2-fore!-1 Golf in Northern Ireland
14 Courses in Carrickfergus , Ulster, Co. Fermanagh, Banbridge , Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, Glasgow, County Antrim, Limavady , Co. Tyrone, County Derry
Northern Ireland has given us more major golf champions in modern times than any other European country. These include, of course, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell. With around 100 golf courses, more than 30 being award winners and all of these offering excellent golf in truly beautiful settings, it is no great surprise that golf champions emerge from this landscape. And, the landscape is unforgettable. Here you will find Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stunning panoramic views and ancient historical sites. Whether your preferred golf courses are near mountains, rivers, lakes or beaches, parkland, forests, cliffs or castles, the atmospheric surrounds can only inspire your game.
In July 2019 the 148th Open Championship is returning to Northern Ireland after nearly 70 years. It will be hosted by Royal Portrush Golf Club on the Dunluce Links course, as in 1951. Preparations for the return of The Open are underway and include the addition of two new holes, lengthening the course to 7,337 yards and increasing bunker numbers to 62.
The world's oldest golfing union, the Golfing Union of Ireland, was founded here in 1891, in Belfast. It is the governing body for men's amateur golf in Ireland. The first golf club here had formed a decade earlier, the Royal Belfast Golf Club. Then there are two outstanding, world class golf courses, Royal County Down Golf Club, listed as Golf Digest's top rated course in the world outside the US, and Royal Portrush Golf Club, a host of the Open Championship and also listed as one of the top three golf courses outside the US.
Royal Courses, and The Open Championship:
Royal County Down
Royal County Down Golf Club, set "Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea". A wonderful setting of lasting beauty, for what would become a legendary Championship golf course. The first nine holes of this classic links course opened for play in 1889, following the efforts of an ardent golfing Scotsman. The course was extended to its full 18 holes the following year, under the design of Old Tom Morris. In 1908 the club was given Royal title by King Edward VII. Further improvements were made to the course in the 1920s. The gently rolling fairways naturally following the lay of the land; the huge gorse covered dunes guarding protectively, scattered with heather; the imposing mountain peaks rising majestically; the 120 bunkers; the warm welcome on arrival - all add to the sense of true 'royalty' among golf courses.
Royal Portrush Golf Club
Here at Royal Portrush, The Open Championship will be held in July 2019. Established as a 9 hole course in 1888 as the County Club, in County Antrim, then growing to 18 holes over the next year, it became the Royal Portrush in 1895 under the Prince of Wales. The club has two courses, Dunluce Links and The Valley links. Dunluce, the Championship course, is named after the 13th Century Dunluce Castle which overlooks the course. The Valley Links course is shorter and somewhat less challenging. The Royal Portrush has consistently been named as one of the best courses in the world, by a range of golfing media. The scenic surrounds are extraordinary, with the sheer White Rocks leading up to Dunluce Castle (the film location of the Game of Thrones Seat of House Greyjoy) and nearby, along the coast, the unique Giants Causeway.