41 course reasons why you'll 'love to be beside the seaside'

Published:

Seaside golf is extra special, unique in fact. You’re virtually guaranteed to play in firm, fast conditions with the coastal winds always having to be carefully considered on every shot on every hole. It’s a challenge but a thrill and great fun. Here you can play and experience 41 of the best value seaside layouts in the land and you won’t be paying a penny over £50…..

ENGLAND

*Alnmouth Village

The oldest nine-hole links in the land is fun and quirky to play, is in great shape year-round and the stunning coastal views are worth the green fee alone.

Tel: 01665 830370.

*Berwick-on-Tweed (Goswick)

Classy Open qualifier with James Braid's magical touch regularly evident if you have the good fortune - and judgement - to experience this consistently robust and demanding links.Tel: 01289 387 256.

*Bridport & West Dorset

Thrilling clifftop layout and though not long provides a sporting challenge with the stand-out hole being the breathtaking par-3 6th – the green sits 90ft below the elevated tee. Tel: 01308 421 095.

*Cape Cornwall

More spectacular clifftop action and holes 11-13 are particularly memorable and include a quirky par-3 to a green enclosed by a walled garden – site of an old tin mine.Tel: 01736 788611.

*Castletown Links

The golfing pride of the Isle of Man, this wonderful wild and rugged clifftop layout is surrounded on all sides by the sea. Natural and unsheltered, the 17th demands a nerve-jangling drive over a clifftop chasm. Tel: 01624 822211.

*Dunstanburgh Castle

Fair but challenging links overlooking breathtaking Northumbrian coastline and highlights include the tiny par-3 13th backdropped by the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Tel: 01665 576562.

*Felixstowe Ferry

The Martello course provides a real coastal treat and having opened in 1880, is England’s fifth oldest course. It’s gently undulating with tricky-to-read greens. 01394 286834.

*Gt Yarmouth & Caister

Testing links which is full of surprises: it weaves in and out of the popular seaside town’s racecourse and, being founded in 1882, is the oldest course in Norfolk.Tel: 01493 728699.

*Hayling

The only true links, west of Rye, along the south coast, and the handiwork of J.H. Taylor and Tom Simpson, Hayling represents a fine test of links golf… and you’ll love the art deco-style clubhouse too.Tel: 02392 464446.

*North Shore

Just down the road from bracing Skegness you’ll discover this James Braid gem featuring of a fine mixture of links and parkland holes, including a ‘blind’ par-3 and a pair of driveable par-4s plus an on-site hotel.Tel: 01754 763298.

*Perranporth

Another Braid gem which dramatically overlooks the popular holiday town’s glorious beach and is full of quirks, twists and turns as you’re regularly required to hit several ‘blind’ drives, usually over giant sand dunes. Tel: 01872 572454.

*Royal North Devon

Steeped in history – it was laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1864, making it England’s oldest links. A memorable experience and don’t forget to visit the fascinating clubhouse museum.Tel: 01237 477598.

*St Annes Old Links

Honest if unspectacular, flat and easy-walking links with a hole – the short 9th – so good that the legendary Bobby Jones took measurements of it so he could recreate it in America. Tel: 01253 723 597.

*Seacroft

A traditional out-and-back links on a narrow strip of land next to Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve and featuring tight, gently undulating hogsback fairways, several blind and semi-blind shots and glorious Wash views.Tel: 01754 763020.

*Seascale

Lovely old but somewhat underrated links with a particularly potent back nine, including three demanding finishing holes. Tel: 01946 728202.

*Seaton Carew

An industrial backdrop shouldn't put you off playing this outstanding links which unusually offers 22 holes, the pick being the 17th, 'Snags', a terrific 389-yards par-4.Tel: 01429 266249.

*Silloth-on-Solway

This is serious links fayre, Silloth is truly an outstanding layout with a superb variety of holes, from the Postage Stamp-esque 9th to the long 5th which runs parallel to the beach.Tel: 016973 31304.

SCOTLAND

*Askernish

On the stunning island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Askernish was originally laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1891 only to fall into disrepair and all but disappear. Thankfully the original 18 holes are now ‘born-again’ following traditions that Old Tom would approve of. Tel: 01878 700628.

*Brora

Memorable holes and views – nine holes run alongside the Moray Firth – come thick and fast here and you’ll never forget the big finale, a stunning 428-yards par-4 17th followed by a 201-yards par-3 climax.Tel: 01408 621417.

*Dunaverty

Tucked away on the opposite side of Kintyre to the two links at Machrihanish, this clifftop course provides stunning views and challenging holes – the uphill 250-yards par-3 6th being the stand-out. Tel: 01586 830677.

*Fortrose & Rosemarkie

The stunning but remote 125-years-old Highlands links sits on the Chanonry Peninsula and you’re bound to be distracted by the breathtaking Moray Firth views. Tel: 01381 620529.

*Fraserburgh

Short-but-sweet Braid links where brain rules over brawn - you’ve got to carefully plot your way round, specially on the back nine where the rumpled fairways divert loose balls into the jaws of many waiting hungry pot bunkers.Tel: 01346 516616.

*Golspie

This Braid course has it all - lush parkland, rugged heath and billowing links. No doubt about the toughest hole, the 9th being a tight rolling, heather-clad left dogleg named ‘Paradise.’Tel: 01408 633266.

*Montrose (Medal)

This crusty old historic course dates back to the 16th century and there are two parts to the modern Medal, the first basically following the lines of the dunes and beach while the second plays back towards town before returning to the dunes. Tel: 01674 672932.

*Portpatrick

Some spectacular action along the cliffs and if you aren't entertained by the Dunskey course, you’re probably playing the wrong sport.Tel: 01776 810273.

*Southerness

Set on a low-lying curve of links land fringing the Mersehead Sands and Solway Firth and with at least eight 400-yards plus par-4s, this underrated layout is guaranteed to test you all the way.Tel: 01387 880677.

*Tain

This Old Tom Morris treasure beside the Moray Firth is the longest course in Ross-shire and brings together a mixed environment of seaside, river and gorse with typical linksy lumps and hollows. Tel: 01862 892314.

*The Glen

Overlooked by legendary East Lothian links including Muirfield and North Berwick, the humble Glen is nevertheless a clifftop classic with a terrific collection of holes and coastal views to-die-for. Tel: 01620 892726.

*Troon Links

Just down the road from Royal Troon you’ll come across this exceptionally cheap and cheerful municipal links trio. The par-66 Fullarton is ideal for beginners and a quick round but the neighbouring Darley and Lochgreen are serious tests.Tel: 01292 616255.

WALES

*Aberdovey

An inspirational links which gives Royal Porthcawl a good run for its money as Wales’ top links. Aberdovey doesn’t have a weak link and the scintillating par-3 12th will be one of the most demanding stroke index 18s you’ll ever play. Tel: 01654 767493.

*Ashburnham

This magical south Wales links, blessed with gorgeous Gower Peninsula views, provides a serious examination and has bags of history and pedigree. A must play. Contact: 01554 832269.

*Borth & Ynyslas

A wonderfully out-and-back links overlooking Cardigan Bay on the river Dovey estuary and where accuracy off the tee is a must, specially early doors.Tel: 01970 871202.

*Conwy

One of Wales' finest links is laid out at the mouth of the river Conwy estuary and a good score can be ruined over the challenging closing three holes which feature gorse bushes and deep pot bunkers galore.Tel: 01492 592423.

*Machynys Peninsula

A belting 1995 Nicklaus Design track overlooking Carmarthen Bay and the Gower Peninsula. It’s long and demanding, littered with water hazards and definitely no stroll in the park. Contact: 01554 744888.

*Nefyn & District

There are 26 holes at Nefyn but it’s the back eight (holes 11-18) on the Old Course which take centre stage - they’re spectacularly perched on a narrow strip of land on a clifftop peninsula.Tel: 01758 720102.

 *North Wales (Llandudno)

Well established, fun and quirky links overlooking Conway Bay with a railway line running alongside it. Signature holes are the par-3s at 16 and 17, cryptically named O.L. and L.O. (Oh, Hell! and Hello!).Contact: 01492 876878.

*Pennard

Wondrous links course which affords spectacular views over Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula. Pick of the holes include the par-4 7th - you drive between the ruins of a 13th century church and the clifftop remains of a castle. Tel: 01792 233 131.

*Porthmadog

It may be overshadowed by Royal St David’s and Aberdovey, but Porthmadog is a class links act in its own right: a true, well bunkered links with top views of Snowdon and a brilliant back nine. Tel: 01766 512037.

*Tenby

One of the oldest courses in Wales, Tenby is a stunning links with several unique holes, fast and undulating greens and superb views across to Caldey island.Tel: 01834 844447.

IRELAND

*Corballis

Top Tour pros have used this par-66 on the outskirts of Dublin to fine tune their game ahead of the Irish and British Opens. With several short par-3s and a lone par-5, it’s a gem of a mini links.Tel: 003531 843 6583.

*Portmarnock Hotel Links

Bernhard Langer masterpiece worthy of its prestigious name, being the neighbour of the historic Portmarnock club. A proper links which puts much better-known seaside tracks in the shade.  Tel: 003531 8460611.