Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

You might think that the Dunluce stealing prime ground from Portrush's second course would leave the Valley diminished.

Well, not soWhile Ebert was annexing land for the Open venue, he also spent time on the Valley, creating two excellent new holes and revising others.

The result is a course that, believe it or not, is actually better after losing its best land.

It still mostly sits between dunes along the Atlantic shore and the higher ground on which the Dunluce is laid out.

Harry Colt also designed this course as well as the Dunluce - the home to the Rathmore club (where Graeme McDowell started playing the game) - and there are plenty of classic bumpy links fairways and cool green complexes defended by pot bunkers.

Ebert's work on Colt's canvas has seen the Valley do very well in both out Fun Top 100 and Irish ranking.

There is every chance it could rise higher as more panellists visit a links that is edging out from behind its big sister's shadow every so slightly.