Royal Portrush Hole by Hole Guide

By: | Mon 15 Jul 2019 | Comments


The Open Championship returns to Royal Portrush in 2019, nearly 70 years after Max Faulkner lifted the Claret Jug in 1951. This revered layout ranks among the best rated in the world and will provide an engrossing challenge to the game's best players. Here is your guide to the Dunluce Course.


Royal Portrush Feature Review

Golfshake Podcast: Playing Royal Portrush


1st (Hughies), 421 yards, par 4

Most players will take a three wood or long iron. There is out of bounds to the right but the key is avoiding the fairway bunker on the left to set up an approach to an elevated green.

2nd (Giants Grave), 574 yards, par 5

The hole has been extended by almost 50 yards recently and a good drive will hug the left-hand side of the fairway to have a chance of reaching in two, although the green is guarded by pot bunkers around 30 yards short.

3rd (Islay), 177 yards, par 3

A straightforward hole with just one bunker but the green slopes from right to left so the ideal shot in would be a fade for right-handers.

4th (Fred Daly’s), 482 yards, par 4

A narrow tee shot with a wall on the right and a bunker on the left which must be avoided. Approaches from the left can be partially blocked out by a mound short of the green.

5th (White Rocks), 374 yards, par 4

If it plays downwind you can be aggressive and cut the corner of the dog leg and get close to the green, but it is tough to pick the right line. Laying back off the tee leaves a tougher second to an angled green.

6th (Harry Colt’s), 194 yards, par 3

A classic links par three away from the water so club selection is key to a sloping green.

7th (Curran Point), 592 yards, par 5

The first of two new holes is almost 600 yards but will be a birdie chance downwind if you avoid the massive bunker on the right  and a smaller one to the left of the fairway.

8th (Dunluce), 434 yards, par 4

The second new hole gives players the option to lay up short of the fairway bunkers or take them on to get closer to a large, undulating green which is protected by a solitary bunker on the right.

9th (PG-Stevenson’s), 432 yards, par 4

A radio mast in the distance is the target off the tee and you must find the narrow fairway. Rough and mounds to the left make it difficult to get close to the green and there is a little more room right than you think.

10th (Himalayas), 447 yards, par 4

The hole doglegs from left to right and it is important to hit the undulating fairway otherwise you will be hitting across the long, narrow green which will make club selection on the second shot key.

11th (Tavern), 474 yards, par 4

In 2012 this was a par five and I hit one of my best shots ever with a 2-wood onto the green in driving rain. There is a big dip in front of a very narrow green with a lot of trouble around it.

12th (Dhu Varren), 532 yards, par 5

A good chance for a birdie if you can stay out of the bunkers on the right, although if it plays into the wind the bunker 70 yards short of the green will come into play.

13th (Feather Bed), 194 yards, par 3

A downhill tee shot means it plays shorter than the yardage suggests but it is a small green  surrounded by five bunkers.

14th (Causeway), 473 yards, par 4

One of the widest tee shots on the course and a good chance of birdie if you can avoid the two bunkers on the right of the fairway.

15th (Skerries), 426 yards, par 4

Probably an iron down the right as long as you can carry the bunkers on the right and run it down the hill. The green nestles down into the dell and is well protected.

16th (Calamity), 236 yards, par 3

A great par three with a long carry to quite a big green and you need to guard against missing it right. A lot of recovery shots will be played from left of the green.

17th (Purgatory), 408 yards, par 4

Tee shots will land on a downslope and if the wind is in the right direction, the bigger hitters will have the chance to drive a green protected by bunkers on the front left and right.

18th (Babingtons), 474 yards, par 4

A left-to-right dogleg with a generous fairway but two bunkers to the right. Find those off the tee and cross bunkers short of the green also come into play.


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