Self Drive Irish Golf Trail - North East Trail
3 Night Trips (August / October 2020)
North East Golf Trail.
The North East offers some wonderful hidden gems and some big name courses and locations. First stop is Co Louth Golf Course in Baltray (venue for Irish Open which Shane Lowry won as an amateur in 2009 and is also a British Open PGA regional qualifying course). We then head up to the Cooley Peninsular staying in the beautiful town of Carlingford playing Greenore GC then crossing by ferry Carlingford Lough from Greenore to Greencastle County Down enjoying the beautiful landscape ‘’where the Mountains ‘o’ Mourne sweep down to the sea’’ to quote Percy French . Royal County Down or Ardglass quality links await you here. Finally you will loop around taking in the one of Ireland’s finest lakeside courses Christy O’Connor Jnr/Snr designed Conquer Wood just outside Castleblaney Co Monaghan.
Golf courses: included are 3 Links courses, Baltray, Royal County Down or Ardglass, Greenore and the Lakeside Woodland course Concra Wood.
♦ Deluxe Trail Package €895 pps ♦ Standard Trail Package €595 pps
Deluxe Trail Package
Deluxe Trail Includes :
1 Night 4* Ghan House Carlingford B&B
2 Nights 4* Slieve Donard Hotel Newcastle Co Down BB
1 Dinner Bay Tree restaurant
4 Rounds Golf at Baltray, Greenore, Royal County Down and Concra Wood
Ghan House, Carlingford
With a restaurant and a cookery school, this family-run Georgian House lies only 50 m from Medieval Carlingford. Overlooking the mountains, it features rooms with family antiques and free Wi-Fi.
Nestled in 2 acres of walled gardens, this listed building welcomes its guests with authentic Georgian ambience. Guests can relax by the log fire in the lounge or have a drink in the intimate bar.
Guest rooms are located in the Garden Annexe a few metres from the main building. All rooms enjoy fine views of Slieve Foy Mountain or The Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough. Each comes with an en suite bathroom with a bathtub and complimentary Handmade Soap Company of Slane' 100% natural toiletries.
The award-winning restaurant serves shellfish from the lough and locally sourced lamb. Bread, ice cream and sauces are made on site and the house even has its own herb and vegetable garden.
Slieve Donard Hotel Newcastle Co Down BB
With stunning views of the County Down coastline and superb spa facilities, including a 20 m pool, the 4-star Slieve Donard Resort & Spa stands in 6 acres of grounds, leading to the Royal County Down Golf Club.
With magnificent views of the Irish Sea and the mountains, the luxury spa has a sauna, a steam room, an aerobics studio and a well-equipped gym.
The beautiful en suite rooms combine classical elegance and modern luxury. Rooms feature satellite TVs, seating areas and WiFi access. Most rooms have breathtaking views of the coastline or the mountains.
With oak panelling and a real fireplace, the grand Oak Restaurant offers superb cuisine, made using only the finest local Irish produce. The hotel also has a bar and a pub-style bistro within the grounds.
Standard Trail Package
Standard Trail Includes :
1 Night 3* Belvedere House Carlingford Dinner B&B
2 Nights 3* Donard Hotel Newcastle Co Down BB
1 Dinner Bay Tree restaurant
4 Rounds Golf at Baltray, Greenore, Ardglass, and Concra Wood
Belvedere House Carlingford
In Carlingford’s centre, Belvedere House offers award-winning local cuisine at its Baytree Restaurant, and elegant, themed rooms with heated towel rails. Guests have access to the adjacent leisure facilities, and free Wi-Fi is provided.
With antique pine furniture, each warmly and individually decorated room features an en suite bathroom with a heated towel rail and power shower. A flat-screen TV and tea/coffee is included in every room.
Specialising in fresh, local seafood and named the best restaurant in Co. Louth, Baytree Restaurant uses Irish ingredients to provide modern Irish cuisine. Organic herbs, lettuce, and mustard is also grown in-house.
Carlingford’s narrow streets and medieval architecture include King John’s Castle, which is just 5 minutes’ walk away. The Holy Trinity Heritage Centre is less than 10 minutes away on foot, and Greenore Golf Club is a 5-minute drive away.
Donard Hotel Newcastle Co Down
Situated in Newcastle, 1.9 km from Tollymore Forest Park, THE DONARD has a restaurant, a bar and a shared lounge.
Guests at the hotel can enjoy a continental or a Full English/Irish breakfast.
Guests at THE DONARD will be able to enjoy activities in and around Newcastle, like cycling and fishing.
Slieve Donard is 3.9 km from the accommodation, while Dundrum Castle is 7 km from the property. The nearest airport is George Best Belfast City Airport, 59 km from THE DONARD.
5 Rounds Golf at Baltray, Greenore, Royal County Down (Deluxe Trail) or Ardglass (Standard Trail) and Concra Wood.
Baltray, County Louth
County Louth’s Golf Club, perhaps better known as ‘Baltray’, is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s finest links. Host to the Nissan Irish Open in 2004 which was an unqualified success, it also hosts the East of Ireland Amateur Championship annually, a 72-hole strokesplay national championship.
It is a true links with many challenges, though still playable and enjoyable by every standard of player. It is an opportunity not to be missed.
Greenore Golf Club is situated on the shores of Carlingford Lough in the heart of the Cooley Peninsula, approximately 19km (12 miles) from both Dundalk and Newry. Enjoy scenic views of the Lough and the Mountains of Mourne. The course is a superb, 18-hole links, which was founded in 1896. It has been enhanced by a magnificent new clubhouse, which offers panoramic views for both members and visitors alike. Visitors/societies are welcome to play at any time but booking is essential, particularly for weekends
Royal County Down (Deluxe Trail Only)
Voted Number 1 in the World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, Golf Digest (2017, 2018, 2019).
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.
The narrowest ribbons of fairways are surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse, so beautiful to look at but so punishing for any who may stray from the prescribed path.
The 'bearded' bunkers are world famous and feature over hanging lips of marram, red fescue and heather. The greens are fast and many are domed, rejecting any shot lacking conviction. This is a true test of any player's command of the traditional bump and run, the preferred way to play links.
The ninth hole is the most photographed holes in world golf. A 486 yard par 4, it is played from one side of a huge mound down to a fairway some 60ft below and 260 yards from the tee. From the bottom of the slope the second shot is played over two bunkers to a raised green.
The finest of all links courses, it offers a stern challenge from the championship tees. The record is 66 set by Ireland's first golfing superstar, Jimmy Burren, in 1939. From the Stableford tees it offers golfers of all standards the opportunity of playing a truly great course with dramatic panorama of the surrounding mountains and coastline.
Ardglass Golf Club (Standard Trail Only)
Ardglass Golf Course is an 18 hole links course on the North-Eastern coast of Ireland with many stunning views and excellent unique golf holes. The course is just 50 minutes by car from Belfast and only 30 minutes from the world renowned Royal County Down Golf links in Newcastle.
The dramatic layout of the course with several tees and greens overlooking the ocean gives it a really rugged feel. It is part links, part cliff-top in nature.
The course is a true test of golf, particularly on a windy day. The course hugs the coastline, with no fewer than 8 holes where the Irish Sea coastline comes into play. The Irish Sea is visible from all 18 tees and greens and on a clear day it is possible to see across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man.
Ardglass is really a course to savor with some outstanding holes. The 1st from the Medal Tee, the daunting 2nd, the unforgiving 11th and the picturesque Par 3 12th each of which requires a carry across the coastline or cliff tops of the Irish Sea.
These rank among the best, the most photographed and talked about golf holes in Ireland.
"The view from the elevated 12th tee, with the backdrop of the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains is to die for."
Ardglass are currently upgrading the course under the guidance of Ken Kearney Design as part of a 5 year plan. During the winter of
2019 – 2020 Ardglass have upgraded holes 4, 11 & 18 as part of the on-going development plan.
In 2015 Ardglass Golf Club were awarded a Bronze Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. In 2019 they went on to win The IAGTO Award for Golf Experience of the year, Northern Ireland.
Concra Wood Golf and Country Club
The golf course at Concra Wood was designed by two of Ireland's golfing legends, Christy O'Connor Junior and Senior. Their names are already embedded in Irish golfing folklore with Christy O'Connor Junior's famous Ryder Cup victory over Fred Couples.
Concrawood is a remarkable landscape which is surrounded by Lough Muckno and an overview of the Monaghan drumlins, it is a jewel not only in the northern part of the country, but Ireland as a whole. Located just 15 minutes off junction 17 on the M1 at Dundalk and one hour from Dublin and Belfast. It will challenge and thrill golfers of all types.
Sight Seeing, Restaurants and things to do on the trail:
Sight-seeing and Restaurants and things to do on the trail:
Many of you will not be too familiar with this part of Ireland. It is beautiful and you will not be disappointed. Please see below our sample itinerary as guide of what you can include:
Day1. Travel to Baltray, Co Louth Golf Course for today’s Golf at the famous links. After golf depart for Carlingford, a journey of around one hour, check in at you accommodation choice Belvedere House or Ghan House. Evening dinner included in the Bay Tree restaurant. For an atmosphere filled pub try PJs in the town centre. Depending on you travel time from Baltray you could stop at Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant en route located off main road to Carlingford in Jenkinstown. Also enjoy the Cooley Mountains as you drive; visit ring of Gullion an ancient historic site. Day 1 Drive Distance (75km plus from your start point to Baltray)
Day 2. Morning – Golf in Greenore GC, a 15min drive from your accommodation. After golf and refreshments take the Greenore to Greencastle car Ferry (Euro 15 one-way) – this sails every hour on the hour up to 21.00. On arrival take the scenic drive along the Mourne Mountains to Newcastle. Check in at 4* Slieve Donard (D) or the Donard Hotel 3* (S). Evening; try Brunels Restaurant in Newcastle - its excellent. There are some great local food and drink produce to try locally -Killowen Distillery
Whiskey and Gin a must! Day 2 Drive Distance (30km approx.)
Day 3. Golf today in Royal County Down (D) or Ardglass (S). RCD is rated solidly in the top 10 courses in the world and probably the top links. It is an amazing experience but not really recommended for very high handicappers. Ardglass is a gorgeous links course with some great holes with spectacular views and is more playable for higher handicappers than RCD. After golf return to Newcastle to enjoy the local hospitality. Why not relax in a seaweed bath in the Soak Seaweed Baths on South Promenade great for after golf! Evening; try the Vanilla restaurant in Newcastle (great Value) or the Mourne seafood bar in Dundrum which is a short drive away with outstanding seafood. Day 3 Drive Distance (30km approx. if Ardglass Golf).
Day 4. Morning: Travel to Concra Wood through Newry travel time 1 hour 25 mins. Drive Distance (85km approx.). Lunch before play with afternoon tee time. This course designed by Christy OConnor Jnr and ably assisted by his father Christy Snr. It is a superb championship course which will leave you with a must play again feeling! You will experience some spectacular views of Lough Muckno one of Irelands lesser known lakes but no less impressive. Please note we recommend you pre book a buggy for this course. Tour finishes here but why not take in Newgrange Passage tomb on the way home. For some the last visit here was probably on a primary school day trip! Another visit here is a must to take in the awe of this World heritage site established over 5200 years ago.