Saturday, August 30, 2014

Northern Irish Open at Galgorm Castle

Edfors teeing off on the 1st hole.
It's a long drive from Wexford to Ballymena... but probably not as long as a Johan Edfors drive. That boy can hit the ball, and he is playing in the Northern Irish Open at Galgorm Castle this week. The tournament ends tomorrow, so if you're in that neck of the woods get yourself to the golf club, watch the Pros, enjoy the Food Village and all the golfing extras - there's a golf village, too.

I had been invited by Your Golf Travel to attend the event and it was an entertaining day out for sure.
Seeing Edfors and Hoey (in the same group) was inspiring stuff, and they had a good-sized gallery following them... but there were a lot of other golfers whose names you wouldn't recognise and these are the guys at the coalface, grinding away, trying to make a living on a tour where only a few make any money at all.

It certainly isn't easy and not many golfers had caddies. I saw two who did and can only assume that it was a long suffering girlfriend/wife 'on the bag'. With the amount of travel these guys do, it's hardly surprising they bring their partner along. It can't be easy spending weeks on the road.

The Corporate Hospitality tent on the left hand side of the 18th green.
Galgorm Castle is in excellent condition, with greens running fast and like silk.  One man well able to handle the pace is Swede Joakim Lagergren, who, after three rounds, is six shots clear. The Northern Irish amateurs - Dermot McElroy and John Ross Galbraith - have fallen off the pace, leaving Jonathan Caldwell and Gareth Shaw as the two home hopes... but it is Lagergren's to lose at this stage.
Michael Hoey in full flow on day 2. Sadly he missed the cut.
View of the 3rd green from the 15th fairway.
Your Golf Travel send a lot of people this way and with the Galgorm Castle Hotel & Spa only two minutes up the road, it is an idyllic package of luxury accommodation and elegant golf. See if you can beat Lagergren's record of 62.

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