Royal County Down Golf Club
Royal County Down in 2004
|Location||Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland|
|Established||1889, 131 years ago|
|Tournaments hosted||Senior British Open|
The Amateur Championship
British Ladies Amateur
|Designed by||Old Tom Morris;|
Harry Vardon; Harry Colt
|Length||7,186 yards (6,571 m)|
|Length||4,617 yards (4,222 m)|
Royal County Down Golf Club is a golf club in Northern Ireland, located in Newcastle, County Down. It opened 131 years ago on 23 March 1889 and is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. It has two 18-hole links courses, the Championship Course and the Annesley Links.
Details of the courses
The Championship Course at Royal County Down measures 7,186 yards (6,570 m) from the back tees, and the 229-yard fourth and 483-yard ninth holes have been featured in the book The 500 World's Greatest Golf Holes. In 2018, the Championship Course was ranked as the best course in the world by Golf Digest.
Royal County Down has made outstanding contributions to Irish golf from the Club's beginnings, hosting many important tournaments, starting soon after it opened, and continuing to the present day. Notably, the Club in 2007 became just the second Irish venue, after Portmarnock, to host the Walker Cup. The Irish Open on the European Tour took place in late May in 2015, returning to Royal County Down after 76 years. It previously hosted the event three times, all prior to World War II. The British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship were held on the course in June 2019.
- Senior British Open Championship: 2000 (winner: Christy O'Connor Jnr), 2001 (winner: Ian Stanley and 2002 (winner: Noboru Sugai).
- The Amateur Championship: 1970 (winner: Michael Bonallack) and 1999 (winner: Graeme Storm).
- British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship: 1899 (winner: May Hezlet), 1907 (winner: May Hezlet), 1920 (winner: Cecil Leitch), 1927 (winner: Simone de la Chaume), 1935 (winner: Wanda Morgan), 1950 (winner: Vicomtesse de St Sauveur), 1963 (winner: Brigitte Varangot) and 2006 (winner: Belén Mozo).
- Curtis Cup: 1968 United States defeated Great Britain & Ireland, 10.5 to 7.5.
- Walker Cup: 2007 United States defeated Great Britain & Ireland, 12.5 to 11.5.
- Palmer Cup: 2012 Europe defeated United States, 13½ to 10½.
- Irish Open: 1928, 1935, 2015
The first course at County Down was built by Old Tom Morris, hired for the sum of four guineas to build a championship course at Newcastle, which opened on 23 March 1889. His course started and finished by the railway station; thus it played through the general area which the Slieve Donard Hotel now occupies. Joseph Tatlow in his book "Fifty Years of Railway Life" describes how as the then General Manager of the County Down Railway he identified the opportunity for the railway company to build a golf course and hotel at the southern end of their railway. Many of the holes were on the grounds that the present-day Championship and Annesley courses at County Down occupy. George Combe began the remodelling of the course in 1900, and was Convenor of the Green from 1900 to 1913. He was made an honorary life member in 1909 and continued making improvements to the course. Harry Vardon modified the course in 1908, the same year King Edward VII bestowed royal patronage on the club. In 1926, the Club brought Harry Colt in to make further improvements.
Royal County Down Golf Club secured 2nd place in golfscape's World's Top 100 Golf Course ranking 2020. 
|Blue||75.0 / 142||539||444||475||229||440||396||144||429||483||3579||196||442||525||446||212||468||337||433||548||3607||7186|
|White||74.0 / 131||523||424||475||215||429||369||135||424||427||3421||188||430||478||423||202||454||318||416||548||3457||6878|
|Yellow||73.0 / 126||503||387||455||202||419||355||125||414||427||3287||180||430||469||423||202||454||300||402||528||3388||6675|
|Red||77.0 / 148||483||344||423||159||395||338||113||405||429||3089||172||389||455||409||195||410||276||374||480||3160||6249|
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- "Ranking: World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses". UTV. Archived from the original on 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
- "Irish Open attracts bumper crowds". PGA European Tour. 22 June 2014. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Harm makes history to win Ladies Amateur". R&A. 30 June 2018. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- "Royal County Down, Northern Ireland". Top 100 Golf Courses of the World. Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- "The Royal County Down Golf Club (No. 1 Course)". Golf Club Atlas. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- "Top 100 Golf Courses in the World 🏅 2020 • golfscape™". Futuri Visio. 2020-01-14. Archived from the original on 2020-01-27. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-09-28. Retrieved 2020-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)