Posts Tagged ‘Open Championship 2019’

North of Ireland competitors to test Open lay-out at Royal Portrush

June 1, 2017

Stephen Ferris, Brand Ambassador Cathedral Eye with Andrew Spence Cathedral Eye, Eamon O’Connor Chair GUI Ulster Branch and  John Bamber, Chair of the Open Championship Committee launching the Cathedral Eye North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship 
Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

Fancy a taste of the Open Championship?
The revamped Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush will host this year’s Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship (July 10-14) and the GUI is still accepting entries.
The famous North Coast links has been upgraded ahead of the Open Championship in 2019 and club officials are keen to see how the new lay-out performs in Championship conditions.
The new seventh named Curran Point and eighth hole named Dunluce will be put into play and competitors will finish their rounds at the current 16th hole
“We have no evidence how the new seventh and eighth holes will play other than what professional architects have told us will happen,” said John Bamber, Chairman of the Open Championship Committee.

“The North of Ireland gives us the opportunity to get 300 top class golfers out there giving us data which will allow us to decide how we play those holes in the coming months.

“It is the perfect opportunity, a field of category one golfers, championship golfers, playing the course. What better way to assess the two new holes. I just hope we get relatively fair links conditions during the tournament.”
The new holes, designed by MacKenzie & Ebert, will actually open for play on June 24th to host Mr David McMullan’s Captain’s Day competition. For the members, it will be the first time they get to sample the course as it will be configured for the Open Championship.
“In many ways it is an historic occasion,” added Bamber.
“The last time two new holes were added to the Dunluce, people like Harry Colt were involved.
“I know that in previous years we have revamped a number of tee boxes but this is completely new. It really is something very special.”
The current 17th and 18th holes will be removed from play towards the end of the summer as work continues to create the infrastructure to host the Open Championship.
The closing date for entries into the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship is June 12. For more details visit


Revamped Dunluce Links will be a top five contender claims Clarke

October 23, 2015
Ryder Cup captain and former Open winner Darren Clarke stands with the claret jug on the 6th tee at Royal Portrush Golf Club overlooking the White Rocks

Ryder Cup captain and former Open winner Darren Clarke stands with the claret jug on the 6th tee at Royal Portrush Golf Club overlooking the White Rocks

Royal Portrush is getting a make-over ahead of the 2019 Open Championship with Darren Clarke predicting the changes will power the Dunluce Link into the upper echelons of the world rankings.
Two new holes will be created to replace the current 17th and 18th holes freeing up that land to be used to accommodate the spectator village and Championship infrastructure.
A series of other changes are being made to the course under the watchful eye of Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert the club’s golf course architects, while remaining true to the ethos of Harry Colt’s original design.
“With the changes Martin is implementing, if this is not ranked in the top five in the world, I’ll be amazed,” said the 2011 Open Champion.
“This is as fair a links course as you’ll ever play. The thing about Portrush is that with the new tees, and the ones that are there, it’s so playable. There’s not many blind shots, everything is in front of you.

“You can work the ball into the greens here, you can run the ball in, which to me in the sign of a great links course. In my opinion, to be a good links player you have to be able to manage your trajectory and here you have the option to hit it along the ground if you have the talent to do so. That’s what Portrush gives you.”

The 2016 Ryder Cup captain admitted that he was initially sceptical about some of the changes proposed by Ebert but he was eventually convinced that the essential character of the course would not be diluted.
“The more I looked at them I could see the changes were going to make the course better. There’s a difference between making it tougher and making it better. He’s making it better and there’s a big difference,” added Darren.
“Who can say what Harry Colt would have done to the course now, but the changes aren’t massively different to what was there. It’s just a case of bringing the course up to a more modern links challenge. I can’t praise Martin Ebert highly enough as he is providing a modern lift to one of the best courses in the world.”

Keep up to date with the course changes via this blog by Graeme Beatt the Head Greenkeeper –

Watch a video describing the changes in detail  –

Visualisation of how the new eighth tee shot will look

Visualisation of how the new eighth tee shot will look