Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, County Antrim
Founded 1888. Links Course
Located on the spectacular Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, Royal Portrush Golf Club boasts two superb links courses, the Valley Links and the renowned Dunluce Links. Obviously you will want to play the Dunluce Links but the Valley is a more than worthy sibling and is worth playing in its own right or as part of a 36-hole day.
The club was founded as the County Club in 1888, acquired its Royal prefix by 1892 and finally became known as Royal Portrush Golf Club in 1895. Portrush is associated with many firsts. It was the first club to host a professional event in Ireland in 1895 and in 1951 became the first and only Irish course to host the British Open. Portrush does not have any weak holes and to produce a decent return here, you will need every shot in the bag. Royal Portrush is expected to return to the Open Championship rota very shortly.
Northern Ireland has many stories to tell about its troubled past but thankfully the harrowing historical element is now confined to history and we can more fully appreciate the region for its general beauty and many attractions. The Antrim coastline in particular is breath-taking, with the Giants Causeway a must-see for any visitor.
Playing Royal Portrush & Portstewart provides the ideal opportunity to visit the famous Bushmills Distillery nearby, while you should also take in the imposing ruins of Dunluce Castle and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
Belfast is another vibrant city, which offers much in terms of attractions, restaurants and excellent shopping. The recently opened Titanic Belfast is a wonderful experience and should be included if at all possible, while the Ulster Museum and Belfast City Hall are also well worth a visit if time allows. Travelling south from Belfast, your likely destination as a golfer is Newcastle, home to the world renowned golf links of Royal County Down. Highly recommended in this area are Castlewellan Forest Park and Tollymore Forest Park. Both locations offer stunning scenery and beautiful walks.