The Open Championship - Course Guide
The eyes of the sporting world turn to Portrush on the 14th July as the Open returns to Northern Ireland for only the second time in its history.
The epic Dunluce Links is the venue for the 148th Open. Combining fairways which meander through soaring sand dunes, small greens protected by grassy knolls, with stunning views across the mighty Atlantic Ocean, the championship course at Royal Portrush is one of the most spectacular and challenging links layouts in the world.
There was once an annual fair at the lost town of Dunluce whose ruined castle lends the 2019 Open course its name. Closed down in the late 18th century due to excessive drunkenness and debauchery, the site of the ancient festival welcomes 200,000 spectators to witness the world’s finest golfers compete for the Claret Jug.
Bet UK’s online betting has golf betting odds for the 2019 Open Championship, as well as odds for all European and PGA Tour events. Also take a look at our Open Championship betting tips from Robert Cobley, as well as his golf betting tips for all major events.
Open Championship 2019 At Portrush & Dunluce
A seaside resort on the north coast of Northern Ireland, Portrush is renowned for its sandy beaches, famous golf club and being home to the largest amusement park in the province. Portrush lies in County Antrim, renowned for the Giant's Causeway natural wonder and for being home to the world famous Bushmills Distillery.
Royal Portrush Golf Club lies a mile to the west of the town. Home to two courses, the Dunluce Links is the most famous of the pair having previously staged the Open. Its shorter, less demanding neighbour, the Valley Links is home to the Rathmore Golf Club which boasts 2010 US Open winner Graham McDowell among its members.
Fans of Game of Thrones will recognise the ruined medieval castle which overlooks the Dunluce layout. Dating back to the 13th century, Dunluce Castle sits atop a basalt outcrop and featured as the House of Greyjoy in the iconic TV series.
History of Royal Portrush & the Dunluce Links
Founded in 1888 as The County Club, the new golf club at Portrush received royal patronage four years later and assumed its current name in 1895.
The Dunluce Links course at Royal Portrush was redesigned in 1929 by legendary golf architect Harry Colt. The man behind courses at Sunningdale, Wentworth, Muirfield, Hoylake and Royal Liverpool, it’s said that Colt considered Portrush to be his finest work.
In 1951 the course became the first to host the Open outside of Great Britain. Englishman Max Faulkner lifted the Claret Jug that year to claim his first and only Major title.
How Does Dunluce Links Open Championship Course Play?
Dunluce is a classic seaside links and while the layout poses a challenge to rival the most demanding on the Open rota, on a calm day this is a playable 18-holes which won’t punish as much as the most brutal courses out there.
But when the wind is howling, Dunluce becomes a beast and can be wild on some of the more exposed holes. Whatever the weather this is a course which demands solid driving as it twists its way along the Antrim coast. The mystifying greens are small and well guarded and straying into the rough can be a truly chastening experience.
With the lowest number of bunkers of all the Open courses, the true test at Dunluce lies in the tactical challenge it will pose the world’s best. Each hole offers risk and reward, the option to cut a corner, play aggressively or defend. Every shot option on this course comes with a pro and a con. This is links golf in its purest form and it will be the wiliest tactician who emerges victorious after 72 holes here.
The Signature Holes At Dunluce
It used to be said that the Dunluce course offered seventeen world-class golf holes, and the eighteenth. And that the 17th wasn’t up to much either.
With the return of the Open after a 68-year hiatus, a little extra bite worthy of a Major has been added with the introduction of two new holes at seven and eight. That means a round now finishes at the former 16th, a superb dogleg right with exceptional bunkering.
The 17th was at least famous for featuring one of the largest sand traps in Ireland. So as a nod to history, a new “Big Nellie” has been constructed at the new seventh.
The “White Rocks” fifth is perhaps the second most famous hole at Dunluce. The elevated tee offers a stunning vista and the green is perched at the very end of the course, 50ft above the shore below.
The par-3 16th, affectionately known as “Calamity Corner”, is considered to be one of the hardest holes in golf. This is an uphill hole carrying over a yawning chasm short and right. The green is buffeted by the relentless wind coming off the Atlantic and is protected by mounds and hollows. “Calamity” could yet make or break the round of any prospective Open champion.
Donluce is certainly set to challenge the contenders at this year’s Open Championship, but who will come out on top? You can find the latest golf betting odds right here at Bet UK and back your favourite.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting markets correct at the time of writing.
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