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10 Best Golf Courses in the United Kingdom

POSTED ON: 24 August 2023

With nearly 2,000 registered golf courses in the United Kingdom, it’s not easy to whittle it down to just the 10 best. Whether you’re in for the more breathtaking views and natural beauty, a course with a challenge or even the best drinks at the nineteenth hole, it’s a debate that could, and should, last for hours. After a good few rounds (purely for research purposes), we have gathered what we believe to be the definitive list of the 10 best golf courses in the United Kingdom. Read on to see what we believe are the 10 best golf courses in the United Kingdom; read to the end, to see if your favourite made the list. Some of them you'll find in our golf course photos here!

St Andrews Old Course

No list of the best cold courses in the UK would be complete without the Grand Old Lady, St Andrews. Established in 1843, it is one of the oldest golf courses in the world, and serves as somewhat of a pilgrimage for golfers across the globe. It may not have the beauty of some of the others on this list, but its playability makes for a wonderful experience. Possibly no other golf course offers the same amount of history as St Andrews; playing your first round feels like a tennis fan stepping onto centre court at Wembley, such is its heritage. View our St Andrews photos here

Royal County Down

If breathtaking views are your idea of a good golf course, then you can arguably do no better than Royal County Down golf course. Situated at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne and within the Murlough Nature Reserve, you’ll be faced by a challenge with sweeping winds and greens that ripple and wave like the water of the Bay of Dundrum that cascades adjacent to the course. It’s an injustice that this Northern Irish jewel is yet to host a masters game. 

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club 

The most northerly, and easily among the most difficult, of the English championship link golf courses, Royal Lytham and St Annes is not for the light of heart. An exquisitely well cared-for course, it features fast, smooth and firm greens. 

It poses a challenge not just to your golfing ability but to your strategy and mental agility. The wind from the Irish Sea makes for further complications, so you will need to be careful to keep your ball from venturing onto the Fylde rail line. 

Formby Golf Club

Founded in 1884, Formby Golf Club earns its place in our list as one of the world’s greatest link courses. Ideal for nature lovers, you’ll play among the pine trees and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the native red squirrel. The holes are set out in a circle, with the trees offering you protection from the wind. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge, with strategically placed sand bunkers. Situated between Liverpool and St Annes, Formby Golf Club is one of the lesser explored golf courses in the list - but not for good reason.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

The number one golf course in Wales, Royal Porthcawl has hosted no end of championships, from the Walker Cup to the Curtis Cup. You will play alongside the lapping waves of the Bristol Channel among the wild heathland. With little cover or protection, perhaps your toughest opponent is likely to be the wind. 

Royal Portrush - Dunluce Links

Situated along white cliffs with Dunlace Castle looming large, this difficult but picturesque course is another Northern Irish jewel of a golf course. The fifth hole, or “White Rocks”, is one of the most attractive you’re ever likely to play.

The gameplay is challenging, varied and enjoyable as you worm your way through the dunes and take on holes that are packed with character. In fact, the final par 3 is considered as one of the best of its kind in the world. It’s not one to be missed.

Royal St George's Golf Club 

One of the most varied courses in the world, to play at Royal St George’s golf club is to play at eighteen different golf courses. In fact, no two holes play in the same direction. Highlights include the tallest bunker in the country, and world famous holes such as “The Maiden”.

As the name suggests, Royal St George is steeped in heritage and history. It has hosted the Open Championships on no less than fourteen occasions. The views on offer are arguably less spectacular than many on this list, but the Sandwich countryside is still an enjoyable backdrop.

Ganton Golf Club

Although strictly speaking a heathlands course, Ganton Golf Club could equally be described as a Heathlands course. Unlike most of the courses featured on this list, Ganton is situated inland - but that makes it no less spectacular. With some of the best bunkering you are ever likely encounter; with over 100 bunkers ranging from very large to small, make it a very entertaining course to play.  

Hotchkin Course, Woodhall Spa

Another inland course, Hotchkin course is a beauty spot in the centre of Lincolnshire. Much like Ganton, a range of sand traps leave you with a difficult but pleasing challenge making up for the relatively flat green. 

Hotchkin is a healthland course, with a recent restoration removing as many as 10,000 trees. But, worry not, Hotchkin’s natural beauty shines through and, although the restoration has opened up the course, deep into the back nine you will find yourself venturing nearer to the trees. 


A top golfing test, with yet more crosswinds to battle, Muirfield is one of the most impressive golf courses in Scotland - which is quite the compliment. Despite being old, it is not as know for its history as its compatriot, St Andrews. But what it lacks in mystique it more than makes up for in a challenging round of golf. Muirfield can in fact be so difficult, that it does split opinion. It features two rings of nine holes, and the 13th hole is one of the best short holes you will find on the circuit.


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