Played the Strand 10 days ago on a beautiful Sunday morning after a Saturday afternoon round at Portrush. Obviously Portrush is universally loved and scheduled to hold an open soon, but I wonder whether the the ratings would be much closer if the Strand had a "Royal". I absolutely loved Portstewart, and yes, the first 12 or so holes in the dunes are very dramatic (plans to add two more I am told), but the balance of the holes are strong as well. I would say the only place it suffers compared to Portrush was the transition to the greens which at Portrush is very natural. Both greens had recently been thatched so cannot adequately compare, but was told Portstewart generally has more true greens. My view, actually preferred Portstewart. Members were great too.
Date: April 29, 2015