Royal County Down Golf Club

100%
Rating

About the Club

 

Royal County Down the very words are enough to send a shiver up your spine. Laid out beneath the imperious gaze of the Mountains of Mourne and enjoying a magnificent setting along the shores of Dundrum Bay, Royal County Down is truly one of the world's finest links golf courses.

Designed by Old Tom Morris for the princely sum of four guineas back in 1889, Royal County Down, as well as being one of the most beautiful courses in the world, is also one of the most challenging. And those who argue that there are too many blind shots should note Tommy Armour's observation that "there is no such thing as a blind shot to any player with a memory".

It may be a well worn cliche but if ever there existed a natural piece of land upon which to build a golf course, then the links turf of Newcastle was it. This strip of dune land was 90% along the road to being a golf course before the hand of man made some adjustments in the leveling of teeing grounds, moulding of greens and digging of bunkers. It's no surprise that within four years, Royal County Down was considered good enough to stage the Irish Open Amateur Championship and by the dawning of the 20th century, the course was rated as the finest course in all of Ireland.

Unlike many of the great natural links courses, Royal County Down doesn't have the traditional out and back layout; rather there are two distinct loops of nine holes. The outward half is closer to the sea, more sandy in nature and offers consistently larger dunes than on the homeward loop.

Walking down the first fairway with the sound of breaking waves in your ears is a truly memorable occasion and it is said that you can always spot the first time visitor to Newcastle as they can be seen walking up the first fairway backwards, so enchanting is the beauty behind.

Among the finest holes on the front nine are the par four 3rd, with its split level fairway; the par three 4th, measuring over 200 yards; the doglegged 5th and the long 9th where an uphill drive (assuming it has flown the hill and descended into the valley below) is followed by a long second shot to a well guarded plateau green. This is a memorable climax to what many people consider as the finest nine holes in golf.

The back nine may not have so many enormous dunes but there is an overgenerous supply of heather and gorse. Of the more memorable holes, perhaps the par four 13th, where the fairway curves its way through a beautiful heather lined valley, the difficult 15th and the recently remodeled and re bunkered par five finishing hole, stand out from the rest. 

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Courses & Scorecards

Championship Course

"Royal County Down is a pure links, in the truest sense of the word.

My advice to anyone playing this great course is to keep it very straight off the tee - stray from the fairways at your peril!

It is a tremendous test of golf and the outward half especially is as fine a nine holes as I have ever played"

TOM WATSON

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71/76
PAR
74
SSS
6902
YARDS
Hole
Par
Par 2
SI
Yds
1
5
5
13
523
2
4
4
9
424
3
4
5
3
477
4
3
3
15
215
5
4
4
7
436
6
4
4
11
374
7
3
3
17
135
8
4
5
1
430
9
4
5
5
428
Hole
Par
Par 2
SI
Yds
10
3
3
14
189
11
4
4
8
428
12
5
5
10
480
13
4
5
2
422
14
3
3
12
202
15
4
5
4
453
16
4
4
18
317
17
4
4
16
419
18
5
5
6
550

Reviews by players

image of Mulligan Plus
Best UK Golf Course
Championship Course
M Plus (HC: n/a)
100%
10
Value
10
Course
10
Greens
10
Welcome

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Our Review

Widely regarded by many judges as the best golf course in the UK, County Down is a rugged, magnificent, beautiful and occasionally brutal layout that celebrates all that is good about golf in general and links golf in particular.

Originally designed by Old Tom Morris it has been significantly revised at different times by George Combe, Harry Vardon and Harry Colt. The course has hosted every significant golf event except the Open Championship and Ryder Cup, and these omissions are not because of the layout but the surrounding infrastructure of accommodation, roads, and everything else needed to host 40,000 people a day.

In addition to the Championship course, Royal County Down has the Annesley links which, though shorter, can be every bit as demanding.

Last Played: 30 April 2012.

Reviewed: 30/04/2012
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Club facilities

Club HouseHas a Club House
Club Hire offers Club Hire
Putting GreenHas a Putting Green
Pro ShopHas a Pro Shop
Practice AreaHas a Practice Area
Club BarHas a Club Bar
Driving RangeHas a Driving Range
RestaurantHas a Restaurant
Trolley Hire offers Trolley Hire
Changing has Changing Rooms
Buggy Hire offers Buggy Hire
Lessons can provide Lessons

Green fees

Weekday Round

£165.00 (Jnr £165.00)

Book

Weekend Round

£180.00 (Jnr £180.00)

Book

2 Rounds in one Day

£250.00 (Jnr £250.00)

Book

Membership

Sorry, this club has not added their Membership prices.

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