Royal Belfast - Down - Northern Ireland

Royal Belfast Golf Club,
Station Road,
Craigavad,
Holywood,
Co Down,
BT18 0BP,
Northern Ireland


  • +44 (0)28 9042 8165

  • Golf Club Website

  • 7 miles NE of Belfast off the A2 to Bangor

  • Contact in advance not Weds or Sat

  • Stuart D H Thom

  • Harry Colt, W.A.Murray

  • Andrew Ferguson


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Royal Belfast

Royal Belfast Golf Club is one of only a handful in Ireland to have ‘Royal’ prefix their name – the others are Royal Portrush, Royal County Down, Royal Dublin, Royal Curragh and Royal Tara. Royal Belfast Golf Club was formed in 1881 and was one of nine Ulster clubs who founded the Golf Union of Ireland in 1891.

Members first played on an 18-hole course at Kinnegar, Holywood in 1882 but within 10 years the course became so busy – and the land was being used as a rifle range – that they moved to Carnalea near Bangor, this time playing on a 9-hole course. In 1925, the club finally relocated to its present 140-acre site on the south shore of Belfast Lough at Craigavad, Holywood where the views across the water to the Antrim hills are quite delightful.

Heritage and tradition are bywords at Royal Belfast Golf Club. The magnificent former manor house that is their clubhouse has golfing memorabilia tucked in corners everywhere – from an Old Tom Morris driver to an original scarlet golfing coat worn by a founding member – and the club is rightly proud of their position as the oldest club in Ireland.

To cap it all, the Royal Belfast course was designed by none other than Harry Colt, one of the leading golf course architects of his day. Assisted by W.A. Murray, Colt routed the holes over rolling parkland in a manner that is very easy on the eye. Stands of trees, lush fairways, gentle elevation changes and intelligent bunkering all combine to make the course an absolute charmer to play on – with holes 9 to 11 right on the shoreline particular favourites of many members.

It may be relatively short in the modern era, but don’t be fooled into thinking Royal Belfast is nothing more than a walk in the park – far from it! A very strong pair of long par fours open and close the front nine, four of the five par threes measure more than 175 yards in length and two of the final three holes are stout par fives. Any net score, approaching the standard scratch of one more than the par total of 70, will be hard fought for.

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Reviews for Royal Belfast

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Description: Founded in 1881, Royal Belfast is Ireland's oldest golf club and there are panoramic views across Belfast Lough from this delightful park course. Rating: 4.2 out of 6 Reviews: 5

The condition of Royal Belfast is obvious from the moment you arrive. Manicured and attention to detail is very high. The start is one of the hardest I’ve played. The sloping green at the 1st is a real conundrum and the approach to the 2nd is long and uphill – a real tough couple of openers. The holes around 6 to 8 are very compact but retain the quality and then open out along the shoreline from 9 to 11, the 10th hole gets a special mention – shortish par 4 but a great test from the tee. After the round, enjoy the clubhouse atmosphere where old meets new perfectly and the views across the course and Lough are a delight. Expect a warm Irish welcome here – You will have a good time.
4 / 6
Royal Belfast
February 27, 2010


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This is a good, not a great course. The "royal" in the name gives it more prestige than it deserves. Just a run of the mill parkland course.
4 / 6
Royal Belfast
October 19, 2009


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Gavin
October 19, 2009
I'd have to agree. I've played this course a few times, I think it's a good course, but nothing special. It's certainly not amongst the top coruses in the Greater Belfast area, in my opinion.
Played Fri 27th October. Course was wet and suffering from 2" of rain overnight. Course condition was excellent and greens were tight and fast for the time of year. The welcome was warm and friendly on and off the course. Clubhouse food was of highest standards. Thoroughly enjoyable parkland couse with great views and a good layout demanding of positioning off the tee.
5 / 6
Royal Belfast
November 01, 2006


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The course was in very good condition when I played it. I can't see how you could get better parkland greens, in fact the whole course was very well maintained and did not look used at all. It is a good undulating course with some fine holes and testing bunkering. There are no real stand out holes, although there are many good ones, and no bad holes. I think the view of the loch is over played especially when you play along side it with a 20ft fence to spoil the view. The club house is a great one and the reception friendly. If you are in Belfast and are waiting for a plane from the City airport (10 mins away) then definitely play it.
4 / 6
Royal Belfast
April 26, 2006


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Royal Belfast is a really pretty and superbly conditioned course with a great club history. The layout undulates providing some gorgeous views across the Loch. A heavily wooded setting provides a feeling of quiet seclusion and you can’t help but enjoy this course. It’s not the most exacting layout in the world but it’s really enjoyable golf and I’ll return here again when I’m back in Ulster.
4 / 6
Royal Belfast
November 03, 2005


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