Clandeboye (Ava) Golf Club



Clandeboye (Ava) Golf Club

“An 18-hole course that might play second fiddle to its bigger sibling but still packs a punch with bite, brilliance and plenty of entertainment.”

It was the nod and wink from a member that told us we’d made a good decision to play the Ava course. We were, he assured us, in for a treat.

A lot of visiting golfers come to Clandeboye, just south of Bangor, play the championship Dufferin course and then head on their merry way. More fool them. The Dufferin is rich parkland quality, for sure, but the Ava is more boisterous with bounce, cheekiness and charm. Despite sitting side-by-side the courses are quite different, with the Ava unfurling its heathland flourishes from the start. It delivers a couple of sharp jabs early on and despite that member warning us about the exceptional par-5 2nd – one of the best in Ireland, he told us – we floundered almost immediately. This is no place to go wild off the tee; indeed, it is not simply a matter of reaching for your driver.

The Ava is tighter and more demanding than that and when you get stuck into some of the rollercoaster short par-4s – the 319-yard 4th and 312-yard 7th are outstanding – you’ll have a constant debate with yourself about what to hit off the tee. In all, there are seven par-4s that fall between 300 and 330 yards. Three iron, five iron, seven iron… you decide. Old stone walls (recently revealed by a dedicated group of club volunteers) appear frequently and frame holes amidst the woodland, while the cavorting and often unpredictable fairways tease you constantly. That 2nd hole wasn’t the only place we floundered but we loved every second of this par-70 course and its magical 5,748 yards.

How to get there?
Bangor, the nearest town, lies due east of Belfast, along the A2 road. Head south from there along the Bangor Road, or north from Newtownards.

Tee Times?
Visitors welcome every day. Book online at

Round costs?