Royal Portrush – Portrush, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Spectacular Views and Daunting Challenge

The only course in the country to have hosted the British Open Championship (1951), Royal Portrush is one of two distinguished golf courses in Northern Ireland that is consistently ranked in the world’s top fifteen golf destinations. It is the country’s most spectacular and seduc­tive and, together with its friendly rival Royal County Down in Newcastle (see entry below), it is considered one of the stiffest tests of just about every club in your bag.

One of three “Royal” courses in Northern Ireland, it was founded in 1888 and came under King Edward VII’s patronage in 1893. Overlooking the fabled links are the romantic ruins of the 13th-century Dunluce Castle, the largest Norman castle in the North. Its color­ful history includes the day in 1639 when its kitchen (and cooks) fell into the sea. Of Portrush’s two 18-hole courses. Dunluce Course gets the attention, ranking number three in the United Kingdom. Favorite holes are the fifth, “White Rocks,” with its spectac­ular views of the sea and cliffs, and the aptly dubbed “Calamity Comer,” one of the most daunting par-3s in the country.

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