Northern Ireland Golf, famous courses prefered by the professionals

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Northern Ireland Golf – famous courses

Northern Ireland is a golfer’s paradise. With over eighty links, meadow, parkland and seaside courses, two of which rank among the best in the world you are sure to have a thrilling golfing experience in Northern Ireland.


Royal County Down Golf Club

The Royal County Down is one of Ireland’s oldest and arguably its most famous course. It was established in 1889 though there is evidence that locals were knocking balls well before.

Royal County has two 18-hole links, the Championship Course and the Annesley. The former was ranked 4th best in the world outside the US in 2005 by Golf Digest and 1st in 2007. At 7,000 yards length and in challenging terrain, the Championship Course can be intimidating. The Annesley is shorter (just under 5,000 yards) and less formidable and suitable for everyone.

Royal Portrush

The other famous Northern Ireland course is the Royal Portrush.

Situated on the Antrim Coast with view of Donegal to the west and the island of Islay to the north, it was formed in 1888 as the County Club. It became the Royal County Club in 1892 and took its present name in 1895 when the Prince of Wales was its patron.

Royal Portrush was the venue of the first professional Irish tournament in 1895 and the first ladies’ championship on the same year. It is the only golf club outside mainland Britain to host The Open (1951), the oldest of golf’s major tournaments. And it was the golf home of Fred Daly the only Northern Irishman to have won The Open (1947).

The Dunluce Link as the course called, is about 6500 yards long and par 70. It is considered especially challenging though also very scenic. The best performance record is held by Roy McIllroy with 61 strikes while it is said that Tiger Woods once shot an 81. Golf Digest has ranked Dunluce as the 3rd best course outside the US.


Other Northern Ireland Golf Courses

Along the Antrim Coast there are other excellent links courses like Castlerock and Ballycastle making the Antrim coast one of the best places for links courses in the world.

When it comes to parkland courses experts recommend Belvoir Park, Foyle International Golf Centre, Royal Belfast and Malone.

Green Fees for Northern Ireland Golf

Green fees in Northern Ireland are not very high and sometimes discounts can be negotiated for groups.

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About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.