Top Golf Courses

Top 11 inland courses in the UK

From the north right down to the South the UK is awash with spectacular inland courses. We've complied a list of our top eleven all you need to do is decide which one you're going to tick off first.

Stephen Thavarasa
Stephen Thavarasa 8 mins read

The UK is home to some of the finest golf courses in the world, and while it is often the links gems that garner much of the attention, we are also blessed with some truly exceptional inland courses. From the moorland test at Gleneagles to the heathland stars along the Surrey/Berkshire sandbelt, we take a look at some of the finest inland courses in the United Kingdom.

Ganton Golf Club

The term inland links may sound like an oxymoron, but at Ganton, where the fairways run fast and firm, and where the cavernous bunkers are large enough to rival some of the most formidable seaside tests, it somehow makes perfect sense.

The club has hosted some of the biggest events in golf over the years, most notably the Ryder Cup, back in 1949 when the contest still pitted America against Team GB.

You can't talk about Ganton without mentioning the exquisite bunkering. There are over 100 bunkers in total, many of which are truly enormous, and it would take some doing to hole out on the 18th without finding your way into at least a couple.

Ganton Golf Club

Alwoodley Golf Club

What do you get when you combine Dr Alister MacKenzie, the mastermind behind Augusta, and Harry Colt, one of the greatest British architects of all-time?

The answer is Alwoodley, a moorland gem that a century on continues to rank among the finest inland courses in Britain.

The course was actually MacKenize’s first dabble in golf course design, and is a clear indication of the genius that was to come. One of a cluster of fantastic inland courses on a dramatic stretch of moorland just north of Leeds, Alwoodley will test every element of your game with heather and gorse lying in wait from almost every tee.

Be sure to make your score over the opening holes. The back nine is one of the toughest in golf, and invariably plays into a prevailing wind coming off the Yorkshire Moors.

Alwoodley Golf Club

Walton Heath (Old Course)

Walton Heath is home to two outstanding heathland courses, both of which rank among England’s finest layouts.

Herbert Fowler would design the New and the Old Course, with the latter revered world-over as an exceptional test of golf. It is a reputation that has attracted some of the biggest contests in the game, including the 1981 Ryder Cup.

The Surrey heathland has also welcomed some of the most notable figures in British history, including Winston Churchill, a member at Walton Heath for over half a century, and King Edward VIII, who would become the only reigning monarch to hold a captaincy role at a golf club when he ascended to the throne in 1935.

The Old Course is delightful to play, particularly during the summer months, when the perfusion of heather that lines the fairways are in flower. It is a beautiful sight but one that makes for a marked challenge and golfers hoping to score well should be sure to keep the ball on the fairway.

Walton Heath, Old Course

Gleneagles (King’s Course)

Lee Trevino once said of the King’s Course, ‘If heaven is as good as this, I sure hope they have some tee times left.’

While it would be the newly designed PGA Centenary Course that would go onto host the Ryder Cup at the Perthshire resort in 2014, there is little doubt that the James Braid masterpiece continues to be the crown jewel at the prestigious resort. Nestled amid some of Scotland’s most arresting scenery, the Kings is almost universally considered to be the best Moorland course in the world. The Highlands gem has hosted numerous important events over the years, including the Curtis Cup, the Scottish Open, and even the first unofficial staging of the Ryder Cup.

The King's Course, The Gleneagles Resort

Broadstone

Founded in 1898, Broadstone Golf Club is set in the rolling Dorset countryside and is a must-play on a golf break to Bournemouth.

Little has changed since renowned architect Harry Colt was charged with re-designing the layout over a century ago, and golfers will encounter a classic and charming test laid out on rolling heathland terrain.

Measuring just 6,315 yards from the back tees, Broadstone is by no means a long course but peppered with heather and serving up more than its fair share of awkward lies the layout is likely to test even the lowest-handicappers.

The back nine is arguably the more spectacular of the two halves and offers panoramic views of Poole Harbour and the Purbeck Hills.

Broadstone Golf Club

Worplesdon

The picturesque heathland layout at Worplesdon may not garner the same level of attention as the other illustrious courses along the Surrey sandbelt but it is undoubtedly one of the finest inland courses in England.

It has been said that the JF Abercromby layout is the prettiest of the world-class courses that litter the region and meandering its way through stunning heather, and mature chestnut and pine trees, it's hard to disagree.

The short holes are arguably Worplesdon’s greatest assets, with the par-3 tenth, which requires a nerve-racking carry over water, among the most beautiful holes you are ever likely to encounter

Bordering the esteemed courses at West Hill and Woking, Worplesdon completes the trinity of holy ‘W’’s and a trip to play the three heather-clad layouts should be on every golfer’s bucket list.

Worplesdon Golf Club

Notts (Hollinwell)

Notts Golf Club, or Hollinwell as it is better known, sits in the heart of Robin Hood country and has stood proudly as one of England’s finest tests for over a century.

A Final Open Qualifying venue, the course is wonderfully varied, with some holes carving through heather and fern clad valleys and others playing their way across undulating wooded hillside.

The result is a charming combination of heathland, moorland, and even a touch of woodland, all of which tie together effortless to create an unforgettable test of golf.

Notts Golf Club

Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin Course)

Woodhall Spa is home to both England Golf and one of the finest heathland courses in the world.

A stunning heathland course littered with gorse, the Hotchkin is perhaps best known for its formidable bunkers, which are easily both the most challenging and deep of any inland course in the United Kingdom.

Suffice to say that golfers will need to bring their A-Game if they are to score well around this beautiful and challenging layout.

Woodhall Spa, Hotchkin Course

Hindhead

Hindhead may have been founded in 1904 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but you don’t need to be a sleuth to realise that this is one of England’s finest golf courses. Quintessentially English, the pine-clad front nine carves its way through a heather-strewn valley, before rising onto a stunning plateau to offer sensational views.

A true delight to play, it’s unsurprising that Peter Alliss has named the Surrey gem among his all-time favourite courses.

Hindhead Golf Club

St Pierre (Old Course)

Located in rolling countryside just minutes from the Severn Bridge and set against the backdrop of a 14th-century manor house, St Pierre is one of the most popular resorts in Wales.

The Old Course is the finer of the two courses at the resort, and meandering its way through an old Deer Park, has played host to a number of prestigious professional events, including eight additions of the British Masters. Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros, and Ian Woosnam are just three in a star-studded list of winners at the stunning venue, which also played host to the Solheim Cup in 1996.

Unusually, the 18th is a par-3, and stretching 230-yards from the back tee and played over a lake, forms the signature hole at the resort.

St Pierre Marriott, The Old Course

Remedy Oak Golf Club

Situated within 256 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, Dorset, Remedy Oak is a true gem and arguably one of the best golf courses in the South of England. The fairways are lush green and maintained to a very high standard. The course is awash with natural beauty meandering through a backdrop of hardwood trees, mature conifers, rhododendrons, heather, wild grasses, and with water coming into play on eight holes. So if you're after an enjoyable challenge with pretty surroundings, Remedy Oak is for you.

Remedy Oak Golf Club

Feeling inspired?
Base your next golf break in the UK and discover crisp, green fairways and outstanding inland layouts…

Published

Stephen Thavarasa avatar
Stephen Thavarasa

UK Travel Consultant

Related articles