Royal Portrush Golf Club - 15th September 2011 - The Links
Royal Portrush Golf Club - 15th September 2011

Links golf at it’s very, very best…

The Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club, it’ll test every club in your bag and each hole will present its own unique challenges. Sacrificing a little distance for accuracy, particularly if the wind blows will give every chance of playing to your handicap. That is if you can keep your eyes off the majestic scenery.

I’ve been playing the Dunluce Links more than 10 times before and I love every part of this golf course. To me it’s the best golf course I have ever played and most likely one of the best links courses in the world.

It’s like magic every time I enter the parking lot at the clubhouse and I feel the excitement in every part of my body. The scenery is stunning and the Dunluce Links is created using the natural contours and dunes of the links land at Portrush.

Each hole is constantly changing in direction and elevation – this is a links course at it’s very best.

It measures 7143 yards (SSS 75) from the Championship tee and Rory McIlroy has an unbelievable course record of 61 shots!!!!!!!

There are voices raised to bring The Open back (it was played here in 1951) to Dunluce Links and the course certainly have what it takes, but I’m doubtful that the infrastructure will be up to date to handle an Open championship.

Portrush is also the home of the great champions Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke.

To me there are no bad holes on the course and it’s a pure pleasure to play everyone of them, but be careful – every hole is a fair tough challenge and in particular when the winds is blowing. Four holes give me more Goosebumps then the other:

Hole 4 – 455 yards par 4

It’s more a par 4,5 than a par 4. Well placed drive to the right of the big bunker give you a chance of getting there in two, but don’t be disappointed with a bogey 5. A bogey is exactly what I got.

Hole 5 – 379 yards par 4 – White Rocks

What a beauty! A dogleg right hole played from an elevated tee towards the ocean, it rewards the daring shot across a wide expanse of rough – aim for the white rock on top of the sand dune and go for it. Be careful though, as an overly long approach shot will end up on the sand of the White Rocks beach, which lies just beyond the rear of the green. Got a par four after an aggressive well placed drive to the right of the white rock target and a short approach shot.

Hole 14 – 202 yards par 3 – Calamity Corner

One of the most famous holes in golf and It’s a must play for any follower of the game. Between the tee and the green are just rugged rough and a deep valley to the front right, which must be cleared to stand any chance of making your three. It is hard to describe the feeling as you stand on this tee, knowing it will take a fantastic shot to hit the small green.

Normally are you also hitting right in the wind, so the 202 yards becomes much longer. I’ve been hitting a very good low drive on a windy day and still be short. Good struck fairway wood landing on the green edge and a 3 put for a bogey 4 – OK.

My playing partner of the day was Larry Murchan from the San Jose area. Larry and I also ended up playing together the following day at Royal County Down Golf Club. Very nice guy with an impressive low punch shot, unlike other American golfers. Larry played some good golf.

Our caddie Eamon is a great guy with a deep knowledge about the game and the course. He would normally caddie for Darren Clarke when he’s playing at home in Portrush and as well sometimes away from home. Thanks Eamon, excellent work.

On the first tee I was way to eager to make a good start and I got away with a bad weird bouncing drive. Placed the 4 iron to the right of the green followed by a short pitch and two put for a bogey 5.

The driver was OK from hole 2 and up to the 15th, but then the slice showed up and put pressure on the second “recovery” shot. The irons always work reasonable well, but the putter was “cold” today. I want to blame the punched greens, but I can’t. Eamon must have been frustrated with me, because I really didn’t hit the puts in the direction he wanted me to. The score came out OK, but I really wanted it to be better on my favorite course in the world - 41 OUT and 41 IN for a total of 82 (gross).

I’ll for sure come back to The Dunluce Links as long as I can play golf. No one will be disappointed after playing this course, rather get the addiction to come back and play it again and again and again and....

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is as good as Links golf can get.


Producing the required shot – a fade, draw, punch, etc.

You see what is demanded of you and you know only a particular type of shoot will deliver the goods. You set up for it, you swing, you produce it and then enjoy a little internal celebration.


Royal Portrush Golf Club - Dunluce Links