Founded in 1888, the legendary Royal Portrush Golf Club has two Championship Courses – the renowned Dunluce Course and the smaller but equally enjoyable Valley Course. Both command impressive views across the North Atlantic with breathtaking views of Scotland and Donegal but the golf is even more spectacular.
The Dunluce Course, re-designed in 1947 by Mr H.S. Colt and later in 1951, became host to the first ever Open Championship held in Ireland. During the entire tournament only two golfers managed to break 70. It’s easy to see why; the greens are scattered among huge sand dunes gently raised above the Antrim Coast providing vistas of sea, cliffs and islands. But no matter how appealing the view, attention must be paid to your game as Portrush can challenge even the most experienced of golfers. Portrush’s most celebrated holes are the fifth hole and the fourteenth. The fifth, ‘White Rock’ is one of the most exhilarating two–shots in golf. Over hit the second shot, and your ball disappears into the Atlantic! The aptly named fourteenth Hole, ‘Calamity’ requires total precision to carry the ball over an enormous ravine. Mis-hit this one and you could be taking your next swing from at least fifty feet below the hole. Is it any wonder that Golf World magazine regularly rates Portrush in the world’s top twenty golf courses?
What the experts say: “The course winds its way back inland, twisting and undulating, until it comes to a heart stopping pause at Calamity Corner. This hole, the hardest par 3 I’ve ever seen, plays 210 yards, uphill and into the wind to a green on the side of a cliff. I retired to the upstairs bar…and began the slow process of returning to our accustomed selves – the ones who play the ordinary, earthbound kind of golf.” Charles McGrath, New York Times.