Esri Ireland, the market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has announced the launch of an interactive story map highlighting the £500,000 redevelopment of Castlerock Golf Club, Co. Londonderry.
The map was developed by Tourism NI as part of a campaign to promote local golf courses ahead of next year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Established in 1901, Castlerock Golf Club has hosted a number of National Championships and is today rated as one of the finest links courses on the island of Ireland. The course is set on the Causeway Coastal Route, a well-known Northern Ireland tourist attraction, and is closely located to other championship links courses such as Royal Portrush and Portstewart golf clubs.
The recent redevelopment of the course initially started out as a small project to improve and reshape the existing bunkers. However, it gradually evolved into a much larger development encompassing six holes. The redesign of this part of the course was led by established golf course architect Dr Martin Hawtree. Dr Hawtree has been involved with the design of a number of well-known links courses, including Royal Birkdale, Trump Aberdeen, Muirfield and Lahinch.
The story map, created using Esri Ireland’s innovative ArcGIS mapping platform, provides a detailed overview of the course and the renovations undertaken, along with useful information including the location of nearby accommodation, transportation hubs and tourist attractions. An interactive map allows visitors to plan their journey to the golf club and each hole redeveloped is profiled along with photographs of the work carried out.
Bert MacKay, General Manager, Castlerock Golf Club, said: “With the 148th Open Championship coming to Royal Portrush in 2019, the spotlight has been thrown on the range of breath-taking and exquisite golf courses available to players in Northern Ireland. The redevelopments to our course firmly place it as one of the finest links holes in Northern Ireland and through this innovative story map, developed by Tourism NI, we can clearly show the extent of the renovations and vividly highlight what Castlerock Golf Club offers players.”
Paul Synnott, Director and Country Manager, Esri Ireland, said: “With Esri’s story maps, Castlerock was able to demonstrate to members and visitors exactly what improvements have been made to each of the six redeveloped holes. Meanwhile, Tourism NI has also included key tourism details, with pinpoints to popular attractions like the Old Bushmills Distillery and Giants Causeway, making the map a super-handy resource for both avid golfers and travellers of the world-famous Causeway Costal Route alike.”
Dave Vincent, Chief Digital Officer at Tourism NI, said: “Using Geographic Information Systems to create this interactive story map is one example of how we are leveraging digital technologies to enhance the visitor experience, be it online or on-site at a tourist attraction. Golf tourism is a key priority at Tourism NI, where our vision is to grow its value to £50m per year by 2020. Courses like Castlerock are crucial to our Golf Tourism Strategy, which aims to attract high spending visitors and disperse their spending power throughout the visitor economy.”