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Unveiling the Emerald Greens: A Guide to the Famous Golf Courses of Northern Ireland


May 7, 2024

Nestled amidst the emerald landscapes and rugged coastlines of Northern Ireland lie some of the world’s most captivating golf courses. From the legendary links of Royal Portrush to the hidden gems scattered along the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland offers a golfing experience unlike any other. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a journey to explore the famous golf courses that grace the shores of this enchanting region, delving into their rich histories, awe-inspiring designs, and the unforgettable experiences they offer to golf enthusiasts from around the globe.

  1. Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim:

    • Royal Portrush stands as a testament to Northern Ireland’s golfing prowess, having hosted The Open Championship in 2019, marking a historic return after a 68-year hiatus.
    • The Dunluce Links, with its dramatic coastal setting and challenging terrain, captivates golfers with its breathtaking views and formidable layout.
    • Renowned for its iconic holes such as the par-3 14th, “Calamity Corner,” and the par-4 5th, “White Rocks,” Royal Portrush offers a true test of skill and strategy amidst the stunning backdrop of the North Atlantic coastline.
  2. Portstewart Golf Club, County Londonderry:

    • Situated on the Causeway Coast, Portstewart Golf Club boasts three exceptional courses, each offering a unique golfing experience.
    • The Strand Course, designed by Willie Park Jr., is the crown jewel of Portstewart, featuring towering dunes, rolling fairways, and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
    • The course’s signature holes, including the par-5 4th, “Thistly Hollow,” and the par-4 14th, “The Five Penny Piece,” showcase the natural beauty and strategic design that make Portstewart a must-visit destination for golf aficionados.
  3. Royal County Down Golf Club, County Down:

    • While technically located in Northern Ireland, Royal County Down sits just a stone’s throw from the border with the Republic of Ireland, making it a cherished gem on both sides of the divide.
    • The Championship Links at Royal County Down, nestled at the foot of the majestic Mourne Mountains, is renowned for its natural beauty and challenging layout.
    • Designed by Harry Colt, the course features undulating fairways, towering dunes, and fast greens that test the skills of even the most seasoned golfers, offering a captivating journey through some of Northern Ireland’s most breathtaking landscapes.
  4. Castlerock Golf Club, County Londonderry:

    • Tucked away along the Causeway Coast, Castlerock Golf Club offers a true links experience amidst the wild and windswept beauty of Northern Ireland.
    • The Mussenden Course, designed by the legendary Ben Sayers, is characterized by its rugged dunes, rolling fairways, and stunning views of the North Atlantic.
    • With challenging holes such as the par-4 4th, “Leg o’ Mutton,” and the par-3 13th, “Tappie Toorie,” Castlerock provides a memorable golfing adventure that showcases the untamed spirit of Northern Ireland’s coastline.
  5. Ardglass Golf Club, County Down:

    • Perched atop the cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea, Ardglass Golf Club offers a unique and picturesque golfing experience on the shores of County Down.
    • The course, dating back to 1896, features a blend of traditional links holes and stunning coastal vistas, making it a favorite among golfers seeking both challenge and beauty.
    • From the signature par-4 1st, “Davy’s Fort,” to the cliffside tee of the par-3 12th, Ardglass delights players with its natural terrain and strategic design, earning its reputation as one of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems.


Northern Ireland’s golf courses stand as shining jewels amidst the rugged beauty of the Emerald Isle, offering a blend of history, challenge, and natural splendor that captivates golfers from around the world. Whether it’s the historic links of Royal Portrush, the dramatic landscapes of Portstewart, or the timeless allure of Royal County Down, Northern Ireland’s golfing treasures promise an unforgettable journey through some of the most captivating landscapes on earth. So, pack your clubs, embrace the spirit of adventure, and discover the magic of Northern Ireland’s famous golf courses, where every round is a masterpiece in the making.

By admin