TOP 100

todaysgolferandgolfworld

TOP 100

GOLF COURSES

IN ENGLAND

The definitive list ranked by golf’s most distinguished panel

ALSO

INSIDE

AN EXPANDED

‘NEXT 100’ LIST

FOR 2015

INSIGHT FROM: FALDO, JACKLIN, NICKLAUS, ALLISS, CRITCHLEY AND WESTWOOD


Top 100 England 2015

how we produced The lisT

Welcome to the most

comprehensive ranking

to date of the finest

courses in england.

There are so many courses to

highlight (we have focused on

numbers 51-100, as they didn’t feature in last

year’s GB&I ranking), so many stunning

images to find a place for and so many

feature articles to cram in, we need to get

straight to the business of how we put it all

together. Hopefully what follows answers

any questions you have about our Top 100:

Who decided the positions?

Our panel of readers, who are efectively

‘Mystery Shoppers’. They visit the courses

unannounced, pay the green fee and make

their judgements. The list (and the Next 100)

is an amalgamation of their opinions.

do you ‘mark’ each course?

No. This is done by other rankings inside and

outside golf, but at this time the panel purely

rank the course using a ‘mental’ aggregate of

the various factors*. A numerical breakdown

might well add ballast but it’s not something

I personally yearn for, at least not until every

panellist has played every course and we can

thus produce a valid statistical breakdown.

At the moment, producing one would be no

more useful than the ‘mental’ ranking. Watch

this space – although I am personally more

keen on working to get a large panel who’ve

played every single course. That would, in

my view, further improve our Top 100 lists.

What are the factors* in assessing?

This seems obvious to me, but people do

ask; we ask panellists to consider strategic

merit, presentation, memorable holes,

playability, consistency of test and visual

appeal. But not anything of the course. See,

told you it wasn’t nuclear physics...

do tour pros or architects feature?

Using ‘celebrity’ panellists is in my view a

vanity project. Many others do it, and GW

has done in the past – I’ve been involved in

those lists. But I just don’t see how even the

most famous Tour player or the most feted

architect can add credible assistance to the

ranking given they may well have played less

than half of the contenders. The only reason

the panel and I have any justification for

contributing to a list of the ‘best’ courses in

England is because, by virtue of having

played all or the vast majority of the

contenders, they have the ability to compare.

Some architects have indeed played as

widely, but there could be vested interests

given they may well judge their own work.

do readers make good panellists?

I absolutely believe they do. In addition to

their ability to compare, I also very much like

the fact they have paid their green fees; it

removes any possibile inhibitions and also

means they can relate to our readers – and

hopefully vice versa. Remember, they are

readers themselves; our Top 100s are lists for

golfers who like to go on golf trips to the

best courses, created by golfers who like to

go on golf trips to the best courses. Our aim

is for you to feel confident that what we

suggest in our Top 100s will be the reality

when you arrive; it’s such a disappointment

when it isn’t – our panellists know, they’ve

been there too. It’s not to say we aren’t

interested in the views of famous names. In

this supplement alone we hear from Jack

Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Peter Alliss and Lee

Westwood to name a few, plus architects of

the stature of Tom Mackenzie, Frank Pont

and Martin Ebert. A pretty good list!

can i Join the panel?

Yes! The only proviso is you have a wealth of

experience of what are regarded as the

finest courses in GB&I. There are no freebies

or expenses, this is a labour of love – but all

panellists seem to enjoy being involved.

...and a thank you from me

I’d like to record my sincere appreciation for

the time the panel give us in assimilating

their views. Many thanks to one and all.

chris Bertram

Top 100 Editor

The Top 100

england panel

mike Bailey

Club: Formby Hcp: 12

Brendan Blair

Club: Bristol & Clifton Hcp: 12

peter Bosworth

Club: Hellidon Lakes Hcp: 14

John chapman

Club: Royal Cromer Hcp: 5

dale concannon

Club: Press Golfing Society

Hcp: 7

nick dungay

Club: Singing Hills Hcp: 11

stuart edgington

Club: Ladbrook Park Hcp: 12

alan ferguson

Club: St Andrews New/

Glenbervie Hcp: 4

vic hart

Club: Foxhills Hcp: 22

ian Johnston

Club: The Oxfordshire Hcp: 7

richard lillesmart

Club: Thorpeness Hcp: 12

ian macdonald

Club: Ramside Hcp: 11

peter rudd

Club: Woodbridge, Thorpeness

and Woodhall Spa Hcp: 7

Ben sargent

Club: The Wisley Hcp: Pro

mark squire

Club: Scarcroft Hcp: 8

andrew stracey

Club: Four clubs including R&A

Hcp: 0.6

mike stuckey

Club: Lochinvar, Houston,

Texas. Hcp: 15

gary vaulks

Club: Royal Liverpool Hcp: 8

stephen vincent

Club: Bearwood Lakes Hcp: 10

Bearwood Lakes –

one of our climbers.


Top 100 England 2015

100 Fairhaven (▼ 2 )

Lytham St Annes, Lancs. Par 72, 7,015 yards.

Designers: JA Steer/James Braid.

IM: The numerous deep revetted bunkers are a

hallmark – they will cost you at least one shot

every time.

MB: always in great condition but so many

bunkers so you must take your strategic game.

GW VERDICT: a mix of links and parkland, this

is a fantastic and fair test. What you see is

what you get.

99 Brocket Hall (Palmerston) (▼ 5)

Welwyn, Hertfordshire. Par 73, 6,503 yards.

Designer: Donald Steel.

ND: Built on the wooded, higher ground of this

historic estate, it requires stout hitting and

good putting on the large greens.

VH: all the holes are very individual.

GW VERDICT: edges the Melbourne here

(next 100), a fine parkland that plays across

undulating ground. Some very good holes

among mature Hornbeam, pines and oaks.

97 Stoneham (▼ 13 )

Southampton, Hants. Par 72, 6,392 yards.

Designer: Willie Park.

IJ: a good test among heather and pine which

starts with a par 5 that can be reached in two

by many. First of several fine par 5s.

ND: an oasis of heathland golf with holes

meandering through attractive woods.

GW VERDICT: a slight fall for this heathland,

more as a result of the rise of other similar

courses that found more favour with our panel.

96 Frilford Heath (Red) NEW ENTRY

Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Par 72, 6,912 yards.

Designer: JH Taylor.

PB: Best of the three courses on a site that is

used for open regional qualifiers.

DC: The best day’s golf in the english Midlands.

GW VERDICT: Rather like Foxhills, there is

debate as to which of Frilford’s courses is the

best! The Red was a clear winner (Blue and

green in next 100). The Red is the oldest of

them, laid out in 1908 by the iconic JH Taylor.

95 London Club (Heritage) (▼ 13 )

Brands Hatch, Kent. Par 72, 7,005 yards.

Designer: Jack Nicklaus.

RL: Having built the clubhouse here I feel a

part of this course! Very tough; long with water

coming into play on six holes. The par-3 7th is

great – all carry over water – and the par-5 15th

is a brute. love the 18th, with water on the left.

GW VERDICT: Is a noted Tour host but our

panel prefer cute heathlands to americanstyle

golf. But enough fans to stay in the 100.

94 King’s Lynn (▼ 4)

King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Par 72, 6,640 yards.

Designers: Peter Alliss & Dave Thomas.

CB: This is an historic club but only moved to

this site in 1975. despite being close to the sea,

this is a woodland with birch and heather

giving it a terrific heathland feel.

GW VERDICT: en route to Hunstanton and

Brancaster? do not pass up the chance to play

at this superb woodland-heathland and try to

keep your tee shots out of the trees.

4 golf World Top 100 england 2015


98

Foxhills (Longcross) NEW ENTRY

Ottershaw, Surrey. Par 72, 6,750 yards. Designer: Fred Hawtree

VH: There is a lot of discussion as to which of the Foxhills

courses is the best. Both have improved enormously over

recent years. one of these should be in the mid 90s and the

other in the next 100 in my opinion. Both have superb greens

and many top-quality holes.

PB: Must be included in the Top 100 – and in my view

alongside its sister course the Hunt. Both are special; the

longcross is the more challenging venue.

GW VERDICT: Some prefer the Hunt, which is in the next 100

for this year but could easily come into the main list in 2017,

such is the afection for the work of Ryder Cup man Bernard

Hunt, the club’s first pro who served for 25 years. The

longcross has the edge for the majority of our panel, though,

as it beautifully combines challenge and charm, with a

serious test of 6,750 yards being softened by the aesthetic

charm of a course that is routed through Scots pine, beech

and silver birch trees. Comparisons with Sunningdale’s old

Course are not fanciful. Well-balanced nines give you

chances of scoring with two par 5s on each half being nice

respite from the exacting two-shotters. a class act.

EXClUSIVE

I am fortunate in that I play the

top courses in england on the

amateur circuit, and my three

favourites might surprise some.

The first would be Royal

lytham & St annes. It is

probably the toughest course

I have ever played but it still

manages to be enjoyable.

“People miss out on some of the inland courses”

ashley Chesters, the 2014 open’s amateur star, on why links courses are favoured too much.

next I would go for Woburn,

which is always in such good

condition. I am a big fan of

parkland/heathland courses in

the amateur game; I feel like we

don’t play enough parklands – a

lot of the links courses get talked

about and people miss out on

some of the inland courses.

My third would be Forest of

arden, for much the same

reasons as Woburn. It is always

in such good condition and I also

like the two par 5s – the 12th and

17. It is also a really pretty course

with deer walking round.

of course, I enjoyed Hoylake

for The open. They were the

best greens I have putted on on

a links course by a mile. They

were so fast and so smooth.

My favourite hole was the

15th; I like short par 3s and there

was a massive stand around that

green so it was exciting.

• Ashley plays England’s finest

courses on the amateur circuit.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 5


Top 100 England 2015

93

Camberley Heath NEW ENTRY

Camberley, Surrey. Par 71, 6,426 yards. Designers: Colt/Pont.

DC: absolute class only held back from an even higher entry spot because of its

few poor holes that are currently being addressed.

PB: Classic Surrey heathland – includes a couple of short but challenging par 5s.

GW VERDICT: often one of those most unlucky to miss out on the main list in

previous years, Camberley Heath comes into the Top 100 as a result of the work

carried out by Frank pont and the greenkeeping staf over the past two years. a

programme of forestry and heathland conservation management means it now

plays to its sand-based best with heather proliferating and the whole experience

benefiting from a more open feel. a future rise higher is entirely possible.

6 golf World Top 100 england 2015


92 Berkhamsted ( )

Berkhamsted, Herts. Par 71, 6,605 yards.

Designers: Harry Colt/James Braid.

IJ: a superb heathland/woodland with a series

of solid holes, where there are no bunkers to

interfere with your score.

IM: If it is possible to find a hidden gem in

suburban Hertfordshire, this is it.

GW VERDICT: a good test but playable for all

skill levels, it relies on ridged gulleys and clever

contouring to protect the greens. Fine par 3s.

EXCLUSIVE

My Camberley plan

By leading architect Frank pont.

I initially got involved with

Camberley Heath after their

Centenary captain really liked

my work at Broadstone, another

heathland Colt course. The club

had the strong desire to develop

a long-term plan to bring back,

restore and safeguard critical

elements of their Colt course.

I was chosen from a shortlist and

started working on a long-term

plan. phase I entailed restoring

the four par 3s – the 2nd, 8th,

11th and 14th – by restoring their

Colt bunkers, expanding the

greens to their original sizes and

cutting the trees which had

started blocking the views on

the greens from the tees and

were too close to the greens.

Work started last autumn, with

shaping done by george Waters,

one of the best guys in the

industry (pinehurst 2,

Renaissance Club, Cal Club),

assisted by the greenkeepers of

the club led by nick paris, who

totally ‘gets’ the things we need

to do to bring back Colt. The

bunkers were finished with

chunks of heather being

transplanted into their edges to

give them the instant classic

look of neighbours such as

Swinley and new Zealand.

• Frank Pont is one of the world’s

leading architects and renowned

for restoring Harry Colt courses.

91 Stoke Park (▼ 4)

Stoke Poges, Bucks. Par 71, 6,751 yards.

Designer: Harry Colt.

SV: a handful of fantastic holes – with the two

par 3s, especially the 7th, springing to mind.

VH: a very historic parkland of high quality

with a magnificent clubhouse and hotel.

GW VERDICT: There are not many courses like

this in england; a lush parkland but which is

not dominated by trees. It is in terrific nick and

a wonderful all-round experience.

90 Saunton (West) (▼ 4)

Braunton, Devon. Par 71, 6,403 yards.

Designers: Herbert Fowler/Frank Pennink.

SV: a nice contrast to the even tougher east

course, with some stunning holes.

BS: despite being the ‘weaker’ of the two at

Saunton, still one of the best links in england.

SE: lovely, just don’t expect beach views.

GW VERDICT: Winds through large dunes at

times but despite largely sitting on flatter ground,

there is still much to enjoy on the springy turf.

Top 100 england 2015 Golf World 7


Top 100 England 2015

89

Close House (Colt) NEW ENTRY

Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland. Par 71, 6,813 yards.

Designers: Lee Westwood/Simon Macpherson.

GW VERDICT: opened in 2011, it is a nod in terms of its name and influence to

Harry Colt; rectangular tees, the bunkering, and the style of the par 3s are all

influenced by the great man. located in a picturesque northumberland valley on

the banks of the Tyne, this is Roman army territory – indeed ‘Hadrians Wall’

almost abuts the course itself. a quality new addition to england’s portfolio.

“A great strategic

test of golf”

You’re going to get distracted by the scenery

at Close House but you can’t aford to let your

guard drop. The Colt is a great tactician’s golf

course. every tee shot asks a question and every

hole rewards a good decision and well-executed

strategic play. a lack of power won’t cause you

too many problems here, but lack of thinking

certainly will trip you up.

Nick Wright,

Golf World editor

8 golf World Top 100 england 2015


Why I’m so proud

of my first design

By lee Westwood.

Close House is a perfect

members’ course that is capable

of staging a major tournament in

years to come. For a brand-new

course it is in great condition.

The greens are of a very high

quality and I always look

forward to going back and

playing it again, as I usually do

when I am back in england.

on the front nine the 6th is a

great hole, a downhill drive that

looks tight but has more fairway

over the wall than there looks.

Then it’s a nice downhill second

with out of bounds on the left

and a deep bunker front right.

on the back nine, there is a

great run in the middle. The 12th

is a lovely slightly uphill par 3 to

a sloping green and is followed

by a long par 4 with incredible

views from its wide fairway.

There are lots of bunkers to

avoid of the tee and a stream to

the right of what is a large green.

another good short hole

follows at the 14th, with this one

located in the trees. It’s the

shortest hole on the Colt but you

must find the course’s smallest

green and also clear a stream.

after a short but dangerous

uphill par-4 15th, comes the dogleg

left 16th that plays through a

corridor of trees. You need to

get past the corner to have a

shot to the green then hit over

the cross-bunkers and try to use

the slopes left of the green to

run the ball in. a very good hole.

• Lee Westwood is a former

world no.1 and a Ryder Cup

stalwart for europe since 1997.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 9


Top 100 England 2015

88

Chart Hills (▼ 3)

Biddenden, Kent. Par 72, 7,132 yards. Designer: Sir Nick Faldo.

BS: Underrated. I’d argue it is a better design and a

more enjoyable experience than nearby inland courses.

VH: First-class design with very good greens. The best

inland course in Kent. Could easily be a lot higher.

ND: Characterised by large dramatic bunkering,

including the anaconda which covers much of the

length of the par-5 5th. only the strangely modest

par 3s let down this otherwise impressive design.

PB: long and punishing course – tough for all levels

of golfer.

SV: Serious test; I used every club in my bag here.

GW VERDICT: a lot more than just a lot of sand. our

panel may love links, but they generally rated Sir nick’s

design very highly. exacting but satisfying, this inland

course among oak trees and around water proves Kent

is more than just a trio of ‘open’ links in Sandwich.

EXClUSIVE

My design ethos

By Sir nick Faldo.

While my favourite courses all

possess the visual ‘wow’ factor,

they also feature the great holes

which visually tell you how to

play the golf shot.

The fun for me is that if you

can do what the hole visually

indicates, you are rewarded and

if you don’t the experience gets

more challenging.

Chart Hills was a challenge,

given the abundance of classic

courses in the UK – but I feel we

produced a very strong layout.

The gently undulating landscape

is populated by ancient oaks –

very english countryside setting.

Within this beautiful site are

18 very distinctive holes which,

collectively, demand a great

variety of shot-making skills. It

is a very strategic test; a real

thinking man’s course.

I wanted to design a course

that would ofer diferent

challenges to diferent players

and I believe we succeeded.

• Sir Nick is a six-time major

champion who is now one of the

most respected architects.

10 golf World Top 100 england 2015


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Founded in 1904 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a small

group of golfing enthusiasts, Hindhead Golf Club is set in

one of the most glorious natural seƫngs and ranks amongst

the best of Britain’s heathland courses.

The Devil’s Punchbowl is a large hollow of dry sandy heath

to the east of Hindhead and it is overlooked by Gibbet Hill,

which is the second highest hill in Surrey. Holes two to nine

are laid out through these same heather strewn Ice Age

valleys and the first hole and the back nine plays on the

hillside heathland plateau.

Undoubtedly, the front nine is the most dramaƟc, but

the back nine represents a fine golfing challenge on ideal

golfing terrain. The Club are invesƟng significant sums in the

development and condiƟoning of the course, including the

regeneraƟon of heather and improvements to the 40-odd

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The 18-hole layout measures 6,390 yards, with a par of 70

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Top 100 England 2015

87 Royal Worlington ( ▲ 10 )

Bury St Edmunds, Suf. Par 70, 6,228 yards.

Designers: Tom Dunn/Harry Colt.

IM: an absolute treat. The routing of the holes

maximise the terrain.

ND: The game could do with more nine-hole

masterpieces to attract the time-poor. The 5th

is a hall-of-famer for its triangular green.

GW VERDICT: We love the subtleties, the

springy turf and the quick, undulating greens.

86 Trevose ( ▲ 2 )

Padstow, Cornwall. Par 72, 6,967 yards.

Designer: Harry Colt.

MB: played when it was a windy day yet had

one of the best days ever. The photographs do

not lie – there are some exhilarating holes.

SV: a challenging links and one that I never tire

of playing. Most attractive holes are the first

six, but thereafter you will not be disappointed.

GW VERDICT: Real wow factor on first nine.

84 Huntercombe (▼ 1)

Nuffield, Oxfordshire. Par 70, 6,301 yards.

Designer: Willie Park.

SV: a day here is always a lovely experience.

It is a delightfully old-fashioned course.

ND: distinguished parkland has a traditional air

harking back to the days of open top motoring

and plus fours, but is none the worse for it.

GW VERDICT: a beautiful mix of heathland

and parkland that is a real delight.

85

Goswick NEW ENTRY

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. Par 72, 6,803 yards. Designer: James Braid.

IM: Inexplicably usually overlooked, probably because

of the remote location – this is one of the last ‘hidden

gems’ in england. a strong links; when the breeze is up

it is as challenging as its more famous links cousins.

JC: excellent when I played there. Better, in my view,

than some links that are around the no.50 mark.

GW VERDICT: not much has changed here to get this

open Qualifier in the Top 100, except the afection for it

from our extremely well-travelled panel. It is now where,

we strongly believe, it belongs.

EXClUSIVE

North-east seaside courses are superb

2013 amateur champion garrick porteous on his region’s quality.

goswick is a proper links with

proper bunkers, turf and dunes.

a championship test, it doesn’t

have much in the way of views,

as it sits on much the same level,

but doesn’t need them. I’m a

member at Bamburgh Castle

and it is a diferent experience;

it’s all about the views. The first

four of five holes along the

beach are linksy but then you

climb into a more heathland feel.

The view from the 15th tee is

sensational – it’s a 360˚ of

stunning scenery. It has to be

one of the world’s most

picturesque courses. also,

Foxton is a nice parkland and

The northumberland is a good

heathland with linksy bunkers

set inside the race course.

12 golf World Top 100 england 2015


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Top 100 England 2015

83 Goodwood (Downs) (▼ 11)

Chichester, Sussex. Par 72, 7,104 yards.

Designer: James Braid.

BS: Very pleasant – and a top halfway hut!

IJ: downland golf at its best. a super layout on

the chalk downs. Well routed, it gives options.

SV: goodwood is a wonderful set up and the

views from parts of the course are fantastic.

GW VERDICT: didn’t find as much favour as in

previous years but a Tom Mackenzie upgrade

may help to regain some popularity.

82 Luffenham Heath (▼ 12)

Stamford, Lincolnshire. Par 72, 6,563 yards.

Designer: Harry Colt.

RL: Top holes are the tremendous 7th and 17th.

not long so not a slog and very enjoyable.

PB: Challenging heathland in superb

surroundings. Hosts open qualifiers ’til 2017.

GW VERDICT: Quite difcult to define, being

a mix of parkland and heathland but what is

certain is that it is classy and plays superbly.

doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

81 Tandridge (▼ 4)

Oxted, Surrey. Par 71, 6,395 yards.

Designer: Harry Colt.

BS: often overlooked among its illustrious

neighbours, but Tandridge is a Colt classic.

ND: after a fairly flat start, the back nine

covers heavily undulating ground with the

par-3 13th and long par-4 14th glorious.

GW VERDICT: Recent improvements so could

rise in future lists as the work matures and the

panel become more familiar with the tweaks.

80 Seascale (▼ 2)

Seascale, Cumbria. Par 71, 6,495 yards.

Designers: Willie Campbell/George Lowe.

GV: although somewhat blighted by the

nuclear power plant, it has so many standout

holes and the finish from 13 is hard to beat.

IM: exceptional value, superb views across the

Irish Sea and the holes at the far end are great.

GW VERDICT: Simple but brilliant. Sellafield in

your eyeline is a negative, otherwise this would

be top 60. as it is, it remains must play.

78 Ashridge (▼ 15)

Berkhamsted, Herts. Par 72, 6,634 yards.

Designers: Hutchison/Campbell/Hotchkin.

IJ: loved the par-5 2nd through a valley.

ND: a delightful routing through

rhododendron-clad valleys on the front nine

and on ancient parkland on the back nine.

PR: a real favourite of mine; I like the tranquil

setting and wooded background.

GW VERDICT: lovely location and is a fine

parkland without pyrotechnics of those above.

77 Fulford (▼ 12)

York, North Yorkshire. Par 72, 6,743 yards.

Designer: Charles Mackenzie.

VH: a great heathland with first-class greens

and some very good par 5s.

MB: Historic course and top 50 for me.

GW VERDICT: an enjoyable parklandheathland

that becomes extremely testing in

the wind. Much more than just the site of

Bernhard langer’s famous tree shot to the side

of the 17th green.

14 golf World Top 100 england 2015


79

Royal North Devon (▼ 8)

Bideford, Devon. Par 72, 6,653 yards. Designer: Old Tom Morris.

BS: originally laid out by old Tom Morris, Westward Ho! is

a hoot. Yes there are half a dozen ‘weaker holes’, but the

overriding feeling after playing Rnd is one of fun,

satisfaction and the desire to go back out and play it again!

SV: Quirky and fun with some really good holes. golf in its

purest form? possibly not everyone’s idea of great golf.

SE: True old-fashioned golf as it was meant to be.

MB: Historic and atmospheric course with some unique

features. a must play.

GW VERDICT: The ‘St andrews of the South’ is golf for the

traditionalist and the historian. You could wander through

the clubhouse for ages taking in all the memorabilia on

show but that only serves to keep you from the course –

which divides opinion. For some it is the epitome of how

golf used to be played... and still should be played. For

others it is in need of some loving care. a very flat links, it

boasts vast sleepered bunkers and a fearsome hazard on

the back nine of sea rushes which are a definite lost ball.

EXClUSIVE

“I prefer Royal North Devon to St Andrews...”

Jimmy Mullen, amateur star in the 2013 open, on his love for Rnd – plus lytham and Formby.

I get the chance to play the top

links on the amateur circuit, but

I wouldn’t want to be a member

anywhere else but Royal north

devon. The 4th’s huge bunker

will intimidate the club golfer –

even though it is actually quite

easy to clear. I always think

people knock it in there just so

they can have the challenge and

experience of trying to get it out!

The 4th starts a great linksy

stretch along the beach, where

you can see Saunton Sands . a

great experience. I honestly

prefer it to St andrews! The 7th

is my favourite, it has a great

view of the tee and you have

the option of going left or right.

lots of south-west links have

blind holes, but the only Rnd

holes like that are 10 and 11. even

then, it is just rushes and you

have an idea of where you are

going. There isn’t much rough,

due to the sheep, and fairways

are wide, so it’s good for visitors.

I’m a member at Saunton too

and love it there; the east is a

proper tough track, especially in

the dunes of the 3rd and 4th. It

is tough so ideal to warm up for

a tournament whereas the West

is ideal for the members. St

enodoc, with a brilliant start and

finish, and Trevose – probably

my favourite in Cornwall – are

other fine courses in the area.

elsewhere, I love Formby.

I like the linksy-heathland feel to

it; the view from the clubhouse

is sensational and you can’t wait

to get out there. The stretch

from the 8th to 10th is amazing.

I have never played well at

lytham but still love it. The

bunkering is amazing; even top

amateurs have to come out

sideways. I actually like the fact

it is in a housing estate! You can

just see the golf course, and I am

just into looking at the course.

• Jimmy Mullen plays England’s

finest courses on the elite

amateur circuit and was T73 in

the 2013 open.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 15


Top 100 England 2015

76 Sheringham (▼ 12)

Sheringham, Norfolk. Par 70, 6,456 yards.

Designer: Tom Dunn.

RL: Super views as you play along the coast.

PB: Undulating fairways and true fast greens –

the 5th to 8th is spectacular with steam trains

in abundance on the closing stretch.

GW VERDICT: laid out on a narrow strip, some

love Sheringham’s high-rise holes on the edge

of the clifs and others those along lined by

gorse or hemmed in by the railway line.

75 Woodbridge ( ▲ 16 )

Bromeswell Heath, Sufolk. Par 70, 6,299

yards. Designers: Davie Grant/James Braid.

PB: Top-class heathland layout with narrow

fairways and very quick greens.

PR: an excellent heathland with the only

downside the crossing holes on the back nine.

GW VERDICT: Uses the hilly terrain to create a

notable variety of holes, there was unanimous

agreement for this significant elevation up the

list. expect sandy turf, slick greens and gorse.

74 Blackmoor ( ▲ 1 )

Bordon, Hampshire. Par 69, 6,164 yards.

Designer: Harry Colt.

IJ: a beautiful course between heather and

pine which has some excellent holes.

PB: Colt parkland requiring excellent approach

shots – all your clubs are used into the greens.

GW VERDICT: Harry Colt designed the original

12 holes between the north and South downs,

with birch and fir trees lining many sandy

fairways. a very widely-touted rise.

73 Coombe Hill ( ▲ 8 )

Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey. Par 71,

6,401 yards. Designer: JF Abercromby.

JC: Stunning par 3s and similar charm to

Swinley Forest.

ND: This one-time favourite of Bing Crosby

and Bob Hope, has a stunning collection of

par 3s and beautiful floral surroundings.

VH: one of Surrey’s great surprises.

GW VERDICT: Beauty and conditioning make

this exquisite parkland now a Top 100 fixture.

72 Wisley (Church & Mill) ( ▲ 7 )

Ripley, Sry. Par 72, 3,356/3,385/3,473

yards. Designer: Robert Trent Jones.

ND: This unashamedly extravagant US

parkland dropped incongruently into the heart

of Surrey succeeds because it is superbly

executed and expertly maintained.

SV: a special atmosphere and a wonderfully

conditioned course, with some brilliant holes.

GW VERDICT: garden loop also got a mention;

a quality parkland that’s very well designed.

71 Parkstone ( ▲ 18 )

Poole, Dorset. Par 72, 6,241 yards.

Designer: Willie Park.

BS: This heathland/woodland/links hybrid

draws you in as it charms you around its many

great holes, its stunning pine trees and

colourful rhododendrums, and occasional

glimpses of the sea and nearby poole Harbour.

GW VERDICT: a round here, especially in the

warm and colourful summer months, is as

good as golf gets. Terrific recent upgrade.

70 Hindhead ( ▲ 4 )

Hindhead, Surrey. Par 70, 6,356 yards.

Designer: Unknown.

BS: So much to get excited about Hindhead.

It has a handful of world-class holes, varied

topography and is in fantastic condition.

PB: Best front nine in Surrey if not the South.

VH: Very good heathland, superb greens.

SV: I love the eclectic mix of holes. Real fun.

GW VERDICT: Much-merited rise with the

front nine in bracken-sided valleys a big hit.

69 Blackwell ( ▲ 4 )

Bromsgrove, Worcs. Par 70, 6,260 yards.

Designer: Herbert Fowler/Tom Simpson.

DC: a real golfers’ golf course.

CB: Typical clever Fowler-Simpson design

work helps make this one of england’s finest

inland courses.

GW VERDICT: dominated by mature

woodland, it is often very underrated and we

are pleased to give this quintessential parkland

the status it deserves.

68 Crowborough Beacon ( )

Crowborough, Sussex. Par 71, 6,319 yards.

Designer: Alister MacKenzie.

IJ: a fairly hilly layout that is a good test with

plenty of heather, bunkers and woodland.

RL: Just down the road from Royal ashdown,

but no poor neighbour. Bouncy fairways, long

rough, and small greens that don’t ‘hold’

accuracy over distance is key here.

GW VERDICT: This pretty heathland ofers

lovely views 30 miles down to the coast.

16 golf World Top 100 england 2015


THE SEMInal HolE

THE 9TH AT

ROYAL WORLINGTON

By renowned architect Martin ebert.

The nine-hole course at Royal

Worlington & newmarket, the home of

the Cambridge University golf Club, has

often been hailed as the best nine-hole

course in the world.

Fitted onto an incredibly small

acreage, in many ways it typifies all that

is best about traditional golf and it takes

little more than an hour to play one

circuit.

Its final hole is a short par 4. It is

driveable by the very best players

(there are stories of Ted dexter, when

he was the Captain of Cambridge,

pitching it into the car park beyond the

green!) but, remarkably, the hole plays

across a public road – albeit a quiet

country lane.

The front of the green lies around 20

yards beyond the tarmac.

That adds to the danger, although

the out of bounds running diagonally

across the line of play to the right of the

hole and beyond the green is more

threatening.

For ordinary mortals, the bravery of

the drive will dictate the difculty level

of the second shot. The tighter to the

out of bounds on the right – which is

aligned along a small stream – the tee

shot ends up, the easier the pitch from

short of the road will be.

The nature of the green, with a steep

bank along its left hand side, means

that any drive pulled safely left but into

the rough will leave a devilishly

troublesome second with virtually no

hope of getting close to the flag when it

is on the left side of the green.

This wonderful short par-4 hole

provides a great definition of ‘risk and

reward’ for all standards of golfer.

■ Martin’s firm Mackenzie & Ebert are

the preferred architects of the R&A

and he is currently advising Royal

Troon ahead of next year’s Open, as

well as working on Turnberry’s Ailsa.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 17


Top 100 England 2015

67

The Centurion Club NEW ENTRY

Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Par 72, 7,195 yards. Designer: Simon Gidman

PR: Should undoubtedly be in the list. It has some very good holes and even though its

proximity to the M1 might be a small drawback, as a course it should make the Top 100.

GW VERDICT: new courses bring with them serious hype these days, because there just

aren’t many being built. This is one that manages to live up to expectations. Serious

investment has patently been made, so the level of quality should be high. But for it to

look and play so beautifully already suggests it has been money well spent. every

panellist who has enjoyed it was impressed – as more visit and it matures further, it will

be interesting to see how high The Centurion rises.

EXClUSIVE

Why The Centurion has a stamp of Tour class

Raymond Russell and oliver Fisher on the instant quality of our highest new entry.

“I have been impressed with the

mature look and conditioning,

especially the greens which I

would rank year round among

the best in the UK,” says Tour

player Raymond Russell. “It

reminds me of the new at el prat

near Barcelona in Spain.

“I love the 6th, which is a very

good hole visually with the

elevated tee giving you a great

view of a very strong par 4.

There is a generous fairway but

the left half of it opens up the

large green for a difcult second

with bunkers short and left.

“The 17th is another I rate, a

lovely short par 3 with lots of

danger; water at the back and

bunkers short with a slopey

green so accuracy a premium.

“The Centurion is a second

shot course as there are lots of

subtle slopes on and around the

greens and also run-of areas

which make chipping it close

difcult – so accuracy is key.”

“It’s a club I’d been hearing

about for a while and for a new

course it has a maturity far

beyond its years,” adds Oliver

Fisher. “I always look forward to

spending my time at the club.

It’s clear the green staf take a

lot of pride in their course. It’s

immaculate. even when I’ve just

played some of the best courses

on Tour in Turkey or dubai,

Centurion matches up as good

a test as does the condition.”

• Raymond Russell and Oliver

Fisher play on the european

Tour and are ambassadors for

the Centurion Club.

18 golf World Top 100 england 2015


EXClUSIVE

My English

favourites

by peter alliss

It was Henry

longhurst who

first said golf

does take us

to so many

beautiful places;

bearing that in mind it’s hard to

pick out just a few but these

have particular memories for

me. Ferndown, north of

Bournemouth, was where my

father was a professional for

many years and I learnt my

trade. It has heather, pine,

silver birch, plenty of gorse, my

favourite terrain.

Royal Birkdale is one of my

favourite championship

courses; majestic sand dunes,

a fascinating course ever

changing direction, an inviting

clubhouse with friendly

members. In 1954 I had a

chance to win the open there...

My father was invited to be

the pro at Sunningdale after

World War II but was settled at

Ferndown. It’s delightful, elitist

and has excellent catering

facilities. It’s best to book a taxi

home after a splendid lunch.

Finally, old Thorns. Since I

was involved with the creation

of golf there, I have been

amazed at its development

from a private membership,

instigated by Ken Wood, the

electrical genius, to the

magical creation we see today,

one of the best overall facilities

in Britain. The course although

in a small area, is exciting,

interesting and a challenge for

all levels of golfers. I am very

proud to have been associated

with its growth. You should go

and see for yourself.

• Peter Alliss was a Ryder Cup

player, is regarded as the

‘Voice of golf’ and is also a

respected course designer.

Ferndown.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 19


Top 100 England 2015

66 Bearwood Lakes ( ▲ 10)

Reading, Berkshire. Par 72, 6,850 yards.

Designer: Martin Hawtree.

ND: designed with intelligence to make the

most of the attractive lakes and woodland.

SV: I must declare an interest as a member, but

I do think it is one of the most relaxed and

beautiful places. no two holes are the same.

GW VERDICT: Scenic, strategic and popular.

65 Isle of Purbeck ( ▲ 4 )

Swanage, Dorset. Par 70, 6,295 yards.

Designer: Harry Colt.

SE: Some lovely scenery on a course which I

look forward to playing over and over again.

IJ: Visually appealing, and the 5th wouldn’t be

out of place in a World Top 18 holes.

GW VERDICT: Some holes are simple, some

quirky – but you’ll walk of with a smile.

64 Hayling Island ( ▲ 2 )

Hayling Island, Hampshire. Par 71, 6,531

yards. Designer: Tom Simpson.

BS: Fantastic combination of challenging holes

and some typically quirky and fun links holes.

VH: Very good links, especially the back nine.

PB: generous fairways but exacting greens.

GW VERDICT: Magnificent links among sand

dunes, heather, gorse, and deep bunkers.

63

Perranporth (▼ 1)

Perranporth, Cornwall. Par 72, 6,296 yards. Designer: James Braid.

BS: The highest links in europe, as you might expect,

delivers breathtaking beach and ocean vistas. The

course moves up and down and around the hugely

undulating terrain. If you can accept you’ll get some

‘unlucky’ bounces and also be faced with some very

strange shots, then you’ll love perranporth.

IM: a series of delightfully quirky holes make for a

memorable day. The view from atop the massive sand

dune on which the course is built is simply magnificent.

PB: Quirky links with lots of blind drives and hilly terrain.

GW VERDICT: We love it here – don’t come to the

south west and miss it.

EXClUSIVE

I play the Cornish Festival every

april at St enodoc, Trevose and

newquay. They are great

courses… weather permitting!

apart from the two holes up

the hill at St enodoc, it is

My links for a lifetime

By Ryder Cup player paul Broadhurst.

sensational. newquay is a fun

holiday course where the views

are amazing. But if I had to

choose one course for the rest

of my life, I’d go for perranporth.

You either hate or love. I love it.

There are a lot of blind shots,

it’s very natural and unspoilt. I

play it a lot and it never plays the

same on two days. I would never

get fed up there. Some pros

don’t, but I love quirky tracks.

My coach is based at

northants County, a lovely mix

of parkland and woodland holes.

• Tour stalwart Paul Broadhurst

was a Ryder Cup player in 1991.

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20 golf World Top 100 england 2015


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Top 100 England 2015

62

Delamere Forest (▼ 2)

Northwich, Cheshire. Par 72, 6,348 yards. Designer: Herbert Fowler.

GV: I play this course a lot and it is one of my favourites.

It’s got four very short par 5s but you nearly always

come of having enjoyed your game rather than having

been beaten up. I am interested to see how the changes

that have been made recently to the par-5 11th and in

particular par-5 18th settle in.

RL: a great-looking course; look out of the clubhouse

window and you think ‘wow’. The 9th is especially

stunning; hit a rescue to a plateau fairway then a short

iron to an uphill green with the clubhouse to the right.

GW VERDICT: laid out by heathland expert Herbert

Fowler and revised by Tom Mackenzie in the last 18

months, our decision to elevate delamere just outside

the top 50 in 2011 now looks well judged.

EXClUSIVE

It’s a heathland with extensive

views over open terrain with a

lovely scale to it. It’s not long by

modern standards but it doesn’t

need to be. We feel it is now

well-bunkered.

I’d heard of it as it is an

original Herbert Fowler and

once I got there it was an

enlightening experience. It is

one of those places you arrive at

and immediately like. anyone

who loves traditional courses

The architect’s view

Tom Mackenzie on his work at delamere.

and clubs will love it. If I lived up

there, I’d join if they’d have me.

We first went in January 2013

and the work is complete.

Initially the brief was to add a

bit of length but agreed with the

club there was a bit more we

could do. So there has been

work on bunkering – both

reshuffling as well as restyling –

because they had been edged

out of shape down the years.

We looked at the old

photographs we had and

returned them to the style

Fowler intended, with softer

edges, as well as re-sited some.

The aesthetics have changed

but so has the challenge; six new

back tees have gone in and

moving bunkers such as on the

7th has stifened it. They had

started to take some trees out

and we continued that process

to encourage the heather, so the

onus is on heather, pines, sandy

turf and open space.

delamere is on a par with

most inland courses in england.

• Tom Mackenzie is one of the

UK’s most respected architects

and vice-president of the eIgCa.

22 golf World Top 100 england 2015


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Top 100 England 2015

61

Ipswich (Purdis Heath) ( ▲ 6 )

Purdis Heath, Sufolk. Par 71, 6,439 yards.Designer: James Braid.

IJ: If moved to the Surrey/Hampshire heathlands it

would be more widely known.

RL: I have played this course over 20 times; the 1st is

relatively weak but after that the fun begins. It is a gB&I

Top 100 course in my view – a better course than

Wentworth West.

ND: as good as many of the more vaunted Surrey

heathlands.

PR: a fine course. The bunkers have been upgraded

and will mean purdis should go higher.

GW VERDICT: a joy to play, aesthetically pleasing, with

heather and pine in abundance. It benefits from some

delightfully unusual holes with greens where you would

not expect to find them. Bunker work and tree removal

in line with the original design have categorically

improved it – hence this significant rise.

60 St Annes Old Links (▼ 1)

Lytham St Annes, Lancs. Par 72, 6,941 yards.

Designers: George Lowe/Sandy Herd.

IM: a delight. The par-3 9th is a stunning 174-

yard hole in front of the red brick clubhouse.

RL: I enjoyed it more than Royal lytham! With

the Blackpool tower in the skyline it has a

magic to it. not one bad hole.

GW VERDICT: More than just a famous 9th

green (of which Bobby Jones made measure).

Traditional links that is consistently good.

59 Prince’s (Shore & Dunes) (▼ 4)

Sandwich, Kent. Par 72, 3,638/3,637 yards.

Designer: Charles Hutchings.

BS: Impressed with how this course and its

facilities have developed in recent years.

IJ: Superb course that is a brute at times, with

narrow fairways bordered by fearsome rough.

ND: True links in a breeze and hard fairways.

GW VERDICT: Changes by european golf

design and a new greenkeeper have improved

the course to keep it on the brink of the top 50.

58 Littlestone ( ▲ 2 )

Littlestone-on-Sea, Kent. Par 71, 6,676

yards. Designer: William Purves.

BS: possess plenty of really good holes.

IJ: a cracking course with a stunning par-3

17th. The greens have year-round quality.

VH: a very good links albeit fairly flat.

RL: The best ‘hidden gem’ I have ever found.

probably the best greens I’ve ever putted on.

GW VERDICT: Terrific start and finish and

plenty of good fare in between. Wonderful.

24 golf World Top 100 england 2015


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Top 100 England 2015

57 Beau Desert ( ▲ 1 )

Hazel Slade, Stafs. Par 71, 6,300 yards.

Designer: Herbert Fowler.

DC: Isolated but superb to play.

JC: good course with huge fast greens.

PB: Quality heathland with lots of memorable

holes.

GW VERDICT: Your heart rises as you drive

into the ‘Beautiful Wilderness’, knowing you

are in for a genuinely-good heathland treat.

a gB&I Top 100 contender.

56 Seacroft ( ▲ 1)

Skegness, Lincolnshire. Par 72, 6,492 yards.

Designer: Willie Fernie.

DC: an absolute gem with many hugely

entertaining holes.

RL: nine out, nine back classic links. always

windy so you will get nine holes of tough golf.

GW VERDICT: The long journey is rewarded

by a links with no towering dunes but just well

routed holes through subtle rolling dunes and

gorse and scrubland. Well worth the fuel.

55 Seaton Carew ( ▲ 1)

Hartlepool, Durham. Par 71, 6,603 yards.

Designer: Alister MacKenzie.

IJ: great links with an industrial background.

out and back nature means you have an easy

and brutal nine, but an always enjoyable 18.

IM: a fine links with 22 holes that can be set up

as the ‘old’ or the ‘Brabazon’. The former is

more out and in, and the more enjoyable.

GW VERDICT: not especially scenic links but

miss it of your wish list at your folly.

54 Lindrick ( ▲ 1)

Worksop, Notts. Par 71, 6,606 yards.

Designer: Tom Dunn.

IM: an enjoyable course always kept in good

condition. a top notch course.

VH: over 100 years old and the first-class turf

reflects this.

GW VERDICT: Recent changes have tightened

up the 1957 Ryder Cup venue and it is unlikely

to fall much lower. Yet still does not charm as

some other top-class heathlands do.

52 Wallasey (▼ 1)

Wallasey, Wirral. Par 72, 6,572 yards.

Designer: Old Tom Morris.

BS: Has some stunning views and a handful of

excellent holes.

RL: Stand on the 1st tee and you know you are

in for a lot of fun. For me, more enjoyable than

nearby Hoylake.

GW VERDICT: an enjoyable and historic links

with some serious dunes and great views out

into the Irish Sea.

51 Liphook ( ▲ 1)

Liphook, Hampshire. Par 70, 6,295 yards.

Designer: Arthur Croome.

BS: a delight to play. great variety of holes

and plenty of architectural interest.

SV: always a great experience and pleasure.

a really pretty location and an eclectic mix of

holes that keep you constantly interested.

GW VERDICT: Tom Simpson reputedly rated

this undulating heathland of heather, pine and

gorse as the best inland course in the UK.

26 golf World Top 100 england 2015


53

St Mellion (Nicklaus) ( )

Saltash, Cornwall. Par 72, 7,019 yards. Designer: Jack Nicklaus.

ND: Spectacular routing through plunging valleys where the

slightest miscue can lead to complete disaster.

SV: If you like challenging golf courses this is one to play.

Haven’t played it for years but can still remember some of

the holes vividly and loving the experience.

VH: an american-style feel and Jack nicklaus has designed

a really good course which can be a real test.

SE: a great test, with many long and challenging holes.

Straight shots of the tee are essential. The resort is good.

GW VERDICT: one of the toughest tracks, one of the best

inland courses and one of the finest all-round venues in the

country. a star of the British inland golf scene.

EXClUSIVE

Why it’s special to me

By Jack nicklaus.

St Mellion was my first course in

england and will always be very

special to me. It holds a special

place in my heart. I am proud of

the exceptional experience we

created and hope golfers will

continue to enjoy it for

generations to come.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful

course that belongs with the

best. I don’t think there is

another course like it in the UK.

I twice – maybe three times –

turned down the Bond brothers,

Herman and Martin, when they

asked me to design the course

because of the challenge of the

property – on the sides of a hill.

eventually, I said, ‘ok, but we will

have to design the course into

the side of the mountain’. In the

end each individual hole is

pretty darn good. They might

be in a unique location, but it

turned out to be really good

from a playability standpoint.

I have always been very

proud of taking the site given to

us and turning it into something

that has hosted professional

events. I think the golf course,

hole for hole, turned out to be

very good.

I believe St Mellion, as a test

of golf, as a design, and looking

at each individual hole and its

beauty would rank very high in

the courses I have done.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 27


Top 100 England 2015

44 West Hill ( ▲ 5 )

Brockwood, Surrey. Cuthbart Butchart/Willie Park.

GW VERDICT: a testing heathland course that is not over

manicured. It retains its rough edges that make it more

testing and appealing to the eye.

50 The Belfry (Brabazon) (▼ 3)

Wishaw, Warwickshire. Alliss/Thomas.

GW VERDICT: once little more than a seeded

field with sapling trees, it has now matured

into a lush parkland, with famous holes like the

10th and 18th augmenting its status as an

iconic four-time Ryder Cup venue.

49 Woburn (Duchess) ( ▲ 31 )

Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire. Charles

Lawrie.

GW VERDICT: The prettiest of Woburn’s trio is

back in our gB&I Top 100, a situation reflected

in this high rise up the england list. a

delightfully subtle course among towering fir

trees; skill and finesse are essential and overt

brute force is a hindrance. Fully worthy of this

top-50 position.

48 The Grove (▼ 2)

Chandler’s Cross, Herts. Kyle Phillips.

GW VERDICT: More strategic and less penal

than most modern parklands, with wide

fairways and ‘trouble’ centred on and around

the cleverly-designed greens. an

unremarkable site was worked beautifully by

Kyle phillips.

47 Sherwood Forest (▼ 3)

Mansfield, Notts. Harry Colt/James Braid.

GW VERDICT: a tough heathland with a string

of 400+ yard par 4s on the back nine.

Underrated by many – but not us.

46 Broadstone (▼ 3)

Broadstone, Dorset. Dunn/Colt/Pont.

GW VERDICT: Frank pont’s revision has

ensured this remains one of england’s top

heathlands and an essential in any dorset trip.

45 West Lancs (▼ 6)

Blundellsands, Lancs.

Ken Cotton/Fred Hawtree.

GW VERDICT: Ferocious rough, deep bunkers,

strong cross winds and tees that can extend

this exposed links to over 7,000 yards.

43 New Zealand ( ▲ 1 )

West Byfleet, Surrey. Samuel Fergusson/

Tom Simpson.

GW VERDICT: less than 6,000 yards it might

be, yet finding the pins requires forensic

placement from the tee and becomes

impossible from the thick heather.

42 Royal Ashdown Forest ( )

Forest Row, E Sussex. Unknown.

GW VERDICT: It may not have any bunkers,

but bracken, streams and dog-legs provide

hazards aplenty to catch the golfer already

distracted by the glorious views.

41 Little Aston (▼ 6)

Sutton Coldfield, Stafs. Harry Vardon.

GW VERDICT: like a well-mannered guest,

this perfectly-manicured parkland does

everything to impress. arguably the finest

parkland course in the UK.

40 Burnham & Berrow (▼ 4)

Burnham on Sea, Som. Taylor, Gibson.

GW VERDICT: Brilliant links may be of the

beaten track, but should be on everyone’s

‘must-play’ list, for its unusual and exciting

holes, such as the long par-3 17th.

39 Woburn (Duke’s) (▼ 5)

Woburn, Beds. Charles Lawrie.

GW VERDICT: Towering pines and deep

valleys are superbly used to create a variety

of challenges, especially early on.

30 golf World Top 100 england 2015


10 PLAY & STAY IDEAS

Use one of these Top 100 venues dotted around england as your base for a terrific trip.

1 THE BElFRY

Where: South-east outskirts of

Birmingham.

Play: The iconic host of four

Ryder Cups, backed up by the

exacting pga national and the

charming derby.

Stay: The on-site hotel has been

upgraded to the tune of £20m+.

The trip: Heathlands Beau

desert and Whittington Heath

to the north and parklands

Blackwell and Forest of arden.

2 ST MEllIon

Where: Saltash in Cornwall.

Play: either the Jack nicklaus

championship course or the

revamped Kernow.

Stay: a swish hotel with an array

of leisure and dining options.

The trip: St enodoc and Trevose

on the north Cornish coast – or

south to cliftop hero Mullion.

3 SToKE paRK

Where: near Slough, and the

M25, M40 and M4.

Play: an open parkland with a

classic par-3 hole, the 7th.

Stay: The hotel, the set for films

such as goldfinger, is one of the

finest in england of any nature.

The trip: Head south to the

Surrey and Berkshire heathland

glitterrati or north to The grove.

4 CloSE HoUSE

Where: near newcastle in

northumberland.

Play: The new entry to our Top

100, by lee Westwood, as well

as its sister course the Filly.

Stay: Brand-new opulent but

cosy courtyard rooms.

The trip: Terrific options on the

coast at goswick (north) and

Seaton Carew (south).

5 THoRpEnESS

Where: aldeburgh, Sufolk.

Play: a James Braid coastal

heathland among heather,

gorse, pine and silver birch; very

close to the main Top 100 list.

Stay: a smart 36-bedroom

hotel overlooking the course.

The trip: aldeburgh and inland

to Woodbridge and Ipswich.

6 pRInCE’S

Where: Sandwich, Kent.

Play: The three loops of nine

that make up this polished links

course, host of the open.

Stay: Splendid apartments right

on the edge of the course, with

views of prince’s as well as

neighbouring Royal St george’s.

The trip: easy and delightful –

play all three loops here then

head of to Sandwich and Royal

Cinque ports.

7 old THoRnS

Where: of the a3 north of

petersfield.

Play: a terrific parklandheathland

in mature woodland

whose elevation changes give it

some super views.

Stay: a super hotel or twobedroom

apartments next door,

it is one of the most appealing

golf complexes in england.

The trip: Superbly positioned to

play nearby liphook as well as

the rest of the Hampshire

classics – right down to Hayling

on the coast.

8 doRSET g&CC

Where: Wareham, nr poole

Play: one of the most improved

courses in england, with three

very even loops of nine that are

ideal for a golf trip.

Stay: Choose from the cottages,

the hotel or the log cabins –

again, ideal for a trip.

The trip: as the name suggests,

perfect for a break playing the

many superb courses of dorset

– arguably england’s most

underrated county.

9 HEYTHRop paRK

Where: Chipping norton,

oxfordshire

Play: a course of next 100

quality with greens noted for

their year-round quality.

Stay: a beautiful hotel and

sparkling spa.

The trip: enjoy the three at

Frilford Heath, plus Tadmarton

Heath and The oxfordshire.

10 THE gRoVE

Where: Rickmansworth near

Watford.

Play: a Kyle phillips-design in

mature countryside.

Stay: Chic hotel that is a base

for england’s football team:

The trip: Move round the M25

to ashridge, Brocket Hall,

Berhamsted, and Centurion.

The course attraction at The grove

is another triumph for Kyle phillips.


STONEHAM

GOLF CLUB

Southampton’s Hidden Gem

Established in 1908 and designed

by Willie Park Junior, two time

Open Champion and designer of

Sunningdale Old.

A wonderful course in the undulating

heath and parkland.

Significant investment over the last year

and ongoing is seeing the course

return to its former glory making it

an exciting time to visit.

www.stonehamgolfclub.org.uk

023 8076 9272

Come and join us in celebraƟng 125 years of golf at

Berkhamsted Golf Club by playing in our

125th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL OF GOLF

between 7th & 11th September 2015.

The FesƟval features:

Seniors’, Ladies’, Men’s, & Mid-Am CompeƟƟons,

as well as a Pro-Am.

To get your brochure and entry form just contact

steve@berkhamstedgc.co.uk or call us at 01442 865832

and “Experience Berkhamsted” with us.

Burnham and Berrow Golf Club

Celebrating

125 Years

Host to 2015

England v Spain Match 9-10 May

&

2015 PGA Professional

Championship 2-5 June

Burnham and Berrow Golf Club

warmly welcomes golfers to

come and enjoy this fantastic

Championship Links Course

www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk

Tel. 01278 785760


Top 100 England 2015

38 Walton Heath (New) (▼ 5)

Tadworth, Surrey. Herbert Fowler.

GW VERDICT: a heather-framed heathland

with bags of class.

37 Aldeburgh (▼ 5)

Aldeburgh, Sufolk. Fernie & Thompson.

GW VERDICT: a quality heathland with a

number of excellent holes defined by dense

gorse neighbouring the fairways.

36 Wentworth (East) (▼ 5)

Virginia Water, Surrey. Harry Colt.

GW VERDICT: Very good heathland course

that’s more fun than the West. Unusual and

attractive mix of par 4s.

35 Southport & Ainsdale ( ▲ 13 )

Southport, Merseyside. James Braid.

GW VERDICT: Boasts a fine collection of links

holes further enhanced by surroundings of tall

whispering pines, abundant gorse and the

occasional passing train.

34 Remedy Oak (▼ 6)

Ringwood, Dorset. John Jacobs.

GW VERDICT: Has a maturity beyond its

young age. a pretty course with four or five

fantastic holes such as the 2nd, 9th and 18th.

33 Moortown ( ▲ 12 )

Leeds, Yorks. Alister MacKenzie.

GW VERDICT: Ken Moodie’s changes have

ensured this is now a fixture in the gB&I 100;

more light, more heather and more expansive

heathland views make it a terrific experience.

32 Worplesdon (▼ 6)

Woking, Surrey. Abercromby & Colt.

GW VERDICT: Quality heathland where you

cross a busy a-road mid-round to find the

reward of four holes on the far side that are

probably the most rugged and attractive.

30 The Addington (▼ 1)

Croydon, Surrey. JF Abercromby.

GW VERDICT: a real pleasure to play for all

handicaps. Some magical holes including an

all-star collection of par 5s. Boasts some of

the most unusual holes around – which we

absolutely mean as a compliment.

29 Ferndown (Old) (▼ 1)

Ferndown, Dorset. Harold Hilton.

GW VERDICT: Inland golf at its aesthetic best.

achingly beautiful heathland.

28 Woking ( ▲ 9 )

Woking, Surrey. Tom Dunn.

GW VERDICT: The highest ranked of the

‘Three Ws’, with recent tweaks to enhance

what was an already outstanding heathland.

Impossible not to enjoy it here.

27 Hunstanton (▼ 1)

Hunstanton, Norfolk. Willie Fernie.

GW VERDICT: an excellent and challenging

links that has been improved by Martin

Hawtree by rebunkering while greens have

gone from good to excellent. a proper

championship test in breezy conditions.

31 Woburn (Marquess) (▼ 1)

Woburn, Beds. Alliss, Clark, McMurray, Hay.

GW VERDICT: The longest and most open of

Woburn’s courses, with a bold design. liberal

use of bunkers and water hazards.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 33


TOP 100 ENGLAND 2015

JACKLIN’S DREAM

Tony Jacklin, who lifted the Claret Jug in 1969, helps select a composite course

1 ROYAL ST GEORGE’S

Par 4, 442 yards

Extremely undulating fairway

that sets the tone for a round at

Sandwich. This hole, more than

any other on the Open rota,

really takes you out away from

the clubhouse and other

distractions, into your journey.

Honourable mentions: Hoylake

(Open routing), Birkdale

2 ROYAL BIRKDALE

Par 4, 418 yards

Another strong par 4 which

narrows to an amphitheatre of

a green nestled in the dunes.

Honourable mentions: St

George’s, Birkdale, Lytham

3 ROYAL LYTHAM

Par 4, 477 yards

A classic Lytham hole. Incredible

bunkering, strategy all the way

up. And a fantastic green

complex.

Honourable mentions: Hoylake,

Royal Cinque Ports

4 ROYAL CINQUE PORTS

Par 3, 151 yards

Sumptuous, short par 3, played

from an elevated tee. Steep runofs

on both sides and an angled

green make for a fun hole.

Honourable mentions: Lytham,

St George’s

5 PRINCE’S (SHORE)

Par 4, 418 yards

A heavily-tilted green on the

boundary with Royal St George’s

which needs to be hit in

regulation to avoid a tricky chip.

Played as 18th in the Open so we

have cheated a bit...

Honourable mention: Hoylake

6 ROYAL ST GEORGE’S

Par 3, 176 yards

Deep bunkers stand sentinel at

each side of this rectangular

green which lies in the shadow

of the imposing Maiden dune.

Stunning visually, excellently

bunkered with an interesting,

well-contoured green.

Honourable mention: Hoylake

7 HOYLAKE

Par 4, 480 yards

One of the hardest holes at last

year’s Open requiring both

length and accuracy. Tough par

4 that played as the 7th at the

Open (so we’ve sneaked it in

here). Demanding drive and a

semi-blind approach.

Honourable mention: Cinque

Ports

8 ROYAL ST GEORGE’S

Par 4, 457 yards

A deceptively tricky dog-leg

right with a two-tier green

tucked in a dell. It’s a tough drive

as fairway slightly unsighted

from tee. The semi-blind

approach is to a green tucked

back in a mini horseshoe dune.

Well-placed pot bunkers cut into

the ridge surrounding the green.

Honourable mention: Lytham

9 ROYAL LYTHAM

Par 3, 165 yards

Incredible bunkering protects

the tricky raised green. The

teeing ground is raised up high

and overlooks the nearby train

station and surrounding houses,

creating some extra drama and

majesty about the hole.

Precision is needed on this wellbunkered

hole.

Honourable mention: Hoylake

10 ROYAL BIRKDALE

Par 4, 408 yards

A tight left-hand dog-leg with a

green surrounded by thick rough

mean this hole often causes

more trouble than its length

suggests it should. That dog-leg


OPEN COURSE

from holes used in Open Championships staged in England.

is almost 90˚ and uphill. There is

excellent fairway bunkering and

a well-sited green.

Honourable mention: St

George’s

11 ROYAL LYTHAM

Par 5, 598 yards

A par 5 with a tight drive and

well protected green which

caused much grief to Graeme

McDowell at the last Open. The

rippling fairway is protected by

good fairway bunkering.

Honourable mention: St

George’s

12 ROYAL BIRKDALE

Par 3, 181 yards

Arguably the finest par 3 in the

UK, with its green lying between

two sandhills and four bunkers

sited asymmetrically to make

lining up a tee shot difcult. A

fantastic test of golf.

Honourable mention: Lytham

13 HOYLAKE

Par 3, 194 yards

The 11th in normal routing is

played as the 13th at the Open,

a medium-length par 3 to an

angled green making judging

the length of an approach

difcult. From the left-hand tee

has a Redan feel to it. The green

is angled 30˚ to the left –

pointing out to the nearby

estuary. A tough hole, that also

happens to be arguably the

most picturesque of any of the

holes on the English Open rota.

Honourable mention: Birkdale

14 ROYAL ST GEORGEÕS

Par 5, 545 yards

Usually a pivotal hole on Sunday

with out of bounds all along the

right, as Dustin Johnson found

to his cost in 2011. A burn and

out of bounds are the stress

factors from the tee. If you can

get close enough to the burn

without going in, you get to go

for the tricky raised green whose

right edge literally touches the

out of bounds.

Honourable mention: Birkdale

15 ROYAL ST GEORGEÕS

Par 4, 493 yards

A narrow fairway and small

green make this a brute of a par

4, which boasts exacting and

well placed fairway bunkers. The

approach is protected by cross

bunkers 50 yards short of the

green. The green itself is raised

and angled slightly, with wicked

contours to boot... as well as

deep rough left and behind.

Honourable mentions: Birkdale,

Prince’s (Shore)

16 ROYAL ST GEORGEÕS

Par 3, 165 yards

The scene of Thomas Bjorn’s

downfall in The Open and my

hole in one – the first on

television in the UK – in the 1967

Dunlop Masters.

Honourable mentions: Cinque

Ports, Lytham

17 ROYAL LYTHAM

Par 4, 467 yards

As tough as the Road Hole at St

Andrews, it was the scene of one

of the greatest shots in Open

history, Bobby Jones’ mashie

from a sandy area into the

middle of the green.

Honourable mentions: Hoylake,

St George’s, Birkdale

18 ROYAL LYTHAM

Par 4, 410 yards

As good a finishing hole as there

is in golf. Exacting, demanding

and theatrical. Cleverly bunkered

hole, both around the green and

the fairway. A grand finish, even

without the Championship

grandstands in place.

Honourable mention: Birkdale

Drama, beauty

and challenge:

The 18th at

Royal Lytham.


Top 100 England 2015

26 Notts/Hollinwell (▼ 1)

Kirkby in Ashfield, Notts. Willie Park.

GW VERDICT: Some on the panel feel notts,

along with Swinley Forest, are the most

underrated courses on this list. Better than

much higher-ranked ganton for some.

25 Berkshire Blue (▼ 2)

Ascot, Berkshire. Herbert Fowler.

GW VERDICT: Beautiful layout and a more

conventional mix of holes than the six-of-each

Red. Solid heathland fare.

24 Rye (▼ 2)

Rye, Sussex. Harry Colt.

GW VERDICT: Few courses have more

strategic interest than this stunning fastrunning

links. Some fabulous green complexes

and terrific links topography.

23 Royal West Norfolk (▼ 1)

Brancaster, Norfolk. Holcombe Ingleby.

GW VERDICT: a tremendous experience, from

the tides to the clubhouse and the labradors to

the views. a golfing relic that you need to play

a few times to fully appreciate.

21 Swinley Forest ( )

Ascot, Berkshire. Harry Colt.

GW VERDICT: Swinley Forest is one of the

most enchanting settings you will ever find.

The most tranquil and exclusive of heathlands.

20 Royal Cinque Ports (▼ 2)

Deal, Kent. James Braid.

GW VERDICT: old-fashioned out and back

layout remains a strong and enjoyable links

with standouts such as the topsy-turvy 3rd

with its comical concertina fairway.

19 Hillside (▼ 3)

Southport, Lancashire. Fred Hawtree.

GW VERDICT: The best back nine in UK golf

for some, including greg norman. But if you

don’t like those dramatic dune holes, you’ll

love the more sedate opening half.

18 Silloth-on-Solway (▼ 2)

Silloth, Cumbria. David Grant/Willie Park.

GW VERDICT: Tightly-mown undulating

fairways fully exposed to the Irish Sea winds

are typical of this old-fashioned, demanding

links. an underrated, classic course.

17 Hankley Common ( ▲ 2 )

Farnham, Surrey. James Braid, Harry Colt.

GW VERDICT: Very good course laid out over

more expansive, open heathland than many

of its Surrey neighbours, the heather seems

particularly purple and the greens especially

emerald. We absolutely adore it here.

16 Wentworth (West) (▼ 4)

Virginia Water, Surrey. Harry Colt, Ernie Els.

GW VERDICT: now very difcult for those who

play it 51 weeks of the year (outside the pga)

and thus lacks the seductive quality of

Sunningdale or Swinley Forest.

15 St Enodoc ( ▲ 1 )

Wadebridge, Cornwall. James Braid.

GW VERDICT: What golf is all about – St

enodoc is memorable, scenic, challenging and

fun. Twelve truly outstanding holes.

14 Formby ( ▲ 3 )

Southport, Lancs. Willie Park.

GW VERDICT: a hybrid links/heathland/

parkland but consistently firm, sandy, links

fairways – and a classic layout.


13 West Sussex ( ▲ 2 )

Pulborough, Sussex. Campbell/

Hutchenson.

GW VERDICT: delightful heathland with

perfect turf, glistening white sand, and some

of the most picturesque holes imaginable.

12 The Berkshire (Red) ( ▲ 1 )

Ascot, Berkshire. Herbert Fowler.

GW VERDICT: With each hole in splendid

isolation and six cracking par 3s of diferent

lengths, this is a woodland delight.

11 Alwoodley ( )

Leeds, West Yorks. Alister MacKenzie.

GW VERDICT: Retains a feeling of isolated

heathland, with highlights including the

sweeping par 5s, stellar two-shotters and

classy par 3s.

10 Royal Liverpool (▼ 3)

Hoylake, Merseyside. Chambers & Morris/

Colt.

GW VERDICT: a traditional and fair challenge

with much character which reflects the club’s

heritage. Very strong open host last year.

9 Saunton (East) ( ▲ 1 )

Braunton, Devon. Herbert Fowler.

GW VERDICT: With its springy turf, fast and

true greens and the smell of the sea, it is

impossible not to be intoxicated by the east.

8 Ganton ( ▲ 1 )

Scarborough, Yorkshire. Tom Chisholm.

GW VERDICT: Few finer places to play and get

away from it all . a challenging and beautiful

inland links/a windswept heathland

masterpiece, depending on your view of it.

7 Walton Heath (Old) (▼ 1)

Tadworth, Surrey. Herbert Fowler.

GW VERDICT: Heather-clad, fast-running

traditional heathland that is a very challenging

but fair test, laid out in a natural open setting.

6 Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) (▼ 2)

Woodhall Spa, Lincs. Vardon, Colt, Colonel

Hotchkin.

GW VERDICT: great heathland with amazingly

deep bunkers superbly positioned on what is

otherwise completely flat ground. a course

which needs to be played at least once.

5 Sunningdale (New) ( ▲ 4 )

Sunningdale, Surrey. Harry Colt.

GW VERDICT: Modest opening and closing

holes – otherwise world class. More difcult

and complete than the old, even if not quite

as much fun or as beautiful.

We rate Sunningdale

new close to the old.

22 St George’s Hill ( ▲ 5 )

Weybridge,Surrey. Harry Colt.

GW VERDICT: Set among the mansions of pop stars, this magnificent

heathland rolls up hill and down dale in a figure of eight, always with a

refined elegance of which Harry Colt was a master. Magnificent.


Top 100 England 2015

4 Royal Lytham (▼ 1)

Lytham, Lancashire. Lowe, Colt.

IM: Famously removed from the sea, and also

with very little elevation change, yet a classic

test on sandy soil punctuated by a couple

hundred well-placed bunkers.

RL: a stringent test on the open rota due to

the bunkering and closing stretch.

GW VERDICT: There really is nothing to

choose between these superstars of the top

four. For some, it could easily be no.1.

1

Royal Birkdale

Southport, Merseyside. Par 72, 6,817 yards. Designers:

George Lowe/JH Taylor/Fred Hawtree/Martin Hawtree

ND: like Muirfield, its challenges are clear and visible, but

no easier as a result.

SE: a great test of golf, with some exceptionally difcult

par 3s on which a par feels like a birdie.

GW VERDICT: Strong start, strong finish, yet the most

memorable holes are arguably in the middle section; the

9th, 10th and 12th, make full use of the huge dunes.

Birkdale is the complete package.

3 Royal St George’s ( ▲ 2 )

Sandwich, Kent. William Purves.

SE: lots of humps and bumps with crazy but

interesting greens. I can’t wait to play it again.

MS: england’s best course in my view; ofers

‘pleasurable excitement’ with variety, solitude

and challenge. If you don’t like RSg, you’re

taking yourself too seriously.

GW VERDICT: Terrific fun, possibly the most

enjoyment on a championship course in

england. We love Mike’s comment above.

2 Sunningdale (Old) ( ▲ 1 )

Sunningdale, Surrey. Willie Park, Harry Colt.

ND: Continually charms, with something to

excite and encourage on every tee. also

always enough to punish. The run of par 4s

from 5th to 7th and again between 10th and

12th are as good as inland golf has to ofer.

SE: Very little to choose between the old and

the new for me. always in spotless condition.

GW VERDICT: The quintessential english

inland experience; the hype is justified.

38 golf World Top 100 england 2015


EXClUSIVE

I regard Royal Birkdale as the

finest course in Britain. I prefer

links to inland courses and I

don’t think there is a better links

in the country.

It is a supreme test without in

any way being unfair; what you

see is what you get, so the

professionals love it.

The routing is beautifully

varied, the dunes create natural

ampitheatres and each and

every one of the par 3s are

outstanding.

Why the supreme test of Birkdale is my No.1

By Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent on his admiration for Southport’s star attraction.

The closing hole is as

demanding as they come

regardless of the wind direction

because even if it is helping you

it makes it difcult to control

your approach shot.

even the one perceived

negative – the redesign of the

17th green – has been

addressed. If that is the weakest

aspect of the course, it shows its

strength as it provided the

defining moment of the 2008

open Chamionship when

padraig Harrington used the

contours so memorably after

hitting a sweet 5-wood in there.

I am also fond of ganton, a

superb inland course with links

characteristics. I loved it when I

was there for the Walker Cup in

2003 but fully got to appreciate

its charms when I was writing a

piece on it for a book.

I walked it rather than played

it and found I absorbed more of

its intricacies that way. The

bunkers are obviously its big

defence, and some may feel

they are unfair – especially with

the big lip at the back of them

which afects your backswing.

They are very strategically

placed and very penal.

There are numerous splendid

holes with a fantastic finish

which provide a great climax to

either a strokeplay or matchplay

round. The 17th is a driveable par

4 yet you are sometimes glad to

come of with a 4 such is the

difculty of the sloping green.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 39


TOP 100 ENGLAND 2015

85

89

55

8

18

1

19

35 14

45

60

80

100

4

10

52

11

33

40

57

69

62

96

34

84

91

77

12

21

41

26

47

67

50

78 92

48

66

54

82

95

94

31

39

49

6

87

99

88

75

61

56

27

23

76

37

3

20

59

90

9

79

25

17

58

86

15

63

53

46

29

97

64

51 74

2

5

7

38

22

28

32

44

16

36

43

70

72

73

81

42 24

68

13

83

30

93 98

40 Golf World TOP 100 ENGLAND 2015


ENGLAND’S TOP 100

WHERE TO FIND THEM

Use this map of all the courses to help plan your Top 100 trip.

1 Royal Birkdale Lancashire

2 Sunningdale (Old) Surrey

3 Royal St George’s Kent

4 Royal Lytham & St Annes Lancashire

5 Sunningdale (New) Surrey

6 Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) Lincs

7 Walton Heath (Old) Surrey

8 Ganton Yorkshire

9 Saunton (East) Devon

10 Royal Liverpool Cheshire

11 Alwoodley Yorkshire

12 The Berkshire (Red) Berkshire

13 West Sussex Sussex

14 Formby Lancashire

15 St Enodoc Cornwall

16 Wentworth (West) Surrey

17 Hankley Common Surrey

18 Silloth-on-Solway Cumbria

19 Hillside Lancashire

20 Royal Cinque Ports Kent

21 Swinley Forest Berkshire

22 St George’s Hill Surrey

23 Royal West Norfolk Norfolk

24 Rye Sussex

25 The Berkshire (Blue) Berkshire

26 Notts (Hollinwell) Nottinghamshire

27 Hunstanton Norfolk

28 Woking Surrey

29 Ferndown Dorset

30 The Addington Surrey

31 Woburn (Marquess’) Bedfordshire

32 Worplesdon Surrey

33 Moortown Yorkshire

34 Remedy Oak Dorset

35 Southport & Ainsdale Merseyside

36 Wentworth (East) Surrey

37 AldeburghS u f o l k

38 Walton Heath (New) Surrey

39 Woburn (Duke’s) Bedfordshire

40 Burnham & Berrow Somerset

41 Little Aston Stafordshire

42 Royal Ashdown Forest Sussex

43 New Zealand Surrey

44 West Hill, Surrey

45 West Lancs Lancashire

46 Broadstone Dorset

47 Sherwood Forest Nottinghamshire

48 The Grove Hertfordshire

49 Woburn (Duchess’) Bedfordshire

50 The Belfry (Brabazon) Warwicks

51 Liphook Hampshire

52 Wallasey Cheshire

53 St Mellion (Nicklaus) Cornwall

54 Lindrick Nottinghamshire

55 Seaton Carew Durham

56 Seacroft Lincolnshire

57 Beau Desert Stafordshire

58 Littlestone Kent

59 Prince’s (Shore & Dunes) Kent

60 St Annes Old Links Lancashire

61 Ipswich (Purdis Heath)S u f o l k

62 Delamere Forest Cheshire

Hindhead deserves to be classed

alongside Surrey’s classics.

63 Perranporth Cornwall

64 Hayling Island Hampshire

65 Isle of Purbeck Dorset

66 Bearwood Lakes Berkshire

67 The Centurion Club Hertfordshire

68 Crowborough Beacon Sussex

69 Blackwell Worcestershire

70 Hindhead Surrey

71 Parkstone Dorset

72 Wisley Surrey

73 Coombe Hill Surrey

74 Blackmoor Hampshire

75 WoodbridgeS u f o l k

76 Sheringham Norfolk

77 Fulford Yorkshire

78 Ashridge Hertfordshire

79 Royal North Devon Devon

80 Seascale Cumbria

81 Tandridge Surrey

82 Lufenham Heath Lincolnshire

83 Goodwood Sussex

84 Huntercombe Oxfordshire

85 Goswick Northumberland

86 Trevose Cornwall

87 Royal WorlingtonS u f o l k

88 Chart Hills Kent

89 Close House Northumberland

90 Saunton (West) Devon

91 Stoke Park Buckinghamshire

92 Berkhamsted Hertfordshire

93 Camberley Heath Surrey

94 King’s Lynn Norfolk

95 London Club (Heritage) Kent

96 Frilford Heath (Red) Oxfordshire

97 Stoneham Dorset

98 Foxhills (Longcross) Surrey

99 Brocket Hall (Palmerston) Herts

100 Fairhaven Lancashire

TOP 100 ENGLAND 2015 Golf World 41


Sherwood ForeSt

GolF Club

“One of the fnest heathland golf

courses in Great Britain.”

“A true hidden gem!”

Visitors are welcome Monday to Friday.

Green fees: April £45, May to September £65.

discounts are available for parties of 20 or more.

Please contact the Professional Shop to make a booking.

‘EAST ANGLIA’S FINEST’

Photo courtesy of Chris Onions

Sherwood Forest Golf Club,

eakring road, MANSFIeld,

Notts NG18 3ew

telephone: 01623 626689

Professional Shop: 01623 627403

website: www.sherwoodforestgolfclub.co.uk

27 holes of classic heathland golf in Suīolk

www.woodbridgegolfclub.co.uk

01394 382038

YOUR COURSE AWAITS…

Although Dorset-based Remedy Oak is an exclusive golf club for

members and their guests, we reserve a few tee times to welcome

a small number of visitors. Constructed in 2006, yet already rated

in the top 50 courses in GB and Ireland, Remedy Oak offers one

of the most personal golf experiences on the South Coast.

EXCLUSIVE CHALLENGING WELCOMING

Please call us on +44 (0) 1202 812070 to discuss availability.

Prstigeous, Unique & Exclusively Your

BECOME PART OF THE EXPERIENCE, VISIT REMEDYOAK.COM


Top 100 England 2015

THe NeXT 100

We’ve expanded this list by 100 per cent… yet there are still fine courses outside it.

Here are 100 super venues, with comments on those that were Top 100 contenders.

alnmouth, northumberland

Bamburgh Castle, northumberland

a quirky course built close by to the sea

but not a links course other than a few

early holes. With spectacular views of

Bamburgh Castle and Budle Bay, few golf

courses can rival it for location. The golf

course is short with six par 3s.

Bath (Sham Castle), Somerset

Bingley St Ives Yorkshire

Bovey Castle, devon

Bradford (Hawksworth), Yorkshire

Brampton, Cumbria

Brancepeth Castle, durham

This is a gem of a Harry Colt course. a well

thought out bunker replacement and

refurbishment scheme over the last few

years has re-instated the challenge. The

9th and 10th are stunning back to back

par 3s with the magnificent Brancepeth

Castle providing a stunning backdrop.

Brocket Hall (Melbourne), Hertfordshire

Brokenhurst Manor, Hampshire

designed by Harry Colt in the new Forest

it is short but delightful.

Bude & north Cornwall, Cornwall

Carlisle, Cumbria

Cavendish, derbyshire

Clevedon, Somerset

Cleveland, Yorkshire

Clitheroe, lancashire

Cooden Beach, Sussex

an absolute gem and one of the few

downland courses in Britain.

Copt Heath, Warwickshire

Coventry Finham, Warwickshire.

a top-class layout and the one-time home

to the piccadilly Medal matchplay

tournament in the 1970s.

Coxmoor, nottinghamshire

Crosland Heath, Yorkshire

dartmouth (Championship) , devon

It was an astonishing feat to build such a

fine course on this steeply sloped site. The

curving 4th, with out of bounds all the

way up the right and a stream along the

left, is one of the UK’s top par 5s.

diss, norfolk

dunham Forest, Cheshire

a very, very good tree-lined course with

wonderful greens.

East devon, devon

excellent views along the Jurassic coast

from the bracing clifs above Budleigh

Salterton.

East dorset, dorset

East Sussex national (East), Sussex

With a finish designed for tournament

play and some great par 5s, it has more

subtlety than appears on first playing.

East Sussex national (West), Sussex

Both courses are top 100 quality, but we

slightly prefer the West, which is high

calibre. a superb collection of par 5s with

the double-dog-leg 12th demanding a

stream to be crossed and a lake avoided.

Edgbaston, Birmingham

Enville (Highgate), Stafordshire

Combines a mixture of heathland and

parkland and was a very real contender

for the main Top 100 list.

Felixstowe Ferry, Sufolk

Underrated ‘linksy’ course which is

extremely difficult when the wind blows –

lovely surroundings and views.

Forest of arden, Warwickshire

Forest pines, lincolnshire

Formby ladies, lancashire

Royal Cromer ’s seaside

location offers stunning views.

Top 100 england 2015 golf World 43


Top 100 England 2015

old Thorns is a spectacular

course among mature trees.

Foxhills (Hunt), Surrey

There is a lot of discussion as to which of the

Foxhills courses is the best. Both have

improved enormously over recent years and

both have superb greens and many top holes.

Frilford Heath green, oxfordshire

Fulford Heath, Worcestershire

Gog Magog (Old), Cambridgeshire

Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire

Halifax, Yorkshire

Hallamshire, Yorkshire

Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire

Hawkstone park (Hawkstone), Shropshire

Ilkley, Yorkshire

John O’Gaunt, Bedfordshire

Kington, Herefordshire

Knole park, Kent

a surprisingly good course that thrills all the

way round. It opens with a tough par 3 and

then has some magnificent holes on the way

round. a glorious test played around Knole

House that was probably the most unfortunate

course to drop out of the main list .

ladbrook park, Warwickshire

Many suggest this is an undiscovered gem on

the south side of Birmingham. It’s a Harry Colt

design noted for its challenging par 3s and

reachable par 5s in two shots. over recent

years this parkland has been improved and

ofers a challenging round with the standard

scratch nearly always being higher than the

course rating.

littlehampton, Sussex

Manchester, lancashire

Manor House, Wiltshire

enjoyable to play with some terrific views and

delightful scenery. only drawback are the long

distances between holes which, combined

with the steep hills, means a buggy is

necessary and using one is not for everyone.

Mannings Heath (Waterfall), Sussex

a picturesque course with a handful of

fantastic holes. Some on the panel were very

keen on it being elevated to the main list by

virtue of its beautiful holes as well as its

greens, which are routinely in great condition.

Moor park (High), Hertfordshire

There are some great par 4s and the

clubhouse has to be seen to be believed. a

palladian mansion full of genuine old Masters.

PLUS 10 more we LIKe...

Astbury, Shropshire

Church Stretton, Shropshire

Great Yarmouth & Caistor, norfolk

Heythrop Park, oxfordshire

Knighton Heath, dorset

London Club (International), Kent

Newbiggin, northumberland

Stratford (Welcombe Hotel), Warks

West Cornwall, Cornwall

Yeovil (Old), dorset

The course is a typically-inspirational design

by Harry Colt through mature parkland and

includes the intimidating par-3 12th with its

significantly-tiered green.

Mullion, Cornwall

North Foreland, Kent

north Hants, Hampshire

Some excellent holes and a tough test.

northamptonshire County, northants

The Northumberland, northumberland

old Thorns, Hampshire

Really terrific inland course and were it not on

the Hants-Surrey border it would be much

better known. See picture above.

painswick, gloucestershire

piltdown, Sussex

penrith, Cumbria

penrith is a real undiscovered secret of a

course, with four really good opening holes

before crossing a quiet road to play a very

tough index 1 par 4. They are followed by a

number of lovely holes before returning over

the road to play a very tidy finishing stretch.

pleasington, lancashire

prestbury, Cheshire

great mix of long and short holes, all with

classic Colt bunkering; shot shaping is critical

here for a good score.

Reddish Vale, lancashire

Rocklife Hall, durham

44 golf World Top 100 england 2015


Ross on Wye, gloucestershire

a proper undiscovered classic with tight holes

that is always in tip-top condition.

Royal ashdown Forest (West), east Sussex

Traditional club and like its sister a superb

moorland-heathland with no bunkers. Some

really excellent holes and for some on the

panel, should join its sister in the main list.

Royal Wimbledon, Surrey

less well known of the london courses but a

great test. This course prefers a low profile –

but is a ‘hidden gem’ steeped in history – and

is worthy of open qualifying status.

Royal Cromer, norfolk

Huge improvements at Royal Cromer over the

last four years. arguably better views than at

Sheringham – and Cromer is in consistently

good condition.

Spalding, lincolnshire

a fantastic layout and some of the best

starting and finishing holes you will find

anywhere in england.

Sandiway, Cheshire

Sandwell park, Stafordshire

Sandy Lodge, Hertfordshire

Selby, Yorkshire

Sherborne, dorset

Shipley, Yorkshire

Slaley Hall, northumberland

South Stafs, Stafordshire

Stockport, Cheshire

St Mellion (Kernow), Cornwall

Tadmarton Heath, oxfordshire

a really interesting, old-fashioned course.

always enjoyable and although relatively

short, there are many challenges at this fine

heathland. an imaginative short game is vital.

Teignmouth, devon

Telford, Shropshire

The Buckinghamshire, Buckinghamshire

For many on the panel, a more interesting and

challenging course than other ‘Shire’ courses

such – and it would be a worthy Top 100

course, as it has been in the past. a smoothly

flowing modern design with just the right

amount of risk and reward on ofer.

The oxfordshire, oxfordshire

Visually not inspiring but a fantastic, tough

challenge with some superbly-designed holes.

need to be on top of your game to score well

here – and on a cold windy day its exposed

nature means is a most exacting test. a great

course with a lot of water and a design more

often seen in the US mid-west. excellent holes

such as the par-4 8th and par-5 17th give it a

strong case to be included in the Top 100.

The players Club (Codrington), glos

Fine course that will rise up the list in the future.

Thetford, norfolk

Thorndon park, essex

Thorpeness, Sufolk

proper heathland set out close to the sea.

Thurlestone, devon

Ulverston, Cumbria

Walmer & Kingsdown, Kent

Wentworth (Edinburgh), Surrey

a super challenge with a variety of holes that

make you think. For some, a few too many

dog-legs but generally a little easier than the

West or east, with generous landing areas of

the tee. Wentworth is close to matching

Woburn in having all three in the 100.

West Herts, Hertfordshire

West Surrey, Surrey

Weston super Mare, Somerset

Whittington Heath, Stafordshire

Woodhall Spa (Bracken), lincolnshire

York (Strensall), Yorkshire

Formby Golf Club, one of the

World’s great links courses

Set on the shores of the Irish Sea, Formby is blessed with undulating sand dunes and towering

pines which combine to make this incredible golf course truly unique. The course, renowned

as one of the World’s great links courses, was voted 77 in the world by the association of

golf course architects, and is a challenging, idyllic and unforgettable experience with a club

history and golfing pedigree going back to 1884.

The iconic clubhouse, rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1901, is one of the most recognisable

golf clubhouses in the world. Recently renovated, the clubhouse boasts dormy rooms sleeping

10 and a fine dining restaurant which enjoys stunning panoramic views over the course. Our

Golfers Bar is the perfect place to relax and refresh, either before or after your round, with

real ales, fine wines and a comprehensive selection of bar snacks.

Formby has also hosted the Amateur Championship on four occasions and boasts Jose-Maria

Olazabal and Matteo Manassero amongst its champions.

The Club also hosted the Curtis Cup in 2004.

Formby Golf Club Limited | Golf Road | Formby | Liverpool | L37 1LQ | United Kingdom

twitter: @formbygolfclub email: info@formbygolfclub.co.uk

web: www.formbygolfclub.co.uk Tel: 01704 872164


TOP 100 ENGLAND 2015

FANTASY GOLF

MY PERFECT DAY

By Sky Sports commentator Bruce Critchley.

Awaking in the Mermaid Inn in

Rye – rebuilt in 1483 – a day on

the links beckons. A ‘Full

English’ precedes the six-mile drive out

over the Marshes to Camber Sands, the

journey enlivened by conversation with

my old Halford Hewitt chum, Tim Koch

de Gooreynd, who’s currently ‘excused

driving’. ‘How fast this time Tim?’ ‘Oh,

probably 87 gusting to 92, I suppose’,

the laconic reply.

It’s early March, and the annual Rye

versus the Oxford and Cambridge

Golfing Society; 36 holes of foursomes,

30 players on either side, Gerald

Micklem selecting both teams and who

plays with whom. No argument or no

invite next year. As a handicapper he

knows no equal and rarely does any

match finish before the 16th green.

My morning partner is Peter

Richardson, the old England opener

and as competitive on the course as he

was at the crease; a 4 handicap and

pretty tasty of that.

Tee of at 9.50am and back in the

clubhouse shortly after midday, a tight

but comfortable victory chalked up.

Lunch has to be carefully paced as

I’m not of ’til 1.40pm, more than

enough time to do serious damage. The

Bloody Marys at Rye tend to be three

measures of Vodka and two small

bottles of tomato juice. A couple of

these, club claret with the rudimentary

but excellent Rye Lunch and just one

large Kummel on the rocks while you

change your shoes.

My partner in the afternoon is Quinny

Hoare – he of the banking family – who

is a much better player after lunch. The

secret with Quinny is to use his welllubricated

skills early on to get a few

holes up and then have enough in hand

to see you through as he ‘tires’ on the

back nine. This we just manage and

then it’s time for tea and cake before

the shower.

Emerging in black tie at the Savoy

Hotel to join John Bayman – husband of

Lindy who played in the Curtis Cup in

the 1980s – who is hosting a bridge

evening in one of the Gilbert & Sullivan

suites. A true oenophile, John greets

us with Gosset champagne, a mature

Montrachet with the fish and the good

news that he has just broached his

hogshead of ’61 Latour which had been

lying in bond in Bordeaux. Decent

cards, a few quid and a night at the

Savoy rounds of a perfect day.

■ A GB&I player in the 1969 Walker Cup,

Bruce was a commentator with the BBC

before moving to Sky Sports in the ’90s.

He is part of golf’s premier commentary

partnership alongside Ewen Murray.

46 Golf World TOP 100 ENGLAND


Notts. Golf Club

(Hollinwell)

Host to the 2015 Brabazon Trophy

A stunning Championship venue

Glorious all-year golf is played on free-draining heathland

defned by waving grasses, yellow gorse and birdsong.

Fairways undulate, greens run fast and true, making this

the favourite course of many.

Characterised by speedy 2-ball format and traditional

membership, Aldeburgh ofers a satisfyingly generous

welcome in the clubhouse.

Contact Te Secretary: 01728 452890,

info@aldeburghgolfclub.co.uk.

www.aldeburghgolfclub.co.uk

SOCIETIES WELCOME

Discount prices available for large groups

To discuss these please call the Ofce

Te Championship Course at 6,603 yards but with no par fves on the men’s

card is a substantial challenge for even the best golfer. Te SSS of the Blue tees

is 73 against a par of 68. Every hole presents an examination in shotmaking

and accuracy; a stroke given away to the course is difcult to recover. It is also

a beautiful place to play golf. Te views of the River Alde and glimpses of the

North Sea, grey one day blue another, are enough to raise the spirits even when

the score is not quite up to expectation.

Notts. Golf Club (Hollinwell)

Kirkby In Ashfeld | Nottingham | NG17 7QR

T :01623 753225 | E: ofce@nottsgolfclub.co.uk

W. www.nottsgolfclub.co.uk

Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club is

a true championship links course,

with first class facilities to match.

The course is set amongst the dunes

on the North West coastline and is

another of course designer,

James Braid’s great creations.

The course is challenging but fair and the profusion of heather, gorse and

year round top class greens combine for an immensely enjoyable experience.

The renowned 16th hole (Gumbleys) always provides excitement. Our recently

refurbished clubhouse ( March 2015) and exceptional dining opportunities

ensure that your day with us can be the highlight of your golfing year.

www.dorsetgolfresort.com

admin@dorsetgolfresort.com

Club House: 01704 578000

www.sandagolfclub.co.uk

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club, Bradshaws Lane, Ainsdale, Southport, Merseyside. PR8 3LG


CAMBERLEY HEATH

GOLF CLUB

One of Surrey’s Finest Courses

• Memberships • Golf Days • Visitors Welcome

• Ranked in the Top 100 Courses in England

T: 01276 23258

W: www.camberleyheathgolfclub.co.uk

E: info@camberleyheathgolfclub.co.uk

Camberley Heath Golf Club, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 1JG

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