Portstewart (Strand)

Portstewart (Strand)

Portstewart (Strand) Golf Club

Portstewart (Strand) Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

Portstewart Golf Club is one of the best venues in Northern Ireland, playing host to three 18-hole courses, including the Strand Course, which has been the host of several major tournaments ovet the years.

The Strand hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2017, as part of the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series, where Jon Rahm was the victor. The venue also features the Old Course, the first of the 18-hole courses to be built on the links, and the Riverside Course, the newest feature at Portstewart.

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A Brief History of Portstewart Golf Club

Portstewart Golf Club was already the home to the Old Course when the first plans for the Strand Course were brought about. 1907 saw the approval to build a new links course, with A.G. Gow of Portrush being the man to design the course. It opened a year later.

The Strand Course has undergone changes throughout its time, with one of those coming under the guidance of Open Champion Willie Park Jr in the early 1920s.

The original clubhouse at Strand Head was built in 1907 alongside the new Strand Course. Today's clubhouse was opened in 2009, and it provides an outlook onto the course.

The Strand Course has hosted a number of international tournaments, including the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2017. Spain's Jon Rahm was the victor. Two years earlier, Frenchwoman Celine Boutier was the victor at the British Ladies Amateur Championship, which was also held at Portstewart.

Portstewart (Strand) Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

The Strand Course, which played host to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2017, is a stunning Par 72 lay-out, measuring at more than 7,000 yards. Willie Park Jr and Des Griffin put the course together, bringing the undulating dunes of the area into their design.

The course starts with an incredible tee shot down the slope on the opening hole, before you play through the dunes on the 2nd. The first par-3 on the course is more than 200-yards long from the back tees and is followed by a 583-yard par-5. The 5th – Rifle Range – is the hardest hole on the course with the 6th being the shortest hole on the Strand, playing just 143 yards to an upturned green, with massive run-offs on all sides.

The three closing holes on the front side of the Strand continue the tricky test, with any errant shots being punished in the dunes and heavy rough. Both 10 and 11 measure at 407 yards but the challenges of the two opening par-4s on the back nine are very different. 12 follows, with incredible views of the River Bann. It is a short par-3, playing downhill towards the river.

Back-to-back par-5s follow. The 13th measures in at over 550 yards, while 14 comes in at 520 yards, and with a good tee shot down the middle of the fairway, it can be reachable in two for the longer hitters. 15 is a 198-yard par-3 with three bunkers ready for any shot that does not reach the green, ahead of the final three holes. 

The closing stretch on the Strand Course is a tough finish and can wreck your score. Especially the 18th, the final hole, which measures in at more that 470 yards. An errant tee shot here and you’ll be happy to come away with bogey. 

What are Portstewart's other courses?

Portstewart is home to two other 18-hole layouts alongside the Strand Course. The Irish venue is also home to the Old Course and the Riverside Course. 

The Old Course is where golf began at Portstewart at the end of the 19th Century. Today, it is only a par-64, measuring 4,822 yards. Just three holes are long that 400 yards, and the course does not have any par-5s. Even so, it is still a tough test for the majority of golfers. It is unique in that it starts and ends with par-3s. 

There are five par-3s on the opening side of the Old Course, ranging from 122 to 196 yards. The front nine ends with the hardest and longest hole on the course, at 460 yards. The back nine begins with six consecutive par-4s, but ends with a pair of par-3s sandwiching the par-4 17th. The final hole is just 124 yards and provides one final birdie opportunity.

The newest course on the Portstewart property is the Riverside Course, with holes meandering along the River Bann. At 5,725 yards, and a par-68, it sits perfectly in between the Old and the Strand in terms of length and difficulty. 

There is still just the one par-5 on the course, and that comes at the 6th hole. It only measures 509 yards, and is very reachable in two shots for the longer hitters. That comes as part of the front nine which is 500 yards longer than the back nine. The back side finishes with alternating par-3s and par-4s for the final six holes. 

Where is Portstewart Golf Club located?

Portstewart Golf Club is located on the northern coast of Northern Ireland, in an area that can only be described as a golfing paradise. Castlerock and Open Championship venue Royal Portrush are both within 15 minutes from Portstewart.

Geographically, Portstewart is around an hour from Belfast Airport for international visitors, with that being the largest airport in Northern Ireland. It is situated just 15 minutes from the city centre of Belfast, the capital city of the nation.

What are the green fees at Portstewart Golf Club?

The three courses at Portstewart Golf Club have different green fees. The Strand Course sets you back £235 through the summer months, with that cost reducing to £165 for the shoulder months and £70 for the winter months.

The Riverside Course will cost either £30 in the week or £35 at the weekend, with the Old Course costing £15 and £20 respectively for the same time frames.

Visit Portstewart's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.