What's in the water in Northern Ireland?

By Win McMurryJuly 18, 2011, 8:35 pm

What is in the water in Northern Ireland?

I tweeted that on Sunday as I watched Darren Clarke hold on to his lead to win the Open Championship at Royal St. Georges and become the third Ulsterman to win one of the last six majors, following the success of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy in the U.S. Open.

The Twitterverse was solidified in their response. It’s not the water, it’s the Guinness.

A pint of “nice Irish black stuff” and Irishmen are a combo as closely linked (if not more so) as the English with fish and chips.  It’s a stereotype each of their recent major champions recognizes and has embraced and perpetuated in their post-victory speeches, press conferences, and interviews. And the drunkard remarks are received with cheers by those around the world who like to share in the Irish tradition that packs the pubs every March on St. Patrick’s Day.

But think if it were an American, or an Englishman, South African or Australian for that matter at the winner’s podium making the same references to “getting pissed,” “not being sober,” and “being hungover” as Clarke did. It likely wouldn’t go over as smoothly as that cold Guinness poured from the tap in Ireland.

But we give them a break. We understand the happy-go-lucky lifestyle of the Irish. We like it. We want to imitate it and embrace it as well. “Kiss me I’m Irish,” as slogan goes!

Tourism Ireland has tuned into the recent worldwide popularity due to the Irish explosion in grand slam events through the warm reception their champions are greeted to around the world, especially in the United States.

On Tuesday of Open Championship week, before Clarke’s victory, IrishCentral.com published an article detailing how Tourism Ireland plans to capitalize on the recent successes of their native sons on the world golf stage by launching a $3.1 million advertising campaign to increase travel to Ireland for golf vacationers.

According to the article “34,000 news articles popped up in 100 countries during the nine days after the U.S. Open.” And of those, data from O’Leary Analytics showed 18,000 were in the U.S. alone.

Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said in the article that they were “working hard to drive home the message that a golfing holiday in Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of Ireland’s world-class golf product and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting golfers to come here.”

In addition to running ad campaigns in the British media as well as in well known golf publications in the U.S., Tourism Ireland will also focus efforts at the Solheim Cup in September at Killeen Castle and in Germany and Sweden.

But the golf world has already taken notice.

Not only have other professional golfers like world No. 1 Luke Donald, who tweeted, “thinking about moving to Northern Ireland,” joked about changing their residences, but the Royal & Ancient’s chief Peter Dawson has said they will seriously discuss the possibility of conducting a British Open in Ulster. Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush – in 1951 - hosted the only Open Championship held outside Scotland and England.

And with half of the last six major titles owned by a country with a population less than West Virginia, they definitely have something figured out.

Maybe we should all raise a glass of Guinness to the Irish and hope our golf takes a cue, too. That luck certainly has been rubbing off.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.