Link up with golf along the Causeway Coast this summer
Sample the best of the north coast's famous fairways in the aftermath of the Irish Open.
Portstewart’s well-known links provided a scenic backdrop for the Irish Open last week, with the global event being broadcast on TV screens around the world and putting the Causeway Coast's famous fairways in the spotlight.
There is a certain spring in the golfing step in Northern Ireland, with renowned courses and the warmth of the hospitality at the 19th hole in Portstewart positioning the region as a must-visit golfing destination.
Northern Ireland turf is also a cradle for golfing champions. Global superstars Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell all grew up with great courses on their doorsteps. The continued success of these golfing heroes is encouraging avid golf fans and beginners to sink a putt this summer.
If you’re keen to follow the best known names in golf, you can start by stepping onto the most renowned opening hole in Ireland at Portstewart Golf Club. With the Old Course challenging players since 1984, you can walk the footsteps of golfing legends along this three-course feast.
The Causeway Coast’s rugged shoreline gives players the opportunity to really put your skills to the test amongst rolling dunes, endless sea views, crisp sea air and twisting terrain.
A stone’s throw from Portstewart is the world-famous Royal Portrush, the venue of the 2019 Open Championship. Renowned course architect, Harry Colt, once remarked that Royal Portrush was ‘his best layout ever.’
You won’t regret bracing the sea wind and ticking this big-name off your bucket list. To make sure of a round on this legendary course – plan and book your stand-out trip and tee time well in advance.
The best insider tip for Championship courses is to hire a caddie. It’s not something regular golfers do every day, so it will make your experience extra special. A local expert will advise you to drive the ball low and straight under the wind when needed, ensuring you have a scorecard to talk about.
If the Irish Open has left you thinking golf is all about bunkers, bogies and birdies – think again. Tear yourself away from the plentiful Causeway Coast fairways and be sure to reward your hard-fought 18 holes with a tipple at the Old Bushmills Distillery. You can soak up the associated sights and distinctive smells of the working distillery, while indulging in one of Northern Ireland’s most successful whiskey exports.
Aside from the renowned global courses, lesser known must-play rounds in the region include the historic Ballycastle Golf Club, combing links and parkland thrills. Similarly the sandy Castlerock Golf Club, reported as Ireland’s ‘hidden gem’ for links golf on the Coast. Both are situated on the cusp of unique seaside towns with activities to fulfil a family golfing getaway.
You can continue to breathe in natural air and enjoy the buzz of outdoor activities along the Coastal Route. Ignite you senses by crossing the iconic Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge over Atlantic breakers or uncover waterfalls on the Glenariff Nature Reserve Waterfalls Walk.
The Causeway Coast has a fantastic selection of ‘Stay and Play’ options to suit a range of budgets, many also have sumptuous spas for relaxing at the end of your winning round and offer the best of the local cuisine and packages for the whole-family.
Visit DiscoverNorthernIreland.com to plan your golfing getaway.
- Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
Inspired by Rome’s Temple of Vesta, Mussenden Temple is located in the surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock in County Londonderry. It perches dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast. Plan a hike and look out at the far-reaching views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and County Donegal and to the east Castlerock beach towards Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.
- Rathlin - An Island Adventure
Turn island explorer and set sail for Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island, Rathlin. Delve into the only ‘upside down’ lighthouse in Ireland and search wonderful wildlife – an experience for all the family.
- Aquaholics Dive Centre and Sea Safari
This Portstewart activity offers ‘Try a Dive’ sessions in the sea for complete beginners - and can take the more experienced to some fascinating finds. On a 1.5 hour special trip you can experience the Giants Causeway from the sea, Dunluce Castle and the seals at the Skerries.
Belfast Telegraph Digital