Top 10 Hidden Gems in the UK & Ireland
A hidden gem is defined as something which is extremely outstanding but relatively unknown and these courses are no exception. A round up of the best of the best the UK and Ireland have to offer.
Hidden gem golf courses offer a great golfing experience and tend to be at a fraction of the price of your more well-known golf courses. Across the UK & Ireland you can find these little pearls that will leave you and your friends coming back for more, and the exciting challenges these courses offer won’t be a secret for long. Take a look at ten of our favourite hidden gem golf courses in the UK & Ireland.
Nairn Golf Club
Created from a Highland wilderness of gorse and heather, Nairn Golf Club is one of Scotland’s finest golf courses, nestled on the shores of the Moray Firth. The Championship Course here delights visitors, but you must be accurate off the tee as you battle with the constant hazard of gorse and the strong westerly wind. There is also the nine-hole Cameron Course that all the family can enjoy and is perfect for fine-tuning your short game.
Fulford Golf Club
Just one-mile outside of the historic city of York, Fulford Golf Club is a fine heathland course with a history of its own. The course hosted 23 consecutive European Tour events in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, with an impressive list of winners that includes the likes of Lee Trevino, Sam Torrance and Greg Norman. This was also the scene for Bernhard Langer’s famous shot out of a tree on the 17th hole – where he managed to hit the green and two-putt for a bogey.
St Annes Old Links
Although sometimes overshadowed by its Open hosting neighbour, Royal Lytham & St Annes, the 6,941-yard St Annes Old Links is fantastic challenge in its own right on England’s north west coast. The course has been designed to test your patience and resilience, which makes it no surprise that the club has hosted Open qualifying and international matches in the past.
There are 36-holes of outstanding golf to be found at Carden Park, popular among those who frequent Cheshire, although those who are new to the area may not realise the true beauty of the courses here. The Cheshire Course leads to a dramatic finish, with the added beautiful views across the estate. The Nicklaus Course, designed by Jack and his son Steve, definitely rewards those who plot their way around the course, with strategically placed hazards across the 18 holes.
Cork Golf Club
Cork Golf Club is a Dr. Alister MacKenzie design located at Little Island, in close proximity to the popular city of Cork. The holes are routed through exceptional golfing terrain that incorporates old limestone quarries and the inner reaches of Cork Harbour. Its scenic location combined with a great test of golf makes for a truly enjoyable golfing getaway.
12 miles north of Oxford, just outside the sleepy Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, you will find the outstanding Heythrop Park and its 18-hole Bainbridge Course. The course weaves through 440-acres of rambling estate, with valleys, ancient woodland, lakes and streams presenting hazards throughout the round. It has even hosted Challenge Tour events in the past, as well as the American Golf Long Drive Championship.
Dartmouth Hotel, Golf & Spa
The 18-hole Championship Course at the Dartmouth Hotel, Golf & Spa spans over 7,200-yards from the tips, with hazards such as meandering streams, 12 water features, clever bunkering and undulating greens offering an exciting challenge. The added 9-hole Dartmouth Course offers a more relaxing challenge, with similar water features.
The Mottram Hall Championship Course is another gem in Cheshire that every standard of golfer can enjoy. As one of Cheshire’s finest parkland golf courses, just one-mile from the village of Prestbury, golfers are delighted by magnificent oak and beech trees as well as tricky, well-guarded greens. A recent £1.5 million refurbishment only adds to the experience.
The golf course at Old Thorns will see you walking in the footsteps of some of the game’s best golfers, as it was officially opened by Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Isao Aoki and Bill Rogers. Whether you’re a beginner or a scratch golfer, the course accommodates everyone and offers stunning views from many of the elevated tees.
Stoneham Golf Club
Set out through an old deer park, Stoneham Golf Club offers a fantastic 18-hole challenge on the Northern boundary of Southampton. Although only 6,400-yards, this course will reward the strategic golfer as undulating heathland means you rarely get a flat lie, and a premium is put on accuracy. This really a gem in the south of England.