The K Club will host the Irish Open in 2023, 2025 and 2027.
DP World Tour chiefs – who brokered the agreement – also confirmed that the resort’s second Arnold Palmer-designed course, Palmer South, will also play host to the Challenge Tour’s Irish Challenge in the intervening years, beginning this July and again in 2024 and 2026.
The announcement continues the momentum surrounding the Horizon Irish Open, with Horizon Therapeutics – the global biotechnology company headquartered in Dublin – having signed a six-year title sponsorship deal in February, beginning with this year’s event at Mount Juliet Estate (June 30-July 3 ).
Next year will be just the second time The K Club has hosted the Irish Open, having done so for the first time in 2016, when four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy claimed a famous victory.
Ten years earlier, the stunning Kildare venue made history when it became the first Irish venue to host the Ryder Cup. Under Captain Ian Woosnam, Europe marched to a commanding 18½-9½ victory over the USA – with recently-announced European Captain for 2023, Henrik Stenson, holing the winning putt on his debut in the biennial contest.
Guy Kinnings, the DP World Tour’s Deputy CEO, Ryder Cup Director and Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We share a special connection with The K Club through their hosting of the 2006 Ryder Cup, and we thank them for their commitment to the development of Irish golf through this long-term deal with both the DP World Tour and Challenge Tour.
“This news, along with the announcement earlier in the year of Horizon as title sponsors of the Irish Open until at least 2027, underlines the strength of our sport in Ireland, as we build towards the return of the Ryder Cup to Irish shores for its centenary edition in five years’ time at Adare Manor. ”
Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD, said: “Ireland has a rich tradition in producing world-class golfing talent and I am particularly delighted to see so many Irish golfers in the field for the 2022 tournament. The Government’s investment in the Golf Ireland Professional Scheme continues to assist Ireland’s emerging professional players as they strive to progress through the ranks. The Horizon Irish Open is a wonderful showcase for Irish golf and for Ireland as a tourism destination. Our passion for golf, combined with our renowned tradition of hospitality, makes us want to share our courses and our companionship with visitors. The K Club will be the perfect host for the spectators present and for an international audience, following play from around the world. ”
Like the Ryder Cup, the Irish Open was also first played in 1927 and it is now one of the world’s most famous national opens, boasting former champions such as Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Pádraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer, Rory McIlroy, Colin Montgomerie , José María Olazábal and Jon Rahm. The 2022 edition will once again form part of the Open Qualifying Series, with the top three players not already exempt earning a coveted place in the 150th edition of the Open Championship, taking place two weeks later on the Old Course at St Andrews.
The Irish Challenge returned to the Challenge Tour back in 2015 and has been played every year since – barring 2020 due to the pandemic. The Ladies European Tour, meanwhile, will return to Irish shores for the first time in ten years when the Women’s Irish Open takes place at Dromoland Castle this September. It was announced in February that all general admission tickets for Sunday at the 2022 Horizon Irish Open have sold out, the earliest sell-out day in the history of the DP World Tour. Limited tickets still remain for the Wednesday Celebrity Pro-Am, as well as the first three tournament days – Thursday, Friday and Saturday.