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Sean_A

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After a game on the Dunluce we spent the weekend playing the Valley Links and this was the course I was most looking forward to seeing while on this trip.  One gets a view of the Valley from a few spots (especially from Calamity Corner) playing the Dunluce on the high ground and it does look stunning with its fairway strips cutting through dunes.  The first impression is there will be a lot of turning back on oneself and playing adjacent fairways.  Usually this type of routing gets up the noses of critics, but Colt cleverly brings us through small hollers which act as dividers.  One will notice that a great deal of the greens are placed at the base of dunes which create a sense of seclusion even though tee to green many holes are open. Additionally, Colt tended to route a few holes in one direction then turn about rather than going in one direction for several holes.  The Valley Links is easier than the Dunluce by keeping this routing system throughout the design.  Essentially, the course runs either east or west, avoiding cross wind shots which are rife on the big links.  Another aspect which makes the course easier than the Dunluce is the green surrounds are not quite as demanding.  That isn't to say there isn't terrific variety because there most certainly is - probably more so than on the the Dunluce. Finally, the Valley is fairly short, but it steals shots from par by reducing the number of par 5s.  This is a very common characteristic of British courses which makes courses feel as though they play longer than the card suggests.  In this way Colt takes full advantage of our pre-occupation with the concept of par.  Similar to Woodhall Spa, it is probably easier to play to one's handicap by stepping back to the medal tees because the par of 68 is increased by two shots, yet only 250 yards are added to the card.   



The opener is a gentle one which eases us into the round.  In truth, it is one of the weakest holes on the course.  After starting at about the same height as the Dunluce Links, the second plunges to the base of Dunluce's 17th and in fact shares a fairway with this hole.  One must be careful with club selection and line as it is easy to end up on the bank of the 17th tee.  The hole then turns hard left to a deceptive green which is difficult to figure out because of the offset bunkering.  The green runs away from the fairway until about 1/3 of the back, then the green rises.  From here one can see the advantage of staying left off the tee.


For the third we climb back up to higher ground, but well below the Dunluce Links for a drop shot par 3.  I wasn't impressed with the short holes as a group mainly because three are drop shots.


The fourth takes us to higher ground for a mediocre par 5.  Thankfully, this is the last of the mundane par 4s or 5s.  For me, the course really comes alive on the 5th and 6th.  These are located in their own holler and are a magnificent pair of holes.  They total 573 yards, yet to cover them in the combined par of 7 shots is good going.  I don't really know how to play the 5th.  The bunkers are reachable with the prevailing tailwind, but one still feels as though he wants to get as close to the bunkers as possible.  Besides the troubling fairway bunkers, the green site is a thing of beauty.  Extending from the back of the right bunker is a ridge leading to the green which is the very narrow kick in path.  The green falls away right and left. If it wasn't for the next hole, this may be the most precision oriented approach on the entire 36 holes.  Coming in from the left is DEAD.


After the head scratchingly brilliant 5th we turn back into the wind for a monster par 3.  I thought the approach on the previous hole was tough, but at 237 yards this hole makes the previous one look a doddle.  Nothing short of a laser guided (for me - driver) will find this green.  I initially complained about no realistically reachable par 4s on the course, but there is, only its a par 3.  I also didn't like the idea of no bailout while playing the hole, but now I am not sure there should be some easy option left.


The theme of half par holes continues on the 7th - a long par 4 into the wind which will not be reachable for most if there is a breeze about. 


A disorienting hole due to the obscured nature of the drive.  One needs to keep it well right on the 8th, but the edge of the fairway can't be seen.  What can be seen is a dune which looks to be reachable.  A this point the fairway drops and angles awkwardly.  Below is the approach from the perfect position.


The ninth is the third of an excellent cast of short par 4s.  Once again, the fairway angles oddly at the driving zone, but there is plenty of scope to lay up, Like the 8th, one must keep to the right for a view of the green.


By now it should be clear to the reader that Colt was determined to use the natural features as defenses rather than employ sand.  On approaching the 9th we have a combination of playing into the wind and the hollow short of the green which must be carried that gives us all the interest and challenge we could crave. 


The 10th is probably the most memorable and controversial hole on the course and is in the same vein as Calamity Corner - heroic.  A glance at the card will reveal that this is one of the par 4/5 holes which will get into the heads of most golfers.  On the first day we played it as a par 4 - most said it was impossible.  On the second day we played it as a par 5, most said it was great.  Go figure.  In any case, I found playing from the back tee far easier because it is raised making the the 9th fairway visible.  I don't know why anyone would play the 10th fairway from the medal tees.  It leaves absolutely no angle to the green whereas from the 9th fairway it sets up perfectly.  The fairway is split by rough and and a steep drop.  At this point the blind approach is over a heaving roller-coaster of an elephant's graveyard fairway. 




A look at the approach from the centre of #9 fairway.


After the 10th I reckon most holes would fail to make a favourable impression.


After the relative calm of the short 11th, there is another superb hole.  #12 is a long down wind par 4 with one of the best green sites on the course. This photo is taken from high ground above the tee which doesn't offer a view of the left side of the fairway.


The green is angled and tipped to encourage a left to right approach, but the left bunker must be covered to pull of this ideal shot. 


The 13th is the second of the par 4/5s.  It doesn't have nearly the interest of the 10th, but like Dunluce's 16th, one must decide if they are going to layup short of the neck or try to crash a wood somewhere near the green.


#14 continues the stout golf with another 400+ yarder.  The fairway is obscured, but there is generally more room right off the tee than is apparent. Below is a look at the green.  I never did figure out how the fairway moves so far right toward that bunker.  The fairways looks as if it should move left. 


The run for home starts with a terrific short hole.  It plays downhill, but couldn't be called a drop shotter. 


What little bunkering the Valley does possess is of very high quality.  There is a wee drop off to the left of the green which is similar to the right side of #12. 


#16 is the last of the short par 4s.  It is an odd hole because there is no fairway for the ideal approach from the left.  That said, playing into the wind makes it seem as though the bunker is a  long carry, but it easier to cover than it appears.  This makes driver a dangerous play and seems to go against our natural instinct to bash a ball into the wind.  Plus, I often like to see the full hole on doglegs because I think people are naturally drawn to the tiger line.   


A difficult hole location!


Snaking toward the top level of the course, Colt uncharacteristically fortified this plateau 17th green with bunkers on the front corners.  Any slightly weak approach will follow the lay of the land to one or the other.  It is interesting how Colt offers an easier approach option to the back right (away from the Sunday hole location and leaving a tricky putt) with its wing back like bumper to cradle a slightly aggressive shot.  The course finishes with its last par 3 drop shot.  This hole has more interest than the others primarily because more accuracy is required due to the sharp drop short of the green and its into the wind.


Similar to TOC, when one completes the game they are a long way from the clubhouse and this is slightly irksome.  It is a wonder why the house is in its current location.  Nevermind, also like TOC, there is an alternative club which opens its doors to visitors - Rathmore GC.  It isn't plush, but the beer tastes the same as in the big house and its members are welcoming.     

Its plainly obvious that I greatly admire the Valley Links and think it is a charmer in the way Brora and Pennard are.  It is easy to leak shots away, but the course offers plenty of opportunity to score well.  I would not soon tire of playing this course on weekly basis.   2009

Dunluce Links
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40266.msg846234.html#msg846234

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 05:31:32 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Ash Towe

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 03:10:29 PM »
Sean,
Once again a terrific review.  These pictures have certainley opened my eyes to a very good looking course.  It might not be on many iteneries but perhaps after seeing this it will be.

Doug Wright

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 03:58:56 PM »
Excellent review and pictorial Sean! The Valley Course was definitedly a hidden gem for us on our trip to N. Ireland/Ireland last fall. In some ways it was a discovery like The Island was on my first trip--a 'lesser" course that was anything but. Your comparison to Brora is apt too.

Holes I really liked: 5 (a wonderful short par 4 with a great green complex), 6 (very tough par 3), 9 (another neat short par 4 with the 2d shot over the brow of a hill), and 16 (love the location of the fairway bunker and green).  The stretch of holes 6-8 was really challenging. #10 is just plain weird but hey we like quirk, right? #14 was deceiving to the first time player as the tees point you right at the encroaching hill (where I ended up!) and there really is a ton of room to the right. Some subtle but interesting enough greens, though the multi tiered #17 green seemed out of character.   
Twitter: @Deneuchre

K. Krahenbuhl

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 04:32:33 PM »
I loved the Valley at Portrush.  It has to easily be one of the top 36 hole clubs in the world.

David_Tepper

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 06:39:28 PM »
Sean -

Thanks for the photo tour of the Valley Course.

As I mentioned on your Portrush Dunluce course thread, I played the Valley Course in the 1994 then-Bushmills Causeway Coast tournament. Since I had the best score there among the 4 courses I played during the event, I have fond memories of the course! ;) 

DT

Carl Nichols

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 09:30:24 PM »
Sean:
If you had 10 rounds to split between Dunlace and Valley and cost was irrelevant, what would your split be?

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 09:43:52 PM »
The only reason I played the Valley course is because it was included in the green fee.  I didn't expect much.  Boy was I wrong.  It is charming,  imaginative, fun, and beautiful.  The Dunluce course cast a long shadow but should not overshadow this this little beauty.
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Sean_A

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 01:35:19 AM »
Sean:
If you had 10 rounds to split between Dunlace and Valley and cost was irrelevant, what would your split be?

Carl

I would probably split 6-4 in favour of Dunluce if cost is not a factor.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Sean_A

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 02:20:04 AM »
Excellent review and pictorial Sean! The Valley Course was definitedly a hidden gem for us on our trip to N. Ireland/Ireland last fall. In some ways it was a discovery like The Island was on my first trip--a 'lesser" course that was anything but. Your comparison to Brora is apt too.

Holes I really liked: 5 (a wonderful short par 4 with a great green complex), 6 (very tough par 3), 9 (another neat short par 4 with the 2d shot over the brow of a hill), and 16 (love the location of the fairway bunker and green).  The stretch of holes 6-8 was really challenging. #10 is just plain weird but hey we like quirk, right? #14 was deceiving to the first time player as the tees point you right at the encroaching hill (where I ended up!) and there really is a ton of room to the right. Some subtle but interesting enough greens, though the multi tiered #17 green seemed out of character.    

Doug

I agree with your comments.  The 5/6 combo in its own valley is one of the highlights of the36 hole complex and a lesson in clever design.  

Similar to St Enodoc's 10th, VL's 10th is odd, but because I believe all good courses need controversy, I like it.  

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 02:54:24 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Ian Dalzell

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 12:33:06 PM »
A really fun golf course to play match play.  I am a member of Royal Portrush, and so have played The Valley many times through college.  While there are not nearly as many bunkers on this course as compared to the Dunluce, and many of the greensites sit flat on the land, it is a very enjoyable test and nice breather if you play the Dunluce in the morning.

A funny story about the Valley.  When Darren Clarke was on Tour in the early years, he would often play Portush on his off weeks, and many times would arrange games with my brother and other low handicappers, choosing the Valley for the match play fun that can be had.  One particular day my brother David was in the group and through 5 holes thought he was pretty long, because his drives, as were the others, were keeping up with big hitting DC.  For those that know the course, the first 5 all travel in the same direction, with a prevailing down wind.  This is why they were keeping up with Clarkey.

Now they turn into the wind on 6, 7, 8 and 9.  All of a sudden they were 40-50 yards behind Darren, because as he turned into the wind he simply changed his ball flight to slip under the wind, while the "amateurs" only had 1-ball flight, which got hit by the wind.  It was then that David realized who the pro in the group was.  Links golf is so much fun and allows creativity unlike any american course I have played.

David Tepper - FYI my Dad was the tournament Director for "The Bush" for over 20-years, recently retiring the duties to Jackie Graham, and was honored by the Queen on her New Year's Honors list back in 2002 (I think) for his efforts towards the promotion of golf and tourism in Northern Ireland.  My hero and role model, he was an ambassador for golf all of his life, and I am trying valiently to follow in his very large footsteps.  I echo your sentiments that it is a great event, and too many people in my opinion are missing out by not traveling to Northern Ireland to play the golf courses there.  I just got back 2 days ago, and Royal Portrush in my opinion is one of the finest in the world.  Interestingly enough I counted 12 holes where they have lengthened the yardage since I left for the States 15-years ago.  A great track, and one not to be missed.


Tony_Muldoon

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 02:44:03 PM »
A really fun golf course to play match play.  I am a member of Royal Portrush, and so have played The Valley many times through college.  While there are not nearly as many bunkers on this course as compared to the Dunluce, and many of the greensites sit flat on the land, it is a very enjoyable test and nice breather if you play the Dunluce in the morning.

A funny story about the Valley.  When Darren Clarke was on Tour in the early years, he would often play Portush on his off weeks, and many times would arrange games with my brother and other low handicappers, choosing the Valley for the match play fun that can be had.  One particular day my brother David was in the group and through 5 holes thought he was pretty long, because his drives, as were the others, were keeping up with big hitting DC.  For those that know the course, the first 5 all travel in the same direction, with a prevailing down wind.  This is why they were keeping up with Clarkey.

Now they turn into the wind on 6, 7, 8 and 9.  All of a sudden they were 40-50 yards behind Darren, because as he turned into the wind he simply changed his ball flight to slip under the wind, while the "amateurs" only had 1-ball flight, which got hit by the wind.  It was then that David realized who the pro in the group was.  Links golf is so much fun and allows creativity unlike any american course I have played.

David Tepper - FYI my Dad was the tournament Director for "The Bush" for over 20-years, recently retiring the duties to Jackie Graham, and was honored by the Queen on her New Year's Honors list back in 2002 (I think) for his efforts towards the promotion of golf and tourism in Northern Ireland.  My hero and role model, he was an ambassador for golf all of his life, and I am trying valiently to follow in his very large footsteps.  I echo your sentiments that it is a great event, and too many people in my opinion are missing out by not traveling to Northern Ireland to play the golf courses there.  I just got back 2 days ago, and Royal Portrush in my opinion is one of the finest in the world.  Interestingly enough I counted 12 holes where they have lengthened the yardage since I left for the States 15-years ago.  A great track, and one not to be missed.



Nice stories Ian, I have one for you.

About 5 years ago one of my cousins from NI emailed me.  As A golfer I needed to log on to the Golf Digest(? could it be a wonky memory) Website and vote for the best Golf Tip of the year. (AGAiN CAN'T BE SURE OF EXACT TITLE).
My instructions were clear, I was to vote for a tip suggesting I practive chippping with a 'penny' just behind the ball and one just in front.  A clean strike would be achieved when I could miss the first one, but move the second on my follow through.

As I recall there was a substantial cash prize to the author of the tip recieving the most votes and if my memeory isn't faulty, it went to one Ian Dalzell.  More power to your NI connections. ;D

on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Ian Dalzell

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 06:54:04 PM »
Tony

 ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D

Thank you so much - the power of the people.  How did you know I won . . .

That was a fun part of my life - I had voters in NI, USA and Englad where I went to school.

It was Golf Magazine and they never held the contest again.  I remain the defending champion of that event!! 8)

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2016, 06:20:47 PM »
This course deserves to be bumped.

Sean sums it up perfectly. It's more than good enough for the likes of me as well.

If this course was in fife it would perhaps get the recognition it deserves.

Can someone who knows the course well explain which holes are new? Played it recently and the last couple whilst not being bad, felt new.

Tom_Doak

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2016, 06:40:38 PM »
Ryan:


They've stolen two holes off the far end of the Valley course [the old 5th and 6th] and extended them to revise the Dunluce course for the Open Championship.


I'm not sure how these have been replaced.  The original 17th and 18th of the Dunluce will no longer be part of it, but not sure if those are to be incorporated into the Valley course.  The big appeal for the R & A is that they are a huge, flat, easily accessible space for the tented village and other infrastructure.

Sean_A

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2016, 08:01:24 PM »
I don't think the old 17 & 18 from Dunluce will be used for the Valley Links.  I was under the impression two new holes were to built and some thought the valley would be improved.  I greatly lament the loss of 5 & 6; a great 1-2 punch which could easily see more 3s on the par 4 than on the par 3.  I didn't follow how the course ended up so I don't know if the new holes are any good.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Ryan Coles

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2016, 08:20:01 PM »
Sean

The old / current 17 and 18 on dunluce aren't part of the valley. The new layout for the valley are in play. The new holes on the dunluce are growing in. I hated these two on the dunluce. No great loss in that respect, at least. 

I just wondered which holes on the valley course now are new ones?

Sean_A

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2016, 08:33:55 PM »
Ryan

I assumed two new holes would be made from the land beyond #s 17 & 18; one hole going toward the sea and another back to the house.  Plus, 4 would jump to 7.  That would seem the straight forward way to get tow new holes.  The old card is still on the website so I can't piece it together.  If you have a new card, maybe we can figure it out.

I note there is space to tuck a par 3 after the current 16th so maybe this is new 15th...though I don't know how an awkward walk can be avoided.  If this method is used then somehow the course has to finish in front of the house.  Maybe the 16th (current 17th) will be altered then two new holes from the short course area would be necessary.  There is plenty of space to bring the 16th down somewhere in the vicinity of the house over cool land (par 5?)...so its possible. 


I don't know what will become of the short course because some of that land has to be used for at least one new hole. 

Ciao 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 09:04:55 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2016, 10:07:30 PM »
4 new holes on The Valley. Sean is close in what he says. They took the tee back on existing 17 to extend it to a par-5.

Ben Stephens

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2016, 03:30:56 AM »

Click on the link below which shows the proposed changes for the Dunluce and Valley courses

http://www.mackenzieandebert.co.uk/Downloads/Royal%20Portrush%20Booklet.pdf


Re existing 17 and 18 on Dunluce - apparently the members wanted to keep those holes so that they can see their friends and other golfers from the balcony.


It would have made more sense if 17 and 18 on Dunluce was used as Valley hole 1 and 18 so that both courses actually finish near the clubhouse but seeing from the bigger picture it is nice to have an option of playing the original and new Dunluce and 2 differen variations of the Valley course a la Seaton Carew

Sean_A

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle New
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2016, 06:13:15 AM »
So, were these proposals for the Valley carried out?  Its not quite what I guessed.  I do like the idea of a par 3 cutting back against the grain coming in.  I also like finishing in front of the house and losing the old 18th...not a great hole to finish imo.  Still, these holes will have to be of an unbelievable quality to match the old 5 & 6. 

Ben

Thanks for the links.  The info on Duncluce is terrific!


Ciao
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 06:42:20 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Jamie Pyper

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2016, 08:01:05 AM »
In answer to Sean's question, yes, the changes to the Valley have been carried out and are in play. I played the Valley Course twice 3 weeks ago and was very impressed with the results, as are the club's "old guard" whom I talked too, which is a stamp of approval in itself. 


The new par 3 15th from an elevated tee is a visual delight as it brings in a backdrop of expansive dunes running parallel to the ocean.
The 16th is now a dogleg par 5 that utilizes the old 17th fairway and existing elevated green site. Again, the view off the tee to the backdrop of tall dunes along the far side of the fairway is impressive.  The new par 3 17th of 190 yards is exceptional, with a severe sloped fall off front edge. Apparently this hole was an old original hole taken out of play in the 1940's. The new 18th elevated tee has the best vista on the entire property. Located hard against the edge of the high dunes with the beach and town in full view. Although a shortish par 4 its still requires an accurate drive and the short approach is to a green with severe drop offs each side.


In response to Ben's suggestion that the Valley 18th finish at the clubhouse, in fact it does, as the Valley Clubhouse is the Rathmore Club, adjacent to the Ladies clubhouse, not the main clubhouse.(confusing)


As impressive the alterations have been at the Valley, the Dunluce modifications are mostly completed now, and are exceptional. The two new holes will not be in play until next year but I walked them and they will be great additions. The old rose bushes behind the greens are all gone,  the old gravel paths have been replaced with lush grass walkways (aka: Turnberry 's reno). Very exciting to watch all the earth work being done adjacent to the holes themselves for spectator accessibility, including the new player tunnels at he criss-cross behind the 6 th green with spectators mounds on top. The entire course looks more "finished" than ever before- but enough about the Dunluce course on a tread about the Valley.




Doug Wright

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2016, 11:49:23 AM »
Glad to hear about the results at the Valley course. IMO it is the perfect complement to the highly challenging Dunluce--playable and fun and definitely not a "reliever" course like some second courses.
Twitter: @Deneuchre

Ben Voelker

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2016, 01:24:37 PM »
I just got back from a trip to NI a few weeks ago which included a trip to Portrush.  Given the conversation over the past few days, I thought I would share my photos of the new holes.


For clarity, old holes 5, 6 and 18 are no longer in play and have been replaced by the new 15, 17 and 18.  As another poster noted, the new 16 (I think it used to be 17) is now a dogleg right par 5 as opposed to a par 4.


New 15: Downhill par 3 that doubles back from toward the coast from above the current 14 green (old 16)







« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 01:27:07 PM by Ben Voelker »

Ben Voelker

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2016, 01:29:58 PM »
New 16 (old 17):


A few photos below just to show the new view from the tee, which is behind the back right portion of the new 15 green.  It's quite a challenging tee shot with a bit of bend preferred to keep it in the fairway if one wants to have a bash at the green in two.






Ben Voelker

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Re: ROYAL PORTRUSH VALLEY LINKS: Not Necessarily Second Fiddle
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2016, 01:33:23 PM »
New 17:


Bunkerless, downhill par 3.  The miss is short or left, although the recovery is from well below the green.  A miss long or right is not pretty as one's ball is quickly gobbled up by the deep rough.












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