A masterpiece designed by a master. On the way to Portrush I mentioned to my son that we should be getting close. Soon we could see the links on the right and knew we were in for something special. An incredible tract of links land that did give me that "wow" moment seeing it for the first time. After playing Portrush, have to agree with Bernard Darwin that "It is truly magnificent and Mr. H.S. Colt, who designed it in its present form, has thereby built himself a monument more enduring than brass."
Colt has many monuments that he has created and after he completed Portrush said that it represented his best ever layout. A great layout it is and will be looking forward to Portrush hosting the Open Championship again. I especially enjoyed the way the holes seem to just blend in so naturally weaving their way through the sand dunes. The green complexes were outstanding with tiered undulating greens. The condition of the course was excellent. I enjoyed the elevation changes offered by the links and even the flattish last 2 holes were a pleasure to play. While Portrush has relatively few bunkers the last 2 holes had several well positioned bunkers that also made them challenging.
All the holes were a pleasure to play as they all had their individual charm. Some of my favorites included holes 4 through 7. The 455 yard par 4 fourth and the 418 yard par 4 dogleg left 7th were the most difficult on the day we played. During the 2012 Irish Open at Portrush the 7th played the most difficult on the week. The most scenic was the 379 yard dogleg right par 4 fifth that had fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean. The 185 yard par 3 6th named Harry Colt's has an extremely undulating green and no bunkers. This short hole played the 3rd hardest during the Irish Open.
I thought the 472 yard par 5 9th and 475 yard par 5 10th were the easiest on the links and excellent birdie opportunities. The 426 yard par 4 16th and the 457 yard par 4 18th were very challenging on the day we played. The 16th requires precision and ranked as the 2nd toughest during the Irish Open. The 18th just played long and was a nice challenge to end the day on Colt's masterpiece.
Royal Portrush was a pleasure to play and would highly recommend it to any golfer that enjoys the challenge of a Harry Colt masterpiece. Click here https://youtu.be/t_y5NQva9sE to see a You Tube slideshow of some pictures I took during my visit. Jim Brady
Date: September 09, 2015