The best places in Britain to play
Fancy a round? What better way to relax than with a game at one of Britain's great golf courses? Book ahead to play on some of the most famous, challenging and majestically set golf courses in the UK. Here are 10 of the best.
Where: St Andrews, Scotland
The indisputable iconic home of golf, St Andrews Old Course Scotland, is a place of pilgrimage for golfers from around the world. Join the hallowed ranks of pro golfers to play the golf course that Tiger Woods calls “the ultimate.” One of the world’s oldest golf courses is joined by 5 other courses at St Andrews links, all open to the public.
Price: £64-130 a round
Web: St Andrews
Where: Norfolk, England
Set on the blustery Norfolk coast and sandwiched between the North Sea and saltmarsh, Royal West Norfolk is wonderfully atmospheric. You walk across the beach to get from the clubhouse to the golf course and at high tide you’ll be marooned on an island. Look out for high winds and rapidly changing conditions in this, one of the top UK Golf courses.
Price: From £45 a round
Web: Royal West Norfolk
Where: Newcastle, Northern Ireland
The Royal County Down is one of the oldest clubs in Northern Ireland and has two golf courses that cater to all standards. The Championship Links are testing with patches of gorse and heather-rimmed bunkers while the Annesley Links are considerably less intimidating. Both share the same spellbinding view of Dundrum Bay.
Web: Royal County Down
Where: Gwynedd, Wales
This gorgeous coastal club has sea views, the Snowdonia mountain range hulking on the horizon and a pub a minute’s walk from the 12th green. Prices are fair and the relaxed atmosphere lets you take your time. And you’ll want to, considering the setting of this top UK golf course.
Price: From £20-62 a round
Web: Nefyn Golf Club
Where: Warwickshire, England
Carved out of lush North Warwickshire countryside, The Belfry’s three golf courses are rightfully considered as some of the best in the world. The PGA National is England’s only PGA course and Brabazon is revered as the spiritual home of the Ryder Cup. If these sound intimidating, there’s always the Derby, a great all round golf course for every level of ability.
Price: From £40-140 a round
Web: The Belfry
Where: Hoylake, England
A classic links course with a strong record of holding pro tournaments. Deceptively bumpy, the course is very challenging. As with all links golf courses, the wind makes its presence known. The Royal Liverpool also has the largest collection of golf memorabilia outside St Andrews.
Price: From £50 a round
Web: Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Where: Southport, England
Known simply as Birkdale until 1951 when King George VI granted the Royal Charter to the club, this is certainly one of the top UK Golf courses. Surrounded by towering sand dunes it demands skillful reading of the greens which are watched over by the splendid art-deco clubhouse. The exhilarating seaside setting adds an extra edge when the wind freshens.
Price: £120-150 a round
Web: Royal Birkdale
Where: Ayrshire, Scotland
Hosting the Open Championship in July, the Ailsa course at Turnberry is a classic. Next to the Firth of Clyde, the golf course has views of the Mull of Kintyre and the Isle of Arran. The 9th hole is backed by the famous lighthouse and from here you can see Robert the Bruce’s ruined castle. Book now to secure a tee after the Open (16-19 July).
Web: Turnberry Resort
Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
Braid Hills is a municipal golf course so won’t be beaten on price. It’s also more relaxed than some of the others on our list. It’s one of the best public golf courses in Scotland, sitting loftily above Edinburgh with stirring views to the castle and beyond. It’s a tough, hilly course with gorse bushes to trap wandering putts.
Price: £16 a round
Web: Braid Hills
Where: Lincolnshire, England
The Hotchkin golf course at Woodhall Spa is widely regarded as the top UK golf course. Surrounded by pine, and birch trees, the heathland course is a delight to play but tricky. Gorse, heather and deep sand traps make for a challenging round.
Web: Woodhall Spa and Golf Club
For more information about golf in South West England, see Atlantic Links.