Royal Portrush Golf Course is the only club outside mainland Great Britain to have held The Open Championship. It takes its name from the neighboring Dunluce Castle ruins that overlook the course from their limestone cliff top perch, providing a unique and spectacular backdrop.
The club gained Royal patronage from the Duke of York in 1892, and Martin Ebert took the course to a new level in 2015, building 8 new tee boxes, 10 new bunkers, and 2 completely new holes. The Dunluce Links Course at Royal Portrush is famous for its beautiful and challenging layout, and can be enjoyed as a stop on our Northern Ireland Golf Tour – one of our four regional Ireland golf tours.
After years of lobbying to return The Open Championship to Royal Portrush Golf Club, (last hosting the event in 1951), the R&A relented, and in 2019 it hosted one of the most successful Opens to date – with an Irishman, Shane Lowry, capturing the Claret Jug.
So successful was the staging that the next Open at the pride of Northern Ireland golf, Royal Portrush’s Dunluce Course, is scheduled just a few years away in 2025. It remains the only club to have held the Open outside of mainland Great Britain.
Harry Colt made significant changes to the course in 1932, but it is the work of Martin Ebert in 2015 in preparation for the 2019 Open that has taken the course to a new level. Ebert built 8 new tee boxes, 10 new bunkers, and 2 completely new holes. The masterfully crafted 7th and 8th sit on land once part of the Portrush’s second course – the Valley Course.
The new 7th is a true 3-shot, par 5 at 590 yards and the new 8th is a challenging 430-yard par 4, where the left side must be avoided at all costs.
Two other key holes are the 1st – in order to avoid the OB disaster Rory McIlroy faced after his opening tee shot in the 2019 Open, it is suggested to take a 3-wood or long iron as accuracy is rewarded. The 16th, named ‘Calamity Corner’ at 236 yards, is one of the world’s most famous par 3’s.
While the Championship Dunluce is on everyone’s bucket list, the second course at Royal Portrush, the Valley Course, combines to make a wonderful 36-hole day on a Northern Ireland golf trip.
The course is home to The Rathmore Club, whose most famous member is a major winner and Ryder Cup member, Graeme McDowell. The Valley is a true championship links that is a little kinder on one’s ego and only has 18 bunkers on the routing to avoid.
As a private club and with its newfound prominence on the Open rota, you can imagine that the limited Visitor tee times are at a premium. Especially if you are planning to play both Royal Portrush and Royal County Down in the same week, it is suggested you reserve tee times at least a year or more in advance.
Northern Ireland is a golfing utopia. With breathtaking views, rolling countryside, and around 100 courses across the small country, it is often considered the go-to destination for a luxury golf vacation.
6 nights accommodation and 6 rounds of golf
Prices starting from $4,750
As experts in creating exceptional golf experiences, Premier Golf can secure your tee time and provide accommodations and transportation details. Their extensive network in the golf industry ensures that you will have an unforgettable time at this renowned venue.
Royal Portrush boasts two 18-hole links courses: the Dunluce Links and the Valley Links. The Dunluce Links is the renowned home of the 153rd Open in 2025, showcasing the club’s prestigious history and challenging layout.
The new holes at Royal Portrush, designed by golf architect Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert, include the long par-5 7th (Curran Point) and the par-4 8th (Dunluce). These additions enhance the already esteemed course layout, providing golfers with exciting new challenges.
As per the latest information the green fee is from €295 for 2023. At Premier Golf the green fee is always included within the package price.
While having a handicap is generally recommended, it is not strictly enforced to play at Royal Portrush. Golfers of varying skill levels can still enjoy the experience of playing at this prestigious golf club.