Ardglass Golf Club is, quite simply, one of the most spectacular courses on the Irish coastline, with dramatic elevation changes offering views of the Irish Sea from every hole along the cliffs to a craggy headland then back again.
Ardglass was formed in 1896 when members fashioned a 7-hole course, very soon after extending it to 9-holes. It wasn’t until 1970 that the course was extended to its’ current 18-hole layout.
Shortly after the club’s Centenary in 1996, a decision was made to remove three holes, the back-to-back par five 5th and 6th, along with the short 17th, and replace them with three exciting new holes at the furthest point from the clubhouse, creating a wonderful new and dramatic loop of holes.
Six holes are authentic undulating linksland, the other dozen are meadows and parkland. But virtually the entire eighteen is routed over high ground, with views across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man, down over Coney Island Bay, and south to the Mountains of Mourne.
The signature hole on the course is played early – the 167-yard par three 2nd, called “Howd’s Hole” where the tee shot is played across a rocky inlet to a seemingly small, distant putting surface. Another thrilling par three is the 12th, called “Cathlin” which is played from an elevated tee way above the green located 198 yards away on the edge of the rocky headland.
The clubhouse is historic and special as well. A 14th century castle that was once the home of the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Kildare. It now stands as the oldest golf clubhouse in use in the world.