The Open Championship returns to Portrush

As you may know, I am from Northern Ireland. I have played Portrush, both the Dunluce and the Valley courses, on many occasions. I was so looking forward to seeing the Open on TV and remembering all of the places where not to be hitting from!!

And it did not disappoint. How many times did we see balls hit greens and then run off 40 metres into the surround rough. Gotta love it! And Justin Rose’s shank on the final day. Jeez they are all human after all.

The whole event has got a very big thumbs up from the players and from the organisers. Won’t be surprised to see it back there in 2024, the next available free slot. It had everything, sunshine and a 63 from eventual winner Shane Lowry. Wind and rain on the final day with an 86 from early pacesetter JB Holmes. Rumour has it paramedics checked for a pulse at one stage as he dreamed his way round in 10 hours for the 18 holes. His playing partner Brookes Koepka was so incensed by Holmes’ slow play that he has requested mobile day- beds be provided for future events.

Can you feel the frustration for a fast player like Koepka to be playing with a sloth disguised as a golfer. Surely he must have wanted to club him at some point. Maybe he could use Schauffele’s illegal driver.

Just a gentle reminder of what NOT to do:

Through the Green: Wait until your playing partner has played his shot before doing ANY of your own shot preparation. This includes in Holmes’ case, putting on his glove, asking his caddy for distance advice, feeling the wind, getting a club out, having a few practice swings and 2 minutes later, actually hitting the thing. And on Sunday, asking a Rules Official if he can have a Mulligan. We were in Ireland after all.

On the Green: Repeat the above except take the glove off after your partner has played, decide what club to use…oops choose the putter. Walk all around once or maybe more…check your fit bit to see how many steps you have done, line up the putt eventually and maybe check the weather forecast for the next hole, have a putt and then repeat this exercise again if it didn’t go in.

The Giant’s Causeway near the Royal Portrush links

The Giant’s Causeway near the Royal Portrush links

I am sure the Guinness and Bushmills flowed for everyone and I am left jealously hoping that maybe I can be there next time.


David Magahy