Narin & Portnoo
Earlier this year during what has become an annual trip to Ireland, I played the wonderful course at Narin & Portnoo for the first time. It is frustrating to have discovered it too late to be able for inclusion in Views FromThe Tee as it is one of the great links on the West Coast of Ireland. The course starts quietly with some flattish inland holes and then suddenly lifts off high into the dunes and heads out towards the Atlantic. Wonderful views and wild soaring and plunging hills and valleys provide a heady mixture – and I suspect an overpowering cocktail if any sort of wind is blowing. We played it in the calmest of days under a hazy sun, but even so we could feel the giant stirring as we stood on the high points and blasted our tee shots out towards America.
On our arrival Narin & Portnoo appeared to be teeming with members which was encouraging as it has recently run into financial difficulties. A local hero has returned from America to take up the challenge of rescuing the course – we met him and he explained how a top architect was being recruited to turn it into a really top track. I hope he doesn’t get rid of too much of the idiosyncrasies that make it such fun, although the slightly dull opening and closing holes could probably be improved. But play it while you can – I suspect the green fees may rise sharply once the new regime is in place.