Royal Portrush hole-by-hole
Players, spectators and viewers are in for a treat at Royal Portrush. Here's our hole-by-hole guide.
Last Updated: 27/06/12 12:54pm
The Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush is regularly voted one of the world's greatest venues and now, after years in the professional wilderness and amidst the excitement of Northern Ireland's major championship success, it returns to the schedule.
It is a magical piece of links land, designed by Harry Colt, that sweeps across dunes, with majestic views of the ocean and the beach beyond the fifth green.
But it also has the potential to make grown men cry - the rough is thick, the bunkers penal and the greens and fairways undulating. However, it is also a fair test, as you would expect of a genuinely great layout.
The players, the European Tour, the sold out crowds and television viewers around the world are in for a treat this week. Here's our hole-by-hole guide to the course:
1st - Hughies - 416 yard par four
The drive looks wider than it is, with bunkers and thick rough awaiting a stray tee shot. The approach is made difficult by being played to the top of a hill, calling for a good yardage and a solid hit.
2nd - Giant's Grave - 528 yard par five
A big draw off the tee is the best shape. The second shot needs careful thought. The green will be in play but bunkers and rough short of the green threaten anything not on the right line or failing to make the carry.
3rd - Islay - 174 yard par three
On top of the hill, with awesome views of the course and the coast, it is the shortest hole on the course with a green that has some nasty slopes from right to left.
4th - Fred Daly's - 479 yard par four
The fairway is like a rollercoaster ride and a good line is essential to avoid the sneakily placed sand traps. The approach is played through two humps at the front of the green.
5th - White Rocks - 411 yard par four
The wind is a huge factor here. The tee shot calls for the right line to cut off as much of the dog-leg as the wind allows. The narrow green sits perched on the edge of the coast, with the ocean a stunning backdrop.
6th - Harry Colt's - 189 yard par three
A big putting surface that sits high on the dunes, but one which slopes in every direction.
7th - P.G. Stevenson's - 431 yard par four
Bunkers are again the big threat, especially around the green.
8th - Himalayas - 433 yard par four
The tee shot needs judgment - and a bit of luck. It is hit to a raised and undulating fairway that can kick the ball in all directions. The narrow green is hidden amongst the dunes so could be a blind shot for errant (or unlucky) drives.
9th - Tavern - 475 yard par five
The first of two holes that the players will have earmarked for birdies and eagles - two par fives at less than 500 yards is a rarity in this day and age.
Front nine - par 36 - 3536 yards
10th - Dhu Varren - 478 yard par five
Like the ninth a chance to get red or yellow on the board. The holes will be a mental test for golfers who curse making nothing better than par.
11th - Feather Bed - 191 yard par three
A green that lies below the tee, looking beautiful and welcoming. Hit the putting surface and birdie will be fancied. But missing it could cause problems, whether from the five bunkers or clingy rough.
12th - Causeway - 412 yard par four
A deceptive hole. Players will be looking for birdie, but it is another narrow green. A good yardage will reap a birdie chance, but a gust of cross wind or a bit of side spin might easily lead to a missed green.
13th - Skerries - 416 yard par four
A generous fairway should be hit, but what follows is a dramatic approach shot. The right side of the hole falls away into the dunes and the green is set at a diagonal. A birdie chance, but plenty of potential for disaster.
14th - Calamity Corner - 210 yard par three
The most famous hole on the course. Long at the best of times - the ball must be carried the entire yardage to find the green and miss the yawning chasm - it often plays into a wind at the top of the hill. Dramatic and stunning.
15th - Purgatory - 391 yard par four
Plays blind but downhill offering a great opportunity of birdie (and possibly driving the green).
16th - Babington's - 442 yard par four
The hole doglegs right a little which adds to the difficulty of avoiding the nasty fairway bunkers.
17th - Glenarm - 581 yard par five
The huge bunker ("Big Nellie") is more decorative than threatening for the pros. Two big hits can set up a birdie on the penultimate hole. The first flat hole on the course!
18th - Greenaway - 484 yard par four
Like the 17th the final hole is flat, but it plays in the opposite direction. If this hole plays into the wind on the final day it will be a tough, tough test for the leaders.