NI Open spot for North of Ireland Amateur Open Strokeplay champion
The 18th at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. Photo: Kevin Markham

The 18th at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. Photo: Kevin Markham

The winner of next month's North of Ireland Amateur Open Strokeplay will also book their place in the Challenge Tour’s Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle

Sponsored by Supersavers Ballymena, the amateur takes place at the renowned Ballymena venue on June 28 and entry for the 36-hole tournament is now open. 

One month later the lucky winner will return to Galgorm Castle to compete alongside the professionals in the European Challenge Tour’s record-breaking NI Open from July 28-31.

Galgorm Castle has always proved a great test of tournament golf and the North of Ireland Strokeplay tournament has produced some great champions over the years. 

Local favourite Dermot McElroy won in 2013 and went on to compete in the inaugural NI Open when the Irish international finished tied ninth on six-under 278 behind winner Daan Huizing from The Netherlands. The Ballymena amateur was joint leading Irishman alongside Jonny Caldwell that year.  

Former Irish internationals Reeve Whitson (2010) and Cormac Sharvin (2012) are also included on the North of Ireland Strokeplay roll of honour. 

Sharvin was part of the ‘Famous Five’ Irish contingent who won the Walker Cup representing Great Britain and Ireland against the Americans at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015. 

Like a number of Ireland’s top amateurs, Sharvin (2015) and Whitson (2014) joined the professional ranks in recent years and the NI Open will be a great opportunity to see these players in action as they make their way in the paid ranks.

Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon won last year’s North of Ireland Strokeplay by three shots after rounds of 68, 69 gave him a five-under 137 winning total. 

Several key improvements have been made to the course over the last 12 months. The championship tee at the second has been extended and a new bunker complex added along the fairway to further enhance this risk, reward par four. The championship tee box at the eighth was also extended on a course that now measures over 7,100 yards.  

Entry for the North of Ireland Strokeplay is £35 (€45) and includes lunch. The closing date for entries is Monday 13th June. 

Download the entry form at or for further information contact the professional shop at Galgorm Castle on +44 (0) 28 2564 6161. 

Past winners — Northern Ireland Open Amateur Strokeplay

  • 2015 Tiarnon McLarnon (Massereene)   
  • 2014 Aaron Grant (Dundalk)
  • 2013 Dermot McElroy (Ballymena)
  • 2012 Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass)
  • 2011 Ciaran Molloy (Ardee) 
  • 2010 Reeve Whitson (Mourne)
  • 2009 Simon McConnell (Ballyclare)

NI Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank, Galgorm Castle Golf Club  July 28-31, 2016

Clément Sordet from France won last year’s NI Open with rounds of 67, 66, 68, 66 for a 17-under 267 aggregate and win by one stroke from American John Hahn in second to receive the €27,200 winner’s cheque. Muskerry’s Niall Turner was leading Irishman in 12th on 12-under 272.

Last year’s NI Open attracted 39,020 to set the new all-time attendance record on the European Challenge Tour. Organisers are confident they can attract in excess of 40,000 to this year’s event.

Previous NI Open winners

  • 2015 Clément Sordet (France) 
  • 2014 Joakim Lagergren (Sweden)
  • 2013 Daan Huizing (The Netherlands)