With so many outstanding parkland golf courses around England, choosing which ones to play can often be difficult. Most parkland courses tend to be inland, in a natural setting with lush greens, elevation changes and many trees. The picturesque park like settings are often what attract golfers to this style of golf, and hence why we are often asked: “What are the best parkland golf courses in England?” To help you on your way, take a look at this list of ten of the best parkland golf courses in England.
Undisputedly one of the finest parkland tracks in the country, Stoke Park’s 27-holes encircle the club’s 300-acre Buckinghamshire estate and make for a memorable round of golf. The Harry Colt design features many incredible holes, several of which have been the inspiration for some of the world’s most famous holes – the 16th at Augusta National being just one of them.
James Braid’s design at Kingswood is one that has matured into one of the leading courses in Surrey and now compromises 6,900-yards of exceptional golfing experience. After its redesign by Howard Swan, the course is moving closer to its goal of becoming the best golf course in the South East thanks to the addition of brilliant Par-3’s and Par-4’s, which are talked about by anyone visiting this course.
Some of golf’s most exhilarating Ryder Cup dramas have played out on The Brabazon Course at The Belfry, and its meticulous design, tight fairways, perilous bunkers, lakes and undulating greens are recognised around the world. The stand-out hole is without a doubt the 10th, a drivable risk-reward par-4, which was first hit by Seve Ballesteros in 1978. For Ryder Cup history, they don’t come much better than The Brabazon.
Thanks to its glorious setting amid a mature woodland, you’d never realise that Forest Pines is only 20-years-old. There are three brilliant loops of nine here, allowing golfers to mix and match their favourite nine holes, with each loop of an extremely high standard. It is no wonder Forest Pines is often compared to the likes of Woburn and Wentworth.
Designed with championship golf in mind, the East Course at East Sussex National will challenge even the best of golfers. From the tips, the course measures a staggering 7,138-yards, with the added challenge of a plentiful supply of bunkers that line the fairways and greens. In 1993 and 1994, this course hosted the European Open, with many professionals considering the 18th to be one of the most demanding finishing holes in golf.
There are two fine parkland golf courses to choose from at Brocket Hall in the Melbourne Course and the Palmerston Course. The former was designed by Ryder Cup players Peter Alliss and Clive Clark, and provides stunning views of the surrounding area, as well as crossing the River Lea on several occasions. The Palmerston Course is regarded as Donald Steel’s finest creation, and winds its way through ancient woodland of rare Hornbeam, Scots, Corsican Pine and 300-year old Oak trees, to create unique but spectacular hazards.
Another British Open host venue, the Lee Westwood Colt Course opened in 2011 and has quickly become of the best golf courses in the North East of England. The unique land on which you play features great changes in elevation, strategically placed bunkers and wild rough to catch golfers out. This really is a great test of golf, close to the city of Newcastle and on the banks of the River Tyne.
The Forest of Arden is home to two excellent 18-hole golf courses in the Arden Course and the newer Aylesford Course. The latter opened for play more recently and is considerably shorter, making for an enjoyable round, whereas the Arden Course is definitely the standout course here. In the past, the Arden Course has hosted the English Open and the British Masters, with the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke all leaving here victorious.
Kyle Phillips’ design at The Grove combines modern game strategies with the great traditions of British golf course architecture, which in return saw it host the British Masters in 2016. Measuring at a lengthy 7,152-yards, the 18 immaculately conditioned holes follow the natural slopes and mounds of the land the course is set in. It is no wonder this course is regarded as one of the best new golf courses in Europe.
Known as the “Augusta of the North” by those who have played it, the Hunting Course at Slaley Hall is a course that every golfer should play at least once. Demanding long and straight tee shots, along with accurate approaches to greens with monumental slopes, the challenge here is stern but one that can be enjoyed by everyone. David Thomas has designed a true gem in the North East of England.