Portstewart Golf Club was founded in 1894, but the origins of golf being played here date back to 1889. The Strand Course is a bit of a hybrid, a mix of the old and the new. Major development took place in the late 1980s when seven new holes were constructed in the sand dunes called “Thistly Hollow”. The new Strand Course, designed by Des Giffin, opened in 1992.
Set amidst imposing, gigantic sand dunes with panoramic views across the Atlantic mouth of Lough Foyle to the Inishowen peninsula beyond, The Strand is an incredibly challenging and thoroughly enjoyable golf course, with one of the best opening nine holes in golf.
The 1st hole is one never to be forgotten. It is certainly to all who step up to the tee find it one of golf’s most intimidating starts, with a downhill 425-yard par four. There is an abundance of great holes at Portstewart Golf Club; especially memorable are two of the new par threes, the 3rd and the 6th. The 3rd is a challenging single shot, measuring 207 yards, whilst the 6th, measuring a mere 140 yards with a plateau green, is also a tough cookie and will stay in the mind for a long time.
Credit must go to the designer because the new holes blend seamlessly with the old. Sometimes, when new land is taken in, there is punctuation between the old and the new. Not so at The Strand.
A golfing trip to Northern Ireland would not be complete without a round on The Strand course. The members here are very warm and welcoming and if you add this course to a round at both Royal Portrush and Royal County Down, you will have played three of the world’s finest links courses.