Welcome to the greatest, often oldest and mainly public tournament-class golf courses in the world. Our selection is neither prohibitively expensive nor too exclusive to be more than a fantasy – that’s why you won’t find the US greats of Pine Valley, Cypress Point and Augusta National included, where even the likes of Bill Gates and Jack Nicklaus have been turned away in the past.
1) St Andrews (Old Course), St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
The birthplace of golf continues to amaze and befuddle professionals on a yearly basis, even when it’s not hosting the Open Championship. According to Eamon Lynch in Reasons to Visit St Andrews, there’s simply no correct way to play it: “The Old Course is a living church where pilgrims don't have to sing from the same hymnbook and where golfers must become explorers to navigate their way around the ancient links.” The Old Course is the ‘holy grail’ for all who wish to walk in the spike marks of every legendary figure to have played the game. Golf has been played at St Andrews for more 600 years, evolving into the game we know today. Read more....
2) Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CA, USA
As an annual stop on the PGA Tour, many golfers think they know this course intimately from what they see on television, but the real magic of Pebble Beach is found on the front nine, especially holes five through eight, which are situated on the stunning promontory between Stillwater Cove and the Pacific Ocean. Pebble Beach has been described as bland off the tee, but misfiring approach shots will make it a very long day, as the course demands accurate shots and the weather conditions can change quickly. You’ll need at least five hours to get around the course. Read more....
3) Royal County Down, Newcastle, Northern Island, UK
With traditions dating back more than 100 years, Royal County Down is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland and one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. It is also renowned as one of the world’s most brutal golf courses to master. Although membership is by invitation only, what's valued at Royal County Down is camaraderie – all the better to play the Hat game, where names are drawn to see who plays with whom. Read more....
4) Muirfield Course, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
Muirfield is the home of ‘The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers’ (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club, formed in 1744 when the members wrote the original 13 Rules of Golf for their first official competition. Read more....
5) Royal Melbourne (West Course), Black Rock, Victoria, Australia
Crafted by Dr Alister Mackenzie in 1926, during his one and only visit Down Under, and first played in 1931, the West Course at Royal Melbourne Golf Club is generally acknowledged as the best course in Australia. The Club itself has existed continuously from 1891 and is regarded as the oldest golf club in Australia. Read more....
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