Kirkistown Castle golf club Down

Kirkistown Castle golf course Down

Kirkistown Castle Golf Course

Kirkistown Castle Club Crest

Kirkistown Castle is the closest true links course to Belfast and was re-designed by the legendary James Braid in 1934. It consists of two nine-hole loops which both start and end back at the clubhouse. The 2nd, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 16th holes are played to elevated greens which is a special feature of this links course. The Par 70 course at 6,170 yds is longer than many courses with a Par of 71. The 10th hole Par 5 with out of bounds all along the left and a small, elevated pulpit green remains a true challenge guarded by gorse and rough on both sides.

Being at the seaside, wind is usually another ‘hazard’ that has to overcome but this helps to make every day a new and different challenge.  Kirkistown Castle offers visitors a warm and friendly welcome and the chance to play “The Open” style links golf at affordable green fee rates. Its sandy base guarantees that the course is playable virtually 365 days a year without the need for temporary greens or course closures for days or even weeks on end. 
If you like Links golf you will love Kirkistown Castle.
Golf played as Nature intended!  

Kirkstown Castle was voted the No. 94-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2014 (Same);

Kirkstown Castle was voted the No. 94-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2013 (Down-1);

Kirkstown Castle was voted the No. 93-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2012;

Green Fees Midweek G. I. M. Summer: £30
Green Fees Midweek Summer: £52
Green Fees Weekends & B.H. G. I. M. Summer: £35
Green Fees Weekends & B.H. Summer: £74
Green Fees Midweek G. I. M. Winter: £28
Green Fees Midweek Winter:
Green Fees Weekends & B.H. G. I. M. Winter: £33
Green Fees Weekends & B.H. Winter:
Green Fees with a Member: £20
Green Fees for Opens: £20/25
Practice Area: Yes
Club Hire: Yes
Buggy Hire: Yes
Soft Spikes: Yes
Full Membership Available: Yes
Full Membership Fee: £790
Full 5-Day Membership Fee: £611
Full Ladies Assoc. Membership Fee: £650
Full Stepped from 19 Membership Fee Starts: £238
Full Junior Membership Fee: £119
Full Juvenile Membership Fee: £50
Full Cadet Membership Fee: £10
Entrance Fee: None
Course Type Links
No Holes 18
Members 680
Designer James Braid
Founded 1902

142 Main Road,
Co. Down
BT22 1JA

Telephone 028-427-71233
Website Kirkistown Castle golf club website
Glub Manager:  Maurice Wilson
Captain: Charlie Stewart
Lady Captain:  Mary Gallagher
Presidents': John Houston & Shiela McConnell 
Vice-Captains': Eddie Gowdy & Mairead Breen
Hon. Secretary: Billy Doherty & Briege Coyle 
Club Pro: Niall Mullen 028-427-71004
Hon. Treasurer: Eddie Gowd & Alison Gowdy
Comp. Secretary: Davy McCormick & Lorraine Coffey
Kirkistown Castle Golf Course Layout Course Layout

Location Map

GPS Coord*
*Please check information before travelling

General Facts & Information

Course opening hours: Daylight hours Clubhouse opening hours: 8.00am to 11.00pm
Mobile phones: Permitted on "Silent" Dress Code: GUI Standards on course Smart-casual in Clubhouse
Catering: Mondays closed Full catering, facilities other days Days to Avoid: Saturday mornings . Pre-booking is always advisable
Green Fees and Societies Welcome: Except Saturday Mornings Pre-booking for open Tournaments: Advisable

Kirkistown Castle Golf Club Fixtures 2023 provisional*

Open & Major Fixtures 2023 (Confirmed)        
Event Start Finish Type Duration
President's Prize to the Ladies
Friday 16 June   Closed 1
President's Prize Saturday 17 June
  Closed 1
Lady President's Prize Friday 30 June   Closed 1
Captain's Prize Saturday 5 August   Closed 1
Lady Captain's Prize Friday 11 August
  Closed 1
Professional's Prize Saturday 16 September   Closed
Singles Stableford Tuesday 7 March   Open 1
L. & G. Singles Stableford Tuesday 14 March Friday 17 March
Open 4
L. & G. Singles Stableford Wednesday 15 March   Open 1
L. & G. Singles Stableford Thursday 16 March   Open 1
L. & G. Singles Stableford Friday 17 March   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 21 March   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 28 March   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 4 April
  Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 11 April
  Open 1
Seniors Stableford (50+)
Tuesday 18 April    Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 25 April   Open 1
Seniors Stableford (50+) Tuesday 2 May   Open 1
Pierce Purcell (Q) Sunday 7 May   G.I. 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 9 May   Open 1
Seniors Stableford (50+) Tuesday 16 May   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 30 May
  Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 6 June   Open 1
Helena Marchant Charity Event Sunday 10 June   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 13 June   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 20 June   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 27 June   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 4 July   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 11 July   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 18 July   Open 1
Mixed Foursomes Sunday 23 July   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 25 July
  Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 5 September   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 12 September   Open 1
L. & G. Singles Stableford Sunday 17 September   Open 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 19 September
  Open 1
Ulster U19 Boys' & Girls' Schools Scratch Championship Tuesday 17 October   G.I. 1
Singles Stableford Tuesday 26 December
Open 1
L. & G. Singles Stableford Wednesday 27 December Thursday 28 December Open
L. & G. Singles Stableford Thursday 28 December    Open 1

*Please check information before travelling

Card of the Course

White Par 69 SSS 70 6,167 yd's
Red Par 73 SSS 74 5,688 yd's
Green Par 69 SSS 69 5,917 yd's


Hole Name Hole No. White Green Par Index Red Par Index
Outward Bound 1 518 500 5 10 437 5 10
Tower 2 402 387 4 4 398 5 2
Quarry 3 304 299 4 18 283 4 13
Island 4 152 142 3 14 148 3 8
Round the Bend 5 397 387 4 2 340 4 4
Marked 6 430 418 4 8 424 5 17
Shed 7 322 302 4 16 299 4 11
Moat 8 148 138 3 12 145 3 15
Lighthouse 9 384 374 4 6 375 4 6
  Out 3,057 2,938 35   2,885 37  
Long Reach 10 435 420 4 3 405 5 1
Wee Dunt 11 127 117 3 17 114 3 18
Feel Free 12 434 420 4 7 405 5 14
Doon Hill 13 440 420 4 1 349 4 3
Big Dunt 14 193 180 3 15 177 3 16
Stay Put 15 353 343 4 9 319 4 5
Castle Top 16 164 154 3 13 151 3 12
Roadside 17 440 420 4 5 420 4 7
Long Last 18 524 504 5 11 484 5 9
  In 3,110 2,978 34   2,803 36  
  Total 6,167 5,917 69   5,688 73  
  SSS 70 69     74    

Notable rounds

Men's Course Record Am: 63 Jonathan Hagan(Scr)   Pro:

Ladies Course Record:

Members Achievements

Beth Coulter was selected on the GB&Ireland team for the Curtis Cup in 2022 at the Merion Golf Club, East Course from the 10th to the 12th June.

Beth Coulter won the Hermitage Scratch Cup in 2022 when she shot a Course Record 66.

Beth Coulter was, selected on the 2023 Golf Ireland Women’s High Performance Squad.

Kirkistown Golf Club won the All-Ireland Irish Mixed Foursomes in 1986 at Portstewart Golf Club the team was Jimmy Brown with Sharon Smyth, Ronnie Miller with Queenie Stewart, Thompson Maginnis with Alix McVea, Sennie Thompson with Shellagh Shane and Sennie McMaster with Cynthia Allen and they were captained by Sidney Caruth. The Club Captain was Denis McDonnell and the Lady Captain was Joe Donaldson.

Members who played representative golf for their Province;
M. Bannon represented Ulster as a Youth in the Interprovincial Championships in 1979 playing 3-times won 2-matches and lost 1-match accumulating 4-points;

History of Kirkistown Castle

Founded 1902 Affiliated 1903.

Kirkistown Castle was formed on 3rd Septemberember 1902 at a meeting held in the Market House, Portaferry.  Mr John Greer was appointed Captain, General Montgomery was appointed President and Dr McDonald was appointed Honorary Secretary.
According to the Minutes of a meeting held on 10th September 1902 “The Greens Committee obtained the services of Mr GL Bailie(Belfast) to survey the ground and lay out a 9-hole course.  This course has an aggregate length of 3265 yards and included some ‘very sporting holes’.  The committee have arranged for the commencement of the preparation of the ground for play and hoped that a few holes would be playable by the 20th inst”.
The course was extended to 18 holes in 1929 and the present course layout was designed by James Braid in 1934.  On seeing Kirkistown Castle for the first time James Braid was heard to exclaim If only I had this within 50 miles of London.
The high points of the course command magnificent views of the Isle of Man to the east, the Mourne Mountains to the South, Scrabo Tower to the north west and Scotland to the north east.
This popular golf course in Northern Ireland, Kirkistown Castle Golf Club was formed on 3rd September 1902 at a meeting held in the Market House, Portaferry. Major General W E Montgomery, Rosemount, Greyabbey had promised the lease of ground known as Sandgrass Farm at Cloughey for the purpose of a golf links course.
Mr. G L Bailie from Belfast designed the layout of the first nine-hole golf course with an aggregate length of 3,265 yards
The Club affiliated to the Golfing Union in May 1903 and the first recorded handicaps are dated 1 April 1904 for a total of 31 members.
The greenkeeper was Mr. Frank Polley, a position he held for almost 50 years (he retired in 1952). Mr. Polley was responsible for the extension of the golf course to 18 holes in 1929 with a Par of 71.
The Club's first Professional was Mr. Bertie Polley (son of Frank) engaged in June 1932 and this was followed by the formation of a Ladies Branch on 7th September 1932. Lady Norah Dunleath was elected Ladies' President.
The legendary James Braid visited Kirkistown Castle Golf Club on the 26th of September 1934.
He spent the morning marking out alterations to tees and greens and the afternoon positioning and shaping bunkers.
On seeing the location of the golf course for the first time he was heard to exclaim "If only I had this within 50 miles of London".
The subsequent work on the golf course was completed by the end of March 1935. The wooden hut erected in 1902 was finally replaced by a permanent structure in 1936. This clubhouse was used as a distribution centre for children evacuated from the greater Belfast area during the Second World War and as a kindergarten school.
Sand and gravel were excavated from the course for use in the construction of the airfields at Kirkistown and Ballyhalbert in 1941 and this is how the depressions in the front of the 1st tee and behind the 3rd green came into being. These areas were ground under repair until 1949.
It was also in 1949 that Sunday Golf was permitted for the first time. Lieutenant Colonel Blair Mayne DSO and Bars (Colonel Paddy as he was famously known) was elected Captain in 1951. Fred Daly was elected as Honorary Member in 1953 and he organised an exhibition match in which he and Mr. John Glover played against Jimmy Henderson and Norman Dew.
In 1956 the club negotiated a 999 year lease from Montgomery Estates so the future location of the club has been assured for a long time to come. Mr E J Meadowcraft of Portaferry was appointed as the first Secretary Manager of the Club in 1962.
An extension to the Clubhouse was completed in 1973 and this introduced Bar facilities for the first time.
The conservatory dining room was added in (1996) and then in 2001 a major development and refurbishment of the Clubhouse was completed in preparation for the Club's Centenary celebrations held throughout 2002. Mr Robert McDowell was the Centenary Captain having previously been Club Captain in (1984).
The golf club has come a very long way in its first 100 years without having to move a millimetre from its original and beautiful location on the eastern seaboard of the Ards Peninsula Northern Ireland. This gives the club the distinction of being the most easterly 18 hole golf course in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland.
The seven just men who met in Portaferry in 1902 and formed Kirkistown Castle Golf Club would surely be very proud of what they created all those years ago.

Roll of Honour

Member Year Hon. Position
J. K. Smith 1989 Ladies Captain
D. Clark 1989 Ladies President
E. Henry 1989 Mens Captain
W. J. Miscampbell 1989 President
M. E. McVea 1990 Ladies Captain
D. J. McNeilly 1990 Ladies President
R. B. McCormick 1990 Mens Captain
J. B. Agnew 1990 President
H. F. Mladek 1991 Ladies Captain
D. J. McNeilly 1991 Ladies President
R. B. McCormick 1991 Mens Captain
J. B. Agnew 1991 President
S. Shane 1992 Ladies Captain
J. Nesbitt 1992 Ladies President
B. McVea 1992 Mens Captain
S. F. E. Caruth 1992 President
F. McDowell 1993 Ladies Captain
J. Nesbitt 1993 Ladies President
T. Stothers 1993 Mens Captain
R. M. McLeod 1993 President
M. Lunn 1994 Ladies Captain
D. Marshall 1994 Ladies President
C. McDonnell 1994 Mens Captain
R. M. McLeod 1994 President
R. E. Jordan 1995 Ladies Captain
D. Marshall 1995 Ladies President
J. W. McCammon 1995 Mens Captain
A. F. Croley 1995 President
L. Conar 1996 Ladies Captain
M. McVea 1996 Ladies President
D. S. Marshall 1996 Mens Captain
A. F. Croley 1996 President
B. J. McCaughey 1997 Ladies Captain
M. McVea 1997 Ladies President
H. T. B. Burrowes 1997 Mens Captain
P. Watson 1997 President
H. McCammon 1998 Ladies Captain
M. McLeod 1998 Ladies President
A. P. K. McVea 1998 Mens Captain
P. Watson 1998 President
A. McClure  1999 Ladies Captain
 M. McLeod 1999 Ladies President
 J. F. Ditchfield 1999 Mens Captain
 J. D. Mayne 1999 President
Mrs. Maura McColgan 2000 Ladies Captain
Daphne Molyneaux 2000 Ladies President
Kevin Gallagher 2000 Mens Captain
J. D. Mayne 2000 President
J. Compton 2001 Ladies Captain
Daphne Molyneaux 2001 Ladies President
W. Reid 2001 Mens Captain
 K. F. Thornton 2001 President
Mrs. Teddy Mayne 2002 Ladies Captain
Mrs. Sheelagh Rea 2002 Ladies President
Mr. Robert McDowell 2002 Mens Captain
Mr. Ken Thornton 2002 President
 R. Caughey 2003 Ladies Captain
 S. Rea 2003 Ladies President
D. Peacock 2003 Mens Captain
 D. W. McDonnell 2003 President
Sally McCoy 2004 Ladies Captain
 S. Rea 2004 Ladies President
Robert Davison 2004 Mens Captain
Denis McDonnell 2004 President
Vivienne Marsden 2005 Ladies Captain
 M. K. Hawthorne 2005 Ladies President
Mervyn Crawford 2005 Mens Captain
Brian McVea 2005 President
Sheila McConnell 2006 Ladies Captain
 M. K. Hawthorne 2006 Ladies President
Gerry Fagan 2006 Mens Captain
Brian McVea 2006 President
Clare Dynes 2007 Ladies Captain
 J. Donaldson 2007 Ladies President
Liam McCarthy 2007 Mens Captain
Harry Ferris 2007 President
Gina Hewlett 2008 Ladies Captain
Joy Donaldson 2008 Ladies President
Jim Scott 2008 Mens Captain
Harry Ferris 2008 President
Imelda Byers 2009 Ladies Captain
Ray Jemphrey 2009 Ladies President
George Cardy 2009 Mens Captain
Robert McDowell 2009 President
Janet Ross 2010 Ladies Captain
Ray Jemphrey 2010 Ladies President
Ronnie Millar 2010 Mens Captain
Robert McDowell 2010 President
Yvonne Crawford 2011 Ladies Captain
Queenie Stewart 2011 Ladies President
James Dynes 2011 Mens Captain
Desmond Compton 2011 President
Alison Bell 2012 Ladies Captain
Queenie Stewart 2012 Ladies President
John Dynes 2012 Mens Captain
Desmond Compton 2012 President
Joan Ditchfield 2013 Ladies Captain
Fiona McDowell 2013 Ladies President
Tim Reid 2013 Mens Captain
John McCammon 2013 President
Alix Millar 2014 Ladies Captain
Fiona McDowell 2014 Ladies President
Declan McCarthy 2014 Mens Captain
John McCammon 2014 President
Ann 0'Prey 2015 Ladies Captain
Sally McCoy
2015 Ladies President
Rodney Coffey 2015 Mens Captain
David Peacock
2015 President
Madeleine Bell
2016 Ladies Captain
Sally McCoy 2016 Ladies President
Billy Doherty
2016 Mens Captain
David Peacock 2016 President
Carol-Ann Hewitt 2017 Ladies Captain
Hazel McCammon
2017 Ladies President
Maurice Wilson 2017 Mens Captain
Jim Scott
2017 President
Tina McCutcheon 2018 Ladies Captain
Hazel McCammon 2018 Ladies President
Neill Simpson 2018 Mens Captain
Jim Scott 2018 President
Penny Thornberry
2019 Ladies Captain
Hazel McCammon 2019 Ladies President
Leonard Hamilton 2019 Mens Captain
Sam Anderton-Ellis 2019 President
Claire McNally 2020 Ladies Captain
Jane Compton 2020 Ladies President
David Martin 2020 Mens Captain
Robin Holliday 2020 President
Claire McNally 2021 Ladies Captain
Jane Compton 2021 Ladies President
David Martin 2021 Mens Captain
Jim Green 2021 President
Miriam Ellis 2022 Ladies Captain
Shiela McConnell 2022 Ladies President
Cahal Arthurs 2022 Mens Captain
Trevor Anderson 2022 President
Mary Gallagher 2023 Ladies Captain
Shiela McConnell 2023 Ladies President
Charlie Stewart 2023 Mens Captain
John Houston 2023 President
Beth Coulter (+3) 2023 Lowest Ladie's H'cap
Neill Simpson (+1) 2023 Lowest Men's H'cap

Holes in One at Kirkistown Castle

Member Date Hole No. Club Used Distance

6th   221 yd's

If you have had a Hole-in-One on your course and would like it recorded here please contact me on

Giving your name, the date,the hole, the club used and the distance