Self catering accommodation Newcastle County Down, Northern Ireland
Royal County Down Golf Course
Royal County Down Golf Course Newcastle Northern IrelandRoyal County Down is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in Ireland with traditions dating back for more than one hundred years.
Situated in Newcastle, where in the immortal words of Percy French, "The Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea", Royal County Down is not only a fine test of golf but has accompanying scenery that is spellbinding.

Alongside the Championship Links, Royal County Down has a second course, The Annesley Links. Laid out beneath the same massive, almost menacing backdrop, the Annesley Links is nowhere near as intimidating or as formidable a challenge as the Championship Links, but then it was never intended to be. It is a course for everyone.

Golf Club Two links courses:
(1) Championship

(2) Annesley
Best days to play Championship course Mon, Tues, Thur and Friday
Annesley any day except Sat am.

SSS (1) 18 HOLES, 7,065 yds, sss 74
(2) 18 HOLES, 4,708 yds, sss 65

Green Fees

Championship Links

November 2015 to February 2016 £60 per round

March 2016 - £85 per round

April 2016 - £125per round.

May to October 2016

Weekday Mornings and Sunday Afternoon - £200 per round
Weekday Afternoons - £185 per round
Two rounds in one day - £300.

Concessionary rates are available throughout the summer to golfers who are members of The GUI (Ulster Branch) and ILGU (Northern District). Contact the Secretary’s Office for details.

Annesley Links

April 2016 to October 2016 - £40 per round

November 2015 to March 2016 - £22 per round

Length in yards Championship course 7181 yards
Annesley course 4708 yards

Par of course Championship course 71.
Annesley course 66

Handicap/certificate requirements None required

Royal County Down has been voted the world's top golf course in the 2016 annual rankings of US magazine Golf Digest.

Golf Digest

By Joel Zuckerman,
Staff Writer,
Golf Publisher Syndications

NEWCASTLE, Northern Ireland (Nov. 16, 2002) -- It may be an ocean away on Ireland's northeastern coast, thousands of miles from the States, and far from the typical tourist trail. But do yourself a favor, and don't let your golf career peter away without a visit to Newcastle, Northern Ireland, and its extraordinary links course known as Royal County Down.

A great golf writer once wrote of the futility of the profession. He said there's not a description, sentence or paragraph that can do justice to a single hole of great golf. How then, does one do justice to an entire links course, particularly one as astonishing as Royal County Down?

Bernard Darwin is one of the legends in the golf writing business. He once said of County Down that it's "the kind of golf that people play in their most ecstatic dreams." That's an apt description to be sure, but lacking in the particulars that help define the surreal golf experience that awaits.

One can refer to County Down as a green and golden moonscape. It's something otherworldly, with massive gorse covered hills in different hues of indigo and dark green, with terrifying blind tee shots and gaping acreage of sand. One might suggest that the course is a bit like a primeval forest, where straying from the path, or in this case the fairway, will result in an unpleasantness better left to the imagination.

You could focus on an unceasing, unyielding collection of bunkers. These bearded sand chasms are as deep as they are plentiful, covered with heather and Marram grasses. They are as lovely as a dream from close observation, but most often a nightmare when stuck deep within the confines.

The course sits beneath the imperious gaze of the Mountains of Mourne, which loom heavily in the sky just west of the links themselves. Close by Dundrum Bay, an inlet of the Irish Sea, you'd be remiss not to take heed against the vagaries of the weather. Rare is the day without some wind or rain, and if the sea is boiling, watch out. The gusts on this magnificent will topple the trolley (pull cart), bend the flagstick, bend the ball flight and bend, perhaps even break, a player's will to continue.

The wind can blow so hard, and I speak from personal experience, that it will jostle the contact lenses across your pupil. Caught in a fight I couldn't win, I caved in mid-fairway. I removed said contacts between strokes and continued the game by squinting.

Why then does this potential chamber of horrors, at least to the average player, come so highly recommended, while occupying a worldwide top 10 ranking by most of the mainstream golf publications? Renowned English golf writer Peter Dobereiner said it best. "The essence of golf is to say that it enhances the feeling that it is good to be alive. That's the first priority and absolute justification. The links of Royal County Down are exhilarating even without a club in your hand. This strip of dune land was 90 percent along on the road to being a golf course long before the game was invented."

The course is some 30 miles south of Belfast and 90 miles north of Dublin, but it's the remote quality of the grounds that helps to explain why County Down is so special. It's the feeling of splendid isolation as one ambles the foot paths or mounts the wooden steps to the next teeing grounds and encounters yet another stirring vista. This, arguably the greatest of links courses, is the polar opposite of a typical American golf experience. It's as different as George Will and Will Smith.

It's normally gray, brisk and windy, not hot, muggy and sunny. The surroundings are a color carnival of ochre, lilac and bottle green, without a condo, road crossing, out-of-bounds stake or lagoon to be found. The turf runs fast and hard, not soft and spongy. Target golf, the aerial game, is left behind like golf carts and sunscreen. Here you must learn to play the bounces. Prepare to hit a mid-iron 230 yards downwind, but beware a driver that can't surpass 190 when turned back into the breeze.

Dobereiner goes on to praise the easy informality of the club members as well, a rarity in the often stuffy world of top echelon golf. After all, how easy is it to let one's hair down at places like Augusta National, Cypress Point, Seminole or Muirfield?

"The Irish are the custodians of the genuine spirit of golf," states Dobereiner, author of numerous golf books. "They like to sling a bag across the shoulders and have at it, with no fuss or formality. I have never felt embarrassed or uncomfortable in an Irish golf club or golf course, which is more than I can say for any other golfing nation."

In short, a course like County Down is a thrill ride, joy and panic, a fearsome but fabulous trek through one of the most memorable golf vistas imaginable. It's a journey and an experience no matter how tough or trifling the conditions. It's an expedition that any serious player or lover of the game should make at least once in their lifetime.

Visitors are welcome at Royal County Down parts of each day besides Wednesday and Saturday. Contact the Secretary's Office to plan a visit at 44 (0) 28 4372 3314.

In 2005 the Championship Course was ranked as the fourth best course in the world outside the United States by Golf Digest.

The 2015 Irish Open golf tournament was hosted by Royal County Down - the first time in 75 years the prestigious event has been held at the Newcastle course.

Royal County Down was the venue for the 2007 Walker Cup.

What makes the course so special? click here

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