Golfing on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast |

North Ireland it is a fantastic place to visit. The golf is first class, there is wonderful scenery, a remarkable history and you are blessed with a legendary warm welcome.

There are some excellent inland courses, including Galgorm Castle and the Loch Erne Resorthowever, many golfers flock to the causeway coast to enjoy some brilliant links.

Various routes can be selected to enjoy this extraordinary stretch of coastline depending on your needs.

I went with a golf buddy to enjoy a nice round from Derry/Londonderry in the west tracing a route to the impressive Giant’s Causeway along the coast in the east.

The star attraction of this tour would be Royal Portrushhost to the Open Championship in 2019 and again in 2025, but instead we play against its closest neighbours, the fine links courses in rock castle Y portstewart. For comparison, we begin our tour at the hotel’s park field, roe park.

golf roe park

Located on the outskirts of the historic market town of Limavady, this is a four star hotel with associated sports and spa facilities including a driving range and 18 hole course on site which is highly recommended by the Golfshake community. .

Although it looked like a quiet course from the view of the fairways below the first tee, it was by no means easy. It was difficult to hit the semi-rigid from any distance, and the first few holes were played long. A highlight hole of the round came as soon as the third, a 203-yard par three over water and seemingly always in a breeze. A pair here would feel like a birdie, no doubt!

The course followed low ground in addition to the river before turning uphill on the fifth, which we found to be the choice of par fours on the front nine.

The course then took us further up the hill behind the hotel, beginning with the short but tricky par three 6 with a MacKenzie-style green that is out of sight from the tee below.

The views are fabulous from here, over Lough Foyle and the Inishowen Peninsula.

The back nine was arguably the strongest, with some longer and more challenging par threes and the best hole on the course, 15. Some say it’s a risk-reward hole just 260 yards off a high tee, but actually a driver is a dangerous and perhaps reckless choice. If you miss right, you’ll be in the drink: a deep pond lurks in a hidden valley from the tee. Put your ego aside and choose a medium iron instead.

The 17th, another excellent 202-yard par three, creates a beautiful final hole where one of the best meals in the clubhouse awaited.

Portstewart Golf

Northern Ireland’s rugged coastline is stunning, as is the cluster of golf courses that take center stage on any golf trip.

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Portstewart has 54 holes winding through rugged dunes with the selection of courses being the thread.

It is one of the jewels of golf courses and, as a result, commands a hefty green fee from the visitors who flock to it regardless.

It’s a busy place, but extremely well run, with stewards keeping pace with the game to avoid any annoying bottlenecks.

During our visit in August, the greens were slow; the caddies said it was to avoid getting burned, but we suspect it was part of the plan to keep the players moving at a decent pace.

That said, this was a fantastic course and definitely one for the bucket list.

The view from the elevated first tee over the massive sand dunes below and beyond is well documented. But if you don’t have time to take it all in, hopefully you’ll have by 2, because this one takes the cake.

If you’re not playing off the white tees, it’s worth doing here, just for the view. What a big hole. A short par four requiring a well-placed tee shot to the right followed by a deft medium to short iron to a small, elevated, undulating green protected by a cavernous, riveted bunker to the right. This is the stuff that great links are made of.

The stage is now set for some wonderful golf holes whose names tell fascinating stories of the legends of this ancient landscape.

There are too many highlights to mention them all. The holes that stand out after the fabulous initial par are the 8, a pronounced dogleg to the left that requires a fairway wood from the tee and a very precise approach that needs to avoid a series of bunkers that protect the green.

The 11th has a series of fairway bunkers to the left and an elevated green that can make you look very silly if you shoot short and find your ball rolling towards your feet.

The par threes are particularly strong, particularly the 6 where you really need to hit the green to avoid the chance of a double bogey as you are so high above your surroundings.

castlerock golf course

After witnessing the majesty of Portstewart, golfers can be forgiven for thinking that Castlerock will play second fiddle. However, it could be said that it is the same and it is another essential golf course on the Costa de la Calzada.

The clubhouse lacks the hustle and bustle of its nearest neighbor, but don’t be fooled, the Mussenden course is great.

Robust and wild, it will make all golf lovers salivate. Right from the start, you are in the desert with stunning views all around you.

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A short walk from the 16th green to the top of the hill to the 17th tee brings you to a classic vantage point overlooking much of the course, the rolling coastline and the River Bann estuary. No wonder the club has installed its nameplate on a rock right here. Few will resist a pause for a photocall.

There is much more to admire than the views. Some cracking holes, like the par three 4th, which is played from a slightly elevated tee to the green some 184 yards away and gets you in the mood. A straight shot is required – there’s an OB to the right by the train tracks, a burn running to the left, and several greenside bunkers for good measure.

Sixth is a beauty with great views of Bann again and that subtle burn passes in front of the green.

The second par three in the first half is the 9th, which is one of several contenders for the signature hole. It is long at 193 yards from the white tees and is surrounded by problems, including a swamp and an old quarry.

Our favorites on the back nine were the downhill par fives 17 and 18, which require total precision off the tee and on the approach to the elevated green.

A beautiful natural course in excellent condition, one we would happily play on every week.

Far from the Golf Course

Northern Ireland is blessed with tourist attractions that celebrate the wonders of nature from the Giant’s Causeway (where advance reservations are essential) to fantasy Game of Thrones filming locations and fascinating history both ancient and new in the walled city. from Derry/Londonderry and the capital Belfast, which is home to the Titanic Belfast visitor experience.

For detailed information on what Northern Ireland has to offer traveling golfers, visit

A wide range of accommodation is available, including the fabulous Blackrock House, an award-winning luxury B&B in Portrush.

Check out our travel partner golf breaks for golf packages

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