The Open Championship is to make a swift return to Royal Portrush in 2025, following its successful staging of golf’s oldest major in 2019.
Paul Givan, the First Minister for Northern Ireland, Junior Minister Declan Kearney and Economy Minister Gordon Lyons joined Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, and Dr Ian Kerr, Captain of Royal Portrush Golf Club, at the renowned links on the Antrim coast today to formally announce that the championship will be played there from July 17-20, 2025.
The Open generated more than £100 million for the economy of Northern Ireland two years ago, attracting a record attendance for the championship outside of St Andrews of 237,750 fans throughout the week.
More than 5,400 hours of television coverage were broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers globally as Irishman Shane Lowry captured the famous Claret Jug.
The return of the Open Championship to Royal Portrush for only the third time in 74 years has been wholeheartedly supported by the Northern Ireland Executive and Tourism Northern Ireland, as well as the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
Martin Slumbers said: “We could not be more thrilled to be bringing The Open back to Royal Portrush in 2025. There will be huge excitement among golf fans around the world to see the best men’s players facing the challenge of this magnificent links once again.
“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.”
First Minister Givan said, “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, in partnership with The R&A, as well as an opportunity to stimulate additional private sector investment in the COVID-19 recovery era.”
Dr Ian Kerr, Captain of Royal Portrush, 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.”
An independent report produced by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University found that The 148th Open delivered a direct economic impact of £45 million to the Northern Irish economy. An additional £37.3m of Advertising Equivalent Value (AEV) was generated by global television coverage and Tourism Northern Ireland assessed £23.7m AEV in other media coverage.
Royal Portrush joins a formidable line-up of venues for The Open in the coming years with The 150th Open being played at St Andrews in 2022 and then Royal Liverpool and Royal Troon hosting the championship in 2023 and 2024 respectively.