Portmarnock In With A Chance To Host A Future Open

Portmarnock could make history in becoming the first course from outside the UK to host The Open. The masterpiece, to the north of Dublin, has contacted the R&A to explore the possibility of hosting the game's oldest major or the Women's Open and the governing body has said that it is keen to 'investigate the possibility'.

An R&A spokesperson said: “Portmarnock is undoubtedly one of the world’s outstanding links courses. We believe there is the potential to host our major championships there but it is essential that a full evaluation is carried out to assess whether it is feasible and what would be required to make it happen.”

It it hoped that the Irish government would back any move to host the Championship.

At The Open in 2021 the R&A chief Martin Slumbers said that they would not be looking to add Portmarnock to the roster of courses despite its many assets.

"We are always looking at the pool of courses that we use. I am happy with the courses we've got at the moment. We will certainly be looking to bring more of our amateur events into the island (of Ireland). Portrush gave us a great platform, and we had the Amateur Portmarnock (in 2019), which was fantastic, and we will keep building up all the time.

"We looked very closely when we staged the Amateur and it was a terrific golf course and it was a terrific staging with great support. But it's a pity it's on an island. It's quite difficult infrastructure-wise. It's a great golf course and we would love to go there more often. But are we considering it for The Open? No, not at this time."

The feeling was that it might host the Women's Open in 2026 before hosting the men's Championship in 2031.

But there are now brighter noises coming from the R&A about an Open that would

The spokesperson continued: “The R&A regularly stages championships and international matches throughout Great Britain and Ireland, including at Portmarnock, and have done for many years. We would like to investigate the possibility of taking our professional championships to Portmarnock as well.”

Last month Rory McIlroy was asked about any possible move at the Irish Open at the K Club and he was behind the prospect.

He said: “Having a course that’s so close to a major city, so close to a major airport, having a great
golf course, I think it would be amazing. I think they (R&A) are seriously looking at it and it would be fantastic.”

The club captain of Portmarnock Niall Goulding added these details.

“The club has had informal contact with the R&A regarding the possibility of hosting the AIG Women’s Open and The Open at Portmarnock in the coming years. The club has determined that government support would be critical for a project of this magnitude and, consequently, will now approach the relevant government authorities to establish their position on providing support for a formal application by Portmarnock to the R&A to host a major championship.”

Portmarnock has hosted the Irish Open 19 times and will stage next year's Women's Amateur.