Through all the changes of the years, Royal County Down has retained its essential character. “It is one of those rare courses where you could feel a perfect handshake between the hand that created the land and the hand that shaped it into a golf course.”(Tom Coyne, “A Course called Ireland”)

 

Royal County Down is located in the naturally beautiful links setting of the Murlough Nature Reserve, where the links stretch along the shores of Dundrum Bay.

 

Narrow ribbons of fairways thread their way through sand dunes surrounded by heather and gorse – so beautiful but also punishing! The famous ‘bearded’ bunkers feature overhanging lips of red fescue and heather.

 

The greens are fast and many are domed, rejecting any shot lacking conviction. The 9th hole is one of the most photographed holes in golf. A 486-yard par 4, it is played from one side of a huge mound to a fairway 60ft below and 260 yards from the tee. The second shot is played over two bunkers to a raised green.

 

Golf writer Bernard Darwin described the course as one of “big and glorious carries, nestling greens, entertainingly blind shots, local knowledge and beautiful turf – the kind of golf that people play in their most ecstatic dreams.”