Irish golf retailer McGuirks to open first store in the north
IRELAND'S longest established golf shop is to open its first outlet in the north.
McGuirks Golf, which operates 13 stores in the Republic, will open a Belfast branch later this month, The Irish News can reveal.
The retailer will set up at the former Nevada Bob's unit in Boucher Crescent following a £150,000 fit-out, creating up to nine new jobs, five of which are full-time roles.
Canadian golf supply firm Nevada Bob's pulled the shutters down on its Belfast and Bangor stores in 2017 after operating in Northern Ireland for more than a decade.
The new McGuirks shop will be headed up by PGA professional Conor McCormick and will stock the latest golf equipment and fashion from the leading brands.
A putting green and TrackMan golf club fitting studio will be also be based in-store.
McGuirks Golf director Michael McGuirk said the company had never intended to set up in the north, but were "blown away" by Belfast following a visit to the city.
"We went up to see a computer company in Belfast to look at developing our website a little bit more and we were blown away by the busyness of Belfast and the vibrancy. So that's when we said we need to concentrate on it (as a new location) and that's what happened," he said.
"We were lucky that the Boucher Road unit came up and is the right size, is in the right location and the rent is doable as well."
Looking ahead Mr McGuirk did not rule out further stores in the north, if the first foray proves successful.
"We're going to see how it goes first of all. I don't know if there's scope for a second store in the north, there might be. Definitely we'll take this one slow and evaluate it in 12 months time," he added.
John McGuirk opened the original McGuirks Golf in Howth Golf Club in Dublin in 1967 and traded for 50 years until retirement in 2017.
McGuirks Golf opened its first large retail store on Harbour Road, Howth, in 1993 and from there the business has grown from strength to strength, employing 110 staff, including 18 PGA members.