Royal Belfast Golf Club is one of only four Irish golf clubs with a Royal’ prefix and it was founded in November 1881 making it Ireland’s oldest golf club. In 1885, the club became Royal” after the Prince of Wales (subsequently King Edward VII) was invited to become its Patron during a visit to Ireland. In 1892, as the game grew in popularity, the course became overcrowded and the club relocated to a new 9-hole course in Carnalea, near Bangor. After World War 1, the club moved to Craigavad House on the shores of Belfast lough and in 1925, the famous course architect H S Colt was appointed to design the layout of the new 18-hole course, which opened a year later. The Club is located on the shores of Belfast Lough minutes from Belfast city centre, The George Best City Airport and Belfast Harbour. The course remains much the same today as it was then, a tribute to the enduring excellence of its original design. No matter the season, the course is meticulously maintained with impeccable greens. The groves of Rhododendrons and gorse provide a colourful backdrop in Spring with views over Belfast Lough and the Antrim plateau beyond. Royal Belfast provides a stern golfing challenge, as there is the requirement for accuracy rather than length. The numerous bunkers and subtly sloped greens makes a low score a difficult feat. Amongst the more memorable holes on the front nine are the short Par 3 4th hole. It only measures 142 yards, but requires a very accurate shot to a green, literally surrounded by bunkers. The 9th hole, a relatively short Par4, is rated the most difficult on the course, plays alongside the shores of Belfast Lough. The homeward journey will not disappoint either. The signature 11th hole is a testing par 3. Miss the green and you could find your ball roll down the slope with an extremely difficult second. The final three holes will test your score and your patience. Every hole is a pleasure to play. In recent years, The Royal Belfast Golf Club has undergone an extensive renovation programme, creating one of the premier Golf Clubs in Ireland, where Visitors are assured a warm welcome and first class service. Green fees can be paid on line via the website. There are buggies, electric trolleys and clubs for hire via the Professional shop if required.