Not only is Rory McIlroy the greatest golfer Ireland has produced, he is now officially a Centurion as 100 representatives from golf clubs across the country have now joined his growing army of Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Ambassadors.
McIlroy is well known as an ambassador for Irish golf, continually promoting Ireland and its golf courses all over the world, and earlier this year he issued a personal rallying call to golf clubs through the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to nominate their very own Irish Open Ambassador and help him to make this year’s event the best ever.
As official host of the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at The K Club (May 19-22), through his charitable Rory Foundation, the superstar from Holywood, County Down announced details in January of his own personal ‘five point plan’ to encourage clubs to get involved in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and creating a team of Ambassadors is key to the success of the overall initiative.
And the clubs have responded in their numbers with 100 Ambassadors already signed up, through the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), to act as the main points of contact between their clubs and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open team, helping to pull together all of the various club initiatives, including the organisation of group or coach travel for clubs to the Irish Open on May 19-22.
As an incentive to sign up, all Ambassadors will receive a number of exclusive perks including a Nike Dubai Duty Free Irish Open golf cap and an invite to play at a special Ambassadors Golf Day on the Smurfit Course at The K Club on Monday April 25. The most proactive Ambassadors in each province will also receive some signed Rory McIlroy memorabilia for their Club to proudly display in the clubhouse.
Other initiatives for which the Irish Open Ambassadors will be the main club contact include the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Club Challenge, a nationwide tournament in which club teams compete for opportunity to play in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro–Am, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Skills Challenge, a nationwide skills-based competition for junior club members, and Get Into Golf With Rory, a schools programme to encourage children who have never picked up a club to take an interest in golf.
Speaking about the Ambassador programme, McIlroy said: “The Irish Open has always been very close to my heart but I would love this year’s event to be even more special as it will once again be hosted by the Rory Foundation.
“That’s why I’m asking clubs to nominate their own Ambassadors to work closely with our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open team to help make this year’s event one of the best ever. I’m really looking forward to working with our golf clubs to promote what I believe is one of the Tour’s strongest tournaments - in one of the best golfing destinations in the world.”
John Roche, Director of Golf and Business Development for the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), said: “The Confederation of Golf in Ireland is delighted with the response from Irish golf clubs to Rory's ‘five point plan’ which was devised to encourage clubs to get more involved in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Over 80 ambassadors have already signed up and there is still time for more to join them.
“It’s a really fantastic opportunity to help Rory and his foundation and we are delighted to be a part of it. With the weight of Ireland's golf clubs and Irish golfers fully behind all of the planned initiatives, we can expect a very special Irish Open in 2016, the benefits of which will be seen long after the event is over."
Clubs wanting to nominate their Ambassador can still do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org