On Christmas Eve 1893 a Scottish insurance broker, W.C.Pickeman and his friend George Ross rowed over from Sutton to the peninsula of Portmarnock to explore the possibility of creating a golf links. The peninsula was about two miles long and covers 500 acres. It is links land with low sand dunes, green hollows and long valleys.

It was ideal golfing ground and had first been used for that purpose in 1858 by the Jameson family who lived in St. Marnock’s, a large house on the North side of the peninsula. The Jamesons owned the land having come from Scotland and founded a distillery in Dublin in 1780. Their private course was at the Northern end.  John Jameson readily agreed to lease land at the South end for golfing purposes for twenty-five years at a nominal rent. Portmarnock Golf Club opened in 1894.  The first officers were George Ross (Captain), W.C. Pickeman (Honorary Secretary) the and John Jameson  (President).

The course opened on St. Stephen’s day 1894 with nine holes. It was extended to eighteen holes in 1896 with a new clubhouse and a further nine holes were added in 1971. The championship course follows the original layout although considerably lengthened. The only major change in the  routing was the insertion in 1927 of a new now famous par three, the 15th hole.