My Top 10 Courses: Simon Dyson


Simon Dyson's top 10 UK and Ireland courses are dominated by seaside courses as he freely admits: "I know I've favoured links but I just love them to bits." Actually his listing features six links layouts, including two of the three courses (Carnoustie and Kingsbarns) he famously won the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on a few years back. The links are backed-up by a quartet of inland classsics, including three in Dyson's native Yorkshire.

● Ganton, North Yorks
I grew up 10 minutes down the road and used to love playing it. I'd look forward to my lessons with club pro Gary Brown before I started with Pete Cowen. I also remember the 16th hole with its huge bunker – it would fit a a double decker bus! Green fees: £50-£85.

 Royal County Down, Co Down
It's just a fantastic golf course, beneath the Mountains of Mourne. I have fond memories having played it in the British Amateur Championship and it's definitely on my radar to re-visit next year. Green fees: £50-£185.

● Wentworth, Surrey
A longtime golfing paradise with three great courses and world-class facilities. But, for me, the West Course is the standout. It's a fantastic layout and I really like the recent changes. Obviously we get big crowds for the BMW Championship which adds to it. Green fees: £195-£360. 

● Hillside, Merseyside
This links right next to Open venue Royal Birkdale doesn't get the credit it deserves. I love playing at Hillside and fortunately I've got a few friends who are members there. It's a pretty tough challenge. Green fees: £60-£140.

● Royal Portrush, Co Antrim
The Dunluce is such a great links, it's no wonder it will stage The Open. It's steeped in history too and is such a lovely place to play the game. There's not a bad hole. Green fees: £60-£175.

● Carnoustie, Angus
In many ways this is the ultimate links course and it never fails to deliver a great Open Championship. The finishing stretch is as tough as it gets as many pros will testify. Green fees: £77-£154.

● Kingsbarns, Fife
This has to be one of the most picturesque courses in the UK if not the world and I always enjoy playing here in the Dunhill. With a little breeze and sunshine there aren't many better places to be and play. Green fees: £194-£226.

● Fulford, North Yorks
My brother is a member here so I play it quite a bit and love it. Fulford is still best remembered for staging the Benson & Hedges tournament and Bernhard Langer's famous 3-iron shot. It's a great parkland and always in good condition. Green fees: £30-£59.50.

● Ballybunion, Co Kerry
Links don't get any more dramatic than the wild and rugged Old Course which weaves its way between giant dunesland next to the Atlantic. It's a great course and I played my first Irish Open here. Green fees: €95-180.

● Alwoodley, West Yorks
I'm a 'Yorkie' so this has to be in my list as well. It's a stunning Alister MacKenzie layout and although I haven't played it since I was an amateur, I've got just great memories of it... and I remember it being a fantastic golf course. Green fees: £60-£100.


Simon Dyson's Golfing CV