Portrush is a rare chance to see our champions
Unprecedented emails have been dropping into the inbox as the European Tour has been announcing sell out crowds for this week's Irish Open.
This is far from the norm in tour golf. Outside the Ryder Cup there is little need to pre-book your attendance at tournaments other than to secure a discount on your ticket.
But the astonishing success of Irish golfers in recent years has prompted extraordinary interest in a tournament that was close to being non-existent until new funding was found to help stage the event at the magnificent links of Royal Portrush.
And quite right too. The major wins of Rory McIlroy (2011 US Open), Graeme McDowell (2010 US Open) and Darren Clarke (last year's Open) have provided a glorious return for Northern Ireland from golf's biggest stages.
Those successes have followed hard on the heels of Padraig Harrington's domination of the Open in 2008 and a year later when he went on to claim a third major with victory in the US PGA.
McIlroy, Clarke and McDowell could attract more than 100,000 spectators this weekend. Photo: Getty
It has been an extraordinary period of success for the emerald isle that shows no sign of abating. Only last Saturday Alan Dunbar claimed the Amateur Championship to bring further glory.
So it is little wonder that play at Portrush on Friday, Saturday and Sunday have become sell out events. More than 100,000 fans are expected to watch the tournament with a limit of 27,000 spectators each day.
"This has exceeded all expectations," admits Tournament Director Antonia Beggs. Extra trains are being put on and transport plans have been put into place to cope with the demands of what has now become a major event.
Could this pave the way for a major tournament, namely the Open, to return to Portrush? Well this certainly constitutes an excellent test of infrastructure and officials from the R and A will be most interested this week.
There can be no doubting interest levels but the step up from the Irish Open to THE Open is huge. Don't expect an immediate nod from the St Andrews bosses, they will need many more assurances than a successful tournament this week.
What has already been proven, though, is that fans will react positively to success at the highest level. They want to celebrate the successes of McIlroy, McDowell and Clarke.
It is refreshing to see that the opportunity to capitalise on their triumphs is not being squandered. This is the danger in England, where there is only the BMW Championship outside the Open staged in the country.
Then again, the English trailblazers Luke Donald and Lee Westwood still have to land their first major. If they are able to emulate their Irish rivals then the need for another event in England will become even more acute.
Capitalising on success is crucial and such opportunity can often be limited by circumstance. Two British women have enjoyed stunning wins of late that really should have resonated more than they did.
Scotland's Carly Booth has gone to the top of the Ladies European Tour money list with victory at the Swiss Open. But despite claiming her second LET title of the year, the 20-year-old was overshadowed last Sunday when England's Melissa Reid claimed the Prague Masters.
Reid was playing for the first time since her mother Joy died in a car crash in Munich ahead of May's German Masters. Joy Reid had been an irrepressible and ever present force in the development of her daughter's blossoming career.
In what has to be one of the most extraordinary of sporting achievements, Reid found a way to win on her return to a scene where her mother had been such an important and popular influence.
She holed a six-foot putt to triumph on the final green, which prompted her Solheim Cup teammate Sophie Gustafson to tweet congratulations and describe Reid as "a legend".
Reid immediately put her achievement into a human context. "To be honest I wasn't that nervous," she said of her winning putt. "I think with what's happened to my family and me over the last four weeks, nothing seems really that difficult anymore."
Not that this is of any great consequence to Reid at the moment, but the difficulty for women's golf is commanding the attention it deserves. She and Booth are among the leading sportswomen in the country but they remain relatively anonymous at the moment.
It would be nice to think that might change were either to win a major. Both might well be capable in future years and if they are, let's hope such a success would command appropriate attention.
That's certainly the case in Northern Ireland this week as they put on a magnificent showcase of the beneficial effects of world-beating golf.