After playing my two rounds at Portstewart Strand on two seperate sunny evenings during the 2019 Open Championship week I can honestly say this is one of the most stunning golf courses I have played, both from a golfing and aesthetic perspective.
The front nine is breathtaking. A unique golfing challenge hidden within the rolling dunes of the Londonderry coastline, the front nine at Portstewart is like golfing Narnia. Each hole meanders through the landscape hidden from view with every dogleg and tee box creating a new spectacle for players to behold. It is truly hard to describe the beauty of this course under the sunset of a still summers evening and if the weather permits I would highly recommend a twilight round. Both greens and fairways are manicured just enough to maintain a real feel of quality without losing any of the links authenticity and great credit must be given to the staff who maintain it.
The back nine navigates away from the dunes and increasingly opens up as you return towards the clubhouse. Although less spectacular to the eye the test of golf and quality of maintenance remains. I truly believe Portstewart is the jewel of this golfing coastline and with its addition to the Irish Open rota has firmly proved its capability in hosting Tour events.
What is more, Portstewart clubhouse provides a typical Irish welcome with members happy to welcome visitors to their hidden gem. A MUST visit if visiting Northern Ireland. A minutes drive from Royal Portrush but by no means deserving of being overshadowed, this is the most enjoyable front nine I have ever played.
Date: September 30, 2020