Portmarnock originally started out as John Jameson’s own private nine-hole golf course but was opened for public use in 1894. It was then extended to an 18 hole course two years later, the layout designed by William Pickerman.
Portmarnock is a natural links course and with water surrounding on three sides, you are at the mercy of the wind. Like Muirfield, the routing changes the direction of play on almost every hole, offering constant challenges off the tee. Many greens are raised with shaved run-offs, so only well struck shots will be rewarded. The golf course is best known for its memorable set of finishing holes that has proven a formidable test even for the most skilled golfers. Arnold Palmer has even been quoted as calling Portmarnock's 15th hole, "the finest par-3 in the world."