Page 1

Issue 2


February 2017


High Standards



Christopher Brooke F Galgorm Academy F Open Fixtures





New goals for Galgorm’s Touring Professional

Latest family activity a fun and educational journey around Galgorm

NI Chef of Year Chris Bell returns to the popular clubhouse restaurant

Galgorm Castle’s luxury wedding and events venue like no other





elcome to a very special edition of the Galgorm Castle Times in a year when we celebrate 20 years of golf being played at Galgorm Castle Golf Club. In some ways the last two decades have come and gone in the blink of an eye, but one thing is for certain, we have come a long way. As the perennial home of the NI Open, Galgorm Castle is now recognised on the international stage. It is the best attended and one of the most important events on the European Challenge Tour schedule and we look forward to making 2017 an even bigger and better event for all. In this special 20th anniversary edition we look at the many exciting projects taking place across the estate plus have a fascinating insight into the history of Galgorm Castle through the estate’s very own custodian Christopher Brooke. We hope you enjoy your 20th anniversary Galgorm Castle Times. Gary Henry Managing Director, Galgorm Castle

Welcome 3 4 Lady Captain Bernie Daly 5 Captain Ian Henry Golf News 6 9 In Safe Hands - Q&A with Christopher Brooke

12 Ivory Pavilion – Magical Venue 14 Eagle Bar & Grill – Bell back at Galgorm

16 Galgorm Castle Trails

– Journey of Discovery

18 Galgorm Golf News 20 Mark Robinson – Picture Perfect

21 22

Business Courtyard NI Open 2017


Photographs courtesy of: Kevin Markham, PressEye, GolfFile, Picture Magic Studios. Design: EM Creative Produced by: PGPR




Bernie Daly

ay I start by saying what a most enjoyable year 2016 has been. It has been a privilege to serve as Lady Captain of this great club and here are just some of my many highlights. On the team front, 2016 was one of our longest and most successful seasons with representation in inter-club matches playing through until the end of August when we reached the Ulster final of the Junior Cup (8-14 handicap section), where I was also a playing team member. Another highlight for me was hosting and winning the inaugural inter-club match between Ballymena, Cushendall and Ballycastle. A round of matches played competitively but in great spirit. I was extremely fortunate to have wonderful sunshine for my Lady Captain’s Day in June. There was much camaraderie on show, especially at the ninth and in the evening when entertainment had all the ladies singing, dancing and, of course, waving napkins! The social occasions didn’t end there for the Galgorm Ladies had another enjoyable weekend away to Slieve Russell where a large contingent played a couple of rounds of golf before dancing the night away at the wonderful Cavan venue.

An obvious highlight for us all was another wonderful staging of the NI Open here at Galgorm where many of the finest golfers in the world put on an exquisite display of golf during tournament week. I was particularly proud of the very successful fundraising fashion show event in September when over 100 attendees were entertained by our lovely models and lady members. All the above would simply not be possible without the support of sponsors; the willingness of our lady members to play and represent our club in team competitions; the help and support given to new members and juniors and, of course, our very hard working group of ladies on the committee. My year has been both successful and enjoyable and I would like to thank everyone for all their support, good wishes and words of wisdom. May you all enjoy the new season in this our 20th anniversary of golf at Galgorm Castle. Bernie Daly Lady Captain, Galgorm Castle Golf Club




Ian Henry

t was a privilege to be Captain of Galgorm Castle Golf Club for 2016 and I thank Past Captain Keith Dinsmore for giving me this great honour. It was a busy and exciting year and I was supported by a great team. Following our men’s and ladies’ teams during the season gave me the opportunity to meet captains and players from golf clubs across Ulster. Huge thanks to everyone who represented Galgorm. I thoroughly enjoyed my Captain’s Day on June 25th. From encouraging members on the first tee at 6.30am then seeing everyone throughout the day made it such a memorable occasion. I hope members and guests enjoyed the day as much as I did. The NI Open was another great success with praise from the European Tour and players telling me our course and greens were some of the best they played on all season. As Captain, I would like to convey my thanks to Gary Henry and his team for presenting our course and facilities in such great condition. I had a very enjoyable day at Royal Belfast playing in the Max Hadden Trophy for captains from across

Ulster. Lady Captain Bernie and I also had a good day hosted by Killymoon Golf Club for all Lady and Men Captains in Ulster. A total of 29 made the trip to Ballyliffin Golf Club for our away day in Donegal and great craic was had by all. The year ended on a high with the successful Club Christmas Bonanza. I must mention several notable individual and team achievements. Jordan Hood progressed to the semifinal of the North, won the Ulster Youths and was selected for the Irish Senior Panel. Joshua Hill won the Ulster Under 14 Boys. Andrew McLarnon qualified to play in the Andalucía Junior Open and Galgorm were losing finalists in the Fred Daly Plate. The future looks bright for Galgorm Castle Golf Club. Finally, 2017 is our 20th anniversary and I would like to wish our incoming Club Captain, Paul Hughes, every success. I know he will do an excellent job representing Galgorm Castle Golf Club. Ian Henry Captain, Galgorm Castle Golf Club



On Course

Work on the championship course at Galgorm Castle is a constantly evolving project and in 2017 there are several projects underway to retain its status as one of the best parklands in the country. The signature work this year is the redesign of the front right portion of the seventh green and apron. The project includes the construction of a black stone wall along the bank of the pond and reshaping the approach. This attractive feature allows golfers to see the front right portion of the green while improving the green’s drainage. Phase I is now complete and Phase II, including the new wall and landscaping, is under way. New teeing areas have also been built at the 12th and 13th, while sowing out and seeding around the two large trees adjacent to the teeing areas is in process. The new teeing area at the 12th lengthens the hole and provides new angles and more teeing options. Work at the 13th tee extends the hole plus gave us the chance to remove the redundant tee box nearest the fairway to provide a clearer line of sight and shot to the fairway. Planting will also take place to the rear of the 13th green to add definition and enhance the backdrop.

FUN GOLF AREA The Fun Golf Area is the perfect place for all the family to get involved and try their hand at golf or if simply looking for a fun day out. Galgorm Castle’s newest facility has proved a real hit since opening in 2016 and has something for all ages and ability. Why not try the six-hole pitch and putt course, great for beginners and experienced golfers alike? The Himalayas Putting Green is simply a must. This 36-hole oversized green with different slopes and undulations is a scaled replica of the famous St Andrews attraction and the perfect place to practice your putting skills.



NI OPEN 2017

Hoey Sets New Goals Michael Hoey might be a proven European Tour winner but this season the Galgorm Castle Touring Professional needs to adjust his focus to the European Challenge Tour and rely on invites to events on the main tour. Hoey lost his European Tour Card at the end of 2016 after a season where scheduling challenges and a dip in form meant the 38-year-old never reached the dizzy heights that has seen him win five times on the European Tour. Ironically, one of his best performances last season was

his eighth place finish at the NI Open behind New Zealand’s Ryan Fox. “I’ve had to refocus for the season ahead but I remain very optimistic. My game is still in good shape. You don’t suddenly become a bad player. I just have to work hard, try and get into contention and hopefully work my way back,” said Hoey, who has a wealth of experience since turning professional in 2002. One thing is for sure, we will be watching Michael’s progress closely and wish him well for the season ahead.


Galgorm Castle’s longstanding Course Manager David Snoddy recently retired and has made way for Rodney McKay to take over and continue the great work carried out by the entire greenkeeping staff. Snoddy had been the Course Manager since Galgorm Castle opened in 1997 and was an integral part of the team during the course’s construction. “His leadership, guidance and passion has helped develop Galgorm Castle into one of Ireland’s finest parkland courses,” said Gary Henry, Managing Director Galgorm Castle. McKay joined the greenkeeping team shortly after the course opened. He will be assisted by Mervyn McDowell and Richard McKay. “David leaves the legacy of a strong greenkeeping team and we would like to wish him all the very best in the future,” added Henry.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY Dates for the 2017 Northern Ireland Open were recently announced by the European Challenge Tour and once more the Galgorm Castle showpiece holds a key date on the international schedule and will be played from Thursday, August 10-13, the same week as the US PGA Championship, the final Major of the year. For further information and updates through the year, please visit or email Rodney McKay





Christopher Brooke might be listed as one of the owners of Galgorm Castle but he himself believes he is merely the custodian of a unique castle and estate with an exceptional back story


o spend time with Christopher Brooke is to understand he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Galgorm Castle. He and his family roots are intrinsically linked with the Ballymena venue. To preserve what he considers one of the finest castles – and certainly one of the best examples of Jacobean architecture anywhere on the island of Ireland was once his raison d’être. These days Brooke and others are responsible for much more than just the historic castle. As one of Northern Ireland’s most progressive enterprises, Galgorm Castle Estate has many strings to its proverbial bow, not least the championship

golf course which celebrates 20 years and continues to be home to the annual NI Open.

fallen in and the castle roof was full of dry rot. It seemingly had no future.



CHRISTOPHER BROOKE: Galgorm Castle was once a model farm with more than 2,000 acres but by the turn of last century the Land Acts cut away all the land to what we have today, 245 acres. Back then to have lost so much land meant the farm became totally unsustainable. I inherited Galgorm Castle in 1980 when my grandmother died but the property was in terrible condition; the courtyard roof had

CB: In 1607, King James I granted the Ballymena Estate to Rory Og MacQuillan. However, the mighty warrior was tricked out of the estate by his dealings with Sir Faithful Fortescue, who started to build Galgorm Castle in 1608. Always keen to make a quick buck, Fortescue sold the estate to the infamous Dr Alexander Colville, the alchemist reputed to have sold


his soul to the devil for gold and knowledge. We know he was in residence at Galgorm in 1640. By 1690, the Duke of Wurttemberg-Neustadt, who commanded the Danish Troops for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne, used Galgorm Castle as his headquarters The 1798 Rebellion saw Ballymena occupied by 10,000 United Irishmen but they could not breach Galgorm’s defences. Galgorm did not fall. GCC: SO, WHERE DOES YOUR FAMILY LINE FALL INTO THIS? CB: The Youngs were originally farmers from Scotland and subsequently moved to Ballymena. They got involved in the linen trade and did extraordinarily well. The estate went from Dr Colville to the Earl of Mountcashel, but they were gamblers and gambled everything away. At the turn of the 19th Century, Galgorm went through the incumbent courts after the potato famine and the Youngs eventually bought Galgorm in 1850 from the incumbent courts in Dublin when it was 2,000 acres. The Youngs cousin, Sir Roger Casement, lived at Galgorm for six years while attending Ballymena Academy. Rose Young, who was a great Irish scholar and Gaelic speaker, also resided at Galgorm for a time. GCC: QUITE A BACK STORY? CB: Galgorm covers all brackets of unionism and nationalism in Ireland. It is probably one of the finest examples of Jacobean architecture in Ireland. It was very much a plantation house, but when the Land Acts came in it was stripped of its land and gradually fell into disrepute for much of the 20th Century.

GCT: YOU PERSONALLY BECAME INVOLVED IN 1980 WHEN YOU INHERITED GALGORM? CB: Yes, but the place had become so dilapidated. We got expert advice from someone within the National Trust, who said: “I can’t see any future for Galgorm, I don’t know what you can do with it?” In 1984, to halt the deterioration, we re-roofed the castle and tried to stop the damp penetrating. We had a huge dry rot problem. You could say Galgorm’s regeneration had started, though we might not have quite known it back then. Five years later we were approached to see if we had office space to rent at the courtyard. Naturally we said yes but please give us three months! GCT: THE BUSINESS COURTYARD MARKED THE START OF A NEW BEGINNING? CB: To our surprise, some people from Ballymena got in touch and said they would like an office at Galgorm. Previously we had been told we were mad to think this was feasible. Anyway, the first phase of the 13,000 sqft courtyard materialised in 1993 and fortunately has been fully let since. The project was supported by LEDU (Local Enterprise Development Unit). GCT: SO WHERE DOES GOLF FIT INTO ALL THIS? CB: We then reviewed what we could do with the estate and golf was an option. Golf at that time was an expanding business. After four years in the planning process we eventually got permission in 1995 to build a golf course. We were always determined that it should be at the top level. GCT: TWO YEARS LATER, 20 YEARS AGO, GOLF AT GALGORM WAS BORN? CB: Everything we’ve tried to do

over the years has been to place Galgorm right at the top of the market. Following on from the initial build of the championship layout and clubhouse we have continued to invest in the facilities year on year. More recently this included the clubhouse extension in 2013, while on-course projects are completed annually to ensure the quality, both on and off the course, is always improving. This winter for example, Colvilles Pub has enjoyed a refurbishment and on the course we’re currently completing a number of exciting projects in time for the 20th anniversary season. Membership support has been vital; take up was excellent from day one and we retain a strong membership to this day. GCT: LOOKING IN, GALGORM APPEARS TO BE A VERY PROGRESSIVE COMPANY? CB: Galgorm has developed to such a scale that it is now a fully functional company. Everything we


The success of the NI Open is down the hard work and enthusiasm of the whole team and our members. GCT: YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT AT GALGORM? CB: Undoubtedly preserving this incredibly historical building for future generations. One is only ever the custodian of such a building. We have the fantastic job of taking it forward and improving it before handing it over to the next generation. GCT: AND IN FIVE YEARS TIME?

have done at the estate has been funded by key Northern Ireland business people. We’ve just completed the multimillion pound second phase as Galgorm competes for business in the competitive modern times. The Creative Gardens garden centre opened in 2014 after several years in planning. It has been a huge success. And the second phase of the Business Courtyard (15,000 sqft) is complete and we now have a rich and varied client list, both local and international. I can’t over emphasise the support we have received from the Ballymena Borough Council, our local MP and MEP and the people of Ballymena. GCT: GALGORM MUST BE ONE OF THE KEY EMPLOYERS IN THE AREA? CB: We now attract over 230,000 people to the estate every year and throughout the estate over 300 people are employed. In 1980 we employed one person!

GCT: DOES GALGORM COMPARE TO ANYWHERE ELSE? CB: Take Powerscourt just outside Dublin in Wicklow, that’s a serious operation. It attracts approximately 300,000 visitors per year. Ok, we’re 70,000 short just now but our numbers are going up all the time. I want people in Belfast to say: “What are we going to do today? Let’s go to Galgorm.” GCT: WE MUST GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NI OPEN? CB: The NI Open is a tremendous event, a genuine sporting product of Northern Ireland. On the world stage people still don’t appreciate all the golf we have here. They know about Royal County Down and Portrush. Internationally, we are still a secret gem in the golf industry and through the NI Open, Galgorm can go some way to opening that up and increasing the number of tourists coming to the province.

CB: I would like to see the NI Open as a full European Tour event in the Race to Dubai. I would like the castle to continue to evolve. We have weddings and events there now and I would like the castle opened more to the public. And we always want to attract further businesses to Galgorm. The course will continue to improve and we hope to see this recognised in rankings and public opinion throughout the UK and Ireland. GCT: GALGORM IS A SPECIAL PLACE - AND SPECIAL TO YOU? CB: I’ve always believed Galgorm is incredibly special and should be a major tourism destination within the island of Ireland, not just Northern Ireland. The castle is unique, it has an exceptional history, it’s open to the public and must be preserved for future generations. Everything I have done has been to restore and save the estate for future generations. If I wanted to make money I could have sold it years ago. My belief is it has always been a major asset for Ballymena and should be there for the people of Ballymena and the people of Northern Ireland and the people of the island of Ireland, because it is a unique building and a unique estate.



Magical Venue in Every Way

The Ivory Pavilion is making its mark across the province as a venue of unique distinction set in the most idyllic surroundings of Galgorm Castle


he Ivory Pavilion at Galgorm Castle has quickly become one of Northern Ireland’s standout wedding and event venues where modern day luxury meets the magic and mystique of the Jacobean Castle to ensure guests enjoy a truly magical experience. Since opening in May 2016, the Ivory Pavilion has created a an unsurpassed level of hospitality and welcome when hosting conferences, seminars, weddings and events. Such a high level of service comes as standard.


MEMBER BENEFITS Galgorm Castle Golf Club members enjoy complimentary drinks on arrival with every wedding or event booking made at The Ivory Pavilion.

“We believe that an event, whether it’s work or play, should always be an occasion,” said Laura Armstrong, Ivory Pavilion Sales and Marketing Manager. “We focus on every detail to ensure all our guests experience the excitement and awe that only a genuinely special event can deliver, especially when it takes place in such an exquisite setting.” Situated within the gardens of the 17th Century Galgorm Castle, The Ivory Pavilion boasts state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities, which fuse seamlessly with the historical architecture of the castle to set a new benchmark in the luxury venues market. The dedicated Meetings and Special Events team have a wealth of experience and are on hand every step of the way to ensure the perfect, bespoke occasion is created every time. The Ivory Pavilion is peacefully secluded within the magnificent Galgorm estate, yet is strategically located in the heart of Northern Ireland and easily accessible for both local and international markets. The venue has also teamed up with

Jane’s Kitchen and French Village, two of Northern Ireland’s award winning catering enterprises, who are innovative and passionate about food. “They create breathtaking dishes using locally sourced products where possible. Wedding and event meals are prepared and cooked freshly on site to provide clients and guests with the very best culinary experience,” adds Armstrong. The Ivory Pavilion, Your Castle Your Day.


The Ivory Pavilion’s first Bridal Fairs take place on Thursday 16th February from 6pm and Sunday 19th February from 1pm. To celebrate, check our social media pages for more information on how to Win a Wedding Competition. Our first Bridal Fairs are the perfect opportunity to experience this magical venue firsthand. There are further incentives for new bookings made during the week of the Bridal Fairs. Contact Tel: 07468 493 644 Web: Facebook: Twitter:


Bell Back on Home Soil Former Northern Ireland Chef of the Year Chris Bell is back at Galgorm Castle where his innovative and popular cuisine is going down a treat with members and visitors at the Eagle Bar & Grill restaurant


o get the balance right on the catering ticket for a golf club is no easy feat, but Chris Bell already knew that for one of Northern Ireland’s leading chefs returned for a second stint to Galgorm Castle where he is making his own mark in the restaurant. “It feels good to be back. I was here before in a partnership with

Mourne Seafood Bar but this time I took the contract on my own,” explains Bell, who is a native of Galgorm and glad to be back working so close to home. “I came back last September and we brought fresh ideas and thankfully the feedback has been positive.” The key for Bell is offering the

full spectrum of choice. It’s important to firstly look after the needs of the members but to also cater for the demands of a full restaurant that is also open to the public. “The good thing is we provide a really diverse food offering and one for all budgets. Saturday morning, we could sell 50 Ulster Frys, then going into lunch it could be


anything from fish and chips or a burger to grilled lobster and scallops. “The Colvilles Pub menu has nothing over £10. We have a bistro menu which is a bit more restaurant orientated, then we run four or five specials every day that could be a bit more top end, the likes of your halibut, venison or duck. “Bottom line is if you want to come in and get fed for £7, you can. Alternatively, if you want a fine dining experience and spend £40-50 the option is there but we don’t force that on people,” adds Bell, who works with a team of up to 18 with Stefan and Victoria as management and Tony as his head chef. Bell says the restaurant is very much open to the public but “we always try to support the members’ needs; they pay their fees and it’s their club at the end of the day”. “Likewise, we rely on the sup-

port of the members to allow us to provide the product and service we aspire to.” Bell is all for local food provenance and has good links with his suppliers. “People are more aware and want to know where their food is coming from these days. Buying locally also means you are supporting local businesses. “These are pretty exciting times for food in Northern Ireland. There is a bit of a buzz around the restaurant scene again and everyone is raising their game. People are passionate about their food,” adds Bell, who is enjoying the challenge. “Galgorm has always been very supportive. To be able to do what I do in the village I grew up in is important. I probably know 75 per cent of the faces that come through the door. And it’s nice to see the members using the place and socialising at the club and in the restaurant.”



Tel: 02825630173




On the Galgorm


Take a unique journey of discovery with the brand new Galgorm Castle Trails, the latest family attraction to be introduced at the Ballymena estate


he Galgorm Castle Trails operate out of the Fun Golf Area and allows all the family to embark on several different trails around the historic estate. Along the way there are some amazing sights and fascinating stories

to be told about the history of Galgorm Castle, which dates back to 1607. There are three exciting trails to choose from and each trail takes approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. Each trail has its own map packed with infor-


mation and the Discover Galgorm Castle Family Trail has 24 markers spread across the estate. Along the way children and adults can learn facts about the native wildlife and local history. They will also find out about the characters who lived and worked on the estate over the years. The dedicated Galgorm Castle

Fairy Trail is the latest addition to the Galgorm Castle Trails experience. A special certificate is awarded to everyone who completes the Galgorm Castle Trails, while everyone is invited to enter the monthly free prize draw. The Trails are open all year and suitable for all ages to enjoy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: T: 079 80859028 E: W:




Professional Support

Name: Position: Age: Turned Pro: Joined Galgorm Castle: Golfing Hero:

Phil Collins Head PGA Professional 42 1997 (2) 2000 Pádraig Harrington

PGA team at ‘The Heart of Golf ’

Name: Position: Age: Turned Pro: Joined Galgorm Castle: Golfing Hero:

Ross Oliver PGA Professional 29 2010 (+1) 2013 Tiger Woods


algorm Castle Head professional Phil Collins and his PGA team have a wealth of experience when it comes to advising on all things golf; from lessons to equipment and everything else in between, they have you covered. Phil is in his 17th year at Galgorm and has witnessed much change since golf was first played at Galgorm 20 years ago. He has seen the club evolve and the championship course become one of the finest parkland courses in the country. Galgorm benefits greatly from the additional facilities available to members and visitors looking to work on their game or introduce family members to golf. The driving range adjacent to the Pro Shop is the perfect place to take a lesson with Phil, Ross (Oliver) or Alistair (McDiarmid), so too is the short game area. Members can also take advantage of the brand new Fun Golf Area, incorporating the Himalayas putting green.

Name: Alistair McDiarmid Position: Teaching PGA Professional Age: 48 Turned Pro: 1995 (1) Joined Galgorm Castle: 1997 Golfing Hero: Seve Ballesteros


ACADEMY PLANS 2017 The PGA team will provide a series of FREE members’ clinics throughout the summer season. Keep an eye out for details. When members renew their subscriptions, they will also receive a 50% DISCOUNT voucher for a one-to-one lesson within their rewards booklet. Our Junior Golf Academy continues to thrive and with the introduction of the Fun Golf Area in 2016, we’re seeing more and more youngsters playing the game. We will be continuing our Ladies Introduction to Golf programme in 2017, which is great fun for all involved. Stay tuned for more details.



Pro Tip: How to Chip


he most common problem area we see in amateur players is without doubt the short game. With a solid short game, you’ll cut strokes off your score, EVERY ROUND! Have a look at the video from

Henrik Stenson’s coach Pete Cowen on chipping and give it a go, hopefully it helps your game in 2017. If you’d like to discuss your short game further, book a lesson with one of our PGA Professionals! Good luck.

STEP OUT IN STYLE Galgorm Castle Pro Shop stocks all the latest clothing ranges at the best prices. Make a visit to your local Pro Shop part of your 2017 golfing season.

NEW FOR 2017 CLOTHING FootJoy: shirts, chillouts and windproof jackets; Under Armour: shirts, sweaters, half-zip jackets; Adidas: shirts, sweaters; Oscar Jacobsen: shirts, sweaters and windproof jackets LADIES Range of Adidas and Under Armour shirts plus sweaters and FootJoy shoes, including EMPOWER and EMERGE. SHOES FootJoy have launched two new shoes this year, the Pro SL which are being worn by the leading professionals around the world, giving supple support and comfort, and Energize with breathable mesh linings and thin rubber for flexibility and durability. ACCESSORIES Range of crested accessories including balls, markers, pitchforks, hat clips, umbrellas and caps. CUSTOM FIT SRIXON We have a new range of Srixon Z765 and Z565 irons and drivers. Test bookings can be made by contacting 028 25646161.

JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH Open Day, every Friday MARCH Sunday 12th: Open Day Friday 17th: St Patrick’s Day Open Stableford APRIL Monday 17th: Tuesday 18th:

Easter Open Day Easter Open Day

MAY Monday 1st: Monday 29th:

Open Day Open Day

JUNE Friday 9th: Lady Captain’s Day Wednesday 14th: Open Day Saturday 17th: Captain’s Day Tuesday 27th: North of Ireland Amateur Strokeplay Event JULY Saturday 1st: Galgorm Castle GC 20th Anniversary Thursday 6th: Ladies Open Day TBC Sunday 9th: Summer Open Day AUGUST Thursday 17th: Ladies Open Day TBC Friday 25th: Charity Open Week Saturday 26th: Charity Open Week Sunday 27th: Charity Open Week Monday 28th: Charity Open Week SEPTEMBER Wednesday 13th:

Open Day

OCTOBER Wednesday 11th:

Open Day


Picture Perfect

Want to see Rory McIlroy or Michael Hoey in full swing? If so, the place to be is Galgorm Castle where life-size portraits by world renowned artist Mark Robinson adorn the walls of the modern clubhouse


hrough his remarkable canvases of golfers, Robinson brings some international flair to Galgorm Castle where a sample of his highly collectable works are on display at the Eagle Bar & Grill Restaurant. The Belfast native, who spent his early years in Garvagh before moving to England, has traversed the globe with brush in hand and paint at the ready. He’s a fascinating character with and intriguing background and whose creativity and love of art and music has seen him tour with the likes of Black Sabbath, Praying Mantis and Prince. These days his focus is back on the canvas as he paints the world’s best golfers and captures scenes from some of the biggest tournaments in the game. Robinson quickly got noticed for his work and the European Tour approached him to become their ‘Artist in Residence’.

“It began with a commission to sit by the 18th at the DP World Championship in Dubai and paint the final scene in much the same way former international Jack Russell captures cricket’s Test matches. Naturally, I jumped at the chance,” said Robinson, who was commissioned

asking me why haven’t I been doing this type of thing before. Since then I have pretty much been concentrating on swing portraits of golfers.” Robinson has a comprehensive body of work featuring portraits of McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Stenson, Darren Clarke

“ROBINSON QUICKLY GOT NOTICED FOR HIS WORK AND THE EUROPEAN TOUR APPROACHED HIM TO BECOME THEIR ‘ARTIST IN RESIDENCE’.” by Galgorm Castle to paint the final scene for last year’s NI Open. “I ended up in the Middle East with a theatre company and started doing some portraits for the Royal Family and other dignitaries. In 2008 I sort of got fed up and painted a portrait of Henrik Stenson in Dubai. Everyone saw it and went, wow,

and many more. Robinson held an exhibition in the castle during last year’s NI Open. Robinson’s work is highly collectable. Some of his original paintings are available to purchase, while prints are also available. For further information, please visit



Creative Gardens has been hugely popular with visitors travelling from far and wide to spend time at the garden centre located in the shadow of the estate’s Jacobean castle. Enjoy lunch and refreshments at the Creative Gardens Coffee Shop with great coffee, fresh baking, home cooking and more plus a range of garden accessories and giftware to choose from. CREATIVE GARDENS OPENING HOURS GARDEN CENTRE Mon-Sat 09.30-17.30 Sun


CAFÉ Mon-Sat 09.30-17.00 Sun 12.30-17.00 T: 028 25689290 W:

The Courtyard Business Park attracts local and international businesses who recognise the unique and desirable setting at Galgorm Castle estate plus excellent central location within Northern Ireland


ust 25 minutes by car from Belfast and one mile south of Ballymena city centre, the state-of-the-art facilities makes the Courtyard Business Park a popular choice with the business community. The appeal is further enhanced by the growing list of leisure and retail facilities on site, not to mention the bustling garden centre and championship golf course plus the Eagle Bar & Grill restaurant at Galgorm Castle Golf Club clubhouse. Phase 1 of the Business Courtyard completed back in 1993 and occupancy has been full ever since.

Phase 2 completed in 2015 with 16,000 sqft of competitively priced units ranging in size and capacity to suit individual requirements. New tenants in the last 12 months include; NFU, Fisher Law, Fit Cube, Dermalogica, Songbird Ceramics, Space Studio Yoga and Galgorm Castle Hair & Make Up, illustrating the varied nature of clients who have made the Business Courtyard their home. A number of new clients are in the process of setting up at Galgorm, while there is still limited availability for any business looking to find out more.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS, PLEASE VISIT or contact the team on (028) 256 46161. Courtyard Directory:


The 18th hole viewed from the grandstand during the 2016 NI Open

Stage is Set

for NI Open Galgorm Castle will once more be placed in the global shop window when the NI Open returns to one of Ireland’s finest championship parklands from Thursday, August 10-13, 2017


he NI Open continues to hold a key day on the European Challenge Tour’s international schedule and will be played the same week at the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina. It means some of the best players in Europe not already qualified for the final Major of the year have an opportunity to compete at Galgorm.

Last year New Zealand’s Ryan Fox was simply too hot to handle on the final day as the son of former rugby All Black star, Grant Fox, fired a course record equalling 62 to win by four strokes on 19-under-par 265 to receive the trophy and €27,200 winner’s cheque. NI Open Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey was also in the mix when playing alongside Fox

2016 NI Open winner Ryan Fox

in the penultimate group on the final day. Hoey eventually had to settle for eighth in his best finish at Galgorm. “It was really enjoyable playing with Ryan. His score of 62 was phenomenal. I was happy to be in contention,” said Hoey. By working closely with the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) and Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), organisers of the NI Open assist and support young players who have worked their way through the elite amateur system and are perhaps trying to make their way in the professional game. This year will be the fifth staging of the NI Open on the European


NI Open Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey teeing off during the final round


2016 NI Open – Ryan Fox (Nzl) 265 -19 2015 NI Open – Clément Sordet (Fra) 267 -17 2014 NI Open – Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 271 -13 2013 NI Open – Daan Huizing (Nld) 271 -13 2016 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint) 141 2015 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 137 2014 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 140 2013 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 277 2012 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) 215 2016 NI Open Winner Ryan Fox playing his 3rd shot on the 72nd hole

Challenge Tour, which continues to be an important tournament for aspiring Irish professionals. They not only have the chance to compete on home soil but, importantly, it opens doors by way of reciprocal invites to other European Challenge Tour events. The NI Open is a huge undertaking and Galgorm members play an integral part of its success by giving

2011 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Ciaran Molloy (Ardee) 280 2010 North of Ireland Strokeplay – Reeve Whitson (Mourne) 143

up their time to volunteer. They also get the opportunity to witness the 2009 North of Ireland Strokeplay best players from across Europe – Simon McConnell (Ballyclare) 69 compete on their own doorstep, on 2006 Ulster Youths their own course. – Gareth Shaw (Lurgan) 287 In 2017 the Food Festival, Golf Village and Interactive Zone will continue to be core elements of tournament week and already there For updates and further information, are many new exciting plans in pro- please visit or email cess for this year’s NI Open.

Galgorm Castle Golf Club Galgorm, Ballymena, County Antrim Northern Ireland, BT42 1HL T 028 256 46161 F 028 25 651151 E

Profile for Galgorm Castle

Galgorm Castle Times ezine (February 2017)  

Welcome to a special edition of the Galgorm Castle Times ezine as we celebrate 20 years of golf at the famous Ballymena estate and home of t...

Galgorm Castle Times ezine (February 2017)  

Welcome to a special edition of the Galgorm Castle Times ezine as we celebrate 20 years of golf at the famous Ballymena estate and home of t...