Storm-damaged trees made into Irish golfing trophyMark
Storm Gertrude, which hit the British Isles in January 2016 with winds of up to 100 miles per hour, felled several trees that had been made famous in the television series Game of Thrones. The Dark Hedges at Ballymoney have now contributed to the 2017 Northern Ireland Open, as one of them has been turned into the tournament’s trophy.
Gerard Grey, a local craftsman, was approached by one of the Northern Ireland Open’s partners, Fergus Wallace, chief executive and founder of PerformanceACTIVE, with the brief to create something a little different. Fergus explains:
“It needed to be produced locally with features that reflect many of the positive characteristics of Northern Ireland and showcase some of the attractions that draws overseas tourists to these shores every year.”
The one-off, handmade creation features engraved images like the iconic Slemish Mountains, the Giant’s Causeway, and the Glens of Antrim. It also depicts the 2017 venue for the tournament, Galgorm Castle, along with a selection of popular tourist attractions.
The Northern Ireland Open is in its fifth year and looks set to be a permanent addition to the golfing calendar. Golfers from around the world will be gearing up to add the new trophy to their collection of engraved awards, and the tournament’s organisers are hoping for a record number of visitors when the competition starts in August.
The new trophy itself could attract some interest too though, as fans of the popular Game of Thrones hope for a glimpse of the sacred wood.