Royal County Down (Annesley Links)

Royal County Down (Annesley Links)

Royal County Down (Annesley Links)

Royal County Down (Annesley Links) | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

 It’s safe to say that Royal County Down is blessed. The Annesley Links is the shorter of the two courses at the Northern Irish venue, but it still packs a punch.  
Donald Steel, along with MacKenzie & Ebert, are the trio responsible for this wonderful layout. The course plays among the dunes, and although it is only a par 65, don’t be fooled – you still might struggle! 
The Annesley Links is one of two golf courses at the famous Royal County Down. The Championship Links at the Northern Irish venue is the top-ranked course on the NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses list. 
Visit the Royal County Down (Annesley Links) website here.  

A Brief History of Royal County Down (Annesley Links)

 The Royal County Down Golf Club was founded in 1889. It was initially established as a nine-hole course designed by Old Tom Morris. The following year, Morris oversaw an expansion to 18 holes, creating the routing of the Championship Links which still exists to this day.  
The club received its 'Royal' designation when the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) became its patron. Since then, it has been officially known as the Royal County Down Golf Club and has been frequently seen as the best course in Ireland, as well as being one of the best golf courses in the world. 
Donald Steel was the designer of the Annesley Links at Royal County Down, with the duo of MacKenzie & Ebert coming in to revise the course. The layout was extended in 1995, with more changes coming around a decade later.  

Royal County Down (Annesley Links) Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Most would describe the Annesley Links as the secondary layout at Royal County Down behind the Championship Course. That might well be the case, but that does not mean that the Annesley Links is a pushover. It is only a par 66 layout, but the course has been carved into the same dunescape as its bigger brother, and offers a real challenge, while golfers enjoy panoramic views of the bay.  
Only one of the 18 holes hits 400 yards from the back tees, with that coming as the last of the opening four par 4 holes. The 3rd, which precedes it, is the hardest hole on the course. There are only two par 3s on the front nine – coming at the 5th and 9th – with the latter being the shortest hole on the course at just 124 yards. 
“The far end of the course wraps around into some beautiful terrain behind the biggest dunes at the end of the main links, and the tiny greens and ample bunkering are perfectly scaled for its length,” - Tom Doak in ‘The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses: Great Britain & Ireland 
It is the holes around the turn that are being talked about by Doak, while the closing nine on the Annesley Links has back-to-back par 3s on two occasions. The 16th and 17th are both 160 yards, but offer two very different challenges as you try and keep a good score going through the closing stages. The final hole on the Annesley is the easiest hole on the card. At just 315 yards from the tips, some may think about taking this on, but for most it will be a fairway wood or long iron before a short shot into the green. A true birdie chance to finish your round. 

"The Mountains of Mourne provide an ever present backdrop, the sea can be viewed from so many points and the land form and wonderful mix of vegetation throughout the links lead to it being such a special place in the golfing world. However, there are a number of views from the Annesley that could be considered to be the equal of any to be found on the Championship links." - Course designer Martin Ebert on the Annesley Links

FAQs about Royal County Down (Annesley Links)

Where is Royal County Down (Annesley Links) located?  
Royal County Down is located in the southeastern corner of Northern Ireland, on the coastline of the Irish Sea. It is part of the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and offers views over to the Isle of Man. It is based in the town of Newcastle, with the capital city of Belfast less than an hour north.  
The capital city is home to two airports – Belfast International and Belfast City. The former is the larger and busier of the two and is one of the ten busiest airports in the United Kingdom. Both sit just over an hour away from Royal County Down, with Belfast International to the northwest of the city. 

What golf facilities does Royal County Down (Annesley Links) offer?
As well as the Annesley Links, Royal County Down is also the home to the world-famous Championship Links, which occupies the top spot on the NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses list.  
Away from the two spectacular courses, Royal County Down also has a large driving range on the western side of the property, with target greens to help dial in the iron game. There is also a signature short game area, along with a putting green by the first tee of both courses. 

What are the green fees at Royal County Down (Annesley Links)?
The price of a green fee at Royal County Down (Annesley Links) 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 County Down (Annesley Links), visit their website here
Visit the Royal County Down (Annesley Links) website here