Testimonal by Robert Matre Photography - 8th August 2012
"You really can’t do much better than the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links if you’re playing golf in the Dublin area. The hotel is topnotch, with a fine links course built in 1996 and designed by Bernard Langer. The course occupies the former grounds of The Jameson Estate, makers of the famous Irish whiskey.
The Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links should not be confused with the legendary (and private) Portmarnock Golf Club, although the courses are right next door to each other. While the hotel’s course does not enjoy the pedigree of its neighbor, it is a very good course and offers a fine test of links golf over land that makes good use of the topography and vistas. It is a fun course, but no pushover, although it is a little more “playable” than most of the classic links courses. However, we ventured out for an extra 11 holes after our round, and played it from the tips as high winds moved in. It proved to be very different and difficult test of golf, much tougher than the forward tees.
There are many things to like about this course, in both its playing characteristics and visual drama. As opposed to most newer and modern courses, it has an understated and elegant charm that defies its youth, and there is a nice flow to the course as it moves from the interior flatlands toward the massive dunes along the Irish Sea with stunning views of Ireland’s Eye. The sod faced bunkers are particularly impressive, as long as you keep your ball away from their edges. The final hole is dramatic, played along the sea with its green tucked into an amphitheater of native grass.
One of the best things about playing the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links is enjoying post-round drinks in the famous Jameson Bar. With its boundless energy and live music, the drinking could very well last through midnight, with a Full Irish breakfast awaiting in the morning as the journey, still in its infancy, continues."