Castlerock (Bann)

Nearby Courses

Castlerock (Mussenden)

6 miles away

Royal Portrush (Dunluce)

7 miles away

Royal Portrush (Valley Links)

For setting alone, it is hard to beat Royal Dublin, which stands on the golf-course-sized Bull Island and is accessed by a rickety wooden bridge. The home club of Christy O’Connor Snr dates back to 1885. O’Connor Snr was club professional here at Ireland’s oldest club. During that time he played in 10 consecutive Ryder Cups for GB&I. The club moved to its current location in 1889, with the links designed by the peerless Harry Colt after the war in 1920. In recent years, Martin Hawtree has provided a modernising input.

It’s almost 7,300 yards from the tips. The front nine, normally played downwind, is considerably longer, on the scorecard at least, than the back nine. You wouldn’t think it, though, because the challenge really begins on the 10th tee, the first of a collection of brutishly testing par 4s on the run for home.

The most memorable hole on the course is surely the last. You can see the green from the tee on this long par 4. But the problem is that the large practice ground lies between you and the target. There are shades of Hoylake about the resultant right-angle dogleg. It ensures you must tiptoe your way home with an internal out-of-bounds to your right for the duration of the hole. It’s a nerve-shredding way to finish.