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The Legendary Holes of Royal Portrush

16 JUL 2019

Photo courtesy of Golf Channel Instagram (@golfchannel), click here to see the post 

The last time The Open was hosted by Royal Portrush was in 1951. 68 years ago. Flash forward to today and there are 156 of the worlds best golfers learning the in and outs of the course at the same time the rest of us are. You don't often see these players enduring multiple practice rounds prior to a major, let alone doubting their strategy and plan of action just days before (see T. Woods below). That being said, everyone is excited to see the tournament unfold... Royal Portrush could be a great addition to The Open Championship rota.

Following last week's article which introduced us to the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, this definitive course guide to the Dunluce Links is a must-read as the final major of the year nears. When it comes down to the best players in the world pinned up against one of the toughest links courses out there, knowing the most iconic holes will make your experience that much more enjoyable.

Hole 7- Curran Point (Par 5- 592 yards)

Built from hole 5 and 6 from the Royal Portrush Valley Course, Curran Point is the first new hole built specifically for this years Open Championship. It stretches almost 600-yards, winding though large grass dunes that eventually lead up to a well-protected, undulating green. The most notable feature of Curran Point is the remake of the "Big Nellie" bunker. Previously located on hole 17, the bunker is a monster and is sure to be a highlight for fans and a lowlight for the players who end up in it.

Hole 10- Himalayas (Par 4- 447 yards)

A somewhat generous tee-shot into a dog-leg right takes the player to a narrow fairway and green. The hole is located near the center of the course and has a picturesque backdrop displaying the jagged Irish cliffs in the distance. The real test of this hole will be the approach shot to the whopping 44-yard-long green.

Hole 12- Dhu Varren (Par 5- 532 yards)

The last of the Par 5's, this hole is relatively straight-forward. Players will likely struggle with tough bunkering on the right-hand side off the tee, which are in play around 250 to 300 yards out. Additional to that, steep inclines off the edge of the green in all directions can cause a good-looking shot to roll off into the fescue or out-of-bounds area.

Hole 16- Calamity (Par 3- 236 yards)

Arguably one of the toughest holes on the course, Calamity is a 236 yard par 3 onto a large yet unforgiving green. Any shot to the right will make the ball almost unplayable due to the steep slope into the long grass. Because of this hazard, many golfers will be playing from the left side of the green to be safe.

Hole 17- Purgatory (Par 4- 408 yards)

A blind tee shot to a steep downward ridge makes this 408-yard hole drive-able in favourable wind conditions. On the flip-side, the wind can push or pull the ball right off line into the deep fescues that lines the fairways and protect the green.

Hole 18- Babingtons (Par 4- 474 yards)

What was 16 for the members is now 18 for The Open. A lengthy dog-leg right with an out-of-bounds to the left and two bunkers to the right... not exactly an easy tee shot. The reward for a successful first shot is a direct line to the green (with some bunkering in between) and a massive viewing gallery facing back at you. An incredible finish to an incredible course.