It's the list of lists: our guide to the best golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland. Starring the likes of The Old Course, Royal County Down, Muirfield and Royal St George's – but not necessarily in that order
NCG TOP 100s
GB & Ireland
Royal County Down is a dreamy, awe-inspiring course, an assault on the senses. If you do not fall in love with it then perhaps links golf is not for you.
GB & Ireland, Ireland and Northern Ireland
Time and again, you are asked to execute a shot of difficulty, but Muirfield always tells you exactly what is required. The rest is simply up to you.
GB & Ireland, Scotland and East Lothian
The Old Course is the very cradle of the game – the place where it all began. Nowhere on the planet can match its atmosphere. Nor, in truth, is there another course quite like it.
Fife, GB & Ireland, Scotland and GB & Ireland Fun
Following Martin Ebert's reimagining of what was already a great links, the famous Trump Turnberry Ailsa is now truly one of the very finest courses in Great Britain and Ireland.
Ayrshire, GB & Ireland, Scotland and GB & Ireland Fun
Framed by the beautiful sea, the Dunluce links at Royal Portrush, famed for being the only non-British mainland host of The Open, is a special place.
Royal Birkdale's unparalleled status within English golf has become less a matter of opinion than a statement of fact in the eyes of many good judges.
England, GB & Ireland and North West Coast
Do not let Carnoustie’s reputation put you off a visit to what is one of the finest links in the world. Golf was never supposed to be easy.
Scotland and GB & Ireland
A fascinating Open links, whose fairways often dissolve into rough hillocks while severely sloped gullies tend to gather imprecise approaches.
England, GB & Ireland, Kent and GB & Ireland Fun
Portmarnock is about more than just aesthetics. It is an Irish Muirfield and much like its Scottish counterpart, is adored by golf’s very best players.
GB & Ireland, Ireland and Dublin
It cannot be denied that the host of the 2012 Open has a certain aura. It is unrelenting, demanding and at times barbarically difficult.