Best golf courses in England
From former Open Championship and Ryder Cup hosts to hidden gems, here's our round up of the best golf courses England has to offer.
England is home to some of the best and most historic courses to have ever been built, with no less than six past or present Open Championship hosts. There is a wide variety of parkland and heathland gems across the country, but special attention must be paid to England’s Golf Coast (Southport) and the Kent coastline, where classic links tracks are the focus.
We are often asked by our customers, what are the best golf courses in England? To make your search for greatness easier, we have put together a roundup of the seven most highly regarded courses below.
Situated only 10 miles from Royal Birkdale, the richness of world-class links golf does not relent at Lytham & St Anne's. Bordered on the west by a picturesque railway line, Blackpool Tower looms in the background. The Guardian Victorian clubhouse peers over the 11-time Open Championship layout. When the famous tournament comes here, the challenging layout is usually the winner.
Formby is a lesser-known layout in the golfing hotbed of Southport, but don’t be alarmed – the Lancashire region has a rich list of stunning golf courses, many never really heard of due to its famous neighbours. Formby is certainly at the top of that list and is strikingly attractive. Stooped in tradition, expect to be greeted on the first tee by a starter dressed in a formal jacket and tie.
Another course on the Open rota, Birkdale held the championship for the 10th time in 2017. The famous Southport venue has also hosted the Ryder Cup twice and can be a torrid experience if the wind is blowing. Whatever the weather is like (and it really does vary here), Royal Birkdale is a challenging spot to play golf. Expect stunning views from the towering dunes that line the fairways as you plot your way round this true test of links golf.
A former Open Championship host and regular Open Qualifying course, the ‘Dunes’ and ‘Shore’ loops of 9 pair up to create the immaculate 18 hole Prince's championship course at Sandwich Bay. Incredibly, 17 of the 27 original greens were salvaged after WW2 and a classic links style was created with rippled fairways and that all so important links rough. The circular layout follows the channel where you find yourself on the 18th, one of the original post war greens where Gene Sarazen won his only Claret Jug.
Royal St George’s is the one of the most natural feeling golf courses you will ever play. Having hosted 15 Open Championships to date, the Sandwich course has survived the test of time and is still a very memorable layout. Not one hole is the same, the true sign of a great golf course. Take on the tallest bunker in the country on the 4th and many other distinct links traits that make Royal St George’s a true British classic.
Royal Cinque Ports is the 3rd English golf course after Royal St George's and Royal Liverpool to host the Open Championship and is considered to be one of the toughest links courses in the UK, particularly for its last 7 holes. The finely scoped architecture of this James Braid masterpiece makes Royal Cinque Ports a true joy to play. The signature hole is no doubt the Par 4 16th hole.
Since 1924, Royal Cinque Ports has been home to the Halford Hewitt Public Schools Championship which is the largest amateur tournament in the world.
12-time Open Host, the last two times the championship was played at Royal Liverpool, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy took the spoils. Commonly known as ‘Hoylake’, a third of the course rest in the tricky dunes whilst presenting another true test of links golf. Be careful of the many undulations that pop up around the layout whilst enjoying little to no protection from a large gust of wind.
Golf Vacation Specialist
Golf Vacation Specialist, I enjoy helping customers find their perfect golf getaway