Designer: Harry S. Colt
Length: 7,143 yards
Royal Portrush was founded in 1888, but truly came into its own when Harry Colt resigned the course prior to the Second World War. Colt felt that Portrush was his greatest achievement; no small statement considering his body of work around the world.
The Open Championship has been held outside of Scotland and England only once; that occasion was here at Royal Portrush in 1951 when Max Faulkner triumphed.
Royal Portrush is a seaside links paradise, with fairways nestled in natural valleys between towering sand dunes. The small greens blend perfectly into the landscape, one of Colt’s masterstrokes. The greens are generally protected by natural grassy hummocks rather than sand bunkers, further adding to the understatement.
Royal Portrush is a very difficult course and requires solid driving to hold together a decent score. The rough is penal (and sprinkled with heather and briar). It has very few bunkers but frankly, it doesn’t need them. The course has enough natural hazards to wreck a card, not to mention the ever-present wind.