Golf fan Kim Standen will pack his bags and head off to see some of the best players in the world compete at the Irish Open this weekend – thanks to a competition run by Tourism Ireland.
Kim will join record numbers of more than 100,000 people in heading to the European Tour tournament at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, after winning a trip for two to the event in a Tourism Ireland competition at Golf Live last month.
The likes of world number two Rory McIlroy, Open champion Darren Clarke and Major winners Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and 2011 US PGA winner will all be in action this week and, as well as tickets to the event, the 59-year-old’s prize also includes three nights’ accommodation, car hire and return flights.
Kim, who lives in Denton, near Canterbury, and will be accompanied by his wife Carol on his trip, said: “This is the first thing I have ever won.
“It will be a great experience to see the Irish Open as there’s no substitute for seeing the top professionals in action, and we’re also planning to see some of the other sights in the area.
“The Antrim Coast and the Giant’s Causeway is supposed to be an amazing place to visit while we have a few other sights we’d like to see.”
Kim, who plays his golf at Broome Park GC, Canterbury, and his wife have never been to Northern Ireland before and sought out Tourism Ireland’s stand especially during their visit to last month's Golf Live at the London Golf Club, Kent.
He added: “I used to work around the Dublin area but my wife has never been to Ireland at all. We were thinking about taking a short break to Ireland and that was one of the things that attracted us to the Ireland stand in the first place.
“We spent a very enjoyable 15 minutes chatting to the staff on the Tourism Ireland stand and it proved to be very fruitful!”
Tourism Ireland’s presence at Golf Live was part of its ‘Time to Play’ initiative to promote golf in Ireland to a wider audience.
With some of the most famous venues in the world, Ireland offers golfers the complete package with top championship courses, stunning scenery, fascinating history and some of the best craic around.
*For more information about visiting Ireland, visit www.discoverireland.com/golf