As Ireland’s golfing heroes prepare to tee off in the final Major of this year – the US PGA championship, in Atlanta, Georgia on this Thursday, 11th August – Irish golf tourism looks set to get its ‘Big Break’ in the US this autumn. Produced in co-operation with Tourism Ireland, the Golf Channel’s popular reality show Big Break returns for its 16th season, with this year’s series Big Break Ireland filmed at the renowned K Club in Co Kildare, home of the 2006 Ryder Cup.
Big Break Ireland is set to premiere on 20th September on Golf Channel and will run for ten episodes. Tourism Ireland estimates that the publicity from the show will be worth $12 million and will reach 83 million American households and golf fans.
The show will feature a cast of six men and six women competing against each other in an attempt to make real their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers. Contestants, who include professionals on mini-tours as well as amateurs who aspire to play golf professionally, engage in a series of golfing challenges, with the weakest performer eliminated after each challenge. At the end of the competition, the winner is awarded his or her ‘Big Break’, with a number of prizes including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in a top professional golf tournament.
Filmed on location in May at The K Club in Co Kildare, Big Break Ireland will unfold on the resort’s two championship golf courses. Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland’s director of markets, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to bring the Golf Channel’s Big Break show to Ireland, to showcase our world-class golf to a huge audience of potential American golf holidaymakers. It is a great coup and represents an extraordinary opportunity for the island of Ireland, for both golf and tourism. We hope that Big Break will whet appetites and encourage many golfers from the US to include Ireland in their future travel plans.
“The US golf market is extremely important and valuable for many sectors of the Irish tourism industry. 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.”
Last month, Tourism Ireland announced that it was rolling out a major golf tourism campaign, worth €2.2 million, to capitalise on the recent success of our golfers, including Rory McIlroy’s historic US Open victory at Congressional and Darren’s Clarke’s stunning British Open victory.
Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland
t: 087 685 9027
Notes to Editors:
• Ireland welcomes about 150,000 golfers from overseas each year, worth an estimated €110 million to the economy.
• The golf market is very important for tourism, particularly from the US and Britain but also, increasingly, from the European markets.
• Recent high profile achievements like the victories of Darren Clarke in the British Open and Rory McIlroy in the US Open, the announcement of North & West Coast Links as ‘European Golf Destination of the Year’, and Graeme McDowell’s success at the US Open last year, are all being used as ‘hooks’ to draw attention to our world-class golf experience and to grow visitor numbers.
• The Solheim Cup takes place in Killeen Castle this September and Tourism Ireland is exploiting every potential promotional opportunity to capitalise on the potential of this prestigious sporting event. It is a great opportunity to put Ireland in the spotlight, highlighting the island as a top golf destination.