In this Portmarnock Golf Club review, learn what it’s like to golf here, including the greens and fairways, the code of conduct, the scorecard and more.
I played here on a rugby weekend in Dublin with the barometer in the clubhouse reading ”Strong to Gale 46 – 55 mph” with rain due.
I could have played all 27 of Portmarnock’s holes but made do with the 18 that make up the traditional championship layout — luckily, the rain stayed away.
I played well and was given a jacket and tie so that I could enjoy a Guinness in the Members Bar because the visitors bar was yet to open for the season. What a course!
Portmarnock is one of the best places to golf in Ireland. If you’re looking for the top golf resorts, read our article here and if you’re curious about the top Northern Ireland golf courses, have a look at this article.
Portmarnock Golf Club History
Portmarnock was founded in 1894 and the Irish Open has been held over these links on a record 19 occasions with Major winners amongst those who have taken the title; Ben Crenshaw, Seve, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Jose Maria Olazabal and Michael Campbell.
Phil Mickelson and David Duval were in the USA side that won the Walker Cup here.
In practice, Mickelson hit the 15th green playing both left-handed and right-handed. He is naturally right-handed but as a youngster, he copied his father but just as in a mirror, the image in front of you is in reverse so he became the world’s most famous left-hander.
Here it goes, the complete guide to golfing Portmarnock Golf Club.
Many traditional links courses are nine holes out and nine back and when the wind blows, golfers know the challenge.
Portmarnock has directional change on a regular basis, some downwind but then an angle change for a couple of holes. Golfers need to think about club selection before perhaps then changing to go back into the wind.
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About Portmarnock Golf Club
Many famous golfers have trodden these links, no one more so than Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer who won the Canada Cup (now just called the World Championship) for the USA in 1960.
The Greens and Fairways
As a well-drained, sandy-based course, it is not surprising that the ball runs well on the fairways. There is a huge variety in the green, sometimes tiered, regularly quick, and with run-off areas that will take a stray shot.
Add to the number of bunkers that collect your ball and you can see the challenge. My Portmarnock Golf review is glowing and I believe I am joined by everyone who has played these classic links.
What is the Portmarnock Scorecard?
Hole 1 (Stroke Index 8) 417 yards Par 4 has the Irish Sea running all the way down right of the fairway but go too far left and there is fairway and greenside bunkering around a flat green
Hole 2 (SI 11) 411 yards Par 4 is a dogleg left with a narrower fairway and its two-tiered green is surrounded by seven bunkers
Hole 3 (SI 15) 398 yards Par 4 is another dogleg left with the sea on the right while the mounds on the mounds on the left can halt your progress before hitting your approach into the green
Hole 4 (SI 13) 474 yards Par 4 is a long hole with plenty of fairway bunkers from halfway right up to the green.
Hole 5 (SI 1) 422 yards Par 4 is a blind drive with mounding possibly taking your length away as you seek a par and to get that you must avoid the front right bunkers.
Hole 6 (SI 5) 601 yards Par 5 is another blind drive and this long hole varies dramatically depending on the prevailing wind.
Hole 7 (SI 9) 184 yards Par 3 is the first of the Par 3s with club selection very dependent on the wind direction on the day you play.
Hole 8 (SI 7) 427 yards Par 4 is yet another dogleg left which requires two good shots to reach the green in regulation.
Hole 9 (SI 3) 454 yards Par 4 heads back towards the clubhouse with its undulating green the main defence.
Hole 10 (SI 8) 370 yards Par 4 is a dogleg into an elevated green where an inaccurate shot is likely to roll off into the fringes.
Hole 11 (SI 6) 429 yards Par 4 has a narrow fairway and some bushes with pot bunkers guarding the green.
Hole 12 (SI 16) 171 yards Par 3 heads back towards the Irish Sea with the green one of the toughest on the course.
Hole 13 (SI 14) 565 yards Par 5 is a hole with a record 16 bunkers so it does not need me to tell you the challenge
Hole 14 (SI 2) 411 yards Par 4 is a dogleg left with its green within mounds, undulating and protected by pot bunkers the main problem
Hole 15 (SI 12) 204 yards Par 3 is a classic with the beach and sea down the right, roll-off areas around the green, bunkers in front and tall grasses as rough. Many a review of Portmarnock Golf Club mentions this as their favourite hole.
Hole 16 (SI 18) 571 yards Par 5 has cross bunkers to avoid and ten bunkers in all with its small green requiring an accurate approach
Hole 17 (SI 4) 472 yards Par 4 has plenty of strategically placed bunkers with its length meaning you need to avoid them all to get par.
Hole 18 (SI 10) 452 yards Par 4 is a good finishing hole with three fairway bunkers and three more guarding its green.
7466 yards Par 72; White tees 6924 yards; Green tees 6703 yards
What is The Code Of Conduct at Portmarnock Golf Club?
Standard golf etiquette is required from all golfers, including repairing pitch marks and replacing divots. Slow play is not acceptable and there is a ranger on the course to ensure you keep your place in the field.
Mobile phones are not allowed with discreet use in the car park (parking lot) permitted.
Golf shoes may be worn in the locker room but nowhere else in the clubhouse which requires smart casual dress and no jeans, tracksuits, T-shirts, or headgear. Jacket and tie are standard in the Members Bar and dining room.
There is a visitor’s bar but when it is closed, you are allowed in the Members Bar as I was, as long as you wear a jacket and tie. The restaurant has an excellent reputation and dining is a great way to finish after golfing at Portmarnock Golf Club.
What Are The Green Fees and Rentals at Portmarnock?
Visitor tee-times are posted online with limited availability at weekends, especially Saturdays. You should look online for details.
Monday – Thursday €250; Fri – Sunday €275.
27 holes €300 and €325 respectively.
Weekday 36 holes €400; weekends €425.
The Championship 18 are the blue and red nines. Playing the yellow nine with either blue or red
€225 midweek, €250 weekends
Winter rate €145 midweek only.
Anyone wanting to hire equipment should ask when enquiring about obtaining a tee-time. Find Portmarnock Golf Club on the map, here.
Enjoy a Round at Portmarnock Golf Club
Portmarnock’s proximity to Dublin as well as its international airport makes it one of the most accessible courses in Ireland. It is undoubtedly also one of the best. Put it on your list when you next head to the Emerald Isle.
Images in this post were sourced on Shutterstock.com.
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