Echoes Of Open Glory


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As Royal Portrush Golf Club prepares to welcome golf's oldest competition in 2019, Anne Marie McAleese relives the 1951 British Open with her father Maurice and Peter Alliss.

“I'd never seen a golf course like Royal Portrush, it was majestic, the crashing waves, the sand dunes, it was glorious and I've never forgotten it ?

Peter Alliss had just finished national service with the RAF when he played in the 1951 Open, the first time golf's oldest competition had been held in Northern Ireland.

Nearly 70 years later, as Royal Portrush prepares to welcome the Open once again in 2019, Peter shares memories of his time in Portrush with Anne Marie McAleese.

Echoes of Open Glory takes a nostalgic trip to a bygone era, when local hero Fred Daly went head to head with the colourful Max Faulkner. Caddies were colourful characters who slept in the bunkers, while golfers like Peter Alliss mingled freely in the bustling town and danced the night away by the sea.

It's also a personal journey for Anne Marie, whose father Maurice sneaked on to the course back in 1951 to watch the top golfers of the day. As they stroll together on the famous greens, Maurice recalls an unbelievable shot from Max Faulkner, who did handstands on the course when he won the competition.

In Portstewart she meets Niall O'Boyle (pictured), whose father ran a pub in Coleraine. When Max Faulkner won the Open, his caddy presented Niall's dad with a gift – Max's shoes, the ball from the winning putt, and a programme signed by dozens of the players.

Anne Marie also meets Royal Portrush manager Wilma Erskine, credited with bringing the Open back once again to the famous course, and looks ahead to what the competition might mean for the North Coast.

Anne Marie McAleese revisits the 1951 Open, held at Royal Portrush Golf Club.