Links play in Northern Ireland is the closest to extreme sport golf can get
Playing a Northern Ireland links course is an experience like no other. That edge of the world feeling, with nothing between you and Iceland but a thousand miles of Atlantic surf, a bracing wind that can turn from ally to adversary in a second, and immense sand dunes hiding all manner of pitfalls and possibilities.
Northern Ireland is made for golf with some of the most famous in the world created by our magical landscapes. Royal Portrush and Royal County Down regularly feature in world rankings, with Royal County Down being rated the number one course by Golf Digest in 2016. In 2019, The Open will return to Royal Portrush, the first time since 1951 when it was the first course in Ireland to host this prestigious tournament.
Yet, because this is Northern Ireland, even courses of this calibre warmly welcome the intrepid visitor. Here you can indulge your dreams and try your hand at the challenges that have tested the very best golfers in the world. That said, every one of our links courses has plenty to tax the talents of even the most adept player. Portstewart and Castlerock are already tricky enough without the added distraction of phenomenal views. How can you keep your eye on the ball when the vistas are so compelling? Or away from the North Coast you could visit the links at Kirkistown Castle in County Down, the most easterly 18 hole course on the island of Ireland.
Legends are made here. Some of the most well-known names in golf hail from these parts – Fred Daly, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and a certain Rory McIlroy have all learned their trades on our courses.
With the challenging course layouts, the unpredictable conditions and the gnarling North Atlantic winds, links golf in Northern Ireland is a stern test of both ability and endurance. The pleasures and rigours of links golf are no longer a secret, so why not give it a go?