My favourite place to play golf is in Ireland. It’s the most beautiful country to play golf in. And when you come as a guest, you’re treated like a king.”
– Bill Murray
Actor & keen amateur golfer
Rickie Fowler said “Royal County Down is my all-time favourite to play” and praise doesn’t come much higher than that. According to Top100GolfCourses.com Royal County Down is the 4th best course in the world and with views like this it’s easy to see why. Tiger Woods is a regular. It’s a course of blind shots and subtle running greens with the obvious distraction of the Mournes in the foreground.
But golf in South Down and Louth isn’t a one trick pony with Royal County Down, in fact there are some hidden gems of courses within a great drive of the Scenic Carlingford Ferry ports. (Do you see what we did there? – lots more golf puns to come!)
A Short Pitch up the road from Newcastle and RCD is Ardglass Golf Club and it is, quite simply one of the most spectacular golf courses on the coastline of Ireland. With dramatic elevation changes and stunning views of the Irish Sea from every hole it’s easy to see why this course features highly in top courses to play in Northern Ireland. Did you know, Ardglass is home to the world’s oldest clubhouse dating back to 1450AD?
— Ardglass Golf Club
Kilkeel Golf Club is on the doorstep of Greencastle Port, the County Down port for The Scenic Carlingford Ferry. The course weaves through the mature trees of the Kilmorey Estate, originally a 9 hole course, and not until 1993 did it become a full 18 hole course. Don’t let it’s relative youth fool you, it’s tight fairways will certainly be a test and if links courses aren’t for you, this beautiful parkland course might be right up your street.
If you’re looking for a course to play in Louth, look no further than Greenore Golf Club, set in the Carlingford Ferry’s home port of Greenore it offers something for every level of golfer. Olivia Mehaffey, Northern Ireland’s top amateur female golfer described the course as “amazing” following a recent round there. The Tandragee native also had a glowing review for the Carlingford Ferry praising the convenience and the scenery wildlife when on board. And speaking of wildlife, you will definitely see a Birdie when onboard, although sadly we can’t promise Eagles or Albatrosses at any of the mentioned courses.
It’s hard to separate the next two courses on which one should be played next. But as they are right next to each other you won’t have more than a wedge to go between the two. County Louth Golf Club, better known as Baltray and Seapoint Golf Club conveniently lie just shy of 5 miles from Drogheda and 40 mins south of Greenore Port. In fact, the two are are so hard to separate, story has it that a visiting group of golfers tee’d off at Baltray and inadvertently crossed a boundary marker on the 14th and finished their round at Seapoint. It was only in the Seapoint car-park that they realised their mistake when they couldn’t find their rental car. Seapoint Golf Club fed and watered them and soon got them back to Baltray, we’re not sure how the score card read after that round!?
The pair of links courses have spectacular views of the Irish Sea, are nestled among the native dunes and although widely regarded (Baltray has hosted the Irish Open), are both considered to be among Ireland’s unknown courses so don’t tell them we let their secret out of the (golf) bag.
— County Louth Golf Club
Of course there are many more clubs to play in and around Louth and Down but you’ll be looking for the 19th hole after a couple of rounds at any of these mentioned courses, and speaking of 19th holes… that’s where you’ll find us!
— Ma Bakers, our 19th Hole, Carlingford