With so many stunning golf courses across Northern Ireland its hard to choose where to start. The Merchant Hotel in the heart of Belfast provides the perfect 5 star base from which to start your exploration of the hundreds of courses on offer. We are happy to welcome golfers and golfing parties at the hotel and offer a range of 5 star services designed exclusively for our golf visitors to make your stay easier.
On your return to The Merchant Hotel after an enjoyable day of golf, why not book into our Spa for a sports massage or hydrotherapy treatment to aid your body’s recovery. With the additional facilities of our rooftop hot tub, sauna and steam room, we provide the perfect environment for rest and recovery at the end of your day.
Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage means you’ll find 10,000 years of history as you explore many of our courses. Ruins of medieval castles, stone farmhouses, ancient walls and bridges are all part of the terrain here. Many of our finest courses have been carved out in the grounds of country estates and our challenging golf courses continue to make history.
148th British Open will be played at Royal Portrush in 2019, marking a historic return to Northern Ireland for golf’s oldest and most international Championship after nearly 70 years. The Open, which was played at Royal Portrush in 1951, when Englishman Max Faulkner lifted the famous Claret Jug, is expected to be the biggest sporting event ever held in Northern Ireland. The north coast town of Portrush will be at the centre of the global sporting spotlight from July 18th to 21st (2019) as The Open is staged outside of Scotland and England for only the second time in the Championship’s more than 150-year history with sports fans from throughout Ireland and around the world expected to descend upon the town.
Royal Portrush Golf Club is the only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship. The Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club ranks amongst the world’s greatest courses. It is a masterpiece of golf course architecture. Unimaginable rough and testing greens, combined with the unpredictable weather of the roaring North Atlantic make this course an admirable test for even the most seasoned golf aficionado.
Royal County Down is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful links settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve. Against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne, the links stretches along the shores of Dundrum Bay, zigzagging back and forth to provide a different vista from virtually every hole.
Founded in 1894, Portstewart Golf Club offers 54 holes of golf spectacularly set on Ulster’s famous Causeway Coast with something for every golfer. The championship links course received its greatest makeover with the purchase of land known as “Thistly Hollow” in 1981. This enabled the club to build a stunning new seven holes through towering dunes and fabulous and natural links land. Designed by Des Giffin the Strand Course is the jewel in the Portstewart portfolio.
Castlerock Golf Club, is a classic links course set amid towering dunes. Close to both Royal Portrush Golf Club and Portstewart Golf Club, Castlerock is a more than worthy neighbour to both of these great Irish links. Founded in April 1901, Ben Sayers was commissioned to design an eighteen hole layout. Sayers produced a superb layout and insisted that the links of Castlerock would equal those at Troon, North Berwick and Sandwich. Castlerock will test every department of your game.
This Harry Colt designed golf course was founded in 1881 and is the oldest golf club in Ireland and forms part of the history of the game on the island. It may be relatively short in the modern era, but dont be fooled into thinking it is nothing more than a walk in the park. A very strong pair of long par fours open and close the front nine, four of the five par threes measure more than 175 yards and two of the final three holes are Par fives. Any under par score will be very hard fought for.
18 hole links course on the north-eastern coast of Ireland with some stunning views and many excellent and unique golf holes. The course hugs the coastline, with no fewer than 8 holes where the coastline comes into play. Ardglass really is a course to savour with some outstanding holes. The 2nd, 11th and the 12th each require a carry across the coastline and cliffs tops of the Irish Sea and rank amoung the best holes in Ireland. The 12th tee, with the backdrop of the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains is to die for.
Malone is a fine championship course situated on 330 acres. Its 27 holes of secluded gently undulating parkland countryside. The centre piece of the course is the beautiful natural trout lake which extends for some 25 acres. The course is a real challenge with mature trees shaping many of the holes with the lake first comes into play on the 13th. Beware the 15th, where the tee shot to a tricky undulating green is over water all the way. Also the 18th is daunting where almost any ball to the right of the green is water bound.