With stone walls, burns, deep bunkers, rocks, blind shots and some vicious green contours to contend with, North Berwick doesn't have to be long to be special.
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.
This is a links in the old-fashioned sense, as greens lie atop plateaux, or else in hollows, and the turf is firm. Yet Cruden Bay is as quirky as they come, and is all the better for it.
Eccentric to the point of being obtuse at times, its simple design should be studied by any budding architect and those with even a passing interest in the game’s past.
Lahinch, the Irish St Andrews, has only in the past few years begun to fulfil its true potential as one of the very best. A raw, rugged and brilliant links.
Yet another James Braid classic, St Enodoc has charm, variety, an abundance of history, an element of quirkiness and a hint of the unknown.
A special golf course that may be without exact parallel anywhere in the world, let alone within Britain. The closest thing to Augusta National this side of the Atlantic.
The Highlands has always been an extra special golfing retreat – think Royal Dornoch, Nairn and Brora – and thanks to Castle Stuart's creation it has been raised another notch.
Pennard is a links with a difference. Time and again this delightful course provides holes of modest length that confound the thoughtless golfer and reward the skilful one.
Perranporth is an exciting and vastly interesting course demanding concentration for every shot. The more one plays it the more one likes it, low and high handicappers alike.