Irish Open Golf: Top five things to do away from the course

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Irish Open Golf: Top five things to do away from the course

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If you’ve ever visited Portstewart then you’ll know how friendly the people are and how stunning the scenery is.

Next month, the 8,000 inhabitants of Portstewart will showcase their hometown to a global audience as the bright lights and big stars of the European PGA Tour come to town for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.  

A hefty prize fund of $7 million USD and a field of world class golfers should ensure plenty of global interest. Big names already confirmed include, the likes of Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose and local major winners Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell. 

That’s not forgetting last year’s Irish Open winner and current world number 2, Rory McIlroy, who is hosting the event as well as competing.

Rory McIlroy following his 2016 DDF Irish Open at the K Club in Kildare
Rory McIlroy following his 2016 DDF Irish Open at the K Club in Kildare

The big names and big money on offer means that as well as attracting an estimated 100,000 spectators over the course of the tournament (6–9 July), it will be televised across the world – putting Portstewart and Northern Ireland firmly in the spotlight.


So, if you’re going to be in Northern Ireland for the golf next month but want to make the most of your time in the north coast, here are our top five recommendations.

Explore the Coastline 


The Causeway Coast and surrounding areas are breathtaking. Home to UNESCO World Heritage site, The Giants Causeway and ten, yes TEN Game of Thrones filming locations can all be explored by car, foot and even horseback! 

If you want to get off the beaten track a little bit more then immerse yourself in Causeway history and combine it with a horse ride at the Causeway Coast Discovery centre (formerly Sheans Horse Farm).

Eat out. A lot.

Northern Ireland is foodie heaven. Our produce is second to none and we have world class chefs serving up delicious dishes all over the place, all at a fairly reasonable price.

There are loads of examples of this around the north coast, including Harry’s Shack which is located on the beach, within chipping distance from Portstewart Golf Club.

A few miles away in Portrush is home to a Northern Irish institution, The Ramore Wine Bar. Three restaurants, all serving amazing food. Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke or Graeme McDowell are all regular visitors when home.

Go surfing! 

It might be colder than most places you’d associate with surfing but the Causeway coast has a very active and dedicated surf scene. Why not pull on a wet suit and join in the fun with one of the Causeway coast’s many surf schools.

Visit the world’s oldest whiskey distillery

Whether you’re a whiskey fan or not, it’s well worth a visit to the oldest whiskey distillery in the world. Enjoy tutored whiskey tastings and learn all about the rich history of the Old Bushmills Distillery spanning back to 1608 when King James 1st issued first granted Sir Thomas Philips – landowner and Governor of County Antrim – a license to distil.

Explore underwater

You might be familiar by now with the stunning scenery above ground on the Causeway coast, but why not get under the water and explore reefs, wrecks and all kinds of wonderful marine life. The north coast has a growing number of dive schools that can cater for absolute novices to those with bags of experience.

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