Ardglass Golf Club is well known for extending a warm welcome to its visitors who come from all parts of the world. Many of them make a point of playing Ardglass while visiting Royal County Down Golf Course at Newcastle or Royal Portrush Golf Course on the North Coast. Ardglass Golf Course is an 18-hole links course in a natural setting hugging the north-east coast of Ireland, with stunning views, unique golf holes and memorable people.
With the almost ever-present wind capable of wreaking havoc from any quarter; the hard fairways and the small firm greens, it is just about impossible to play “yardage based” golf on this links. The Irish Sea, which can be seen from all 18 tees and greens, comes into play on no fewer than 8 holes. This is just one of the memorable and unique features of the links at Ardglass Golf Club.
The story of Ardglass Golf Club and links began in 1896, under the leadership of the Rev Thomas MacAfee. The first incarnation was a 7-hole layout with a total length of less than 1000 yards and shoehorned into the area that is now the 1st and 18th fairways. Over the next 100 years our Club leased and then purchased the additional land that stretches out to Ringfad Point and around to the original Coney Island Bay. In 1907 it became a 9-hole links and was basically to remain unaltered for the next 60 years. In the late 1960s, with the additional land, the layout expanded to encompass the first 18-hole layout. A generation later, the latest tranche of land was acquired. The Club developed the lands around Coney Island Bay and remodelled the course to provide the stunningly natural links that’s enjoyed today.
The signature hole has to be the 160-yard Par-3 Second, which plays dramatically over a ravine of jutting rock. It’s named Howd’s Hole and viewing the green from the tee makes it seem small and very distant, but how you score on this hole depends entirely on the wind. Ardglass’ surrounds are what people notice the most however; when you’ve got Royal County Down and Royal Portrush as your neighbours, it’s hard to beat. Ardglass Golf Club presents the fun links that can be enjoyed by everyone, as well as some stunning golf holes that can be played again and again in every type of weather, where you tee-shots won’t be unfairly penalised like on the major Irish courses. Be sure to stop over in the clubhouse after your round, you’ll be greeted by the friendliest people in an old building that’ll leave lasting impressions.
They have the oldest building used as a golf club house in the world. The present building started its existence as a fortified warehouse that operated as a safe haven for 15th century importers and exporters. The initial construction of the castle started no later than 1405 and by the 18th century it was converted into a family home, with a new extension being completed around 1788. Ardglass also has rentals of all kinds including club hire, golf carts, pull trolleys, caddying from forecaddies to senior or junior caddies.
In the bar you’ll find locally brewed beer, the finest pints of Guinness available anywhere in Ireland. Spirits are not lacking, they suggest you try the Irish malt whiskey selection. Ardglass is a working fishing village, and while the snack, lunch and dinner menus are varied and cater for all tastes, you would be foolish to pass up on the opportunity to partake of the fresh fish and seafood that’s always available.