kerr, said: “We are delighted to see the return of The Open to Royal Portrush Golf Club. This 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 excellent work done by all involved in 2019. The Open in 2019 created a positive festival atmosphere in the area and we look forward to hosting this wonderful event once again.”
Lowry also embraced the news by saying he is already looking for to the competition. “It’s great it’s going back quickly. Obviously in my very biased opinion, it’s one of the best Opens I’ve ever played in,” he said. “But no, without taking the win out of it and all that, I think anybody you talked to, the American players and the other players that played, they really enjoyed the venue and thought it was one of the great Opens that they played.”
“It’s great to be going back there in 2025. Look forward to it. Don’t have to worry about being in it or not. I’ll be there. It’s exciting for the people in Portrush and Ireland that we are going back there.”
The decision to return to Royal Portrush was unanimous with the Championships to take place from 13th – 20th July 2025 and is expected to feature most of the world’s best golfers battling it out to become the winner of The Open Championship.