Portstewart Golf Club: Strand Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Blessed with a quite spectacular front nine, Portstewart Golf Club is a joy to play but has an eye firmly set on the future

Portstewart Golf Club
The dunes on the opening nine at Portstewart are sensational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

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Portstewart Golf Club Key Information

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Address117 Strand Road, Portstewart, County Londonderry, BT55 7PG
Phone0044 (0) 28 7083 2015
Email reception@portstewartgc.co.uk
GFs£235 in peak season, £70 in winter
Visitor TimesWeekdays, weekend afternoons, subject to availability
ParMen 72, Women 72
SlopeWhite/M 124, Red/W 124
ArchitectWillie Park Junior, Des Giffin

Portstewart Golf Club 

Golf Monthly Verdict

Portstewart - Strand Course

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Blessed with a wonderful location for golf, this exhilarating seaside course has a quite sensational front nine. It will be very interesting to observe the proposed changes take place to the back nine with the intention of creating an even better course that is still as spectacular but with a greater balance throughout.

Reasons To Play Portstewart

– One of the most beautiful, most exciting and most difficult opening holes in the Top 100

– A brilliant site for golf with towering dunes, the sea and the River Bann

– Eighteen holes of fun


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 98

Portstewart Golf Club is not far from the world-famous Open Championship course at Royal Portrush, and its Strand Course is high in the list of the best golf courses in Northern Ireland. The club was founded in 1894, and with 54 holes of golf, it is the Strand Course that is the real star of the Portstewart show. The course evolved from an original design by Willie Park Junior that was subsequently given a very substantial makeover in the late 1980s when Des Giffin blended seven new holes with the existing layout to create one that is both beautiful to look at and exciting to play.

Such is the test of golf on offer at Portstewart that the Strand was selected to host the 2017 Irish Open, won by Jon Rahm who was very complimentary about the course. Partly on the back of this, it made its way into the Top 100 for the first time in 2019, and it is now rated as the third best in the country behind two absolute world-beaters, Royal County Down and Royal Portrush.

Highlights here include just about all of the phenomenal front nine, starting with the excellent dogleg-right opener. With such wonderful dunes in view, the anticipation as you stand on the first tee is huge. Here, an elevated drive takes you down to a rumpled fairway with the green waiting over 400 yards away as you start your golfing safari.

The two short holes on the front nine - the 3rd and 6th - are especially lovely. There is a general consensus that the back nine is something of an anticlimax due to its flatter topography, but there are some undulations and elevation changes, and perhaps still more so than at many leading links courses. There is also much to be said for having two quite different nines. Plans are now in place to address this imbalance, and it will be fascinating to see these take shape.

Portstewart - Aerial

The Strand Course is beautifully sited between the beach and the River Bann

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Chris Boakes Golf Monthly Top 100 panel
Chris Boakes

Portstewart Golf Club and the Strand course in particular should certainly be on any serious links enthusiasts hit list as dunes of this scale are a rare and surreal commodity. Blending the two contrasting loops of nine into one superb golf course is a masterpiece of golf architecture.

Chris Dobson
Chris Dobson

The first 8 holes were stunning, spectacular and dramatic. It really was a treat playing through such huge dunes often from elevated tees. The back 9, had it not been for the front, would have been very beautiful in its own right. Sea views and great vistas of the surrounding area. The dramatic first hole sets the tone and the second raises the bar even higher in terms of visual drama. A really fun course to play.

Top 100 Golf COurses UK and Ireland in association with Peter Millar
Gavyn Cairns

On a good day, this is a truly excellent links experience. If the course improvements continue, Portstewart will cement itself as a stalwart on the championship links circuit in Ireland.

Gordon Ross UK&I Top 100 panel
Gordon Ross

I was very impressed with the condition of the course. The greens were fabulous, probably the best links greens I have putted on this year. Spectacular, varied, always challenging and hugely enjoyable.

Portstewart Golf Club Location

Portstewart Golf Club Green Fees

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18 holes£235May to Sep
18 holes£165Apr & Oct
18 holes£70Nov to Mar

Portstewart Golf Club Strand Course Scorecard

Portstewart Golf Club Strand Course Scorecard

(Image credit: Portstewart Golf Club)

Best Courses Near Portstewart Golf Club



Hosting a very successful Open Championship in 2019 and scheduled here again in 2025, Royal Portrush is a Harry Colt classic that was wonderful even before two terrific new holes were added. Much of its character is defined by the dunes, and the “short” 16th is one of the finest par 3s anywhere.



Castlerock is a wonderful club whose two courses are sometimes wrongly overlooked simply because of their proximity two giants. The main 18, the Mussenden, dates back well over a century and is a tough par-73 links designed by Ben Sayers and then Harry Colt.

Best Places To Stay Near Portstewart Golf Club

Anchorage Inn - Book now on Booking.com

This is part of the Anchor Complex incorporating the award-winning, traditional Anchor Bar, established in 1898. Skippers Restaurant, Inishowen Business Suite and Club Aura are all part of the complex.

Strand House - Book now on Booking.com

The award-winning Strand House is available on a room-only basis. Each comes with a light complimentary breakfast, tea and coffee making facilities, luxury robes, slippers and fridge. Accommodation is spacious, with a large residents' lounge downstairs and a smaller library-lounge with sea views.

Portstewart Golf Club Gallery

Historical Top 100 Rankings UK&I

  • 2022/23 98
  • 2021/22 97
  • 2019/20 97 New Entry

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the most famous golfer to have played Portstewart?

John Rahm won the 2017 Irish Open here with an amazing score of 24 under par.

How Many Courses Are There At Portstewart?

There are three 18-hole courses at Portstewart. Apart from the Strand, there is the par-68 Riverside, as well as the Old Course which is actually a 5-minute drive away on the other side of town.

Who Will Be Designing The Changes At Portstewart?

The club has appointed European Golf Design whose MD Jeremy Slessor said, “We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with Portstewart to look at its three distinctive golf courses.”

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.