Ardglass - A coastal adventure

    Clubs-And-Travel:Brendan Coffey, Clubs-And-Travel:Course Review, Clubs-And-Travel:Down

​Tucked away on the north eastern coast, some 40 minutes from the most famous golf course in the world is another gem of links land. 

  • 10 March 2015
  • -

​When you come to play golf in Co Down, you really are spoiled for choice.

No visitor will dream of leaving Ireland without treating themselves to a round on the links masterpiece at Royal County Down. Yet it would be a shame to leave the Mourne County without experiencing the coastal adventure at Ardglass.

The first would unsettle any golfer. When you stand on the tee, your backside is hovering over the Irish Sea. With the water washing over the rocky shoreline that dominates your eyeline, it’s an intimidating opening hole. 

Get the drive safely away, some 150 yards across a grassy ravine and into the fairway and you're set for a spectacular day. But be prepared to end up in some precarious positions.

Course knowledge is hugely important but the first time you plot your way around will be a treat if you can keep your head together. With the wind howling and the waves crashing, that's easier said than done.

After a testing start, it doesn't get any easier on the second, a mid-iron par-3 that looks daunting from the tee box. It gets a little easier from there, as the course moves away from the cliff edge but by the time you reach the par-five 11th, you'll have to trust your instincts as you drive across an inlet towards the fairway. That the landing area is largely obscured by gorse doesn’t make it any easier. It is perhaps the most difficult but also the most rewarding drive on the course.

Ardglass is as much about location as it is about the stunning nature of the course. Set amid the rugged landscape, the course hugs the dramatic coastline with the Irish Sea in play on no fewer than eight different holes. On a clear day, the eye can see as far as the Isle of Man. And the par-three 12th, reminiscent of the famous seventh hole at Pebble Beach, will take your breath away if it doesn’t cause you to lose your nerve altogether.

Of course the promise of unpredictable weather only adds to the challenge at Ardglass but even in a downpour, it's hard to dampen enthusiasm for a course that you'll want to come back and play again and again.

PHOTO: Ardglass 12th hole, for more information see 

* The views expressed here are those of the author.

    Clubs-And-Travel:Brendan Coffey, Clubs-And-Travel:Course Review, Clubs-And-Travel:Down



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