On lovely natural seaside turf, the Valley is a full-length championship course of 6,346 yards from the Championship tees. On this course, one of the two qualifying rounds in the North of Ireland Open Championship is played annually.
The course is situated in sheltered country in the War Hollow. The War Hollow forms part of the Valley Links today and this part of the Valley is said to have been the scene of an ancient battle between The Chieftains of The Route and Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway. This battle took place around 1102. The Valley is remarkable for the fact that there are only eighteen bunkers in the entire eighteen holes.
Nonetheless, the natural hazards are such as to make this course a really stern test for the low-handicap golfer and accuracy is needed in the approach shots to the small and cleverly sited greens.
Portrush’s Ryder Cup star, US Open Champion and multiple winner on the European tour, Graeme McDowell learned his game on the Valley links and the course is consistently ranked among the top 40 golf courses in Ireland.
|The first hole is named after a former Lady President Zara Bolton. Zara Bolton’s, is 349 yards, with a drive which must be accurately placed over a ridge to fall into a small valley leading to the green, which is low lying surrounded by sand-hills.
|This is a dog-leg to the left from the tee. A hook or pull is severely punished but a drive to the right opens up the sloping green for the approach shot.
|From the elevated tee position the green presents an ideal short iron to a small target with a deep bunker left.
|The tee shot is played over a ridge into the War Hollow which stretches for over 300 yards. The green is situated below the high hill, on top of which is the tee box for the famous “Calamity Corner” on the Dunluce course. If you make a par be satisfied.
|Once again playing into the War Hollow you will find the elevated green at the end of the narrow strip of fairway and a bank at the back to encourage the bold shot.
|The drive is up hill along a narrow fairway situated between two sand dunes. The green is at the end of another long narrow valley and much trouble awaits those shots which are not on target.
|It is a slight dog-leg left with a narrow entrance to a small green which is cradled between sand dunes.
|It is a rolling double dog-leg with a narrow entrance to the green which is cradled between sand dunes.
|The nineth is a pitch from a high tee position to a green bunkered right and left.
|The drive is through a narrow neck in little sand dunes. The second shot is across the War Hollow to a small green guarded by a bunker on the left and a grass hollow right.
|The thirteenth runs parallel to the previous hole to an armchair green surrounded by sand dunes. This hole requires two long straight shots.
|A slight dog-leg to the right. The drive is through a narrow valley to an open fairway. The approach shot has to skirt the pot bunker on the right to find the small green.
|The green is narrow with rough behind, it is also guarded by a high sand-hill on the left front and bunkers on the right.
|Keep your drive to the right as there is plenty of trouble to the left. The green is guarded by sand-hill on the right.
|The first of four new holes… This one requires a well struck mid to long iron to avoid the two bunkers and find this undulating green.
|This hole is through a narrow neck of sand-hills and down a valley to an elevated green which is guarded by two bunkers, sand-hills on the left and a drop over the back to a big hollow
|Re-opened after almost 100 years, this strong par 3 will usually require a long iron to fairway wood to carry onto the gathering green.
|An accurate drive is required from this new elevated tee to find the narrow fairway. The approach is through a narrow valley to the home green which is full of subtle undulations.