A thrilling journey through the dunes packed with wow-factor, top quality links holes and more charisma than just about anywhere

Royal Portrush Golf Club Dunluce Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 – 8
Previous Rankings
2019/20 – 08
2017/18 – 13
2015/16 – 11
2013/14 – 12
2011/12 – 15
2009/10 – 16


Changes since previous ranking

Full upgrade of the irrigation system with complete replacement of irrigation heads and operating system. No significant changes to Dunluce course as it plays, due to the Open Championship in 2019, but a full post Open review was done, planning future work. Removal of large stand of sea buckthorn bushes left of holes 14 and 15, replacing this with marram grass. New steps added at the 5th and grass paths re-routed to improve view from the 4th fairway. Considerable repair work to return grass pathways, spectator and catering areas to previous condition.

Royal Portrush Golf Club Dunluce Course Review

There are two courses at the excellent Royal Portrush Club and it is the Dunluce that is right up there among the best not just in the UK&I, but in the world.

It was designed by the legendary Harry Colt, and even before the relatively recent changes prior to hosting the 2019 Open Championship, there were plenty who felt it was a contender for the best course in the whole of Ireland.


Its perceived Achilles’ Heel had always been a pair of less impressive, long but essentially anticlimactic finishing holes. These have now been replaced by two brand new holes designed by the prolific Martin Ebert. They match the pars of the holes they replaced and are now the par-5 7th and par-4 8th.

The fabulous new par-5 seventh

Changes for The Open

Fitting perfectly in with the existing layout, both won instant acclaim from all who have seen or played them.

Various other improvements were incorporated and what was already a magnificent, must-play course that attracted golfers from all over the world, has increased its stock and reputation.

If you had to pick out a couple of feature holes, it would be very tough because there are so many. The par-4 5th is a spectacular hole where you drive from an elevated tee down to the fairway, before turning right towards the ocean. A classic question of how much of the corner do you take on!

The final par 3 is the super-tough 16th, Calamity Corner. Depending on the strength and direction of the wind, the tee shot can be almost any club in the bag as you attempt to fly the ball over a deep and pitiless chasm. There are no bunkers here, and absolutely none are needed.

The famous short sixteenth, Calamity Corner

The Dunluce is a wonderfully natural links that sits in complete harmony with its environment. Much is done to encourage a diverse ecosystem where flora and fauna flourish and the wildness of the course is one of its many appealing features.

Assessor Feedback

A world-class links with a welcoming culture amongst the staff. The two new holes within the closing stages of the front 9 serve to cement the place of RPGC’s hallowed links within the echelons of the world’s best.

GM Verdict

A thrilling journey through the dunes packed with wow-factor, top quality links holes and more charisma than just about anywhere