There is no experience in the world – let alone Ireland – to compare with Royal County Down. Revered and feared in equal measure the course sits under the gaze of the Mourne Mountains and alongside Dundrum Bay. It boasts several terrifying blind shots, heather and gorse strewn dunes, bearded bunkers, greens like velvet, and a terrain of ever shifting surprises. It is magical and it is monstrous.
The hands of many of the greatest names in golf have left their imprint here. Old Tom Morris, Harry Vardon and Harry Colt have influenced how this course has come to be known as the world’s greatest links and, while the course has evolved slowly, it still feels as if nothing has changed at all. It is timeless.
There are two loops of nine, with the front nine closer to the bay. Indeed, the opening three holes hug the shoreline before the signature par three 4th turns back and presents the Mourne Mountains backdrop in all its glory. Keep your tee shot on the green, 215 yards away (Medal tee), and you will be ecstatic.
Everything about Royal County Down is remarkable… every hole, every swing, every step, every second.
Favourite Hole: the par four 13th feels solitary and different, firing down a chute between gorse-laden shoulders. The approach to a slanting green may well be blind.
What's in the Bag? Find the fairway off the tee. If not, wave goodbye to par.
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