Portmarnock Golf Club: Red and Blue Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Class and conditioning at Portmarnock Golf Club have always been the mainstay at this first-class championship links

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

Portmarnock Golf Club Key Information

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)
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Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1
AddressGolf Links Road, Portmarnock, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Phone00353 18462 968
Websiteportmarnockgolfclub.ie
Email info@portmarnockgolfclub.ie
GFs€300
Visitor TimesFully booked for 2023, contact for 2024
ParMen 72, Women 72
SlopeWhite/M 138
Opened1894
ArchitectWilliam Pickeman, Martin Hawtree
Golf Monthly Verdict

Portmarnock - Hole 12

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are no tricks or gimmicks here, but instead a wonderfully subtle and old-school links that has moved very sympathetically with the times keeping the best of its heritage while catering for modern equipment and tastes. Almost completely surrounded by water, it is a fabulous place for a game of golf.

Reasons To Play Portmarnock

– This historic links has hosted many leading championships and tested many of the game’s greats

– The course is tough but totally fair and kept in immaculate shape

– The Yellow nine is also well worth playing

Rankings

UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 28

Portmarnock Golf Club is located on an easy-walking and wonderfully sandy peninsula to the north of Dublin. The three loops of nine holes look to be on land that was specifically created for golf. It doesn’t have the towering dunes or elevation changes that occur elsewhere in the country, but this is still a serious championship examination that has long been ranked as one of the very best golf courses in Ireland.

Golf was first played here in 1894, since when the club has hosted countless prestigious titles. This has included many Irish Opens, whose champion in 1986 was the legendary Seve Ballesteros. More recently, in 2019, it was the home of the Amateur Championship, which the club prepared for by upgrading some of the championship tees and bunkers, adding various areas of new mounding and a new irrigation system.

The course is surrounded by water on three sides with terrific views out to Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island and the Dublin coastline. In more recent times, much has been done to try and optimise the internal views over the course, and the external views out to sea and across the estuary to the mainland.

Mounding to the right of the 1st hole was removed and the fairway realigned to open up the views of the estuary, while the buckthorn that flanked the excellent short 15th was removed to give this fabulous hole the sea views that it so richly warranted. Elsewhere, blind or semi-blind tee shots on both the 6th and 11th holes were eliminated, while non-native grasses and shrubs were removed throughout to improve both the playability and the quality of the grasses and playing surfaces.

Overall, this excellent course can best be described as firm but fair. It is full of strategically strong holes that combine to make a complete test of shot making that will reward good play. With lovely views out over the water, it is also enjoyable by all.

Portmarnock - Hole 4

Low light on the fourth hole at Portmarnock

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Rob Fear UK&I Top 100 panel
Rob Fear

Glorious links setting with raised tees giving inspiring views across the course and further afield along the coastline and Irish Sea. Wonderful condition with beautiful links fairways and excellent greens. A very special place where its natural magnificence gives a feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world.

Richard Healy UK&I Top 100 panel
Richard Healy

The welcome was truly exceptional. Attention to detail at every turn, a wonderful course, beautiful setting and glorious experience from arrival to departure.

Nicholas Hercules UK&I Top 100 panel
Nicholas Hercules

Conditioning as good as that of Muirfield - nothing flashy but always excellent.

Shane Santry UK&I Top 100 panel
Shane Santry

The course is beautifully presented and the journey from the tee to green is a manicured delight. One of the fairest tests of golf with a great historical connection. Easily the best course in the greater Dublin region.

Portmarnock Golf Club Location

Portmarnock Golf Club Green Fees

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18 holes€300Row 0 - Cell 2
27 holes€350Row 1 - Cell 2
36 holes€450Row 2 - Cell 2

Portmarnock Golf Club Red and Blue Scorecard

Portmarnock Golf Club red and blue course scorecard

(Image credit: Portmarnock Golf Club)

Best Courses Near To Portmarnock

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THE ISLAND

The Island is just ten miles from the centre of Dublin and is blessed with an idyllic setting. It is surrounded on three sides by water and marshland, with holes that weave through some of the tallest and most awe-inspiring dunes.

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PORTMARNOCK HOTEL AND GOLF LINKS

Situated on the same promontory as Portmarnock, this Next 100 Bernhard Langer design makes for a very interesting and more modern alternative which is in the throes of a major upgrade.

Best Places To Stay Near To Portmarnock

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links - Book now via Booking.com

The hotel combines modern elegance with the grandeur of a 19th-century residence. Rooms all have views of the ocean, gardens or the Bernhard Langer-designed golf course.

Marine Hotel, Sutton - Book now via Booking.com

There are rooms with views over Dublin Bay, as well as Cucinos, an authentic Italian restaurant, and an indoor pool and sauna. Lunch is served in the Galley Carvery, and Schooner’s Bar offers a bar menu and drinks all day.

Portmarnock Golf Club Gallery

Historical Top 100 Rankings UK&I

  • 2023/24 28
  • 2021/22 27
  • 2019/20 26
  • 2017/18 27
  • 2015/16 25
  • 2013/14 29
  • 2011/12 26
  • 2009/10 29

Frequently Asked Questions

Has Portmarnock hosted the Irish Open?

The club has been the venue for the Irish Open a record 19 times with champions including Ben Crenshaw (1976), Severiano Ballesteros (1986), Bernhard Langer (1987) and Jose Maria Olazabal (1990).

How many courses are there at Portmarnock?

This excellent club has 27 holes of its own, while immediately next door is the Langer designed Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links which is in the Next 100.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. 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 seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.