Royal Portrush - Dunluce Links
Simply put, the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush is one of the world’s finest links courses. Known as the County Club when first formed in May 1888, it became the Royal County Club in 1892 and finally, Royal Portrush Golf Club in 1895, with the Prince of Wales as patron. The links has undergone many changes during the course of its existence. The initial nine holes were extended to eighteen by 1889, while 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. As befits a golf course of such quality, Royal Portrush has hosted many major events over the years. The Irish Amateur Championships were inaugurated here in 1892, while the first professional event on Irish soil was also hosted at Portrush in 1895. It wasn’t until July 1951 though, that Royal Portrush made real headlines on the world stage, when it became the first (and last) Irish golf course to host the British Open Golf Championship, an event won by Max Faulkner with an aggregate score of 285 over four rounds. Today, Royal Portrush offers two fine links courses, and while the Dunluce Course will always be regarded as the championship links, the slightly shorter Valley Course also represents a serious test of links golf prowess. The ninth hole is one of the most photographed holes in world golf, it is a 486 yard par 4, it is played from one side of a huge mound down to a fairway some 60 ft below and 260 yards from the tee. From the bottom of the slope the second shot is played over two bunkers to a raised green.