Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course
|Blue M: 76.0/137||417||411||398||474||442||603||184||427||454||3810||370||428||177||565||411||204||577||472||452||3656||7466|
|White M: 74.0/131||397||360||377||441||385||583||171||378||417||3509||364||414||148||549||387||190||527||445||393||3417||6926|
|Green M: 73.0/129||381||343||372||435||371||564||157||362||408||3393||355||404||129||538||375||176||512||432||387||3308||6701|
|Red W: 71.0/120||330||295||319||386||326||440||133||293||347||2869||328||375||112||471||281||139||484||405||330||2925||5794|
Great Classic Links Layout
Portmarnock was my first proper links course experience and it did not disappoint. Although a private club, there are tee times available for visitors. The staff was friendly and easy to communicate with, especially since we rented clubs and trolleys. The course itself is a challenging layout with several blind tee shots, but was fair. Greens were tricky and undulating, and the course was well-bunkered. Given Portmarnock's reputation as an Irish Open and Amateur host course, I was slightly disappointed by the conditions, as fairways seemed somewhat spotty and greens a bit off. But the course was still very enjoyable and easy to get to from Dublin. I'd definitely play here again on another trip to Ireland.
Irish golf in its purest form
It’s no question scores of pros come here to practice for the British Open. This is links golf. Being from the States, this style of golf in a-whole-different animal. Play the ball off the ground, not in the air. It’s a cool experience. If the wind is howling, you won’t score well. But it’s such a nice layout with the bunkering and fairway ungulations. Top 100 course worth checking off the list.
A wonderful experience
Had time for one round while in Dublin. PM was recommended by a friend. Rented clubs which were high quality. I arrived early and was allowed to go out solo before everyone. Took my pull cart and was done in two hours. The course is spectacular. It's in wonderful shape. Some very pretty views The layout is super. I had a wonderful morning out there. Brendan the caddy master is a class act, as is the rest of the crew. If/when I go back I will be sure to get out there again. A real treat
A timeless beauty
I have now played this course 4 times and each time it has been more enjoyable than the last. This is a classic links course and host to more Irish Opens (29) than any other course in Ireland, yet many people don't know if it.
Located on the tip of a peninsula jutting out into the Irish sea the course can have some wicked wind, but this round was played in only a light breeze. In classic design for these courses, the hazards are the bunkers. The fairways are generous and even the fescue is quite manageable to hit from, but the roll of the fairways maliciously guides balls to bunkers that almost eliminate a forward shot. You either go sideways, backwards or humiliate yourself by trying to hit anything other than a fat lob wedge forward. Green side bunkers are black holes, sucking in any ball into the that rolls by too casually.
The holes by the sea are gems and extremely demanding. The Blue nine (there are 3 nines) has the best protected greens of the three especially those in the light dunes areas. The course is long, but the firm fairways can make even a weekend duffer feel like John Daly with the incredible roll you get.
The Red nine was the most punishing with several raised and crowned greens. Missing them even slightly puts you in a difficult spot to try to chip up from. Also beware of the small water holes that dot the course. They are quite steep and each has a quaint life saving ring mounted on a post to help anyone who might fall in.
A wonderful old club house is the anchor view throughout the round. Don't miss the seafood chowder. It is the specialty of the club
Playing for the second day in a row we had to pinch ourselves to believe we were looking at another sunny day with light breezes for our encounter with the grand old lady of Ireland, the Old Course at Portmarnock. Founded back in 1894 the club oozes tradition as soon as you arrive in the car park. The pro shop nestled at the rear of the first tee, the magnificent clubhouse and course are a picture. Portmarnock has hosted twenty Irish Opens, a Canada Cup, Walker Cup and plethora of major amateur events.
As an overall comment, the course is a very fair links course with only one blind drive and any other blind shots are the result of poor strategy, shotmaking or both. You get a good look at all the holes from the tee and what is required and the caddy (Bob) that we had could be relied on for line of play and line of putts.
The fairways are quite generous in width compared to other courses played but the penalty for finding one of the fairway bunkers is severe. There is a correct line to play each hole and if you can keep largely to that you shouldn't have too many problems.
The putting surfaces are in impeccable condition with some really subtle breaks the caddies can pick but aren't readily seen by the first timer. I found the green side bunkers to play beautifully with the consistency of the sand in each unbelievable.
Regarding the holes themselves, there's reallly not a weak hole. Five par 4's open the round with the fourth the toughest requiring two long shots to find the putting surface. The fifth is the blind drive and definitely requires a straight tee shot or you will be reloading. The first par 5 is the sixth and is a genuine three shorter into the wind.
The par3's start on 7 and is an excellent short hole but my pick of the 3's is the 204 yard 15th that hugs the beach. OOB all the way down the right, three pot bunkers and swales around the raised green and rough off to the left. A par here (like mine) is gold.
Bernard Darwin wrote " I know of no greater finish than the last five holes at Portmarnock" and it's a fair statement. Fourteen is a testing par 4, fifteen we have spoken about and the 16th has some strategically place bunkers that invite you to lay up and hit a longer shot in or take them on with a matching risk/reward. The last two were uncharacteristically playing downwind that made them easier but it's easy to imagine the difficulty factor multiplying into the normally prevailing wind. 18 only has three small green side bunkers but their positioning makes your positioning off the tee crucial to your shot in.
We arrived at Portmarnock with great expectations and they were satisfied 100%
Portmarnock - still a bucket-list experience
After getting my second crack at Portmarnock, my impression of the place rose immensely. The host of 13 Irish Opens in the modern era is simply one of the classiest links in Ireland, and certainly a must-play if you're in Dublin. The name 'Championship Links' certainly applies. It's stocked with brawny holes. The par 4s on the front nine along the estuary are fantastic. The par 3 15th hole follows the dune line along a beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean. I'm still not convinced, however, there's enough charm there to elicit such a high world ranking among the top 40 courses in the world. Top 200, maybe, but not top 50. Portmarnock lacks land movement, enough ocean views and any short holes (either a little par 3 or drivable par 4) to be fun for everybody. If I hadn't met the member I joined with on the first tee, I would have been lost trying to decipher the three or four blind/semi-blind tee shots. It's a bucket list course, to be sure, but one where you can leave the camera at home.
a day to remember
Playing a true links style course is great but playing it in Ireland is fantastic. Portmarnock offers a challenge to all. Some of the carries over the fescue are long. Pot bunkers are everywhere. There is 1 par three on the back nine where the green is surrounded by pot bunkers, the Irish Sea on the right and from tee to green is fescue requiring an accurate tee shot.
The staff were wonderful. The meal was excellent. I met many members who wanted to chat with a yank. I spent a couple of hours just chatting with the members.
It is expensive but worth every Euro.
Great Course, underrated .
We played this early in the day and the winds were down. The course is challenging but not penalizing. Every hole had its own character and the course very diverse. The view on the 15th tee with the ocean right is a great spot for a picture. It is a great golf experience, and would encourage anyone to play it if given the chance.