The R&A made it official on Tuesday, announcing the 2019 Open Championship, as well two future to-be-determined Opens, will be played at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
The 2019 Open will mark just the second time in Open Championship history that the Claret Jug will be decided outside of England and Scotland. Portrush was host to the other ex-England-Scotland Open, as well, when Max Faulkner won the title in 1951.
In 2014, the R&A announced its intention to bring the Open to Portrush, but the formal announcement was pending member approval of some changes to the Harry Colt-designed course, in part to accommodate the infrastructure required to host the Open, a drag on the original talk of bringing the game’s oldest major back to Portrush.
Two new holes will be created on the Dunluce Links, using land from the adjacent Valley Course to forge the new seventh and eighth holes — the first being a par 5, then a par 4 playing back over the course’s fifth hole. The current 17th and 18th holes will be removed, with that land serving as site of tournament infrastructure.
The par-5 second will also be lengthened by 40 yards, forcing the green to be moved. The current 10th hole, which will play as the 12th in the Open because of the two new holes, will be lengthened by 50 yards. The green at the current eighth hole, which will become the 10th, will be reshaped.
All told, the Dunluce Links will be lengthened by about 200 yards, playing 7,337 yards for the Open. The course will net three new bunkers, bringing the total to 62, which will remain the smallest number of any course in the Open rotation.