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The 18th hole at Royal Portrush will feature an incredible amphitheater for The Open. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
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148th Open Championship Media Day - Royal Portrush
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148th Open Championship Media Day - Royal Portrush
The claret jug is returning to Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
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The stadium seating dominates the skyline near the practice green at Royal Portrush. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
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The 17th hole might be drivable on the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush during The Open. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
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Dunes line Royal Portrush as far as the eyes can see. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
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The fifth green on Dunluce at Royal Portrush lies hard against the shore. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
The Claret Jug at Royal Portrush Golf Club
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The Claret Jug at Royal Portrush Golf Club
Royal Portrush is both a beautiful and challenging links. Courtesy of Charles McQuillan/R&A via Getty Images
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Walking paths have been cut for the players for The Open at Royal Portrush. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
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The new par-5 7th hole snakes through the dunes of Royal Portrush. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
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Calamity Corner, the infamous par 3, will now play as the 16th hole for The Open. Nick Menta/Golf Advisor
The Claret Jug at Royal Portrush Golf Club
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The Claret Jug at Royal Portrush Golf Club
The Dunluce course at Royal Portrush Golf Club features more elevation changes than most links in Ireland. Courtesy of Charles McQuillan/R&A via Getty Images
Royal Portrush Golf Club clubhouse
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Royal Portrush Golf Club clubhouse
A look at the clubhouse at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Courtesy of Charles McQuillan/R&A via Getty Images

The Open: 2019 host Royal Portrush primed for epic championship

Northern Ireland returns to Open rota for first time since 1951

There’s still a little more than two months to go before The Open Championship, but the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush is capable of holding the year’s final major today.

While there’s a considerable amount of infrastructure left to be built, the golf course itself is more than ready to host the game’s best. Golf Advisor was able to play the golf course last week, albeit off mats in the fairways. It was an understandable concession, as the Portrush grounds staff and the R&A work together to host the club’s second Open and first since 1951.

The Harry Colt design has been tweaked in recent years by architect Martin Ebert, who most notably created two new holes, Nos. 7 and 8, using land borrowed from Valley Links. The par-5 seventh is framed by large dunes on each side and gradually rises from tee to green, tipping out at 590 yards. The par-4 eighth is a dogleg left that travels back in the other direction to rejoin the old routing at the ninth tee.

That means Calamity Corner, the 236-yard par 3 over a chasm, will now play as No. 16, ahead of the downhill, drivable par-4 17th and dogleg-right, par-4 18th. The grandstands surrounding the home hole are already in place, as you’ll see in the images and video of the course below.

Nick Menta joined Golf Channel in 2014 and is an associate editor for GolfChannel.com. A graduate of Temple University, he spent three years at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia covering college athletics for CSNPhilly.com before joining Golf Channel. He has also contributed to NBCOlympics.com and GolfAdvisor.com. Menta has separately freelanced for both The Associated Press and Yahoo! Rivals.
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The Open: 2019 host Royal Portrush primed for epic championship
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