Category Archives: Great Golf Courses

Great Golf Courses | Number 9 | Royal Portrush

Royal Portrush is is one of the most striking golf courses you will ever see. With its natural beauty and rugged landscape it really is a site to behold with its towering sand dunes.

Founded in 1888 the course itself has gone through many changes. It used to be a 9 hole course when it first opened but only a year later was transformed into an 18 hole course. It was redesigned in by Harry S Colt before the Second World War and was said to Colt’s finest achievement.

It used to be named the Royal County Club when the Duke of York was patron, but after the Prince of Wales came along in 1985 the name changed to Royal Portrush.

It is the only Golf Club outside of mainline Britain to the host the Open Championship, which was held in 1951 and was won by England’s Max Faulkner.

View the hole-by-hole guide of this wonderful golf course by clicking here

Great Golf Courses | Number 8 | Walton Heath

Walton Heath Golf Club is a located just outside Walton-on-the-Hill in Surrey, England.

The golf course was founded in 1903 and open in 1904 and comprises two 18-hole championship courses, the Old and the New.

First to be opened was The Old Course and as of 2009 is 7,462 yards in length and is well known for it’s heather which covers most areas of the rough.

The New Course was originally a 9-hole course back in 1907 but was later extended to an 18-hole course by the end of 1913. It is now a 7,026 yards in length and also boasts large amounts of heather to make it even tougher!

Both the Old and the New were designed by Herbert Fowler who was later to become a designer of a number of courses in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The courses have held many a competition including the US Open qualifying rounds. But is better known for hosting the 1981 Ryder Cup  and hosting five editions of the European Open between 1978 -1991.

It also hosted the Senior Open Championship last year.



Great Golf Courses | Number 7 | Turnberry

Can you Imagine the rolling hills, sandy dunes, a stiff breeze blowing off the Ayrshire coast. Before designer courses, before manicured greens and major championships, these lands inspired local Scots to play the game of golf.

The first course was built in 1901 and Turnberry’s fairways have been shared by the game’s elite and casual enthusiasts from around the globe. Even the conversion of its links to runways during two world wars could not stop the desire to play here, a place made for golf.

Turnberry has hosted The Open four times now, the first in 1977 and the most recent in 2009 when we nearly saw the most amazing Open win in history when Tom Watson had to par the 18th to win but made a five and then lost to Stewart Cink in a play-off. This is the 18th below.

Past winners of The Open at Turnberry are  1977 – Tom Watson, 1986 – Greg Norman, 1994 – Nick Price and 2009 – Stewart Cink.

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Great Golf Courses | Number 6 | TPC Sawgrass

TPC Sawgrass is one of the finest golf courses in the world and was only opened in 1980. It hosts golf’s ‘5th major’ The Players Championship every year, and every year produces some dramatic finishes, mainly to one of the most famous holes in golf, the 17th!

As you can see from the picture above it’s a scary looking prospect although only measuring around 135 yards there is no room for error.

The course itself measures well over 7,000 yards from the back tees.

The last winner of this championship was K.J. Choi

Great Golf Courses | Number 5 | Sunningdale New Course

Sunningdale is blessed with two championship courses laid out on the most glorious piece of heathland winding their way through heather, gorse and pine, each one of which has its own individual charm and beauty.Sunningdale Golf Club

With both the membership and the amount of golf being played increasing after the First World War, the Committee were concerned to reduce the pressure on the Old Course. Developed from an original 9 hole course and 168 acres of Chobham Common, purchased from Lord Onslow the New course opened for play on 10th November, 1923. The architect was Harry Colt.

It is truly the most beautiful golf course, and one of the toughest. The fairways are like most golf courses’ putting greens, they are cut so tight that you have to hit the perfect strike to get your yardages spot on otherwise you will be in trouble.

It’s a long course as well measuring over 6,700 yards, take a look at the scorecard. sunningdale scorecard

Sunningdale has hosted many a professional tournament including The Seve Trophy and the Senior Open Chamionship it also hosts the Sunningdale foursomes every year which is open to amateurs as well.



Great Golf Courses | Number 4 | Carnoustie

Whenever the name ‘Carnoustie’ is mentioned we automatically think back to The Open in 1999, for those of you that don’t know why, here’s a little reminder……

……yes you remember!!

Van de Velde nearly achieved victory at the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie, when he was the clear leader playing the closing holes. He arrived at the 18th tee needing only a double bogey six to become the first Frenchman since 1907 to win the tournament. He had played error-free golf for much of the championship and birdied the 18th hole in two prior rounds. He took a seven and got into a three-way playoff with Justin Leonard and Paul Lawrie.

Paul Lawrie eventually triumphed in the playoff.

Carnoustie had been set up particularly hard for that week boasting the longest rough an Open had ever seen, and the tightest fairways. With the wind blowing as well just made it one of the toughest opens in history, which made Van de Velde’s achievement going into the final hole even greater.

The Championship course was 7,421 yards for that week and a par 71.

Click here to see the final leaderboard.

The Course was established in 1850 and designed by, Allan Robertson, Old Tom Morris and James Braid

The course record stands at 64 held by: Colin Montgomerie, Steve Stricker and Richard Green.


Great Golf Courses | Number 3 | Augusta National

Augusta has to be one of my favourite courses of all time, it hosts the second biggest Major of the year ‘The Masters’. Every year when it comes around you can feel the excitement growing around all golf fans as it’s the sign that spring is here and the golf season is a about to get underway again!

Augusta is the most picturesque golf course in the world with its amazing array of flowers and shrubs. Augusta is known best for it’s fast and sloping greens which can make the best players in the world look foolish at times, and it’s usually the person that handles the greens the best that goes on to win.

The course has had to be extended over the years to cope with the advances of technology as it was playing a little bit to easy at one stage, but its back to its toughest again now stretching over 7,400 yards.  The course has 10 par 4’s, 4 par 3’s and 4 par 5’s.

Past Winners include:  Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods,and  Phil Mickleson.

Nick Price and Greg Norman share the course record which stands at 63.

The mystery of how Bobby Jones and course designer Alister MacKenzie  first met — and how Jones arrived at picking MacKenzie to design Augusta National Golf Club — has never been fully explained.

The golfer and architect created their masterpiece in the early 1930s, and it is the center of attention each spring as the home of the Masters Tournament.


Great Golf Courses | Number 2 | Royal St.Georges

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Royal St. George’s – Host to the 2011 Open Championship in which Darren Clarke Won his first major title, the thirteenth Open held at this fantastic golf course. The first Open was held in 1894 and was won by J H Taylor.

Designed by Laidlaw Purves in 1887, the Club has a distinguished golfing history and is proud to have hosted many amateur and professional tournaments.

As well as the history surrounding the club, it is regarded as one of the world’s best golf courses.  The undulating fairways, deep strategically placed bunkers and fast, true greens will prove a test to all standards of golfer. People say it’s not that toughest course unless the wind blows but I beg to differ!

There is a full range of practice facilities including an open air driving range, pitching area, practice nets and practice putting green with bunkers. People say it’s not that toughest course unless the wind blows but I beg to differ!

The Course itself is a par 70 consisting of 12 par 4’s, 4 par 3’s, and 2 par 5’s and is 7,204 yards off the Championship tees.

Here’s a flyby View of the 16th hole where Thomas Bjorn famously lost the Open




Great Golf Courses | Number 1 | Wentworth (West Course)

Welcome to the first of my posts looking at the best golf courses in Britain.

To kick things off, let’s take a look at one of my favourite courses, the famous West Course at Wentworth.

There is a tremendous flow and variety to this course, with lots of elevation changes and different length par-3s, par-4s and par-5s to total a challenging Par 73.

The original design of the course, by Harry Colt in 1926, was in recent years becoming too easily challenged by the standard of today’s golfer and the golfing technology available, so with the help of Ernie Els, the course was carefully modernised, with holes lengthened and bunkers re-positioned where necessary and appropriate.

The course re-opened in 2010 following the construction of 18 brand new greens, built to USGA specifications.

Here are some Wentworth West Course Stats:


Opened: 1926
Architect: Harry Colt (modernised/refined between 2005 & 2010 by Ernie Els)
Par: 73
Length: 7,308 yards
Course Record: 62, Robert Karlsson (shot at round 3 of the BMW PGA Championship 2010)
Key tournaments: HSBC Matchplay, 1964 – 2007: BMW PGA Championship, 1984 – present day: Ryder Cup, 1953: Canada Cup 1956

Click here for a hole-by-hole guide to the course.

Click here for a fantastic course flyover (well worth a view).

Click here to view the current scorecard.