Royal County Down---Newcastle, Northern Ireland
-Rankings as of 5/27/2014--#1 International Golf Course (Golf Digest); #2 Foreign Golf Course (Golf Magazine); #1 GB&I Classic Course (Golfweek)
The Championship Links at Royal County Down has earned the well-deserved reputation as one of the very best golf courses in the entire world. It was originally laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1889. And Harry Colt also had some design influence on the course with his work on it in 1925. In addition to its fine architectural heritage, Royal County Down has always been associated with the highest levels of amateur golf. Its most recent foray into major amateur golf championships was the 2007 Walker Cup. And, quite frankly, for me, that is great, I love clubs and courses with great heritage. But I'm most interested in how it plays for me.
And let me tell you, Royal County Down is, indeed, one of the VERY best golf courses anyone will ever play. It is certainly a stern test for the greatest golfers in the world. Being on the waterfront, the wind is a major factor. Being a links, the turf needs to be factored into the equation. And the design is such that it demands quality golf shots, but only the worst of shots are lost forever. You see, it has adequate width to allow the lesser golfer to enjoy themselves out there and strive to break bogey rather than par.
The golf course gets off the a rip roaring start and, in fact, the front nine is in the discussion for best opening 9 of any golf course in the world.
The back nine is certatinly no slouch. As the fact that Hole 15 being my favorite on the entire course will attest to.
I really don't think I can overstate how amazing playing a round of golf at Royal County Down is. The vibe and welcoming feeling in the clubhouse is perfect. You have a great mix of a serious golf haven and a friendly staff. The golf course is testing, but playable. The beauty of the course will knock your socks off and the holes are of the highest quality.