What are the best golf courses in the UK?
The cost of living is rising – it’s in the news all the time right now, with the specter of rising energy bills, food and gas prices, national insurance and more which are increasingly emerging in the UK.
Golf is not exempt, and when you remember that many golf clubs increased both green fees and membership fees following the well-documented boom in golf memberships during the pandemic, continue to playing as much as you want in the most economical way possible becomes trickier. In related articles, we’ve looked at how to play golf for less with some handy tips, and more specifically, how to find the best value golf at some of our top courses for those still craving a treat. occasionally in a golf course. Monthly UK&I Top 100 quotes.
Here we turn our attention to the best value for money outside of our Premier League circuits, but it’s important to remember that ‘best value’ doesn’t necessarily mean cheapest. Value is all about finding the right mix of experience and price, so a very cheap course that delivers a very disappointing experience (for whatever reason) is actually worth very little.
We have selected a dozen courses across the UK and I from a recent in-depth study Monthly Golf 100 Hidden Gems project which we believe provides a great experience for the money, and therefore, true value…
England – South
Cleeve Hill GCGloucestershire
GF: £15 (low season dusk) to £40 (summer weekend rate)
Rob Smith says… Lightly bunkered and with plenty of space off the tee, this is a course that will test your short game at the same time as offering a history lesson in golf course design . If you like distant, unspoiled views, Cleeve Hill will tick all the boxes and more. Recently saved from the brink of extinction, it’s the epitome of natural golf, running as it does over hill and dale at the highest point of the magnificent Cotswolds.
GC LewesEast Sussex
GF: from £32.50 (low season tour)
Jezz Ellwood says… Successfully locating the narrow access road and making your way to the clubhouse is well worth the effort as the views over the town and along the South Downs are stunning. Three short par 4s at the start give you hope, but they don’t always roll obediently into the wind. Highlights include the par-5 9th, where the bigger hitters could simply drive over the ridge to bring the green within reach, and the long downhill par-3 12th. Lewes ranks among the best golf courses on the Sussex Downs.
England – Midlands
GF: £22 (low season round) to £54 (all day play in summer)
Fergus Bisset says… At 1,284 feet above sea level, Kington is England’s highest golf club. With panoramic views from the course, encompassing the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Black Mountains, the Radnorshire Hills, Hergest Ridge, as well as the Malvern and Clee Hills, there are few more spectacular settings for golf in England. . The back nine in particular offers very pleasant holes with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Kington is simply supreme pleasure and one of the best golf courses in Herefordshire.
Rasen GC Marketlincolnshire
GF: from £25 (low season tour) to £45 (summer weekend rate)
Jezz Ellwood says… This lovely course just outside the famous horse racing town deserves to be more widely known. The incredibly long opening par 4 is a bit of an early shock, but don’t despair as the other six par 4s of the front nine all start with a ‘3’. They should be treated with respect though, as you are invariably among trees and heather. Eventually you find more open ground on the 9th, and after the excellent left dogleg 10 you head to a trio of new holes that replaced three closer to the racecourse in 2001. Market Rasen is rated one of the best golf courses in Lincolnshire, a county in which Woodhall Spa’s Hotchkin course is the most notable course.
England – North
GF: £24 (twilight) to £50 (all day play)
Fergus Bisset says… The Cleveland course is an excellent course with a nice range of holes played over hilly terrain and dune lined fairways to good firm fast greens. The front nine has some cracking holes towards the old steelworks and the home run provides a good test.
Dunstanburgh Castle GCNorthumberland
GF: £20 (summer weekend dusk) to £40 (summer weekend rate)
Rob Smith says… This par 70 course hugs the beautiful coastline about 40 miles south of the border with Scotland. It was remodeled and enlarged by James Braid in 1920, and what remains is largely his work with only three par 3s and a solitary par 5. Not heavily bunkered, it is exceptionally pretty with stunning views of the castle at the far end.
Spa Strathpeffer GCRoss and Cromarty
GF: from £20 per ride (low season and dusk) to £40 (summer rate)
Fergus Bisset says… The course here was extended to 18 holes at the turn of the 20th century with Old Tom Morris employed to make the necessary additions and alterations. It retains the character and charm of an old Scottish club and course. There are seven par 3s that require skill and precision and the undulating fairways lead to sloping greens that can make even the best putters scratch their heads. With views over the Cromarty Firth and the hills around Ben Wyvis, a visit here will be long remembered.
Shiskine Golf and Tennis ClubArran
GF: from £22 a game
Fergus Bisset says… Playing towards Drumadoon Point with sweeping views over the Kintyre Peninsula and across the Arran coast to the impressive basalt cliffs, Shiskine enjoys an incredible setting. The course features one of the most memorable pairings of holes you will find. The almost impossible 3rd, ‘Crow’s Nest’, where the tee shot has to climb about 50ft and come to rest on a plateau green, then the 4th, where you play from an elevated tee with cliffs to the right and the Kilbrannan Sound and Kintyre ahead. It’s stirring stuff. The small Isle of Arran is home to no less than seven golf courses.
Neath GCNeath Port Talbot
GF: from £28 (low season tour) to £44 (weekend summer rate)
Jezz Ellwood says… Neath, James Braid’s 1930s handicraft set high above the South Wales Valleys, offers some of the best views of any hilltop course from the 13 holes that are played on the heights. The view from the 9th green and then the 10th and 11th holes is truly mesmerizing as you contemplate normal life in the valley below. The hole you’ll remember the most is the mid-length par-4 15th, which plunges 80 feet to the lower level in one shot via more hang time than you can imagine.
Bull Bay GCAnglesey
GF: from £25 (low season and dusk) to £45 (summer Saturday rate)
Rob Smith says… Opening shortly before the First World War, this lightly bunkered Herbert Fowler design sits in the center of Anglesey’s scenic and steep north coast and is considered one of the best golf courses in North Wales . Its elevated position means the wind is often a factor, but to compensate there are views out to sea and towards the Isle of Man that are simply stunning. Bull Bay is an extremely sociable club where staff and members take the time to welcome visitors. If it wasn’t so off the beaten path it would be much better known.
Strandhill GCCounty Sligo
GF: from €30 (low season tour) to €100 (summer tour)
Kevin Markham says… Strandhill is Ireland’s quirkiest 18-hole course. It is also one of the most picturesque and entertaining. It lies under the gaze of the Knocknarea mountain, with the sea pressing on both sides. The holes keep you guessing all day and while there are ‘traditional’ link holes here, several more are off the charts for pure adventure. They almost defy belief because of the exuberant terrain (holes 5 and 15) or because there is no way a hole could be designed like this (the outrageous 13th). They all add to the infectious charm of Strandhill. You play by the sea twice – on holes 2, 3 and 4, then 7 – although the sound of the waves follows you wherever you go.
GF: from £30 a game
Kevin Markham Says… Scrabo, at the other end of the county from the famous Royal County Down Championship links, has rugged, bumpy, unpredictable, sometimes unfair but always adventurous and adrenaline-inducing terrain. The gorse overwhelms your senses as the views spread out for miles. Right from the start, you are struck by the drama of the course and its setting. The 1st plays from a high tee, going straight up between gorse flanks. It is a par 4 of 459 yards and is SI 1. There are also short par 4s, but it is a tough day’s golf. A sense of wild adventure follows you from hole to hole as the fairways meander up the hillside to small natural green spots lost in the gorse.