The Return to the Royal Portrush Course

Ready to land in The 148th Open Championship in Northern Ireland?

Are you ready for THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 2019? Certainly, folks in Royal Portrush are excited to have it back, and, the golf´s world fans are eager and welcome the change of venue.

Royal Portrush Golf´s Course has come a long way since the Englishman, Max Faulkner, won The Open championship, back in 1951. Because of an undeserved capricious fortune and strange reasons, it also happened to be the last year that such an importance world´s contest was played on those fields. No wonder that after a long waiting – 68 years –, today the world is celebrating that The Open 2019 is back and ready to roll on the eldest golf court in history.

Which make it the most appreciated and sought-after location to be, by the third weekend of July (18TH to the 21th of July). It comes as a little surprise, then, that when the tickets came out in internet, last week, they sold out in a record time. followers rushed in to get them.  About 43 thousand golf´ enthusiastic are expected to attend the tournament. The same urgency is expected with accommodations and the ways to fly there. So, to make it easier, we are going to facilitate a list of airports nearby that you can arrive with your private jet, whether is owned, rented or just using the empty legs fly, for the occasion.

But first, lets us introduce you the Royal Portrush course and walk you through what would be the center point of the coming 2019´s Open Championship

The Royal Portrush Club and Course

Sixty-Eight years had to pass by, for the Open Championship to return to one of the most covey course golf in Ireland. No doubt that these past few months have been busy in the Royal Portrush village and the Golf Club, starting with the redesigning of the Dunluce Links.

Let’s start from the beginning. The Royal Portrush Club was established in 1888 as a private club, in county Antrim, Northern Ireland.  The Club have two course golf: The Valley Links and the Dunluce Links. The last one is the course where the tournament will be held.

The year of 1951 became a turning point for the Club and the course of Royal Portrush.  For the first time, The Open was played outside the British soil and it was Northern Ireland to hosted the tournament.  The course´s choice was The Royal Portrush. The winner for that year was the British competitor Max Faulkner, with a total of 285 strokes.  Since then, the course has hosted The Amateur Championship (1960, 1993 and 2014), Boys Amateur Championship (2018), and The Irish Open (1930, 1937, 1947 and 2012).

No doubt that there are a lot of expectations to meet for the July´s golf match. The Royal Portrush Club, the village, the county and the international golf´s community have invested effort, time and resources to bring something special and new to the coming tournament. One of the mayor changes had being the redesign of the Dunluce Links. Let’s see, further down, the implications and significance that meant, for the members of one of the most prestigious golf club, to face the upgrade of the field, in order to elevate the game.

The “NEW” Dunluce links

Have you ever had that endless discussion of what is a real golf´s link and what is not? Well, the Dunluce is a genuine Links, set in the Atlantic Coastline in Northern Ireland. Originally, it was designed by Harry Colt, a golf´s course architect that designed three of the courses on the rota that, by the way, hosted the Open Championship in different years. 

The Dunluce Links is ranking high in the list as one of the best links in the world. Ranked 4th position by The Golf World in the list “The 100 greatest courses in the British Isles”, in 1996. It got the 12th position in the list of the Golf Magazine; and it ranked 4th position in the Digest´s list, regarding the best courses outside United State, in 2007.

Nonetheless, for the 2019´s Open, The Dunluce links had to go through major changes´ structures in order to upgrade the game and make it a real challenge for the coming Open Championship.

The changes 

The first important changes that the Dunluce Links had to go through was the removal of the entire 17th and the 18th holes from its original place to somewhere else. A decision that did not sit well with the members of the Royal Portrush Club, who felt that by doing so, the Dunluce links might lose it purity charm and real essence. 

Martin Ebert, from Ebert Mackenzie, was the architect in charge to carry out the project. It took time and work to explain the changes to be make but at the end, and after an intense historical search on the layout of the Royal Portrush Course, the members understood that the improvements would bring back The Open Championship to Royal Portrush and finally voted for Ebert´s Project.

Important changes

  • The removal of the 17th and 18th holes from the original layout.
  • The removal of two holes from The Valley Links, that meant to added two holes to the Dunluce Links.
  • The new holes taken from The Valley Links and added to the Dunluce Links are: the par-5 7th and par-4 8th, 
  • The renovation gave extra 200 yards to the challenge, 7,337 yards playing ground.
  • The tournament will play as a challenging Par 71 with only 3 par-5s
  • The organization in charge is the R&G
  • The most famous holes, the real challenge for the golfers, with the new layout, are: the 15th , par 4,  called “The Skerries”;  the 16th, par 3, called “Calamity”; and the 17th, par –, called “Purgatory”.
  • Hole 16th, better known as “Calamity Corner”, is the most notorious links course holes in the world because its high level of difficulty.
  • The weather will play a decisive factor the day of the tournament and can take the game to another different level. 
  • Martin Ebert´s project has also included some upgrade fairway slopes elevation, added bunkering, plus green complexes which contain some serious swales

The Claret Jug

Before, existed The Challenge Belt, the original award for The Open Championship. Later, in 1872 and 1873, came The Claret Jug and, immediately, became the most desirable trophy for any leading golf player to seek. 

A majestuous silver Jug with a beautiful and delicate handle; rather slim, rather sleek, rather small compering to the rest of the golf trophies. But, a trophy that stands apart from the rest.  

The Claret Jug stir rather strong emotions in players and fans when holding it. Some of the remarks recorded are: 

  • It´s the sexiest trophy in sport” Greg Norman – 1986 and 1993 winner of the Open Championship in 
  • “It means you’re holding history,” Tiger Woods– 2000, 2005 and 2016 winner of the Open Championship
  • Phil Mickelson (2013) and Padraig Harrington (2007 and 2008) still remember with humbleness and a sense of amaze when the won the cup.

Known as the oldest trophy in history. The name of the champ is engraved in the base of the jug and through that year, wherever the golf player competes, the jug will company him. The winner returns the trophy before the next year’s Open and receives a replica to keep permanently.

There exist three other replicas: one in the British Museum of Golf at St Andrews, and two used for travelling exhibitions.

Below are some remarks of fans that got their hands on one of the most famous trophies in the world:

  • “It something mythical”, “Style, is the image of the Open Championship”, “It looks almost noble” …and so on. 

The original Claret Jug has been on permanent display at the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews with the original Challenge Belt.

The leading players at The 2019´s Open Championship

The stakes are high. The favorites to win the Claret Jug are just a few. The true is that anything can happen when there is a new-redesigned golf´s course making its debut. It raises the level of challenge. 

So, let’s take a short pick to the favorites for the coming 2019´s Open Championship.Rory Mcllroy is one of the favorite. As a Northern Ireland golf´s player, knows well his whereabouts in the Irish´ courses, including Royal Portrush. Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship 2019. He has won the US Open twice in a row and nearly won it three times in a row. He is one of the top favorite. Tiger Woods is the all favorite player. Specially, after winning The Masters 2019 in a heroic manner. Finally, Francesco Molinari. He is not at the top list as a favorite winner but let’s not forget that this kid is the winner of the last Open Championship 2018. His game is described as a strong game with an aggressive precision.

The new pot

For this contest, the total purse rises up this year. From $10.25 million to $10.75 million. The first-place prize went up so to keep the excitement going. From $10.25 million to $10.75 million.

Airports close to Royal Portrush

Finally, if you want to fly to The Open Championship, here are the airports closer to the tournament and were you can land with your private jet or rental jet.

  • Belfast International Airport = Approximately distance is 46 miles / 74 km from Royal Portrush Golf Club. (57min). For private flights and domestic, you can be at ANTRIM, in about 5 min. Plus the landing strip at this airport is capable of handling aircrafts as large as the Airbus A318.
  • City of Darry Airport = Approximately distance 29 miles (47km) from Royal Portrush Golf Club (48 min). 
  • George Best Belfast City Airport =it is located approximately 62 miles (60km) from Royal Portrush Golf Club (48min).
  • Dublin Airport is located approximately 156 miles (250 km) from Royal Portrush Golf Club (2h 50 min).

The Open, the experience of golf

To be at The Open is to live the experience of what golf means. It is to know the real golf´s tournament, to breath the atmosphere of an Irish Links, and even more exciting, to be part of a history that belongs to one of the most covey golf´s championship in the world.

!Don’t missed. Be there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *