08.45: Team Registration / Breakfast / Practice Facilities Open
10:00: Official Welcome / Tournament Briefing
10:30: SHOTGUN Start – Stableford (4bbb-top two scores count) – Maximum Handicaps M24 W36
15.30: Guinness & Oyster Festival & Networking Reception
17:30: Prize Giving & Auction for The Iveagh Trust
Portrush is still the only Irish course to host The Open. The Old Tom Morris design, reworked by H.S. Colt in the 1930s, was the Open site back in 1951, and will be again in 2019. In preparation, architect Martin Ebert added new sixth and seventh holes, fashioned from land on the club’s Valley Course, to replace its weak 17th and 18th. That means the notorious Calamity Hole, an uphill 210-yard par 3, will now be the 16th instead of the 14th, and the old dogleg-right par-4 16th will now be the closing hole, with a new back tee. Ebert retained Colt’s greens, considered one of the best set of putting surfaces in the world.
Dunluce Links – Championship Course
The Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club ranks amongst the world’s greatest courses. Voted Number 7th in the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest in January 2017. It is a masterpiece of golf course architecture. Unimaginable rough and testing greens, combined with the unpredictable weather of the roaring North Atlantic make this course an admirable test for even the most seasoned golf aficionado.
Harry Colt’s Masterpiece
Harry Colt, universally acknowledged as one of golf’s greatest course architects, used the natural contours and dunes of the links land at Portrush to create a legacy which attracts golfers from all across the globe. As the writer Bernard Darwin said, ‘Mr HS Colt…has thereby built himself a monument more enduring than brass’. The 6867 yard course, which has been extended to just under 7200 yards, is routed through rugged links land, and constantly changes in both direction and elevation, whilst all the time providing some of the most awe-inspiring scenery to be found in Ireland.
The Dunluce Links is home to one of the most stunning par fours in golf, the 411 yard 5th hole. A dogleg hole played from an elevated tee towards the ocean, it rewards the daring shot across a wide expanse of rough. Be careful though, as an overly long approach shot will end up on the sand of the White Rocks beach which lies just beyond the rear of the green. Make sure and take a moment to enjoy the stunning views from the green towards the 13th Century Dunluce castle and the surfers braving the swells below.
Calamity Corner, the 210 yard par 3 14th (now the 16th) Hole is a must play for any follower of the game. Between the tee and the green is a yawning chasm, which must be cleared to stand any chance of making your three. It is hard to describe the feeling as you stand on this tee, looking out across the Valley links below, knowing it will take a fantastic shot to hit the small target across the void.
Royal Portrush History Timeline
1888 – Club formed in May 1888, originally known as The County Club and was only a nine hole course
1889 – Extended to a eighteen hole course
1892 – Renamed as The Royal County Club, when H.R.H. The Duke of York was its patron
1892 – Irish Open Amateur Championship inaugurated at Royal Portrush
1895 – Finally named as The Royal Portrush Golf Club , with H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) as patron.
1895 – Royal Portrush was the first links outside of England to house the British Ladies’ Championship, which was won by Lady Margaret Scott and has been played here another seven times since
1907 – Irish Professional Championship inaugurated at Royal Portrush
1929 – Harry Colt lays out plans for the Dunluce links
1930, 1937, 1947 – Royal Portrush plays host to The Irish Open.
1951 – ‘The Open Championship’ is played at Royal Portrush, the first club outside of the mainland UK to have hosted the tournament. Max Faulkner wins with a total of 285.
1982 – The 5th green and 6th tee area require emergency steps to be taken to prevent them being washed into the ocean after heavy erosion.
1993 – Ian Pyman wins “The Amateur Championship”.
1995-1999, 2004 – The Senior British Open takes place featuring some of golf’s greats, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tom Watson.
2012 – Royal Portrush hosts the Irish Open.
History in Detail
If Portrush owes the best part of its renown to golf, which has converted an erstwhile fishing village into a world-famous holiday resort, it is no less true to say that golf, and especially ladies’ golf, owes a considerable debt to Portrush.
It was here that the Irish Open Amateur Championship was inaugurated in 1892, and the Irish Professional Championship in 1907. Portrush, in 1895, was the first links outside of England to house the British Ladies’ Championship, which was won by Lady Margaret Scott. The Championship was played here for the eighth time in 1995, and was won by Julie Hall from Felixstowe Ferry GC.
Altogether more than fifty national championships, British and Irish, have been decided here. The first professional tournament ever held in Ireland was run by the club in 1895. It was decided by match play, and the famous Sandy’ Herd, who was the Club’s first professional, was the winner; his opponent in the final was Harry Vardon, who was then a comparative unknown player, just coming up to the form that was to win him his first Open Championship in the following year. In July, Royal Portrush had the distinction of being the first Irish course to host The Open Championship, the winner being Max Faulkner with a score of 285 for the four rounds.
When the club was formed in May 1888, it was known as The County Club. It became The Royal County Club in 1892, when H.R.H. The Duke of York was its patron, and ‘The Royal Portrush Golf Club’ three years later, with H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) as patron.
The links have undergone many alterations in the course of its existence. The nine-hole course of 1888 was extended to eighteen holes the following year, and at that time, eight of these holes were laid out on the landward side of the Causeway road. Gradually, however, the course was moved further and further into the sand hills, until the famous architect, Harry Colt, laid out his own plans for the Dunluce links in 1929. The unfortunate loss of land comprising the first and eighteenth holes of this layout led to the creation of the present eight and ninth holes under the guidance of P.G. Stevenson and Sir Anthony Babington in 1946.
There have been may famous golfers who have played at the Royal Portrush Club at one stage or another: Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and Larry Mize to name a few. With Phil Mickelson and Mark Calcavecchia playing in 2002 and Davis Love III and Jim Furyk enjoying a game in 2003. Other major winners who have visited Royal Portrush include Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Steve Jones, Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.
GGOG is the best ready-made golf event we have ever attended. This year we took three four-ball teams to the inaugural World Final at Royal Portrush Golf Club. All of our clients flew from England to Belfast for the opportunity to take part in the day.
The calibre of the venue, the attendees and the Guinness & Oysters (served by Lord Iveagh and Rory Guinness) was second to none. Such a simple concept and so clever. The feedback we received from our clients was overwhelmingly positive and we would definitely recommend GGOG to anyone considering taking part in future. We will be back. Thank you Grant and the team for organising such a fantastic day.Ray Hutchinson