Portstewart Golf Club looks set to make a big statement of intent by throwing its hat into the ring to host The Irish Open in the very near future.
The local course feels is relishing the challenge of hosting the European Tour event, which took place five miles down the road at Royal Portrush in 2012.
Portstewart hosted the Ladies’ British Amateur Open in June and one of the two strokeplay qualifying rounds, alongside Royal Portrush, for last year’s British Amateur Championship.
The club has three courses but it’s the famous Strand Links that’s in line for the Irish Open and it has undergone several enhancements in recent years and now measures 7,054 yards from the back tees with the R&A reducing the par from 72 to 71 for last year’s Amateur Championship qualifying rounds.
The Irish Open looks set to be held at the K Club in 2016 before heading north to the Lough Erne Resort in 2017. Portstewart is hoping to slot into the schedule after that as Secretary Manager, Michael Moss explained to irishgolfdesk.com.
“We’d like to do it,” he said.
“Royal Portrush hosted in 2012 — a links course. Royal County Down hosted in 2015 — another links course. The European Tour likes the profile of the inks course for the Irish Open and getting it back to where it should be.
“So if the Irish Open going to be held on a links in Northern Ireland again, well, the obvious next choice is Portstewart. We could host the Irish Open tomorrow. The course is ready.”
Mr Moss said the golfers who took part in the high profile competitions at the club in the last year enjoyed playing the course.
“The lowest score on either course for the British Amateur was 66,” Mr Moss said.
“And the CSS both days at Portrush was 74 and both days here it was 75. I think the players were very pleasantly surprised by the quality and the challenge of the course.”