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Britain's best nine-hole courses

Britain’s top 100 nine-hole courses: The NCG guide

Welcome to our complete guide to the world of nine-hole golf courses…

 

There are some that patronise 9-hole layouts, but we believe there are some absolute gems in this country. Welcome to our guide of the best nine-hole courses in Britain.

If nothing else, we hope that the following pages will make you realise that 9-holers have much to offer. We think 9-holers are too often dismissed when discussing the best layouts.

Compiling this feature has been an education to us as well. We were genuinely surprised not just by the quantity of nine-holers across Britain, but also the quality.

Specifically, we are talking about Scotland, which seems to take nine-holers more seriously than elsewhere in Britain. Scottish courses make up over half of the list and every one of them, we can say with real confidence, is a beauty.

These are 18-hole courses in miniature, with every bit as much care and attention lavished on the design, layout and conditioning as their big cousins.

What we cannot say with as much confidence is that we will not have omitted your favourite 9-holer. We do not claim that what follows is perfect – but rather the beginning of a long discussion.

britain's best nine-hole courses

Britain’s best nine-hole courses

Our list of the best 100 nine-hole courses in Britain has been split into regions to make it slightly easier to navigate around.

As we mentioned earlier, more than half of the course that make this 100-venue list are based north of the border in Scotland. Because of that, we have split out Scotland list into three sections for easier reading.

We also have to mention that these courses are not in a ranked order, they are just published in alphabetical order.

Scotland

Anstruther
Ballindalloch Castle
Barra
Blair Atholl
Blairgowrie Wee
Blairmore and Strone
Bonar Bridge
Bonnybridge
Bute
Cambuslang
Carradale
Comrie
Covesea Links
Cruden Bay St Olaf’s
Cupar
Dalmally
Dalmunzie
Dragons Tooth
Durness
Falkland
Fort Augustus

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – Scotland (A-F)

Gairloch
Galashiels
Gifford
Innellan
Isle of Harris
Kyles of Bute
Langholm
Links at Eriska
Lochranza
Lumphanan
Lybster
Machrie Bay (Arran)
Machrihanish (Pans)
Melrose
Musselburgh Old (pictured below)

Musselburgh Old nine-hole course

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – Scotland (G-M)

New Galloway
Port Bannatyne
Portpatrick Dinvin
Ravelston
Rothes
Saline
Selkirk
St Andrews (Balgove)
St Boswells
St Medan
Strathendrick
Strathtay
Tarland
Taynuilt
Tillicoultry
Tobermory
Torphins
Traigh
Ullapool

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – Scotland (N-Z)

Wales

Betws-y-Coed
Cwmrhydneuadd
Knighton
Penmaenmawr
St Melyd

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – Wales

England

North West

Casterton
Cheadle
Flixton
Knutsford
Silecroft
Southport Old Links
Whalley

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – North West England

North East

Crow Nest Park
Elland
Rawdon

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – North East England

West Midlands

Cadmore
Marston Lakes
Nailcote Hall
Raven Meadow

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – West Midlands

East Midlands

Bakewell
Cambridge Lakes
Charnwood Forest
Links Country Park
Pastures
Pottergate
Royal Worlington & Newmarket
Southwold
Sutton Bridge

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – East Midlands

South East

Chorleywood
Dewlands Manor
Dorking
Eltham Warren
Hampstead
Hever Castle (Prince’s)
Homelands Golf Centre
Leeds Castle Golf Club
London Beach Golf Club (Best Western)
Northwick Park
Reigate Heath
Tunbridge Wells

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – South East of England

South West

Isle of Purbeck (Dene)
Ivyleaf
St Kew
Wincanton
Woodbury Park (The Acorns)

NCG Top 100s Nine-Holers – South West of England

What do we think is the best nine-hole venue in Britain?

There is no doubt that the accolade of best nine-hole course in this country goes to Royal Worlington and Newmarket.

It is the only nine-hole course to make an appearance on the NCG Top 100s: Great Britain & Ireland list, and it is not difficult to see why.

Colonel EWD Baird and Alexander Mackenzie Ross designed the original layout in the 1890s, along with help from Tom Dunn.

The great Harry Colt then came to Royal Worlington and Newmarket to add his special touch to the layout in the 1920s, and the course remains virtually the same a century on.

What we were looking for when it comes to a great nine-hole course…

A true test
Not in the sense of needing to be championship-length, rather in terms of being the most thorough possible examination of your game.

Architectural value
Many of the courses in our list were shaped by the great names of architecture – like James Braid, Dr Alister MacKenzie, Harry Colt and JH Taylor. We wanted to show that nine-hole courses have just as rich a heritage as their 18-hole counterparts.

Enjoyment
If for no other reason than logistics, most nine-holers are not going to host many championships. So, even more than full-size courses, they are about fun, convenience and accessibility.

What do you make of our list of the best nine-hole courses in Britain? Would you add any others in? let us know your thoughts with a post on X, formerly Twitter!

Dan Murphy

Dan Murphy

Dan loves links golf, which doesn't mean he is very good at it. He is a four-handicapper at Alwoodley. A qualified journalist and senior editor with 25 years’ experience, he was the long-time editor of NCG. His passion is golf courses and he is the founding editor of NCG Top 100s course rankings. He loves nothing more than discovering and highlighting courses that are worthy of greater recognition.

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