When one sets foot on the hallowed grounds of Royal Belfast Golf Club, it's not just another round of golf; it's a step back in time. Founded in 1881, this members-only club holds the distinction of being the oldest golf club in Ireland. The present course, inaugurated in 1925, carries the unmistakable mark of legendary course architect H.S. Colt. Teaming up with Walker Cup player W.A. Murray, Colt crafted a course set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Belfast Lough and the Antrim plateau, a panorama that captivates golfers and visitors alike to this day.
Though the landscape alone could steal the show, the course itself refuses to be upstaged. The design has remained largely unchanged since its inception nearly a century ago, which speaks volumes to the timelessness of Colt's work. Impeccable greens are framed by flourishing rhododendrons and gorse, especially resplendent in the springtime. These natural elements not only add visual delight but also present a unique set of challenges that test even the most seasoned golfers. It's no surprise that Royal Belfast has been honoured with awards such as the IGTOA Parkland Golf Course of the Year and The Golfers' Guide to Ireland, Best Parkland Golf Course in Ulster.
The clubhouse, recently refurbished, mirrors the grandeur of the course. Housed in a splendid Victorian edifice, it offers an array of amenities, including a bar, restaurant, and pro shop. All these come together to provide a first-class visitor experience, further bolstered by the club's status as an NI Tourism Quality Assured Club. With such recognition, guests can rest easy knowing that their needs and comfort will be a top priority during their time at Royal Belfast.
So, whether you're a history enthusiast, a connoisseur of course architecture, or simply seeking a superior golfing experience, Royal Belfast Golf Club has something for everyone. Its enduring charm and exacting standards ensure that each visit becomes a cherished memory, a moment in time where the past and present converge in a celebration of the sport we love.