Royal Portrush (Dunluce)
Location: Portrush, County Antrim, Ireland
Designer: Harry Colt, Mackenzie & Ebert
Royal Portrush Golf Club was originally formed in 1888 as the County Club, it earned its Royal status when the Duke of York became a patron in 1892. Three years later, the club was renamed to Royal Portrush Golf Club when the Prince of Wales became its patron. That year, the golf course played host to Ireland’s first ever professional golf tournament.
Redesigned by renowned golf course architect Harry Colt in 1947, the Dunluce course is situated on the north coast of Northern Ireland, making the most of the incredible landscape and views of Ireland and the atlantic ocean. Named after the nearby ruins of Dunluce Castle, the links course is one of the best golf courses in the world.
In 1951, Royal Portrush Golf Club’s Dunluce links course hosted the first Open Championship in Ireland.
Colt regarded Royal Portrush Golf Club as some of his finest work, and the Dunluce course provides brilliant hole after hole tests to challenge every part of your game. The rough punishes any offline shot, and providing you can hit the fairways, the incredible greens require a wide array of approach shots.
You will need to hit the greens in regulation to stand any chance of coming in with a good score, especially if the wind is blowing! Lots of dog-leg holes in stunning surroundings and a friendly atmosphere in the clubhouse. You really couldn’t ask for anything more from a golf course.
The course underwent major changes as part of preparations for the 148th Open Championship in 2019. Overseen by architect Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert, work began in 2015 and over the next 18 months new green complexes were formed, eight new teeing areas built, 10 bunkers incorporated, and two brand new holes were formed.
Taking land from the adjacent Valley course, Mackenzie & Ebert created two new holes – the 590-yard downhill par-5 7th and the 430-yard par-4 8th. The quality of the land enabled the designers to seamlessly blend the two new holes into the existing landscape. .
We have been able to keep a very close eye on the changes to the original layout, and we were the first golfers to play the two new holes before they officially opened to the public.
The new Championship Links is now 7,317 yards in length (an increase of 130 yards), and features an incredible underground tunnel. It is fair to say that the Dunluce now has 18 top quality duneland holes rather than 16 fantastic holes with a couple of weak finishers.
The next big question is, “Where will it fare in next year’s big Golf World Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland ranking when it comes up against the likes of St Andrews Old Course and a revamped Trump Turnberry Ailsa?
Royal Portrush Golf Club also offers a second 18-hole track, the Valley course, and a 9-hole par-3 course.