In many ways, Northern Ireland punches above its weight. One of the most obvious cases of this is the world of golf. From famous professionals, to iconic courses, golf in Northern Ireland is kind of a national obsession.
With over 100 independent golf courses dotted around a relatively small area, Northern Ireland is the ideal destination for taking to the fairways, and enjoying our unspoiled and rugged natural beauty.
In the past few decades, countless golf courses and resorts have started catering specifically to the international and domestic tourism markets. This means that you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and an incredible experience as a visitor.
Just be sure to pack some warm clothing.
Let’s take a look at some of the top spots for golf in Northern Ireland.
Golf Courses in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is famed internationally for the quality of its links golf courses. With sweeping mountain terrain and dramatic seascapes, we have some of the finest links courses in the world, offering incredible challenges for professional and amateur golfers alike.
Royal County Down
Probably Northern Ireland’s best known golf club, Royal County down offers 26 holes across two courses in the Murlough Nature reserve, just outside the town of Newcastle. In its almost 200 year history, it has hosted the Walker Cup, European Tour, and both the British and Irish Open competitions.
More recently, Royal County Down has been voted the best golf course in the world on numerous occasions. It’s no understatement to say that this is a truly world-class golf facility.
You’ll also enjoy a modern clubhouse, with several casual and fine dining options, in a unique and picturesque setting, against the backdrop of the Irish Sea and the Mourne Mountains.
Further afield, the North Coast is home to another famed international golf course, Royal Portrush. Regularly hosting the British Open, Royal Portrush offers amazing views of Scotland, Donegal and the giant’s causeway from its two 18-hole courses.
Royal Portrush is possibly one of the most challenging courses in Northern Ireland, with several holes having tested the mettle of even the most experienced professional golfers.
The sixteenth hole on the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush has even been dubbed Calamity Corner, for it’s long and difficult par-three layout.
Scrabo Golf Club
The lesser known Scrabo Golf club is likely one of the best secrets as far as golf in Northern Ireland is concerned. Overlooked by the domineering Scrabo Tower, it is also without a doubt one of the most scenic.
Set high on the hills of North Down above Strangford Lough, Scrabo Golf Club offers unrivalled views across the surrounding countryside, as you make your way around the greens and fairways.
The club restaurant, the Eagle’s Nest, offers traditional favourites, with a strong focus on using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.
Resorts for Golf in Northern Ireland
Of course, many of us like to indulge in a little bit of R&R during our golfing trips. Whether it’s taking to the steam room after a challenging round in the great outdoors, or having a spa treatment while our golf-loving other half does their thing, golfing and spas go hand in hand.
Here are some of the top destinations offering both incredible golf and spa experiences.
Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
The Slieve Donard Resort and Spa offers some of the finest relaxation treatments in all of Northern Ireland. With countless accolades to its name, including being voted the UK’s best spa in 2020, Slieve Donard is undoubtedly Northern Ireland’s leading golf resort.
With combined deals on spa treatments and green fees for Royal County Down Golf Club, it’s the perfect destination for combining your love of golf with a little bit of pampering and relaxation.
The Slieve Donard also features an array of fine dining options, perfect for refuelling after a day on the links.
Galgorm Castle Golf Club
Host of the 2020, Galgorm Castle Golf Club is Northern Ireland’s premier tournament venue. Not only does it offer a world-class parkland course, there are a wide variety of other pro-level facilities, including training grounds and an on-site coaching team.
The course itself winds its way around the Galgorm estate, with a 17th century Jacobean castle at its heart.
The Galgorm Castle Estate also offers a range of day spa treatments, from specialist massages to incredible thermal experiences.
Golf Shops in Northern Ireland
Golf courses around Northern Ireland have some of the finest pro shops to be found anywhere in the UK or Ireland. At the Holywood Golf Club Pro Shop in County Down, you’ll find an incredible array of stock, including a special Rory McIlroy range.
We’re also lucky to have a wide variety of independent golf shops across Northern Ireland. Andrew Morris Golf in Lisburn offers an extensive range of new and used golf equipment, right next door to the local driving range.
This makes his store the perfect choice for trying out new gear before you buy it. After all, every golfer is different, and you want to make sure you choose the right equipment for your game.
In towns and cities across Northern Ireland, you’ll also find all of the major international golf outlets and stores, which are perfect for stocking up on necessary supplies for a day on the greens.
Planning a Trip for Golf in Northern Ireland
The best places for golf in Northern Ireland are dotted around the country. This means that some local insight is crucial. You’ll also want a comfortable place to base yourself, as you journey throughout the country.
At Coach Road Cottages, our mission is to offer a warm welcome to guests from all over the world. From our North Down accommodation, you’ll be perfectly positioned to explore everything that Golf in Northern Ireland has to offer.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or are just starting out on your golfing journey, our team is on hand to recommend the best experiences across Northern Ireland during your stay.
Contact Coach Road Cottages today to begin your next golfing holiday in Northern Ireland.