Scenic Ardglass Golf Club in Northern Ireland honored as the "Links" of the Year by Irish Tour Operators
Once my review of Ardglass Golf Club was published, I got a scathing comment from a fellow golf writer saying that Ardglass was a nice “holiday course” and didn’t deserve the praise I heaped upon it.
I saw his point. Ardglass Golf Club is no Royal County Down or Royal Portrush, the two storied links of Northern Ireland. It’s a short par-70 playing just 6,268 yards with a handful of so-so holes. But he failed to see my point.
Ardglass is a one-of-a-kind golf experience anybody who plays it will cherish. It’s cool to begin and end the day in a former castle that is now the oldest clubhouse in the world. From the first tee shot, a knee-knocker along the cliffs (see below), to the last approach, a downhill beauty in the shadow of the clubhouse, Ardglass inspires and dazzles, dancing along the cliffs of the Irish Sea.
It doesn’t surprise me that Ardglass was just named the Irish Golf Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) Links Golf Course of the Year 2011. The course is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
I was flattered that Club Captain Cormac MacMullan told me he used some quotes from my story in his acceptance speech. I played golf with MacMullan (see him above) when I visited the club in 2010, and we’ve become friends in the game. He, like many other members, is so proud of the little club that could.
Business at Ardglass increased 20 percent from 2010 to 2011. MacMullan said the club hopes for a 30-percent increase next year. Ardglass Golf Club is a member of North & West Coast Links Ireland, a group of 11 of the finest links golf courses spread across Ireland and Northern Ireland that was named the “European Golf Destination of the Year 2011″ at the International Golf Travel Market Convention.
Ardglass will probably never become a “trophy” course for a first-time visitor to the Emerald Isle, but those of us who know better, we understand how special this little speck of the golf world really is.
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