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Royal Portrush Golf Club

Links Courses

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?

Just Some Ideas

Kirkistown Castle Golf Club, Cloughey, Portaferry

Kirkistown Castle Golf Club is situated in the sleepy little village of Cloughey on the eastern seaboard of the Ards Peninsula in County Down, N.Ireland. It is the nearest links golf course to the city of Belfast (about 45 minutes by road)

Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle

Royal County Down is located in one of the world's most naturally beautiful links settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve. Against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne.

Portstewart Golf Club, Portstewart

Situated on Northern Ireland’s magnificent Causeway Coast, Portstewart Golf Club presents a difficult but fair game. The Strand Course is indisputably the jewel in Portstewart’s crown for both quality of game and scenery.

Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush

Founded in 1888, the legendary Royal Portrush Golf Club has two Championship Courses - the renowned Dunluce Course and the smaller, but equally enjoyable Valley Course.

Ardglass Golf Club, Ardglass, Downpatrick

Located 30miles from Belfast on the beautiful County Down coast, Ardglass Golf Club is links as it should be.

Castlerock Golf Club, Castlerock, Coleraine

Castlerock Golf Club is situated in the seaside resort of Castlerock, which lies approximately 5 miles west of the town of Coleraine on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. Castlerock is a fabulous links course set among rolling sand dunes.

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European Regional Development Fund