Royal Belfast

Royal Belfast

Nearby Courses

9 miles away

Belvoir Park

11 miles away

Malone (Championship)

29 miles away


Royal Belfast

Royal Belfast | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Royal Belfast lays claim to being one of the oldest clubs in Ireland, and the club dates back to 1881, before being granted ‘Royal’ status just four years later. 
After changing location twice, Harry Colt designed the current 18-hole layout, which opened at Craigavad in 1926.  
Today, the course plays at a mere 6,300 yards, but with the backdrop of the Irish Sea and with views over to Carrickfergus Castle to accompany you through the middle part of your round.  
Visit the Royal Belfast website here.  

A Brief History of Royal Belfast

Founded in 1881, Royal Belfast can safely lay claim to being one of the oldest clubs in all of Ireland, with a 6-hole course being laid out by the end of the year. 
Just four years later, following a visit to the club from the Prince of Wales (who would become King Edward VIII), the club received its ‘Royal’ tag. 
With the club's membership growing, Royal Belfast had to move in 1892, before moving again after the First World War. 
The great Harry Colt designed an 18-hole layout in Craigavad, which opened in 1926, and Royal Belfast has called this course home for almost a century. 

Royal Belfast Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

The course, designed by Harry Colt, sits on the coastline of the Irish Sea, with views over the water to Carrickfergus Castle. It is not the longest course that you will find on the NCG Top 100s: Ireland list, coming in at just over 6,300 yards from the championship blue tees. However, this Par 70 layout is a tricky one to get round. With five par 3s and three par 5s, the short holes are key to making a good score at Royal Belfast. 
A trio of par 4s kick off this Colt layout at Royal Belfast, the first of which plays as a slight dog-leg left, with a pair of bunkers in the left side of the fairway that must be avoided. The 2nd has three fairway bunkers – two left and one right – with a fairway that pinches in at the landing zone. The 3rd is the shortest of the opening three, at just 370 yards, but there are six greenside bunkers, which surround the green.  
4 is the shortest hole on the course at just 140 yards, but with four bunkers to miss, and a small putting surface, it is not an easy hole to navigate. At 553 yards, the 5th is a long par 5 that only the big hitters will be able to reach with their second shot. The 6th plays as a dog-leg right but at only 350 yards, some may try and take the corner on. 7 is a par 3, and another that has four bunkers around the green. 8 and 9 bring the front nine to a close, as a pair of tricky par 4s. The former takes you towards the coastline, while the 9th plays with the coastline on its left side, though the longer hitters will have no worries about pulling their drives into the Irish Sea. 
The back nine begins with a short par 4. At just 310 yards, the longest hitters might be tempted to go for the green with their tee shot, but for us mere mortals, a long iron and a wedge will do the job. The 11th is an uphill par 3 that is semi-blind, and plays with the water at your back. The hole received worldwide fame when it was featured in the ‘Golf’s Greatest Holes’ programme on Sky Sports, hosted by Chris Hollins and featuring former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. 
12 and 13 are vastly different par 4s. The former requires two big hits to reach the green for most, while the 13th is a shorter hole, where accuracy and tactical thinking are needed. There are seven bunkers dotted around the 14th, but only four of those should come into play. 15 is a narrow par 4 with plenty of sand trouble on the right side of the fairway, with the approach then played over a small road.  
Royal Belfast finishes with a pair of par 5s and a par 3 in between them. The 16th is the shortest par 5 on the course at just 483 yards, but blasting driver down there might not be the play. No fewer than eight fairway bunkers await anything slightly offline, which will stop you going for the green in two. 17 plays slightly shorter than its carded yardage of 195, playing slightly downhill, while the closing hole is another par 5 that can yield a birdie chance or two. 510 yards from the tips, and if you can miss the solitary fairway bunker on the left, the 18th is very reachable. 

FAQs about Royal Belfast

Where is Royal Belfast located?  
Royal Belfast is, as you would expect, in close proximity to the Northern Irish capital. It is situated between Belfast and Bangor on the eastern coastline of Northern Ireland, and it is just a minute from the A2, which runs between Newry in the south all the way through to Londonderry in the northwest.  
Thanks to its location, Belfast City Airport is just five miles from Royal Belfast Golf Club. Belfast International, which is the busiest airport in Northern Ireland, is 25 miles from the course, on the opposite side of the Northern Irish capital. Both Cultra and Seahill are within minutes of Royal Belfast, with both stations on the Belfast-Bangor line. Trains run in both directions frequently each day.  

What golf facilities does Royal Belfast offer?
There is not a driving range as such at Royal Belfast, but there is a space in the middle of the course for practice. Located between the 1st, 2nd and 18th holes is a space long enough for players to hit long irons should they wish, along with two chipping areas, both of which have their own practice bunkers. A large putting green by the 1st tee allows golfers to practice with the flat stick before taking to the course.  

What are the green fees at Royal Belfast?
The price of a green fee at Royal Belfast changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend.  
For more information on current green fees at Royal Belfast, visit their website here
Visit the Royal Belfast website here