A Northern Ireland golf trip is considered by many to be among the best golfing vacations to be found anywhere in the world.
Royal County Down proudly ranks as the world’s Number one golf course according to Golf Digest’s 2016-17 rankings http://www.golfdigest.com/story/worlds-100-greatest-golf-courses-2016-ranking
Royal County Down (or RCD as it is often referred to) which in 2015 hosted The Irish Open Championship is practically full for 2017 and many golfers are already planning their Northern Irish golf trip in 2018 to make sure that they secure a coveted tee time there.
Portstewart Golf Club is located on the Causeway Coastal Route with panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean. Portstewart steps in to the limelight this year as the host venue for the 2017 Irish Open hosted once again by the Rory McIlroy Foundation. The opening hole at Portstewart is a dramatic downhill par four and Portstewart’s caddie master Derek has on many occasions added an extra incentive of buying a pint for any visitor who manages to birdie it. I am reliably informed by Derek that he has yet to make the trip to the clubhouse bar with a visiting golfer! Not far down the road is Royal Portrush Golf Club, where The Open Championship will return in 2019. The Dunluce Links is sure to provide a dramatic setting for the Open.
Castlerock Golf Club is another traditional links course which is making its presence felt alongside its illustrious neighbours at Royal Portrush and Portstewart. The positive attitude of the staff and general manager Bert McKay ( who is a PGA professional having come to Northern Ireland from one of Scotland’s most exclusive golf clubs) reflects very well and visitors usually have a very positive experience at Castlerock.
As if the golf courses on Northern Ireland’s coast were not enough Portrush is only a short drive to the famous attractions like the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway, the dramatic Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and for followers of the epic TV drama, there are many Game of Thrones® filming locations nearby.
The Galgorm Resort in County Antrim was recently awarded the Best Large Golf Hotel in Ireland at the 2016 IGTOA Awards. www.igtoa.com The resort is set within 163 acres of lush parkland with the spectacular River Maine flowing through the estate. Galgorm Resort & Spa has an extensive Thermal Spa Area popular among golfers and non-golfers alike. The Galgorm Castle Golf course is a championship parkland golf course and in recent years hosted a tournament on European Tour’s Challenge circuit.
There are many golf courses in Northern Ireland that are worthy of a play, among them the wonderfully scenic Faldo course at Lough Erne and the cliff top gem at Ardglass.
For parkland golf course fans, a golf trip to Belfast affords the opportunity to play such courses as Royal Belfast, Malone and Shandon Park.
For more on what golf in Northern ireland has to offer, see
As they say… Northern Ireland… made for golf.