Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue)

Golf Links Road, Portmarnock, County Dublin, Ireland

  • holes:18
  • par: 72 73
  • length: 6.333 m 5.313 m
Other golf courses in this Club(1)
8.5 39 Reviews This Club is the 2# of 16 in Cloghran
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  • Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue)
  • Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue), image 1
  • Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue), image 2
  • Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue), image 3
  • Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue), image 4
  • Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course (Red/Blue), image 5


  • holes:18
  • slope: 135
  • year:1894
  • par: 72 73
  • length: 6.333 m 5.313 m
  • architect:W.C. Pickeman

Found on its own ancient peninsula, the Championship golf course at Portmarnock Golf Club is a classic links course made almost entirely by nature. The site lies to the north of the capital Dublin near to the coastal town of Portmarnock in County Fingal, Ireland. The course is a fine example of a traditional golfing links and is said to be one of the best in Ireland.

Portmarnock Golf Club was opened in 1894 and originally consisted of 9 holes, the course was extended to the full 18 holes in 1896 and also saw the construction of the original clubhouse. The original course has remained relatively similar since it was laid out by W.C Pickeman and friend George Ross way back when. However it has been extended significantly in terms of length to meet the championship requirements. The only major change came in 1927 with the creation of a new 15th hole.

Nature and the surrounding environment are to thank for the vast majority of the features of this course which is generally fair. It is laid out in two loops of 9 and the elements play a large part in each players’ success as the course is subject to the winds and Mother Nature. Players will need to be at the top of their game when playing here as the greens are very quick and true which are a real test of putting skills. A variety of hazards and further natural features further add to this wonderful course and the rounds played here.

Facilities at the club are good and are mainly housed in the clubhouse which was originally constructed in 1896 but has undergone numerous transformations over the years. The clubhouse as it is seen today was renovated in 2003. There are bar and dining facilities for both members and visitors alike and there is also a well-appointed golf shop. Practice facilities here are also extensive and include a driving range as well as a putting and chipping green which can be found just by the clubhouse. 

Tee times and availability for visitors to this course change with the seasons, although there is usually something to suit everyone. Green fees are a little steep at first glance however when you consider the quality and challenge that this course has it is perhaps better value for money.

Getting to Portmarnock is relatively easy as it is well linked to Dublin which is only a short drive away and from there the transport options are even more extensive. Accommodation options in and around the area of Portmarnock are numerous and will appeal to most tastes.

For more information about this golf course including ratings and reviews made by fellow golfers please see to the left of this page. Also for golf packages and offers involving this course as well as others in the local area please click here.

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Reviews (39)

  • Average rating obtained by

    What is it you look for when you get to play a golf course that has a history and heritage? What do you want from your experience? Does it even matter to you that a club has a history that dates back to the 19th century or that it’s a place that’s been frequented by some of the world’s finest players of the game? Well for me, it certainly does matter. And it’s probably because it matters to me that I have certain expectations and boxes-to-tick if you will, for what I want from my experience at a place like Portmarnock. Before I even got to the club, in fact before I even got to Ireland, my experience started months before when my booking experience for my trip was handled swiftly, professionally and as politely as you could ask for by the reservation team (box number one on my list ticked). Everything was poised and ready for my visit. Due to my circumstances of this particular visit to Ireland, my tee time needed to be early. Really early. I was the first tee time of the day, booked in for 7:30AM and therefore my arrival at the course happened to be at 7AM. It also happened to be early enough that it preceded any of the club staff so I waited in my car for around 10 minutes until in the rear view mirror I saw signs of life coming into the club, one of which happened to be one of the professional staff who promptly opened up and welcomed me to the club (box number two ticked). I purchased my customary course planner, chatted to the professional about the current course condition, was informed about any course knowledge titbits that would help make my round as enjoyable as possible and then was pointed in the direction of the caddie master who would see me off of the 1st tee. Yet another warm, friendly welcome from the caddie master followed by instruction on which tee I could play from (box three ticked) saw me ready to face the test that the course had in store for me. So here I was. A beautifully sunny morning (unusual for Ireland!), stretched and a bit warmer than I was 10 minutes ago sitting in the car - ready to go. Portmarnock is made up of a total of 27 holes. Each nine is depicted by different colour flags to help ensure that you do not venture onto the incorrect set of holes. Part of the information given to me by the professional back in the shop was that many people make the easily made mistake of wandering onto the tee located directly at the back of the 2nd green which is one of the other holes on one of the other nine (I don’t recall which). So this first nine were going to be marked by yellow flags and I would be playing from the white tees. The first is a beautifully laid out opener. 397 yard par 4 which plays away from the clubhouse on your left with the estuary from the sea to your right. Bunkers very much in play down the left of the fairway with an inviting wedge approach shot makes it a slightly daunting but inspiring and challenging opening to what promises to be a special round of golf regardless of how badly or well you manage to play! The second, a 360 yard par 4, offers plenty of open space to hit your drive toward with another wedge-distance approach to a two tiered green which is well protected by bunkers on either side. Don’t forget now – the next tee isn’t the one at the back of the green. Head right to find the 3rd tee. At this point it’s well worth me pointing out how friendly and approachable all of the greens staff were that I came across during my round. Whilst walking down the second I was approached and stopped by one who was going through the morning green cutting routine with his colleagues. He took the time to stop, talk to me and also offer some course knowledge (box four ticked) and at the same time politely ask me to hold back for a couple of minutes so he and his two other colleagues could complete their morning cut ahead of me – one to cut, another to flatten and then ‘whisp’ off any loose cuttings left by the mower and the third to rake the bunkers. Let’s not forget that I was first out on the course well in advance of my 7:30 tee time, so the greens staff were playing a little catch up to get ahead of me. A very short wait and I was back under way. Now at the 4th tee, a 441 yard par 4 dog leg left instantly made me realise why this was listed as S.I 1 and one of the hardest holes on the course. This is a long, tricky hole, with small bunkers well positioned all the way down the right side. But it’s the right side you need to get your tee shot down in order to get a look at the green for your second. It’s another pretty setting as you walk down this fairway, with high mounds either side giving you a view of this hole and this hole alone. The 5th presents you with a blind tee shot which managed to get in my head a little as I tried to follow the notes on the course planner and aim for the two chimneys in the distance. I did but pulled my tee shot too much and found the large copse on the left. The 6th is a 583 yard par 5 and needed 2 good hits to get home. If I recall correctly I hit driver followed by 3 wood on this hole. I’m not a particularly long hitter but I’m no slouch. Average drives of around 280 and I still needed a 3 wood and a short pitch to get home on this hole. 7 is the first par three of the round and a very pretty view from the tee. Taking the advice of the course planner notes I clubbed down one, as you are playing slightly down hill and found the green pin high (tick for the quality of the course planner). As I moved through my round I continued to interact with the course staff that I came across who were more than happy to give me pointers on the right line for my tee shots as it’s not always apparent where you need to hit – welcome to links golf! But the prettiest and signature part of the course was yet to come. The par 3 12th (148 yards) is the start of some of the prettiest holes I’ve seen. As you make your turn left from the 12th green to the 13th tee you climb up to the tee box to be faced with a long beautiful stretch of beach, right next to the edge of the golf course. You’d be in good company if you stood there not sure where to go next as it takes a moment to get your bearings to find in which direction the 549 yard par 5 goes. Play the par 5, then turn and head back up the 14th until you reach the courses’ signature hole – the spectacular 190 yard par 3 15th. Beach to the right (Out-of-bounds obviously) and a massive swell to the left of the green which will swallow any shot that can’t hold on to the green. And that’s exactly what happened to me – a well hit 6 iron about 5ft from the flag but the flag position far enough left on the green that my ball made its way down the swell leaving no green to work with and a massively difficult chip shot. Still, made a 3. The closing holes really are a superb test. Even a well hit, straight drive on 16 found its way into a bunker. But all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable test of this great game. Breakfast in the clubhouse afterwards, whilst looking out over the putting green and the greens on the course that are in view, was fantastic. A clubhouse full of tradition with a huge, blown up photo of the club from early times standing centre stage above the staircase. Where’s that list – tick. So what is it that I personally look for from a prestigious place like this one? I look for courteous staff, I look for a clubhouse where you can feel the history all around you, I look for a course that offers a challenge that you only get at a place like this, I look for the condition of the course to be impeccable. For me, Portmarnock was all of these things. It’s what makes golf great and I’ll be back for more when I’m next in town.
    This rating for Portmarnock Golf Club. is the average of 29 ratings obtained from www.top100golfcourses.co.uk
  • Average rating obtained by

    The more I play it the more I love it.The wind was so strong the day we played the planes that are usually constantly flying over head to land at Dublin airport had been rerouted inland. We played the yellow nine then the red nine.A good score wasn't available so I focused on trying low bump and runs and punched shots. Great fun and looking forward to my next round(Round played: Sep 2016 - Score: 95 Handicap: 13.9)
    This rating for Portmarnock Golf Club. is the average of 3 ratings obtained from www.golfshake.com