Narin & Portnoo Golf Club
Designer: Eddie Connaughton
The old girl has survived all the trials and tribulations which have seen the death of three local courses and the future looks rosy indeed!
If ever there were a truer statement in a club history, I’ve not read it. Golf has been played on the grounds of Narin & Portnoo GC since 1899 but three earlier attempts at both 9 and 18 hole courses by three different resort hotels failed to last. The course of the Narin & Portnoo Golf Club opened in 1932 with nine rudimentary holes on fairly level links land near the clubhouse. The remnants of that course can be seen today in the first four and the final hole.
What was added to the course to create the full out and back 18 is the rugged dunes land of holes five through sixteen. To the golfer who has played Irish links over the years, this addition is reminiscent of the new dunes land added for holes two through eight at Portstewart and the terrific holes beginning with the second at Enniscrone. It leads me to wonder why the course wasn’t there in the first place but, then, I recall what it must have been like to build courses in the days before modern earth moving equipment. Flat was viewed as better for design albeit not for interesting golf.
Well, interesting and scenic is what the old girl at N&GC has become, particularly on the peninsula on which comprises the 6th through the 11th. Hope for a clear day when you play these because this is a walk down Kodak lane. Save some film for a most unusual stretch of three consecutive par fives—13, 14 & 15—with the latter two and especially the 15th most attractive. In fact, I find the 15th to be one of the loveliest holes in Ireland if not the British Isles.
If you don’t enjoy your day at Narin & Portnoo, you don’t really enjoy old fashioned links golf.
Major Basil Haversham, OBE