Monumental year for local golf: Foster

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Tourism Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated golf professionals for their contribution and commitment in providing excellent services to the tourism industry.

During a gala ceremony held in the Lough Erne Resort, County Fermanagh, on Monday evening, 22 October, a total of seven awards were presented before an enthusiastic audience of golf tourism industry professionals.

The 2012 Gala Irish Golf Awards are part of a three day golf tourism conference organised by the Ireland Golf Tour Operators Association (IGTOA).

Ryder Cup Director and Senior European Tour Official Richard Hills was honoured with an award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to golf over a period of 29 years working with the European Tour. Royal Portrush Golf Club received the Links Golf Course of the year award and Michael Moss, of Portstewart won the Golf Manager of the year award, pictured above receiving his award.

Arlene Foster said: “These awards celebrate the great achievements of those who play a pivotal role in golf. I want to congratulate Richard Hills, Royal Portrush Golf Club, Michael Moss and all of the other award winners on their prestigious achievements.

“2012 has been a monumental year for Northern Ireland golf, with the sell out success of the Irish Open Championship at Portrush, which achieved record attendance in the history of European Tour Events.

“Our local golfers continue to do us proud, while raising Northern Ireland’s profile around the world. Rory McIlroy became world number one, after winning the US PGA Championship, followed by the Duetsche Bank Championship and most recently the BMW Championship in Indiana. Darren Clarke was Vice-Captain for the successful European Ryder Cup team, Alan Dunbar became the British Amateur Champion and Stephanie Meadow won the 2012 British Ladies Amateur Championship.

“Northern Ireland is not only home to the world’s best golfer but it is also home to some of the world’s finest golf courses. The IGTOA conference is a great opportunity to stimulate new business for golf tourism as we want to encourage golf enthusiasts to come to Northern Ireland, so they can experience at first-hand that there is much to see and do here.”