Portmarnock Golf Club Red and Blue Course Review

Attention to detail and conditioning has always been very evident at this superb, timeless and very honest championship links

The beautiful par-3 twelfth
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Attention to detail and conditioning has always been very evident at this superb, timeless and very honest championship links

Portmarnock Golf Club Red and Blue Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 27 Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 26 2017/18 - 27 2015/16 - 25 2013/14 - 29 2011/12 - 26 2009/10 - 29

Summer Green Fees

Round - €255 Monday-Thursday, €275 Friday-Sunday

Visitors: welcome weekdays, and at limited times Saturday and Sunday

Medal Tee: Par 72 - 6,452 Yards

www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie (opens in new tab)

Changes since previous ranking

Nothing significant this time round.

Portmarnock Golf Club Red and Blue Course Review

Set on a relatively flat and wonderfully sandy peninsula to the north of Dublin, the 27 holes at Portmarnock look exactly as though they were always destined for golf. And while the landscape may not have the towering dunes that occur elsewhere in the country, this is a serious championship test. It is extremely highly regarded and has long been ranked as one of the country’s very finest golfing examinations.

Golf here dates back to 1894, and the course has hosted a huge number of prestigious titles including no fewer than 19 Irish Open Championships. More recently, in 2019, it was the home of the Amateur Championship. This coincided with upgrades to some of the championship tees and bunkers, as well as areas of new mounding and a new irrigation system.

The links, one of the best golf courses in Ireland, is surrounded by water on three sides with views out to Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island and the Dublin coastline. In recent years, the club has carried out significant improvements. These have really optimised the views over the course, out to sea, and across the estuary to the mainland.

For example, mounding to the right of the 1st was removed and the fairway realigned to open up the views of the estuary, while the buckthorn flanking the glorious par-3 15th was removed to give this fabulous hole the sea views it so richly deserves.

The Red and the Blue

Elsewhere, blind or semi-blind tee shots on the 6th and 11th were eliminated, while non-native grasses and shrubs were removed throughout to improve both playability and the quality of the grasses and playing surfaces.

Stroke Index 2 - the tough par-4 fourteenth

Overall, this easy-walking but hard-golfing course is extremely fair. What you see is what you get, but what you see is actually a supreme test of shot making that will reward good play at the same time as being enjoyable by all.

Assessor Feedback

One of the fairest tests of golf with a great historical collection. Easily the best course in the greater Dublin region.

GM Verdict

Attention to detail and conditioning has always been very evident at this superb, timeless and very honest championship links

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.