Royal County Down Golf Club

Royal County Down

Royal County Down is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful links settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve. Against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne, the links stretches along the shores of Dundrum Bay, zigzagging back and forth to provide a different vista from virtually every hole.

  • 18 hole
  • Links
  • Par 71
  • 6,881 yards

The narrowest ribbons of fairways thread their way through as impressive a set of sand dunes as could be imagined. The fairways are surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse, so beautiful to look at but so punishing for any who may stray from the prescribed path.

Located in the seaside town of Newcastle in Northern Ireland, is arguably the British Isles' finest links golf course (It regularly appears in the top 20 courses in the world!). Its history, dating to the 19th century, mixes with dramatic dunes in the shadows of the Mourne Mountains, making undefinedit tough to beat. Royal County Down is considered one of the most difficult courses anywhere, and hosted the 2007 Walker Cup.

The course was originally established in 1888 as the railway came to Newcastle and is still labelled as an Old Tom Morris design. However, massive rerouting and rebuilding through the 1920s led to a course that's been largely unchanged for several decades. One big difference is the brand-new 16th hole, built just a few years back.

You'll run into large amounts of gorse here. An interesting footnote is gorse wasn't even a part of the course until the 1920s, when rabbits were removed from the links. They had a habit of eating roots, so dunes were sandy and bare. Rabbit holes of course caused problems, and now the gorse has an overwhelming effect.

“The courses, the atmosphere, the people. It’s a great place to play.” – Rory McIlroy

“It’s a tremendous test of golf” – Tom Watson

Local Knowledge
  • Situated 45 minutes drive from Belfast and on the doorstep of the seaside town of Newcastle.
  • We feel fit to mention the 9th hole on the course. Your tee shot is hit blind over an intimidating dune and the hateful links gorse runs along both sides of the fairway! Is your ball ok? You won’t find out until you reach the top of the dune and then your question will be answered, “We should have hit a provisional!”
  • The Slieve Donard hotel, owned by the famous Hastings’ Group is the perfect place to stay whilst playing the course. The beautiful spa at the hotel is an excellent way to relax after a day on this magnificent links course.

Gallery - Royal County Down Golf Club