Named after its county town of Downpatrick, County Down in Northern Ireland is known for its low-lying cultivated hills that run into the stark granite Mountains of Mourne to the south. To the east are the Irish Sea and the Ards Peninsula. Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital, straddles the border between County Down and County Antrim to the northwest. With a history goes back more than 7,000 years, County Down is home to many important archaeological sites and ancient monuments and is supposedly where St. Patrick first walked on Irish soil and built a church in Downpatrick nearly 1,600 years ago.
County Down is also home to some two dozen golf courses, the most famous of which are Royal County Down and Royal Belfast. Located along the shores of Dundram Bay in the Murlough Nature Reserve in Newcastle, Royal Country Down was designed by Old Tom Morris himself and is considered one of the best links golf courses in Ireland. Royal Belfast, Ireland's oldest golf club, dating back to 1891, is private, but does accommodate a limited amount of public play through advanced bookings.