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Best Golf Courses in the UK | Top Ten

Monday, 16 September 2019 15:26:57 Europe/London News , By George Finney

Sunset at Trump Turnberry Resort Ailsa

What are the top ten golf courses in the UK?

If you know golf, you’ll know that the United Kingdom is blessed with some of the most breathtaking golf courses in the world. Full of technical holes, great scenery and rich history, there are some truly incredible courses in Britain and Ireland. Below are the top ten golf courses in the UK. The positions are based on extensive internet research of critic and visitor reviews. 

Keep reading to find out which UK golf courses are the best! Go to the bottom of the page to see a map of all the course locations too.


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Trump Turnberry Resort lighthouse at sunrise

  1. 1. Trump Turnberry Resort (Ailsa)

Trump Turnberry’s incredible golf courses have been the competition grounds for many legendary golf tournaments and matches for over 100 years. Including multiple revolutions of the open championship. 

The course was an RAF military base in WW2 and renovated in 1952 into one of the most highly regarded golf courses in the world. 6,511 yards long, the beautiful coastline links courses have incredible views and terrific landscapes. But, it will cost you close to £325 - 375 for a round on this breathtaking par 71.


The old course at St Andrews

  1. 2. St Andrews Old Course “the Home of Golf”

Arguably the number one golf course, St Andrews is the home of golf, and it’s the recognised home of The Open Championship. The sport has been played here for 600 years (first played in the 1400s) and it’s the first place the sport was officially recorded. 

The par 72 is 6,721 yards long. Almost every professional golf legend has competed here, but only the very best have been able to win. The green free is again quite pricy. It’ll cost you around £85 - £190  for a game at this prestigious golf course. 


18th hole at Muirfield Golf Club

  1. 3. Muirfield

Based near Edinburgh, Golf was first played at Muirfield in 1891. Since then, The Open Championship has been held here 16 times.

The technical 7245-yard par 71 course runs in two loops, with the front nine running around the outside of the back nine. Players are challenged by technical hole layouts and changing wind directions. 

The course isn’t as breathtaking to look at as some of the others. It’s excellent presentation, simplistic charm and rich history are what make it great. If you want to play a game here, the green fee varies between the ranges of around £110 - £250 per round. 


Royal County Down Golf Club

  1. 4. Royal County Down

125 years old and located on the east coast of Northern Ireland, Royal County Down is one of the oldest clubs in Ireland. The par 71 is 6,787 yards, and the green fee ranges between £60-£250 depending on the time of year.

Not only is it a great course with some incredible holes, but it’s also home to hair raising Irish coastline views too. The opening hole runs along the Irish Sea, and the Mourne Mountains stand tall behind the town of Newcastle, providing a beautiful backdrop.

Rory Mcilroy is a frequent visitor, and the course is home to many important championships. The only thing stopping it from hosting The Open Championship is the infrastructure and spectator capacity.


Royal Portrush -Dunluce course

  1. 5. Royal Portrush -Dunluce

Some people will tell you that this course is the best in Ireland. About an hours drive from Belfast international airport, it is a beautiful course. It’s home to picturesque sea views, huge sand dunes and challenging holes. 

Before recently, Royal Portrush was a hidden gem, rated highly by locals but held back by two holes that weren't as good as the rest. Although, a surge of incredible golfing talent including Graeme McDowell, Rory Mcilroy and Darren Clarke have helped put Ireland and this course firmly on the golfing map. Rory Mcilroy holds the course record, completing it in 61 shots. 

The two weaker holes were re-made, and Royal Portrush was host to the 2019 Open, which was won by Shane Lowrey, (another incredible Irish player). If you're thinking about playing a game here, the par 72 is 6,658 yards long, and the green fee will cost you between £60-£220 depending on the time of year. 


Royal Birkdale golf course - Final hole in front of the club house

  1. 6. Royal Birkdale

Formed by 9 gentlemen on 30th July 1889, Royal Birkdale golf club is one of the best golf courses in England. It has hosted more championship and international events since World War 2 than any other course in the world. Including 10 revolutions of The Open Championships, most recently 2017.

Located in Southport, the Par 72 is 6,381 yards long and beautifully framed by towering sand dunes and valleys. The excellent terrain also provides the perfect place for spectators to watch the game. 

If you want a round of golf here, the green fee range usually lies between £165 - £265. 


Royal Dornoch golf course - A green between two ferns

  1. 7. Royal Dornoch

Formed in 1877, this isolated golf club is about as Scottish as it gets. It’s in deep into northern Scotland, and it’s a long journey if you're not from a nearby town. Those who do make the trip often cite it as a must-play course.

The par 70 is 6,626 yards long and is home to some breathtaking scenery. With beaches and mountain ranges in sight, it’s truly connected to nature. A must-visit if you’re an avid golfer, the green fee will set you back around £70-£180. You can stay over in the lovely Scottish town of Dornoch too.


A golfer strikes a ball at Carnoustie golf course towards the club house

  1. 8. Carnoustie

Located in Burnside, Scotland, just up the coast from Dundee, Carnoustie golf links was the host of the 2018 Open Championship. The par 72 course is 6,948 yards long and consists of long technical holes. Players are challenged by a difficult course and strong winds.

It’s often agreed by golfers that Carnoustie is one of the hardest courses in the UK. With long holes, brutal roughs, difficult to escape bunkers, and even the barry burn river to contend with, this course is tough. 

Carnoustie doesn't boast any outstanding scenery or extra frills, and it’s disliked by many. The reason it’s so high on this list though is that it’s such a great all-around test of your golfing ability. 

If you are up for a challenge, the green fee will cost you around £82.5 - £210.


The New course at Sunningdale golf club

  1. 9. Sunningdale

A par 70 and 6,444 yards long, Sunningdale is a beautiful heathland course near London. It was one of the first inland courses to be built as the popularity of golf was rising in the early 1900s. The course was designed by the legendary Harry Colt and opened for play in 1923. If you know much about golf course architecture, you’ll know that clubs with courses by Harry Colt are very proud.

The heathland course has incredible views and is surrounded by trees and heather. It’s tough but playable. You must concentrate on your shots, or you might end up in a bunker, or the heather. 

You should visit this tremendous inland golf course if you’re an enthusiastic golfer. The green fee will cost you between £130 - £230 and if you do visit the course, make sure you stop off at the halfway house for one of the fabled sausage sandwiches. 


Trump International Golf Links, Scotland - Arial View

  1. 10. Trump International Golf Links, Scotland

Just north of Aberdeen, this incredibly scenic coastline course was designed by Martin Hawtree. Every hole is breathtaking. The course meanders through three miles of grassy hills on the North Sea coastline, offering incredible sea views. 

The par 70 is 6,329 yards long and 100% worth a visit if you appreciate a course with great scenery. The green fee ranges between £160 - £270. Moreover, everything is top-spec at these links, they're very well maintained and full of outstanding features. Every hole has at least five tee boxes. 

The course, which doubles as a five-star resort is good enough to hold major competitions. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the future... 


Golf Course Map

Take a look at this map to see the locations of all the clubs mentioned above. If you're into golf, and you're near one of these clubs, why not go and have a game?


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