The club

Golf’s Own Country

The Royal Portrush Golf Club was founded in 1888 as The County Club. It became The Royal County Club in 1892 under the patronage of the Duke of York and assumed its present name in 1895 under the patronage of the Prince of Wales.

Royal Portrush Golf Club - Fred Daly

When the original Golf Club was formed in May 1888, it was known as The County Club. It later became the Royal County Club in 1892 when H.R.H. The Duke of York was its patron and then Royal Portrush Golf Club, three years later with H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) as patron.

It was here that the Irish Open Amateur Championship was inaugurated in 1892 and then the Irish Professional Championship in 1907. In 1895, Portrush was the first links outside of England to host the British Ladies Championship which was won by Lady Margaret Scott. The Championship was played here for the ninth time in 2011 and was won by Miss Lauren Taylor from Woburn Golf Club.

The nine-hole course of 1888 was extended to 18 holes the following year and at that time eight of these holes were laid out on the landward side of the Causeway Road. Gradually however the course was moved further and further into the sand hills until the famous architect, Harry Colt laid out his own plans for the Dunluce Links in 1929.

Altogether more than sixty national championships, British and Irish have been decided at Royal Portrush. The first professional tournament ever held in Ireland was run by the club in 1895. It was decided by match play and the famous ‘Sandy’ Herd who at the time was the Club’s first Professional was the eventual winner.

Royal Portrush Golf Club - Our Courses - Vallery Links
Royal Portrush Golf Club - Our Courses - Dunluce Links

During a fine period for Irish Golf from 2010 – 2012, Portrush-born Graeme McDowell became the first player from Ireland to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Honorary Club Member Rory McIlroy emulated McDowell’s feat the following year and Portrush resident, Darren Clarke, another Honorary Club Member was victorious at the 140th Open Championship at Sandwich also in 2011.

The combined success of these great Champions together with the 2012 Irish Open without doubt led to The R&A adding Royal Portrush to the Open rota in 2014. After some careful consideration by all concerned, it was decided that it would be necessary to make some changes to the Dunluce Links in order to accommodate a modern-day Open Championship.

Royal Portrush Golf Club - The Open - Irishman Shane Lowry was crowned Champion Golfer with a four round total of 269.
Following the success of The Open in 2019, the R&A announced that the 153rd Open Championship will return to Royal Portrush in 2025

Following the Members’ approval, work began on constructing two new holes designed by Martin Ebert, which had previously been part of the Valley links. In 2015 The R&A announced that Royal Portrush would host the 148th Open in July 2019, 68 years after it first hosted the Championship. In June 2017, the newly revised Dunluce Links came into play with the two new holes played as the par 5 7th hole and the dog leg par 4 8th hole with the Boys Amateur Championship the following year, the first major Championship to be contested over the new layout.
Following the success of the 148th Open Championship in 2019, the R&A announced the return of the 153rd Open Championship to Royal Portrush in 2025.

Women in golf charter

Royal Portrush Golf Club is proud to join The R&A in becoming a signatory of The Women in Golf Charter. As a leading club in Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland, our mission at Royal Portrush Golf Club includes offering our members and visitors a world-renowned golfing experience in a welcoming, relaxed, friendly and inclusive environment. We are therefore intent on embedding and promoting the values of the Charter, contributing to inclusivity and diversity in golf.

Miss Rhona Adair, Ladies' British Amateur champion 1900 and 1903; Irish Ladies champion 1900, 1901, 1902, 190

The fascinating history of Royal Portrush Golf Club includes the hosting of many amateur and professional events for both men and women including Irish Ladies’ Amateur Championship, Ladies’ Senior British Amateur Championship, British Women’s Amateur Golf Championship and The 2019 Open Championship.

Equality and inclusivity have been identified as key focus areas within Vision 2030, the Club’s Strategic Plan. Vision 2030 was brought together in consultation with our membership.

In support of The Women in Golf Charter Royal Portrush Golf Club has made progress in the following areas:

  • Ensuring a sustainable and engaged Membership.
  • Further enhancing the Club’s existing outstanding Member and visitor golfing experience.
  • Creating a world renowned golf complex.
  • Providing facilities, hospitality services and social events to a high standard for Members and visitors.
  • Ensuring best practice in Club governance.
  • Preserving, protecting and celebrating the Club’s history and heritage.
Royal Portrush Golf Club - The Club - Women in Golf
Royal Portrush Golf Club - Our History - Women in Golf

Royal Portrush Golf Club’s future commitment to equality and inclusivity include:

  • Pursuing equality and inclusivity across the decision-making bodies within the Governance of the Club.
  • Continual personal development of our staff team.
  • Promoting and encouraging all members to participate in volunteering opportunities
  • The introduction of a mixed Scratch Cup event in 2022.
  • Continue to deliver school and coaching outreach programmes.
  • Create initiatives to retain junior girls as members.

Royal Portrush Golf Club will continue to play our part and to work collaboratively with The R&A and Golf Ireland to grow the number of women and girls playing and working within golf not only in Northern Ireland but the island of Ireland as a whole.

Royal Portrush Golf Club - The Club - Women in Golf