Top 100 Golf Courses Europe 2015
Corsica, France | Par 72 | 6,672 yards
NB A wonderfully scenic course, located on cliffs directly above an azure blue sea. On the backnine, much of which is played at the cliff's edge, you also look down onto the sandy beaches and rocky headlands of Corsica's southerly shoreline.
GW Categorically thrilling, but loses a few marks for presentation compared to others in top 50.
PGA National (Lakes)
Malmo, Sweden | Par 72 | 7,655 yards
OD Sits on a bed of 50cm sand to try to make it like a links but for me it is a US inland course. Lakes is in my opinion the better of the two here with more water, smaller greens, larger bunkers.
TJ Good design and condition even if visually, the experience is a little undistinguished.
GW Solid, modern fare on former farmland.
Paris, France | Par 72 | 6,734 yards
CB Oozes bygone English charm with an effortlessly skilful routing among mature woodland leading to magnificent green complexes that alone deserve a top-40 ranking in my view. Predictably strong 'Colt' par 3s.
GW VERDICT A small rise for this timeless Harry Colt design that is Paris' most underrated track.
Sotogrande, Spain | Par 72 | 6,984 yards
CB Regarded by many as Robert Trent Jones's best work in Europe with good reason. Effortlessly charms on velvet fairways and in its characterful clubhouse.
PBe A lovely course oozing tradition and quality.
GW VERDICT Difficult to rank, given it has revamped half its holes. We loved it anyway and are predicting the new work will only enhance it.
El Prat (Rosa)
Barcelona, Spain | Par 72 | 7,000 yards
CB Located 30 minutes from Barcelona having had to relocate from near the airport, the members have been gifted wonderful new courses to play on (there are five loops here).
GW Only falls due to the rises enjoyed by some from outside the top 50; it is no reflection on the outstanding 'Pink' course. Penal but tranquil.
Tervuren, Belgium | Par 73 | 6,606 yards
NB A lovely old course with a stunning variety of trees and bushes lining the gently undulating fairways. In spring, the fl owering rhododendrons create colour that adds signifi cantly to the course's inescapably garden-like character.
GW VERDICT Proof that courses do not need to be long to be either well regarded or testing.
The Scandinavian (Old)
Farum, Denmark | Par 72 | 7,254 yards
OD Of the Danish courses, The Scandinavian Old (even though only some 10 years) is a great challenge. Large, undulating but true greens with a number of challenging approach shots makes this a course worth visiting.
GW VERDICT Robert Trent Jones Jnr and Bruce Charlton did a marvellous job on this bland site.
Eindhoven, NL | Par 72 | 6,805 yards
CB Comprises two equally impressive nine-hole loops in tranquil woodland. A few elevated tees, occasionally undulating fairways and some doglegs off er variety but essentially this is a further example of classy heathland golf in the Netherlands.
GW VERDICT Deserves to be viewed alongside the best in Europe and although the top 30 is packed with magnificent courses, it is easy to imagine Eindhoven will end up within the top 25.
Penha Longa (Atlantico)
Lisbon, Portugal | Par 72 | 6,878 yards
CB Exciting, dramatic and exhilarating, Phillips did well to manage the mildly preposterous natural terrain and keep this course 'proper'.
GW VERDICT Penha Longa have worked hard, especially in the last couple of years, to ensure the conditioning of Atlantico matches the quality of the design and the views. Hence this rise.
Sporting Club Berlin (Faldo)
Scharmützelsee, Ger. | Par 72 | 7,093 yards
H-JW There are 131 devilishly deep pot bunkers along dune-like fairways leading to generouslysized greens. A beautiful beast for all who know how to deal with the potential danger.
GW VERDICT 2022 Ryder Cup hopeful is a bigboned course between a mature forest and open terrain. Tough rather than charming in nature.