Friday, 11 May 2012
Yes, Peter, Martin and their special friends are putting their money beside the putting green and looking to drive down without a hook or a slice to birdie the last hole...
The Norn Iron Executive has agreed to sponsor the Irish Open Golf Tournament - and to be the title sponsor no less!
So, with Rory 'World's #1' McIlroy and Graham 'Gmac’ McDowell leading the local charge they can be confident that Peter and Marty, plus economy minister Arlene of course, have got their back and are ready with a choice of 105 caddies...
At this point it would be too obvious to ask what their handicaps are, apart from being members of the Norn Iron Executive. But we do believe that collectively they and their executive colleagues would struggle as to whether to choose a wood or an iron; not without a working policy paper, a sub-committee, a consultation and bringing it in front of the relevant committee.
On the other hand, this does seem to be a positive intervention. The tournament was struggling to find a main sponsor, so given the previous track record of the Irish Open being sponsored by the Irish tourist board Fáilte Ireland, it seemed only logical for the Norn Iron Executive to help the European Tour organisers out of the awkward sponsorship bunker.
And, given there is only one Irish Open there should be no problem hunting around for several other competitive quotations.
We're almost as intrigued by what main sponsors receive. According to the European Tour, title sponsors will get global exposure, and a comprehensive benefits package. Does this mean we can tap our MLAs for free tickets? Will this package have to be included in member's register of interest, and finally don't tell social development minister Nelson McCausland about the benefits in case he wants to cut those benefits...!