Find out what our panellists would do to improve our list of the best golf courses in GB&I – it's very rare to find two golf course raters who agree with each other
Ask any collection of golfers to discuss the best golf courses in GB&I and you can guarantee that they will begin some (hopefully good-natured) bickering on the relative merits of the Old Course, various Open Championship venues and perhaps a couple of personal favourites they are emotionally attached to. Our panel are certainly no different.
What’s the best course in this list that most golfers probably haven’t played?
Sean Arble: West Sussex is the oft-forgotten great heathland course of England.
Jim Banting: Cruden Bay. Tremendous views of the unspoilt coastline never fade in the memory and a back nine to die for.
Nick Dungay: Loch Lomond’s attractive and playable layout can be enjoyed by pros and high-handicappers alike.
What’s your personal GB&I top 5?
Dove Jones: Turnberry Ailsa: a brilliant redo. County Down: when designed correctly blind holes can enhance the experience. Portrush: everything a championship links should be. Birkdale: on a coast full of superb links this one stands out. Sunningdale Old: classically crafted to stand the test of time.
Ed Battye: The Old Course: The quality of turf, the natural undulations and the perfectly located bunkering. Portrush: The odyssey the course takes you on. County Down: The canvas is perfect for golf; it comprises 18 truly individual holes where you almost have to sense your way around. St. George’s: It has that aura of ‘championship’ but also eccentricity and quirkiness – the perfect combination. Dornoch: Where missing the green calls for all kinds of ingenuity.
Peter Rudd: Muirfield, Portrush, County Down, Waterville and Kingsbarns epitomise all that I find most appealing in a golf course.
Jim: Turnberry, Royal County Down, Carnoustie, Royal Portrush and Birkdale. All have fabulous definition, layout and presentation but what sets them apart is a connection with the land they are on. It is this relationship that takes them from good to great.
Sean: Kington: Great turf aligned with a superb design. Castlerock Bann: Pocket size design with loads of character over rumbling terrain. Cavendish: Brilliant tee to green course in a lovely setting. St Enodoc: Eclectic mix of holes in a stunning location. Alnmouth Village: All golf needs to be!
Nick: Royal County Down: majestic scenery and more five-star holes than any other course on the list.
Muirfield: a course of consistent strength and no obvious weakness. Royal St George’s: my personal favourite, not least for the wonderful variety of short game demands made by its brilliant green complexes. Sunningdale (Old): somewhere you can play badly yet still come off with a smile. Royal Portrush: one of the best on the Open rota.
Which one course would you have put higher in our list of the best golf courses in GB&I?
Peter: Kingsbarns, in my opinion, is the finest modern links in GB&I.
Ed: Royal Aberdeen is the epitome of an authentic, genuine and pure links golf experience.
Jim: Gullane No 1: a gem in terms of design, layout and pure majesty.
Dove: The Castle Course at St Andrews is great fun to play. The greens have been relaxed and are stimped to suit contours, the holes are memorable and the views are stunning.
Nick: Lahinch has an exceptional blend of the best of historic and modern links design.
- See the list: The Top 100 Golf Courses in GB&I
- See the list: England
- See the list: Scotland
- See the list: Ireland
- See the list: Wales
- See the list: Continental Europe
Do you agree with our list? Tweet us @NCGTop100s.