Golf courses can be places of amazing beauty. There’s something about the association of natural, wild features and perfectly cut fairways - bunkers, bridges, streams and greens just fit together.
The UK has some of the most scenic golf courses in the world, and here’s a selection of the best ones.
Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Scotland
This golf course is worth that long winding drive up the A9. It’s a classic links course. It has testing wind 364 days per year and the Dornoch Firth batters its coast for a similar period. But the course is stunning. Stray off the fairway a centimetre and say goodbye to your Titleist Pro and its 252 perfectly placed dimples - that ball now belongs to the real owner of this course, the gorse bush. It’s wild, isolated and sheer perfection.
Sunningdale Golf Club, England
Sunningdale is quintessentially English according to its website. If you’re not exactly sure what this means, imagine gentle green hills, undulating purple heath and oak filled woodland. It is considered one of the best inland courses in the world. There are two courses, New Course and Old Course; one’s older than the other, not sure which. Both are different, but both supremely beautiful.
Royal Portrush Golf Club, Northern Ireland
Voted number 12 in the world by Golf Magazine, this course is home to one of the most stunning par 4s in golf. The 5th hole on the Dunluce course doglegs out towards the North Atlantic over a vastness of rough. Too short and you’re in the rough, too long and you’re on the beach - the choice is yours. And I haven’t even mentioned Calamity Corner. King Edward VII loved it back in 1895 and you will too.
Trump Turnberry, Scotland
Don’t be put off by the name, Donald likes to bung Trump in front of everything. This course has been around since 1906 and it’s a classic links course. If you like lighthouses and craggy volcanic scenery, and gazing out to the isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig instead of concentrating on your 7 iron over the sea to the 9th, this is the place for you.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club, England
It’s another one with Royal at the front (better that than Trump), bestowed on it by King George VI in 1951. Birkdale has always been an enlightened place having a ladies’ section since 1890 (take note Muirfield). Today it has a landscape teeming with nature, some of it endangered. It has gorgeous dunes and wildlife and an ‘art deco’ club house. You need to go there.
Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland
‘The oldest and most iconic golf course in the world’ – a quote robbed from their website, but there’s better way of putting it. This place is 600 years old. On the 18th, it has the famous Swilcan Bridge, which carried sheep over the Swilcan Burn 700 years ago and has carried golf legends ever since. The greens are massive and each bunker has its own name. Jack Nicklaus took four shots to get out of ‘Hell Bunker’ so don’t bother going in there is my professional advice. For history, atmosphere and great coastal scenery, the
Old Course at St Andrews is unbeatable.
How much can you expect to pay to play at these iconic clubs?
To compare the costs of the top golf click here...