Best Golf Courses in Northern Ireland

The top golf courses to play on a trip to Northern Ireland.

The best places to tee it up in Northern Ireland.

Best Golf Courses in Northern Ireland

Looking to play the best golf courses in Northern Ireland? picks out the top courses to play in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland doesn’t have the lengthiest golf season. However, it’s similar to that of other nearby countries and golfers can expect a “summer” golf season between April and October annually.

Outside of that, expect your golf to have limitations during the winter months although golfers that are flexible might be able to find quality courses open almost any day of the year.

Rain is certainly a fact of life in this part of the world as are windy conditions. But don’t let put you off.

In our top-five list, we include a resort course, some historic courses, and a couple of modern ones too. Courses, which are often links styled, include the work of Old Tom Morris, Harry Colt, and other designers.

Below is our list of the best golf courses in Northern Ireland.

Royal County Down (Championship Links)

Royal County Down Golf Club

Located near Newcastle in the county of Down in Northern Ireland, the Royal County Down Golf Club was established in 1890.

It is a par-71 venue at a length of 7,206 yards. That makes it the longest course on our list.

Architects for this course include the legendary Old Tom Morris and Harry Colt.

The championship course at Royal County Down is a links course, one that is well known internationally.

In the last decade, Golf Digest has twice recognised this course with their outright No. 1 ranking for the world (2016 and 2018).

With golf at this course dating back to March of 1889, this truly is a historic course for the golf history enthusiast.

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Portstewart Golf Club (Strand Course)

Portstewart Golf Club

Dating back to the 1890s, the Strand Course at the Portstewart Golf Club is a par-72 contest at a length of 7,118 yards.

A links-styled course, golfers can expect immense sand dunes in a region close to the Atlantic Ocean. Willie Park and Des Giffin were the designers of the course, which is located in Londonderry county.

This is a course that is accessible with online bookings available all year round, although May to October features daily golf while April is considered shoulder season.

April and wintertime are when the cheapest rates are available for the golfer that wants to experience this top class venue at a fraction of the peak-time costs.

Royal Portrush (Dunluce Links)

Royal Portrush Golf Club

The Royal Portrush course was established in 1888 and today it remains one of the premier golf courses in Northern Ireland.

A par-72 course that Harry Colt designed, Royal Portrush plays at 7,143 total yards across the 18 holes in County Antrim.

This is a private course and that’s certainly bad news for the casual golfer, but it isn’t impossible to get a tee time to place this venue, which is a host course of the Open Championship.

The most recent was in 2019 having also staged the major in 1951. Royal Portrush has also hosted the Senior Open Championship, Amateur Championship, Boys Amateur Championship, Irish Open, Ladies Irish Open and Irish PGA Championship.

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Lough Erne (Faldo Course)

Lough Erne Golf Club

The most modern course on our list, the Faldo Course at Lough Erne Hotel was established in 2009. It is located in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, and plays as a par-72 at a distance of 7,071 yards.

As the name of the course clearly hints, this work is the brainchild of the great Sir Nick Faldo.

This is a resort course with the hotel itself a luxurious 5-star property (120 rental units) that offers a spa, gourmet dining, and viewpoints of amazing scenery.

There is a second course at the resort called the Castle Hume Golf Course but it’s the Faldo Course, of the two, that competes for awards and recognition.

Expect castle views at this golfing venue and a lengthier golf season than what you will find in most locations for golf in Northern Ireland.

Galgorm Castle Golf Club

Galgorm Castle Golf Club

The golf course at the Galgorm Castle Golf Club was established in 1995. It is located near Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and plays at 7105 yards as a par-71 challenge.

Simon Gidman was the architect for this relatively modern course in Northern Ireland, which hosted the Women’s Irish Open and Northern Ireland Open.

Golfers that visit this course can expect a setting near a 17th-century castle, about 30 minutes from Belfast.