Dunluce Links – Championship Course
The Dunluce Links is rated as one of the most challenging and spectacular links courses in the world, and has undergone major changes as part of preparations for the 148th Open.
The original architect was the famed Harry Colt who produced breath taking golfing landscape beside the Atlantic Ocean on the North Coast of Northern Ireland, and which commands distant views of the hills of Donegal in the Irish Republic, and the island of Islay, 25 miles away in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
The Links is named after the nearby ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle located on the edge of a basalt outcropping overlooking the sea between Portrush and Portballintrae.
In order to meet the demands as a modern day Open Championship venue, significant changes were carried out to the course under the stewardship of the golf architect Martin Ebert of Mackenzie and Ebert.
Works commenced in November 2015 and for the next 18 months, and the shifting sands gave way to the building of five new greens, eight new tee boxes, 10 new bunkers and the creation of two new holes, the 7th and 8th on land which was once part of the Valley course.
The uphill par-5 7th is called Curran Point, named after a stretch of beach which runs parallel on the East Strand. The 8th which runs in the opposite direction is called Dunluce, and they replace the old 17th and 18th on ground which has been temporarily set aside as the site for the Open’s tented village.
The new Championship Links has been lengthened by 130 yards to 7,317 yards, and another special feature of the altered layout was the excavation of thousands of tonnes of sand to build a 180 feet underground tunnel of fabricated steel.
Courtesy North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland
The below video shows the dramatic changes needed to the course for hosting the 149TH Open.
Courtesy The Open