Golf World Top 100: Best Golf Courses in Continental Europe – 25-11

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What are the best golf courses in continental Europe? The Golf World Top 100 reveals all.

From Ryder Cup courses and European Tour hosts to layouts that many of you may never have heard off, this is the definitive and revered list of the finest golf courses continental Europe has to offer. 

You can find out who is on the panel that ranks the courses and the criteria we use to mark them, along with answers to the FAQs we receive around the Golf World Top 100s and the courses that were in the running for the continental Europe list by clicking here.

And before you start planning your tour of the continent to play these amazing golf courses, be sure to check out our guides to Europe's best new golf courses and the continent's best golf resorts to ensure your incredible round is followed by an incredible stay.

Of course, if you're not much of a traveller (and who has been for the last 18 months?!), we've also got your covered with rankings of the best courses in EnglandScotlandIreland and Wales, along with the most fun courses on these shores, the best courses you can play £60 and less and the best golf resorts in Great Britain and Ireland.

But for now, let's continue our countdown of continental Europe's best golf courses.

<<< Click here to view the courses ranked 50th-26th <<<

Golf World Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe: 26th-11th

25. Hardelot (Les Pins)

Hardelot, France
UP 14 PLACES
Design 32 Setting 11 Memorability 12 Playability 7 Consistency 7 Presentation 7 Total 76

Hardelot's Les Pins is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

A top 25 position for a course we fell out of love with a decade ago, but which we now dream about following the Frank Pont-Patrice Boissonas refurbishment. Out went the claustrophobic feel and poor turf of Les Pins, in came light, air and reinvigorated Tom Simpson greens.

24. Royal Zoute

Knokke, Belgium
DOWN 10 PLACES
Design 32 Setting 11 Memorability 12 Playability 7 Consistency 7 Presentation 7 Total 76

Royal Zoute is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

This grand old club is aptly named – Zoute means salt and the winds that blow across it certainly have a taste of the sea. Just a few miles from the port of Knokke – the club’s affectionate name – it is a stern test, as befits an ex-Tour venue. Restoration could see it climb as many as 15 spots.

23. Bro Hof Slott (Stadium)

Stockholm, Sweden
DOWN 13 PLACES
Design 28 Setting 14 Memorability 13 Playability 7 Consistency 7 Presentation 7 Total 77

Bro Hof Slott's Stadium course is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

If you love drama, excitement and jaw-dropping scenery, you’ll enjoy it here. What the Stadium lacks in subtlety it more than makes up for with thrilling holes and Insta-worthy moments. Water dominates numerous holes, notably a closing stretch that you need flippers for.

22. Le Touquet (La Mer)

Le Touquet, France
DOWN ONE PLACE
Design 31 Setting 13 Memorability 12 Playability 7 Consistency 7 Presentation 7 Total 77

Le Touquet's La Mer is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

Another Harry Colt course that is being restored, this time again by Frank Pont. The programme has made significant in-roads, not least on the wonderful short 16th, but we are excited to see where it ends up... because we are convinced this could be one of the top 20 best golf courses in continental Europe here if the restoration work can be thorough while being sensitive to the environment.

As it is now, it is a fabulous seaside experience with a glad-to-be-a-golfer feeling to it. Some dramatic holes and some stringent ones, played out with elegance and interest over undulating seaside terrain. A game on the Mer at Le Touquet is an essential part of a travelling British golfer’s CV.

There are 36 more holes in along with charming accomodation, which is why we have it as one of the continent's best golf resorts.

21. Sotogrande

Sotogrande, Spain
UP 15 PLACES
Design 32 Setting 11 Memorability 11 Playability 6 Consistency 9 Presentation 8 Total 77

Sotogrande is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

The most prominent spot Sotogrande has occupied since the very early days of this ranking. As our list began to experience more courses, the club began to look a bit tired. Not now. The refurbishment was a huge success and this Trent Jones Snr design indubitably has top 20 class. 

20. Saint-Germain

Paris, France
UP SIX PLACES
Design 34 Setting 11 Memorability 11 Playability 7 Consistency 7 Presentation 7 Total 77

Saint Germain is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

Harry Colt made a wonderful job of producing an entertaining and intriguing course on what was a dull site. This traditional club loves its Colt legacy and has been restoring the course in-house to let it breathe. Some of the list’s most interesting green complexes and par 3s.

19. Falsterbo

Malmo, Sweden
UP ONE PLACE
Design 32 Setting 13 Memorability 12 Playability 7 Consistency 6 Presentation 7 Total 77

Falsterbo is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

The arrival at this historic club sets the scene for the enjoyment that is to follow; there’s sand blowing about everywhere and if finding seaside, characterful golf appeals to you, Falsterbo should be on your wishlist. It starts with some more modest holes, with more of an inland feel, but eventually opens out onto invigorating linksland. The holes around the lighthouse are screensaver quality as well as being a thorough test of your game.

18. Golf du Medoc (Chateaux)

Bordeaux, France
UP ONE PLACE
Design 33 Setting 11 Memorability 11 Playability 7 Consistency 8 Presentation 7 Total 77

Golf du Medoc's Chateaux is one of best golf courses in continental Europe.

This Bill Coore course from the ’90s – before he hit the big time with Ben Crenshaw – has many of the hallmarks of his work with the Masters champion. It is also extremely reminiscent of Walton Heath’s pair of heathland classics, with fairways sweeping between heather and pines.

Combined with Les Vignes 18 holes and a neat hotel that serves superb food and wine, we also have Medoc as the 10th best golf resort on the continent.

17. PGA Catalunya (Stadium)

Girona, Spain
DOWN 11 PLACES
Design 29 Setting 12 Memorability 11 Playability 7 Consistency 9 Presentation 9 Total 77

PGA Catalunya's Stadium course is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

This was one of those positions that didn’t feel especially good when it came out, as the Stadium has been more than a handful of places higher in previous lists. This panel just didn’t feel it had quite the charm and nuance but, make no mistake, this is a high-calibre modern championship course that is part of a resort we rank among the top three best on the continent.

16. Parnu Bay

Parnu, Estonia
UP 10 PLACES
Design 31 Setting 13 Memorability 8 Playability 9 Consistency 9 Presentation 7 Total 77

Parnu Bay is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

Lassi Pekka Tilander is probably the finest modern architect you don’t know huge amounts about. The Finn has proved himself adept at working modest sites, but even he admits he lucked out with Parnu, which is comfortably one of the best golf courses in Europe.

It sits on the edge of the Baltic, is sandy and has elegant mature pines, used as he saw fit. That does not guarantee a classic course, needless to say, but Tilander has created exactly that. It entered our Golf World Top 100 at No.45 six years ago and has been climbing ever since, a delightful mix of strategic and scenic holes and a feeling of tranquillity throughout.

Parnu is forgiving off the tee, but challenges – and entertains – around the green. A richly worthy top 20 spot.

15. West Cliffs

Obidos, Portugal
UP ONE PLACE
Design 30 Setting 14 Memorability 14 Playability 5 Consistency 7 Presentation 7 Total 77

West Cliffs is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

West Cliffs was our big splash entry in the 2017 ranking of continental Europe's best golf courses and its position here, now 10 places higher, suggests we got that initial ranking about right. Cynthia Dye’s creation is demanding off the tee, costing it playability marks, but it has an epic setting and is a thoughtful piece of architecture. Many memorable moments, one of the best new courses in Europe, top three best courses in Portugal, as part of Praia D'el Rey, is among the very finest of our Golf World Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe. 

14. Hamburger

Hamburg, Germany
UP ONE PLACES
Design 33 Setting 11 Memorability 12 Playability 7 Consistency 8 Presentation 7 Total 78

Hamburger is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

‘Falkenstein’ is comfortably Germany’s No.1 for us now, helped by the continuing restoration of this Colt-Alison-Morrison course by Frank Pont and Hendrik Hilgert. A heathland from 1928, it oozes charm and character. Increasingly a panel favourite, a top 10 spot is very possible in two years’ time.

13. El Saler

Valencia, Spain
UP 10 PLACES
Design 34 Setting 13 Memorability 12 Playability 7 Consistency 7 Presentation 6 Total 79

El Saler is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

We’ve said it before; El Saler’s conditioning is less pristine than others in the high end of this Top 100 courses ranking. We repeat it now because it’s true and ought to be made plain – but if classic architecture and captivating sea views trump immaculate tees, you’ll love it. A Javier Arana masterpiece, especially around the greens.

12. Troia

Setubal, Portugal
DOWN FOURPLACES
Design 32 Setting 13 Memorability 13 Playability 6 Consistency 8 Presentation 7 Total 79

Troia is one of the best golf courses in continental Europe.

Some on the panel would have Troia a handful of places higher, especially when you consider it is Golf World's No.2 course in Portugal. The bones of a truly great course are there and with a little investment and TLC, Troia will challenge for the top five. An exhilarating setting, enjoyable variety and memorable moments. Oh, and it’s tough! 

Thankfully, even if it's beaten you up, it's attached to a stunning hotel and has plenty of amenities which help it reach the top 15 of our best resorts in continental Europe. 

11. Monte Rei

Tavira, Portugal
DOWN SEVEN PLACES
Design 29 Setting 12 Memorability 11 Playability 7 Consistency 10 Presentation 10 Total 79

Monte Rei is the best golf course in Portugal and one of the best in continental Europe..

The best golf course in Portugal and some panellists would have it in the top 10 golf courses in continental Europe, just as we have had previously. But with one outstanding new entry and with others such as Lofoten and Chantilly finding favour, Monte Rei is just outside.

Make no mistake though, if it was five places higher and you went to play it, you would not be wondering why it was so high. Flawless conditioning and an exceptionally strong test of golf.

We also have it in the top 25 of our Golf World Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe and top 20 of our best new courses. A bucket-list destination. 

>>> The Best Golf Courses in Continental Europe: 10-1 >>>

About the Author

Golf World Top 100 Courses and Resorts editor Chris Bertram.

Chris Bertram is the Golf World Top 100 Editor.
He was born and brought up in Dumfriesshire and has been a sports journalist since 1996, initially as a junior writer with National Club Golfer magazine.
Chris then spent four years writing about football and rugby union for the Press Association but returned to be Editor and then Publisher of NCG before joining Golf World and Today's Golfer as Senior Production Editor.
He has been freelance since 2010 and when he is not playing and writing about the world's finest golf courses, he works for BBC Sport.
A keen all-round sportsman, Chris plays off 11 - which could be a little better if it wasn't for hilariously poor lag putting which has to be seen to be believed.