Portsalon Golf Club

Portsalon Golf Club

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Portsalon Golf Club

Portsalon Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Portsalon Golf Club was founded in 1891 and was an original member of the Golfing Union of Ireland along some big hitters. 
 
The course was designed by Charles Thompson, and at the start of the 21st Century, Pat Ruddy came to Portsalon and redesigned the layout. Nine new holes were constructed to turn it into the incredible gem that it is today. 
 
The course plays along Ballymastocker Beach and the coastline of the North Atlantic Ocean, adding another twist to your round. 
 
  
Visit the Portsalon Golf Club website here.  

A Brief History of Portsalon Golf Club

Portsalon, like several other venues on the NCG Top 100s: Ireland list dates to before the turn of the 20th Century, with the club being founded in 1891. 
 
Colonel B.J. Barton was the man who founded the club, and along with Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Royal Belfast, Killymoon, Dungannon, Aughnacloy, Ballycastle and Buncrana, the club was one of the founder members of the Golfing Union of Ireland. 
 
Charles Thompson designed the original layout back then, and in 2000, Pat Ruddy was brought in to redesign the course. Nine completely new holes were constructed, and considerable length was added to the layout.  
 
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has also advised the club in recent years, in a plan to save money by filling bunkers in that are not in play. 

Portsalon Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Thanks to its redesign by Pat Ruddy, along with its glorious location on the coastline of the North Atlantic Ocean, Portsalon Golf Club has become a must-play if you are in the north of the country. Playing at more than 6,800 yards from the tips and with the usual sea breezes, it provides a stern test of your abilities! There are double greens, dunes, winding fairways, mountains and sea views throughout. The inward nine, it’s true, is a little further inland and hinting towards parkland in places but there’s more than enough to make you want to do it all again even if the last hole, uphill all the way, has sapped your strength. 
 
The course begins in fine fashion, with three of the best holes at the very start of the layout. You can see Ballymastocker Beach from the opening tee, and that is a sign of things to come. The showstopper at Portsalon is the 2nd, where you drive over and across the sensational beach to the fairway beyond. It’s a world-class hole, but far from the only one. The 3rd is a relatively short par 4, that features a double green with the 9th.  
 
“The third hole, a throwback to another era, is a prime example of why the world is becoming more aware of Portsalon’s magic.” - Terry Jacoby in ‘1001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die’ 
 
The 4th is the opening par 5, the first of four on the property, before the long par 3 5th at more than 200 yards. The 6th and 7th holes play with the beach along their left side, meaning anything even slightly off the fairway in that direction may require another ball being pulled out of your bag. The 8th brings you back to a second double green, joined with the 4th, before a tough hole to round out the front nine. The 9th is a 460-yard par 4, and one where par is a very good score.  
 
10, 12 and 15 are the three par 3s on the back nine, with the latter being the shortest hole on the Portsalon property. The only time you encounter trees is on the 13th, a dog-leg left par 4 which turns its way around a small forest, and on the side of the 16th, where there is also a small stream running in front of the green. Water also comes into play down the left side of the par 5 17th before two burns run across the 18th fairway. You need to carry the first with your drive, before then hitting over the second to the green.  

FAQs about Portsalon Golf Club

Where is Portsalon Golf Club located?  
Portsalon Golf Club is one of the northernmost golfing venues in the Republic of Ireland and plays along the coastline of the North Atlantic Ocean. Views over Ballymastocker Beach and across the water to Fort Dunree provide great vistas for golfers playing at Portsalon. Letterkenny is the nearest major town, while Derry/Londonderry is around an hour to the southeast. 
 
The City of Derry Airport is the closest to Portsalon, again just around an hour from the golf club. However, visitors to the region may opt to fly into Belfast or Dublin Airports, as these will both provide a wider range of flights and destinations. Belfast is closer, but both are within four hours of the venue. 

What golf facilities does Portsalon Golf Club offer?
 
Due to its close nature to the beach and the water beyond, there is no space for a driving range at Portsalon. There are a couple of practice nets for golfers to warm up before taking to the course, along with a putting green by the opening tee box.  

What are the green fees at Portsalon Golf Club?
 
The price of a green fee at Portsalon Golf Club changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend.  
 
For more information on current green fees at Portsalon Golf Club, visit their website here
 
  
Visit the Portsalon Golf Club website here