Universally acknowledged as one of the truly great links courses, Portmarnock is situated to the north side of Dublin, about 12 miles from the city centre. Its quality and location have made it a splendid venue for some of the game’s great events, from the British Amateur Championship of 1949, to the 1991 Walker Cup
Founded in 1894, the championship course offers a classic, traditional challenge. Indeed the celebrated golf writer, Bernard Darwin, was prompted to comment: "I know of no greater finish in the world than that of the last five holes at Portmarnock…." And that standard is mirrored in an additional nine holes designed by the distinguished British architect,Fred Hawtree.
When Tom Watson played the main course as part of his preparation for the defence of his British Open title in 1981, he remarked on the fairness of the layout. There are no tricks or nasty surprises, only an honest, albeit searching test of shotmaking skills. Invariably rated as Ireland’s best course in ballots by the Irish Golf Institute, Portmarnock takes justifiable pride in its 27 holes, which are maintained to the highest standards.
Within the curve of the coastline formed by Howth peninsula, it offers stunning views of Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island, rising sharply from deep waters. But above all, there is the charm of its delightful turf, the wildness, the solitude of the sandhills and the sea, and the ever-present challenge of the wind.
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