Portrush Golf Club

Royal Portrush Golf Club from the air looking back towards Portrush town

Guide to Royal Portrush Golf Club

The classic, sandy links of Royal Portrush are widely considered to be a mere step or two from being the finest in the world. Amateurs and professionals alike admire the fast, challenging play offered by the uniquely wrinkled and cratered greens. 

Two championship courses, the Dunluce and the Valley flow along the cliff tops where there are spectacular views of County Antrim’s coastal scenery. The distinct characteristics of each course perfectly complement the other presenting thrilling challenges to all who venture to play them. 

Royal Portrush is steeped in tradition and in 2019 had the honour of hosting the Open Championship for the second time in its history. Many famous names have played at Royal Portrush including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ernie Els. 

Royal Portrush is now the home course of Darren Clarke, the Royal St.George’s Open Champion of 2011.

Old Royal Portrush golf Club Layot
Royal Portrush Layout Circa 1900

Royal Portrush was established in May 1888 under the name of the County Club. Within a year the nine holes of the original course had doubled to eighteen and were situated on land that lies just to the south-west of the current links. 

By 1890, the strong potential of the course was evident, and the club was prompted to invite the legendary St. Andrew’s golfer, Old Tom Morris, to restructure the layout. 

Although Old Tom, a four-time Open Championship winner, was then aged sixty-nine, his smart design and innovative approach to maintaining the greens was to set the club on its path to success. 

Just two years later in 1892, Royal Portrush hosted its first prestigious tournament, the Irish Open Amateur Championship. The event drew the attention of the Duke of York, and the course duly became known as the Royal County Club. 

By 1895 the patronage of the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, had been secured and the links were renamed in his honour as the Royal Portrush Golf Club.

The 18th Green at Royal Portrush in 1895 – Now Dunluce Ave Car Park

The Course Redesign of 1929

The Course Redesign of 1929

The Irish Open Championship was launched in 1927 and was scheduled to be played at Royal Portrush in 1930. Eager to provide a tough challenge, the club embarked on an ambitious project to completely redesign the links. 

The famous golf course architect, Harry S. Colt, was commissioned to create two new links, the Dunluce and the Valley. Colt was primarily known for designing inland courses around the world, but his coastal links at Portrush proved to be a resounding success. 

The 1930 Irish Open was won by thirty-five-year-old Charles Whitcombe, one of three brothers who dominated golf during the nineteen-thirties. 

Royal Portrush became the host of three more Irish Open Championships in 1937, 1947 and 2012. The club has regularly staged a variety of prestigious tournaments including Amateur Championships and the Senior British Open from 1995 to 1999 and again in 2004. 

However, the ultimate accolade for the club was its hosting of the Open Championship in 1951, a feat which wouldn’t be repeated until 2019.

Changes to the Course for 2019

Aerial shot of Royal Portrush with new holes and Valley Course

Royal Portrush was determined to have the links performing at their finest for the 148th Open Championship in 2019 and enlisted Martin Ebert to conduct some alterations. 

Ebert was aware of the difficulty of improving yet preserving Colt’s famous links but was encouraged by the 1946 adjustments that had been made by club regulars, Sir Anthony Babington and P.G. Stevenson. 

It was decided that the 17th and 18th holes, the Glenarm and the Greenaway respectively, didn’t do justice to the Dunluce course. The Valley links provided extra land to create two new holes which were then allotted the numbers of seven and eight. 

The rest of Colt’s original hole layout from seven to sixteen was then adjusted to create a more challenging finish from nine to eighteen. Three new bunkers were included making a new total of sixty-two. 

A further 200 yards (180m) was added to the course to create a maximum length of 7,337 yards (6709m) reducing the total par by one to 72. 

Ebert also improved Colt’s original Valley course with the addition of new holes at the fifteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth greens.

A Tale of Two Open Championships

The Open Champion of 1951 was thirty-five-year-old Max Faulkner of England who beat his Argentinian opponent, Antonio Cerda, by two strokes. 

Max, the son of a professional golfer, kept the Portrush crowds entertained with his sparkling wit which included signing autographs as ‘The Champion’ before the game had even reached its closing stages. He also demonstrated an adept use of his customised golf clubs. The Open Championship was to be Max’s only major title.

Darren Clarke Hitting the Opening Shot of the 2019 Open PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS

The Open Championship of 2019 was a record-breaking event in more ways than one. Northern Ireland’s trio of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell were each playing in their first major event on home turf. Rory McIlroy was also the holder of the Royal Portrush club record of 61, a feat he achieved in 2005 at the age of just sixteen. 

The redesigned layout ensured the Open Championship was a thrilling success attended by nearly a quarter of a million spectators over the week, the most massive crowd ever to visit the course and second only to the crowd of 2000 at St Andrew’s. 

The eventual winner of the Claret Jug trophy was thirty-two-year-old Irish golfer, Shane Lowry, who beat England’s Tommy Fleetwood by six strokes. Lowry also became the new club record holder with a score of 63.

The Dunluce Links from the Air in April 2019 with the two new holes

The most distinctive feature of the Dunluce links in their natural authenticity. The fairways and greens sit so perfectly amongst the mounds and craters of the dunes that it can often be difficult at first glance to realise exactly where they are. 

And when the sun’s low on the horizon seeing the contrast between the long shadows and hollows is a magical experience. Even the bunkers have been created from enhanced natural recesses. 

Old Tom Morris was one of the first to suggest they should sit deep to prevent the sand from blowing away in the Atlantic storms.

Total Length: 7,337 yards (6,709 metres)

 Total Par: 71

  1. Hughie’s – 416 yards 4 par ((Add stroke index to each hole))

 You can enjoy a stern test from the first tee as the fairway leads to several mounds and hollows.

2. Giant’s Grave – 572 yards 5 par

 Shots need to be precise to avoid the trio of sand-filled bunkers strewn across the fairway.

3. Islay – 174 yards 3 par

An awkward lofty position where strong prevailing winds can blow a ball straight into the rough.

4. Fred Daly’s – 479 yards 4 par

 The fairway is littered with difficulties including bunkers, sandhills and unusually thick patches of rough.

5. White Rocks – 382 yards 4 par

A short start ending in an abrupt descent to the shore often causes golfers to miss the sharp right turn in the fairway.

6. Harry Colt’s – 189 yards 3 par

 An elevated windy spot combines elements of rough and dunes with distracting but magnificent views of the sea.

7. Curran Point – 590 yards 5 par

One of Martin Ebert’s 2019 holes is exposed to the wind and a menacing patch of rough on the right.

8. Dunluce – 430 yards 4 par

This second 2019 addition has an elegant set of challenging bunkers and a magnificent view of Dunluce Castle.

9. Tavern – 431 yards 4 par

 This stringent test combines an uphill fairway with a sharp left turn and strategically placed bunkers.

10. Himalayas – 456 yards 4 par

 One glance at the series of mountainous obstacles explains its name, and there’s also treacherous rough on the right.

11. P.G. Stevenson – 475 yards 4 par

 You’ll need to play your sharpest shots as prickly gorse bushes begin to take over halfway down the fairway.

12. Dhu Varren – 530 yards 5 par

 This steep, sloping fairway has a stream and tangled rough lurking along its length.

13. Feather Bed – 191 yards 3 par

The hole’s name gives little warning of the hazardous stretch of five bunkers that are waiting along the short fairway.

14. Causeway – 470 yards 4 par

 There’s trouble looming as gently sloping hollows along the fairway can trick a ball into the deepest of bunkers

15. Skerries – 418 yards 4 par

 A steep uphill climb with an awkward turn in the fairway overlooks the Skerries, a set of sharp rocks in the Atlantic.

16. Calamity Corner – 263 yards 3 par

 A thrilling uphill challenge where shots have to play across a chasm only to land amongst a set of mounds.

17. Purgatory – 405 yards 4 par

 This stringent test includes an abrupt drop in the fairway that’s littered with prickly gorse and a strategic bunker.

18. Babington’s – 474 yards 4 par

 There’s a dramatic finish in-store with a fairway that not only slopes downwards but has a sharp right turn halfway through.

Although the prestigious Dunluce course usually receives the most attention, the Valley links are still worthy of praise. 

As the base of Portrush’s Rathmore Golf Club, the Valley is a little less arduous than the Dunluce. Still, it’s by no means an inferior course mainly when past and present members include such champions as Fred Daly and Graeme McDowell. 

The Valley lies in terrain that’s slightly lower than the Dunluce and is sheltered by a curtain of dunes on its coastal edge. The fairways are gentler, but they capture the atmosphere of the heathland courses that Harry Colt often designed. 

And once played on, the links often work their charm to become a favourite venue. The Valley’s different to the Dunluce but it still presents an exciting challenge especially since the 2019 alterations have created stronger tests at the fifteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth holes.

Total Length: 6,346 yards (5,803 metres)

 Total Par: 71

  1. Zara Bolton’s – 439 yards 4 par 

 From the tee, there is a wide fairway that quickly narrows as it leads down to a tangled patch of rough.

  1. Green Lane – 385 yards 4 par

 The fairway has a steep descent that suddenly goes on a curve to the left-hand side and is lined with prickly gorse.

  1. Fairy Ring – 141 yards 3 par

 You’ll enjoy trying to get through the barricade of spiky gorse and rough that lies across the approach to the green.

  1. War Hollow – 534 yards 5 par

 A narrow fairway rolls down to an awkward ravine that blocks your path before presenting an uphill task.

  1. Prospect – 443 yards 4 par

 From a high position at the tee, there is a sudden drop amongst the dunes as you head towards the green.

  1. Patrick’s – 409 yards 4 par

 A long fairway to test your skills as you try to avoid the high mounds on one side and sloping rough on the other.

  1. Cradle – 320 yards 4 par

 A thrilling descent downhill that turns slightly as you start to climb uphill where there’s plenty of encroaching rough on the right.

  1. Switch Back – 496 yards 5 par

 There’s a tricky narrowing length to negotiate as there are relatively high mounds on either side waiting to catch you out.

  1. Mann’s – 150 yards 3 par

 From a low tee position, you’re not likely to see just how many dunes, bunkers and patches of rough lie ahead.

  1. Middle Green – 465 yards 4 par

 The hazards continue with large hummocks along the curving fairway which leads to a green that’s crowded with rough.

  1. Right About – 486 yards 5 par

 A gentler slope to the fairway suddenly takes a sharp turn to the right halfway down where it can be tricky to avoid hitting the wall of high dunes.

  1. St. Andrew’s – 421 yards 4 par

 A relatively straight right-hand diagonal run leads you into a new tangle of rough, scrub and hollows.

  1. Recess – 165 yards 3 par

 Enjoy a broad and sweeping fairway that’s all downhill before it turns sharp right through a corridor of rough.

  1. Giant’s Elbow – 391 yards 4 par

 From the tee, it’s a narrow fairway which leads upwards before curving between dunes, hollows and rough.

  1. Bunker’s Hill – 171 yards 3 par

 A lofty start to the fairway where there’s a giant dune covered in rough on the right before you have to veer left to the green suddenly.

  1. Valley – 493 yards 5 par

 You’ll love the sharp downhill slope enclosed by dunes and the barrier of sand-filled bunkers blocking your path to the green.

  1. Saucer – 195 yards 3 par

 It’s a rollercoaster of a fairway that travels downhill then turns upwards with the added hazards of rough on either side.

  1. Home – 333 yards 4 par

 If you can get past the mounds of rough that are lying in wait, there’s an excellent finish along bumpy terrain to look forward to.

Ladies Of Portrush

Mary Queen of Scots Playing Golf in Stirling

For centuries golf has been a favourite pastime for ladies with players such as Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587) being one of its early devotees. 

In 1895 Royal Portrush hosted the British Ladies Championship which had been established just two years earlier. Lady Margaret Scott aged twenty-one claimed her third consecutive victory. 

In 1903 the competition was back at Royal Portrush where twenty-five-year-old Rhona Adair of Cookstown, County Tyrone, claimed a victory for Ireland.

Ladies Enjoying Golf at Royal Portrush in 1905

Rhona became famous for her head-to-head match of 1899 with the grandfather of the modern game Old Tom Morris who only just managed to cling to victory. Rhona was later appointed as the Ladies’ Golf Union’s President, a post she still held at her death in Portrush in 1961. 

Royal Portrush has seen the Ladies Championship return to its links a further seven times, the most recent being in 2011 which was won by England’s Lauren Taylor.

Famous Portrush Players


Royal Portrush has welcomed many prominent players such as Tom Watson and Larry Mize, but Portrush itself has produced its champions. 

Fred Daly was born in 1911 in Causeway Street, and a commemorative blue plaque has since marked the house. Once a caddy at the club, Fred began playing competitive golf in 1936.

Fred Daly’s Plaque in Causeway Street

Amongst his many successes, his career highlights saw him become the first player from Ireland to win the major competitions of the Irish Open in 1946 and the British Open Championship the following year. Fred passed away in Portrush in 1990. 

Graeme McDowell was born in Portrush in 1979. One of his greatest achievements so far has been his victory in the US Open Championship in 2010

Where is Royal Portrush Golf Club Located?

The entrance to the golf course is on the Dunluce Road on the outskirts of Portrush. When you’re not on the links, it’s a beautiful region to explore. To the south is the glorious countryside of County Antrim, with the Giants Causeway, Bushmills Distillery and Carrick-a-rede just along the road. 

The town of seaside town Portrush is only a short walk from the entrance to Royal Portrush, having a picturesque harbour with fishing boats and yachts. 

The pristine sandy beaches of the Atlantic coastline includes Whiterocks, East Strand and West Stran are popular with surfers and tourists alike. Ramore Head has walking trails, picnic areas and magnificent views. 

Just above the golf course on a perilous rocky outcrop jutting into the sea is the eerie but romantic ruin of Dunluce Castle which has lent its name to the famous links. The fortress was built in the thirteenth century and eventually became the home of the clan chief, Sorley Boy McDonnell after he won it in 1584 by defeating the McQuillan clan. 

Around five miles to the east of Portrush are the mysterious limestone steps of the Giant’s Causeway. It can easily be reached by road or by enjoying a ride on the scenic railway that runs several times a day from nearby Bushmills. 

Visit Portrush in May to catch the annual North West 200 Motorcycle Road Race or September for the local Air Show. Portrush also has a long-established funfair and a great choice of restaurants and bars.

How to Travel to Royal Portrush from Belfast

By Car

 It takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to travel the sixty-mile journey. Drive along the M2 to Ballyclare then the A26 to Ballymoney followed by Coleraine. Travel just five miles along the A29 to reach Portrush.

By Public Transport 

 The journey can take around two hours by train or bus.

How to Travel to Portrush from Londonderry-Derry

By Car

 The journey of thirty-seven miles along the A2 and the A37 takes less than an hour to arrive at Portrush via Coleraine.

By Public Transport

 It can take up to two hours to reach Portrush.

How Much Does a Round of Golf Cost at Royal Portrush?

During the summer season from March to October a round of golf costs £240 on the famous Dunluce links and £60 on the Valley. If you have any energy left, you can enjoy a second round for £150 and £20 respectively. 

The links are open throughout the winter months from November to February with a Dunluce round costing £90 and The Valley £30. 

Access times to the Dunluce course vary during the week, but Saturdays are limited until after 3.00 pm due to the weekly tournament for the club’s members. If you like an early start, the Valley can usually be played before 9.00 am except on weekends when the course is accessible from 2.00 pm.

Other Costs

You can arrange to hire a set of clubs although the price may vary depending on your choice. A manual trolley can be hired for £5. Pay £20, and you can hire an electric version that comes equipped with a GPS navigational device. 

Alternatively, there are caddies available at different rates. A Trainee’s fee is £35, a Senior costs £45 and an Elite caddy is £55. 

It’s also traditional to give your caddy a tip at the end of his duties.

Rules and Regulations

To play at Royal Portrush, you usually need to be a member of another club which must supply you with a Letter of Introduction. Players also have to bring a Handicap Certificate with a maximum rating of eighteen for men or twenty-four for ladies. 

You are not allowed to take mobile phones or tablets onto either of the courses.

Dress Code at Royal Portrush

As befits a golf club with such an illustrious pedigree, dress code is strict with an emphasis on tailored golf wear. 

There is a total ban on clothing bearing slogans of any kind. Men are only allowed to wear shirts with collars and sleeves teamed with golf trousers or Bermuda shorts. 

Ladies must wear demure tops, but they have a choice of collars and no sleeves or sleeves and no collars. Golf skirts, Bermuda shorts or trousers may be worn. 

Appropriate golf shoes with or without spikes must be worn at all times. 

If in doubt, there is a shop on site that is stocked with a selection of approved clothing and golf accessories. And to make your visit complete, a variety of refreshments are available at the clubhouse.

Ballycastle Golf Club


Guide to Ballycastle Golf Club

Golf fans enjoying a break along the dramatic coastline of County Antrim in Northern Ireland can’t resist pausing for a round or two of their favourite game. Many head for the championship links of Portrush and Portstewart yet a short drive to the east is a challenging course that is like a microcosm of Ireland itself.

Fast-flowing rivers, the steepest wooded hills, manicured greens and an ancient ruined abbey are just a few of the features that are sure to provide a pleasurable test for every golfer. It’s such a unique course it’s hardly surprising that Damian McEvoy enjoys being Ballycastle’s PGA professional.

History of the Course

In 1890, twenty-six golfing enthusiasts led by Naval Commander Alfred Malcolm Causton established Ballycastle Golf Club. It was nicknamed the Warren Links due to the large number of rabbit holes that kept appearing in the turf.

Just one year later, Ballycastle collaborated with eight other clubs to become an influential founding member of the Golf Union of Ireland. Ballycastle was a particularly forward-thinking club and encouraged ladies to play there from 1897.

In 1906, the nine-hole course was completely restructured after the purchase of further land enabled the fairways to be lengthened. The course was finally extended to eighteen holes in 1926 and has since remained mostly unchanged. Today the links are regarded as some of the finest in Ireland.

Wonderful Views

View from behind the green at Ballycastle Golf club Looking over the beacj towards the town

Ballycastle’s hill-top golf course at the end of Glenshesk, one of County Antrim’s famous Nine Glens, is set amongst some of Northern Ireland’s most outstanding natural scenery.

There is the rugged beauty of the Causeway Coast with northerly views across the bay towards the idyllic Rathlin Island with its three lighthouses. Gaze just beyond it on the clearest of days, and it’s possible to catch sight of Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre.

The majestic Donegal Hills lie to the west of Ballycastle while to the south-east are the peaks and valleys of the Antrim Glens.

How to reach Ballycastle

Ballycastle is situated on the northern tip of County Antrim not far from the famous limestone steps of the Giant’s Causeway. From Portrush, it’s a short, twenty-mile journey eastwards along the A2 that takes no more than twenty-five minutes by car.

It’s a similar distance from Coleraine and around five miles less from Ballymoney in the south. The nearest ferry crossing from the UK is at Larne, approximately forty miles to the south on the eastern coast.

Tournaments at Ballycastle

The Tullamore North West Open Golf Championships at Ballycastle with a view over the tee box towards Fairhead

One of the most prestigious of Ballycastle’s competitions is the annual Causeway Coast Tournament. It’s Europe’s largest open competition for amateurs and regularly attracts more than one thousand golfers from all over the world.

For an entire week in June, Ballycastle shares the tournament’s duties with golf courses at Castlerock, Ballyliffen and Royal Portrush. The competition was known for many years as the Black Bush Tournament in honour of a famous whiskey by Bushmills, the competition’s sponsor.

Other tournaments include the Louis Sweeney Cup, an open contest for gentlemen which is held in March and the Wetherall Cup, a similar competition for ladies which appears in August.

If you want to test your skills, Ballycastle hosts several amateur competitions including one for gentlemen on Wednesdays all year round.


You can purchase various equipment, snacks and refreshments at the well-stocked shop situated in the clubhouse. The Golf Shoe Restaurant serves excellent breakfasts of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and beans.

The fried potato cakes are particularly delicious. After you’ve worked up a healthy appetite tackling the fairways, you’ll appreciate the Golf Shoe’s afternoon fare which includes burgers, battered cod, chips and a great selection of paninis.

How much is a Round of Golf at Ballycastle?

Ballycastle Golf Club is accessible to visitors and members at any time of the year. Visitor’s fees throughout the week are £75. A special concession for married couples is £85 during the week and £95 on the weekend and public holidays.

Young players under the age of eighteen can play for £10 on weekdays rising to £15 on Saturday and Sunday. A set of golf clubs can be hired for £20. Manual and electric trolleys are £3 and £10 respectively. £40 will acquire the services of a caddy. Golf buggies are available for £25.

The Course

Ballycastle presents golfers with the unique challenge of playing an exciting mix of parkland and natural links set over a variety of steep elevations. The River Margy, the River Clary and the local road form a boundary around the first five holes. Several woodland spinneys are a dominant feature of the landscape.

Close by is the ruined Bonamargy Abbey which has stood upon the hillside since 1485. As the resting place of the sixteenth-century chieftain, Sorley Boy Macdonnell and successive earls of Ulster, the abbey and its grounds are out of bounds to golfers.

In poor weather conditions particularly during the winter, some holes may be unavailable. Ballycastle is a surprisingly compact course with steep hills and narrow fairways that require the most accurate shots to stay within par. With several holes barely visible from the tees, your instinctive play will be tested from the start. The course covers 5,876 yards with a total of 71 par.

Holes 1 to 5

These are set in beautiful parkland bordered by two rivers and a road. The unkempt graveyard of the prohibited Bonamargy Abbey is often the last resting place of many a lost ball.

1st Hole: 456 yards/4 par: You need to make an excellent start at this tricky hole. There is an angled, narrow fairway that runs parallel to a line of trees.

2nd Hole: 351 yards/4 par: Another sharp turn in the fairway.

3rd Hole: 166 yards/3 par: A relatively short, enclosed fairway that runs parallel to the road and a winding spinney.

4th Hole: 408 yards/4 par: An angled fairway bordered by woodland.

5th Hole: 259 yards/4 par: A dead straight fairway that runs through a corridor of trees.

Holes 6 to 10

You will find these holes lying on the other side of the road. The woodlands are replaced by prickly gorse bushes and dunes near the coastline. You’ll notice the landscape becoming much steeper. If you are not too enthusiastic about climbing steep hills laden with equipment, consider hiring a golf buggy before setting off.

6th Hole: 319 yards/6 par: Known as the Hog’s Back. The fairway running parallel to the road is one of the most generous to be found at Ballycastle. However, you’ll need a straight aim as the sharply undulating landscape leaves the hole obscured from the tee.

7th Hole: 404 yards/4 par: The incline of the hill continues to increase on this angled fairway that runs alongside the coastline.

8th Hole: 327 yards/4 par: A reasonably straight but undulating fairway that heads inland.

9th Hole: 353 yards/4 par: There is an undulating elevation to negotiate along the gently curving fairway.

10th Hole: 115 yards/3 par: A wild shot on Ballycastle’s shortest fairway can easily miss its mark on the steep terrain.

Holes 11 to 18

These holes work their way up the steep incline of the cliff before running across the summit ready to drop sharply on the other side. You’ll need accurate play to compensate for any stiff breezes that often blow in from the sea. Many golfers find it easy to be distracted by the truly magnificent views afforded by this section of the Ballycastle course.

11th Hole: 347 yards/4 par: There is an acute angle in this undulating fairway.

12th Hole: 489 yards/5 par: A steep climb along another undulating fairway.

13th Hole: 146 yards/3 par: A relatively short and straight approach to the green that’s narrow enough to require high concentration.

14th Hole: 355 yards/4 par: A reasonably straight fairway with a commanding view of Ballycastle Bay and Rathlin Island.

15th Hole: 402 yards/4 par: You’ll be aiming along an angled fairway towards a green that’s above a steep wooded hillside.

16th Hole: 294/4 par: A beautiful straight fairway suddenly turns towards the end at an angle of around 75 degrees.

17th Hole: 183 yards/3 par: Known locally as the Pitch. Don’t forget to take a last look back at the fantastic views of such a stirring landscape before hitting off from the tee. The green is at the foot of a severe drop of more than a hundred feet.

18th Hole: 502 yards/5 par: A long but kinder fairway that runs parallel to the road and leads conveniently to medicinal tea or stout at the 19th.

Portstewart Golf Club


The magnificent, rugged scenery of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route is home to a surprising number of golf clubs. The manicured links at Ramore Head, Portrush are famous for attracting huge crowds during the 1951 and 2019 British Open Golf Championships. 

However, venture westwards along the main coastal road for almost three miles, and you’ll find the unique splendour of the Portstewart Golf Club that Rory McIlroy calls a ‘hidden gem’.

Superb Collection of Courses


Portstewart boasts three imaginative and challenging eighteen-hole courses that continually delight golf enthusiasts from beginners to seasoned professionals. 

Majestic, sweeping fairways and strategic bunkers set amidst a dramatic dune-filled landscape are guaranteed to test the all-round skills of every golfer. 

Visitors and members alike can choose to play on the gentler greens of the Old Course, the intermediate Riverside, or the championship layout of the incredible Strand.

A Test of Time

Golfers first discovered the charm of the natural links in 1889 which led to the founding of the Portstewart Golf Club in 1895. The original design featured just nine holes set in a part of the current Old Course. 

By 1920, a club building had been installed at the Strand Head site. The course was expanded to eighteen holes in 1934 with a new layout designed by Willie Park Jr. 

In 1986, the foundations were laid for today’s rare three-course facilities. Thistly Hollow, an adjacent area of land crammed with semi-mountainous dunes, was purchased to provide additional holes. 

The imaginative talents of Des Giffin, a local schoolmaster and club member, resulted in the unique challenges presented by the rugged, natural links of the Strand. By 2001, the major refurbishment had led to the creation of the Riverside Course.

Tournament Hosts

Portstewart’s pedigree as a worthy host of prestigious tournaments has steadily increased. It was the venue for various qualification rounds for the 1951 Open Championship held at nearby Portrush

Irish Championships have been contested at Portstewart’s courses in the 1960s and 1990s by both amateur and professional golfers. In recent years the club has presided over the British Seniors (2004), a variety of amateur championships during 2014, Girls and Ladies Competitions in 2015 and the Boys Amateur Golf Tournament of 2018. 

However, the highest honour for Portstewart was its invitation to stage the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open of 2017. No less than 92,000 spectators saw the rising Spanish golfing star, Jon Rahm, succeed as the victor with a record-breaking under par score of twenty-four over the four-day contest.

Great Facilities


Portstewart Golf Club offers a vast range of facilities to make every visit one of comfortable enjoyment. Accessories, newspapers and refreshments can be purchased at the on-site shop. 

Try perfecting your chip shots and putting skills in the designated practice areas. You can hire various pull-along and electric trolleys for carrying equipment, or you can enjoy the company of one of the club’s caddies who’ll have expert knowledge of the courses. 

Large golf buggies are only issued to golfers with appropriate medical certification. After an exhilarating day of playing great golf, there are even fully-equipped shower rooms available where you can freshen up before heading for the nineteenth hole. 

Here you’ll find a selection of bars including the Hut at the Turn and the Spike. There’s also a Members’ bar and the Strand lounge, bar and restaurant.

What are the Costs?

The fees involved in playing a round of golf at Portstewart vary depending on which course you choose and the time of year. 

The Old Course green fees are between £10 and £15. Tickets for a week are £60 or £160 for an entire month. 

The Riverside Course fees are £25 during the week, rising to £29 on the weekends. 

The Strand Course fees are £60 during the winter months. In April and October expect to pay £135. Fees rise to £175 from May to September. You can also play thirty-six holes for £230.

Getting There

Excellent transport links are leading to Portstewart from the surrounding area. The city of Londonderry (Derry) is just twenty-five miles drive to the west with the City of Derry Airport at Eglinton on the eastern outskirts of Londonderry is conveniently placed.

If not pressed for time and looking to take in some of the excellent scenery, we highly recommend taking the train from Derry to Coleraine, it is worth it and often included in best train trips of the world.

Belfast is just over an hours drive from Portstewart, heading up the M2 or by following the spectacular Causeway Coastal Route. There are two Airports (International and City) in Belfast that connect to destinations in the UK, Europe and North America.

You can also catch a train or bus from Belfast to Coleraine, getting a taxi or bus to the courses.

A Beautiful Setting


The unique, natural landscape of Portstewart’s golf courses is as dramatic as the nearby attractions of the Giant’s Causeway and Lough Foyle. 

From the greens and fairways set amongst the rocky crags and dunes, golfers are treated to truly spectacular views. The rugged coastline, the Atlantic Ocean, the meandering River Bann and the surrounding 

Donegal Hills provide unforgettable scenery. Local wildlife to look out for includes swans, sea birds, porpoises and seals. The region has been officially designated as an area of scientific interest and is one of the few places in the British Isles where the endangered bee orchid plant still thrives.

Portstewart’s Courses

The Strand

The spectacular terrain of the Strand’s distinctive peaks and hollows offer an exciting, unique challenge to even the most experienced players. 

The inspirational landscape encourages bold play where accuracy is needed to reach the greens. It’s worth spending time practising on your precision around the greens and fairways for the sheer pleasure of tackling this fantastic championship course. 

The links measure 7,118 yards/72 par.

1st Hole: Tubber Patrick: 427 yards/4 par. 

Located at an ancient Stone Age spring called St. Patrick’s Well.

2nd Hole: Devil’s Hill: 366 yards/4 par. 

An early tricky challenge.

3rd Hole: The Settlement: 218 yards/3 par. 

There’s archaeological evidence that this site was occupied around 9,000 years ago.

4th Hole: Thistly: 583 yards/5 par. 

It’s brimming with difficult rocks and craters.

5th Hole: The Rifle Range: 461 yards/4 par. 

Named after the practice area positioned here in the Second World War.

6th Hole: Five Penny Piece: 143 yards/3 par. 

It demands your most precise shot to land on the tiny circular green.

7th Hole: Strawberry Hill: 516 yards/4 par. 

There’s an awkward turn in the fairway that’s lined with masses of wild strawberries.

8th Hole: Portnahapple: 445 yards/3 par. 

Fishermen guided their horses through this area on their journey to Donegal.

9th Hole: Larkhill: 378 yards/4 par. 

A challenging spot that’s popular with nesting larks.

10th Hole: Fisherman’s Walk: 407 yards/4 par. 

You need sharp play on this site commemorating the path fishermen travelled on their way to the River Bann.

11th Hole: Fernside: 407 yards/4 par. 

It’s lined with lush ferns where many a ball remains hidden.

12th Hole: Barmouth: 167 yards/3 par. 

Spectacular views of Donegal, Mussenden Temple and the River Bann.

13th Hole: Cashlandoo: 555 yards/5 par. 

At nearby Black Castle, there’s an ancient Celtic burial mound.

14th Hole: The Hill: 527 yards/5 par. 

Presents challenging terrain.

15th Hole: Articlave: 198 yards/3 par. 

Named in honour of the nearby village that’s been occupied since the Roman era.

16th Hole: The Plateau: 418 yards/4 par. 

It will test your golfing skills to the limit.

17th Hole: Agherton: 436 yards/4 par. 

Named after the local Old Agherton Church.

18th Hole: Strand Head: 471 yards/4 par. 

A free-flowing fairway with splendid views of the Atlantic.

The Riverside Course

The newest of Portstewart’s golf courses has beautiful views across the River Bann. Its landscape is similar to the Old Course with rolling fairways and greens. 

The course is littered with rocks, large sand bunkers and thickets with the river never too far away. The links measure a moderate 5,725 yards/68 par.

1st Hole: 422 yards/4 par

2nd Hole: 180 yards/3 par

3rd Hole: 372 yards/4 par

4th Hole: 178 yards/3 par

5th Hole: 323 yards/4 par

6th Hole: 509 yards/5 par

7th Hole: 447 yards/4 par

8th Hole: 347 yards/4 par

9th Hole: 277 yards/4 par

10th Hole: 412 yards/4 par

11th Hole: 348 yards/4 par

12th Hole: 330 yards/4 par

13th Hole: 171 yards/3 par

14th Hole: 366 yards/4 par

15th Hole: 142 yards/3 par

16th Hole: 332 yards/4 par

17th Hole: 165 yards/3 par

18th Hole: 352 yards/4 par

The Old Course

1st Hole: The Burn: 186 yards/3 par

2nd Hole: The Black Rock: 366 yards/3 par

3rd Hole: Port Cool: 123 yards/3 par

4th Hole: Purgatory: 196 yards/3 par. A tricky site that’s almost in the sea.

5th Hole: The Stone Dyke: 136 yards/3 par

6th Hole: The Knowe: 274 yards/4 par

7th Hole: Seapark: 342 yards/4 par

8th Hole: The Corner: 146 yards/3 par. There’s an awkward turn to navigate.

9th Hole: Milburn. 460 yards/4 par

10th Hole: Quarter-Mile: 420 yards/4 par. A rolling fairway.

11th Hole: The Meadow: 336 yards/4 par

12th Hole: The Valley: 273 yards/4 par

13th Hole: Whinney Ridge: 276 yards/4 par

14th Hole: The Hill: 256 yards/4 par

15th Hole: Innish Owen: 428 yards/4 par

16th Hole: Primrose Dell: 216 yards/3 par

17th Hole: Heather: 216 yards/3 par

18th Hole: Home: 124 yards/3 par

Bushfoot Golf Club

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Guide to Bushfoot Golf Club

Bushfoot Golf Club is a 9-hole golf course located in the town of Portballintrae, near Bushmills, Country Antrim, North Ireland. The course is famous for its serene seaside location against a bumpy terrain that offers a great challenge to golf enthusiasts. On the other end is a seafront that gives the course a picturesque attraction and a cool breeze. It is also an excellent course for testing links that it mixes with parkland elements.

The holes require some good accuracy, which attracts players who are keen to improve their game. The course hosts different golf tournaments around the year, including the Bushfoot International Ladies Tournament. When there are no competitions, the club welcomes visitors to have a feel of its golf course as they have some fun playing.

The length of the par men is 5,777 yards par 67. On the other hand, the length of the par ladies is 5,301 yards par 66. On the course, there is a putting green, pull carts for hire, a restaurant and a bar. Members and visitors can use a designated locker/changing rooms when preparing for the round.


Distance from Portrush, Ireland

Bushfoot Golf Club is only 5.7 miles from Portrush, Ireland. It will take you at most 15 to 20 minutes to drive to the golf course. You can visit the location as often as you get the time and back to Portrush in no time.

The History of the Club

The golf club has been existence for over 125 years, having been established in 1890. It is thought that people played links at the course long before the club was officially registered with the Irish Golf Union.

Originally, the course covered the area between the Bushmills to Giants Causeway Tramline and the River Bush with a right of way lane running to the right. When the managers found that this area was not enough, they decided to increase it by buying the adjacent Curries Field. The club also acquired grounds on the east of the tram line. Part of the land was actually leased at the start but progressively changed ownership to the golf club.

The first clubhouses were semi-permanent wooden structures that were located on the 7th green before modern structures were built at the current location. The first permanent house was constructed in 1908. Members used to pay £1 for a key at the start, but it has been raised over the years.

Initially, the club only had 14 members who joined for £10 in 1890. Today, the club boasts of over 860 members. New members join the club by paying around £250 when membership is open.

A lot has also changed in terms of amenities and maintenance of the golf course. At the start, the club only had a greenkeeper and herders were allowed into the course so that sheep could trim the grass. Over the years, as the mowing technology came into being, the sheep were replaced with machines and several employees were brought on board to maintain the golf course and offer services to visitors and members. In the last 100 years, the club has had several captains with the first being appointed at the year of incorporation. It got its first president and ladies captain in 1934 and a lady president in 1990.

Description of the Course

Bushfoot golf course is a good blend of the links and parklands golf course. Much of the course is a links course that is located along the coastline with a few trees where players enjoy lots of tall grasses. Large parts of the greens are kept green by nature with broad and deep bunkers as you move away from the coastline.

However, on the east of the Tramline, you will find fast greens, several trees, flat grounds and verdant fairways, giving it more of a parklands golf course feel. Players get to experience the best of both pitches, from the gentle bounces to the rolling hilly outcrops, which makes golfing challenging and very interesting.

Bushfoot Gold Club Course Layout

Holes at the Golf Course

Like any other links course, the bumpy terrain makes it hard to really determine where the ball will actually finish. There are actually twelve holes, but a good number of them have different teeing areas. Interestingly, the third and twelfth holes share the same teeing ground but are played on different greens. The 12th hole crosses the narrow gauge railway track of the Bushmills and Giants Causeway Heritage railway. Interestingly, players have to hit over the railway line.

The green where the 1st/10th hole is located is on an elevated tee. It gives you great views of the landscape around you. However, the entrance looks quite narrow, given that the hole is meant to play 440 yards. This does not spoil the game though, especially if you do not perform as a scoring course.

The ground elevation changes when you get to the 2nd/11th hole. This is a low tee located along the River Bush. It has exceptionally flat grounds where you can feed the ball from your right.

The 3rd/12th hole also has parklands nature, with several trees, short grass and flat terrain. This landscape makes it less difficult than the first two holes. The 4th/13th has a soft tuft, and a good green complex and trees are lined on either side as the terrain starts to rise again.

The 7th to 9th holes are located in more challenging terrain. The 7th/16th hole has a superb per-three while the 9th/18th holes enjoy a more fabulous finish just like the 1st/2nd holes.

Overall, the most challenging holes are located at the start and the finish of the nine-hole course. Most players who love a strict linksland golfing miss out the uneventful 5th and 6th hole as both are low lying on flat ground. The club regularly renovates the landscape across various holes to give players an exciting teeing experience.

Bushfoot Green Fees

It costs you about £15 per key at Greenfoot Golf Club. The highest green fee during the weekdays is £10 with the cost going up to £12 during the weekends. If you like to pay for a round, you will pay a little more than £5, depending on the time of the week when you visit the club. Check their fixture dates as the club is closed to visitors when there is a competition.

Contact Details

The driving location of the club is 50 Bushfoot Road, Portballintrae BT57 8RR. You can contact the club at 028 2073 1317 or email them at admin@bushfootgolfclub.co.uk. You can also look for more information from the official site of the club at http://www.bushfootgolfclub.co.uk/


Bushfoot Golf Club is a perfect golfing destination for anyone who would like to enjoy a sea breeze as you play golf away from the crowded and noisy seaside beaches on the Causeway Coast

The Links golf course also incorporates elements of a parklands course where the natural landscape gives players superior elevations for many of the holes. Players also get to alternate long hard tuft with soft, gentle lawns in the course of the nine-hole tee.

This is a place for both low and high handicap players alike. Visitors are welcome when there are no competitions, and membership is open. You can try it with a round on any day of the week.

Castlerock Golf Club

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Guide to Castlerock Golf Club

Castlerock Golf Club is one of North Ireland’s best-kept secrets. The original course, named Mussenden Links, dates back to 1901 and is located on the Causeway Coastal Route, around 13 miles from Portrush.

This stunning course is easily one of the top five links courses in the whole of the island. The club also has even more exciting holes located on the adjacent 9 holes Bann course.



The history of the club can be traced back to May 4, 1900, when a public meeting took place at the Pavilion in Castlerock to consider the viability of creating golf links at the resort. The inaugural meeting for this future club took place on a Tuesday afternoon on April 16, 1901. The meeting, chaired by Reverend William Irwin, D.D., appointed a council for the season.

During the meeting, it was agreed that thanks of members be tendered to Colonel Bruce and Sir H. Hervey for their generosity in placing such a large tract of land at the club’s disposal for the purpose of a golf club. By then, a large clubhouse had already been erected on the ground, and the links were carefully laid out.

The formal inauguration ceremony for the links on Castlerock was held on Saturday, June 22, 1901. There was an open competition, where winners were awarded prizes of £3, £2, and £1. It generated a lot of interest and the attendance by the public was tremendous. Besides that, many golfers attended. The winner of the inaugural competition was J. Hunter Steen – Cheltenham G.C. Gross 84, H.5, Nett 79.

In 1906, the A.G.M. authorised the council to begin negotiations for leasing of more land to create an extra nine holes, making it an eighteen-hole course. On the meeting of May 1909, it was reported that the council had begun negotiations with tenants next to the 9-hole course and had managed to arrange for sufficient ground to make the extension.

Sir Hervey and Lady Bruce oversaw the formal opening ceremony for the new 18-hole course. The ceremony took place on July 15, 1909. Mr David Craig, the club’s captain, offered his thanks to sir Hervey for his generosity and constant interest in the Club. The opening competition was held with a medal for the 18 holes course, with 30 players taking part. However, only four cards were turned.

In 1912, the Irish Professional Championship was played at the club from May 9 to May 10 of that year. After the first day, Pat Doyle was ahead on 152 having set the course with 72 during the afternoon round. Michael Moran was just behind with 155. Moran managed to score 75 during round three compared to Doyle’s 82, and he thus took a 4-stroke lead. Another 75 by Moran meant that he maintained a 6-shot lead over Doyle who managed a 77 at the end of the competition. The third position went to Harry Hamill, who was a shot behind.

Today, the club hosts various competitions for men and women at all skill level. To find events, you can visit the club’s site, where dates for each competition are listed.

The Courses

The Bann Course

The Bann is a great walking adventure that takes you through beautiful dunes, located near some of the highest sand hills on the western shore of the River Bann, the longest river in Northern Ireland. Despite the lack of length at 2,446 yards (par 34), the Bann will keep you engaged with its sweeping doglegs and many blind, uphill tee shots. The par threes give you a wide array of downhill lies as well as club selections, from the 92-yard third hole to a 141 yard into an oncoming sea breeze. There is also a semi-blind ninth green, which is located just beyond a dune. If you miss right on the par-5 fifth, you could end up on the beach along the River Bann.

  1. Barmouth Par 4 Stroke Index 9/10 Length 301 yards
  2. Everest Par 4 Stroke Index 1/2 Length 367 yards
  3. Kellys Eye Par 3 Stroke Index 17/18 Length 92 yards
  4. Kanes Hollow Par 3 Stroke Index 15/16 Length 153 yards
  5. Bannview Par 5 Stroke Index 13/14 Length 491 yards
  6. The Pond Par 4 Stroke Index 8/9 Length 337 yards
  7. The Chasm Par 4 Stroke Index 5/6 Length 288 yards
  8. Doghill Par 4 Stroke Index 3/4 Length 276 yards
  9. Atlantic Par 3 Stroke Index 11/12 Length 141 yards

The Mussenden Course

The Mussenden course is a 6506 yard Par 73, with a mixture of par-5s and par-3s. Its best hole is the fourth, called the Leg O’Mutton. It is a 200-yard par-3 with a railway line to its right and a burn to its left and raised green.

There is also the 214-yard “Quarry” hole that is located close to a rocky outcropping at the 9th. The tough finishing at the end determines who carries the day.

In 2017, the course was renovated with the bunkers receiving an upgrade from Martin Hawtree, the renowned architect and the SOL construction company, having previously worked on Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen.

During the work, it became apparent that merely replacing the sand hazards would not suffice. Thus, the plan evolved into an 8-hole project, which extended to the fairways, bunkers, and greens. As work progressed, apparent problems such as drainage issues with the 11th, 13th, and 15th, meant that more work had to be done than initially envisioned.

Diverting efforts and resources from the two holes intended for the original project ensured upgrades were done to the other six while remaining within budget. There are still plans to upgrade the 3rd and 16th, but those plans are still on hold. The course is now shorter by 25 yards since the 2nd hole had to be moved forward. The 2nd hole had the green moved forward and the buckthorn removed from the right side, with four new bunkers, and screening mounds are now in place.

Drainage issues with hole 11 meant that the green had to be raised by about a meter. A vast section to the left of the fairways is now used as the sand mine to build up a raised pulling surface.

The green for the 13th hole has been pushed back by fifteen yards because of a large volume of clay below the pulling surface. Due to the new position of the green, it now brings a small stream close to the hole into play. There is now more run off to the right of the putting area.

  1. castlerock golf clourse layoutKnocklayde Par 4 Stroke Index 9 Length 367 yards
  2. Sconce Par 4 Stroke Index 5 Length 375 yards
  3. The Whins Par 5 Stroke Index 13 Length 523 yards
  4. Leg O’Mutton Par 3 Stroke Index 11 Length 200 yards
  1. Railway Par 5 Stroke Index 15 Length 477 yards
  2. Railway Par 4 Stroke Index 7 Length 347 yards
  3. Armchair Par 4 Stroke Index 1 Length 418 yards
  4. Bulldozer Par 4 Stroke Index 3 Length 411 yards
  5. Quarry Par 3 Stroke Index 17 Length 214 yards
  6. Fairy Dell Par 4 Stroke Index 4 Length 415 yards
  7. Coastguards Par 5 Stroke Index 16 Length 529 yards
  8. Spion Kop Par 4 Stroke Index 2 Length 430 yards
  9. Swallow Hill Par 4 Stroke Index 14 Length 382 yards
  10. Corner Par 3 Stroke Index 8 Length 192 yards
  11. Homewards Par 5 Stroke Index 6 Length 518 yards
  12. The Summit Par 3 Stroke Index 18 Length 157 yards
  13. Inishowen Par 5 Stroke Index 12 Length 493 yards
  14. Mussenden Par 4 Stroke Index 10 Length 357 yards

Training Area

For those who wish to improve their game, the Castlerock has an impressive training area. There are facilities for general practice tees as well as areas for the short game. An area that is used little was ground-shaped to give it gentle mounds and slopes, which compliment the sand dunes in its background.

There is a two-tier green in this area that has two bunkers constructed to extreme precision, which includes a watering system. To help alleviate extensive wear caused by extensive use, there are artificial grass tees in strategic areas. Around the green, chipping mats have been installed. The club takes pride in being able to provide this training area to members who wish to become better players.

Castlerock Green Fees

Mussenden Green Fees – 7 days – £100

Bann links Green Fees – 7 days – £20

Caddy rate – £40 per round (plus gratuities)

Golf Carts – £30 per cart

Powa Kaddy – £10 per round

Pull Trolley – £4 per round

Club Rental – £30 per round

Contact details

65 Circular Road


Co. Londonderry

BT51 4TJ

Phone: 028 7084 8314

email: info@castlerockgc.co.uk

Shop: 028 7084 9424

Bar: 028 7084 8314

Restaurant: 028 7084 8314

Gracehill Golf Course

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Guide to Gracehill Golf Course

If you’re the kind of a golfer who doesn’t back down from a challenge, then you’ll have an exciting time at Gracehill Golf Course.

Elevated tee boxes, bunkers with ladders, alleys of trees, bulrushes, and water barriers make the Gracehill Golf Course, one of the more challenging parkland courses in Ireland.

The 18-hole course, situated only a few meters from the famous Dark Hedges <> is part of the Dark Hedges Estate, a 210-acre property outside the village of Stranocum, near Ballymoney. The estate boasts an equally impressive history with the first ownership tracing back to the early reigns of King James 1 of England.

Getting to Gracehill.

Gracehill golf course is only 15 miles or about 25 minutes from Portrush. It’s about 50 miles from Belfast and approximately 150 miles from Dublin.

The best way to find it is to follow the direction of the Dark hedges via the myriad of signposts in the surrounding towns help to direct visitors to the course.

History – A humble beginning with a royal touch

In the early 1600s, King James VI of Scotland & 1st of England awarded the property and the surrounding lands to a family member, James Stuart, then an ambassador to Turin, Italy, through a royal charter. Initially, the property included areas in Cavan, Monaghan, and County Antrim. The ambassador didn’t get to develop the property as he was shipwrecked on his way to take up ownership from Italy.

However, the property remained in his family, but the acreage of the land shrunk considerably under the ownership of Brigadier-General William Stuart due to financial troubles.

One of the general’s grandsons, James Stuart, built the famous farmhouse, Gracehill House, in 1775, giving the property a sense of grandeur by serving as a centrepiece. The now grade B listed property stands proud and magnificent to date

The Making of Gracehill

The farmland changed ownership many times over the years before landing in the hands of the Gaines family in 1971. The Gaines gave up on farming in 1991, opting to turn the farmland into an 18-hole golf course. They set about converting the old estate buildings into a modern clubhouse without diminishing its charm and past heritage. The modern clubhouse features a world-class bar and restaurant in addition to providing revellers with a warm, relaxed atmosphere as they take in the scenic view of the Golf course.


They engaged Frank Ainsworth, a renowned American golf course designer, to create the American style golf course. The designer is the brains behind other impressive golf courses such as Adminnan and Roe Park. He set to work on the layout of the holes, creating the 6,525-yard par 72 Gracehill course that has been taunted as the most challenging course in all of Ireland.

The entire course is laid out in a gently rolling terrain peppered with mature tree stands and surrounded by beautiful watercourses, proudly declaring its American influence. Although the course has minimal bunkers and the greens are large and level, many of the holes are close to water hazards. Ainsworth incorporated the streams and ponds at the farmland to create tricky water hazards, as he created a challenging contemporary golf course.

The 18-hole golf course opened its doors to golf enthusiasts four years later in 1995, and the creative mix of natural and tight holes has made it a big hit among golfers. The idyllic countryside setting and the charm of its old heritage appeals to people looking to escape the city life. The course is surrounded by five lakes and two rivers, making its water hazards tricky and matchless.


A one of a kind parkland course

Since it’s set smack in the middle of mature woodland, Gracehill is a parkland golf course that challenges and thrills any golf player to set foot on it. The strategic location of some of the greens near water hazards makes a lasting impression of golfers who tee of on the course. The position of some holes forces golfers to play through the mature woodland or over heathland, giving the course its signature teeing variety.

Gracehill Golf Course – The Holes

Each of the Gracehill’s 18 holes is uniquely named and present the golfers with a unique level of difficulties.

Gracehill Golf Course LayoutThe 1st hole, Crow’s Nest, is a 336-yard par 4.

The 2nd hole, Calhame, is 356-yard par 4.

The 3rd hole, The Knowe, is 378-yard par 4.

The 4th hole, Frank’s, is 492-yard par 5.

The 5th hole, Iderown, is a 440-yard par 4

The 6th hole, Serenity is a 365-yard par 4.

The 7th hole, McCool’s Quarry, 182-yard par 4.

The 8th hole, Keyhole, is 386-yard par 4.

The 9th hole, Willows, is 486-yard par 5.

The 10th hole, Dougherty Burns, is 455-yard par 4

The 11th hole, Fuschia Island is 163-yard par 3.

The 12th hole, Sycamore, is 467-yard par 5.

The 13th hole, Knockmore, is 410-yard par 4.

The 14th hole, Wing ‘N’ A Prayer is a 200-yard par 3

The 15th hole, Amen, is 500-yard par 5.

The 16th hole, Oasis is 145 yards par 3.

The 17th hole, Silver Birch, is 359 yards par 4.

The 18th hole, Yew Turn is 405 yards par 4.

Green Fees

The pay and play green fees range from ten to 30 pounds and vary depending on the day of the week.

From Monday to Thursday, non-members pay a £30 admission fee, while those accompanied by a member part with £20. Students and juveniles under the age of 16 part with £15 and £10, respectively to gain admission.

The admission fees are higher from Friday through Sunday and during the bank holidays. Non-members part with £40 unless accompanied by a member whereby the charge comes down to £25. On the other hand, students pay £25, but kids under the age of 16 get to spend £10.

Contacts details

Gracehill Golf Club,

141 Ballinlea Road, Stranocum, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, BT53 8PX

Telephone: 028-207-51209

Website: https://www.gracehillgolfclub.co.uk


Roe Park Golf Course

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Guide to Roe Park Golf Course

Roe Valley is nestled amongst the stunningly beautiful backdrop of The Roe Valley Country Park, near Limavady in Northern Ireland, this highly memorable golf course will have both amateur and veteran players revisiting time and time. A sublime 18-hole parkland course rests alongside the luxurious four-star Roe Park Resort to provide a heavenly scene far superior to any typical golfing session.

The notable quality of the course and stay combine to make Roe Valley Golf Club one of the foremost golfing destinations in Northern Ireland. An unforgettable experience awaits as you enter the long and winding driveway to the resort with its selection of bars, restaurants and Spa. Relax in one of over 100 en suite rooms as you over-look the greens of the course.

Improve your game by taking advantage of some beautiful facilities at the club, which includes practice holes, a driving range, putting green and a video coaching system. You’ll be fully prepared to go out and take on the fairways and greens of this testing but pleasurable 18-hole course.

Top Help From a Seasoned Pro

Not only do these fabulous services give you generous opportunity to raise your golfing skill; Roe Valley Golf Club also posses an in-house PGA professional golfer in the form of Michael McCrudden. His undeniable coaching talent can be utilized by both club members and visitors. Michael knows the ins and outs of the game and could provide answers to your persistent golfing snags.

The PGA resident has vast experience and benefits from studying, as well as playing with top pros up close and personal. His enormous versatility allows him to train players who are already highly skilled successfully; but also new hopefuls only beginning their journey into the sport.

The Ideal Site for Golf Fans

Roe Valley golf club is idyllically situated for those seeking the ultimate golfing adventure in Ireland. Located on the periphery of Limavady, the course is less than a 30-minute drive from Portrush and provides a convenient base to access to some of the best links courses in the world; including Royal Portrush, Castlerock Golf Club, Ballyliffin Golf Club and Portstewart Golf Course. These links courses offer a unique playing experience and are important in Northern Ireland’s world-renowned reputation for immaculate playing conditions.


When time away from the fairways and greens is needed, engage your mind and body with a diversity of pass times and leisurely activities which this beautiful area has to offer. If action is what you’re craving, try your hand at rock climbing or canoeing. Perhaps a restful retreat is the order of your day; why not enjoy the outstanding riverside views or walk through peaceful woodlands, being at one with nature.

The Roe Valley Course

Soak in spectacular views of the rock-strewn ridges belonging to Binevenagh Mountain. Elder trees and ponds add to the Lough Foyle landscape as you tee-off, drive and putt your way around this stimulating parkland course. By advancing deeper into your round, it’ll be clear that this is no ordinary scene for a game of golf; the ever-pristine conditions and challenging holes will drive you on.

The holes are a good mixture; a cocktail of challenges for young and old, new or experienced. Roe Valley Golf Club has something for everyone.


The Course


Hole 1: Ritters, Yardage: 373, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 6

Hole 2: Dogleap, Yardage: 472, Par: 5, Difficulty Level: 12

Hole 3: Betty Annes, Yardage: 186, Par: 3, Difficulty Level: 4

Hole 4: Roe Mill, Yardage: 446, Par: 5, Difficulty Level: 14

Hole 5: Mckeevers, Yardage: 343, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 2

Hole 6: Drumceatt, Yardage:112 , Par: 3, Difficulty Level: 18

Hole 7: Slate Row, Yardage: 354, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 8

Hole 8: O’Cahans, Yardage: 352, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 10

Hole 9: Wiltons, Yardage: 138, Par: 3, Difficulty Level: 16

Hole 10: Daisyhill, Yardage: 360, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 5

Hole 11: Mullagh, Yardage: 317, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 9

Hole 12: Columbas, Yardage: 143, Par: 3, Difficulty Level: 15

Hole 13: Conns, Yardage: 372, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 1

Hole 14: Drumrane, Yardage: 302, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 11

Hole 15: Coolessan, Yardage: 243, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 17

Hole 16: Deer Park, Yardage: 465, Par: 5, Difficulty Level: 13

Hole 17: Binevenagh, Yardage: 175, Par: 3, Difficulty Level: 7

Hole 18: Roe Park, Yardage: 403, Par: 4, Difficulty Level: 3

Pricing and Enquiries

Roe Valley Golf Club offers a selection of prices which vary depending on the number of holes played and the time of the week. There are also special rates if you’re also a guest at the hotel. Here’s the price breakdown for a round of golf.


9-Holes on a Weekday – £20

9-Holes on a Weekend – £25

18-Holes on a Weekday – £35

18-Holes on a Weekend – £40

Hotel Guests:

9-Holes on any day – £15

18-holes on any day – £20

There are also special rates for larger groups if you ask the club directly. They’re easily contactable and ever-ready to help. Details are below:

Phone: +44 (0) 28 777 60105


Whether you’re a serious golfer looking for a new setting to test your skills, or just a casual player who loves to travel and see unique locations while hitting a ball; Roe Valley Golf Club provides an incredibly scenic alternative and shows off the undoubted beauty of Northern Ireland. Be sure to pack well, you may be staying a while.