Narin & Portnoo Links

Narin & Portnoo Links

Narin & Portnoo Links

Narin & Portnoo Links | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Narin & Portnoo Links (N&P) provides golfers with stunning views, thanks to half of the layout running alongside the coastline of Ireland. 
Narin/Portnoo Beach and the North Atlantic Ocean provide the backdrop for the course, which has undergone significant changes in recent years. 
Originally founded in 1905, the course was extended to 18 holes in the 1960s, and more recently, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner have been influential in taking the links to the next level. The course reopened in 2020 following their changes, and it is now a stunning test of golf. 
Visit the Narin & Portnoo Links website here.  

A Brief History of Narin & Portnoo Links

The club was founded in the early 21st Century, with the course winding around the country's northwestern coastline. 
Originally a nine-hole layout, the course was extended to 18 holes in the mid-1960s. Eddie Connaughton then redeveloped the course in the early 2000s, but more changes were to come. 
The design duo of Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner have redesigned the layout, with the course now making the most of the natural undulating terrain. It reopened in 2020 following the pair’s work. 

Narin & Portnoo Links Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Narin & Portnoo Links might well be one of the most picturesque courses that you will find on the NCG Top 100s: Ireland list, but don’t get drawn in to that too much, as there is a golf course to battle! The length of the course does not come from its five par 3s. Each of the short holes at Narin & Portnoo measures less than 150 yards. Instead, the length comes from a pair of par 5s measuring more than 600 yards and plenty of lengthy par 4s. Add in the sea breeze that you will have to deal with, and the 6,900-yard, Par 70 links is a very tricky task. 
The opening hole features a very wide fairway, and a gentle start. However, that is quickly followed by the 2nd, a 524-yard par 4 from the tips, which features a green where you cannot go long, thanks to the boundary of the course coming into play at the back. 3 is a 607-yard par 5, which features that same boundary down the entirety of its right side. The tee shot on 3 plays over the boundary, just to make it even more difficult. 4 and 5 are both dog-leg left par 4s, and both play more than 410 yards from the tips, before you start to feel some respite through the middle part of the round. 
Three of the next six holes are short par 3s, starting with the 6th. At just 140 yards, and with no greenside bunkers, this a green light flag to attack. The 7th is only 325 yards, with the longer hitters maybe looking at taking the green on. For most, a fairway wood or long iron will set up a short distance for your approach. However, you cannot go long, as the beach and the North Atlantic provide the backdrop. The 8th is the toughest hole on this stretch, thanks to the water down the right side. Again, there are no bunkers, but the water certainly catches your eye. 
The short par 3 9th hole brings the front nine to a close, and at just 135 yards, it is the easiest stroke index on the card. The 10th is the shortest of the three par 5s at Narin & Portnoo, at 530 yards. Reachable in two for the longer hitters, most will play this as a three-shotter, with the dog-leg right at the end pushing the green back towards the coastline. 11 is another short par 3 at least than 140 yards long, but three bunkers guard this long and narrow green.  
From there, the course’s teeth start to bare once more. 12, 13, 14 and 16 are all par 4s of more than 450 yards in length, with the latter of those being the hardest hole on the course. At 488 yards from the tips, and with the North Atlantic Ocean cutting in to the right side of the fairway, a par is an exceptionally good score. The only respite in the run comes at 15 and 17, with both holes being short par 3s. The penultimate hole features no danger, and allows you to breathe before the final assault. 
The closing hole at Narin & Portnoo is a wonderful finisher. At 650 yards from the tips, it is one of the longest holes that you will read about on any of the NCG Top 100s lists. It plays as a dog-leg right, with your drive needing to avoid the large waster area to the right of the fairway, and the dunes to the left. From there, two more good shots are required if you are to find the putting surface in regulation, with a par on the 18th being a great score to walk off with.  

FAQs about Narin & Portnoo Links

Where is Narin & Portnoo Links located?  
Narin & Portnoo Links is situated on the northwestern coastline of Ireland, in County Donegal. The course sits on the coast, with several holes backing on to the beach and the North Atlantic Ocean. As you can tell by its name, the course is found between the towns of Narin and Portnoo, and less than four miles from the N56, the which is part of the Donegal bypass. 
Donegal Airport is the closest airport to Narin & Portnoo Links, but only Dublin and Glasgow are serviced with flights – Donegal is the smallest of Ireland’s six commercial airports. Instead, international visitors to the region may opt for either of the two airports in Belfast, or the City of Derry Airport, all of which are across the border in Northern Ireland. Dublin Airport, which services the Irish capital, is around four hours by road from N&P. 

What golf facilities does Narin & Portnoo Links offer?
Due to the constraints of the land, there is not a driving range at Narin & Portnoo. However, golfers can warm up on the short practice area which sits by the 2nd hole, along with the putting green next to the 1st tee.  

What are the green fees at Narin & Portnoo Links?
The price of a green fee at Narin & Portnoo Links changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend.  
For more information on current green fees at Narin & Portnoo Links, visit their website here
Visit the Narin & Portnoo Links website here