Royal County Down
Designer: Old Tom Morris / Harry Vardon / Harry S. Colt
Length: 7,186 yards
Royal County Down was designed by Old Tom Morris in 1890 and renovated by Harry Colt in 1926, removing many of the blind shots and redesigning the greens. He was blessed to have an incredible piece of land to work with, with towering dunes decorated with purple heather and yellow gorse. Royal County Down is a visually stunning course, certainly one of the prettiest in the UK.
Measuring more than 7,000 yards from the back tees, Royal County Down is a brute. However, the collection of brilliant holes makes the course incredibly fun to play and it is, perhaps, the best course in all of the British Isles and certainly one of the best in the world.
The course still has a level of quirkiness; there are still a number of blind drives and some of the bunkers are fringed with coarse grass, which gathers the ball with alarming regularity, but this simply adds to the charm. If a measure of a great golf course is the number of holes that you can remember, then Royal County Down is one of the greatest courses of them all.