Portstewart Golf Club
Local school teacher cum golf course architect, Des Griffith, made The Strand a must-play links alongside Royal Portrush.
Golf Course Review
Portstewart Golf Club is located on the coastline of Northern Ireland. North of the city of Coleraine, Portstewart lies between Castlerock to the west and Portrush to the east. The Portstewart Strand, The Barmouth, and the River Bann all border this spectacular site. There are 54 holes to be found here: The Old, Riverside, and The Strand. It is The Strand you’ve heard of and the one you’ll not want to miss!
Portstewart Golf Club – The Strand
The most famous 18 hole course at Portstewart Golf Club is The Strand. In March 1907, it was decided to employ the professional at Royal Portrush, AG Gow, to build the 18 hole links. The original Strand Course opened for play in July 1908. The Strand course would be further enhanced by Willie Park Jr in the early 1920s.
In the 1980s, the club purchased the duneland known as Thistly Hollow. Local school teacher, Des Giffin, was given the responsibility for the design. Some of the original Park holes were updated and incorporated with seven new holes laid out in the newly acquired dunes. The end result is a cohesive design that holds its own against its illustrious Royal neighbour.
History of the Old & Riverside Courses
The Old Course at Portstewart Golf Club dates to 1894 when nine holes were laid out on just 26 acres that measured 1495 yards. The course was extended in 1904 and the first keeper, David Simpson, was hired. Further land was purchased in 1916 and by 1918 the club had 12 holes to play over. In 1934, RC Davison and James Rea made the course virtually what it is today with 18 holes measuring 4822 yards and a par of 64. Eight holes are seaside and the remaining ten, inland.
The Riverside is the latest addition to the golfing landscape at Portstewart. The original nine holes were created by Des Giffin and opened for play in 1990. The remaining nine holes were also done in-house with Course Manager, Bernard Finley, and past captain, Davis Avery, responsible. The 18 holes opened for play in 2003.
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Featured Architect: MacKenzie, Alister
As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...