Top 100 Golf Courses in the World

The French novelist and dramatist Jean Giraudoux once said: “A golf course is the epitome of all that is purely transitory in the universe; a space not to dwell in, but to get over as quickly as possible.” With great deference to the French (who have three courses in our listing), we disagree. The courses you will see in this special are not the type you’d “want to get over quickly”. These are courses to be savoured, to be memorised; most of them are once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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It can safely be said that the panel we assembled in order to put together this listing was the biggest and most geographically spread panel which has ever been amassed to judge the merits of golf courses. They included the great and the good from all corners of the planet, all experts in their own fields, taken from a diverse cross-section in the game. The panel were asked to consider design, conditioning, history, memorability and reputation.

It is worth mentioning that Golf World produces the most respected list of the Top 100 Courses in Great Britain & Ireland (November 2008), plus the Top 100 in Continental Europe (November 2009). For the purposes of this list, the order of these rankings was not changed.

Finally, it must be stressed that some of the courses in the list are impossible to play unless you are a member, or the guest of a member. It’s a shame that more of us can’t enjoy them, but this is a list of the best courses in the world, not the best courses in the world you can play.

Or you can skip ahead with our handy shortcuts below:

1 - 10

Our top ten golf courses in the world includes Turnberry Ailsa in Ayrshire and Pebble Beach in California as well as eight other stunning courses.

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11 - 20

Our second ten courses include Carnoustie in Angus, Kingston Heath in Australia and Oakmont in Pennsylvania.

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21 - 30

Our countdown continues with Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, New South Wales in Australia and the stunning Fishers Island in New York to name a few.

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31 - 40

Next in our countdown we take a look at a number of courses, including Waterville in County Kerry, Les Bordes in France and Royal Dornoch in Sutherland.

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41 - 50

We're at the middle of our countdown now and the courses just keep getting better! We start the second half with Walton Heath in Surrey and the ten includes Kiawah Island in South Carolina.

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51 - 60

Numbers 51 to 60 includes Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand, Hirono in Japan and Morfontaine in France.

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61 - 70

The seventh part in our series features National Golf Club of Canada in Ontario, Cabo del Sol in Mexico and Fancourt Links in South Africa.

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71 - 80

The next ten in our top one hundred includes Lahinch in County Clare, Spyglass Hill in California and Gleneagles Kings in Perthshire.

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81 - 90

Part nine continues with PGA Catalunya in Spain, Royal Zoute in Belgium and Royal Adelaide in South Australia.

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91 - 100

We end our countdown with the Abu Dhabi Golf Club and 91 - 100 also includes The Olympic Club in California, Nine Bridges in South Korea and Baltusrol, New Jersey.

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