Jan 6th, 2016
Royal County Down Wins
Award for top course in the world.
Words: The Brigadier
Royal County Down has been named the world’s best golf course by Golf Digest.
The links course hosted the Irish Open for the first time in 76 years in 2015 and beat off fierce competition from famous clubhouses in America, Australia and Scotland for the number one spot.
Perhaps most notably, Royal County Down beat Augusta in their annual rankings, which has to take some doing.
The 200 strong judging panel praised the links layout as a deserving winner of the No 1 accolade and says seaside courses are returning to popularity.
The mag said: "That includes Northern Ireland's Royal County Down, a surprising though deserving new No 1, replacing New Jersey's Pine Valley, which has plenty of sand but no ocean and is now No 3 on our exclusive list.
"Royal County Down, on rugged, windblown topography along the Irish Sea and beneath the Mountains of Mourne, features snarling bunkers edged by marram grass and dates from 1889."
Meanwhile poor Old St Andrews Old Course can only muster eighth place. We’d heard it’s quite good.
Golf Digest’s Top 10 Golf Courses:
1. Royal County Down (Ireland)
2. Augusta National (Georgia)
3. Pine Valley (New Jersey)
4. Cypress Point Club (California)
5. Royal Dornoch (Scotland)
6. Royal Melbourne (Australia)
7. Shinnecock Hills (New York)
8. The Old Course at St Andrews (Scotland)
9. Muirfield (Scotland)
10. Merion (Pennsylvania).
Our congratulations to Royal County Down: we can’t wait to get back there.