This week’s blog is a guide to nine great golf courses situated within the UK that you should consider taking a trip to. The weather is slowly but surely starting to warm up, the days are longer, and summer is fast approaching. If you are not planning on taking a golf escape abroad and even if you are, make sure to get in some quality golf in the UK.
The Shire in London was designed by Ryder Cup legend Seve Ballesteros and it is the only course that he has designed in the UK. The course boasts a parkland Florida-style layout with six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. From each hole, you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding areas from woodland plantations with over 10,000 mature trees to links-feel holes with gorse and high-level fescues.
The course’s fairways follow the natural contours of the landscape, you will be rewarded for long, accurate shots but sometimes, taking the shorter option may be safer. There are fast, true greens with subtle slopes and borrows to challenge you right at the end of each hole. Water features heavily throughout the course, there are natural lakes and man-made lakes along the way. On the final hole, you will find a water feature in an “S” shape in honour of Seve.
This is a fantastic golf course which boasts a range of tee options to make it playable for those of all abilities. After your round, enjoy a great meal and a few drinks in the clubhouse.
Next, we have the Strand Course at Portstewart Golf Club which was designed by Des Griffin and opened for play in 1992. It is a very impressive course which stretches to over 7,000 yards from the back tees. The Strand Course is great fun to play with a brilliant opening nine holes which are carved out from huge dunes and boasts stunning views over the Atlantic mouth of Lough Foyle.
Right from the 1st tee, you can enjoy the stunning views of the beach and the links hole beneath you. The course boasts a wide range of different and uniquely designed holes throughout the course including two fantastic par 3s on the front nine. This is a brilliant course situated in Northern Ireland and perfect for those looking for a fun and challenging course which will stay in your mind for long after the round is finished.
The Royal Belfast Golf Club is one of only a handful of golf clubs that have the prefix “Royal” to their name. This is the oldest golf club in Ireland and boasts a brilliant clubhouse filled with old golfing memorabilia. The course was designed by the great Harry Colt who designed the course so that its holes roll over the parkland beautifully. There is no doubt that this course is a stern test of golf despite its shorter than average length with some very long par 3s, challenging opening and closing par 4s and 5s and some difficult bunkering to navigate your way around. From some of the holes, you can enjoy stunning views across the Loch.
You begin the round with some very long and challenging par 4s but the 9th, 10th and 11th are very enjoyable holes which you will play along the shoreline. There are three difficult par 5s to conclude the round. After your round, make sure to make your way to the clubhouse where you can enjoy a great meal and a few drinks whilst reminiscing over this brilliant course.
Castle Stuart is a great course, even before you reach the course you will be impressed by the three-tiered clubhouse and the magnificent views. The Championship course opened for play in 2009 and runs along the Moray Firth with beautiful views of Kessock Bridge and the Black Isle.
Four Scottish Opens have been held at Castle Stuart, one of these was within the first year of the opening of the course. This is a wonderfully impressive course and is one that will stay in your mind for long after you make your final putt on the 18th hole. After your round, you can enjoy a meal and drinks in the club’s impressive clubhouse. From the clubhouse, you can enjoy beautiful views over the course whilst you reminisce over this challenging round. If you are looking to make a golf break out of it, you can rent one of the properties surrounding the course so that you never need to leave this stunning area.
Situated in Wales is the brilliant Nefyn and District Golf Club. The course boasts a dramatic and impressive location situated on the cliff tops at the foot of the Porthdinllaen headland. There are only a few seaside courses from which you can actually enjoy beautiful views of the sea from every hole but, you can here at Nefyn.
The course’s opening holes take you out from the clubhouse to the clifftop holes on the edge of the headland. You will enjoy the back nine as you play eight holes along the Point peninsula from which you can enjoy spectacular views whilst you tackle the fairways and tees situated above secluded coves and inlets. After the 15th, you can take a footpath down to the Ty Coch Inn which is situated on the beach and offers you the perfect option to enjoy a few drinks whilst you take a break.
With 18 very different and special holes, this is a superb and memorable golf course with breath-taking surroundings and great facilities. If you are looking to enjoy a golf escape to the area, take a look at the great Royal Sportsman Hotel.
Situated at the rear of the estate at Carden Park is the brilliant Cheshire Course. The course is reminiscent of the finest British heathland courses and offers stunning, panoramic views across the Cheshire countryside to the mountains of Wales.
The course can pose a challenge to even the most discerning golfer due to the wealth of natural hazards that are situated along the course. There are many bunkers which have been designed to flow with the natural contours of the landscape – you will need an accurate shot if you are to avoid them all.
There is no doubt that the end to your round will be wonderfully dramatic and scenic due to the tough 16th and 17th holes followed by the 18th which is set atop the sandstone cliffs overlooking the resort and Welsh hills. There is no doubt that a round at Carden Park, Cheshire course is one that you will never forget. Take a look at the Carden Park Hotel if you are looking to make the most of this course and the stunning surroundings.
The Donald Steel designed Championship Golf Course at the Macdonald Portal Hotel opened for play in 1990 and has since gained a great reputation for providing golfers with a fantastic round of golf. The course stretched to over 7,000 yards over historic land and a former battlefield. Due to the length of the course and the fact that it boasts many undulating fairways, we would recommend that you may want to consider getting a buggy to make the most of the round.
There are some particularly brilliant holes including the 3rd which is a monster 602-yard long par 5 which boasts an elevated tee. Only the longest hitters will be able to reach the green in two. The course winds its way through an exciting parkland layout boasting charming water features and mature trees and each of the USGA standard greens comes with breath taking views over the Cheshire countryside. Right from the first tee to the very last, this a special golf course and one that will leave you with an excited feeling, even if the scorecard isn’t great! The only thing that could make this course any better is a stay at the lovely Macdonald Portal Hotel.
There are two courses at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club – Gainsborough and Constable. The championship Gainsborough course opened for play in 1972 and has matured beautifully into being one of the region’s best golf courses. The course is routed along the edge of the beautiful Dedham \Vale which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Gainsborough course measures a great 7,000 yards and due to the varied nature of the course, golfers leave the course and remember many of the holes for long after they finish the round. There are long holes, short holes, doglegs in many directions, uphill, downhill and other various tough holes for you to contend with along the course. Two of the best holes along the course are the 10th and the 11th holes. The 10th is a great hole, a 418-yard par 4, you must drive over a lake in order to reach a position 150 yards from the green with the same lake waiting to catch your approach shot.
This is a fantastic round of golf and in 1999, the Stoke by Nayland Club added a luxurious hotel, health club and a conference centre perfect for those looking to enjoy the fantastic courses at this club.
Last, but certainly not least, is Mottram Hall Golf Course. This course is situated within 270 acres of Cheshire’s finest parkland, it is open all year round and boasts an interesting and challenging layout with stunning fairways, well-guarded greens and beautiful countryside.
The course stretched to just over 7.000 yards long from the back tee and was designed by the renowned architects, Dave Thomas. The course played host to the 2013 European Senor’s PGA Championship and it isn’t hard to see why the course was picked to host a great event. The course’s front nine holes are a fairly easy set of holes and boast the impressive backdrop of the 18th century Hall whilst they gently roll over meadowland.
The back nine of the course winds through lush woodland and puts golfers of all abilities to their test. There is no doubt that this course is an exciting challenge for those of all abilities. One of the best things about this course is the fact that it is onsite of the Mottram Hall Hotel where you can enjoy a relaxing and luxurious golf escape.
We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on nine of the best courses in the UK that we would recommend you take a trip to play. Wherever you are situated in the UK, one of these courses will be situated near you. Make sure to give us a call on 01342 811777 if you are interested in booking a golf break to one of these courses as we know our stuff and we can definitely sort you out with the perfect UK golf escape for you and whoever you are travelling with.