The Beginning

Portsalon Golf club was founded by Colonel B.J Barton in 1891. Colonel Barton established the Portsalon hotel and golf links and was very forward thinking in Portsalon becoming one of the founder member of the Golfing Union of Ireland, the oldest golf union in the world. The course was designed by Charles Thompson, the Portrush professional. The links quickly earned a reputation as one of the best around and attracted visitors from near and far.

Colonel Barton  Colonel Barton, Founder of Portsalon Golf Club

In 1899, Col. Barton presented the club with the Barton Cup, to be played for annually. This competition is still run each year on the August Bank Holiday. Previous winners of the cup have come from locations as far afield as Johannesburg, Southport, Toronto and Edinburgh.

Barton Cup The Barton Cup

The reputation of the club grew so quickly that in 1905 the course was selected to host the Irish Ladies Championship. The championship was won by Miss May Hezlet from Royal Portrush, who beat her sister Florence by 2 and 1 in the final. May was the leading golfer of her time and her 1905 success was the second of 3 titles in a row. 

May Hezlet, Irish Ladies Champion 1905 May Hezlet, Irish Ladies Champion, 1905

In 1912, the Irish Ladies Championship returned to Portsalon. This time Mabel Harisson was the victor, completing a hat-trick of titles, having won at Newcastle in 1910 and The Island in 1911. In doing so, she emulated May Hezlet's achievement.