Old meets new at the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links in Dublin. Though the course at Portmarnock Hotel opened for play only a few decades ago in 1995, it’s located on the grounds of what was once the old Jameson estate, St. Marnocks. Interestingly enough, a precursor to the modern-day Portmarnock Links was created by the Jameson family in 1858. The course featured 12 holes and stretched all the way to what is now Portmarnock Golf Club.
Speaking of, the proximity of Portmarnock Golf Club to Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links has caused many to dismiss the latter course as secondary. Those who have played the course at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links know this could not be farther from the truth, further evidenced by the fact that the Portmarnock Links played host to the 2008 and 2009 Ladies Irish Open.
The Portmarnock Links you’ll find today likely isn’t all that different from the course the Jameson family used to sharpen their skills more than 150 years ago. The links’ layout, charted by Bernhard Langer and Stan Eby, is dramatically understated for how new of a course it is.
A purist’s paradise, the layout of the Portmarnock Links makes full use of the dunes and natural terrain. Elevated tees and greens, blind approaches, doglegs, and the sea breezes characteristic of true links golf means players must keep their wits about them at all times. At least until they reach the course’s 19th hole, that is. Located on the first floor of the original Jameson house is the award-winning Jameson Bar, a fitting place to review the round, sip some Jameson whiskey, and wind down the day.