Portstewart is a sporty links which should be included on an itinerary to the North Coast. As most reviewers have already said, the front 9 are thrilling. Many of these holes are truly memorable, from the 1st, where you hit down, down into a dogleg right with beautiful views from the tee of the beach and the links below you. The second is reminiscent of Enniscrone, with a huge dune all along the left and an ever-slimmer fairway to the right. It contines like this for 10 holes or so until you get out to the flatter riverside holes, which are still proper links, just a slightly different character than the front. There are some pushed up greens which add to the difficulty on a couple of the par 3's and the 17th where the approach to the green is truly intimidating.
Portrush may be the 'better' course, but Portstewart is a whole lot of fun, just don't expect bulldoze-flat fairways and accept the odd random bounce.
The kind of place you'd be happy to play again and again as I imagine no two rounds around here would be the same.
Date: May 15, 2017