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At a Glance
Willie Park Jnr, Des Giffin
6,509 Metres / 7,118 Yards
Portstewart’s golf history extends back to 1894 and has since developed into one of the world’s most prestigious and coveted golf complexes, spanning three courses and world-class facilities. The three courses and amazing practice facilities allow the entire golfing complex to be accessible to golfers of any level, whilst it has also hosted to various major tournaments, cementing its reputation as one of the best. It has hosted The Amateur Championship (2014), British Ladies Amateur (2015), The Irish Amateur (2017), The Open Championship in 1951 and many more. The Strand Course will host the 2021 Irish Open, the last time it was held was at Portstewart was in 2017.
Portstewart’s The Strand Course without doubt one of the very top true links golf courses in Ireland. It easily stands alongside the two Ulster Royals, Portrush and County Down. The brainchild of Willie Park Jr and Des Giffin, ably assisted by undulating dunes, the run off bunkers, rolling fairways and tricky manicured greens. A ‘true test of golf’ is a much-overused phrase, but in this case, it reflects the variety and ingenuity of the shots required to get around this masterpiece of a golf course. The views from almost every hole are quite simply, magical. The Atlantic is never very far away, and the beauty of the course has to be seen to be believed. It is a treat that will take a very long time, if ever, to fade from the golfer’s memory. The Strand Course is the jewel in the Portstewart crown.
The course itself is an eclectic mix of challenges and exhilaration. Imposing, gigantic sand dunes with panoramic views across the Atlantic mouth of Lough Foyle sets the scene for what is always a memorable round of golf. The course is definitely quirky in its own right, with the layout of the front nine playing into and around wild sand dunes that invoke images of Ballybunion. But the back nine plays away from the dunes onto much firmer turf and with less undulation. The back nine juxtaposes tremendously with the front, but it retains all the class expected of a premium golf course and as always, strategic bunker placements, the fickle wind and difficult greens are what makes all 18-holes of The Strand so memorable.
The first Clubhouse was built by John Frizzell, a local contractor in 1895 and the construction was of corrugated iron, on a wooden frame. It was situated close to the Portmore Road at the site of the present entrance to the Club carpark. The “Tin Shack”, as it was affectionately known, lingered on until the opening in 1931 of the substantial building, designed by Mr. C. McFadden, which still stands today. In 2009 the new clubhouse was designed, along with the surrounds, to facilitate the dedicated golfer with all possible conveniences to make every visit memorable. Facilities at the golf club include
· Ladies & Gents Locker Rooms with shower rooms and towels
· Bag stores
· Pro Shop with all golfing necessities, snacks and minerals for the Course
· Swing Room for hire / lessons
· Dispensing coffee machine brewing Lavazza Coffee / newspaper dock
· Spike Bar
· Strand Bar & Lounge
· Members Bar
· Strand Restaurant
· The Hut at The Turn
· Buggy Bar on selected days
Practice & Rental
Practice facilities at Portstewart Golf Club include a putting green, shot-game chipping area, and a full driving range. If playing The Strand course for the first time, it is recommended that you are accompanied by a caddie, but not mandatory. Pull-trolleys and electric trolleys are available for hire, but golf carts are only available for those with a medical certificate.
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