Portstewart Strand Course Review

Par 72, 7,004 yards, links

The club was founded in 1894 with a course that was redesigned by Willie Park in the 1920s. It received a further makeover in 1986 when the club bought some land and brought in Des Giffin, who designed seven new holes that meander through the sand dunes. A formidable golf course, it hosted the Amateur Championship as recently as 2014.
The par 3, 3rd measures 218 yards and is a stunning hole played from an elevated tee to a green surrounded by gorse-laden sand dunes.  
The 6th is another par 3, measuring only 143 yards - it is played to an elevated green that is guarded by deep bunkers to the front left and right. Miss the green on either side and you will be in big trouble.

The 8th is a superb dogleg. It measures 427 yards and has a narrow fairway, with a tough second shot played to another well-guarded, raised green. As you stand on the 9th tee, you see the green 365 yards away. It looks pretty straightforward, with a rolling fairway - but catch a bad bounce and you will end up in the rough. And do not hit your approach over the green, as plenty of trouble awaits.

A terrific finishing stretch starts with the 420-yard par 4, 16th. It calls for a drive to the right side of the fairway,which slopes from right to left and will punish anything hit with a draw. A well-contoured green provides some fabulous views.

The 17th, measuring 436 yards, features some quirky tufts of rough in the middle of the fairway, with trouble right and left. It is played to another raised green, with thick rough at the rear.

And the 18th, at 461 yards, is one of the toughest holes on the course, with a green that stands in the shadow of the clubhouse. It is also lightening quick, contoured, and very well protected by bunkers.
portstewart strand course review
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Derek Clements

Derek Clements is a golf journalist - he has covered many Open Championships and European Tour events, as well as The Masters. Born in Glasgow, he writes for The Sunday Times and Golfshake, and has also written for Today's Golfer, the Daily Mail, Swing by Swing and many other golf websites, magazines and newspapers. He has played golf all over the world and numbers Gleneagles, Kingsbarns and Aldeburgh as his three favourite golf courses in the United Kingdom. He lives in Suffolk, is a member of Waldringfield Golf Club and has a handicap of nine. He had lessons from the late Bob Torrance and has worked with Jean-Jacques Rivet, one of the world's leading golf biomechanists.