Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

Royal Portrush (Valley Links) | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

The Valley Links is known as Royal Portrush’s secondary course, but this layout is well worth its own place on the NCG Top 100s: Ireland list. 
Originally designed by Harry Colt, with work from MacKenzie & Ebert at the start of the 21st Century, the Valley Links is a beautiful links course on the northern coastline of Northern Ireland.  
The Dunluce Links is the other course at Royal Portrush, and it has played host to the Open Championship on multiple occasions.  
Visit the Royal Portrush (Valley Links) website here.  

A Brief History of Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

The Royal Portrush Golf Club was founded in 1888 as the County Club. It became the Royal County Club four years later.  
Harry Colt, who also designed the Dunluce Links, was the man behind the layout and the design of the Valley Links.  
In preparation for the 2019 Open Championship, MacKenzie & Ebert used land from the Valley Links to improve the Dunluce Links. You might think that this made the Valley Links worse. 
However, their work on the Valley Links included adding two new holes, and the course is a brilliant sister venue to the Dunluce. 

Royal Portrush (Valley Links) Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

The Valley Links may well be seen as being in the shadow of the Open Championship-hosting Dunluce Links. However, the Valley Links at Royal Portrush is also a sublime golf course. It is shorter than its bigger brother, playing around 6,400 yards and as a Par 71. Incredibly, despite being a links course, the Valley only features 18 bunkers across its 18 holes.  
The course begins with a pair of short par 4s, the 2nd being a dog-leg left. The 3rd is the opening par 3 on the Valley Links, playing slightly downhill and shorter than its carded 145 yard distance. The 4th is the first par 5, and at 540 yards from the tips, it is the longest hole on the course. It is followed by the long par 4 5th, which has a fairway that gets narrower the further you hit your tee shot.  
6 and 7 are also par 4s, with the latter being drivable for the longer hitters at 310 yards. However, the green is narrow and surrounded by mounds and fescue, making the lay up the safe play. The 8th is a par 5 which features a fairway split into two, with the front nine coming to a close with another par 3. Only 155 yards, there are two bunkers short of the green that must be avoided if you are to par or birdie the 9th. 
10 and 11 run parallel to each other. The 10th is a long par 4, while the 11th is a short par 5 at only 485 yards. With a wide fairway and a solitary fairway bunker, 11 is a birdie chance. There are three par 3s on the back – 13, 15 and 17. They get progressively longer the further you get through your round, with the penultimate hole being the longest par 3 on the Valley Links at 195 yards from the tips. It does play downhill and there are no bunkers, but the length of the hole could cause problems. The closing hole is a slight dog-leg right and at just 335 yards, it is another birdie opportunity.  

FAQs about Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

Where is Royal Portrush (Valley Links) located?  
Royal Portrush is located on the northern coastline of Northern Ireland, facing out to the North Atlantic Ocean. On a bright day, you might just about be able to see the Isle of Islay to the north. The course is in the town of Portrush, a couple of miles down the road from Coleraine. The Northern Irish capital – Belfast – is just under 60 miles from Royal Portrush. 
Thanks to that, both Belfast City and Belfast International are both within a 90-minute drive, and provide great links for international visitors. Portrush is home to its own train station, and it is the last stop on the line from Coleraine. Trains also run through to Belfast Great Victoria Street in the mornings.  

What golf facilities does Royal Portrush (Valley Links) offer?
Along with the Valley and Dunluce Links, Royal Portrush is also home to a six-hole short course beside the clubhouse. The venue also has a long game and short game practice areas, with the latter featuring putting greens, chipping greens and bunkers.  

What are the green fees at Royal Portrush (Valley Links)?
The price of a green fee at Royal Portrush (Valley 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 Royal Portrush (Valley Links), visit their website here
Visit the Royal Portrush (Valley Links) website here