Northern Ireland Open: Golf trophy made from Dark Hedges trees felled by storm

The new Northern Ireland Open trophy
The new Northern Ireland Open trophy was on display at last week's Irish Open at Portstewart

This year's Northern Ireland Open trophy has been made from trees from the famous Dark Hedges in Ballymoney blown down in a storm early last year.

A number of the trees made famous by the Game of Thrones television series were felled by Storm Gertrude.

Local wood tuner Gerard Grey was asked to harvest and craft the sacred wood into a new trophy for the event at Galgorm Castle next month.

The new trophy was on display at last week's Irish Open at Portstewart.

"I approached Gerard with a design concept to produce something unique, inspiring and beautiful," says Fergus Wallace, the founder and chief executive of PerformanceACTIVE, the Northern Ireland Open's technology partner.

"I gave myself the challenge of coming up with a trophy design that reflected the ethos and character of Northern Ireland.

"I also wanted the design to be innovative and different to reflect the new format created by the European Tour and others for this event," he added, referring to the new Shootout Sunday knockout format for the tournament which takes place form 10-13 August.

"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.

"It is a unique, one-off design, handmade with iconic images from Northern Ireland such as the Slemish Mountains, Glens of Antrim, the Giant's Causeway and NI Open host venue Galgorm Castle among other well-known tourist attractions."

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