Northern Ireland holds one of the United Kingdom’s best kept secrets, how to keep produce winning golfers. Following the success of Darren Clarke in the Open and Rory McIlroy’s victory in the US competition, Northern Ireland wants to let you in on something... The tiny part of Ireland no bigger than 54,000 square miles and a population of 1.7 million indeed does have “an outsized present in world golf” as reported by the New York Times. There’s also Graeme McDowell’s handsome US Open win in 2010 for a start. So what’s their secret? Stand at the bar of a UK golf hotel here for the gossip for a start. The Northern Irish are known for loving their drink. It was even quoted as the favourite part of one famous winner’s training, but is the answer in a Guinness? Is poor weather and infrastructure part of it? Local media have speculated on how the tournament at Royal Portrush is going to cope with the influx of tourists on UK golf holidays to peer into the secret behind the success of three major champions over 13 months. Is Northern Ireland as much a golf capital as its giant steps, the rocky crags that line the shore that were alleged to be laid by giants? Practising in such inclement conditions must count for something, much like the North West English golf course of Royal Lytham & St Annes, which even the best of the best have failed to tame. Or is it something in the water. The only solution is to go over to Northern Ireland, drink what the locals drink, eat what the locals eat and talk the talk, then you might find out about the best secret ever kept. How to win at one of the most difficult sports there is.