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GOLF HOME England Golf Ireland Golf New Zealand Golf Scandinavia Golf Scotland Golf Wales Golf

HOME AT FIRST's

GOLF COURSES IN—

— Golfing Gems on the Emerald Isle —

 

Portstewart Golf Club

PORTSTEWART, CO. LONDONDERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND
PORTSTEWART STRAND COURSE 6TH HOLE, 'FIVE PENNY PIECE', PAR 3, 143 YARDS, #15 HANDICAP

Photo courtesy Portstewart Golf Club

Portstewart's Strand Course is #17 on Golf Digest Ireland's Top 100 Irish Courses.

PORTSTEWART Golf Club  Home to three 18-hole courses, Portstewart offers golf appropriate to golfers of every competency. One of the three courses at Portstewart — The Strand — ranks among the top courses in Ireland. A true seaside links and a challenge for men and women, The Strand is 7,000 yards from the blue championship tees, a par-72 with a slope of 73 for men, a par-73 with a slope of 73 for women.

 

 

T

HE PORTstewart golf club is oddly schizophrenic, but perfectly named. Its top course — The Strand — occupies the delta of prime dunes land where the River Bann empties into the Irish Sea just west of the seaside town of Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. A

second, somewhat easier 18 occupies a large parcel low-lying along the riverside in farm country south of  The Strand and southwest of Portstewart. And the club's Old Course occupies hatchet-shaped acreage east of Portstewart along the seafront and inland tucked among housing developments and farms. Founded in 1894, the club is among Ireland's oldest. Its original course — laid out on linksland to the east of Portstewart — is long gone, modified, extended, and enlarged in 1904, 1916, and 1934 to its approximate present layout as The Old Course, which is completely separated from the club's other two courses. The town of Portstewart is nearly surrounded by the Irish Sea and the three courses of the Portstewart Golf Club.

 

PORTSTEWART Golf Club

 LOCATION:
PORTSTEWART Golf club

117 STRAND road
PortSTEWART, County
LONdonDERRY
BT55 7PG Northern Ireland
Tel:
+44 (0)28 7083 2015 • Fax: +44 (0)28 7083 2549
E-mail:
jeanie@portstewartgc.co.uk
 • WEBSITE

Visitors Welcome:
• 3 Courses Normally Open & Playable Year Round.

• Strand Course:
Reservations mandatory. Best days: Mo-Tu-Th-Fr.
• Riverside Course:
Reservations recommended. Visitors welcome any day.
• Old (Town) Course:
Reservations recommended. Visitors welcome any day.

LENGTH & PAR: Strand Course - 18 Holes, Par 72/73
Blue Tees: 7,004 yds, Par 72, SSS 73
White Tees: 6,606 yards, Par 72, SSS 71
Red Ladies' Tees: 5,853 yards, Par 73, SSS 73

LENGTH & PAR: Riverside Course - 18 Holes, Par 68/70
Blue Tees: 5,725 yards, Par 68, SSS 68
White Tees: 5,497 yards, Par 68, SSS 67
Red Ladies' Tees: 5,048 yards, Par 70

LENGTH & PAR: Old Course - 18 Holes, Par 64
One Tee per Hole: 4,407m, 4,822 yards, Par 64, SSS 62

GREENS FEES: Championship Strand Course

MAY through SEPTEMber:
18-Hole Championship Strand Course: Mo-Fr:
£100; Sa-Su: £120.

april & OCTOber:
18-Hole Championship Strand Course: Mo-Fr:
£60; Sa-Su: £80.

NOVEMber THROUGH MARCH:
18-Hole Championship Strand Course: Mo-Fr:
£40; Sa-Su: £60.

GREENS FEES: Riverside Course and Old Course

18-Hole Riverside Course: Mo-Fr: £22; Sa-Su: £27. Year round.

18-Hole Old Course: Mo-Fr: £10; Sa-Su: £15. Year round.

Currency Converter

FACILITIES:
Golf Cart (Buggy):
£30. Available on Strand & Riverside courses.
Pull Cart (Trolley):
Yes — electric (£10) & manual (£3.50).
Club Rental:
£25.
Caddies available:
£40. Request in advance of play.
Practice Area including Putting Green.
Clubhouse with Restaurant & Bar.
Visitors' changing facilities.
Pro Shop.

BOOKING OF TEE TIMES (required in advance for The Strand Course):

• Strand & Riverside Courses: Advance bookings required.
Reservations may be made by telephone but must be confirmed immediately in writing (e-mail preferred:
jeanie@portstewartgc.co.uk).
Telephone: +44 (0)28 7083 2015.

PAYMENTS FOR THE STRAND COURSE: Payment in full is due 1 month prior to the date of play. A 75% refund will be made in the event of proper notification of cancellation prior to the date of play. All payments must be in pounds sterling and may be made by VISA, or MasterCard.

• Old Course: Book your tee-time direct by telephone: +44 (0)28 7083 2549.

Let HOME AT FIRST make your tee-time reservations at Portstewart Golf Club
as part of your trip to Northern Ireland. There is no service fee for this service!

DIRECTIONS: Just off the main A2 coastal route near the Londonderry-Antrim border, approximately 5 miles northwest of Coleraine, and 4 miles southwest of Portrush. The Old Course Clubhouse entrance is on Portmore Rd (the A2) just east of Portstewart town. The main clubhouse (serving The Strand and Riverside courses) is just southwest of Portstewart town on Strand Rd. Turn west onto Strand Road or west onto Burnside Road at either of the roundabouts in the center of Portstewart town.

NEAREST HOME AT FIRST LODGINGS: Home At First offers a full-featured fly/drive travel program to County Antrim in Northern Ireland using cottages and apartments in/near Portrush town 4 miles east of Portstewart along the Antrim Coast. Other Home At First Northern Ireland lodgings are 70-100 minutes east of Portstewart.

OTHER REGIONAL COURSES OF NOTE: very near Portrush are:

Royal Portrush Golf Club: Two courses, including the Dunluce Course, an excellent championship true links, always among the highest ranked of Irish courses, and only course away from the island of Britain with the distinction to have hosted the (British) Open Championship (1951). Royal Portrush Golf Club is 5 miles east of Portstewart one mile east of the seaside resort town of Portrush, County Antrim.

Castlerock Golf Club: Two courses, including the challenging Mussenden Course, a classic links set among high dunes just 15 minutes from Portstewart 5 miles NW of the town of Coleraine.


 

P

ORTSTEWART GOLF CLUB: has accepted the challenge of keeping up

with the Joneses. For 100 years, Portstewart has lived in the shadow of its famous neighbor, Royal Portrush Golf Club. Portrush lies about 2 miles

to the east of Portstewart in a very similar landscape: the dunesland of

Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast. But, while Royal Portrush’s Dunluce Course has gained a stellar international reputation and is currently ranked number 3 in the world outside of the United States by GolfDigest.com, Portstewart Golf Club has remained largely anonymous outside of Northern Ireland. Then, in 1992, the board of Portstewart Golf Club took the daring step of redesigning its property, and its resulting three courses (each 18 holes) offer golfers of every level top quality linkses. Led by its championship 7,004-yard, par-72 Strand Course, Portstewart Golf Club deserves to be mentioned in any discussion of top Irish courses. Indeed, visiting golfers to Northern Ireland should be sure to include a round at Portstewart in their itinerary.

 

HISTORY OF PORTSTEWART GOLF CLUB: Golf has been played at Portstewart since at least 1889. Even then the town was a seaside resort that attracted the leisure classes. The great Scottish golfer and course designer Willie Park, Jr., was brought in to design the town’s first course, portions

of which still make up the

 

Old (or Town) Course at Course at Portstewart Golf Club. Over the years the courses have evolved and been added at Portstewart, taking advantage of the natural high dunes, the river, and the beach that all come together west of town. The course first gained some international attention when it served as a British Open qualifying course in 1951, the year the Open was played just two miles away at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Forty years

Portstewart Golf Club: rugged dunes where the River Bann meets the Atlantic in County Londonderry.
Portstewart's Strand Course: where the River Bann meets the North Atlantic

later the club decided to

 

revamp the property and take advantage of some remaining untouched sand hills. For a paltry £100,000, seven new holes were created by course architect Des Giffin, adding great challenge to Portstewart’s Strand Course that had long been the poor sister of neighboring Royal Portrush’s Dunluce Course. The Strand’s coming out party occurred in 1992 when Portstewart hosted the Irish Amateur Championships.

 

THE STRAND COURSE & TWO NOTEWORTHY HOLES:

Portstewart's Strand Course: a moonscape of fairways and greens amid dunes and bunkers.
Portstewart's Strand Course:
a moonscape of fairways and
greens amid dunes and bunkers.

          In Portstewart’s flagship course, the Strand, went from 90-pound weakling to 2,000-pound gorilla virtually overnight. Its seven totally new holes made possible the elimination of seven weaker or non-links holes, so that these days there’s not a moment’s respite during a round on the Strand. Still, you’ll be tempted to enjoy some of the grand views of ocean, the river, the beach, and the distant mountains of County Donegal, Ireland. The greens at Portstewart are fast, the rough is high and treacherous, and the wind off the ocean can be ferocious. Walking the course can be daunting, too, as the sand hills and dunes topography means you are constantly changing elevation.

 

 

Hole #1, Par 4, 425 yards: The Strand’s signature hole is its famous #1, included on many lists as the best start hole in Ireland (and elsewhere). The first tee is elevated, commanding an imposing view of the beach and the Atlantic. Its dogleg right demands accuracy right off the tee.

Hole #6, Par 3, 140 yards: If you successfully negotiate the challenge of the first hole you dare not relax — the next seven holes are the new ones tucked among the great sand hills of the Portstewart dunes. Although all seven of these are memorable, perhaps most challenging is the par-3 6th hole, a short 140 yards, but to a plateau green exposed to the tricky winds off the Atlantic.

Portstewart's Strand Course: sand hills covered with treacherous rough guarding small patches of playable surface.
Portstewart's Strand Course: sand
hills covered with treacherous
rough guarding small patches
of playable surface.

   

 

The Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge tests the courage of visitors to the Antrim Coast a few miles east of Royal Portrush Golf Club. Martin Brent Photo courtesy www.britainonview.com.

T

HE REGION: Northern Ireland’s Antrim Coast is

home to geologic wonders, great golf courses,
spooky medieval castles (Dunluce Castle, just
east of Royal Portrush G.C.), and a notable

distillery (Bushmills, near the entrance to the Giant’s Causeway). Activities include golf (of course), touring, fishing, and walking (the coast path can be done in small sections or all in one go). Home At First's flexible, independent, fly/drive travel program to the Antrim Coast lets you do it all, at your pace, according to your lifestyle, and in line with your budget.

The Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge test the courage of visitors
to the Antrim Coast a few miles east of Portstewart.
Martin Brent Photo courtesy www.britainonview.com

 

TRAVEL TO NORTHERN IRELAND: Home At First offers a fly/drive travel program to County Antrim in Northern Ireland using cottages and apartments 5 miles east of Portstewart in Portrush town and along the Antrim Coast. For details and prices, see: NORTHERN IRELAND.

GETTING THERE: from Home At First’s nearest lodgings in Portrush, drive west on the scenic A2 coast road. The club entrance is on the west side of the A2 (via Strand Rd or Burnside Rd) just west and outside of Portstewart town.

TRAVELING TO NORTHERN IRELAND TO PLAY GOLF?
Let Home At First make your advance tee-times at Portstewart Golf Club and many other Irish golf courses as part of your pre-reserved Irish trip itinerary. HOME AT FIRST offers independent, flexible, fly/drive travel to Ireland and other great golfing destinations in the British Isles. There’s no extra charge for this service.

Martin Brent Photo, courtesy www.britainonview.com.
Portstewart Golf Club
near Old Bushmills Distillery.

Martin Brent Photo courtesy www.britainonview.com.

MORE RESOURCES:
Golf in Ireland
Home At First's
IRELAND travel program.

Want to learn about other courses throughout the British Isles
including some of the greatest tests of golf in the world? See our
IRELAND, SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, and WALES
Course Guides for more information.

— HOME AT FIRST —