The renowned Portmarnock Resort, formerly Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, has unveiled its recently remodelled championship golf course under a new brand name, but one of great historical importance – Jameson Golf Links.

The unveiling of the Jameson Golf Links took place at a launch event involving members of the golf world, media and local dignitaries yesterday in sunshine and gusting wind, very appropriate for a Links course.

The rebrand follows the multi-million euro renovation of Bernhard Langer’s original 1995 design, masterminded by Jeff Lynch, director and senior architect at (re)GOLF, and his team on a site inextricably linked to the famous Jameson whiskey dynasty – a family who played an instrumental part in introducing the game of golf to Ireland.

In the 1850’s, John Jameson built his own private course on the site which would have been used by friends and family coming from Scotland.

Three of the Jamesons, including John, are laid to rest in the graveyard to the right of the first hole, and the old family home – St Marnocks – now forms part of the Portmarnock Resort, Dublin’s only coastal resort.

The Jameson brand is now owned by multinational group Pernod-Ricard but the local history eased discussion about the branding that is evident yet subtle enough around the course.

Enhancements made to the course include the ambitious elevation of greens and tees from the eighth hole all the way through to a breathtaking finishing stretch.

Media from across Europe and the United States were flown in for the event and will be spreading the word about the new course, enhancing Ireland’s golf appeal during this decade of major events including the revival of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open, the long term growth of the Horizon Irish Men’s Open and the staging of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2025 and the Ryder Cup at Adare Manor in 2027.

The Portmarnock Resort has a strong membership base and also a good relationship with the Championship Portmarnock Golf Club a short spin down the coast as well as with Royal Dublin and the Island Golf Club, making for a very attractive loop of courses so close to both the City and the Airport.

“We are absolutely delighted to be re-launching our world-class golf offering as the Jameson Golf Links at Portmarnock Resort, along with
our onsite hotel brand as Portmarnock Resort,” said Paul McCanny, director of golf.

“Ireland is globally renowned as a golf destination and we are proud to boast Dublin’s only coastal golf and hotel resort, just a few miles from the capital’s international airport.”

“With an exciting new brand and a re-invigorated layout, we cannot wait to welcome travelling golfers from across the world to stay at Portmarnock Resort and enjoy this incredible stretch of golf-rich coastline.”

The rerouting of certain holes has led to several significant changes on the final ten holes. The previously dog-legged eighth has been transformed into a straighter par four following the development of a new fairway, green complex and grass pathways – as well as moving an irrigation lake which has greatly increased the course’s water collection capabilities and sustainability credentials.

Both the 12th and 14th holes – previously par fours – have been redesigned as par fives, with the raised green area on the former providing incredible views of the Velvet Strand, Howth Head, Lambay and Ireland’s Eye.

In between those new par fives, the once par-five 13th is now a very challenging par four, becoming the course’s stroke index one in the process. The 15th has been shortened from a par four to a par three, and plans are in place to change the 17th from a par three to a par four in early 2024 to provide another birdie opportunity over the closing holes.

On-course changes have also prompted the creation of a new on-course beverage and snack service located close to the eighth, ninth, 14th and 15th holes. Away from the golf course, those visiting the new-look Portmarnock Resort will also experience a recently upgraded and award-winning hotel, which blends modern elegance with a fascinating history, encapsulated by the quaint Irish charm of its famed Jameson Bar – which in 2022 was commended in the Icons of Whisky Ireland Hotel Bar of the Year Awards.

“We have invested heavily in both Portmarnock Resort and Jameson Golf Links in recent years, to create an unrivalled stay-and-play golf experience along this great stretch of Dublin coastline,” added Mitch Gaglardi, managing director of Sandman Hotel Group UK & Ireland.

“It was an honour and privilege to welcome dignitaries and members of the golf media and community to our launch event, and I would like to put on record my thanks to the team at Portmarnock Resort for their help on the ground in making this launch the success it was.”