Top 100 Golf Courses Europe 2015
Malaga, Spain | Par 72 | 7,480 yards
CB This course will surprise you. Located 20 minutes from the other big names surrounding Valderrama in the Sotogrande area, it diff ers in character from the others and off er a fresh look, a signifi cant test and an all-round fi ve-star experience.
GW VERDICT Host to the World Match Play in 2009 and 2011, this is one of the best new courses on the continent. Terrifi c mountain and sea views from elevated tees and a beautifully-conditioned course. This huge jump feels fully vindicated.
Praia d'El Rey
Obidos, Portugal | Par 73 | 7,052 yards
JVP Beautiful scenario in the west coast, where the wind and climate can transport you to the north of Europe! The holes near the ocean are as amazing as they are diffi cult. Very good.
GW But for the sight of residential development, this is a top-20 fi xture. Even so, the genuine links holes are comfortably enough to secure this rise.
Algarve, Portugal | Par 72 | 6,821 yards
PG Classy and usually immaculate; requires sound strategic play to score. Top 20 for me.
JVP Absolutely brilliant. Fantastic views at times.
BL From the 6th tee the view is superb. Top 25.
GW Maintains its top-30 spot in the main due to the coastal holes, which are majestic. Easy to see why it is so popular with British golfers.
Hardelot, France | Par 71 | 6,480 yards
CB One of the fi nest renovations of a classic I have seen. If you haven't been to Hardelot in the past year, make a point of heading to the Pas de Calais region to enjoy this reworked Simpson.
GW Was close to dropping out of the Top 100 in 2013, now this astronomical rise following the overhaul as documented in our October issue.
Seville, Spain | Par 72 | 7,140 yards
JAL Host of the World Cup, it's probably the best Jose María Olazabal Golf design. Also, it's always in pristine condition.
GW Not quite as much love for this Olazabal design as there was two years ago but it is a classy parkland that is well worth journeying north from Sotogrande when visiting there.
Lubker (Sand & Sky)
Nimtofte, Denmark | Par 72 | 7,028 yards
TV A testing course with beautiful views. You will need your entire arsenal if you want to conquer this Robert Trent Jones Jnr course.
GW VERDICT The Forest loop is good too. Opened in 2008, this small drop for Lubker does not refl ect our opinion of it, merely the ascent of others. Incredibly mature feel to a new course.
Malmo, Sweden | 6,649 yards
OD The improvements with the help of Alan Strachan (Walton Heath) are significant; now an outstanding links of high British standard.
BL A classic links. A must play and Sweden's No.2.
PBe A traditional links, the best in Scandinavia. TJ One of Sweden's few true links courses.
GW VERDICT Simply, authentic seaside golf.
Hamburg, Germany | Par 71 | 6,348 yards
HJW My No 1. On the glorious undulating north bank of the Elbe, it enjoys an English landscape of pine forest decorated with heather and sprinkled with refined hazards and tiered greens. This HS Colt has not withered over time.
GW VERDICT A 2013 revision ensures this characterful woodland-heathland still endures.
Sylt, Germany | Par 72 | 6,621 yards
HJ-W You never feel like this course has been wrested from a former military site, with more than 90 devious 'Scottish' pot bunkers, lightning-fast greens and magnificent views of the North Sea. Raw and powerful but well-presented.
GW VERDICT Old bunker entrances, underground tanks, cellars and tunnels were incorporated into the design by Rolf-Stephan Hansen, who routed loops that return to the clubhouse on this sandy site. Fescue initially struggled to establish, but is now superb.
Lagos, Portugal | Par 72 | 7,124 yards
PG Exhilarating to play, with downhill drives and spectacular views. I prefer it to Oitavos Dunes.
JVP Most tees will take your breath away. 27 holes of pure golf. This is one of the most brilliant courses in Algarve and a challenge all the way.
GW All three loops are of a similar calibre but if you have just time for 18, makes sure Praia is one.