If the sea is calling your name, head northward to Portstewart Golf Club. Situated on the Causeway coast of Northern Ireland, the Atlantic is never far away when you’re at Portstewart. This quaint seaside club was founded more than a century ago in 1894, giving it character and charm to spare. It hosted the Irish Open in 2017 and is set to host again in 2021.
Portstewart Golf Club is home to three distinct 18-hole courses. All three could best be described as “difficult, but fair.” The oldest course of the three, and fittingly so, is Portstewart Golf Club’s Old Course. Dating back to 1889, this course predates Portstewart Golf Club by a few years, though updates have been made to it in recent decades.
Those looking for a more leisurely visit to Portstewart should opt for the Riverside Course. Stretching from the clubhouse down to the River Bann, hence the name “Riverside,” this course is as forgiving as it is beautiful.
The true “jewel” in Portstewart’s crown however, is the Strand Course. It’s a classic links course with views of the Donegal hills, the River Bann, and the Atlantic. Players mustn’t take their eyes off the course for too long however, as it’s defended by an array of towering dunes and testing bunkers.
The Strand Course was originally designed by Willie Park Jr. in 1920. Updates made by Des Giffin in 1992 have resulted in a course that’s a seamless blend of old and new. The first hole stands out in particular. A downhill, 425-yard par four, this hole sets the stage for what is sure to be an unforgettable game of links golf.