Royal Portrush (Dunluce)
Royal Portrush Golf Club is a private golf club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The 36-hole club has two links courses, the Dunluce Links (the championship course) and the Valley Links. The former is one of the courses on the Open championship rota and will next host the tournament in 2019. In 1951, Royal Portrush hosted the Open Championship, the oldest of golf’s major championships; the only Open not held on the island of Great Britain. Portrush will host the Open again in 2019. Royal Portrush hosted the Irish Open in 2012, the first in Northern Ireland since 1953.
The Dunluce Links course is considered to be one of the best courses in the world. It was ranked at number 4 by Golf World in their list of “The 100 greatest courses in the British Isles” in November 1996. Golf Magazine ranked it at number 12 in their list of the Top 100 Courses in the World, and Golf Digest ranked it as the fourth best course outside the United States in 2007. The Royal Portrush Golf Club was founded in 1888 as “The County Club.” It became “The Royal County Club” in 1892 under the patronage of the Duke of York and assumed its present name in 1895 under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. In 1947 Rathmore Golf Club member Fred Daly became the first Irishman to win The Open Championship, and four years later the club hosted the championship itself, the only time the event has been held in Northern Ireland. The club has also hosted the Senior British Open Championship between 1995 and 1999 and again in 2004. The club was also host to the 2010 Palmer Cup. Daly’s feat was repeated by club member Darren Clarke in 2011. Clarke also named Royal Portrush his favourite golf course in the world.
The second course at Royal Portrush is the Valley Links, and is used mostly by members of the ‘town’ club Rathmore and the ladies and juniors of Royal Portrush. It is shorter and considered less demanding than the Dunluce Links. Rathmore clubhouse and the ladies clubhouse are situated adjacent to the first tee. A nine-hole pitch and putt course, named Skerries, starts from the same location. There is also a driving range at the club.