Top 100 courses under £100: 80-71
80 – Chart Hills, Kent
2013 green fee: £70
Sir Nick Faldo’s very modern design is golf on a grand scale with some audacious bunkering and green complexes. There is subtlety though, too, on what is a typically strategic and demanding Faldo parkland course.
Why it’s special: This looks and feels like real championship golf and is quite a test
79 – Pyle & Kenfig, South Wales
2013 green fee: £55
If the first nine was even half as good as the second then P&K would be a contender for the title of best course in Wales. Such is the drama of the famed inward stretch, which ploughs joyously between an expanse of dunes and hillocks.
Why it’s special: The way the second nine is sprung upon you
78 – Lindrick, Yorkshire
2013 green fee: £65
A geographical curiosity in that it spans Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, Lindrick hosted the Ryder Cup back in the 1950s. Another grand old course bisected by a major road, it’s a combination of parkland and heathland on the outskirts of Worksop.
Why it’s special: The Ryder Cup memorabilia is worth the trip alone
77 – Ashridge, Hertfordshire
2013 green fee: £67
Henry Cotton and Alex Hay are two of the former club professionals at what is – after WGC venue The Grove – surely the finest course in Hertfordshire. Ashridge enjoys a special setting and its unusual routing means there are several starting points.
Why it’s special: Wild deer roam the fairways
76 – Irvine Bogside, Ayrshire
2013 green fee: £50
What a misnomer – Irvine’s turf is springy to the point of being linkslike and this is another of those Scottish courses that should form part of your golfing eduction. Score well here and you can definitely play the game.
Why it’s special: We love the blend of testing and quirky
An achingly romantic place to be, especially during those endless late spring and summer days that you get this far north. 75 – Broadstone, Dorset
2013 green fee: £68
Beginning in the town and rising gradually to higher moorland wth expansive views, Broadstone is not an easy course to categorise. Never less than varied, there is something for everyone here and it is a real challenge when the wind blows.
Why it’s special: The stretches of heathland take Broadstone to a level of real excellence
74 – Lundin Links, Fife
2013 green fee: £58
One of Fife’s classic old courses, Lundin begins and ends in genuine linksland, briefly climbing in the middle to higher ground. There is real subtlety in some of the shorter par-4 holes here, which are cunningly protected.
Why it’s special: This is golf as it was meant to be – and it’s virtually unchanged over the years
73 – Seaton Carew, Durham
2013 green fee: £44
You might not come to this part of the world for the views – which are mainly industrial – but what a course awaits, and a true links at that. Worthy of greater recognition and praise.
Why it’s special: The design genius of Dr Alister MacKenzie is evident throughout
72 – Conwy, North Wales
2013 green fee: £55
Conwy has hosted plenty of professional golf over the years, most recently the ladies and seniors. You can see why – it’s a genuine championship links with a increasingly enclosed closing stretch that can be claustrophic as gorse lines the fairways.
Why it’s special: Several changes of direction make for great variety
71 – Brora, Highlands
2013 green fee: £49
An achingly romantic place to be, especially during those endless late spring and summer days that you get this far north. The greens are roped off to keep the sheep away and the holes blend seamlessly into the landscape.
Why it’s special: This James Braid links is simply as natural as they come