Best Inland Golf Courses in the UK and Ireland

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We are often accused of bias towards links courses in our rankings and there is probably a little bit of truth to it. A lot of our panel would say links is their favourite form of the game, myself included. But do not mistake that for antipathy towards inland golf – in fact, I’ve never appreciated and enjoyed it more than I do now. 

Alwoodley is one of the best golf courses in Britain and Ireland.
Alwoodley

The sheer variety is one reason – anyone thinking this Top 100 is basically a list of heathlands is in for a pleasant surprise – and that is demonstrated and celebrated in this ranking. The quality of the 100 is at least as admirable as the variety too, with at least 25 courses on the outside looking in that would have been seamless additions had they made the cut. 

Walton Heath's Old is one of the best golf courses in Surrey.
Walton Heath Old

The 100 that did make it were formed by assimilating our GB&I ranking with our England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland lists. There was a little movement within those lists because we are constantly assessing courses and occasionally decide between lists that we have ranked somewhere a little too high or low and alter accordingly; a few of us have been in Surrey and Gloucestershire of late, so the eagle-eyed may spot a tweak here and there.

There are no marks in this Top 100, because every single course is marked in their national lists and I also decided to present them differently.

The 1-100 list is right at the end for reference and the entries are introduced as a series of essays, with the courses divided up by either their country or by their character if they are English.

Broadstone is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Broadstone

England has an exceptionally strong inland portfolio, helping to make the standard of this inaugural links-free Top 100 incredibly high.

I hope you enjoy this journey around the UK and Ireland away from the coast and, as always, we welcome your feedback via email, on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Chris Bertram, Golf World Top 100 Editor

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Best Inland Golf Courses in England

When talk turns to the elite inland courses of Britain and Ireland, the heathlands of England are likely to come to the minds of most golfers. There is good reason for that; there are as many as 30 in our GB&I Top 100, a tally that has been increasing in recent lists. The superstars of Surrey and Berkshire predictably occupy the loftiest positions and indeed provide four of the top five entries in this ranking.

Sunningdale Old is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Sunningdale Old

Sunningdale, entirely predictably, has two of the top three – with Lincolnshire’s Woodhall Spa sandwiched between them – and many people’s idea of the perfect golf day is one spent here. Sunningdale Old (No.1), above, has always been ranked above Sunningdale New (No.3), but the difference between them is slim.

The Old is a little more consistent, a touch more playable and thus possibly slightly more charming. The New has a relatively modest start and finish, but the rest is world class and the middle of its front nine is indubitably epic and is arguably the property’s best stretch. 

Woodhall Spa’s Hotchkin (No.2), below, takes a bit of getting to, tucked away as it is in rural Lincolnshire, but after its Tom Doak overhaul – incorporating thorough tree clearance and a bunker renovation – it is worth every mile of the journey. It is a World Top 50 course on a very grand scale and 23rd in our ranking of the world’s best courses that you can actually play.

Woodhall Spa's Hotchkin is one of the best golf courses in the world.
Woodhall Spa Hotchkin

Back in the south, Swinley Forest, in Berkshire, is No.4, oozing class in a way short heathland courses do better than anything else. This timeless course flatters by asking you to hit short irons rather than hybrids into par 4s. It is a regal course whose charm offensive continues with an exotic combination of colours and smells from the pines and heather. Exquisite.

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Two more Surrey courses follow, St George’s Hill at No.5, whose Red and Blue loops of nine were brilliantly set down on undulating land by Harry Colt and are now getting the credit their adventure deserves, while No.8 Walton Heath (Old), is laid out on a largely flat piece of heath and has a nice feeling of openness and far-reaching views. Walton Heath’s New, a delightful experience after a slower start, is at No.29.

Swinley Forest is one of the best golf courses in the world.
Swinley Forest

Joining Woodhall Spa in interrupting the dominance of the south is Alwoodley at No.9. It is the home of Alister MacKenzie, who was one of the Leeds club’s founder members, its first secretary, its architect and a member of the greens committee until 1930. Head to West Yorkshire to inject his design genius into your veins here as well as at No.20, Moortown, the 1929 Ryder Cup venue that sits elegantly on the other side of the A61. Moortown’s restoration 15 years ago ensured it remains among GB&I’s elite.

West Sussex rounds off this list’s top 10, blending aesthetically pleasing holes with stringent ones. ‘Pulborough’ zig-zags up and down, as well as back and across, an ocean of heather, sandy soil and mature trees.

Woking is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Woking

While it is perhaps often a touch under-appreciated, ‘The Three Ws’ are, in contrast, synonymous with high-calibre heathland golf. Pictured above, Woking, – whose cerebral architecture inspired Tom Simpson to become a designer – is at No.12, easy-to-love Worplesdon at No.19 and the consistent excellence of West Hill at No.21. 

Remarkably, that is not the end of the Surrey elite. It has 11 entries in our GB&I Top 100 and another is Hankley Common (No.16), which has mature trees dotted about its vast site but where the overall feeling is one of space and tranquility. Expect sandy turf, seas of heather and fast greens.

Some might say Wentworth (West), below, at No.18 should be in the parkland section of this ranking as it has lost its heath character, but it is certainly a better version of what it was not so long ago and has the X Factor.

Wentworth West is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Wentworth West

Uber-characterful The Addington by J.F. Abercromby at No.26 is undergoing an overhaul by Clayton, DeVries and Pont (CDP) which promises much, and Abercromby has another entry at No.25, this time just over the border in Hampshire – Liphook. Compelling short holes and memorable two-shotters lead the way.

Like Leeds, Nottinghamshire is home to two elite heathlands. At No.13, Hollinwell, below, is certainly worthy of its position among such illustrious names. The journey down its driveway sets the scene, giving a tantalising sense of the idyllic heathland and woodland its holes wind between. Notts’ second GB&I entry is Sherwood Forest. This fast-running Open qualifier is at No.30 in the Inland list and never stops asking questions that you take huge enjoyment from trying to answer.

Notts (Hollinwell) is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Notts Hollinwell

There are, remarkably, three clubs with two courses in the top 30. In addition to Sunningdale and Walton Heath, The Berkshire has the Red (No.14) and Blue (No.28). Add in lunch in between and it is a day that is hard to beat. The former is long enough to make you work for a good score, but not too long to make it a grind; this symmetrical course of six par 3s, 4s and 5s is a much-loved host of elite amateur event The Berkshire Trophy. Its sister is laid out on flatter land after the infamous par-3 1st.

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The thing that makes Bournemouth such a quietly brilliant golf break is that its three heathlands all offer something different. There is the variety and memorability of Parkstone (No.22), below, two spots above the adventurous journey of Broadstone, while the peerless tranquility and flawless greens of Ferndown (main image) are at No.33 – but, honestly, this trio could so easily be in a totally different order.

Parkstone is one of the best golf courses in Britain and Ireland.
Parkstone

AMAZING HEATHLAND DEPTH

Aldeburgh was course 101 in our 2022 GB&I ranking and is quite simply as good as the courses that just made it in that list. We think this maritime heathland is eligible for this Inland list even though the air is salty because of its proximity to the coast. Its trademark long par 4s (Martin Ebert is about to give it its first par 5s), tight fescue fairways and subtle greens are at No.31 and is followed by three other courses of a similar quality that would also enhance the GB&I ranking: the peaceful, rolling fairways and magnificent green complexes of Herbert Fowler’s Beau Desert, in Staffordshire (No.32), the aforementioned Ferndown and No.34, the bunkerless Royal Ashdown Forest (Old), a GB&I Top 100 stalwart that only missed out as it gets to grips with a green issue at the moment.

Then come, would you believe, another high-calibre collection of Surrey heathlands – is it any wonder we named it GB&I’s top area for a golf break three months ago?

Hindhead (No.35), below, will push strongly for GB&I inclusion next time out; the front nine is jaw-droppingly beautiful as it plays through imposing canyons of heather and tall pines, then the second half journeys atop the heathland with relentlessly high quality. 

Hindhead is one of the best golf courses in Surrey.
Hindhead

Wentworth (East) is No.37 and arguably more heathland-y and easier to love than the West now, while New Zealand (No.38) is another benefiting from a CDP renovation. A glorious step back in time in every respect, one expects Bertie Wooster to be walking up 18 as you steer your drive down the 1st. Two Harry Colt classics, Tandridge at No.52, below – with a lovely opening half and an absolutely world-class back nine – and the delightful pine-lined elegance of Camberley Heath at No.55 absolutely deserve to be mentioned in this company, too.

The rest of this section sees us dart all around England. There is the undulating topography and thrilling adventures of heathland master Fowler’s Delamere Forest (No.42), in Cheshire, Suffolk’s Ipswich (Purdis Heath) at No.47 – at its best following a bunker programme – and Piltdown (No.54), in Sussex, where heather, gorse and gullies replace sand as hazards.

Tandridge is one of the best golf courses in Surrey.
Tandridge

Two Hampshire courses sit at opposite ends of the county, but close to each other in the list. Another of Colt’s pieces of magic, Blackmoor (No.56) – complete, of course, with gorgeous par 3s – sits close to the Surrey border and Liphook, while Stoneham (No.58), which does scale like few others in this list, is on the edge of Southampton. Set down on significantly undulating land by Willie Park in 1908, you encounter blind shots (good news) while the par 3s and 5s are particularly strong.

Yorkshire’s depth is demonstrated by three further heathlands to add to Alwoodley and Moortown. Lindrick (No.60), near Worksop in South Yorkshire, is a Ryder Cup host that has undergone an impressive renovation and visitors always enjoy finishing on the unusual par-3 last.

Fulford (No.73) in York, in the North Riding of the county, is well known as a 1980s stage of the European Tour, Bernhard Langer up a tree and all that. It is a fine heathland-woodland experience.

The Hallamshire has one of the best golf courses you can play for under £60.
The Hallamshire

Then, at No.91, there is Hallamshire, above, in Sheffield. A big-boned course that requires proper hitting, hence it spawned Matt Fitzpatrick and his brother, Alex. It’s another under the eye of CDP and while it’s already terrific, we think it has plenty of potential.  

Suffolk has two more courses in this section to add to Aldeburgh and Purdis Heath, and it might surprise you to learn the county, hardly renowned as a hotbed for golf, has five entries in this Top 100. Four of them have a similar theme; inland courses with links characteristics. Woodbridge (No.62), has Braid influence, and is situated in a Suffolk Coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Expect firm sandy turf, slick greens and a good smattering of gorse.

Thorpeness (No.79) is another Braid classic, with long par 4s, lots of gorse and each hole having its own character, with standouts such as 18, with its backdrop of the House in the Clouds and Windmill.

It’s back to a tour of England for the rest of this stellar section, where the quality truly is relentlessly, impressively high. 

Isle of Purbeck has one of the best golf courses you can play for under £60.
Isle of Purbeck

Pictured above, Isle of Purbeck (No.80), in Dorset, is being comprehensively overhauled by Tim Lobb and we are excited to see what that produces. With views across the Solent, it has always been a delight, but there has always been the feeling it could be really, really good if it punched its weight.

Next, to Luffenham Heath (No.82) in England’s smallest county, Rutland. It’s a Colt original, but has been ‘tightened up’ by Martin Hawtree to ensure this thinking golfer’s heathland remains a stiff test as an Open qualifier.

Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands, is at No.89 and is a brilliant under-the-radar heathland which should be combined on a trip with several other contenders for this list – the pair at Enville, Copt Heath, South Staffs, Edgbaston and Whittington Heath – as well as Blackwell, Little Aston and The Belfry that are in the Parklands section in two pages’ time. This is an acutely underrated area of England. 

Crowborough Beacon Golf Club has one of the best golf courses you can play for under £60.
Crowborough Beacon

Finally, Crowborough Beacon (No.90) by MacKenzie boasts breathtaking views of Sussex from its elevated fairways and opens up with two par 4s over 400 yards, so while it is true it benefits from delightful views over the High Weald to the South Downs, it has plenty of bite. 

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ECCENTRIC AND QUIRKY COURSES

What a selection we have here. Just brilliant. Of course, many links are funky, fun and idiosyncratic, but in the courses in this section you discover holes every bit as characterful and frankly bewildering as at Cruden Bay or North Berwick.

Picture below, Huntercombe (No.40), in Oxfordshire, was designed by Willie Park Jnr in 1901. It educates and entertains in equal measure. A delightful journey over humps and around dazzling green complexes, it is an essential experience for architecture buffs.

Huntercombe is one of the most fun golf courses to play in Britain and Ireland.
Huntercombe

The same could categorically be said of Cavendish (No.48). This MacKenzie design in Derbyshire is now getting the credit it deserves. It sits in the middle of our England ranking and has all the hallmarks of the legendary designer’s most famous work.

Now the quirk-o-meter turns up a notch. Kington (No.53) is Herefordshire’s stand-out, a mix of heathland, moorland and hillside golf, with the common theme fabulous turf, mesmeric green complexes and intriguing holes. No need for lots of bunkers, the grassy hollows and ridges do the job perfectly. And the views… 

Nearby Cleeve Hill (No.63) in Gloucestershire, pictured below, offers a similarly wonderful round over hilly land covered in firm, springy turf. Cool holes, breathtaking views and a thrill a minute. It was nearly lost when the local council didn’t see its merit, but two locals had the passion and foresight to save it; it would have been a tragic loss. 

Cleeve Hill is one of the best golf courses you can play for less than £35
Cleeve Hill

Painswick (No.81) tops the lot for eccentricity, though. It is natural to the point of being raw and slightly bonkers (two blind par 3s for a start). You share the beautiful land with walkers and when it’s busy have to wait for them to move out of range, but the rewards are immense. No two holes are the same and if you think you’ll shoot 64 round its 6,000 yards, think again! Not for everyone, but many will adore it.

Berkhamsted (No.76), below, is the host of the elite-level amateur tournament the Berkhamsted Trophy, but has no bunkers and instead relies on ridges, hollows and mounds to test golfers of all levels.

Berkhamsted is one of the best golf courses in England.
Berkhamsted

Finally, we are so pleased Cumbria’s Appleby (No.97) gets a place on this list. It’s in our Fun Top 100 as a result of Willie Fernie using the land so expertly to create compelling holes between the heather and bracken. Firm fairways year round, do not drive past it on the M6 next time.

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MODERN ENGLISH STANDOUTS

The final section but make no mistake, the quality keeps pouring out of this Top 100 with these 10, as well as JCB Club and The Grove, which could easily have slid into this section too and made it even stronger.

The trio of courses at the outstanding Woburn headline the best of England’s ‘modern’ courses. The Duke’s is at No.43, a tranquil yet probing journey through idyllic Buckinghamshire woodland, with the smell of X-Factor from its extensive tournament-hosting pedigree.

The Marquess is one of the best golf courses in England.
The Marquess at Woburn

The Marquess (No.49), above, was designed by the esteemed quartet of Alliss, Clark, McMurray and Hay and is the youngest of Woburn’s trio. The club’s most muscular course also has some of its best holes. Memorable sweeping par 5s characterise this modern classic.

The Duchess (No.57) is the shortest of the three but because the trees demand accuracy off the tee, it is only cute to a point; it’s a proper test, but a delightful one.

Pictured below, The Belfry (Brabazon) is at No.61 and needs little description. From four Ryder Cups to this year’s staging of the British Masters, its tournament-hosting pedigree is a huge draw. You can also guarantee it’ll be in magnificent condition any month of the year.

The Brabazon course at The Belfry is one of the best golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland.
The Belfry Brabazon

St Mellion (Nicklaus) is at No.72 and is Cornwall’s top inland course. Like the Duke’s and Brabazon, you follow in the footsteps of legends here. Faldo, Woosnam, Seve et al played this exacting parkland several times in the golden age of European golf. Close House (No.88) is another British Masters host, its Colt course being home to some lovely touches by the lower-profile architect Scott MacPherson.

A trio around London have a lot of class about them. Bearwood Lakes (No.78), in Berkshire, is picturesque, fun and bursting with variety, while Centurion Club (No.83, below), north of the capital, starts with elegant holes, then opens up and loosens your shoulders. Foxhills (Longcross) is at No.84, which shows the depth to this list because this is a handsome woodland among Surrey’s glitterati.

Centurion Club is one of the best golf courses in England.
Centurion Club

Finally, the John Jacobs-designed Remedy Oak (No.85 ) is Dorset’s new kid on the block, winding between towering timber with some epic scenes. But for a weaker finish, it would be higher here.

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ENGLAND’S PARKLAND ELITE

There are two contrasting English parklands in our GB&I ranking, Royal Worlington & Newmarket (No.23) and JCB Club. The former is back in the GB&I list after a long absence, ‘The Sacred Nine’ being cherished by design connoisseurs for good reason. An essential Suffolk pilgrimage to play this subtle nine-holer.

The JCB Club is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
JCB Club

JCB Club (No.27), above, debuted in our GB&I Top 100 this year and is set to be a fixture in the blue riband list. Robin Hiseman, of EGD, has laid down a course of uncommon variety and memorable holes in Staffordshire countryside. Stringent two-shotters mix with unforgettable sporty ones, and there’s an all-world short 17th.  

Two other parklands have featured in the GB&I list recently, too: Little Aston (No.39), a classy challenge on the outskirts of Birmingham, has bags of pedigree and plenty of stellar holes; and The Grove (No.46), where Kyle Phillips made the most of the Hertfordshire site, producing a clever routing. There will only be a couple of courses in this list (Adare is one) in noticeably better condition.

The Grove is one of the best golf courses in England.
The Grove

Contrast is the theme of this section, in fact. For the remainder of the stellar English parklands we move around the country to courses that have the same overall character, but are all notably different from each other.

Frank Pont’s refurbishment of Blackwell (No.51) has the Worcestershire parkland in our GB&I thoughts again. Originally designed by Colt, it oozes class.

Knole Park (No.59), in Kent, is a J.F. Abercromby parkland with a bit of heath and moorland to it. Braid also consulted on this pedigree course, which sits on land that is home to the finest deer herd in the south.

Abercromby also created Coombe Hill (No.75), below, which offers something different from the rest of Surrey’s courses. A pretty challenge among an array of trees, flowers, bushes and shrubs. Wonderful par 3s.

Coombe Hill is one of the best golf courses in Surrey.
Coombe Hill

Ashridge (No.70) is often underrated. This Hutchison/Campbell/Hotchkin design near Berkhamsted is situated in rolling land in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Hertfordshire on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, yet within 40 miles of central London.

Hadley Wood at No.98 offers a similar vibe, an elegant parkland with classic Alister MacKenzie greens – tiered and with plenty of movement in them. It plays up and down stout hills near Barnet. Work by Clyde Johnson is refurbishing the bunkering.

And another of the true greats, Harry Colt, brilliantly worked the sometimes acute elevation changes of the Cheshire land that is home to Prestbury (No.71) in 1920. He left a course of memorable holes that is now a firm fixture in our England ranking.

INLAND LINKS AND DOWNLAND COURSES

We usually despise the description ‘inland links’ because it is usually coined by marketing departments of parkland courses with a few humps and hollows and wispy rough lining the fairways. But Ganton (No.11) is inland, yet truly plays like a links because of ice age glacier deposits on which it sits. A quality championship course.

Ganton is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Ganton

At the other end of England is Effingham (No.77), which is more downland than parkland. It entered our England ranking five years ago and stayed there in 2021. A brilliant front nine elevates it above many pretenders, and with high-class bunkering after work by Tom Mackenzie, this is yet another Surrey jewel.

Best Inland Golf Courses in Scotland

Scotland will, for good reason, always be known for its links, which dominate our Scottish Top 100 on a 5-to-1 ratio. It doesn’t have large heathland areas so the best of Scotland’s inland courses are largely moorland, although it should be noted that the country has a huge number of excellent parklands – notably around Edinburgh – that just missed out on this list.

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The PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles is one of the best golf courses in Scotland.
Gleneagles PGA Centenary

Gleneagles naturally provides three entries in this Top 100, with the King’s (No.6) the highest. This Braid masterpiece is too short for the pros these days but remains a serious test for the rest of us, with a handful of truly world-class holes.

Loch Lomond (No.7) needs little introduction after its years hosting the European Tour, although it is worth saying it is more than just a spectacular location. It has much to admire in the holes themselves.

Loch Lomond is one of the best golf courses in Britain and Ireland.
Loch Lomond

Gleneagles Queen’s – the forgiving, flattering little sister that many will take more pleasure from – is at No.17 and then comes Highlands utopia Boat of Garten (No.44), a simply beautiful place to play the game. These first four Scottish entries demonstrate the country’s eclectic mix of inland courses.

Perthshire actually has five entries, which might surprise some. Ryder Cup host Gleneagles (PGA Centenary) comes in at No.66 and Blairgowrie has two entries, the Rosemount at No.45 – another exquisite round of shortish holes and flat greens that allow you to score well and enjoy your day – and the Lansdowne at No.95, a more stringent test.

Gleneagles' King's is one of the best golf courses in the world.
Gleneagles Kings

Two of our favourites – of very different character – sit in the early 60s of this ranking, No.64 Lanark – a lie-of-the-land moorland with just the right amount of quirk and challenge – and No.65 Ladybank, which is a gorgeous tranquil experience among tall pines and on wonderful greens.

There’s not much in common between the final four – we weren’t exaggerating when we said Scotland entries were eclectic. 

Ladybank is one of the best golf courses in Scotland.
Ladybank

Spey Valley (No.74) is a Highlands masterpiece, offering a captivating Cairngorms setting and is arguably Dave Thomas’ finest design.

Duff House Royal (No.93) is a cerebral MacKenzie parkland with the River Deveron cleverly in play on five holes, while The Duke’s (No.96) is a fine heathland-woodland on the outskirts of St Andrews. Downfield (No.99) is pretty and playable, and Wentworth on a budget.

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Best Inland Golf Courses in Wales

From this relatively small selection of Welsh courses you might accurately surmise that the strength of golf in the Principality lies by the coast. Not really news to anyone.

Southerndown Golf Club.
Southerndown

This trio are very good though, and all are different. They are led by Southerndown (No.36), which begins with the most intimidating of uphill opening shots but is a delight, playing on firm downland turf grazed by sheep. A class act.

The Twenty Ten at Celtic Manor (No.67) needs little introduction, being the host of the 2010 Ryder Cup. Dramatic holes are its calling card. Rolls of Monmouth (No.100) is the former home of the Rolls (of Rolls-Royce) family and is a sumptuous parkland around the stately family home. Our Wales panel understandably love it.

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The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor
Celtic Manor Twenty Ten

Best Inland Golf Courses in Ireland

Ireland does have some heathland courses – notably Royal Curragh – but whenever it strays away from its world-class links, its Top 100 is all about lush, lavish parklands.

Adare (No.15) is its clear parkland superstar after a multi-million pound renovation by Tom Fazio under the instruction of new owner J.P. McManus. Ultra-forgiving off the tee, it is incredibly challenging around the greens and is fit
for a Ryder Cup. Its conditioning will take your breath away.

Adare Manor is one of the best golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
Adare Manor

Now come three parklands good enough to have been in past GB&I Top 100. Lough Erne (No.41) is a really, really good Sir Nick Faldo routing among lakes (loughs). It’s beautiful and it is testing in all the right ways. Mount Juliet (No.50) is a Jack Nicklaus Signature design in Kilkenny. A World Golf Championship host, it is immaculately presented and a great test.

Mount Juliet Golf Club
Mount Juliet

The K Club (Palmer) is at No.68 and has, like Mount Juliet, been a GB&I Top 100 entry. A very pleasant, American-style parkland with a fine finish thanks to 16 and 17. Recent investment has it singing.

Tournament pedigree is a common theme among Ireland’s great parklands – six of this selection have hosted a Ryder Cup, a WGC or the European Tour… and sometimes more than one.

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Druids Glen (No.69) has been a Tour host. Its title of ‘The Augusta of Europe’ is a little far fetched but it is a delight to play down manicured fairways flanked by trees towards greens framed by water and flora.

Druids Glen Golf Club
Druids Glen

Another Tour host, Killarney (Killeen) at No.92 is the star of this three-course complex. It is Loch Lomond in character, incorporating rolling fairways, mature trees, mountain backdrops and lots of lake-dominated holes.

Carton House (Montgomerie) – which is No.94 – opened in 2002 and staged the European Tour’s Irish Open within three years. It is a stout, modern parkland in magnificent condition.

Ireland’s historic parklands are represented by Carlow (No.86), which was founded in 1899 on sandy soil so it is terrific all year. It has a super stretch from the 7th to the 11th but beware, this beauty can bite.

Cork Golf Club
Cork Golf Club

Cork (No.87) is 11 years older than Carlow but its key year was 1927, when it was redesigned by Alister MacKenzie. It sits next to Cork Harbour and was skilfully plotted by the great man through mature parkland.

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Best Inland Golf Courses in Britain and Ireland: The full list

1. Sunningdale (Old)
2. Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) 
3. Sunningdale (New) 
4. Swinley Forest
5. St George’s Hill 
6. Gleneagles (King’s) 
7. Loch Lomond
8. Walton Heath (Old) 
9. Alwoodley
10. West Sussex 
11. Ganton 
12. Woking 
13. Hollinwell
14. The Berkshire (Red)
15. Adare 
16. Hankley Common
17. Gleneagles (Queen’s)
18. Wentworth (West)
19. Worplesdon 
20. Moortown
21. West Hill
22. Parkstone 
23. Royal Worlington 
24. Broadstone 
25. Liphook 
26. The Addington
27. JCB Club
28. The Berkshire (Blue) 
29. Walton Heath (New)
30. Sherwood Forest
31. Aldeburgh
32. Beau Desert 
33. Ferndown 
34. Royal Ashdown Forest (Old)
35. Hindhead 
36. Southerndown   
37. Wentworth (East)  
38. New Zealand 
39. Little Aston
40. Huntercombe 
41. Lough Erne  
42. Delamere Forest
43. Woburn (Duke’s)
44. Boat of Garten
45. Blairgowrie (Rosemount)
46. The Grove
47. Ipswich (Purdis Heath)
48. Cavendish
49. Woburn (Marquess)
50. Mount Juliet
51. Blackwell
52. Tandridge
53. Kington
54. Piltdown
55. Camberley Heath
56. Blackmoor
57. Woburn (Duchess)
58. Stoneham
59. Knole Park
60. Lindrick
61. The Belfry (Brabazon)
62. Woodbridge
63. Cleeve Hill
64. Lanark
65. Ladybank
66. Gleneagles (Centenary)
67. Celtic Manor (2010)   
68. The K Club (Palmer)   
69. Druids Glen
70. Ashridge
71. Prestbury
72. St Mellion (Nicklaus)
73. Fulford
74. Spey Valley
75. Coombe Hill
76. Berkhamsted
77. Effingham
78. Bearwood Lakes
79. Thorpeness
80. Isle of Purbeck
81. Painswick
82. Luffenham Heath 
83. Centurion Club
84. Foxhills (Longcross)
85. Remedy Oak
86. Carlow
87. Cork
88. Close House (Colt)
89. Sutton Coldfield 
90. Crowborough Beacon
91. Hallamshire  
92. Killarney (Killeen)   
93. Duff House Royal 
94. Carton House (Montgomerie)  
95. Blairgowrie (Lansdowne) 
96. The Duke’s  
97. Appleby
98. Hadley Wood
99. Downfield
100. Rolls of Monmouth

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Bertram, Golf World Top 100 Editor

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.

You can follow Chris on Twitter, or send him an email.

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