Ireland – North East – Royal County Down – 6779 yds – Par 72
Royal County Down the very words are enough to send a shiver up your spine. Laid out beneath the imperious gaze of the Mountains of Mourne and enjoying a magnificent setting along the shores of Dundrum Bay, Royal County Down is truly one of the world’s finest links golf courses. Designed by Old Tom Morris for the princely sum of four guineas back in 1889, Royal County Down, as well as being one of the most beautiful courses in the world, is also one of the most challenging.
It may be a well worn cliché, but if ever there existed a natural piece of land upon which to build a golf course, then the links turf of Newcastle was it. This strip of dune land was 90% along the road to being a golf course before the hand of man made some adjustments in the leveling of teeing grounds, moulding of greens and digging of bunkers. It’s no surprise that within four years, Royal County Down was considered good enough to stage the Irish Open Amateur Championship and by the dawning of the 20th century, the course was rated as the finest course in all of Ireland.