Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 10th
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 10th
A golfer walks toward the severely elevated 10th green on the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club in Co. Dublin, Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 1st
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 1st
The first hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club runs along the estuary. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 2nd
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 2nd
A menacing front bunker awaits on the second hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club in County Dublin, Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 3rd
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 3rd
The third hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club bends left, bringing the estuary into play. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 5th
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 5th
After a blind tee shot toward the towers in the distance, the fifth hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club reveals its challenges. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 7th
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 7th
The seventh hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club is a strong par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 8th
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course - 8th
The eighth hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club bends left, but it's best to stay right off the tee. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - clubhouse
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Portmarnock Golf Club - clubhouse
The clubhouse at Portmarnock Golf Club is a welcome sight for golfers. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course
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Portmarnock Golf Club - Championship Course
Staying out of the long grass is part of the challenge of playing the Championship Course at Portmarnock G.C. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock - Championship golf course
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Portmarnock - Championship golf course
The dunes of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club are more subtle than other links. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock - Championship golf course - 9th
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Portmarnock - Championship golf course - 9th
The par-5 ninth hole of the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club has some interesting humps near the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock - Championship golf course - 4th
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Portmarnock - Championship golf course - 4th
The island called Ireland's Eye can be scene from various points on the Championship Course at Portmarnock Golf Club in Co. Dublin. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Portmarnock - nine-hole golf course
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Portmarnock - nine-hole golf course
The yellow nine at Portmarnock Golf Club has some strong holes as well, such as this par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Portmarnock Golf Club: A championship Irish links minutes from the Dublin Airport

COUNTY DUBLIN, Ireland -- Every golf trip launching out of Dublin Airport should start at Portmarnock Golf Club.

Portmarnock, ranked among the top 50 clubs in the world, is just minutes from the airport. Golfers can stay at the nearby Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links (which has a solid links of its own) and explore downtown Dublin.

The Championship Course at Portmarnock, while tough enough to host 13 Irish Opens in the modern era, is somewhat forgiving to groggy Americans fresh off of a red-eye flight. The club keeps the fescue at a manageable length, and there are only a couple blind shots along the way. The flat ground is walkable, and the dunes aren't too formidable.

Plenty of wind and deep pot bunkers defend par on the exposed site on Dublin Bay. Ireland's Eye, a rock formation off of the coast, watches over a pair of beachfront holes -- the short par-4 fourth on Portmarnock G.C.'s nine-hole course (sometimes called the yellow nine) and the famous 15th on the Championship Course, a par 3 among the best holes in Ireland (see "St. Patrick's Day delight: Picking the 18 best golf holes in Ireland").

A round at Portmarnock will set the table for what is sure to be a memorable golf vacation no matter where you go next.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Portmarnock Golf Club: A championship Irish links minutes from the Dublin Airport