R&A chief Martin Slumbers has confirmed that The Open won’t be coming to Portmarnock Golf Club any time soon.
One of the world’s premier links courses, Portmarnock hosted the Amateur Championship to great acclaim in 2019 when James Sugrue delighted more than 3,000 fans to claim victory in the final.
However, with some 290,000 fans expected to pour through the gate this week in St Andrews in a record Open attendance, Slumbers doubts the Dublin venue has the infrastructure to cope with the logistical demands that come with hosting an Open.
“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,” Slumbers told the Independent.
“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.”
Anyone familiar with Portmarnock would likely agree that the road in and out would struggle to cope with the traffic involved in hosting one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Hope remains that the brilliant layout will welcome the stars of women’s golf for the AIG Women’s Open in the coming years and should such a hosting take place and be successful, perhaps it would reopen the dialogue on hosting a men’s Open Championship, with Slumbers confirming that the rotation is constantly being evaluated.
“We are always looking at the pool of courses that we use,” Mr Slumbers said. “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.”
The Amateur Championship returns to the island of Ireland at Ballyliffin in 2024.
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