The Best 100 under £80, 2011. 

No.30-21; No.20-11No.10-4No.3No.2No.1.

THE likes of Wentworth, Royal St George’s, Loch Lomond, Muirfield, Turnberry and Sunningdale are all unquestionably wonderful golf courses.

But they are also out of reach, through varying degrees of exclusivity and expense, for the vast majority of us.

As a website aimed squarely at club golfers like you, we wanted to create a list that more realistically reflected your budget. 

It isn’t that we think £80 is a trifling amount to spend on a single green free, far from it, or that this is the cut-off point between the game being affordable and not.

But we had to draw a line somewhere and we do think that, for most people, as a special treat or the centrepiece of a golf trip, £80 is a realistic price to pay. And also, most courses in this feature are priced well below £80.

What we have sought to create is the Affordable top 100 across England, Scotland and Wales – plus, for the sake of one wonderful course, Castletown, the Isle of Man.

We hope our Best 100, followed by 50 more genuine contenders for inclusion, provokes lively debate up and down the land.

But most of all, we hope that it inspires you to go and play somewhere new when the weather improves and, in doing so, discover a new favourite course or part of the country.

And whether or not you agree with our final order (and let’s face it, you probably won’t), we hope you agree the following pages provide a worthy showpiece of some of the best courses that are ready to welcome golfers like you.

As a website aimed squarely at club golfers like you, we wanted to create a list that more realistically reflected your budget.

The £80 ceiling 

Because many clubs have not yet set their summer green fees for this year, the rates we based the feature on are for 2010.
1) To qualify, the price for a single round during the week at some point between April and September had to be under £80.
That is before special offers, packages, group discounts or twilight offers were taken into account. In other words, armed with £80, a golfer like you would be able to play 18 holes in what is considered peak season – and get some change.

2) Every attempt has been made to check prices. But do bear in mind rates at some clubs may well be increased for this summer, and that may take them over £80. 

3) We did not class twilight rates or afternoon discounts as being applicable. The standard weekday single-round green fee had to be under £80 at some point between April and September inclusive.

4) The rates had to be clearly advertised and widely available to members of the golfing public. In other words, you do not have to be a member of any type of discount scheme to play for under £80.

5) We have strived only to include clubs that actively welcome, rather than merely tolerate, visitors.

How we rated the courses

SINCE there is no such thing as one golf course being categorically better than another, we neither pretend nor claim that this was a scientific process.
Quite the opposite in fact – it is an intensely personal appraisal of the best Great Britain has to offer. 
In a bid to capture the spirit of this enterprise, the deliberately intangible criterion was as follows: If you were in charge of taking a group of like-minded golfers away on a trip, are you confident that they would have a memorable day for all the right reasons here?

We’ve divided the Top 100 up into sections of 10, to make it more easily digested and, hopefully, enjoyable. Just click on the links below to view each section.

Dan Murphy, editor

The Best 100 under £80, 2011.