Best royal golf courses
Not every golf course gets the royal stamp of approval, we've pulled together our top 10 well deserving courses that have. The question is, which one do you play first?
With 35 royal golf courses in the UK, you won’t be surprised to hear that courses granted royal status by the British Monarchy tend to offer a fantastic experience.
For a golf club to receive this immense honor, they tend to invite a member of the royal family to be an honorary member or patron, but ultimately the approval must be granted by the reigning monarch. So take a look at ten of our favorite royal golf courses.
On the golden sands of Southport’s golfing coast, you will find Royal Birkdale and what is arguably one of the most highly regarded venues on the Open Championship rota. The club was the last in England to be awarded royal status in 1951 under the reign of King George VI and was the only course he awarded this status. Since then, it has been home to many of The Open’s most memorable moments.
Royal Cinque Ports was granted its royal title in 1910 by King Edward VII and offers one of the finest links experiences in the world, on England’s southeast coast. It hosted its first Open Championship before its royal status in 1909 and then once again in 1920. The classic out and back layout, combined with rolling fairways and impressive greens, makes for a great golfing experience.
With two courses to choose from, including the Open Championship hosting Dunluce course, it comes as no surprise that Portrush has been awarded the royal prefix. It was way back in 1892 under the reign of Queen Victoria that this Northern Ireland club became a royal, with the Duke of York (George V) being a Patron here.
Royal Liverpool, often known as Hoylake, is the second oldest seaside links, with only its royal partner at North Devon the more senior. With an illustrious history of hosting the Open Championship, along with other professional events, this Liverpool course fully deserves its status awarded to it in 1871 by Queen Victoria, with the Duke of Connaught as a patron.
Offering a stern golfing examination across its two courses, Royal Troon is another famous Scottish Open Championship venue and became a royal in 1978 under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Old Course is the Open host, with many great holes such as the 'Postage Stamp' 8th hole, but that is not to say that the Portland Course doesn’t offer its own brute of a challenge that is well worth playing.
Royal County Down is another stunning links venue to be awarded royal status, and thanks to its 36-holes of golf in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful settings, a golf holiday here is unforgettable. King Edward VII granted County Down’s royal title and no matter whether you’re playing the Annesley Links or the famous Championship Links, Northern Ireland golf doesn’t come much better.
Royal St David’s is one of the stand-out golf courses in Wales and its stunning location, dominated by the presence of Harlech Castle, will leave you coming back for more. As all fine traditional links course do, Royal St David’s features undulating fairways, true, fast greens and strategically placed bunkers. This was another course granted Royal status by King Edward VII, in 1908.
A Kent golf course with a distinguished golfing history, having hosting memorable Open Championships, Royal St George’s was awarded Royal status in 1902 by King Edward VII. The undulating fairways and cleverly positioned pot bunkers have been witness to some of golf’s greatest moments, so why not try and create your own or simply follow in the footsteps of legends, by hosting your next golf trip here?
A links course that is a long way from the sea, north of Southport, Royal Lytham & St Anne's is a unique Open venue that was awarded Royal status in 1926 by King George V. Over 150 bunkers pepper the fairways here, making accuracy key as opposed to length, with the added challenge of slick, true greens. A popular Open Championship venue for many, without a doubt.
As the second and final course to be granted Royal status in Wales in 1909 by King Edward VII, Royal Porthcawl is based in a magnificent setting that slopes down to the seashore, and thanks to the absence of dunes, golfers can see the sea from every hole. Memorable views south to Somerset and Exmoor and northwest across Swansea Bay to the Gower Peninsula, are enough to make golfers return time after time.
Golf Vacation Specialist
Golf Vacation Specialist, helping send consumers on their dream golf vacation to some of the best courses in the United States