Looking for a memorable round on an outstanding course this season? Of course you are….and below are 54 courses dotted all over the country you can experience without paying a penny over £40…..
Porthmadog is very much an unsung hero and, like its more prestigious neighbours, has plenty to offer too including top Snowdonia views and a brilliant back nine.It’s a classic James Braid heathland/links combination with lots of humps and bumps, demanding tee shots, impressive bunkering and a warm and friendly clubhouse where you can discuss the best value round of your career. Contact: 01766 514124.
TILGATE FOREST, WEST SUSSEX
Claims to be one of the leading pay-and-play courses in the south of England, but that’s not strictly true – it should be country! The par-72 course sits next to Tilgate Forest Park but just because you’ve only parted company with less than £20, don’t expect an easy ride: the course majestically winds through mature woodland and with tree-lined fairways, tight doglegs and well protected greens, Tilgate is definitely no stroll in the park. Contact: 01293 530103.
ADDINGTON COURT, SURREY
Outstanding all round Crown Golf venue boasts two 18-hole courses, the main one having opened in 1932 and been created by well known architect Fred Hawtree who based his family course business here for many years. You can prepare on the 32 bay floodlight range. Contact: 0208 6570281.
MUSSELBURGH OLD LINKS, EAST LOTHIAN
For real golfing history on a budget and step back in time, try Musselburgh OL: officially recognised as the oldest course in the world - the earliest game took place in 1672 - the nine-holer is set in the middle of the town's racecourse and staged six Opens between 1874-89.It’s such a unique place to play, therefore magical Musselburgh has got to be on every golfer’s courses CV and after your game you can check out some serious golfing memorabilia housed in the clubhouse. Contact: 0131 6535122.
DUNSTANBURGH CASTLE, NORTHUMBERLAND
lovely underrated links which has proudly sat on its Embleton site since 1900 in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, gently curving around the bay's beautiful golden sands. Highlights include teeing off on top of a giant sand dune at the dramatic par-4 6th and the tiny par-3 13th backdropped by the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Contact: 01665 576562.
MONTROSE (Medal course), ANGUS
This crusty old links dates back to the 16th century and there are two parts to the modern Medal, the first following the lines of the dunes and beach while the second plays back towards town before returning to the dunes. You’ll relish both, specially at these prices! It’s the proud home of the fifth oldest clubs in the world and hosted final Open qualifying for Carnoustie in 1999 and 2007. Contact: 01674 672932.
CHARTHAM PARK, SUSSEX
Outstanding, fast-draining Neil Coles-designed par-72 parkland/heathland combination with breathtaking North Downs views. It’s been around since 1988 and famously features an abundance of mature trees, carp filled lakes and several heathland holes on the back nine. Contact: 01342 870340.
PINE RIDGE, SURREY
Built through a pine forest on superbly draining sandy soil, this Crown Golf course is gently undulating, scenic, challenging, fantastic fun… and amazing value-for-money. At just over 6,000 yards, it may be on the short side but it still deserves plenty of respect: it’s tight with mature woodland hugging most fairways so good course management is vital. Contact: 01276 675444.
NORTH WALES (LLANDUDNO), CONWY
Guarantees plenty of seaside thrills and spills and memorable holiday golf – without having to break the bank to tee it up. North Wales is a wonderfully quirky links overlooking Conway Bay at one end and is overlooked by the Great Orme at the other. Has a number of cracking holes and par-3s don’t come any better or more challenging, specially when the wind is blowing, than the 16th and 17th named O.L. and L.O. - Oh Hell and Hello! Contact: 01492 876878.
Tucked away on the opposite side of Kintyre to the two links at Machrihanish, this clifftop course provides stunning views and some challenging holes, specially the uphill 250-yards par-3 6th. This short-but-sweet links is blessed with springy turf, gently undulating fairways and greens-to-die-for and the key to a good score is mastering both the wind and the classy par-3s which range from 120-234 yards.Contact: 01586 830677.
This venue has been impressively improved in recent times, undergoing a a £5m refurbishment on the clubhouse and course, the latter now featuring 27 holes of quality, fast-draining downland golf. It’s close to Croydon and central London though fantastic Farleigh sits within 350 acres in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is surrounded by ancient woodland.Contact: 01883 627711.
Lovely par-70 inland layout which provides breathtaking scenery and a serious challenge even though it’s relatively short at just over 6,000 yards.Contact: 013397 55567.
You’ll discover this hidden gem, starring the 18-hole parkland Ferntower course, at the Gateway to the Highlands a short drive from the legendary Gleneagles.Contact: 01764 652909.
Delightful, quirky par-63 Cullen sits close to the cliffs and beach and provides sensational views, specially from the elevated tee at the dramatic par-3 7th.Contact: 01542 840685.
GIRVAN, SOUTH AYRSHIRE
Splendid James Braid links/parkland combination close to Turnberry so provides the same stunning views towards Ailsa Craig. An absolute bargain.Contact: 01465 714272.
Top 110-years-old parkland action designed by Tom Morris and offering great views over the Firth of Forth and the surrounding countryside.Contact: 01592 205240.
LETHAM GRANGE, ANGUS
Home of the par-73 parkland Championship course opened in 1987 by Sir Henry Cotton, ably supported by the not-so-demanding par-68 Glens course.Contact: 01241 890278.
MORAY (New course), MORAYSHIRE
Sir Henry also made his mark here in 1979, converting the New course into 18 holes and ensuring its tight fairways and small greens provide a fine links test.Contact: 01343 812018.
PORTPATRICK, DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
The delightful Dunskey course provides spectacular clifftop golf and if you aren't entertained here, you’re probably playing the wrong sport.Contact: 01776 810273.
ROYAL TARLAIR, ABERDEENSHIRE
You’ll be knocked out by the panoramic coastline views of this clifftop parkland as well as the awesome par-3 13th where you need to take precise aim to a green lurking beyond a coastal chasm.Contact: 01261 832897.
SHISKINE, ISLE OF ARRAN
Almost certainly the best 12-hole layout around and well worth experiencing at the foot of Drumadoon cliffs overlooking the Kilbrannan Sound towards Kintyre. The 3rd and 4th are both memorable par-3s.Contact: 01770 860226.
This par-65 clifftop course sits next to the main East Coast railway line and though on the short side but it can turn nasty when the wind is up.Contact: 01569 762124.
WIGTOWNSHIRE COUNTY, DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
Underrated links on the shores of scenic Luce Bay, this is a relatively flat, easy walking course though subtly sloping greens and the wind ensure it’s a serious test. Popular holiday golf.Contact: 01581 300420.
BIRCHWOOD PARK, KENT
Not far from Dartford you’ll discover this fine upstanding BGL Golf complex, the big attraction being the challenging 18-hole gently rolling parkland layout.Contact: 01322 662038.
BRAMPTON PARK, CAMBS
Mature parkland layout with plenty of water features to negotiate – none more so than when standing on the tee of the intimidating stroke index 1 par-3 4th.Contact: 01480 434705.
BROOME MANOR, WILTS
Among the best of the pay-and-play venues around, former Ryder Cupper David Howell learnt his craft at this splendid Swindon venue boasting 18 and nine-hole courses and a driving range.Contact: 01793 532403.
BUSHEY HALL, HERTS
Proud home of one of the oldest clubs in the county, a fair but testing mature parkland layout with a terrific variety of holes and an elegant century-old plus clubhouse.Contact: 01923 222253.
CAPE CORNWALL, CORNWALL
Provides spectacular and clifftop golf, specially after the turn, and scenery. It’s quirky too: most memorable hole is a par-3 to a green enclosed by a walled garden – site of an old tin mine.Contact: 01736 788611.
This 6,470 yards parkland course is a serious test and particularly demands accuracy off the tee. On the plus side, it’s flat and easy walking!Contact: 0151 487 0654.
CHURCH STRETTON, SHROPSHIRE
Not only one of the most scenic and quirkiest courses around but the third highest course in Britain. Unusually, uniquely probably, starts with three par-3s, the opener being an uphill 180 yarder! Contact: 01694 722281.
CLUB AT MAPLEDURHAM, BERKS
This Thames Valley star has been thrilling, entertaining and challenging golfers ever since opening in 1992. It drains well and has a great set of greens.Contact: 0118 946 3353.
CROSLAND HEATH, WEST YORKS
This century-old Alister MacKenzie moorland-heathland style course majestically sits amidst the Pennines but don’t panic – it’s surprisingly flat and easy walking and is in great nick all year round. Contact: 01484 653216.
DARLINGTON, CO. DURHAM
More MacKenzie handiwork and this one provides a real parkland treat along with big rolling greens. But it’s a fair test and you’ll particularly enjoy the short 12th known as ‘Tickle Tap.’ Contact: 01325 355324.
GREETHAM VALLEY, RUTLAND
Just off the A1 near Stamford you’ll find this great golfing oasis featuring contrasting 18-hole courses (Lakes & Valley), a short course, driving range and on-site hotel. Perfect for a day out or short break.Contact: 01780 460444.
HEACHAM MANOR, NORFOLK
The fast maturing coastal course unusually features several lakes, most notably the par-3 7th, while a meandering river comes into play on the closing holes.Contact: 01485 536030.
HICKLETON, SOUTH YORKS
This undulating parkland course was designed by Neil Coles and Brian Huggett and provides superb panoramic views though you need to take great care to avoid the lake which features on three holes.Contact: 01709 896081.
Exceptionally popular BGL Golf venue which has something for everybody: 18 hole 6,536 yards course complete with Surrey Downs views plus nine-hole, par-3 and Adventure Golf layouts. Fun for all the family…Contact: 01483 722611.
HUNLEY HALL, NORTH YORKS
Late former European Senior Tour player John Morgan was asked to create something a bit special along this stretch of north-east coastline over and he succeeded with the short downhill par-4 on the Morgan’s arguably being the pick of the 29 holes. Contact: 01287 676216.
Short but challenging clifftop layout - owing to the potent combination of the prevailing south-westerly winds and undulating terrain - within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.Contact: 01271 862176.
This is where Ian Woosnam first learnt to play and the mature parkland is definitely different - 15 holes are played in Wales and three in England and at the 4th hole you drive in Wales and putt out in England. Contact: 01691 830983.
MALTON & NORTON, NORTH YORKS
Just off the busy A64 and it guarantees a great golfing day out as it offers 27 holes (Welham, Park & Derwent nines), driving range and an excellent short game area.Contact: 01653 697912.
MEYRICK PARK, DORSET
Belting Bournemouth pay-and-play which has been around since 1894 – it’s a Tom Dunn design and dramatically opens with a 244-yards par-3! Contact: 01202 786040.
MORLEY HAYES, DERBYS
This place has it all including the par-72 Manor course which is supported by a nine-hole Tower layout, excellentt practice facilities and an on-site hotel.Contact: 01332 780480.
Has developed into one of the Garden of England’s most popular inland courses after opening in 1992, the fast maturing par-72 sitting on high ground and overlooking heavily wooded countryside.Contact: 01732 833833.
Fast draining par-70 which rarely closes and though only just over 6,000 yards, it’s still a strong test with a couple of par-3s over 220 yards.Contact: 01763 243476.
The sole traditional links between Norfolk and Seaton Carew in the north east, Seacroft is an out-and-back layout on a narrow strip of land and features tight, gently undulating hogsback fairways, blind and semi-blind shots, 75 bunkers and glorious Wash views.Contact: 01754 769624.
Became an 18-hole layout in the mid-1970s and has a great mix of coastal and, on the other side of the main road, parkland holes. Has two of the best par-3s you’re ever likely to play.Contact: 01665 720794.
SELSDON PARK, SURREY
Five-times Open champion J.H. Taylor designed this undulating parkland course and used all his repertoire of design skills to engineer a fine test for the ‘thinking’ golfer. Contact: 0208 768 3116.
Mature parkland course in a scenic countryside setting and you can’t afford to be too wayward otherwise you’ll regularly be scrambling Seve-style between all kinds of timber.Contact: 0116 2419000.
SILKSTONE, SOUTH YORKS
Picturesque undulating parkland offering panoramic Silkestone Valley views and your approach work needs to be spot-on – the greens are well protected. Contact: 01226 790328.
SURREY NATIONAL, SURREY
Wonderfully undulating modern layout - the course has a number of difficult par 4s including the water-featuring last which requires two exceptional shots to find the green.Contact: 01883 344555.
TEHIDY PARK, CORNWALL
This gently rolling parkland has a bit of everything: a mix of wide open holes, some with strategically-placed streams and many tight tree-lined fairways. Contact: 01209 842208.
THE WYCHWOOD, OXON
This Cotswolds classic has its own mini Amen Corner as well as USGA-spec greens. Beware of the 608-yards 14th followed by a devilish par-3 beyond a stream.Contact: 01993 831841.
THORPE WOOD, CAMBS
Another cracking pay-and-play in the form of a gently undulating parkland with a terrific variety of holes and now backed-up by a superb two-tier driving range.Contact: 01733 267701.