Northern Ireland, Ireland
Championship Links Course overview
In one of the most naturally beautiful settings in the world of golf, the Championship Links Course at Royal County Down is a breath-taking test of golf. Narrow fairways surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse thread their way through the most impressive sand dunes.
It is stunning to look at but so punishing for those that stray. The ‘bearded’ bunkers are world-famous and the greens are fast, and to add to the challenge it is not uncommon to experience all four seasons of weather over 18 holes.
The ninth hole is a 486-yard par 4 and one of the most photographed holes in world golf. Played from one side of a huge mound down to a fairway some 60 ft below and 260 yards from the tee, with the second shot from the bottom of the slope over two bunkers to a raised green.
Did You Know?
George L. Baillie, a Scottish schoolteacher who came to Belfast, was responsible for the original nine-hole layout at Royal County Down which opened in March 1889. Soon after Old Tom Morris was commissioned to travel from St Andrews “for a sum not to exceed 4 pounds” to inspect what existed and advise on a second nine.
Accommodation near Championship Links
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa
The Slieve Donard Resort & Spa is an upscale 4-star property 30 miles south of Belfast which offers excellent facilities and a wonderful setting close to the Mourne Mountains and Royal County Down.
A towering landmark in the center of Belfast, the Europa Hotel is one of the premier hotels in Northern Ireland’s capital city. A great base for hitting all the big courses in the north.
Bushmills Inn Hotel
A superb 4-star boutique hotel, The Bushmills Inn was originally a Coaching Inn dating from the 1600’s. Nowadays, it mixes stunning architecture, beautiful grounds, unique rooms and great food.