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Home >> World Destinations >> Europe >> Ireland >> Royal Country Down Golf Club

Royal County Down Golf Club - Ireland

Royal County Down Golf Club
In our opinion the toughest test of golf in all of Ireland. Magnificent layout with frightening greens. If the wind is blowing make sure you and your caddy have plenty of balls!!! One of the great courses in the world with beautiful views and a tough test of golf. - Andy Higgins, May 2001

Royal County Down has two superb eighteen-hole courses. The links of Newcastle are exhilarating even without a club in your hand. For a start, the links themselves are not effete pimples, but rise on a heroic scale, with faint echoes of Royal Birkdale here and there, and they are mainly covered with gorse bushes which daub the landscape with splashes of ochre when the flowers are in bloom. As a backdrop, the Mountains of Mourne loom heavily against the sky, subtly changing colour under the play of the sunshine and shade just as the Irish sea switches its mood. Spice the picture with a hint of peat smoke in the wind and you have a setting which all the billions of property developers could never reproduce. The strip of duneland was 90 % along the road to being a golf course long before the game was invented. All it ever needed from the hand of man was a minimum of adjustment, the levelling and teeing grounds, moulding greens and the digging of bunkers. And all it needs now is restraint from the hand of man. The Royal County Down has five tee shots which are blind, to a greater or lesser degree, and for a number of the approach shots the greens are partially obscured. The Championship Course: is laid out beneath the imperious gaze of the Mountains of Mourne; the course enjoys a magificent state-like setting as it stretches out along the shores of Dundrum Bay. As well as being one of the world's most beautiful courses, it is also one of the most challenging with great swathes of heather and gorse lining fairways that tumble beneath vast sand hills, and wild tussocky faced bunkers defending small subtly contoured greens. It is spectacular to look at and even more thrilling to play. The Second Course complements the Championship links by offering a less formidable, yet extremely characterful game played against the same, incomparable backcloth. Recently substantially revised under the direction of Donald Steel, the course begins quite benignly before charging headlong into the dunes. Several charming - and one or two teasing - holes have been carved out amid the gorse, heather and bracken. Occasionally there is splendid isolation; at other times glorious panoramic views of the sea, the bay and the mountains. That apart, the course offers a wide variety of exhilarating challenges, including one short hole with the highest white-knuckle factor you may have ever encountered. Royal County Down's Championship Course ranks no. 5 of "The 100 greatest courses in the British Isles", Golf World International 11/96, and is consistently rated among the world's top ten courses.

Designer: Tom Morris
Holes: 18
7037 yards

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