Royal Portrush (Dunluce) - Antrim - Northern Ireland

Royal Portrush Golf Club,
Dunluce Road,
Portrush,
County Antrim,
BT56 8JQ,
Northern Ireland


  • +44 28 7082 2311

  • Golf Club Website

  • On Portrush coastal road

  • Contact in advance - Restrictions Wed & Fri pm, Sat & Sun am


Royal Portrush has the honour of being the only club outside mainland Britain to host the Open Championship.


Date Winner Country
1951 Max Faulkner England
2019 Shane Lowry Ireland


"Portrush stands on a rocky promontory that juts out into the Atlantic, and, if I may allude to such trivialities," wrote Bernard Darwin in, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, "the scenery of the coast is wonderfully striking. On the east are the White Rocks, tall limestone cliffs that lead to Dunluce Castle and the headlands of the Giant's Causeway. On the west are the hills of Inishowen, beyond which lie Portsalon and Buncrana and the links of Donegal."

Since its foundation in 1888, Royal Portrush Golf Club has undergone a transformation in more ways than one. It was originally a 9-hole course, known as the County Club. The following year it was extended to 18 holes. In 1892, its name changed to the Royal County Club, with the Duke of York as patron. In 1895, the Prince of Wales came along and the name finally changed to Royal Portrush. Why who knows?

However, the biggest transformation came along when Harry S Colt redesigned the course in 1932, including two holes in an area known as “The Triangle”. Just before the Second World War, when it became apparent that the clubhouse would have to be relocated, the professional at that time, a Mr P.G. Stevenson, designed the current 10th and 11th holes, allowing the old 1st and 18th in the Triangle to be released. It would take until 1946 though before club members moved to their present premises, the former Holyrood Hotel.

The Dunluce links is named after the ruined Dunluce castle that overlooks the course. It was the venue for the first professional golf tournament in Ireland, won by Sandy Herd in 1895. Until 2019, The Open Championship has been held outside of Scotland and England only once; that occasion was here at Royal Portrush in 1951 when Max Faulkner triumphed. Faulkner was the last British Open champion until Tony Jacklin lifted the claret jug in 1969 at Royal Lytham & St Annes. More recently, American Pete Oakley won the Senior British Open here in July 2004.

In 2014 it was confirmed that Royal Portrush would return to the Open Championship rotation in 2019. 2011 Open Champion, Darren Clarke, was thrilled to hear that his home club will stage the tournament. “It is wonderful for the area, for Northern Ireland and the whole of Ireland that one of the biggest sporting events in the world is coming here," he said. “It's just massive, with pictures of Royal Portrush being beamed around the world to people who haven't seen how beautiful it is.”

Royal Portrush is certainly beautiful and it has one of the most dramatic entrances to any golf course. As you wind your way towards the course along the coastal road, the crumpled, undulating links land suddenly appears in front of you, flags fluttering in the breeze. It's a classic seaside links, located in an evocative setting on the north Antrim coastline, blessed with magnificent ocean views. On a clear day (from the 3rd tee) you can see the Paps of Jura and the island of Islay.

The fairways nestle in natural valleys between towering sand dunes. The small greens blend perfectly into the landscape, one of Colt’s masterstrokes. The greens are generally protected by natural grassy hummocks rather than sand bunkers, further adding to the understatement.

The most spectacular parts of the course are down by the shore. The 5th hole (called “White Rocks”) is an absolute stunner. It’s a short, downhill par four with a left to right dogleg. The elevated tee provides a platform to soak up the vista. The green is perched on the very edge of the course some 50 feet above the seashore. The 16th, called “Calamity”, is a 210-yard par three; a deep chasm to the right of the green makes it a nervous tee shot.

The Dunluce is a seriously tough cookie and requires solid driving to hold together a decent score. It will intimidate many golfers; the rough is penal (and sprinkled with heather and briar). It has very few bunkers but frankly, it doesn’t need them. The course has enough natural hazards to wreck a card, not to mention the ever-present wind. However, at all costs avoid "Big Nellie" at the new 7th—it's one of the biggest bunkers in Ireland.

A trip to the Giant’s Causeway may provide some respite after a gruelling round, followed by a nip of whiskey at nearby Bushmills, the world’s oldest distillery. Failing that, you could head directly to the first tee of the Valley course. It may be the second course at Royal Portrush but it’s a little cracker.

In preparation for the return of the Open, architects Mackenzie & Ebert proposed a number of course changes to the course, the most significant of which was the replacement of holes 17 and 18 on the Dunluce with two new holes, located where the old 5th and 6th holes lay on the Valley course.

The new hole 7 is a par five, played over much of the former 6th on the Valley course, but in the opposite direction. The famous “Big Nellie” bunker from the old 17th on the Dunluce has been recreated in the dunes to the right of this new fairway. The new par four 8th is then played from close to the tee boxes on the old Valley hole number 5, back to a green perched in the dunes at a slightly higher elevation.

Although the four par threes remain untouched, except for mowing the green further out at the back of “Calamity Corner”, additional tees and bunkers at several holes have been added, as well as extending the greens at holes 5 and (the newly sequenced) 15.

Mackenzie and Ebert commented as follows:

"As part of the course review exercise, investigation of the evolution of golf at Portrush was undertaken to assess how the layout had changed over the years and especially since Harry Colt laid out his final design for the Dunluce Course in 1932. That highlighted a fundamental issue. When Harry Colt designed the Dunluce in 1932, the clubhouse was over 1,200 yards away from the present clubhouse in the town of Portrush. Two of his original holes - the key 1st & 18th holes – had been lost. They provided a link from the old clubhouse to the current 17th and 18th. The existing 8th and 9th holes did not exist. Although Harry Colt was consulted over the addition of the replacement 8th and 9th holes, they were the conception of the Club’s professional, P.G. Stevenson, and Colt was not involved with the detail of the holes. This shows that Harry Colt was open to adjustments to the course required by changing circumstances.

The Club found themselves at another juncture of its evolution with the opportunities presented by the possibility of The Open Championship coming to Royal Portrush again. The Championship has grown in scale tremendously since Max Faulkner lifted the Claret Jug when the event was held over the links in 1951. If The Open was to make a return, The R&A were clear from the outset of the negotiations that sufficient room had to be available in the right areas to allow all of the usual infrastructure to be put in place to support the Championship. Following an intensive study of all options, the inescapable conclusion was drawn that the existing 17th and 18th holes of the Dunluce Course would have to be made available for the majority of the tented village area.

Following a detailed study of the opportunities to replace the 17th and 18th holes, the conclusion was that two replacement holes for the Dunluce could be forged from the area of the old 5th and 6th holes of the Valley Course. This will provide a tremendous arena for two dramatic and iconic holes which should quickly achieve world fame. The knock on effect was that replacement holes were required for the Valley Course. In fact three new Valley holes have been formed with the last of them giving incredible views to the beach and the sea, something which the old course did not enjoy. The Valley element of the project also involved the restoration of one of the original holes at Portrush.

It will be fascinating to see how the world’s best players handle the reconfigured links in July 2019."

Fittingly is was Irishman Shane Lowry who dominated the final two days of the 148th Open championship to win his maiden major title by six shots from England's Tommy Fleetwood amid exuberant scenes at Royal Portrush. Tough weather conditions on Sunday saw every contender fall away, allowing Lowry to cruise home for a comfortable victory.

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Reviews for Royal Portrush (Dunluce)

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Description: The Dunluce links at Royal Portrush Golf Club is named after the ruined Dunluce castle that overlooks the course. Seven years after the club's formation, the first professional golf tournament in Ireland, won by Sandy Herd in 1895, was staged here. Rating: 9.1 out of 10 Reviews: 96
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Dan Hare
Royal Portrush lays out for you when you drive around the coast from the East. Some great courses hide their splendour when approaching, such that you wrongly think either "doesn't look that special" (Deal, Prince's, North Berwick, Prestwick, Royal North Devon, Royal St Davids) or "where's this great course?" (Dornoch, Sandwich, Gullane). Portrush is like Cruden Bay and Saunton in that you are in no doubt that you are in for a challenge on great golfing ground since you have already seen it from above. At £60 for a winter green fee for 6300 yards with mats only in play on the fairways it's a steal. The first is straight forward, but having seen the ground already you know magic awaits. I can't imagine what it is like off the backs with the rough up, but it was one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever played. The bunkerless 5th is a beautiful small sister to Foxy at Dornoch. Calamity Corner, Par 3 14th, is one of those no quarters asked holes that you will always remember, but will be a persistent nightmare for a slicer. 17/18 were relatively humdrum, but will shortly be replaced by two holes purloined from the best parts of the relief Valley course such that Portrush will surely be pushing for a new 7 ball rating on top100 !
June 07, 2015
10 / 10
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dan
June 08, 2015
I should say that this refers to a round at the end of March.
Philip Gregory
Royal Portrush is undoubtedly a good course. However with the announcement of its return tobthe Open roster, my experience is that they are trying to capitalise too much on its status. I have just suffered a 5 hour round where we had to wait for every shot. At the price they are charging, they should have a Course Marshall to deal with players who play too slowly.More concerning for early June is that the fairways are full of divots. In popular lay up area, the fairways are shot to pieces.Clearly the Club is trying to put too many rounds through the course.
June 03, 2015
6 / 10
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Crawford Anderson-Dillon
The weather. We British have a preoccupation with it. It has been the hot topic since time immemorial but in fairness that is understandable. Any people who live in a temperate climate with such changeable weather are tossed around on the raging sea of its capricious vagaries so our obsession is born of necessity. It defines us. It changes us. It causes joy. It causes misery.

All golfers have a love / hate relationship with the weather. We love it when it gives us beautiful sunshine. We hate it when our 4 ball, booked months in advance, is cancelled due to a flooded course. Indeed, my own relationship with golf can be clearly defined by a landmark moment in my relationship with the weather. The day that I wanted to play more than I cared if it rained was a big moment for me. Up til that point I was a fair weather golfer. It was something I did when the sun shone. After that moment I’d play in anything. It was a sea change and it marked, for me, the moment when I emerged from the chrysalis of a fledgling golfer to the full bodied butterfly of obsession.

Golf was invented on the scrubby shorelines on Scotland and as a result we regard links golf as the true home of the game. And links golf goes hand in hand with bad weather. The new American prodigy may break records on every Stateside course, but we don’t really respect him until he can birdie the Road Hole in a force 9. As such we, as a golfing nation, have a yearning to play golf by the sea, and to test ourselves on the prestigious courses of legend. I am no different and though I have held off until my ability and corresponding handicap was such that even attempting it was worthwhile, I have recently been on a pilgrimage of sorts. You see, I was born in Northern Ireland, and we have some of the world’s very best links courses. We also have the world’s worst weather.

This year I managed to blag myself a couple of sponsors passes to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down and decided to bring my friend Rob with me as he is the only friend I have who would gladly spend 12 hours watching men we don’t know knock a small white ball round a field. In the rain. But, I knew that watching them play would simply ignite a strong desire to do the same and so we determined to get in a round the next day. We would be in Northern Ireland and surrounded by some of the best golf courses in the British Isles, but to be honest there was only one place we wanted to try. Royal Portrush.

Crawford at Royal PortrushThis place is another legend. Built at the end of the 19th century as a resort to draw train bound tourists, the course as we know it today was largely designed some years later by Harry Colt, himself an icon of course design. Colt preferred to draw out the natural topography of the places where he worked instead of moving tonnes of earth, and in Portrush he found the perfect triangle of dunes on which to create a links masterpiece. The land was covered in undulations, kinks and hillocks allowing him to place greens in situations naturally defended but visually stunning. But that wasn’t all. Rather than route the course through the valleys of this landscape he chose instead to route it over them, often carving fairways along the ridges of the sand. The great canyon in the middle of the land he left for the Valley Course (boyhood club to one Graeme McDowell) which he completed a few years later. For the Dunluce he wanted the higher ground. He wanted the view. He wanted the wind.

The Dunluce Championship course at Portrush stands over the landscape, allowing visitors great arcing views from Inishowen in the Irish Republic in the west to the white sandstone cliffs of the north Antrim coast along to the east. In the distance the great ruins of Dunluce Castle add a touch of romanticism as the waves crash and roll in the long white strand of beach below it. As a site for anything it’s sublime. As a site for a golf course, it’s perhaps better than Pebble Beach.

Unusually for a links course, Colt saw no real need to litter it with impossible bunkers. That’s not to say there aren’t any. The 17th hosts ‘Big Nellie’, one of the largest bunkers I have ever seen, as high as it is wide, and the intimidating first hole includes a treacherous bunker to the left of the approach which can only be described as a monumental chasm in the side of the hill. Thankfully I have never been in either. On my round I did, however, take 13 shots on the 16th after getting stuck in one bunker and eventually escaping from that to drop straight into another. That hole is destined to be the new 18th when the course is altered for the 2019 Open and woe betide anyone who falls foul of the sand on finishing their round.

But, only half the reputation at Portrush is the course. The other is the wind. Based on the opposite side of Northern Ireland to Royal County Down, it faces north into a seascape where the Atlantic meets the Irish Sea. Scotland is so close you can see it and the wind howls down the channel between the two countries. Even good days can see 20mph gusts. Bad days will see your well struck drive turn full circle and come back at you like a boomerang on a kill mission. It’s extreme.

Playing golf in any wind is daunting. Unless you naturally hit the ball arrow straight, and few people really do, the fade or draw will be exaggerated. Even 5% too much either way and the wind will take it, flinging the ball away from the target. Playing at Portrush means accepting that you will have to deal with the wind. Every drive, every fairway shot, every approach needs to be adjusted and the first time you play it that’s really hard. You can’t always see the green or even the fairway so judging the shot to allow for the wind is…difficult. Sitting as it does on a bluff above the sea means that there is always something blowing, either at you, past you or around you. It swirls and eddies. It recedes and it hits you in the face. Hard.

It also brings with it the rain. On our round we stopped at the quite lovely half way hut (which is a fully stocked bar!) and wallowed in the sunshine, but my caddie pointed west to the impending doom of some horrendous storm clouds and the visible blanket of water it was laying down on Inishowen. By the 11th tee we were soaked, facing an impossible shot to a par 3 below us and a full blown storm coming at us from the side. All we could do was hope the expensive waterproofs we convinced ourselves were genuinely worth the money we spent would work. None of our 4 ball made the green, though I came closest when I hit it before bouncing off the back, and that was only because of good advice from my caddy to play it like a 200 yard hole and aim way, way left. One hole later though, and we were stripping off our wetsuits and again playing in the sunshine.

But the wind never let up.

Crawford - Royal Portrush In fact, our caddies, often quick to tell tales, said that many an overseas golfer on a tour of Ireland for the first time wanted to have bad weather. In some way they only feel the experience is legitimate when they’ve had a round in a gale, the rain lashing them. So many golfers, particularly from the US, play their golf on manicured, pristine courses in perfect sunny weather, so they come to Ireland for the opposite. They come for the extremes. They come because somewhere deep down they know they can only really call themselves a golfer if they’ve parred the 14th at Portrush in the wind and rain.

For the record, I did par the 14th, though it was one of only a handful that I did well on. Even then, it was a fluked second shot from the rough and a solid putt that got me over that line. I also parred the 9th, 17th and 18th, which would be more impressive were the last two holes not destined for the scrapheap as the course is slightly remodelled for the 2019 Open. Apparently they’re not good enough for championship golf. Just hackers like me.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing the Dunluce and I would enjoy it at any time, in any weather, with any company. But, the round I played there was one of the most fun I have had in years, largely due to the caddies and a special mention must be made here of why and how to get the best from that experience. Before Rob and I even arrived we had decided that getting a caddie each would be fun. It’s not something regular golfers do very often, so it makes it special. We also knew by reputation how hard the golf course is and how invaluable to the round it is to have a caddy tell you where to aim and where the dangers lie. I told them they’d get a name check, so I was looked after by William Collins on my round and Rob was entertained by Muskie, which I assume is a nickname. Then again, he is from the North Antrim coast and they’re a bit weird up there, so it could be real! ;-)

I say ‘entertained’ because that’s what it was. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much on a golf course in my life. The weather was changeable at best, I hit some horrendous shots on a course I desperately wanted to play well on, and yet here I was, rolling about, having a giggle. Us Northern Irish have, how shall I put this, a terribly black, sarcastic and dry sense of humour. It’s something that often gets us in trouble with non-locals who take it at face value. But, we also know how to be polite and keep ourselves to ourselves. If I could give you any advice it would be to enjoy the craic with your caddie instead of just making him carry clubs while you stomp around in a grump. Forget about scoring well on this course. If you try too hard, it will destroy you. Life’s too short anyway, but you’ll see a whole different side to the course when you’re laughing your way round. Banter between players is one of the very best reasons to play golf and getting it from these wily old locals is simply the best fun I’ve had in a long time. On one hole I snap hooked a ball off the tee and upon asking if I’d be able to find that was told “Son, you could wrap that ball in bacon and a dog couldn’t find that”. It’s a particular pleasure that has to be experienced to be believed so make sure they know you’re not a stuck up arse and you’ll have a much better time.

As for the overall experience of Portrush, it must be said that the clubhouse is functional, but not pretty. Certainly not on the outside. Inside it has more character, in a sort of 1990’s mock-up of a public school refectory way, so it’s a bit … Victorian Disney. Verging on a home for the elderly perhaps. But, the staff are very friendly and you’re welcomed to the club almost like a day member even when just playing a round. I had a shower in the members locker room after I finished, which in many private clubs is a no go area. The pro shop is fine, stuffed to the gills with branded apparel and with heaving shelves of tatt players can pick up to take home to their peers, so you’ll be well catered for in that department. Rob even bought himself a shirt, which was unexpectedly reasonable in price. It’s not very big though, compared to some places I’ve been (Pebble Beach, for example, has an entire shopping mall selling golf related rubbish).

The one sore point is the town of Portrush itself. As a native I knew what to expect, as Portrush is a sort of cheap thrills seaside resort long past its heyday and now populated by day trippers on the hunt for an amusement arcade. It’s biggest draw now is the static caravan which proliferates all spare areas of ground and unfortunately now surrounds the course on the town side. But, to say this detracts from the golf is both untrue and profoundly elitist, something which golf has done well to distance itself from over the past 30 years. It’s better to think of Portrush as existing in the real world, unlike Carmel and the residents of 17 Mile Drive. The world of Royal Portrush is one of fantasy golf but it isn’t so detached from the world around it that it forgets what’s important. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a golf course in which all sorts of people, from the golfers to the pros to the caddies to the locals you see walking their dogs on the links, people with real jobs and real struggles, have learned to co-exist peacefully. Much like Northern Ireland itself.

Just remember to take your waterproofs.

PS, A few months ago I wrote about Royal County Down and at the end I said that I could not compare it to Portrush as I was yet to play it. Now I have played both and I am duty bound to say which I prefer. It’s a very tough call, largely because they are so very, very different. Royal County Down is a fairytale. It’s whimsical and magical like a JRR Tolkein novel. Royal Portush is more War And Peace. Big and expansive and impenetrable, yet more human in ways. I think I’d prefer RCD on days when I wanted to escape the world. Portrush is where I’d go if I wanted to celebrate it.
June 03, 2015
10 / 10
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dan
June 08, 2015
Great last paragraph, and nicely sums up my feelings. I don't feel so bad about the grief I am about to get for a "mere" 5 ball review for RCD !
Jim McCann

Right up front, I have to declare that, before playing here for the second time today, the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush sat comfortably within the Top 10 of 300+ golf courses that I’ve played in GB&I and beyond. I can now confirm that after today’s round the course maintains its high ranking position in my personal chart, much to my delight.

I was lucky to be able to tackle the course on a sunny, calm morning when good scoring was made a lot easier by the benign weather conditions. Nonetheless, on the two holes where I made a complete Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerhash of my approach shots (namely the 12th and 13th) I was suitably punished by the deep and cruelly penal bunkers guarding each of the greens on these holes.

That’s what I love about this place; keep the ball in play and you might score reasonably well, but stray a little too far from the intended target and you’re severely penalised.

A couple of new holes are to be brought into play after golfers play the existing 6th, and these new holes (down where the existing Valley number 5 is routed) will result in “Babington’s” - the current 16th on the Dunluce - becoming the stage where the Open winner is crowned Champion Golfer when the event is next held here in 2019.

Favourite holes on the front nine include the doglegged 5th, 7th and 8th (where I love the way the fairway tapers into the narrow green) whilst “Skerries” on the inward half at number 13 is a marvellous par four which somehow sees its green manage to cling to the edge of the dune ridge above the waters of the Irish Sea.

A sparkling jewel in the golfing crown of Northern Ireland, the Dunluce is a must play course when visiting the north of the island. If only I could award a seven ball mark...

Jim McCann.

April 21, 2015
10 / 10
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James Kenyon
I have been lucky enough to play the Dunluce at Portrush twice, this time as part of a tour encompassing Portstewart (Strand) and Castlerock, and I have to say that it was even better than I remembered. This is nothing short of a magnificent golf course. Fantastic layout, superb holes, excellent conditioning all come together to deliver a truly world class links experience. What is perhaps the most alluring element of the Dunluce however, is the playability of the course. Please don’t mistake me, this is a brute and requires straight, consistent ball striking if you are to score well. However one still feels that they can play well around it, which sometimes isn’t the case at places such as Carnoustie, RCD etc. Everything at Portrush is in front of you, with very few blind holes or shots, and each hole seems to set up wonderfully from the tee. This is in a different league to its neighbour at Portstewart (although that is still an excellent golf course), and should be prioritised for anyone visiting the area to play golf.
April 13, 2015
10 / 10
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alejandro
Uno de los mejores campos de golf del mundo. Después de muchos años sin jugarse el British Open en Irlanda, se jugará acá en el año 2019. Muchos bushes o arbustos a los costados de los fairways la hacen muy complicada y competitiva
April 04, 2015
10 / 10
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Keith Baxter
April 07, 2015
Roughly translated… One of the best golf courses in the world. After many years without playing the British Open in Ireland, the event will be played here in 2019. Many bushes or shrubs on the sides of the fairways make it very complicated and competitive.
Javier Pintos
After 3 glorious days in England playing The 3 Royals, I arrived to The Emerald Isle on a Friday ready for a 7 days Tour. On my way to the Hotel I stopped by Royal Portrush on a fabulous twilight to take some of the best pictures I have of my trip. Everything was closed and it was only me there, alone and enjoying some of the great views this course has. The following day I played 9 holes under the rain in Portstewart to only come back to Portrush on Sunday after visiting the incredible Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery and the Giant’s Causeway. Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerWhat had been a nice sunny morning turned into a windy cloudy day with some showers during the round. The trip was a 24 argentine golfers one starting here to play some of the best courses as we did in Scotland 2012 and Spain 2013. Before play I had the chance to do a nice walk inside the Club House seeing all the memories of this course that is the only one to host golf oldest major in the 1950s. It is know that the course will host the 2019 Open Championship and that some changes will be done on the Course, I was blessed to see the plans for the new holes although could not take pictures, but what I saw will make the course even better!! About the course … I have read many reviews, most of them good ones and some of them not, but maybe everybody agrees that 17-18 are just standard holes for such a great venue and I agree. But those 2 holes will disappear for 2019, so no worries but just a sad note to say goodbye to that huge crossbunker on 17. The first three holes maybe are not that great, although the reachable in two 2nd is Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Golf Course - Photo by reviewera nice birdie chance and 3rd is a short one but if you miss the green making up and down is a huge challenge. Then we have a stretch of five great holes: 4th a great and tough par 4 where the second shot uphill is not easy, 5th to the ocean with the Dunluce Castle just close to the course, 6th a great par 3 which played into the wind and 7th a very tough par 4 before short 8th which was my favourite on the front 9. Last hole is not bad, but maybe not as spectacular as this last stretch. The half way bar is nice and with anything you wish to drink, not bad on the cold we were playing. Back 9 start with easy 10 which is maybe the last real birdie chance. Short 11 is the last one before a tough stretch including dramatic par 3 14th which is maybe the toughest hole on the course, very nice 15th and brutal 16th which for The Open will be 18th playing almost 500yds and par 4. Last 2 holes will disappear and do not match the quality of the other 16, but are not bad holes at all. Par 5 17th is long and that big bunker gives a nice sight from the tee. Last hole is a long and flat par 4, nothing bad and a tough driving hole. The Dunluce course is a must, even to play it twice and I believe it justifies its status being one of the best and toughest links courses in the world.
September 09, 2014
10 / 10
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Yukio SASAKI
Played in windy rainy day in May. This is a true links. Basic instinct and all the clubs in your bag must come together. Many memorable holes. Only suggestion goes to a practice facility. Please get better balls. I have not hit that bad balls in the past decade.
May 25, 2014
10 / 10
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Steve Earle
I played both courses at Portrush last week. They were in surprisingly good condition, considering that it is the middle of November, and it rained for most of the two days we were there. I really enjoyed both courses, but the championship course is a lot more difficult, with tough, sometimes unplayable rough on a lot of holes. On a positive note I came away with more balls than I started with! And the fish and chips in the clubhouse are really tasty.
November 18, 2013
8 / 10
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ben sargent
Played Portrush in May this year... I must say it is by far the most disappointing course in the top 100.. i've played 82 of the top 100 courses and i'd have to say this is the weakest Links course in the Top 100. The opening hole, sadly, sets the tone for the day. it's a poor hole with internal OB on both sides and not many other features of note. it gets worse - on the 2nd tee the golfer is confronted with a very busy A-road and 100's of cars whizzing past at 40mph + just 5 yards from where he stands (maybe it's angry golfers escaping Portrush as quick as they can).. the hole itself is a very average straightaway par 5. the 3rd is a reasonable par 3 that is also let down by the close proximatey of the road (im sorry, but this must be taken into consideration when reveiwing a course) (for example, would the 7th at Pebble be so renowned if it were next to the A2 instead of the Atlantic ocean? i rest my case). Granted the 4th thru 8th holes are a decent stretch of holes. but the back to back par 5's of 9 and 10 are poor (and this is worsened by yet more road noise). 12 thru 16 are also decent. but the finish of 17 and 18 is appalling. both holes are on a very weak parcel of land. again the noisy road is very much back in play. as is the clubs vast car park all the way up the right hand side of the last hole - a fittingly poor finish to what is a terrible let down.. Take the road away and this course may creep in to the top 100, just. but with the busy road in place, the caravan park, the car park.. im sorry. i would not have this course in the top 100..
August 16, 2013
2 / 10
Reviewer Score:
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Tom Doak
September 12, 2013
You, Sir, are a fool.
Alan Richie
September 13, 2013
Well said Tom.
SR
September 16, 2013
The reviewer is correct, the proximity of a road must be considered when assessing a golf course. For this reason I consider Cypress Point to be the weakest course in the Top 100.
Shaun
September 16, 2013
Tom, I think you are being generous, unbelievable review.
Robert A
September 19, 2013
This review is a joke. To claim that the road that runs along the edge of the course is busy is stretching the truth. To say that you were affected by the road noise on the 9th and 10th holes is just a blatant lie. You state that you have played 82 of the top 100 courses? In Ireland? The UK? The World? I find this very hard to believe. To say that the Dunluce, Colt's masterpiece, is the weakest links course in the top 100 is extremely strange. You seem to be in the minority of one! You state that the 17th and 18th are appalling! The 18th is an incredible finishing hole. Granted, it is difficult, but to call it appalling is just farcical. You state that the 18th is spoilt by the car park. But when you played in May you would not have seen the car park, as it was RPGC's 125th Anniversary on the second weekend of May, and there was a 200ft marquee along the length of the 18th fairway! It took 2 weeks to set up and 2 weeks to take away, so saying that when you played you didn't enjoy the car park is again, I suggest, a blatant lie. This sounds like a review by someone who has an axe to grind. Someone who maybe applied for membership and for whatever reason was not accepted? A disgruntled ex employee maybe? As no sane, lover of our beautiful game could write such drivel! I think the moderators of this site would delete stupid reviews like this, but we do have freedom of speech in this country, and anyone can have an opinion, no matter how ridiculous, I suppose! One last point. You state that the 7th at Pebble Beach wouldn't be so renowned if it was beside the A2. I have played Pebble Beach, and I can assure you that every single hole at Royal Portrush is closer to the Atlantic Ocean than the 7th at Pebble Beach!
Richard
May 08, 2014
This review does bring to the fore some unhappy truths. The road and caravan sites are, at best, unfortunate. They are close and impossible to ignore, even wearing the rosiest of glasses. It may also be fair to say that the finishing two holes are somewhat marred by the road, though they are decent and challenging enough. But it is not fair to dismiss this course because of a few idiots in the town planning department. It is a magnificent place to play golf; beautiful and fierce and, in places, like being in heaven.
alex
May 10, 2014
Even if you take the road/caravans etc. out of the equation, I think this course is seriously over rated. My heart sank last year thinking that there were only 14 better courses to play in the world. Yes it's a nice links with some lovely holes but the last 2 holes are very poor and when I commented on the 12th green that the greens seem to run at difference speeds my caddie agreed and said that was a major weakness of the course; Not worthy of a top 100 ranking.
Steven Swift
June 10, 2014
I played this course last week, and not only is it one of the finest courses in Ireland, but it is one of the best in the world. I amazed at some of these comments. A very special place, and one I'd be happy to play any day. I'm a member of a top 10 US course, and although totally different in design, Portrush is the best course it have played in Europe. A true test of links golf. Maybe if you are used to parkland golf you might not enjoy it, but I thought it was spectacular.
James
December 04, 2014
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I happen to disagree with this one. Third best links I have played after Turnberry and Royal St George's, beating (albeit narrowly) Birkdale, Muirfield and Dornoch. Also, if you have a look at a map (or ask your children), they will tell you that none of the holes at Pebble Beach are anywhere near the Atlantic...
Williemac
March 24, 2015
One could wonder what your score was for you to rate this as a disappointing course when everyone else enjoys the challenge.
Howard
June 08, 2015
#1 40 mph is not "whizzing" by any stretch of the imagination. #2 If you saw "100's" of cars whizz by on that road, your pace of play sucks. #3 Nice dig at the town of Portrush, it's actually a nice little place. #4 I reiterate what others have said, #7 at Pebble is nowhere near the Atlantic. #5 The club's vast car park all the way up #18? Look at google maps, the paved car park starts about 15 yards out from the green. #6 Caravan park - I guess County Down and Ballybunion are out too then, both have trailer parks right next to the course.