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Clandeboye is a 36 hole inland complex of championship calibre in a setting of rare beauty. Only 12 miles from Belfast, it was created in 1933 by William Renwick Robinson, a local linen merchant with a love of golf and a flair for landscaping.
His faith, horses, hard labour and a sound personal knowledge of the technical problems involved moved mountains of soil, boulders, bracken and gorse to lay the foundations of what has now become one of the most challenging golfing tracts in Ireland.
Rich in historical association the name Clandeboye is anglicised from the Gaelic. In the year 559 the monks of St Comgall's Bangor monastery grazed their flocks on what is now the Dufferin course. To this very day the legendary Conn's Stone, (Conlig in the Gaelic) still remains standing between the sixteenth green and the seventeenth tee.
The original Clandeboye course played host to all the major Irish championships until the early 1970's when, after very fierce argument among club members, Robinson's original layout was changed. The present Dufferin Course emerged from a design by German architect Baron Von Limburger in association with former Ryder Cup stars Dave Thomas and Peter Allis.
The Dufferin courae was designed by Baron Von Limburger and incorporated an additional 70 acres of acquired land into the original first nine holes north of the clubhouse to produce a quite unique championship heathland course which is a delight to the eye and a testing pleasure to play. This is known now as the present Dufferin - recognised as one of Ireland's great inland golfing experiences by even the most prosaic visiting golfer.
The shorter Ava is a complete contrast. A mere 5755 yards, and often mistakenly called "the wee course".
William R. Robinson's original second nine, south of the clubhouse, was retained and additional holes added with as little disturbance as possible to the natural landscape. It demands extreme accuracy off the tee and is a true examination of a player's game. Narrow fairways, established trees, gorse, heather, rock close to the surface and all the other hazards of an unspoilt natural landscape make it a tough and varied course, presenting a challenge of subtlety rather than length.
Visitors are always made genuinely welcome at Clandeboye and are encouraged to participate in the regular Open Competitions organised on both courses.
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