The Open Championship: Hole-by-hole guide to Portrush

The Open returns to Portrush in July
The Open returns to Portrush in July

Former European Tour player Anthony Wall, who finished second in the 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush, gives PA his hole-by-hole guide to the course which will stage the 148th Open Championship from July 18-21.


1st (Hughies), 421 yards, par 4: Most players will take a three wood or long iron and although there is out of bounds to the right, the key is avoiding the fairway bunker on the left to set up an approach to an elevated green which sits across you.

2nd (Giants Grave), 574 yards, par 5: The hole is almost 50 yards longer than it was in 2012 and a good drive will need to hug the left-hand side of the fairway to have a chance of reaching in two, although the green is guarded by pot bunkers around 30 yards short.

3rd (Islay), 177 yards, par 3: A relatively straightforward hole with just one bunker but the green slopes from right to left so the ideal shot in would be a fade for right-handers.

4th (Fred Daly's), 482 yards, par 4: Quite a narrow tee shot with the wall on the right and a bunker on the left which must be avoided. Approaches from the left can be partially blocked out by the mound short of the green.

5th (White Rocks), 374 yards, par 4: If it plays downwind you can be aggressive and cut the corner of the dog leg and get close to the green, but it is tough to pick the right line. Laying back off the tee leaves a tougher second to an angled green with the Atlantic beyond.

6th (Harry Colt's), 194 yards, par 3: A classic links par three away from the water so club selection is what is going to be difficult into a sloping green which sits across you.

7th (Curran Point), 592 yards, par 5: The first of two new holes is almost 600 yards but will be a birdie chance downwind if you avoid the massive bunker on the right - a recreation of the "Big Nellie" bunker on the now defunct 17th - and a smaller one to the left of the fairway.

8th (Dunluce), 434 yards, par 4: The second new hole gives players the option to lay up short of the fairway bunkers or take them on to get closer to a large, undulating green which is protected by a solitary bunker on the right.

9th (PG-Stevenson's), 432 yards, par 4: A radio mast in the distance is the target off the tee and it is a must to find the narrow fairway. Rough and mounds to the left make it difficult to get close to the green and there is a little more room right than you think.

The Open returns to Portrush in July
Portrush

10th (Himalayas), 447 yards, par 4: The hole doglegs from left to right and it is important to hit the undulating fairway otherwise you will be hitting across the long, narrow green which will make club selection on the second shot key.

11th (Tavern), 474 yards, par 4: In 2012 this was a par five and I hit one of my best shots ever with a 2-wood onto the green in driving rain. There is a big dip in front of a very narrow green with a lot of trouble around it.

12th (Dhu Varren), 532 yards, par 5: A good chance for a birdie if you can stay out of the bunkers on the right, although if it plays into the wind you are going to be worried about the bunker around 70 yards short of the green.

13th (Feather Bed), 194 yards, par 3: A downhill tee shot means it plays shorter than the yardage suggests but it is quite a small green and surrounded by five bunkers.

14th (Causeway), 473 yards, par 4: One of the widest tee shots on the course so it is almost a free hit and a good chance of birdie if you can avoid the two bunkers on the right of the fairway.

15th (Skerries), 426 yards, par 4: Probably an iron down the right as long as you can carry the bunkers on the right and run it down the hill. The green nestles down into the dell and is well protected.

16th (Calamity), 236 yards, par 3: A great par three with a long carry to quite a big green and you need to guard against missing it right. A lot of second shots will be played from left of the green.

17th (Purgatory), 408 yards, par 4: Tee shots will land on a downslope and if the wind is in the right direction, the bigger hitters will have the chance to drive a green protected by bunkers on the front left and right.

18th (Babingtons), 474 yards, par 4: A left-to-right dogleg with quite a generous fairway and the biggest danger is the two bunkers to the right. Find those off the tee and cross bunkers short of the green also come into play.

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