Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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Golf Tourism

The 148th Open, Royal Portrush

Golf tourism

Northern Ireland is experiencing unprecedented success and status as a golf destination through the triumphs of its champion golfers, its world ranking golf courses and hosting of outstanding events, most recently The 148th Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club.

Working with international tour operator led organisations, hosting media familiarisation trips, facilitating workshops and attending golf promotions, Tourism NI is promoting the NI golf product to a global market. Tourism NI also have a role in product development, working with golf clubs and associated golf bodies and agencies to ensure the golfing visitor has a quality visitor experience throughout their trip.

Find out more about our clubs and course at or download our map of quality and assured courses.

Golf Tourism Marketing Toolkit

We have produced a practical toolkit for golf events and golf marketing. Find out more about our golf visitors, upcoming events and how you can get involved.

Golf Quality Assurance Scheme

Tourism NI, in partnership with the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), has launched a Golf Quality Assurance Scheme which is designed to certify golf courses in meeting and exceeding customer expectations

The certification programme is open to all golf courses and includes an online Golf Tourism Audit, and an IAGTO site inspection. Any golf course that does not achieve certification is provided with a step-by-step roadmap to achieving certification status.  For more information please email    

Strategic review of golf in Northern Ireland

The Golf Tourism Strategy is designed to support the golf sector in contributing to the wider tourism vision of a £1 billion industry in Northern Ireland by 2020. Golf tourism in Northern Ireland is currently valued at some £42.6m so in terms of Northern Ireland’s competitiveness – vis a vis other golf destinations – there are real opportunities to further grow golf tourism.

The aims of the Strategy are to:
1. Grow the value of golf visitors to Northern Ireland to £50m p.a. by 2020
2. Develop the capability and capacity of clubs to host visitors
3. Enhance the reputation and visibility of Northern Ireland for golf tourism in designated markets
4. Build Northern Ireland’s capacity to host golf events
5. Support industry leadership and collaboration across the sector

Current status of the strategy
Tourism NI commissioned BTS and the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) to develop a golf strategy for Northern Ireland to 2020. A full consultation with the NI golf industry, alongside three workshops, took place in October and November 2014. 

Northern Ireland Golf Tourism Monitor 

The Tourism Strategy for Northern Ireland highlighted the opportunity for growing golf tourism nationally and internationally to position Northern Ireland as a premier golf destination. The recent heightened interest and publicity from the successes of Northern Ireland’s three Champion golfers has elevated the destination on the global golf map.   It is vital that this growing demand is converted into an accurate evaluation of current golf business to Northern Ireland.  The Northern Ireland Golf Monitor provides robust data and trend to help formulate and shape future growth of the Northern Ireland golf product.

The survey collects and compiles the volume and value of visiting golfer rounds played on Northern Ireland courses through participation by golf clubs and visitor interviews.   Information is gathered on clubs and facilities, visitors and rounds played, golf holiday trends and expenditure on golf trips.   In-depth consumer interviews are conducted during the tourist season to capture qualitative information on out-of-state golfers who come to play golf in Northern Ireland.

The data collected is analysed and monitored against established benchmarks. The annual report provides statistics for year on year comparisons and trends.   In addition, the data will inform Tourism NI on identifying market opportunities that will help shape Tourism NI’s annual Golf Programme and future plans.

For the full reports and analysis: