Royal Portrush (Dunluce)--Portrush, Northern Ireland
-Rankings as of 5/27/2014--13th best International Course (Golf Digest); 6th best Foreign Course (Golf Magazine); 3rd best classic GB&I Course (Golfweek)
Royal Portrush is a world class golf course located in Northern Ireland. The design of the course is most associated with Harry Colt and his work that was done there in 1929 on the Dunluce course. Additionally, Portrush has as long standing championship golfing pedigree. In all, it has hosted over 50 British and Irish national championships. And it was the first Irish course to host the British Open, which occurred in 1951.
With this long and storied championship history, you'd think that Royal Portrush is a stern test of golfing ability. And, you'd be right. The course demands well thought out and executed shots from the time you hit you first tee shot until the time you hole out your last putt. Starting hitting it off line at Portrush and you will pay the price, the rough and native grasses are brutal to hit out off...if you can find your ball.
But, nevertheless, this stern test of golfing ability is stunningly beautiful and a joy to play the great game of golf upon. In fact, the first 5 holes are among the very best in the world.
Perhaps after that the holes takes a step back in terms of consistent quality, but I'm not sure if that is a knock on the rest of the course or a testament to how good the first 5 really are. However, one hole that stands out on the back nine is the world class par 3 14th hole, aptly named "Calamity's Corner". 214 yards over a massive gorge to a finger of a green. Add in the wind that will certainly be blowing and you've got your hands full on this wonderful golf hole.
I'd say that all golf course enthusiasts simply must make the trek to Royal Portrush to see what playing a championship style links golf course is all about. There will be no doubt that you will enjoy yourself.