142 Main Rd, Cloughey,
nr Newtownards, Co. Down BT22 1JA
18 holes. Seaside links. Undulating terrain - several slopes to climb.
24 miles SE of Belfast
From Newtownards (east of Belfast) take the A20 south, direction Portaferry. After 10 miles (and just after the village of Kircubbin) take the B173 (Rubane Road) direction Cloughey. After 4 miles turn right onto A2 / Main Road. After o.4 miles turn right into golf club.
Kirkistown Castle Golf Club: Perhaps not hailed as one of Braid's masterpieces, but for lovers of links golf, Kirkistown Castle is well worth a visit. Although most of the course appears to be played on flattish open links terrain, with only a few gorse bushes dotted around, there are two small hills (not so small when you climb up them for the fifth time) on which several greens and elevated tee-boxes are perched, and from which the best of the sea views are found. The par-4 12th links the two hills - the tee-box on one, the green on the other. On the same hill as the 12th (and 2nd) greens, you'll also find a watchtower, quite ancient and (one imagines) a remaining part of Kirkistown Castle.
Complementing the occasional sea views are equally pleasant views over rural farmland. The top-quality greens here are usually hard and fast, with maintenance on the rest of the course being a tad rustic at times. Definitely a links course that grows on you as the subtleties of the natural landscape, Braid's design and the slightly better back-nine unfolds - assuming, that is, you are not being blown off your feet by the wind !
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.
Must book in advance.
Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].
Players generally walk this course.
Kirkistown's first greenkeeper, Frank Polley, held the position for almost 50 years (he retired in 1952), during which time he extended the course from its original 9-holes to the present 18-holes (in 1929). The legendary James Braid (who is generally credited with "designing" the course) visited Kirkistown Castle for a day in 1934. He spent the morning marking out alterations to tees and greens and the afternoon positioning and shaping bunkers.
The Strand, Portaferry BT22 1PE
+44 (0)28 4272 8231Visit website
26 - 28 Quay Street, Bangor, Co. Down BT20 5ED
+44 (0)28 9127 1866Visit website
Royal Belfast; The Knock; Belvoir Park; Kirkistown Castle (25 miles); Malone (25 miles).
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