Royal Troon (Portland) - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Royal Troon Golf Club,
Craigend Road,
Troon,
Ayrshire,
KA10 6EP,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1292 311555

  • David L.K. Brown

  • Willie Fernie

  • Kieron Stevenson


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Royal Troon

The Portland course – named after the Dukes of Portland who did much in the 19th century to generate wealth in the area with the construction of docks at Troon harbour and the creation of coal mines in nearby Kilmarnock – is a fine links layout that is, unfortunately, totally overshadowed by the championship course.

It was designed by the second Royal Troon professional, Willie Fernie and opened for play in 1896, though it wasn’t until the year after the club held its first Open in 1923 (and Fernie retired after 37 years of service) that its name was changed from the Relief course to the Portland course. Dr Alister MacKenzie is thought to have had a hand in reworking some of the holes at this time.

The Portland measures just under 6,300 yards with a par of 71 and it lies between the Old course, the practice ground and the 9-hole Craigend course on one side and the Glasgow-Ayr railway line on the other – many may have had their car directed onto one of the fairways here when the Open is at Troon, never knowing the land is far more than just a car park!

The Portland is laid out in two loops of nine holes, each of which return to two clubhouses – one exclusively for ladies – that are separate from the main Royal Troon clubhouse. There are no par fives on the outward half but that is balanced on the back nine with four birdieable three-shot holes, all of which are less than 500 yards in length.

Steer clear of the gorse and railway line on the early holes, avoid the ditches on some of the closing holes and keep out of the cleverly positioned bunkers all during the round to have a good chance of playing to handicap on a very fair and somewhat understated test of golf.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Reviews for Royal Troon (Portland)

Av. Reviewers Score:

Possibly the most underrated course in Scotland. Terrific layout great conditions and a perfect compliment to the Old course. You will be making a mistake if you overlook this hidden gem.

May 13, 2017


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Response
Gerard Johnstone
May 14, 2017

Plenty of under-rated course though whether Portland falls in to the category of 'most under-rated' is a matter for personal choice. It's a good course for sure and possibly it lives in the shadow of the Royal Troon championship links but I'd place St Andrews New and Jubilee well ahead of Troon Portland not to mention other truly under-rated courses like Southerness, Panmure, Scotscraig, Ladybank, Old Moray, Luffness and Elie.

The second links at Troon, the “Portland” created by Fernie in 1895 and formerly known as the Relief course, has its moments of excellence too but undeniably plays second fiddle by some margin.

The best of the golf is away from the area around the clubhouse where the 1st, 9th, 10th, 11th and 18th are located. Once we head into the heart of the links there is some good golf to be had.

The green complexes at 2, 6, 8, 13 and 16 make for compelling holes and the dog-leg third is a beauty too. Meanwhile, the set of five short holes is extremely impressive but these are countered with five rather non-descript three-shotters, five in the last ten holes, which make this 6,349-yard, par 72 layout a bit of a slog at times but still well worth a play.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

March 18, 2017


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I can honestly say I have played every course in Ayrshire and Portland is in my Top 10. If it was a stand alone course it would certainly be rated higher !
April 23, 2012


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Response
Wee Jonnie
October 23, 2012
I completely agree with you. Some great holes that are aesthetically pleasing. Strong par 3’s and some difficult longer holes when the wind is blowing. Great conditioning when I played Aug 2012. I suspect many golf tourists pushed to fit in Prestwick, Turnberry etc. just miss this one out but I would definitely recommend a game here.
Dr J Taylor Hill
November 15, 2015
Troon Portland is firmly amongst the ranks of the toughest courses for girls and ladies anywhere in Scotland. It is officially rated 19th most difficult course from the ladies tees.
Portland is a good track, although obviously overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbor. There are some terrific holes such as the dog-leg 3rd, the longish par 5 11th and the par 3 16th, with the 17th being a very tough hole with a ditch running along the left with gorse along the right. All in all Portland is a decent track with some great holes but notably some weak holes, like the 1st, 9th and 12th. The newly refurbished clubhouse across the road is great.
October 18, 2009


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I am just about to commit golf review hara-kiri here by stating that I don’t rate the championship course at Royal Troon. Sure it has some nice holes (The Postage Stamp is fantastic) and it does have a real aura about it but I feel that there is an element of the Emperors new clothes about it. I am afraid that feeling pervades to it’s wee sister course, the Portland (I say sister because I think it was, and still is, set aside predominately for the lady members). I am not saying that it is a bad course, in fact, there are some nice holes on it and all the par 3’s are strong, I just find it a bit bland, and I don’t think it is worth it’s £120 day ticket fee. My stand out holes on the front 9 are the 3rd, a tough cookie where an accurate drive to the angle of the dog leg is required if you want to make the green, and the 4th, the first of the par 3’s with a tough to hold undulating green. The 11th, in my opinion is the best on the course, a genuine 3 shoter where your second shot has to favour the left side if you want to make birdie. I also enjoyed the 17th but beware of the ditch that runs up the left-hand side of the fairway. I am always loathed to write negative reviews (I suppose it is all about opinions) so I feel compelled to finish on a positive, the magnificent refurbished clubhouse which can only be described as magnificent. MPPJ
July 31, 2008


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Portland will always be the “Relief” course for Royal Troon, but that’s not to say that it’s not worth playing, because it is, it’s just that it’s not quite the “Real” thing. The par 3s are excellent and the two shot holes are sometimes reachable going out and down-right impossible coming home when the prevailing wind is up. As part of the 36-hole Royal Troon package, Portland is a fair track but don’t expect a championship test or a course of the pedigree of its big brother.
February 26, 2008


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I played here in February 2008, two years after my first round and enjoyed the experience just as much as first time around - though I played much better the first time! Royal Troon (Portland) - Photo by Jim McCannHole number 3 is a real tester as you cannot see the slight left dog leg that the fairway takes from the tee. I inquired about the intriguing wee foot bridge over the railway between the 4th and 6th back in the clubhouse and this public right of way was once where the seaweed was taken from the shore to fertilise the farmland nearby! The 11th is the first of back-to-back par fives on the inward half and is probably the best hole on the course. I’d forgotten about the ditch running diagonally across the 15th hole (it has to be avoided again laterally at the 17th) and promptly drove straight into it - with one of my better drives too! The Portland is open to visitors as a day ticket package with two rounds plus lunch or, for an extra hundred quid, as a warm up before playing the Old course. It’s a lot of money for many I know but worth playing to get your eye in before tackling the Open venue next door – oh, and the new, refurbished clubhouse across the road from the Portland is simply sensational! Jim McCann
February 17, 2008


See other reviews from this reviewer
Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review