Welcome to the most insightful and relevant Top 100 golf courses in Britain and Ireland. Written by readers and golfers themselves, this Top 100 list recommends the best courses for our fellow golfers to play, where you will have the most memorable experiences.
This Top 100 list has been compiled by a panel of experts and readers who collectively have played more than 1,000 rounds on the courses in this list. Judging and ranking golf courses is subjective, and a bit of fun, but something that we take very seriously!
100 West Lancs, Lancashire
An honest links of undoubted Top 100 calibre without the thrills of those nearby.
99 The Grove, Hertfordshire
Acknowledged as an excellent design maintained in excellent condition.
98 Pennard, Swansea
Long been touted as a Top 100 course, it made the cut this time. With feted American designer Tom Doak retouching the bunkering, it would not surprise us if Pennard ended up closer to No.50 than No.100 in time.
97 Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Ken Moodie’s astute upgrade means some believe it rivals Surrey’s heathlands.
96 Woburn (Duchess’), Bedfordshire
May lack variation, but some suggest it is the most enjoyable of Woburn’s trio.
95 Tralee, Co Kerry
One of the list’s most jawdropping location keeps it in the 90s.
94 Aldeburgh, Suffolk
Fescues in abundance on both fairways and greens at this rare inland ‘links’.
93 Gleneagles (Queen’s), Perthshire
Makes its Top 100 return with ease, the charming sister to the King’s being widely championed by most panellists.
92 Walton Heath (New), Surrey
Its routing winds nicely across the vast heath, offering plenty of strategic choices.
91 Donegal, Co Donegal
A few more cool features sprinkled amid the challenge could see it higher. Robust.
90 Southport & Ainsdale, Merseyside
Setting might not be sensational, but it is a fine, well-presented links challenge.
89 Remedy Oak, Dorset
Imaginative layout among pines with a feel of tranquility. Lost marks on condition as it can suff er in winter due to an unhelpful base.
88 Dundonald, Ayrshire
Modest setting but a brilliant, modern links with a true old-fashioned feel.
87 Little Aston, Staffs
Tree clearance and increased fairway width has improved the appearance and playability and makes for a fun inland game.
86 Parkstone, Dorset
Fully deserves its entry to the Top 100 alongside its near neighbours Broadstone and Ferndown. There is very little to choose between this Dorset trio, even if they are all slightly diff erent in terms of character and test. Astute recent work has enhanced its heathland aura while changes in elevation and direction ensure continual variety.
85 Royal Ashdown Forest, East Sussex
The variety in scale sets it apart, with intimate moments contrasting with open drama of the more elevated upland sections.
84 West Hill, Surrey
Moves up after its 2014 re-entry and strong opening and fi nish could see it higher.
83 Aberdovey, Gwynedd
An out-and-back links of memorable holes, notably the blind par-3 3rd ‘Cader’ and the intriguing short par-4 16th.
82 Broadstone, Dorset
A significant rise for a heathland being improved even further by Frank Pont.
81 St Andrews (Castle), Fife
A fall in the list but as more revisit without the severe greens, could well rise again.
80 New Zealand, Surrey
You could never tire of playing this vintage heathland. Simpson’s greens add spice.
79 The Renaissance, East Lothian
Superb green complexes and a sound routing make the most of the linksland.
78 The Addington, Surrey
Sporting set-up between huge bunkers and over/round deep ravines. Great fun.
77 Ferndown (Old), Dorset
A fall, but still great affection for this pretty, playable, immaculate heathland.
76 Southerness, Dumfriesshire
Moves smoothly through gorse and heather to a top-20 calibre closing stretch.
75 Wentworth (East), Surrey
Relatively more fondness, given historical status, for the East than its illustrious sister, even if it has never had quite the allure.
74 Woburn (Marquess’), Bedfordshire
A ‘big’ course. Modern, made to measure feel costs it a little of its siblings’ grace.
73 Blairgowrie (Rosemount), Perthshire
Delightful, tranquil inland venue, as is its sister course the Lansdowne.
72 Moortown, Yorkshire
Trees paid a price but this refurbed heathland continues its rise to the top 50.
71 Gullane (No.1), East Lothian
Solid links with elevation changes offering variety that surpasses some star names.
70 Woburn (Duke’s), Bedfordshire
High-class track ticks all the boxes.
69 The Berkshire (Blue), Berkshire
May lack highlights but the stretch from 11-14 is arguably the best at the club.
68 Worplesdon, Surrey
Classy heathland that some of the panel would have had 20 places higher.
67 County Louth, Co Louth
Lacks glamour of some perhaps, but this links quietly holds onto a slot in the 60s.
66 Hunstanton, Norfolk
A championship links with some subtle touches, its dune ridge used with craft.
65 Burnham & Berrow, Somerset
Outstanding links which, but for a few weaker holes in the middle, could have enjoyed an even bigger rise. Makes the trip to Somerset’s coast entirely worthwhile.
64 Hillside, Lancashire
Not quite as much love for Hillside as its varied, exciting terrain might suggest.
63 Woking, Surrey
A big rise in 2014, Woking is the rival of some even more illustrious neighbours.
62 Royal St David’s, Gwynned
Making serious efforts to get even better, there is affection for the infamous par 69.
61 Machrihanish Dunes, Argyll
Top 50 beckons for this elite links.
60 Rye, East Sussex
A vintage links in every sense.
59 Carne, Co Mayo
Magical links. An extrovert layout through a remote and beautifully wild landscape.
58 Old Head of Kinsale, Cork
This 1997 clifftop splits opinion like few others – go to Cork and judge it for yourself.
57 Royal Cinque Ports, Kent
A fast-running links with rippling fairways and unexpected green locations.
56 County Sligo, Silgo
Glorious location matched by a quality design. This raw links is the real deal.
55 Ballyliffin (Glashedy), Donegal
The pond on the short 7th puts some off; otherwise a seriously robust links.
54 The Machrie, Argyll
We have ‘marked’ The Machrie prior to the changes it is undergoing (in fact you can still play the original course even though the new one is being built around it). Panellists will make their way to Islay to assess the new links from this summer onwards, ahead of a re-ranking in 2018, when it will most likely be considered a new entry. Interesting to note that in its existing form, it remains very, very popular.
53 Enniscrone, Silgo
Thrilling links continues its ascent after big climb in 2014, as refinements carry on.
52 Wentworth (West), Surrey
There’s discernible anger at the West’s morph to a ‘tournament play’ parkland.
51 The Island, Dublin
A wonderful links in rough dunes along the water. Quirky but a real pleasure.