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Royal County Down. Recently ousting the Old Course at St. Andrews as the best course outside the United States in Golf Digest's annual survey, Royal County Down is a links course with a sea of craterlike bunkers and small dunes; catch it on the right day at the right time and you may think you're on the moon. And for better players, every day is the right one. Back in his day, Harry Vardon labeled it the toughest course on the Emerald Isle, and if you can't hit your drive long and straight, you might find it the toughest course in the world. Golf Links Rd., 36 Golf Links Rd., Newcastle, Co. Down, BT33 0AN. 28/4372–3314. www.royalcountydown.org. Fees: weekdays £165–£180 (Championship), £25 (Annesley); weekends £180 (Championship), £25 (Annesley). 36 holes. Yardage: 7,204 (Championship), 4,617 (Annesley). Par 71 (Championship), 66 (Annesley). Practice area, caddies, caddy carts, catering. Visitors: Sun.–Tues., Thurs., and Fri. (Championship); daily (Annesley).
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