The Open: Travellers guide to golf's oldest championship at Royal Portrush
Friday July 05 , 2019
In just a short few days, over 200,000 people will descend upon Portrush to view one of the world's biggest golf tournaments.
Royal Portrush 2019 is the 148th Open. The Open traces its roots back to 1860 and hasn't been played in Northern Ireland since 1951. The tournament dates back to 1860 and saw eight professional golfers gather at Prestwick in Scotland.
Fast forward 159 years and Portrush will welcome 156 golfers competing for the coveted Claret Jug with the winner receiving $1.935M.
The Open will be delivered by a team of 6,000 staff and 350 volunteers.
The Open will be hosted at Royal Portrush and played on The Dunluce Links – one of the most challenging and spectacular links courses in the world. The course has undergone significant changes as part of the preparations for the 148th Open, along with a lot of the surrounding area. Works have been ongoing since November 2015, and have seen the construction of five new greens, eight new tee boxes, ten new bunkers and the creation of two new holes.
Situated on the Causeway Coast, Royal Portrush Golf Club occupies a triangle of giant sandhills which present scenic views in all directions. Formed in 1888, the course boasts breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean which commands distant views of the hills of Donegal, and the island of Islay, 25 miles away in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
Portrush itself is already a popular tourist attraction for visitors and Northern Irish residents alike. The seaside town is close by to lots of picturesque locations such as the Giant's Causeway, Downhill Beach and Ballintoy Harbour – which were all used in the filming of Game of Thrones. It's also home to the world-renowned North West 200 motorcycle road race.
When does it all kick off?
The first official day of the Open week is Sunday 14th July and will see the golfers practising for a few days beforehand. Thursday 18th July is the official first day of the championship.
Unfortunately, tickets for the tournament days are sold out, but you can still get your hands-on practice day tickets which will only set you back £15.
How do I get there?
With 200,000 spectators expected to arrive throughout the week, getting in and out of 'The Port' (local terminology for Portrush), will be difficult.
Translink is Northern Ireland's public transport provider and bus, coach and train services will be available, and capacity will be enhanced. Advanced tickets are limited, so it's advised you book online as soon as possible. All public parking will be provided at managed Park and Ride sites, which will be signposted each day.
If you're flying in for the occasion, there are three nearby airports which are easy to get to. City of Derry Airport, Belfast International and George Best Airports are within a 60-mile radius. Dublin airport is around 150 miles from Portrush. Travel options for those attending are as follows:
Belfast International Airport – Portrush
- Taxi: approx. 1 hour & 15 minutes priced around £125
- Airport Bus/Train: approx. 3 hours & 40 minutes. Bus number 300 (runs every 30 mins from the airport) to Belfast Great Victoria Street, then train from Belfast Great Victoria Street to Portrush around £18
Belfast City Airport – Portrush
- Taxi: approximately 1 hour & 30 minutes priced around £90 - £120
- Train: 3 hours (includes transfer). From Sydenham – Lanyon Place – Coleraine – Portrush. Approx. £20 - £24 Bus: Sydenham to Lanyon Place by train, walk 13 minutes to Belfast Bridge Street then bus to Coleraine and on to Portrush: around £17 - £26
City of Derry Airport – Portrush
- Taxi: approximately 50 minutes priced around £65 - £80
- Bus: 1 hour 45 minutes from Eglinton to Coleraine then Coleraine to Portrush; £10-£14
Dublin Airport – Portrush
- Taxi: approximately 3 hours 30 mins priced around £400
- Bus/train: Bus from Dublin Airport to Belfast and train to Coleraine – Portrush; priced around £40 - £60.
For those making the trip to Portrush, tell Q review how you travelled and your travel experience and how much it cost at www.q-review.com or download the app on the app store: Q review
Top tips for spectators
- Remember that kids go free if under 16 but will still need a ticket.
- The Open employs a no-readmission policy on Championship Days so, please don’t leave items you require on the day in your accommodation or car.
- Fans should beware of buying tickets from unofficial and secondary sources. The only officially sources of tickets for The 148th Open are via TheOpen.com.
- Keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately.
- The Open will no longer sell water in single-use plastics, but you can bring a refillable water bottle into the Championships to refill at the various free water stations. Remember to have fun and enjoy your day.
What about accommodation?
Places are limited, but there are still a few vacancies around the North Coast. Renting out properties for the week is a lucrative business, with properties being advertised from 2018. For more information, you can find the official Open Accommodation Bureau here. https://www.stayattheopen.com/
Food & Drink
Whilst visiting the North Coast and wherever you are staying for The Open there are lots of food and drink options. Popular ones include:
55 Degrees North
Me & Mrs Jones
Use Q Review to find out
There is loads to see and do while you’re in Portrush this summer, between golf, sight-seeing and wining and dining. Why not rate and share your travel experiences from The Open, and you could win a £250 Amazon Gift Voucher. Simply leave a review on Q-review to enter the competition!