Top 100 under £80: The next 50November, 2011
They just missed out on our Top 100, but all of these courses (listed in alphabetical order) deserve significant recognition
1 Belfry, The (PGA National)
Long, modern, well-maintained neighbour to the Brabazon.
A fine heathland in Hampshire that was laid out by Harry Colt.
This picturesque parkland is rightly forging a fine reputation for itself these days.
4 Borth & Ynyslas
A lovely, natural Welsh links that was a touch unlucky to miss out on the Top 100.
An extremely pleasant spot for a tranquil round in lovely surroundings.
This north Cumbrian gem boasts stunning views of the Lake District, Pennines and southern Scotland. A James Braid design, Brampton is not long but requires a strategic approach to score well. A fine example of heathland golf, it has an undulating landscape and plenty of trees to catch you out if you are wayward.
01697 720 00 www.bramptongolfclub.com
Designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie, Cavendish is traditional and beautiful and, although short by modern standards, is a match for anyone. The short 15th is said to be inspired by the legendary 11th on the Old Course at St Andrews.
01298 79 708 www.cavendishgolfclub.com
8 Copt Heath
A fine course that was first laid out by Harry Vardon and subsequently enhanced
by Harry Colt, of whose famous upswept bunker faces there are 96 examples. Each April it stages the Peter McEvoy Trophy (named in
honour of the legendary amateur and Copt Heath member), which has been won by Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.
01564 731 620 www.coptheathgolf.co.uk
New, championship links in East Lothian which tests both brain and brawn.
10 Crail (Balconie)
Vintage, quirky, natural downland course next door to modern, man-made Kingsbarns.
11 Crosland Heath
A superb moorland layout with sensational views across the Pennines. This is without doubt one of Yorkshire’s most under-rated tracks and is a homely, friendly place to visit.
12 Duff House Royal
Parkland course near Aberdeen that has benefited from the eyes of Braid and MacKenzie.
Founded in 1896, Edgbaston boasts an 18-hole course designed by Colt in a
tranquil setting just two miles from the centre of Birmingham. The course is routed through mature woodland and is notable for its small greens and
0121 454 1736 www.edgbastongc.co.uk
A lovely place to play, this heathland-cum-parkland between Aberdeen and Dundee was enhanced by the skill of Braid.
Leave the driver in the bag and make sure you’re hitting your wedges well to prosper on this step back in time.
Fairhaven doesn’t get the attention it deserves due to being close to the Merseyside clubs as well as those in Lytham. It should – this is a first-class course with an opening hole to beat many of its famous neighbours.
01253 736 741 www.fairhavengolfclub.co.uk
17 Forest Pines
The ‘Woburn of the North’ is extremely affordable given its quality. The three loops of nine are all tree-lined, as you’d expect, and are backed up by first-class facilities including a hotel. This very impressive complex is bidding for the 2015 Solheim Cup.
01652 650 770 www.qhotels.co.uk
18 Fortrose & Rosemarkie
A classic Highlands links built on a thin strip of land within the narrow Chanonry peninsula.
The 5th oldest club in Scotland and the 7th oldest in the world, this is golf as it used to be.
20 Frilford Heath
There are a total of three courses at this Abingdon complex but it is the Red which takes the plaudits, although the Green and Blue are perfectly enjoyable too. The Red was designed in 1908 by five times Open champion JH Taylor and, at over 6,800 yards, will test even the strongest players.
01865 390 864 www.frilfordheath.co.uk
21 The Glen
Less fashionable neighbour to North Berwick, it still boasts fine holes and fabulous views as well as a warm welcome.
Short and traditional links which will charm you into returning time after time.
See above for Golspie. Fantastic fun alongside East Lothian’s big beasts. A fabulous short-game examination.
The highest 18-hole course in England was founded in 1925 and is located on Bradnor Hill, just outside the medieval town of Kington in the beautiful county of Herefordshire.
01544 230 340
25 Knole Park
Within 1,000 acres of outstanding parkland, home to the finest deer herd in the South East.
Frilford Heath’s Red was designed in 1908 by JH Taylor and, at over 6,800 yards, will test even the strongest players.
26 Letham Grange
Described as the ‘Augusta of the North’. Perhaps fanciful, but it is still a fine course.
You can play one round of golf in two separate countries, courtesy of Offa’s Dyke running through this course. In fact, you can do it on one hole: on the 4th hole you tee off in Wales and putt out in England.
Among the pure links of East Lothian is this Colt masterpiece, which was formed
in 1921 and is situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth. Longniddry offers an unusual combination of woodland and links, with spectacular sea views
from many holes. Wonderful on a summer’s evening.
01875 852 141 www.longniddrygolfclub.co.uk
Finest course in the area – and the host venue to this year’s Lancashire Amateur.
30 Manor House
Sculpted by legendary BBC commentator Peter Alliss and his design partner Clive Clarke, the par-3 17th is a real beauty.
31 Nairn Dunbar
Walker Cup venue Nairn gets the headlines but Nairn Dunbar is also excellent. For a small town to have two such outstanding courses is remarkable.
Dunbar is more heathland and parkland than the links of Nairn and offers lovely views of the Moray Firth from the modern, spacious and welcoming clubhouse.
01667 452 741 www.nairndunbar.com
32 The Oxfordshire
Former host to the B&H is a big, bold track which isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Open qualifier which was founded in 1890 and always seems to be in fine nick.
Porthmadog boasts an intriguing mixture of heathland and links in a Braid design which has two very different halves. The front nine are away from the
coast and although the soil is sandy the terrain is more parkland in nature. The back nine heads for the sea as the course is transformed into pure links which has been likened to a mini Troon.
01766 512 037 www.porthmadog-golf-club.co.uk
Thrill-a-minute clifftop links which is terribly under-rated simply because so few venture to Scotland’s extreme south-west coast to play it.
Another Dumfries & Galloway gem which deserves more acclaim. This links starts and finishes superbly.
37 Prestwick St Nicholas
Perched on the shores of the Firth of Clyde, this beautiful links on the Ayrshire coast can really test your game. It has only one par 5, and is thus quite short, but is by no means a pushover and has a wealth of well-placed hazards to catch you out. The ever present gusts of wind are a key factor.
01292 477 608 www.prestwickstnicholas.com
38 Rolls of Monmouth
Famously, this is the former home of Charles Stewart Rolls, co-founder of the Rolls-Royce company, and its course is just as classy as the cars. Parkland in
nature, the two nines are separated by a large wooded hill. First-class.
01600 715 353 www.therollsgolfclub.co.uk
Designed by Ken Cotton in the early 1960s, Donald Steel has tweaked this parkland course in recent years.
Quality, historic parkland in South Yorkshire with a unique gothic-style clubhouse.
41 The Roxburghe
Although less than 15 years old, The Roxburghe is already an established name in Scottish golf. Designed by Dave Thomas, whose portfolio includes all three courses at The Belfry, it is home to deep bunkers, and huge greens. Sergio Garcia has the course record (66) and Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo cut the ribbon, so it has no shortage of high-profile fans.
01573 450 333 www.roxburghegolfclub.co.uk
42 Royal Norwich
John Deuchar sculpted the original course and James Braid remodelled it 27 years later in 1920. It is still much the same today, an undulating parkland with a lovely feel to it due to the presence of gorse, which is stunning when in bloom.
01603 429 928 www.royalnorwichgolf.co.uk
Quirky heathland-parkland combination that is very pretty in places. An Open qualifier which is well worth a visit.
Not too many people know about this fine parkland course designed by Sandy Herd, but it is a regular host for Open qualifying and boasts a superb opening hole.
45 St Andrews (Eden)
Harry Colt is the man behind The Eden and his layout comprises severe bunkering, undulating greens and many carries off the tee to reach the fairways. It might be the fourth-best course in the town, but it is still very, very good.
01334 466 666
Colt created this delightful course, which is set among mature woodland with spectacular views of the Surrey North Downs and the countryside of Kent and Sussex.
47 West Kilbride
Set on the Ayrshire coast, this course offers views across the Firth of Clyde to the island of Arran. A championship-standard links, it is playable all year round. From the back tees, this quintessential Scottish links stretches to 6,500 yards and gets really tough when the wind blows.
01294 823 911 www.westkilbridegolfclub.com
Although it only opened in 1995, Whitekirk has quickly established a fine reputation and hosted several high-profile events including ones from the PGA EuroPro Tour and Mastercard Tour. It is two miles from the sea in the heart of glorious East Lothian and has a moorland feel in places. The start is tough, but survive it and you can prosper.
01620 870 300 www.whitekirk.com
49 Woodhall Spa (Bracken)
It is impossible to tell that the Hotchkin’s sister course was created from commercial woodland, scrub and arable farmland. Full marks to designer Donald Steel, who has created a fine second course in this Lincolnshire haven for golf.
01526 352 511 www.woodhallspagolf.com
Where to stay: Woodhall Spa Hotel – www.hobyhotels.com/ 01526 353 231
50 Woodsome Hall
A mature Yorkshire parkland designed by Braid that demands precision rather than raw power. The clubhouse is worth a visit in itself and the course is usually in fine condition.
01484 602 739 www.woodsome.co.uk