Top 11 beautiful golf courses in the UK
Fairways that hug the coastline, routes carved between sand dunes and tees with views of the Atlantic, the UK boasts them all. Time to start planning that staycation.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to leave the UK to play some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. In fact, some of the most scenic golf courses that are right here in the UK welcome golfers to their visually stunning courses all-year-round.
Stunning vistas and aesthetically pleasing holes all add up to create a memorable round of golf, so here are eleven of our favourite beautiful golf courses in the UK, where picturesque holes will make you forget any bad shots instantly.
Both the Championship Links and the Annesley Links at Royal County Down are set in the Murlough Nature Reserve, against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne. In fact, many regard the Championship Links here as one of the most naturally beautiful links settings in the world. The narrow ribbons of fairways wind through impressive sand dunes surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse, making for an unforgettable Northern Ireland golf experience.
Famous for its iconic ‘Point,’ a tiny promontory that juts out from the Lleyn Peninsula into the Irish Sea, the Nefyn & District course on the North West Wales coast is a truly stunning place to play golf. Spectacularly located tees, fairways that hug the coastline and greens perched close to the shoreline are aplenty at this simply beautiful, 27-hole venue in Wales.
Described as the 'most breathtaking yards in golf', Old Head Golf Links is built on a 220-acre diamond of land that juts out over two miles into the sea on Ireland's South West coast. On top of the stunning vistas across the Atlantic Ocean, the promontory has numerous caves running beneath your feet as you play the course, making it a piece of golfing real estate like no other.
Known as the 'Augusta of the North' thanks to its undulating greens and rhododendrons in bloom, the Hunting parkland course at Slaley Hall is a truly special place to play golf in England. The rolling moorland features streams, lakes and towering trees to add to the tricky greens, to catch out the unwary golfer. Shaping the ball is certainly an advantage around this course.
As well as being the only golf club in Northern Ireland to host The Open Championship, Royal Portrush is also one of the most visually stunning golf courses in the UK. There are two courses here, the Dunluce and the Valley, and both sit aside the North Atlantic Ocean, which can be seen from many holes, especially when you are stood atop the many dunes that line the fairways.
Kingsbarns Golf Links is set along 1.8 miles of picturesque North Sea coastline, where each hole embraces the sea in a traditional Scottish links golf style. As well as offering simply beautiful golf holes, golfers may also be tempted by the fact this golf course co-hosts the annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour and has previously hosted the Ricoh Women’s British Open. A simply sensational place to play golf, close to St Andrews.
Offering a natural route, carved between mountainous sand dunes that span 1.5 miles along a crescent shaped beach on the Atlantic Ocean, the Doonbeg Links is more than impressive on the eye. This course is the only one in the whole of the British Isles designed by Greg Norman, and then re-designed by the highly regarded Dr. Martin Hawtree. Part of the Trump Doonbeg International Golf Links & Hotel, it really is a sensational place to play golf on the rugged Clare coastline.
Ilfracombe Golf Club’s location in an area of outstanding natural beauty makes for a spectacular round of golf on the North Devon coast. Atop the rugged cliffs of the South West coast, this golf course offers awe-inspiring views over the sea to the Welsh Coast, Lundy Island and out to the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. It even has its own micro-climate, meaning you can take in these stunning views all-year-round.
Braid Hills Golf Club
Braid Hills offers golfers outstanding views to the Pentland Hills and spectacular panoramas across the Edinburgh skyline to the Firth of Forth. With the natural contours and native gorse bushes shaping the parkland course, Braid Hills creates a truly unique and beautiful round of golf. Although short, with light rough and few bunkers, this course is one of the most vertically challenging in Edinburgh. The dramatic elevation changes and profusion of gorse makes for dramatic challenge at one of Scotland’s oldest courses.
Braid Hills Golf Club
The epitome of English golf and consistently rated as one of the world’s finest heathland golf courses, Woodhall Spa is very pleasing on the eye thanks to the profusion of gorse and heather, as well as the challenging and deep collection of bunkers both fairway and greenside. With each hole individually memorable, you are guaranteed a fantastic day out on the Hotchkin Course fairways.
A course that golfers of all levels will find enjoyable and challenging, Dumbarnie Golf Links has clearly been designed to inspire rather than intimidate golfers. A course made for fun, it measures in at 5,300 to 6,900 yards. The dual elevations are connected by a flowing escarpment and plenty of obstacles throughout which keep things interesting. The popular 10th hole features a glittering lake. You’ll also be able to take lots of great photos as various holes offer fantastic ocean views. One for the bucket-list for sure.
Senior UK Travel Consultant