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Portmarnock Championship Course

Ranking
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These rankings are based solely on post-trip surveys received from clients. Although the surveys are not accessible via our website, you can click on "testimonials" above to read the actual comments in their original format.
Founded: 1894
Designer: W.C. Pickeman
Championship Length: 7,295 yards
PAR: 72
Type: Links
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top_100_world      golf-digest

Who this course is best for:

A golfer who would like to play a World Top 40 course (by most accounts), would like to play a legendary traditional links course over a century old, would like to play a past Irish Open and Walker Cup venue.

History:

As one can expect, Portmarnock Golf Club has an interesting history. Early on, like The Island, Portmarnock could only be reached by boat. The bell, which signaled the last boat of the day, still hangs at the caddie master’s pavilion near the first tee. Admittedly, it was on one such boat trip that W.C. Pickeman, a Scottish insurance broker, and his friend George Ross scouted the land as a possible golf links. At that time, the seeds of Portmarnock Golf Club had been sown. Then, within two years, the initial 9 hole layout had been turned into 18. The design, surprisingly, was done through collaboration between the club’s golfers and local professional advisers. British architect Fred Hawtree added nine extra holes in 1971, but the original 18 holes remain as the championship stretch.

Those the likes of Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and several others of the same caliber have universally acknowledged Portmarnock GC as one of the world’s greatest links courses. It is located on a small peninsula and extends into the Irish Sea. Also, Portmarnock is laid out in a serpentine fashion with no two successive holes playing in the same direction. However, unlike many courses in this respect, Portmarnock demands a continual discernment of wind direction.

Course Overview:

The quality and location of Portmarnock have made it a superb venue for some great events over the years. The British Amateur in 1949, the Canada Cup in 1960, the 1991 Walker Cup, and some 12 Irish Open Championships have been held on its hallowed turf. The Canada Cup by the way, is notable by giving legend, Arnold Palmer, his first real taste of links golf. The championship course offers a fair but tough challenge. Tom Watson stated in 1981; “There are no tricks or nasty surprises, only an honest, albeit searching test of shot making skills.”

The course has some of the world’s most extraordinary holes:

  • the 5th, regarded as the best on the course by the late Harry Bradshaw, runner-up in the 1949 Open Championship
  • the 14th, rated by Henry Cotton as the best hole in golf
  • the 15th, regarded by Arnold Palmer as the finest par 3 in the world



Undoubtedly, one of Ireland’s top three courses(#48 in the world by GOLF Magazine), Portmarnock offers a strong and potentially hazardous finish. Speaking of the climax, golf writer Bernard Darwin wrote; “I know of no greater finish in the world than that of the last five holes at Portmarnock.”

If considering a trip to Dublin, Portmarnock and these other magnificent courses are worth the visit.

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Testimonials

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Tours that include this Course

Druids Glen Golf

Druids Glen

Dublin Area

Five rounds of golf:

  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
  • County Louth (Baltray)
  • The Island
  • Druids Glen
Tralee Golf

Tralee

Southwest + Dublin

Five rounds of golf:

  • Waterville
  • Ballybunion-Old Course
  • Tralee
  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
Lahinch Golf

Lahinch-Old Course

Highest Ranked Top 100 – Ireland

Six rounds of golf including:

  • Waterville
  • Ballybunion-Old Course
  • Tralee
  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
  • Lahinch-Old Course
County Louth Golf Club

County Louth (Baltray)

Dublin + Northern Ireland’s Best

Five rounds of golf:

  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce Course
  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
  • County Louth (Baltray)
European Club

The European Club

Highest Ranked Top 100 – Ireland & N. Ireland

Eight rounds of golf:

  • Waterville
  • Ballybunion-Old Course
  • Tralee
  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
  • Lahinch-Old Course
  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce Course
Portmarnock Golf Club

Portmarnock

Scotland + Dublin Area

Six rounds of golf:

  • St Andrews-Old Course
  • St Andrews-New Course
  • Carnoustie-Championship Course
  • Kingsbarns
  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club