Donegal to the ‘fore’ for American Golf Writers

01 Aug 2011

Donegal and some of its finest golf courses played host to a group of high profile American golf writers recently.  The journalists, all members of ‘The A Position’ – a group of golf writers who have worked for many of the top newspapers and magazines in the US and across the globe, and who have visited and reviewed thousands of the world’s best golf courses – were invited here by Tourism Ireland in New York in association with Fáilte Ireland.  They included renowned broadcaster Peter Kessler, one of the founders of Golf Channel, and writer Jeff Wallach, author of five books including Beyond The Fairway.

The golf writers’ action-packed visit included a round of golf on both courses at Ballyliffin, on the Sandy Hills links at Rosapenna, at Narin & Portnoo and at Donegal Golf Club.  Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s executive vice president North America, said: “There is no substitute for being able to come here and experience what Donegal has to offer at first-hand.  The golf writers were very impressed by the various golf courses they played, the wonderful scenery in this part of Ireland and the friendliness of the people. 

“Tourism Ireland is focused on growing the number of golf tourists to the island of Ireland, from the US and other important golf markets around the world.  There are strong signs that the number of US golf visitors to the island of Ireland is growing again this year and we have an extensive promotional programme under way with our key partners – Fáilte Ireland, NITB and the golf industry – to accelerate that growth.  We are working hard to drive home the message that a golfing holiday in Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of our world-class golf courses and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting golfers to come here.”

Tourism Ireland is rolling out a ‘Major’ golf tourism campaign right now, to capitalise on Darren Clarke’s great British Open victory at Royal St George’s and previous wins by Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in the US Open championship.  ‘Home of Champions’ is the headline for the new ad campaign this summer; and in the US these ads have appeared online (on and elsewhere) and on TV (on the popular Golf Channel) around coverage of the British Open and the Solheim Cup and popular American programmes like ‘Big Break Ireland’, ‘Feherty Show’, ‘Morning Drive’ and ‘Golf Now Ireland’.  Ireland golf ads and features have also appeared recently in Golfweek and Golf World magazines and in the Irish Echo and Irish Voice newspapers.  In addition, Tourism Ireland – together with golf tourism partners from around the island of Ireland – is mounting a strong presence at golf promotions in the US this year.  These include the Masters in Augusta earlier this year, the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California, the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey and the upcoming PGA Barclays tournament.

Pictured at Donegal Golf Club are (l-r) Tom Harack; Hal Phillips; Jeff Wallach, author of 
five books including 'Beyond The Fairway'; and renowned broadcaster Peter Kessler, 
one of the founders of Golf Channel.

Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  
t: 087 685 9027

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 6.9 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.


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