Royal County Down Golf Clubwww.royalcountydown.org
"The kind of golf course people play in their most ecstatic dreams"
The most exhilirating golfing experience on the planet, the links at Royal County Down. The narrowest ribbons of fairways thread their way through as impressive a set of sand dunes as could be imagined.
The narrowest ribbons of fairways thread their way through as impressive a set of sand dunes. The fairways are surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse, so beautiful to look at but so punishing for any who may stray from the prescribed path.
The ‘bearded’ bunkers are world famous and feature overhanging lips of marram, red fescue and heather. The greens are fast and many are domed, rejecting any shot lacking conviction. This is a true test of any player’s command of the traditional bump and run, the preferred way to play any links.
Location: Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland
Year founded: 1889
Courses: Championship links (7186 yards) & Annesley Links (4617 yards)
Architect: Championship: Old Tom Morris (1889), George Combe (1900), Harry Vardon (1908), Harry Colt (1926), Donald Steel (2007)
Hole #9 - 483 yards par 4
Every shot must be the best you can strike. Heather and gorse are found in natural abundance on the hills of sand, which frame this imposing hole. The approach shot is tantamount to threading a needle, with easily found trouble in the form of hillocks both left and right.
Hole #3 - 475 yards par 4
A spectacular long par 4 overlooking Dundrum Bay from the elevated tee. The shorter hitter takes aim between the two fairway bunkers allowing for a bounce right. The longer hitter can fly the left-hand trap on to a plateau giving a superb line into the green. The approach shot to this green from any angle is difficult ,as there is a knuckle guarding the front left which throws any underhit shot right and short, while from a bunker front left the only bale out is pin high right. The green is one of the fastest on the course and, although flat, also one of the trickiest to read.
Course played: Championship Links
Date played: 16th September, 2011