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Royal Portrush – Dunluce Course

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Founded: 1888
Designer: Harry Colt (1933 redesign)
Championship Length: 6,845 yards
PAR: 72
Type: Links
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top_100_world   golf-digest

History of Royal Portrush:

Simply put, the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush is one of the world’s finest links courses (#13 on GOLF Magazine’s Top 100). Formed in May 1888, it was first known as the County Club. Soon after, it became the Royal County Club in 1892. Finally in 1895, while the Prince of Wales was a regular patron, it became Royal Portrush Golf Club. The links has undergone many changes during the course of its existence. The original nine holes were extended to eighteen by 1889. Later in 1929, the renowned golf architect, Harry Colt, designed the present course. Upon completion of his work at Portrush, Colt remarked that it represented his best ever layout. Finally, in 2015 the course saw major alterations to the layout, completely replacing two holes.

As befits a golf course of such quality, Royal Portrush has hosted many major events over the years. The inaugural Irish Amateur Championships were played here in 1892. Then in 1895, the first professional event on Irish soil was hosted at Portrush. It wasn’t until July 1951 though, that Royal Portrush made real headlines on the world stage. It became the first (and only) Irish golf course to host the Open Championship, an event won by Max Faulkner. In 2019, the Open Championships again visited Royal Portrush where Irishman Shane Lowry bested the native Rory McIlroy. Today, Royal Portrush offers two fine links courses. The slightly shorter Valley Course also represents a serious test of links golf prowess.

Course Overview:

It may be a cliché, but it is genuinely difficult to select the best holes at Portrush. On balance though, the best on the front nine are probably the 5th and 7th holes. Aptly named “White Rocks” due to the grand view from the tee, however good your drive at the par 4, 5th hole, your approach to the green is fraught with danger and you may be better following the safer dogleg approach. Rated the most difficult on the course and measuring 431 yards from the back tees, the 7th is one of the finest par 4s anywhere. Your drive must be long and accurate. Your approach to a sharply sloping green must be struck with anything from a wood to a medium iron.

The par 3, 14th and par 5, 17th are among the holes on the homeward stretch that will linger longest in the memory. Worryingly but justifiably called “Calamity Corner,” the 12th hole measures over 200 yards and requires a long carry over a deep ravine in order to reach the green. Miscalculate here and you’re playing three from the tee. The 17th is a long par 5 of almost 550 yards and provides ample opportunity for mistakes. From the tee, you are faced with a deep bunker cut out of the hill, while your second shot, which is played to a narrowing fairway, must be accurate to avoid bunkers to the left and right.

A great video on the RPGC clubhouse here. Enjoy the championship Royal Portrush – Dunluce Course and all others Northern Ireland has to offer here.

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Testimonials

Good morning Jeremy! I just want to express my sincerest Thank you to you and your team, a special Thank you to Kristina whom I communicated with once the details of our trip were set. The trip was absolutely seamless and beyond our expectations! Every golf course was unique and beautiful! We especially enjoyed Kingsbarns and Carnoustie! However really enjoyed…

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Tours that include this Course

Ardglass Golf

Ardglass

Experience Northern Ireland

Five rounds of golf:

  • Ardglass
  • Castlerock-Mussenden Course
  • Portstewart-Strand Course
  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce 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
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  • The European Club
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European Club

The European Club

Highest Ranked Top 100 – Ireland & N. Ireland

Eight rounds of golf:

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

Lahinch-Old Course

Along the Coast – Southwest to Northern Ireland

Seven rounds of golf:

  • Waterville
  • Ballybunion-Old Course
  • Tralee
  • Lahinch-Old Course
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  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce Course
Ballyliffin Golf Club Glashedy

Ballyliffin-Glashedy Course

Northern Ireland + The North of Ireland

Five rounds of golf:

  • Ballyliffin-Glashedy Course
  • Rosapenna-Sandy Hills Course
  • Portstewart-Strand Course
  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce Course
Royal County Down Golf

Royal County Down-Championship Links

Scotland + Northern Ireland

Six rounds of golf:

  • St Andrews-Old Course
  • St Andrews-New Course
  • Carnoustie-Championship Course
  • Kingsbarns
  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce Course