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Golf Australia Express : Issue2
Dating from 1889, this is one of the oldest golf clubs in the UK and at over 6500 metres from the tips, this course is a brute. With rugged sand dunes, a landscape beautifully clad in purple heather and yellow gorse, and a reputation as having one of the finest outward nine holes in golf, it’s a mystery to many this brilliant course has never hosted a British Open. Add the ever-changing winds sweeping across the Irish Sea, the mighty peak of Slieve Donard (3000ft) shading the nearby town of Newcastle and you can start to imagine how perfect the location is for a classic British Open. Although overlooked to date, Royal County Down does have ties to golf’s oldest major. Old Tom Morris—a pioneer of golf and a four-time Open winner—is credited for the superb layout here. There are nine courses in the current rota to host The Open Championship. Five are in Scotland (St Andrews, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Turnberry and Royal Troon) and four in England (Royal St George’s, Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham & St Annes and Royal Liverpool). We went in search of a 10th course in the British Isles fit to host a major... NOT (YET) BRITISH OPEN COURSES 5 BEST LIST THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN GOLF CLUB NORTHERN IRELAND Course images courtesy David Scaletti Photography