England has some of the world’s finest golf courses, and it’s been quite a task coming up with our favourites! In no particular order, here are the ten golf courses where we’d most like to tee off.
We start off with a quartet of “Royals”, before travelling around the lush English landscape, and finishing somewhere much closer to home…
Royal St George’s Golf Club
With its distinctive dunes and fairways described as “rumpled”, this beautiful Par 70, 6630 yard links course in Kent is a must if you like the challenge of rugged terrain. Frank Pennick (the same golfing architect who designed our Tewkesbury Park course) was brought in during the 1970s to tame the historic course, but he retained its windswept, wild nature.
It was the first English golf course to host the Open, and it will be held here again in 2020. Visitors are welcome Monday-Friday.
Royal Lytham & St Annes
This famous course dates back to 1897 and has hosted countless tournaments. The Par 71, 6731 yard course is surrounded by houses, so doesn’t have the sea or parkland vistas enjoyed by some of these other courses; however, you’ll be too busy negotiating its notorious collection of bunkers to notice!
Visitors are welcome to “walk the path of legends”, usually on Mondays and Thursdays.
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
This Par 72, 6907 yard links course has a dramatic setting by the estuary in Hoylake, The Wirral. The middle of the course is next to the estuary, providing some challenging holes, before heading back to the civilised calm of the clubhouse.
The course was built in 1869 (the second oldest links course in England), and shared its land with a racecourse for many years. Its heritage is glimpsed in the names of the first and eighteenth holes: Course and Stand. Visitors are welcome, but times are limited, so please check in advance.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
The list wouldn’t be complete without Southport’s high-ranking, elegant and much-loved course. Royal Birkdale has played host to many, many tournaments, and its sand dunes and Art Deco clubhouse are familiar sights to anyone who ever watches golf on TV. The Par 70, 7173 yard course was founded in 1889, and the iconic clubhouse was built in 1935.
Visitors are welcome to experience this wonderful course at certain times; please check on their website or contact the course.
Sunningdale Golf Club (Old Course)
The Old Course at Sunningdale is one of the best-known courses in the country and the highest-ranked in England (it’s 12th in the world). The Par 70, 6627 yard course is characterised by mature trees and heathland. It was designed in 1900 by Willie Park Jnr, who used the natural contours of the woods and heath to create a beautiful and challenging course.
Visitors are welcome Monday to Thursday at certain times. There’s also the New Course at Sunningdale (“new” in this case meaning 1923!).
Woodhall Spa Golf Club Hotchkin Course
This is one of the most stunning inland golf courses in Britain. Set in Lincolnshire heathland, the Par 73, 6925 yard golf course is known for its deep bunkers. It’s not all scary: Woodhall Spa also has some excellent practice facilities for novice players. Watch out for pheasants in the heather, and squirrels in the wooded sections of this lovely, bucolic course.
Visitors are welcome, and you can play any day provided there’s availability.
West Cornwall Golf Club
The only Celtic course on the list, this links course outside St Ives has one of the most spectacular coastal locations in the country. The Par 69, 5884 yard course (and that’s long enough in a gale…) is set above Hayle Estuary where it meets the sea. It’s windswept and wild, and playing against the weather really adds to the experience.
Visitors are welcome on the course and in the clubhouse.
Ganton Golf Course
Ganton is near Scarborough in Yorkshire. This Par 73, 6739 yard course has staged tournaments including the Ryder Cup and Curtis Cup. It dates back to 1891 and has been recently refurbished, including its notoriously deep bunkers. Heathland and gorse give it a pleasingly wild feel.
Visitors are welcome at any time, provided you book in advance.
Walton Heath (Old Course)
The host of this year’s Masters and a favourite of Winston Churchill’s, this Par 73 7462 yard course has been challenging golfers since 1901. The Surrey golf course has featured in the World’s Best list since it began in 1938. Its creator, Hubert Fowler, wanted to test the golfer at each hole: his wish came true.
The new course (six years younger) has a similar heathland landscape. Visitors are welcome – please book.
Our own Par 72, 6579 yard golf course stretches across verdant parkland, dotted with mature trees and with panoramic views across the Gloucestershire countryside. It was originally designed by Frank Pennick, and has recently been refurbished and reconditioned by Peter McEvoy.
Treat yourself to a golfing break, arrange a corporate or group day here, or join us as a member. Our resident pros are here to assist if you’re starting out, and you can pick up equipment at our onsite golf shop.
We hope that’s given you some inspiration to get a round in! To book a golfing break or away day with us, please contact Samantha Birch on firstname.lastname@example.org. For membership enquiries, please email Mark on email@example.com