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Causeway Coast and Glens: the best golf courses

Portstewart Golf Club 1
The dunes dominate the front 9 at Portstewart Golf Club

The Causeway Coast and Glens is a place of incredible beauty and adventure but it’s also one of the best places to play golf. 

This part of Northern Ireland is perhaps best known for hosting The Open Championship in 2019 when Royal Portrush won the hearts of so many golfers around the world. But that is just the start. Here we look at the courses you simply must not miss. 

This region is rich not only in memorable golf experiences but packed full of fantastic things to do away from the course, whether you’re keen to take in some of the historic wonders on this coast or just sample the best of the local food and drink scene. 

If you’re looking to plan your very own Causeway Coast and Glens golf trip, then look no further. We’ve got you covered. 

Causeway Coastal Route
The Causeway Coastal Route is one of the world’s great roadtrips
  1. Portstewart
    This is one of the very best links courses on the island of Ireland with towering sand dunes and a front-9 that is famous the world over. Jon Rahm won the Irish Open here and is a huge fan of the links and the view from the 1st tee of The Strand Course may just be the best of its kind anywhere in the world. There are three courses at Portstewart Golf Club, with The Riverside Course and The Old Course, providing slightly more gentle examinations of your capabilities. A stunning place.

    The stone which sits near the 17th tee at Castlerock
    The stone which sits near the 17th tee at Castlerock
  2. Castlerock
    Separated from Portstewart by the width of the River Bann, Castlerock has a magic all of its own and provides a stern test from first to last. The Mussenden Course is the main event here, with more dunes, some brilliant par-3s and views to die for. If you have time, don’t miss the 9-hole Bann Course, which is a real gem, especially if you are travelling as a family and want to find somewhere for the kids to play.

    The 5th green at Royal Portrush
    The 5th green at Royal Portrush
  3. Royal Portrush
    What more can you say about this golfing mecca? The iconic Dunluce Links played host to The Open in 2019, when Shane Lowry so famously lifted The Claret Jug. The Valley Links is also a great test of golf if you are looking to play 36 holes.
    Royal Portrush 2019 Open
    Royal Portrush on the eve of the 2019 Open Championship
  4. Galgorm Castle
    Situated inland, close to the town of Ballymena, Galgorm Castle is a proper golf course which demands your best golf. We played in the ISPS Handa World Invitational Pro-Am here and from the back tees, this is a fearsome test. The greens are lightening quick, there is plenty of water and the facilities are nothing short of excellent. Beautiful hotel too.

  5. Ballyreagh Golf Club
    Driving along the Causeway Coastal Route, Ballyreagh caught our eye just because of how popular and laid back it was. This is not a course that will ever host the world’s best players but if you are looking for a golf course where you can relax, have some fun with friends and play right along the cliff tops, this 9-hole par-3 layout may just be for you.

    The Bann Course at Castlerock Golf Club
    The Bann Course at Castlerock Golf Club
  6. Ballycastle Golf Club
    Ballycastle sits on a particularly spectacular stretch of coastline and the golf course is well known for being one of the most scenic in Northern Ireland. Part Links, part parkland, this is a real blend of a course with something for everyone. The views are stunning with Rathlin Island and even the western isles of Scotland visible on a clear day.

Where to stay on the Causeway Coast and Glens

We stayed at the Me & Mrs Jones hotel right in the thick of the action in Portstewart. It’s a 5-minute drive to Portstewart Golf Club and about 20 minutes from the likes of Castlerock Golf Club and, of course, Royal Portrush. The decor is vibrant and fun and the restaurant, bar and beer garden is always buzzing. It also has its own private car park at the rear of the hotel .

Where to eat on the Causeway Coast

If you are staying in Portstewart there is a fantastic Italian restaurant called Amici Ristorante and an excellent tapas place called Ocho. Both both Portrush and Porstewart have some fantastic places to eat. 

Ben is the founder of The Wandering Golfers. He grew up on the links of Scotland learning the game from his beloved Grandpa. He spent more than a decade as a sports writer and broadcaster for The Times and BBC

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