The 2013 Irish Open is promising a spectacular festival of golf when Carton House Golf Club welcomes a world class field to County Kildare from June 27-30.
The atmosphere off course promises to be equally impressive with the launch of an exciting programme of events developed by the local communities of Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip – the “Three Irish Open Towns” programme of events.
Four Irish Major Champions – Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy - will compete at Carton House along with Carton’s Touring Professional, Shane Lowry, a host of Tour winners and Ryder Cup stars including 2014 captain Paul McGinley.
The stage is set for a superb platform for the event’s return to the Republic of Ireland after a visit to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland last year. To complement the sporting action, the “Three Irish Open Towns” as they are known locally have joined forces to ensure that local tourism and business interests embrace the Irish Open as an opportunity to promote all that is great about the county.
Kevin Moriarty from Fáilte Ireland said: “With less than two weeks before we get under way at Carton House, anticipation is very much building as we look forward to this year’s Irish Open and welcoming some of the world’s top golfers - in particular our Irish stars.
“We want Kildare and indeed Ireland to be portrayed in the best light to visitors, media and participating golfers during the Irish Open. This will once again underline this country’s deserved reputation as a unique holiday destination that leaves visitors with many wonderful memories and a desire to return.”
The initiative is a joint collaboration between the committees of the three Irish Open towns and is supported by Fáilte Ireland and Kildare County Council. This project forms part of a wide range of features aimed at ensuring that the Irish Open becomes a great festival, not just in terms of golf but also the manner in which it involves the wider community.
Carton House Managing Partner Conor Mallaghan said: “The Three Towns Initiative is a truly unique concept that will provide a wonderful reason for the people of Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip to come along to the Irish Open and experience the best of Irish and world golf. We are delighted to share the excitement of this year’s event with the wider community of Kildare and hope they will enjoy all that Carton House has to offer both on and off the golf course."
In addition to the events programme, excitement is building following the announcement of three former Irish Open champions who have all agreed to become Ambassadors for each of the three towns for the duration of the tournament. Australian Brett Rumford, the 2004 Irish Open champion and a two-time winner on The European Tour in 2013, will represent Maynooth; Richard Finch of England, the 2008 winner, will be the ambassador for Celbridge, while 2010 champion Ross Fisher, also of England, will join forces with Leixlip.
Antonia Beggs, Irish Open Championship Director, welcomed the exciting initiative which bonds the three towns with Carton House and the 2013 Irish Open. She said: “We are delighted to work closely with Fáilte Ireland and Kildare Council on this project.
“We are sure that the residents of Celbridge, Leixlip and Maynooth will embrace the fact that a world class sporting event is taking place on their doorstep at Carton House and that visitors to the area next week will be able to share in the sense of excitement generated by the Irish Open.”
The European Tour will also provide each town with 100 free wristbands permitting access to ‘Open House@17’, the 1500 seat grandstand framing the par three 17th hole on the Montgomerie Course.
Beggs added: “We are pleased to involve the locals in this unique concept and we hope that they will come along and show support for their towns wearing the colours allotted to each – namely blue for Celbridge, pink for Leixlip and white for Maynooth.”
A range of initiatives are under way to ensure that there is a ‘Cead Mile Fáilte’ for players, sponsors, media, golf enthusiasts, casual visitors and those who live, work or visit the area to share in the excitement and sense of occasion.
Pick up your copy of the Three Irish Open Towns events brochure from local hotels, tourist attractions, libraries and county buildings to join in the fun. Visitors to Ireland will be able to collect their copy from the Discover Ireland desk at Dublin Airport.