The global popularity of golf has resulted in an absolute glut in golf courses in countries around the world – which is, of course, brilliant for those of us who like to spend our time out on the greens. With so many great golf courses to visit, you might not know exactly where to start. Thankfully I’m here with this handy list of the world’s best golf courses, so you better get started on improving that handicap.
St Andrews (Old Course)
To kick things off, let’s go back to where it all started. The modern game of golf finds its origin in 15th Century Scotland and the Old Course at St Andrews came soon after. Its been a favourite of the game ever since, and for good reason. The course is both beautiful and challenging to play, with obstacles like the Hell Bunker proving to be difficult even for seasoned players. This course is absolutely steeped in its history as one of the original homes of golf, so it is no surprise that it continues to be one of the best courses in the world.
Looking a little closer to home I’m happy to say that Australia is not without its own world-class golf courses. Both the east and west course of the Royal Melbourne are standouts in the southern hemisphere and they demonstrate some of the greatest use of bunkers that can be found in the game. The range of approaches that are possible on these courses is a testament to the timeless design of legend Dr Alister MacKenzie
While it might be surprising to see Pebble Beach as the only entry from the United States on the list, this can be broken down to both its quality as a course and its peculiar individuality as one of the only prestigious courses in America that are open to the public. Pebble Beach has been home to a number of memorable tournaments and its difficult water hazards make it a challenging endeavour.
Royal County Down Golf Club
The coastal setting of this club and the varied challenge offered by both its 18-hole courses makes it an essential stop on any golf enthusiasts list. Fighting the wind from the sea while overcoming the obstacles presented by the native gorse helps to strike Royal County Down’s individuality and pedigree as a simultaneously challenging and gorgeous course.
While it doesn’t share as storied a history as many of the other courses on this list, the Green Monkey course at Sandy Lane is taking strides to make a name for itself. The experience of playing in the balmy atmosphere of the Caribbean could have been enough on its own for many golfers, but the Green Monkey course takes things even further with the paramount challenge presented by its eponymous final hole.