Northern Ireland’s golf history extends well over a century, when Royal Belfast became the first golf club on this island in 1881.
The passion quickly caught on and continues today. Northern Ireland has dozens of courses created in the late 1800s and early 1900s, many designed by some of the leading and most innovative course architects of the day, such as Harry Colt, Tom Norris and Alister McKenzie (designer of the Augusta National Golf Club).
These include our grandest Royal Portrush and Royal County Down, still just as challenging and invigorating today. In 1951 Royal Portrush became the first course on the island to host the British Open and continues to be a venue for some of the national amateur competitions.
Our historic courses have nurtured more than a few legends, among them Fred Daly MBE, Darren Clarke who is still a member of Dungannon Golf Club, and Ronan Rafferty who credits Warrenpoint Golf Club with his early development.
Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage means you’ll find 10,000 years of history as you explore many of our courses. Ruins of medieval castles, stone farmhouses, ancient walls and bridges are all part of the terrain here. Many of our finest courses have been carved out in the grounds of country estates and our challenging golf courses continue to make history. Our most recent, designed by Nick Faldo, is the Lough Erne Golf Resort, Enniskillen.
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