Down

County Down – one of six counties in Northern Ireland that make up the nine-county Ulster Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland - is where, as the song says, “ the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea”. Down spreads out east and south from Lough Neagh with a large part of the county lying on the Ards Peninsula, which separates the large sea inlet of Stangford Lough from the Irish Sea.

County Down club teams have featured prominently in the final stages of recent Irish national competitions and Warrenpoint has been particularly successful, winning the Barton Shield at Rosslare in 2005 and Castlerock in 2011, the Pierce Purcell Shield at Shandon Park in 2007 and the Senior Cup at Monkstown in 2008.

One of Down’s most famous golfing sons, Rory McIlroy, cut his golfing teeth in Ireland at his home club Holywood, graduating from the Ulster Under 15 title in 2002 to the Ulster Boys Championship in 2003 and 2004 then the West of Ireland and Irish Close Amateur championships in 2005 and 2006.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Down

Royal County Down (Championship)

1st Down - Best in Area

Royal County Down Golf Club is at Newcastle, a little holiday town nestling at the feet of the majestic Mountains of Mourne. It’s an exhilarating location for a classic links golf course...

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Belvoir Park

2nd Down - Best in Area

With undulating, lush fairways and avenues of trees, Belvoir Park Golf Club is quite rightly regarded as one of the best inland courses in Northern Ireland.

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Ardglass

3rd Down - Best in Area

With the opening five holes hugging the cliffs with resplendent views across the Irish Sea, it's clear that Ardglass Golf Club is special.

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Clandeboye (Dufferin)

4th Down - Best in Area

The Dufferin course at Clandeboye Golf Club offers compelling coastal views, a sea of dazzling yellow gorse and a wonderfully strategic challenge.

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Royal Belfast

5th Down - Best in Area

Founded in 1881, Royal Belfast is Ireland's oldest golf club and there are panoramic views across Belfast Lough from this delightful park course.

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Kirkistown Castle

6th Down - Best in Area

Kirkistown Castle Golf Club in Cloughey, County Down, is the most easterly 18-hole course in Ireland...

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Lisburn

7th Down - Best in Area

Lisburn Golf Club is considered to be one of the best parkland courses in Ireland with a great variety of holes.

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Royal County Down (Annesley)

8th Down - Best in Area

Donald Steel & Company undertook a major redesign of the original Annesley course at Royal County Down Golf Club, which included the formation of several new holes.

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Bangor

9th Down - Best in Area

Bangor Golf Club still retains the original Braid design hallmarks that have delighted generations of local golfers.

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Shandon Park

10th Down - Best in Area

Located three miles to the east of Belfast, the parkland course at Shandon Park Golf Club is a popular layout that measures 6,261 yards from the back tees against a par of 70.

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