The Royal Portrush Golf Club originated in 1888, and became 'Royal' in 1895.
Originally a 9 hole course in 1888, it became an 18 hole course in 1889.
In 1929 Harry Colt laid out the Dunluce Links that we know today. His design has been adapted over the years as the 1st and 18 holes were lost and a new 10th & 11th hole were designed to replace them in the altered routing- they were created by club pro P.G. Stevenson and Sir Anthony Babbington.
Now as the club prepares for the 2019 Open Championship, 'Open Doctors' McKenzie Ebert have been employed to ready the course for it's re entry into the Open Rota. The changes they have made incorporated using land formally used by the Valley Course- the second course at Portrush.
Royal Portrush is famous for holding the 1951 Open Championship won by Max Faulkner- the first and only time the Open has been played outside mainland U.K.
With Senior Opens, Irish Opens, and amateur events Portrush has hosted over 50 national championships, and is now in preparation for it's re entry into the Open Rota and the 2019 Open Championship
The Dunluce Course at Portrush has long been known as a stern test of golf, and a championship links of the highest calibre. In preparation for the 2019 Open Championship, the changes made have elevated the course to the top echelons of Open Championship courses. Closing holes 17 & 18 have been eliminated from the routing and two brand new holes ( 7 & 8 ) have been inserted employing land from the adjoining Valley course as well as unused land. Whilst the former holes were weaker because of the flatter terrain they traversed, the new holes are quite dramatic as they journey through the ups and downs of some wild dunes. On it's own this is a big improvement, but there is more upside with bunkers being added here and there to strengthen holes, a few new greens and the lengthening of a few holes. The new Portrush is longer, stronger, more dramatic, more visual, and an even sterner test of golf. It should make for a wonderful 2019 Open Championship.
Notable holes include:
-The long par 4 fourth hole with OOB along the right boundary, and a wonderful green setting protected and surrounded by dunes
- the short par 4 fifth hole ( named White Rocks ) with green set on the beach, and sea backdrop and a testing tee shot- do you carry the dogleg to the fairway below, or play safe to the left?
- the mid length par 3 sixth hole- a typical Harry Colt par 3 with tabletop green
- the new par 5 seventh hole winding through some wild dunes terrain to a green set in the dunes
- the new par 4 eighth green with fairway rising and arcing away to the left- the tee shot must be brave and accurate to hit the fairway and the longish approach is no bargain either...
- the short par 4 tenth hole, a sharp dogleg right with a semi blind tee shot and a new 'Harry Colt' green set in low dunes
- the classic longish par 3 'Calamity' with tee shot over a chasm
No doubt the Dunluce course will have more work done before the Open Championship. Nevertheless I am confident that the course itself will be one of the most impressive on the Open Rota- and therefore one of the best links courses in the world. We rate it a 'Travelling Golfer must play'
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