Established in 1914, the course at Balmoral offers a stern test to golfers of all playing standards over its 6,276 yards of mature parkland, situated less than three miles from Belfast city centre. Whilst only a Par 69 the Standard Scratch of 70 gives testament to the challenge the course offers.
Soft undulating fairways lined by thousands of mature trees are a prominent feature forcing players to consider their playing strategy and plan the accuracy of their shots from tee to green. Visitors will experience this in their round as early as the first hole, considered by many as one of the most demanding opening holes in the Greater Belfast area measuring some 452 yards and a hole where many are happy to accept a bogie five at this tough opening hole.
Balmoral has a reputation for greens that are even paced and offers numerous opportunities to those that can take advantage of their putting skills on a smooth putting surface. A few, namely the 8th green, the 11th green and the 18th green have some more severe slopes making putting very tricky to those players that happen to finish with their ball on the wrong side of the hole. Visitors will find the greens at Balmoral are guarded by a number of bunkers constructed in a range of differing styles; deep, shallow, large and small, waiting to punish the errant approach shot.
Until 2007 and the magnificent exploits of Padraig Harrington, Fred Daly was the only Irishman ever to have won the coveted claret jug, the Open Championship, and visiting golfers are assured of a warm and friendly welcome on a challenging course which was home to Fred for more than forty years.