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<strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong><br />



The definitive list ranked by golf’s most distinguished panel<br />

ALSO<br />

INSIDE<br />


‘NEXT <strong>100</strong>’ LIST<br />

FOR 2015<br />


Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

how we produced The lisT<br />

Welcome to the most<br />

comprehensive ranking<br />

to date of the finest<br />

courses in england.<br />

There are so many courses to<br />

highlight (we have focused on<br />

numbers 51-<strong>100</strong>, as they didn’t feature in last<br />

year’s GB&I ranking), so many stunning<br />

images to find a place for and so many<br />

feature articles to cram in, we need to get<br />

straight to the business of how we put it all<br />

together. Hopefully what follows answers<br />

any questions you have about our Top <strong>100</strong>:<br />

Who decided the positions?<br />

Our panel of readers, who are efectively<br />

‘Mystery Shoppers’. They visit the courses<br />

unannounced, pay the green fee and make<br />

their judgements. The list (and the Next <strong>100</strong>)<br />

is an amalgamation of their opinions.<br />

do you ‘mark’ each course?<br />

No. This is done by other rankings inside and<br />

outside golf, but at this time the panel purely<br />

rank the course using a ‘mental’ aggregate of<br />

the various factors*. A numerical breakdown<br />

might well add ballast but it’s not something<br />

I personally yearn for, at least not until every<br />

panellist has played every course and we can<br />

thus produce a valid statistical breakdown.<br />

At the moment, producing one would be no<br />

more useful than the ‘mental’ ranking. Watch<br />

this space – although I am personally more<br />

keen on working to get a large panel who’ve<br />

played every single course. That would, in<br />

my view, further improve our Top <strong>100</strong> lists.<br />

What are the factors* in assessing?<br />

This seems obvious to me, but people do<br />

ask; we ask panellists to consider strategic<br />

merit, presentation, memorable holes,<br />

playability, consistency of test and visual<br />

appeal. But not anything of the course. See,<br />

told you it wasn’t nuclear physics...<br />

do tour pros or architects feature?<br />

Using ‘celebrity’ panellists is in my view a<br />

vanity project. Many others do it, and GW<br />

has done in the past – I’ve been involved in<br />

those lists. But I just don’t see how even the<br />

most famous Tour player or the most feted<br />

architect can add credible assistance to the<br />

ranking given they may well have played less<br />

than half of the contenders. The only reason<br />

the panel and I have any justification for<br />

contributing to a list of the ‘best’ courses in<br />

England is because, by virtue of having<br />

played all or the vast majority of the<br />

contenders, they have the ability to compare.<br />

Some architects have indeed played as<br />

widely, but there could be vested interests<br />

given they may well judge their own work.<br />

do readers make good panellists?<br />

I absolutely believe they do. In addition to<br />

their ability to compare, I also very much like<br />

the fact they have paid their green fees; it<br />

removes any possibile inhibitions and also<br />

means they can relate to our readers – and<br />

hopefully vice versa. Remember, they are<br />

readers themselves; our Top <strong>100</strong>s are lists for<br />

golfers who like to go on golf trips to the<br />

best courses, created by golfers who like to<br />

go on golf trips to the best courses. Our aim<br />

is for you to feel confident that what we<br />

suggest in our Top <strong>100</strong>s will be the reality<br />

when you arrive; it’s such a disappointment<br />

when it isn’t – our panellists know, they’ve<br />

been there too. It’s not to say we aren’t<br />

interested in the views of famous names. In<br />

this supplement alone we hear from Jack<br />

Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Peter Alliss and Lee<br />

Westwood to name a few, plus architects of<br />

the stature of Tom Mackenzie, Frank Pont<br />

and Martin Ebert. A pretty good list!<br />

can i Join the panel?<br />

Yes! The only proviso is you have a wealth of<br />

experience of what are regarded as the<br />

finest courses in GB&I. There are no freebies<br />

or expenses, this is a labour of love – but all<br />

panellists seem to enjoy being involved.<br />

...and a thank you from me<br />

I’d like to record my sincere appreciation for<br />

the time the panel give us in assimilating<br />

their views. Many thanks to one and all.<br />

chris Bertram<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> Editor<br />

The Top <strong>100</strong><br />

england panel<br />

mike Bailey<br />

Club: Formby Hcp: 12<br />

Brendan Blair<br />

Club: Bristol & Clifton Hcp: 12<br />

peter Bosworth<br />

Club: Hellidon Lakes Hcp: 14<br />

John chapman<br />

Club: Royal Cromer Hcp: 5<br />

dale concannon<br />

Club: Press Golfing Society<br />

Hcp: 7<br />

nick dungay<br />

Club: Singing Hills Hcp: 11<br />

stuart edgington<br />

Club: Ladbrook Park Hcp: 12<br />

alan ferguson<br />

Club: St Andrews New/<br />

Glenbervie Hcp: 4<br />

vic hart<br />

Club: Foxhills Hcp: 22<br />

ian Johnston<br />

Club: The Oxfordshire Hcp: 7<br />

richard lillesmart<br />

Club: Thorpeness Hcp: 12<br />

ian macdonald<br />

Club: Ramside Hcp: 11<br />

peter rudd<br />

Club: Woodbridge, Thorpeness<br />

and Woodhall Spa Hcp: 7<br />

Ben sargent<br />

Club: The Wisley Hcp: Pro<br />

mark squire<br />

Club: Scarcroft Hcp: 8<br />

andrew stracey<br />

Club: Four clubs including R&A<br />

Hcp: 0.6<br />

mike stuckey<br />

Club: Lochinvar, Houston,<br />

Texas. Hcp: 15<br />

gary vaulks<br />

Club: Royal Liverpool Hcp: 8<br />

stephen vincent<br />

Club: Bearwood Lakes Hcp: 10<br />

Bearwood Lakes –<br />

one of our climbers.

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

<strong>100</strong> Fairhaven (▼ 2 )<br />

Lytham St Annes, Lancs. Par 72, 7,015 yards.<br />

Designers: JA Steer/James Braid.<br />

IM: The numerous deep revetted bunkers are a<br />

hallmark – they will cost you at least one shot<br />

every time.<br />

MB: always in great condition but so many<br />

bunkers so you must take your strategic game.<br />

GW VERDICT: a mix of links and parkland, this<br />

is a fantastic and fair test. What you see is<br />

what you get.<br />

99 Brocket Hall (Palmerston) (▼ 5)<br />

Welwyn, Hertfordshire. Par 73, 6,503 yards.<br />

Designer: Donald Steel.<br />

ND: Built on the wooded, higher ground of this<br />

historic estate, it requires stout hitting and<br />

good putting on the large greens.<br />

VH: all the holes are very individual.<br />

GW VERDICT: edges the Melbourne here<br />

(next <strong>100</strong>), a fine parkland that plays across<br />

undulating ground. Some very good holes<br />

among mature Hornbeam, pines and oaks.<br />

97 Stoneham (▼ 13 )<br />

Southampton, Hants. Par 72, 6,392 yards.<br />

Designer: Willie Park.<br />

IJ: a good test among heather and pine which<br />

starts with a par 5 that can be reached in two<br />

by many. First of several fine par 5s.<br />

ND: an oasis of heathland golf with holes<br />

meandering through attractive woods.<br />

GW VERDICT: a slight fall for this heathland,<br />

more as a result of the rise of other similar<br />

courses that found more favour with our panel.<br />

96 Frilford Heath (Red) NEW ENTRY<br />

Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Par 72, 6,912 yards.<br />

Designer: JH Taylor.<br />

PB: Best of the three courses on a site that is<br />

used for open regional qualifiers.<br />

DC: The best day’s golf in the english Midlands.<br />

GW VERDICT: Rather like Foxhills, there is<br />

debate as to which of Frilford’s courses is the<br />

best! The Red was a clear winner (Blue and<br />

green in next <strong>100</strong>). The Red is the oldest of<br />

them, laid out in 1908 by the iconic JH Taylor.<br />

95 London Club (Heritage) (▼ 13 )<br />

Brands Hatch, Kent. Par 72, 7,005 yards.<br />

Designer: Jack Nicklaus.<br />

RL: Having built the clubhouse here I feel a<br />

part of this course! Very tough; long with water<br />

coming into play on six holes. The par-3 7th is<br />

great – all carry over water – and the par-5 15th<br />

is a brute. love the 18th, with water on the left.<br />

GW VERDICT: Is a noted Tour host but our<br />

panel prefer cute heathlands to americanstyle<br />

golf. But enough fans to stay in the <strong>100</strong>.<br />

94 King’s Lynn (▼ 4)<br />

King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Par 72, 6,640 yards.<br />

Designers: Peter Alliss & Dave Thomas.<br />

CB: This is an historic club but only moved to<br />

this site in 1975. despite being close to the sea,<br />

this is a woodland with birch and heather<br />

giving it a terrific heathland feel.<br />

GW VERDICT: en route to Hunstanton and<br />

Brancaster? do not pass up the chance to play<br />

at this superb woodland-heathland and try to<br />

keep your tee shots out of the trees.<br />

4 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

98<br />

Foxhills (Longcross) NEW ENTRY<br />

Ottershaw, Surrey. Par 72, 6,750 yards. Designer: Fred Hawtree<br />

VH: There is a lot of discussion as to which of the Foxhills<br />

courses is the best. Both have improved enormously over<br />

recent years. one of these should be in the mid 90s and the<br />

other in the next <strong>100</strong> in my opinion. Both have superb greens<br />

and many top-quality holes.<br />

PB: Must be included in the Top <strong>100</strong> – and in my view<br />

alongside its sister course the Hunt. Both are special; the<br />

longcross is the more challenging venue.<br />

GW VERDICT: Some prefer the Hunt, which is in the next <strong>100</strong><br />

for this year but could easily come into the main list in 2017,<br />

such is the afection for the work of Ryder Cup man Bernard<br />

Hunt, the club’s first pro who served for 25 years. The<br />

longcross has the edge for the majority of our panel, though,<br />

as it beautifully combines challenge and charm, with a<br />

serious test of 6,750 yards being softened by the aesthetic<br />

charm of a course that is routed through Scots pine, beech<br />

and silver birch trees. Comparisons with Sunningdale’s old<br />

Course are not fanciful. Well-balanced nines give you<br />

chances of scoring with two par 5s on each half being nice<br />

respite from the exacting two-shotters. a class act.<br />


I am fortunate in that I play the<br />

top courses in england on the<br />

amateur circuit, and my three<br />

favourites might surprise some.<br />

The first would be Royal<br />

lytham & St annes. It is<br />

probably the toughest course<br />

I have ever played but it still<br />

manages to be enjoyable.<br />

“People miss out on some of the inland courses”<br />

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

next I would go for Woburn,<br />

which is always in such good<br />

condition. I am a big fan of<br />

parkland/heathland courses in<br />

the amateur game; I feel like we<br />

don’t play enough parklands – a<br />

lot of the links courses get talked<br />

about and people miss out on<br />

some of the inland courses.<br />

My third would be Forest of<br />

arden, for much the same<br />

reasons as Woburn. It is always<br />

in such good condition and I also<br />

like the two par 5s – the 12th and<br />

17. It is also a really pretty course<br />

with deer walking round.<br />

of course, I enjoyed Hoylake<br />

for The open. They were the<br />

best greens I have putted on on<br />

a links course by a mile. They<br />

were so fast and so smooth.<br />

My favourite hole was the<br />

15th; I like short par 3s and there<br />

was a massive stand around that<br />

green so it was exciting.<br />

• Ashley plays England’s finest<br />

courses on the amateur circuit.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 5

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

93<br />

Camberley Heath NEW ENTRY<br />

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

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

few poor holes that are currently being addressed.<br />

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

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

previous years, Camberley Heath comes into the Top <strong>100</strong> as a result of the work<br />

carried out by Frank pont and the greenkeeping staf over the past two years. a<br />

programme of forestry and heathland conservation management means it now<br />

plays to its sand-based best with heather proliferating and the whole experience<br />

benefiting from a more open feel. a future rise higher is entirely possible.<br />

6 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

92 Berkhamsted ( )<br />

Berkhamsted, Herts. Par 71, 6,605 yards.<br />

Designers: Harry Colt/James Braid.<br />

IJ: a superb heathland/woodland with a series<br />

of solid holes, where there are no bunkers to<br />

interfere with your score.<br />

IM: If it is possible to find a hidden gem in<br />

suburban Hertfordshire, this is it.<br />

GW VERDICT: a good test but playable for all<br />

skill levels, it relies on ridged gulleys and clever<br />

contouring to protect the greens. Fine par 3s.<br />


My Camberley plan<br />

By leading architect Frank pont.<br />

I initially got involved with<br />

Camberley Heath after their<br />

Centenary captain really liked<br />

my work at Broadstone, another<br />

heathland Colt course. The club<br />

had the strong desire to develop<br />

a long-term plan to bring back,<br />

restore and safeguard critical<br />

elements of their Colt course.<br />

I was chosen from a shortlist and<br />

started working on a long-term<br />

plan. phase I entailed restoring<br />

the four par 3s – the 2nd, 8th,<br />

11th and 14th – by restoring their<br />

Colt bunkers, expanding the<br />

greens to their original sizes and<br />

cutting the trees which had<br />

started blocking the views on<br />

the greens from the tees and<br />

were too close to the greens.<br />

Work started last autumn, with<br />

shaping done by george Waters,<br />

one of the best guys in the<br />

industry (pinehurst 2,<br />

Renaissance Club, Cal Club),<br />

assisted by the greenkeepers of<br />

the club led by nick paris, who<br />

totally ‘gets’ the things we need<br />

to do to bring back Colt. The<br />

bunkers were finished with<br />

chunks of heather being<br />

transplanted into their edges to<br />

give them the instant classic<br />

look of neighbours such as<br />

Swinley and new Zealand.<br />

• Frank Pont is one of the world’s<br />

leading architects and renowned<br />

for restoring Harry Colt courses.<br />

91 Stoke Park (▼ 4)<br />

Stoke Poges, Bucks. Par 71, 6,751 yards.<br />

Designer: Harry Colt.<br />

SV: a handful of fantastic holes – with the two<br />

par 3s, especially the 7th, springing to mind.<br />

VH: a very historic parkland of high quality<br />

with a magnificent clubhouse and hotel.<br />

GW VERDICT: There are not many courses like<br />

this in england; a lush parkland but which is<br />

not dominated by trees. It is in terrific nick and<br />

a wonderful all-round experience.<br />

90 Saunton (West) (▼ 4)<br />

Braunton, Devon. Par 71, 6,403 yards.<br />

Designers: Herbert Fowler/Frank Pennink.<br />

SV: a nice contrast to the even tougher east<br />

course, with some stunning holes.<br />

BS: despite being the ‘weaker’ of the two at<br />

Saunton, still one of the best links in england.<br />

SE: lovely, just don’t expect beach views.<br />

GW VERDICT: Winds through large dunes at<br />

times but despite largely sitting on flatter ground,<br />

there is still much to enjoy on the springy turf.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 Golf World 7

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

89<br />

Close House (Colt) NEW ENTRY<br />

Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland. Par 71, 6,813 yards.<br />

Designers: Lee Westwood/Simon Macpherson.<br />

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

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

influenced by the great man. located in a picturesque northumberland valley on<br />

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

almost abuts the course itself. a quality new addition to england’s portfolio.<br />

“A great strategic<br />

test of golf”<br />

You’re going to get distracted by the scenery<br />

at Close House but you can’t aford to let your<br />

guard drop. The Colt is a great tactician’s golf<br />

course. every tee shot asks a question and every<br />

hole rewards a good decision and well-executed<br />

strategic play. a lack of power won’t cause you<br />

too many problems here, but lack of thinking<br />

certainly will trip you up.<br />

Nick Wright,<br />

Golf World editor<br />

8 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

Why I’m so proud<br />

of my first design<br />

By lee Westwood.<br />

Close House is a perfect<br />

members’ course that is capable<br />

of staging a major tournament in<br />

years to come. For a brand-new<br />

course it is in great condition.<br />

The greens are of a very high<br />

quality and I always look<br />

forward to going back and<br />

playing it again, as I usually do<br />

when I am back in england.<br />

on the front nine the 6th is a<br />

great hole, a downhill drive that<br />

looks tight but has more fairway<br />

over the wall than there looks.<br />

Then it’s a nice downhill second<br />

with out of bounds on the left<br />

and a deep bunker front right.<br />

on the back nine, there is a<br />

great run in the middle. The 12th<br />

is a lovely slightly uphill par 3 to<br />

a sloping green and is followed<br />

by a long par 4 with incredible<br />

views from its wide fairway.<br />

There are lots of bunkers to<br />

avoid of the tee and a stream to<br />

the right of what is a large green.<br />

another good short hole<br />

follows at the 14th, with this one<br />

located in the trees. It’s the<br />

shortest hole on the Colt but you<br />

must find the course’s smallest<br />

green and also clear a stream.<br />

after a short but dangerous<br />

uphill par-4 15th, comes the dogleg<br />

left 16th that plays through a<br />

corridor of trees. You need to<br />

get past the corner to have a<br />

shot to the green then hit over<br />

the cross-bunkers and try to use<br />

the slopes left of the green to<br />

run the ball in. a very good hole.<br />

• Lee Westwood is a former<br />

world no.1 and a Ryder Cup<br />

stalwart for europe since 1997.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 9

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

88<br />

Chart Hills (▼ 3)<br />

Biddenden, Kent. Par 72, 7,132 yards. Designer: Sir Nick Faldo.<br />

BS: Underrated. I’d argue it is a better design and a<br />

more enjoyable experience than nearby inland courses.<br />

VH: First-class design with very good greens. The best<br />

inland course in Kent. Could easily be a lot higher.<br />

ND: Characterised by large dramatic bunkering,<br />

including the anaconda which covers much of the<br />

length of the par-5 5th. only the strangely modest<br />

par 3s let down this otherwise impressive design.<br />

PB: long and punishing course – tough for all levels<br />

of golfer.<br />

SV: Serious test; I used every club in my bag here.<br />

GW VERDICT: a lot more than just a lot of sand. our<br />

panel may love links, but they generally rated Sir nick’s<br />

design very highly. exacting but satisfying, this inland<br />

course among oak trees and around water proves Kent<br />

is more than just a trio of ‘open’ links in Sandwich.<br />


My design ethos<br />

By Sir nick Faldo.<br />

While my favourite courses all<br />

possess the visual ‘wow’ factor,<br />

they also feature the great holes<br />

which visually tell you how to<br />

play the golf shot.<br />

The fun for me is that if you<br />

can do what the hole visually<br />

indicates, you are rewarded and<br />

if you don’t the experience gets<br />

more challenging.<br />

Chart Hills was a challenge,<br />

given the abundance of classic<br />

courses in the UK – but I feel we<br />

produced a very strong layout.<br />

The gently undulating landscape<br />

is populated by ancient oaks –<br />

very english countryside setting.<br />

Within this beautiful site are<br />

18 very distinctive holes which,<br />

collectively, demand a great<br />

variety of shot-making skills. It<br />

is a very strategic test; a real<br />

thinking man’s course.<br />

I wanted to design a course<br />

that would ofer diferent<br />

challenges to diferent players<br />

and I believe we succeeded.<br />

• Sir Nick is a six-time major<br />

champion who is now one of the<br />

most respected architects.<br />

10 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

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The Devil’s Punchbowl is a large hollow of dry sandy heath<br />

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Undoubtedly, the front nine is the most dramaƟc, but<br />

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Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

87 Royal Worlington ( ▲ 10 )<br />

Bury St Edmunds, Suf. Par 70, 6,228 yards.<br />

Designers: Tom Dunn/Harry Colt.<br />

IM: an absolute treat. The routing of the holes<br />

maximise the terrain.<br />

ND: The game could do with more nine-hole<br />

masterpieces to attract the time-poor. The 5th<br />

is a hall-of-famer for its triangular green.<br />

GW VERDICT: We love the subtleties, the<br />

springy turf and the quick, undulating greens.<br />

86 Trevose ( ▲ 2 )<br />

Padstow, Cornwall. Par 72, 6,967 yards.<br />

Designer: Harry Colt.<br />

MB: played when it was a windy day yet had<br />

one of the best days ever. The photographs do<br />

not lie – there are some exhilarating holes.<br />

SV: a challenging links and one that I never tire<br />

of playing. Most attractive holes are the first<br />

six, but thereafter you will not be disappointed.<br />

GW VERDICT: Real wow factor on first nine.<br />

84 Huntercombe (▼ 1)<br />

Nuffield, Oxfordshire. Par 70, 6,301 yards.<br />

Designer: Willie Park.<br />

SV: a day here is always a lovely experience.<br />

It is a delightfully old-fashioned course.<br />

ND: distinguished parkland has a traditional air<br />

harking back to the days of open top motoring<br />

and plus fours, but is none the worse for it.<br />

GW VERDICT: a beautiful mix of heathland<br />

and parkland that is a real delight.<br />

85<br />

Goswick NEW ENTRY<br />

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

IM: Inexplicably usually overlooked, probably because<br />

of the remote location – this is one of the last ‘hidden<br />

gems’ in england. a strong links; when the breeze is up<br />

it is as challenging as its more famous links cousins.<br />

JC: excellent when I played there. Better, in my view,<br />

than some links that are around the no.50 mark.<br />

GW VERDICT: not much has changed here to get this<br />

open Qualifier in the Top <strong>100</strong>, except the afection for it<br />

from our extremely well-travelled panel. It is now where,<br />

we strongly believe, it belongs.<br />


North-east seaside courses are superb<br />

2013 amateur champion garrick porteous on his region’s quality.<br />

goswick is a proper links with<br />

proper bunkers, turf and dunes.<br />

a championship test, it doesn’t<br />

have much in the way of views,<br />

as it sits on much the same level,<br />

but doesn’t need them. I’m a<br />

member at Bamburgh Castle<br />

and it is a diferent experience;<br />

it’s all about the views. The first<br />

four of five holes along the<br />

beach are linksy but then you<br />

climb into a more heathland feel.<br />

The view from the 15th tee is<br />

sensational – it’s a 360˚ of<br />

stunning scenery. It has to be<br />

one of the world’s most<br />

picturesque courses. also,<br />

Foxton is a nice parkland and<br />

The northumberland is a good<br />

heathland with linksy bunkers<br />

set inside the race course.<br />

12 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

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Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

83 Goodwood (Downs) (▼ 11)<br />

Chichester, Sussex. Par 72, 7,104 yards.<br />

Designer: James Braid.<br />

BS: Very pleasant – and a top halfway hut!<br />

IJ: downland golf at its best. a super layout on<br />

the chalk downs. Well routed, it gives options.<br />

SV: goodwood is a wonderful set up and the<br />

views from parts of the course are fantastic.<br />

GW VERDICT: didn’t find as much favour as in<br />

previous years but a Tom Mackenzie upgrade<br />

may help to regain some popularity.<br />

82 Luffenham Heath (▼ 12)<br />

Stamford, Lincolnshire. Par 72, 6,563 yards.<br />

Designer: Harry Colt.<br />

RL: Top holes are the tremendous 7th and 17th.<br />

not long so not a slog and very enjoyable.<br />

PB: Challenging heathland in superb<br />

surroundings. Hosts open qualifiers ’til 2017.<br />

GW VERDICT: Quite difcult to define, being<br />

a mix of parkland and heathland but what is<br />

certain is that it is classy and plays superbly.<br />

doesn’t get the credit it deserves.<br />

81 Tandridge (▼ 4)<br />

Oxted, Surrey. Par 71, 6,395 yards.<br />

Designer: Harry Colt.<br />

BS: often overlooked among its illustrious<br />

neighbours, but Tandridge is a Colt classic.<br />

ND: after a fairly flat start, the back nine<br />

covers heavily undulating ground with the<br />

par-3 13th and long par-4 14th glorious.<br />

GW VERDICT: Recent improvements so could<br />

rise in future lists as the work matures and the<br />

panel become more familiar with the tweaks.<br />

80 Seascale (▼ 2)<br />

Seascale, Cumbria. Par 71, 6,495 yards.<br />

Designers: Willie Campbell/George Lowe.<br />

GV: although somewhat blighted by the<br />

nuclear power plant, it has so many standout<br />

holes and the finish from 13 is hard to beat.<br />

IM: exceptional value, superb views across the<br />

Irish Sea and the holes at the far end are great.<br />

GW VERDICT: Simple but brilliant. Sellafield in<br />

your eyeline is a negative, otherwise this would<br />

be top 60. as it is, it remains must play.<br />

78 Ashridge (▼ 15)<br />

Berkhamsted, Herts. Par 72, 6,634 yards.<br />

Designers: Hutchison/Campbell/Hotchkin.<br />

IJ: loved the par-5 2nd through a valley.<br />

ND: a delightful routing through<br />

rhododendron-clad valleys on the front nine<br />

and on ancient parkland on the back nine.<br />

PR: a real favourite of mine; I like the tranquil<br />

setting and wooded background.<br />

GW VERDICT: lovely location and is a fine<br />

parkland without pyrotechnics of those above.<br />

77 Fulford (▼ 12)<br />

York, North Yorkshire. Par 72, 6,743 yards.<br />

Designer: Charles Mackenzie.<br />

VH: a great heathland with first-class greens<br />

and some very good par 5s.<br />

MB: Historic course and top 50 for me.<br />

GW VERDICT: an enjoyable parklandheathland<br />

that becomes extremely testing in<br />

the wind. Much more than just the site of<br />

Bernhard langer’s famous tree shot to the side<br />

of the 17th green.<br />

14 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

79<br />

Royal North Devon (▼ 8)<br />

Bideford, Devon. Par 72, 6,653 yards. Designer: Old Tom Morris.<br />

BS: originally laid out by old Tom Morris, Westward Ho! is<br />

a hoot. Yes there are half a dozen ‘weaker holes’, but the<br />

overriding feeling after playing Rnd is one of fun,<br />

satisfaction and the desire to go back out and play it again!<br />

SV: Quirky and fun with some really good holes. golf in its<br />

purest form? possibly not everyone’s idea of great golf.<br />

SE: True old-fashioned golf as it was meant to be.<br />

MB: Historic and atmospheric course with some unique<br />

features. a must play.<br />

GW VERDICT: The ‘St andrews of the South’ is golf for the<br />

traditionalist and the historian. You could wander through<br />

the clubhouse for ages taking in all the memorabilia on<br />

show but that only serves to keep you from the course –<br />

which divides opinion. For some it is the epitome of how<br />

golf used to be played... and still should be played. For<br />

others it is in need of some loving care. a very flat links, it<br />

boasts vast sleepered bunkers and a fearsome hazard on<br />

the back nine of sea rushes which are a definite lost ball.<br />


“I prefer Royal North Devon to St Andrews...”<br />

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

I get the chance to play the top<br />

links on the amateur circuit, but<br />

I wouldn’t want to be a member<br />

anywhere else but Royal north<br />

devon. The 4th’s huge bunker<br />

will intimidate the club golfer –<br />

even though it is actually quite<br />

easy to clear. I always think<br />

people knock it in there just so<br />

they can have the challenge and<br />

experience of trying to get it out!<br />

The 4th starts a great linksy<br />

stretch along the beach, where<br />

you can see Saunton Sands . a<br />

great experience. I honestly<br />

prefer it to St andrews! The 7th<br />

is my favourite, it has a great<br />

view of the tee and you have<br />

the option of going left or right.<br />

lots of south-west links have<br />

blind holes, but the only Rnd<br />

holes like that are 10 and 11. even<br />

then, it is just rushes and you<br />

have an idea of where you are<br />

going. There isn’t much rough,<br />

due to the sheep, and fairways<br />

are wide, so it’s good for visitors.<br />

I’m a member at Saunton too<br />

and love it there; the east is a<br />

proper tough track, especially in<br />

the dunes of the 3rd and 4th. It<br />

is tough so ideal to warm up for<br />

a tournament whereas the West<br />

is ideal for the members. St<br />

enodoc, with a brilliant start and<br />

finish, and Trevose – probably<br />

my favourite in Cornwall – are<br />

other fine courses in the area.<br />

elsewhere, I love Formby.<br />

I like the linksy-heathland feel to<br />

it; the view from the clubhouse<br />

is sensational and you can’t wait<br />

to get out there. The stretch<br />

from the 8th to 10th is amazing.<br />

I have never played well at<br />

lytham but still love it. The<br />

bunkering is amazing; even top<br />

amateurs have to come out<br />

sideways. I actually like the fact<br />

it is in a housing estate! You can<br />

just see the golf course, and I am<br />

just into looking at the course.<br />

• Jimmy Mullen plays England’s<br />

finest courses on the elite<br />

amateur circuit and was T73 in<br />

the 2013 open.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 15

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

76 Sheringham (▼ 12)<br />

Sheringham, Norfolk. Par 70, 6,456 yards.<br />

Designer: Tom Dunn.<br />

RL: Super views as you play along the coast.<br />

PB: Undulating fairways and true fast greens –<br />

the 5th to 8th is spectacular with steam trains<br />

in abundance on the closing stretch.<br />

GW VERDICT: laid out on a narrow strip, some<br />

love Sheringham’s high-rise holes on the edge<br />

of the clifs and others those along lined by<br />

gorse or hemmed in by the railway line.<br />

75 Woodbridge ( ▲ 16 )<br />

Bromeswell Heath, Sufolk. Par 70, 6,299<br />

yards. Designers: Davie Grant/James Braid.<br />

PB: Top-class heathland layout with narrow<br />

fairways and very quick greens.<br />

PR: an excellent heathland with the only<br />

downside the crossing holes on the back nine.<br />

GW VERDICT: Uses the hilly terrain to create a<br />

notable variety of holes, there was unanimous<br />

agreement for this significant elevation up the<br />

list. expect sandy turf, slick greens and gorse.<br />

74 Blackmoor ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Bordon, Hampshire. Par 69, 6,164 yards.<br />

Designer: Harry Colt.<br />

IJ: a beautiful course between heather and<br />

pine which has some excellent holes.<br />

PB: Colt parkland requiring excellent approach<br />

shots – all your clubs are used into the greens.<br />

GW VERDICT: Harry Colt designed the original<br />

12 holes between the north and South downs,<br />

with birch and fir trees lining many sandy<br />

fairways. a very widely-touted rise.<br />

73 Coombe Hill ( ▲ 8 )<br />

Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey. Par 71,<br />

6,401 yards. Designer: JF Abercromby.<br />

JC: Stunning par 3s and similar charm to<br />

Swinley Forest.<br />

ND: This one-time favourite of Bing Crosby<br />

and Bob Hope, has a stunning collection of<br />

par 3s and beautiful floral surroundings.<br />

VH: one of Surrey’s great surprises.<br />

GW VERDICT: Beauty and conditioning make<br />

this exquisite parkland now a Top <strong>100</strong> fixture.<br />

72 Wisley (Church & Mill) ( ▲ 7 )<br />

Ripley, Sry. Par 72, 3,356/3,385/3,473<br />

yards. Designer: Robert Trent Jones.<br />

ND: This unashamedly extravagant US<br />

parkland dropped incongruently into the heart<br />

of Surrey succeeds because it is superbly<br />

executed and expertly maintained.<br />

SV: a special atmosphere and a wonderfully<br />

conditioned course, with some brilliant holes.<br />

GW VERDICT: garden loop also got a mention;<br />

a quality parkland that’s very well designed.<br />

71 Parkstone ( ▲ 18 )<br />

Poole, Dorset. Par 72, 6,241 yards.<br />

Designer: Willie Park.<br />

BS: This heathland/woodland/links hybrid<br />

draws you in as it charms you around its many<br />

great holes, its stunning pine trees and<br />

colourful rhododendrums, and occasional<br />

glimpses of the sea and nearby poole Harbour.<br />

GW VERDICT: a round here, especially in the<br />

warm and colourful summer months, is as<br />

good as golf gets. Terrific recent upgrade.<br />

70 Hindhead ( ▲ 4 )<br />

Hindhead, Surrey. Par 70, 6,356 yards.<br />

Designer: Unknown.<br />

BS: So much to get excited about Hindhead.<br />

It has a handful of world-class holes, varied<br />

topography and is in fantastic condition.<br />

PB: Best front nine in Surrey if not the South.<br />

VH: Very good heathland, superb greens.<br />

SV: I love the eclectic mix of holes. Real fun.<br />

GW VERDICT: Much-merited rise with the<br />

front nine in bracken-sided valleys a big hit.<br />

69 Blackwell ( ▲ 4 )<br />

Bromsgrove, Worcs. Par 70, 6,260 yards.<br />

Designer: Herbert Fowler/Tom Simpson.<br />

DC: a real golfers’ golf course.<br />

CB: Typical clever Fowler-Simpson design<br />

work helps make this one of england’s finest<br />

inland courses.<br />

GW VERDICT: dominated by mature<br />

woodland, it is often very underrated and we<br />

are pleased to give this quintessential parkland<br />

the status it deserves.<br />

68 Crowborough Beacon ( )<br />

Crowborough, Sussex. Par 71, 6,319 yards.<br />

Designer: Alister MacKenzie.<br />

IJ: a fairly hilly layout that is a good test with<br />

plenty of heather, bunkers and woodland.<br />

RL: Just down the road from Royal ashdown,<br />

but no poor neighbour. Bouncy fairways, long<br />

rough, and small greens that don’t ‘hold’<br />

accuracy over distance is key here.<br />

GW VERDICT: This pretty heathland ofers<br />

lovely views 30 miles down to the coast.<br />

16 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

THE SEMInal HolE<br />

THE 9TH AT<br />


By renowned architect Martin ebert.<br />

The nine-hole course at Royal<br />

Worlington & newmarket, the home of<br />

the Cambridge University golf Club, has<br />

often been hailed as the best nine-hole<br />

course in the world.<br />

Fitted onto an incredibly small<br />

acreage, in many ways it typifies all that<br />

is best about traditional golf and it takes<br />

little more than an hour to play one<br />

circuit.<br />

Its final hole is a short par 4. It is<br />

driveable by the very best players<br />

(there are stories of Ted dexter, when<br />

he was the Captain of Cambridge,<br />

pitching it into the car park beyond the<br />

green!) but, remarkably, the hole plays<br />

across a public road – albeit a quiet<br />

country lane.<br />

The front of the green lies around 20<br />

yards beyond the tarmac.<br />

That adds to the danger, although<br />

the out of bounds running diagonally<br />

across the line of play to the right of the<br />

hole and beyond the green is more<br />

threatening.<br />

For ordinary mortals, the bravery of<br />

the drive will dictate the difculty level<br />

of the second shot. The tighter to the<br />

out of bounds on the right – which is<br />

aligned along a small stream – the tee<br />

shot ends up, the easier the pitch from<br />

short of the road will be.<br />

The nature of the green, with a steep<br />

bank along its left hand side, means<br />

that any drive pulled safely left but into<br />

the rough will leave a devilishly<br />

troublesome second with virtually no<br />

hope of getting close to the flag when it<br />

is on the left side of the green.<br />

This wonderful short par-4 hole<br />

provides a great definition of ‘risk and<br />

reward’ for all standards of golfer.<br />

■ Martin’s firm Mackenzie & Ebert are<br />

the preferred architects of the R&A<br />

and he is currently advising Royal<br />

Troon ahead of next year’s Open, as<br />

well as working on Turnberry’s Ailsa.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 17

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

67<br />

The Centurion Club NEW ENTRY<br />

Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Par 72, 7,195 yards. Designer: Simon Gidman<br />

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

proximity to the M1 might be a small drawback, as a course it should make the Top <strong>100</strong>.<br />

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

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

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

look and play so beautifully already suggests it has been money well spent. every<br />

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

be interesting to see how high The Centurion rises.<br />


Why The Centurion has a stamp of Tour class<br />

Raymond Russell and oliver Fisher on the instant quality of our highest new entry.<br />

“I have been impressed with the<br />

mature look and conditioning,<br />

especially the greens which I<br />

would rank year round among<br />

the best in the UK,” says Tour<br />

player Raymond Russell. “It<br />

reminds me of the new at el prat<br />

near Barcelona in Spain.<br />

“I love the 6th, which is a very<br />

good hole visually with the<br />

elevated tee giving you a great<br />

view of a very strong par 4.<br />

There is a generous fairway but<br />

the left half of it opens up the<br />

large green for a difcult second<br />

with bunkers short and left.<br />

“The 17th is another I rate, a<br />

lovely short par 3 with lots of<br />

danger; water at the back and<br />

bunkers short with a slopey<br />

green so accuracy a premium.<br />

“The Centurion is a second<br />

shot course as there are lots of<br />

subtle slopes on and around the<br />

greens and also run-of areas<br />

which make chipping it close<br />

difcult – so accuracy is key.”<br />

“It’s a club I’d been hearing<br />

about for a while and for a new<br />

course it has a maturity far<br />

beyond its years,” adds Oliver<br />

Fisher. “I always look forward to<br />

spending my time at the club.<br />

It’s clear the green staf take a<br />

lot of pride in their course. It’s<br />

immaculate. even when I’ve just<br />

played some of the best courses<br />

on Tour in Turkey or dubai,<br />

Centurion matches up as good<br />

a test as does the condition.”<br />

• Raymond Russell and Oliver<br />

Fisher play on the european<br />

Tour and are ambassadors for<br />

the Centurion Club.<br />

18 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015


My English<br />

favourites<br />

by peter alliss<br />

It was Henry<br />

longhurst who<br />

first said golf<br />

does take us<br />

to so many<br />

beautiful places;<br />

bearing that in mind it’s hard to<br />

pick out just a few but these<br />

have particular memories for<br />

me. Ferndown, north of<br />

Bournemouth, was where my<br />

father was a professional for<br />

many years and I learnt my<br />

trade. It has heather, pine,<br />

silver birch, plenty of gorse, my<br />

favourite terrain.<br />

Royal Birkdale is one of my<br />

favourite championship<br />

courses; majestic sand dunes,<br />

a fascinating course ever<br />

changing direction, an inviting<br />

clubhouse with friendly<br />

members. In 1954 I had a<br />

chance to win the open there...<br />

My father was invited to be<br />

the pro at Sunningdale after<br />

World War II but was settled at<br />

Ferndown. It’s delightful, elitist<br />

and has excellent catering<br />

facilities. It’s best to book a taxi<br />

home after a splendid lunch.<br />

Finally, old Thorns. Since I<br />

was involved with the creation<br />

of golf there, I have been<br />

amazed at its development<br />

from a private membership,<br />

instigated by Ken Wood, the<br />

electrical genius, to the<br />

magical creation we see today,<br />

one of the best overall facilities<br />

in Britain. The course although<br />

in a small area, is exciting,<br />

interesting and a challenge for<br />

all levels of golfers. I am very<br />

proud to have been associated<br />

with its growth. You should go<br />

and see for yourself.<br />

• Peter Alliss was a Ryder Cup<br />

player, is regarded as the<br />

‘Voice of golf’ and is also a<br />

respected course designer.<br />

Ferndown.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 19

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

66 Bearwood Lakes ( ▲ 10)<br />

Reading, Berkshire. Par 72, 6,850 yards.<br />

Designer: Martin Hawtree.<br />

ND: designed with intelligence to make the<br />

most of the attractive lakes and woodland.<br />

SV: I must declare an interest as a member, but<br />

I do think it is one of the most relaxed and<br />

beautiful places. no two holes are the same.<br />

GW VERDICT: Scenic, strategic and popular.<br />

65 Isle of Purbeck ( ▲ 4 )<br />

Swanage, Dorset. Par 70, 6,295 yards.<br />

Designer: Harry Colt.<br />

SE: Some lovely scenery on a course which I<br />

look forward to playing over and over again.<br />

IJ: Visually appealing, and the 5th wouldn’t be<br />

out of place in a World Top 18 holes.<br />

GW VERDICT: Some holes are simple, some<br />

quirky – but you’ll walk of with a smile.<br />

64 Hayling Island ( ▲ 2 )<br />

Hayling Island, Hampshire. Par 71, 6,531<br />

yards. Designer: Tom Simpson.<br />

BS: Fantastic combination of challenging holes<br />

and some typically quirky and fun links holes.<br />

VH: Very good links, especially the back nine.<br />

PB: generous fairways but exacting greens.<br />

GW VERDICT: Magnificent links among sand<br />

dunes, heather, gorse, and deep bunkers.<br />

63<br />

Perranporth (▼ 1)<br />

Perranporth, Cornwall. Par 72, 6,296 yards. Designer: James Braid.<br />

BS: The highest links in europe, as you might expect,<br />

delivers breathtaking beach and ocean vistas. The<br />

course moves up and down and around the hugely<br />

undulating terrain. If you can accept you’ll get some<br />

‘unlucky’ bounces and also be faced with some very<br />

strange shots, then you’ll love perranporth.<br />

IM: a series of delightfully quirky holes make for a<br />

memorable day. The view from atop the massive sand<br />

dune on which the course is built is simply magnificent.<br />

PB: Quirky links with lots of blind drives and hilly terrain.<br />

GW VERDICT: We love it here – don’t come to the<br />

south west and miss it.<br />


I play the Cornish Festival every<br />

april at St enodoc, Trevose and<br />

newquay. They are great<br />

courses… weather permitting!<br />

apart from the two holes up<br />

the hill at St enodoc, it is<br />

My links for a lifetime<br />

By Ryder Cup player paul Broadhurst.<br />

sensational. newquay is a fun<br />

holiday course where the views<br />

are amazing. But if I had to<br />

choose one course for the rest<br />

of my life, I’d go for perranporth.<br />

You either hate or love. I love it.<br />

There are a lot of blind shots,<br />

it’s very natural and unspoilt. I<br />

play it a lot and it never plays the<br />

same on two days. I would never<br />

get fed up there. Some pros<br />

don’t, but I love quirky tracks.<br />

My coach is based at<br />

northants County, a lovely mix<br />

of parkland and woodland holes.<br />

• Tour stalwart Paul Broadhurst<br />

was a Ryder Cup player in 1991.<br />

www.TotalMotion.co.uk<br />

20 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

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Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

62<br />

Delamere Forest (▼ 2)<br />

Northwich, Cheshire. Par 72, 6,348 yards. Designer: Herbert Fowler.<br />

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

It’s got four very short par 5s but you nearly always<br />

come of having enjoyed your game rather than having<br />

been beaten up. I am interested to see how the changes<br />

that have been made recently to the par-5 11th and in<br />

particular par-5 18th settle in.<br />

RL: a great-looking course; look out of the clubhouse<br />

window and you think ‘wow’. The 9th is especially<br />

stunning; hit a rescue to a plateau fairway then a short<br />

iron to an uphill green with the clubhouse to the right.<br />

GW VERDICT: laid out by heathland expert Herbert<br />

Fowler and revised by Tom Mackenzie in the last 18<br />

months, our decision to elevate delamere just outside<br />

the top 50 in 2011 now looks well judged.<br />


It’s a heathland with extensive<br />

views over open terrain with a<br />

lovely scale to it. It’s not long by<br />

modern standards but it doesn’t<br />

need to be. We feel it is now<br />

well-bunkered.<br />

I’d heard of it as it is an<br />

original Herbert Fowler and<br />

once I got there it was an<br />

enlightening experience. It is<br />

one of those places you arrive at<br />

and immediately like. anyone<br />

who loves traditional courses<br />

The architect’s view<br />

Tom Mackenzie on his work at delamere.<br />

and clubs will love it. If I lived up<br />

there, I’d join if they’d have me.<br />

We first went in January 2013<br />

and the work is complete.<br />

Initially the brief was to add a<br />

bit of length but agreed with the<br />

club there was a bit more we<br />

could do. So there has been<br />

work on bunkering – both<br />

reshuffling as well as restyling –<br />

because they had been edged<br />

out of shape down the years.<br />

We looked at the old<br />

photographs we had and<br />

returned them to the style<br />

Fowler intended, with softer<br />

edges, as well as re-sited some.<br />

The aesthetics have changed<br />

but so has the challenge; six new<br />

back tees have gone in and<br />

moving bunkers such as on the<br />

7th has stifened it. They had<br />

started to take some trees out<br />

and we continued that process<br />

to encourage the heather, so the<br />

onus is on heather, pines, sandy<br />

turf and open space.<br />

delamere is on a par with<br />

most inland courses in england.<br />

• Tom Mackenzie is one of the<br />

UK’s most respected architects<br />

and vice-president of the eIgCa.<br />

22 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

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Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

61<br />

Ipswich (Purdis Heath) ( ▲ 6 )<br />

Purdis Heath, Sufolk. Par 71, 6,439 yards.Designer: James Braid.<br />

IJ: If moved to the Surrey/Hampshire heathlands it<br />

would be more widely known.<br />

RL: I have played this course over 20 times; the 1st is<br />

relatively weak but after that the fun begins. It is a gB&I<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> course in my view – a better course than<br />

Wentworth West.<br />

ND: as good as many of the more vaunted Surrey<br />

heathlands.<br />

PR: a fine course. The bunkers have been upgraded<br />

and will mean purdis should go higher.<br />

GW VERDICT: a joy to play, aesthetically pleasing, with<br />

heather and pine in abundance. It benefits from some<br />

delightfully unusual holes with greens where you would<br />

not expect to find them. Bunker work and tree removal<br />

in line with the original design have categorically<br />

improved it – hence this significant rise.<br />

60 St Annes Old Links (▼ 1)<br />

Lytham St Annes, Lancs. Par 72, 6,941 yards.<br />

Designers: George Lowe/Sandy Herd.<br />

IM: a delight. The par-3 9th is a stunning 174-<br />

yard hole in front of the red brick clubhouse.<br />

RL: I enjoyed it more than Royal lytham! With<br />

the Blackpool tower in the skyline it has a<br />

magic to it. not one bad hole.<br />

GW VERDICT: More than just a famous 9th<br />

green (of which Bobby Jones made measure).<br />

Traditional links that is consistently good.<br />

59 Prince’s (Shore & Dunes) (▼ 4)<br />

Sandwich, Kent. Par 72, 3,638/3,637 yards.<br />

Designer: Charles Hutchings.<br />

BS: Impressed with how this course and its<br />

facilities have developed in recent years.<br />

IJ: Superb course that is a brute at times, with<br />

narrow fairways bordered by fearsome rough.<br />

ND: True links in a breeze and hard fairways.<br />

GW VERDICT: Changes by european golf<br />

design and a new greenkeeper have improved<br />

the course to keep it on the brink of the top 50.<br />

58 Littlestone ( ▲ 2 )<br />

Littlestone-on-Sea, Kent. Par 71, 6,676<br />

yards. Designer: William Purves.<br />

BS: possess plenty of really good holes.<br />

IJ: a cracking course with a stunning par-3<br />

17th. The greens have year-round quality.<br />

VH: a very good links albeit fairly flat.<br />

RL: The best ‘hidden gem’ I have ever found.<br />

probably the best greens I’ve ever putted on.<br />

GW VERDICT: Terrific start and finish and<br />

plenty of good fare in between. Wonderful.<br />

24 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015






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Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

57 Beau Desert ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Hazel Slade, Stafs. Par 71, 6,300 yards.<br />

Designer: Herbert Fowler.<br />

DC: Isolated but superb to play.<br />

JC: good course with huge fast greens.<br />

PB: Quality heathland with lots of memorable<br />

holes.<br />

GW VERDICT: Your heart rises as you drive<br />

into the ‘Beautiful Wilderness’, knowing you<br />

are in for a genuinely-good heathland treat.<br />

a gB&I Top <strong>100</strong> contender.<br />

56 Seacroft ( ▲ 1)<br />

Skegness, Lincolnshire. Par 72, 6,492 yards.<br />

Designer: Willie Fernie.<br />

DC: an absolute gem with many hugely<br />

entertaining holes.<br />

RL: nine out, nine back classic links. always<br />

windy so you will get nine holes of tough golf.<br />

GW VERDICT: The long journey is rewarded<br />

by a links with no towering dunes but just well<br />

routed holes through subtle rolling dunes and<br />

gorse and scrubland. Well worth the fuel.<br />

55 Seaton Carew ( ▲ 1)<br />

Hartlepool, Durham. Par 71, 6,603 yards.<br />

Designer: Alister MacKenzie.<br />

IJ: great links with an industrial background.<br />

out and back nature means you have an easy<br />

and brutal nine, but an always enjoyable 18.<br />

IM: a fine links with 22 holes that can be set up<br />

as the ‘old’ or the ‘Brabazon’. The former is<br />

more out and in, and the more enjoyable.<br />

GW VERDICT: not especially scenic links but<br />

miss it of your wish list at your folly.<br />

54 Lindrick ( ▲ 1)<br />

Worksop, Notts. Par 71, 6,606 yards.<br />

Designer: Tom Dunn.<br />

IM: an enjoyable course always kept in good<br />

condition. a top notch course.<br />

VH: over <strong>100</strong> years old and the first-class turf<br />

reflects this.<br />

GW VERDICT: Recent changes have tightened<br />

up the 1957 Ryder Cup venue and it is unlikely<br />

to fall much lower. Yet still does not charm as<br />

some other top-class heathlands do.<br />

52 Wallasey (▼ 1)<br />

Wallasey, Wirral. Par 72, 6,572 yards.<br />

Designer: Old Tom Morris.<br />

BS: Has some stunning views and a handful of<br />

excellent holes.<br />

RL: Stand on the 1st tee and you know you are<br />

in for a lot of fun. For me, more enjoyable than<br />

nearby Hoylake.<br />

GW VERDICT: an enjoyable and historic links<br />

with some serious dunes and great views out<br />

into the Irish Sea.<br />

51 Liphook ( ▲ 1)<br />

Liphook, Hampshire. Par 70, 6,295 yards.<br />

Designer: Arthur Croome.<br />

BS: a delight to play. great variety of holes<br />

and plenty of architectural interest.<br />

SV: always a great experience and pleasure.<br />

a really pretty location and an eclectic mix of<br />

holes that keep you constantly interested.<br />

GW VERDICT: Tom Simpson reputedly rated<br />

this undulating heathland of heather, pine and<br />

gorse as the best inland course in the UK.<br />

26 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

53<br />

St Mellion (Nicklaus) ( )<br />

Saltash, Cornwall. Par 72, 7,019 yards. Designer: Jack Nicklaus.<br />

ND: Spectacular routing through plunging valleys where the<br />

slightest miscue can lead to complete disaster.<br />

SV: If you like challenging golf courses this is one to play.<br />

Haven’t played it for years but can still remember some of<br />

the holes vividly and loving the experience.<br />

VH: an american-style feel and Jack nicklaus has designed<br />

a really good course which can be a real test.<br />

SE: a great test, with many long and challenging holes.<br />

Straight shots of the tee are essential. The resort is good.<br />

GW VERDICT: one of the toughest tracks, one of the best<br />

inland courses and one of the finest all-round venues in the<br />

country. a star of the British inland golf scene.<br />


Why it’s special to me<br />

By Jack nicklaus.<br />

St Mellion was my first course in<br />

england and will always be very<br />

special to me. It holds a special<br />

place in my heart. I am proud of<br />

the exceptional experience we<br />

created and hope golfers will<br />

continue to enjoy it for<br />

generations to come.<br />

It is a breathtakingly beautiful<br />

course that belongs with the<br />

best. I don’t think there is<br />

another course like it in the UK.<br />

I twice – maybe three times –<br />

turned down the Bond brothers,<br />

Herman and Martin, when they<br />

asked me to design the course<br />

because of the challenge of the<br />

property – on the sides of a hill.<br />

eventually, I said, ‘ok, but we will<br />

have to design the course into<br />

the side of the mountain’. In the<br />

end each individual hole is<br />

pretty darn good. They might<br />

be in a unique location, but it<br />

turned out to be really good<br />

from a playability standpoint.<br />

I have always been very<br />

proud of taking the site given to<br />

us and turning it into something<br />

that has hosted professional<br />

events. I think the golf course,<br />

hole for hole, turned out to be<br />

very good.<br />

I believe St Mellion, as a test<br />

of golf, as a design, and looking<br />

at each individual hole and its<br />

beauty would rank very high in<br />

the courses I have done.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 27

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

44 West Hill ( ▲ 5 )<br />

Brockwood, Surrey. Cuthbart Butchart/Willie Park.<br />

GW VERDICT: a testing heathland course that is not over<br />

manicured. It retains its rough edges that make it more<br />

testing and appealing to the eye.<br />

50 The Belfry (Brabazon) (▼ 3)<br />

Wishaw, Warwickshire. Alliss/Thomas.<br />

GW VERDICT: once little more than a seeded<br />

field with sapling trees, it has now matured<br />

into a lush parkland, with famous holes like the<br />

10th and 18th augmenting its status as an<br />

iconic four-time Ryder Cup venue.<br />

49 Woburn (Duchess) ( ▲ 31 )<br />

Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire. Charles<br />

Lawrie.<br />

GW VERDICT: The prettiest of Woburn’s trio is<br />

back in our gB&I Top <strong>100</strong>, a situation reflected<br />

in this high rise up the england list. a<br />

delightfully subtle course among towering fir<br />

trees; skill and finesse are essential and overt<br />

brute force is a hindrance. Fully worthy of this<br />

top-50 position.<br />

48 The Grove (▼ 2)<br />

Chandler’s Cross, Herts. Kyle Phillips.<br />

GW VERDICT: More strategic and less penal<br />

than most modern parklands, with wide<br />

fairways and ‘trouble’ centred on and around<br />

the cleverly-designed greens. an<br />

unremarkable site was worked beautifully by<br />

Kyle phillips.<br />

47 Sherwood Forest (▼ 3)<br />

Mansfield, Notts. Harry Colt/James Braid.<br />

GW VERDICT: a tough heathland with a string<br />

of 400+ yard par 4s on the back nine.<br />

Underrated by many – but not us.<br />

46 Broadstone (▼ 3)<br />

Broadstone, Dorset. Dunn/Colt/Pont.<br />

GW VERDICT: Frank pont’s revision has<br />

ensured this remains one of england’s top<br />

heathlands and an essential in any dorset trip.<br />

45 West Lancs (▼ 6)<br />

Blundellsands, Lancs.<br />

Ken Cotton/Fred Hawtree.<br />

GW VERDICT: Ferocious rough, deep bunkers,<br />

strong cross winds and tees that can extend<br />

this exposed links to over 7,000 yards.<br />

43 New Zealand ( ▲ 1 )<br />

West Byfleet, Surrey. Samuel Fergusson/<br />

Tom Simpson.<br />

GW VERDICT: less than 6,000 yards it might<br />

be, yet finding the pins requires forensic<br />

placement from the tee and becomes<br />

impossible from the thick heather.<br />

42 Royal Ashdown Forest ( )<br />

Forest Row, E Sussex. Unknown.<br />

GW VERDICT: It may not have any bunkers,<br />

but bracken, streams and dog-legs provide<br />

hazards aplenty to catch the golfer already<br />

distracted by the glorious views.<br />

41 Little Aston (▼ 6)<br />

Sutton Coldfield, Stafs. Harry Vardon.<br />

GW VERDICT: like a well-mannered guest,<br />

this perfectly-manicured parkland does<br />

everything to impress. arguably the finest<br />

parkland course in the UK.<br />

40 Burnham & Berrow (▼ 4)<br />

Burnham on Sea, Som. Taylor, Gibson.<br />

GW VERDICT: Brilliant links may be of the<br />

beaten track, but should be on everyone’s<br />

‘must-play’ list, for its unusual and exciting<br />

holes, such as the long par-3 17th.<br />

39 Woburn (Duke’s) (▼ 5)<br />

Woburn, Beds. Charles Lawrie.<br />

GW VERDICT: Towering pines and deep<br />

valleys are superbly used to create a variety<br />

of challenges, especially early on.<br />

30 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

10 PLAY & STAY IDEAS<br />

Use one of these Top <strong>100</strong> venues dotted around england as your base for a terrific trip.<br />

1 THE BElFRY<br />

Where: South-east outskirts of<br />

Birmingham.<br />

Play: The iconic host of four<br />

Ryder Cups, backed up by the<br />

exacting pga national and the<br />

charming derby.<br />

Stay: The on-site hotel has been<br />

upgraded to the tune of £20m+.<br />

The trip: Heathlands Beau<br />

desert and Whittington Heath<br />

to the north and parklands<br />

Blackwell and Forest of arden.<br />

2 ST MEllIon<br />

Where: Saltash in Cornwall.<br />

Play: either the Jack nicklaus<br />

championship course or the<br />

revamped Kernow.<br />

Stay: a swish hotel with an array<br />

of leisure and dining options.<br />

The trip: St enodoc and Trevose<br />

on the north Cornish coast – or<br />

south to cliftop hero Mullion.<br />

3 SToKE paRK<br />

Where: near Slough, and the<br />

M25, M40 and M4.<br />

Play: an open parkland with a<br />

classic par-3 hole, the 7th.<br />

Stay: The hotel, the set for films<br />

such as goldfinger, is one of the<br />

finest in england of any nature.<br />

The trip: Head south to the<br />

Surrey and Berkshire heathland<br />

glitterrati or north to The grove.<br />

4 CloSE HoUSE<br />

Where: near newcastle in<br />

northumberland.<br />

Play: The new entry to our Top<br />

<strong>100</strong>, by lee Westwood, as well<br />

as its sister course the Filly.<br />

Stay: Brand-new opulent but<br />

cosy courtyard rooms.<br />

The trip: Terrific options on the<br />

coast at goswick (north) and<br />

Seaton Carew (south).<br />

5 THoRpEnESS<br />

Where: aldeburgh, Sufolk.<br />

Play: a James Braid coastal<br />

heathland among heather,<br />

gorse, pine and silver birch; very<br />

close to the main Top <strong>100</strong> list.<br />

Stay: a smart 36-bedroom<br />

hotel overlooking the course.<br />

The trip: aldeburgh and inland<br />

to Woodbridge and Ipswich.<br />

6 pRInCE’S<br />

Where: Sandwich, Kent.<br />

Play: The three loops of nine<br />

that make up this polished links<br />

course, host of the open.<br />

Stay: Splendid apartments right<br />

on the edge of the course, with<br />

views of prince’s as well as<br />

neighbouring Royal St george’s.<br />

The trip: easy and delightful –<br />

play all three loops here then<br />

head of to Sandwich and Royal<br />

Cinque ports.<br />

7 old THoRnS<br />

Where: of the a3 north of<br />

petersfield.<br />

Play: a terrific parklandheathland<br />

in mature woodland<br />

whose elevation changes give it<br />

some super views.<br />

Stay: a super hotel or twobedroom<br />

apartments next door,<br />

it is one of the most appealing<br />

golf complexes in england.<br />

The trip: Superbly positioned to<br />

play nearby liphook as well as<br />

the rest of the Hampshire<br />

classics – right down to Hayling<br />

on the coast.<br />

8 doRSET g&CC<br />

Where: Wareham, nr poole<br />

Play: one of the most improved<br />

courses in england, with three<br />

very even loops of nine that are<br />

ideal for a golf trip.<br />

Stay: Choose from the cottages,<br />

the hotel or the log cabins –<br />

again, ideal for a trip.<br />

The trip: as the name suggests,<br />

perfect for a break playing the<br />

many superb courses of dorset<br />

– arguably england’s most<br />

underrated county.<br />

9 HEYTHRop paRK<br />

Where: Chipping norton,<br />

oxfordshire<br />

Play: a course of next <strong>100</strong><br />

quality with greens noted for<br />

their year-round quality.<br />

Stay: a beautiful hotel and<br />

sparkling spa.<br />

The trip: enjoy the three at<br />

Frilford Heath, plus Tadmarton<br />

Heath and The oxfordshire.<br />

10 THE gRoVE<br />

Where: Rickmansworth near<br />

Watford.<br />

Play: a Kyle phillips-design in<br />

mature countryside.<br />

Stay: Chic hotel that is a base<br />

for england’s football team:<br />

The trip: Move round the M25<br />

to ashridge, Brocket Hall,<br />

Berhamsted, and Centurion.<br />

The course attraction at The grove<br />

is another triumph for Kyle phillips.



Southampton’s Hidden Gem<br />

Established in 1908 and designed<br />

by Willie Park Junior, two time<br />

Open Champion and designer of<br />

Sunningdale Old.<br />

A wonderful course in the undulating<br />

heath and parkland.<br />

Significant investment over the last year<br />

and ongoing is seeing the course<br />

return to its former glory making it<br />

an exciting time to visit.<br />

www.stonehamgolfclub.org.uk<br />

023 8076 9272<br />

Come and join us in celebraƟng 125 years of golf at<br />

Berkhamsted Golf Club by playing in our<br />


between 7th & 11th September 2015.<br />

The FesƟval features:<br />

Seniors’, Ladies’, Men’s, & Mid-Am CompeƟƟons,<br />

as well as a Pro-Am.<br />

To get your brochure and entry form just contact<br />

steve@berkhamstedgc.co.uk or call us at 01442 865832<br />

and “Experience Berkhamsted” with us.<br />

Burnham and Berrow Golf Club<br />

Celebrating<br />

125 Years<br />

Host to 2015<br />

England v Spain Match 9-10 May<br />

&<br />

2015 PGA Professional<br />

Championship 2-5 June<br />

Burnham and Berrow Golf Club<br />

warmly welcomes golfers to<br />

come and enjoy this fantastic<br />

Championship Links Course<br />

www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk<br />

Tel. 01278 785760

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

38 Walton Heath (New) (▼ 5)<br />

Tadworth, Surrey. Herbert Fowler.<br />

GW VERDICT: a heather-framed heathland<br />

with bags of class.<br />

37 Aldeburgh (▼ 5)<br />

Aldeburgh, Sufolk. Fernie & Thompson.<br />

GW VERDICT: a quality heathland with a<br />

number of excellent holes defined by dense<br />

gorse neighbouring the fairways.<br />

36 Wentworth (East) (▼ 5)<br />

Virginia Water, Surrey. Harry Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Very good heathland course<br />

that’s more fun than the West. Unusual and<br />

attractive mix of par 4s.<br />

35 Southport & Ainsdale ( ▲ 13 )<br />

Southport, Merseyside. James Braid.<br />

GW VERDICT: Boasts a fine collection of links<br />

holes further enhanced by surroundings of tall<br />

whispering pines, abundant gorse and the<br />

occasional passing train.<br />

34 Remedy Oak (▼ 6)<br />

Ringwood, Dorset. John Jacobs.<br />

GW VERDICT: Has a maturity beyond its<br />

young age. a pretty course with four or five<br />

fantastic holes such as the 2nd, 9th and 18th.<br />

33 Moortown ( ▲ 12 )<br />

Leeds, Yorks. Alister MacKenzie.<br />

GW VERDICT: Ken Moodie’s changes have<br />

ensured this is now a fixture in the gB&I <strong>100</strong>;<br />

more light, more heather and more expansive<br />

heathland views make it a terrific experience.<br />

32 Worplesdon (▼ 6)<br />

Woking, Surrey. Abercromby & Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Quality heathland where you<br />

cross a busy a-road mid-round to find the<br />

reward of four holes on the far side that are<br />

probably the most rugged and attractive.<br />

30 The Addington (▼ 1)<br />

Croydon, Surrey. JF Abercromby.<br />

GW VERDICT: a real pleasure to play for all<br />

handicaps. Some magical holes including an<br />

all-star collection of par 5s. Boasts some of<br />

the most unusual holes around – which we<br />

absolutely mean as a compliment.<br />

29 Ferndown (Old) (▼ 1)<br />

Ferndown, Dorset. Harold Hilton.<br />

GW VERDICT: Inland golf at its aesthetic best.<br />

achingly beautiful heathland.<br />

28 Woking ( ▲ 9 )<br />

Woking, Surrey. Tom Dunn.<br />

GW VERDICT: The highest ranked of the<br />

‘Three Ws’, with recent tweaks to enhance<br />

what was an already outstanding heathland.<br />

Impossible not to enjoy it here.<br />

27 Hunstanton (▼ 1)<br />

Hunstanton, Norfolk. Willie Fernie.<br />

GW VERDICT: an excellent and challenging<br />

links that has been improved by Martin<br />

Hawtree by rebunkering while greens have<br />

gone from good to excellent. a proper<br />

championship test in breezy conditions.<br />

31 Woburn (Marquess) (▼ 1)<br />

Woburn, Beds. Alliss, Clark, McMurray, Hay.<br />

GW VERDICT: The longest and most open of<br />

Woburn’s courses, with a bold design. liberal<br />

use of bunkers and water hazards.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 33

<strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> ENGLAND 2015<br />


Tony Jacklin, who lifted the Claret Jug in 1969, helps select a composite course<br />


Par 4, 442 yards<br />

Extremely undulating fairway<br />

that sets the tone for a round at<br />

Sandwich. This hole, more than<br />

any other on the Open rota,<br />

really takes you out away from<br />

the clubhouse and other<br />

distractions, into your journey.<br />

Honourable mentions: Hoylake<br />

(Open routing), Birkdale<br />


Par 4, 418 yards<br />

Another strong par 4 which<br />

narrows to an amphitheatre of<br />

a green nestled in the dunes.<br />

Honourable mentions: St<br />

George’s, Birkdale, Lytham<br />


Par 4, 477 yards<br />

A classic Lytham hole. Incredible<br />

bunkering, strategy all the way<br />

up. And a fantastic green<br />

complex.<br />

Honourable mentions: Hoylake,<br />

Royal Cinque Ports<br />


Par 3, 151 yards<br />

Sumptuous, short par 3, played<br />

from an elevated tee. Steep runofs<br />

on both sides and an angled<br />

green make for a fun hole.<br />

Honourable mentions: Lytham,<br />

St George’s<br />

5 PRINCE’S (SHORE)<br />

Par 4, 418 yards<br />

A heavily-tilted green on the<br />

boundary with Royal St George’s<br />

which needs to be hit in<br />

regulation to avoid a tricky chip.<br />

Played as 18th in the Open so we<br />

have cheated a bit...<br />

Honourable mention: Hoylake<br />


Par 3, 176 yards<br />

Deep bunkers stand sentinel at<br />

each side of this rectangular<br />

green which lies in the shadow<br />

of the imposing Maiden dune.<br />

Stunning visually, excellently<br />

bunkered with an interesting,<br />

well-contoured green.<br />

Honourable mention: Hoylake<br />

7 HOYLAKE<br />

Par 4, 480 yards<br />

One of the hardest holes at last<br />

year’s Open requiring both<br />

length and accuracy. Tough par<br />

4 that played as the 7th at the<br />

Open (so we’ve sneaked it in<br />

here). Demanding drive and a<br />

semi-blind approach.<br />

Honourable mention: Cinque<br />

Ports<br />


Par 4, 457 yards<br />

A deceptively tricky dog-leg<br />

right with a two-tier green<br />

tucked in a dell. It’s a tough drive<br />

as fairway slightly unsighted<br />

from tee. The semi-blind<br />

approach is to a green tucked<br />

back in a mini horseshoe dune.<br />

Well-placed pot bunkers cut into<br />

the ridge surrounding the green.<br />

Honourable mention: Lytham<br />


Par 3, 165 yards<br />

Incredible bunkering protects<br />

the tricky raised green. The<br />

teeing ground is raised up high<br />

and overlooks the nearby train<br />

station and surrounding houses,<br />

creating some extra drama and<br />

majesty about the hole.<br />

Precision is needed on this wellbunkered<br />

hole.<br />

Honourable mention: Hoylake<br />


Par 4, 408 yards<br />

A tight left-hand dog-leg with a<br />

green surrounded by thick rough<br />

mean this hole often causes<br />

more trouble than its length<br />

suggests it should. That dog-leg


from holes used in Open Championships staged in England.<br />

is almost 90˚ and uphill. There is<br />

excellent fairway bunkering and<br />

a well-sited green.<br />

Honourable mention: St<br />

George’s<br />


Par 5, 598 yards<br />

A par 5 with a tight drive and<br />

well protected green which<br />

caused much grief to Graeme<br />

McDowell at the last Open. The<br />

rippling fairway is protected by<br />

good fairway bunkering.<br />

Honourable mention: St<br />

George’s<br />


Par 3, 181 yards<br />

Arguably the finest par 3 in the<br />

UK, with its green lying between<br />

two sandhills and four bunkers<br />

sited asymmetrically to make<br />

lining up a tee shot difcult. A<br />

fantastic test of golf.<br />

Honourable mention: Lytham<br />

13 HOYLAKE<br />

Par 3, 194 yards<br />

The 11th in normal routing is<br />

played as the 13th at the Open,<br />

a medium-length par 3 to an<br />

angled green making judging<br />

the length of an approach<br />

difcult. From the left-hand tee<br />

has a Redan feel to it. The green<br />

is angled 30˚ to the left –<br />

pointing out to the nearby<br />

estuary. A tough hole, that also<br />

happens to be arguably the<br />

most picturesque of any of the<br />

holes on the English Open rota.<br />

Honourable mention: Birkdale<br />


Par 5, 545 yards<br />

Usually a pivotal hole on Sunday<br />

with out of bounds all along the<br />

right, as Dustin Johnson found<br />

to his cost in 2011. A burn and<br />

out of bounds are the stress<br />

factors from the tee. If you can<br />

get close enough to the burn<br />

without going in, you get to go<br />

for the tricky raised green whose<br />

right edge literally touches the<br />

out of bounds.<br />

Honourable mention: Birkdale<br />


Par 4, 493 yards<br />

A narrow fairway and small<br />

green make this a brute of a par<br />

4, which boasts exacting and<br />

well placed fairway bunkers. The<br />

approach is protected by cross<br />

bunkers 50 yards short of the<br />

green. The green itself is raised<br />

and angled slightly, with wicked<br />

contours to boot... as well as<br />

deep rough left and behind.<br />

Honourable mentions: Birkdale,<br />

Prince’s (Shore)<br />


Par 3, 165 yards<br />

The scene of Thomas Bjorn’s<br />

downfall in The Open and my<br />

hole in one – the first on<br />

television in the UK – in the 1967<br />

Dunlop Masters.<br />

Honourable mentions: Cinque<br />

Ports, Lytham<br />


Par 4, 467 yards<br />

As tough as the Road Hole at St<br />

Andrews, it was the scene of one<br />

of the greatest shots in Open<br />

history, Bobby Jones’ mashie<br />

from a sandy area into the<br />

middle of the green.<br />

Honourable mentions: Hoylake,<br />

St George’s, Birkdale<br />


Par 4, 410 yards<br />

As good a finishing hole as there<br />

is in golf. Exacting, demanding<br />

and theatrical. Cleverly bunkered<br />

hole, both around the green and<br />

the fairway. A grand finish, even<br />

without the Championship<br />

grandstands in place.<br />

Honourable mention: Birkdale<br />

Drama, beauty<br />

and challenge:<br />

The 18th at<br />

Royal Lytham.

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

26 Notts/Hollinwell (▼ 1)<br />

Kirkby in Ashfield, Notts. Willie Park.<br />

GW VERDICT: Some on the panel feel notts,<br />

along with Swinley Forest, are the most<br />

underrated courses on this list. Better than<br />

much higher-ranked ganton for some.<br />

25 Berkshire Blue (▼ 2)<br />

Ascot, Berkshire. Herbert Fowler.<br />

GW VERDICT: Beautiful layout and a more<br />

conventional mix of holes than the six-of-each<br />

Red. Solid heathland fare.<br />

24 Rye (▼ 2)<br />

Rye, Sussex. Harry Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Few courses have more<br />

strategic interest than this stunning fastrunning<br />

links. Some fabulous green complexes<br />

and terrific links topography.<br />

23 Royal West Norfolk (▼ 1)<br />

Brancaster, Norfolk. Holcombe Ingleby.<br />

GW VERDICT: a tremendous experience, from<br />

the tides to the clubhouse and the labradors to<br />

the views. a golfing relic that you need to play<br />

a few times to fully appreciate.<br />

21 Swinley Forest ( )<br />

Ascot, Berkshire. Harry Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Swinley Forest is one of the<br />

most enchanting settings you will ever find.<br />

The most tranquil and exclusive of heathlands.<br />

20 Royal Cinque Ports (▼ 2)<br />

Deal, Kent. James Braid.<br />

GW VERDICT: old-fashioned out and back<br />

layout remains a strong and enjoyable links<br />

with standouts such as the topsy-turvy 3rd<br />

with its comical concertina fairway.<br />

19 Hillside (▼ 3)<br />

Southport, Lancashire. Fred Hawtree.<br />

GW VERDICT: The best back nine in UK golf<br />

for some, including greg norman. But if you<br />

don’t like those dramatic dune holes, you’ll<br />

love the more sedate opening half.<br />

18 Silloth-on-Solway (▼ 2)<br />

Silloth, Cumbria. David Grant/Willie Park.<br />

GW VERDICT: Tightly-mown undulating<br />

fairways fully exposed to the Irish Sea winds<br />

are typical of this old-fashioned, demanding<br />

links. an underrated, classic course.<br />

17 Hankley Common ( ▲ 2 )<br />

Farnham, Surrey. James Braid, Harry Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Very good course laid out over<br />

more expansive, open heathland than many<br />

of its Surrey neighbours, the heather seems<br />

particularly purple and the greens especially<br />

emerald. We absolutely adore it here.<br />

16 Wentworth (West) (▼ 4)<br />

Virginia Water, Surrey. Harry Colt, Ernie Els.<br />

GW VERDICT: now very difcult for those who<br />

play it 51 weeks of the year (outside the pga)<br />

and thus lacks the seductive quality of<br />

Sunningdale or Swinley Forest.<br />

15 St Enodoc ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Wadebridge, Cornwall. James Braid.<br />

GW VERDICT: What golf is all about – St<br />

enodoc is memorable, scenic, challenging and<br />

fun. Twelve truly outstanding holes.<br />

14 Formby ( ▲ 3 )<br />

Southport, Lancs. Willie Park.<br />

GW VERDICT: a hybrid links/heathland/<br />

parkland but consistently firm, sandy, links<br />

fairways – and a classic layout.

13 West Sussex ( ▲ 2 )<br />

Pulborough, Sussex. Campbell/<br />

Hutchenson.<br />

GW VERDICT: delightful heathland with<br />

perfect turf, glistening white sand, and some<br />

of the most picturesque holes imaginable.<br />

12 The Berkshire (Red) ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Ascot, Berkshire. Herbert Fowler.<br />

GW VERDICT: With each hole in splendid<br />

isolation and six cracking par 3s of diferent<br />

lengths, this is a woodland delight.<br />

11 Alwoodley ( )<br />

Leeds, West Yorks. Alister MacKenzie.<br />

GW VERDICT: Retains a feeling of isolated<br />

heathland, with highlights including the<br />

sweeping par 5s, stellar two-shotters and<br />

classy par 3s.<br />

10 Royal Liverpool (▼ 3)<br />

Hoylake, Merseyside. Chambers & Morris/<br />

Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: a traditional and fair challenge<br />

with much character which reflects the club’s<br />

heritage. Very strong open host last year.<br />

9 Saunton (East) ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Braunton, Devon. Herbert Fowler.<br />

GW VERDICT: With its springy turf, fast and<br />

true greens and the smell of the sea, it is<br />

impossible not to be intoxicated by the east.<br />

8 Ganton ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Scarborough, Yorkshire. Tom Chisholm.<br />

GW VERDICT: Few finer places to play and get<br />

away from it all . a challenging and beautiful<br />

inland links/a windswept heathland<br />

masterpiece, depending on your view of it.<br />

7 Walton Heath (Old) (▼ 1)<br />

Tadworth, Surrey. Herbert Fowler.<br />

GW VERDICT: Heather-clad, fast-running<br />

traditional heathland that is a very challenging<br />

but fair test, laid out in a natural open setting.<br />

6 Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) (▼ 2)<br />

Woodhall Spa, Lincs. Vardon, Colt, Colonel<br />

Hotchkin.<br />

GW VERDICT: great heathland with amazingly<br />

deep bunkers superbly positioned on what is<br />

otherwise completely flat ground. a course<br />

which needs to be played at least once.<br />

5 Sunningdale (New) ( ▲ 4 )<br />

Sunningdale, Surrey. Harry Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Modest opening and closing<br />

holes – otherwise world class. More difcult<br />

and complete than the old, even if not quite<br />

as much fun or as beautiful.<br />

We rate Sunningdale<br />

new close to the old.<br />

22 St George’s Hill ( ▲ 5 )<br />

Weybridge,Surrey. Harry Colt.<br />

GW VERDICT: Set among the mansions of pop stars, this magnificent<br />

heathland rolls up hill and down dale in a figure of eight, always with a<br />

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

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

4 Royal Lytham (▼ 1)<br />

Lytham, Lancashire. Lowe, Colt.<br />

IM: Famously removed from the sea, and also<br />

with very little elevation change, yet a classic<br />

test on sandy soil punctuated by a couple<br />

hundred well-placed bunkers.<br />

RL: a stringent test on the open rota due to<br />

the bunkering and closing stretch.<br />

GW VERDICT: There really is nothing to<br />

choose between these superstars of the top<br />

four. For some, it could easily be no.1.<br />

1<br />

Royal Birkdale<br />

Southport, Merseyside. Par 72, 6,817 yards. Designers:<br />

George Lowe/JH Taylor/Fred Hawtree/Martin Hawtree<br />

ND: like Muirfield, its challenges are clear and visible, but<br />

no easier as a result.<br />

SE: a great test of golf, with some exceptionally difcult<br />

par 3s on which a par feels like a birdie.<br />

GW VERDICT: Strong start, strong finish, yet the most<br />

memorable holes are arguably in the middle section; the<br />

9th, 10th and 12th, make full use of the huge dunes.<br />

Birkdale is the complete package.<br />

3 Royal St George’s ( ▲ 2 )<br />

Sandwich, Kent. William Purves.<br />

SE: lots of humps and bumps with crazy but<br />

interesting greens. I can’t wait to play it again.<br />

MS: england’s best course in my view; ofers<br />

‘pleasurable excitement’ with variety, solitude<br />

and challenge. If you don’t like RSg, you’re<br />

taking yourself too seriously.<br />

GW VERDICT: Terrific fun, possibly the most<br />

enjoyment on a championship course in<br />

england. We love Mike’s comment above.<br />

2 Sunningdale (Old) ( ▲ 1 )<br />

Sunningdale, Surrey. Willie Park, Harry Colt.<br />

ND: Continually charms, with something to<br />

excite and encourage on every tee. also<br />

always enough to punish. The run of par 4s<br />

from 5th to 7th and again between 10th and<br />

12th are as good as inland golf has to ofer.<br />

SE: Very little to choose between the old and<br />

the new for me. always in spotless condition.<br />

GW VERDICT: The quintessential english<br />

inland experience; the hype is justified.<br />

38 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015


I regard Royal Birkdale as the<br />

finest course in Britain. I prefer<br />

links to inland courses and I<br />

don’t think there is a better links<br />

in the country.<br />

It is a supreme test without in<br />

any way being unfair; what you<br />

see is what you get, so the<br />

professionals love it.<br />

The routing is beautifully<br />

varied, the dunes create natural<br />

ampitheatres and each and<br />

every one of the par 3s are<br />

outstanding.<br />

Why the supreme test of Birkdale is my No.1<br />

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

The closing hole is as<br />

demanding as they come<br />

regardless of the wind direction<br />

because even if it is helping you<br />

it makes it difcult to control<br />

your approach shot.<br />

even the one perceived<br />

negative – the redesign of the<br />

17th green – has been<br />

addressed. If that is the weakest<br />

aspect of the course, it shows its<br />

strength as it provided the<br />

defining moment of the 2008<br />

open Chamionship when<br />

padraig Harrington used the<br />

contours so memorably after<br />

hitting a sweet 5-wood in there.<br />

I am also fond of ganton, a<br />

superb inland course with links<br />

characteristics. I loved it when I<br />

was there for the Walker Cup in<br />

2003 but fully got to appreciate<br />

its charms when I was writing a<br />

piece on it for a book.<br />

I walked it rather than played<br />

it and found I absorbed more of<br />

its intricacies that way. The<br />

bunkers are obviously its big<br />

defence, and some may feel<br />

they are unfair – especially with<br />

the big lip at the back of them<br />

which afects your backswing.<br />

They are very strategically<br />

placed and very penal.<br />

There are numerous splendid<br />

holes with a fantastic finish<br />

which provide a great climax to<br />

either a strokeplay or matchplay<br />

round. The 17th is a driveable par<br />

4 yet you are sometimes glad to<br />

come of with a 4 such is the<br />

difculty of the sloping green.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 39

<strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> ENGLAND 2015<br />

85<br />

89<br />

55<br />

8<br />

18<br />

1<br />

19<br />

35 14<br />

45<br />

60<br />

80<br />

<strong>100</strong><br />

4<br />

10<br />

52<br />

11<br />

33<br />

40<br />

57<br />

69<br />

62<br />

96<br />

34<br />

84<br />

91<br />

77<br />

12<br />

21<br />

41<br />

26<br />

47<br />

67<br />

50<br />

78 92<br />

48<br />

66<br />

54<br />

82<br />

95<br />

94<br />

31<br />

39<br />

49<br />

6<br />

87<br />

99<br />

88<br />

75<br />

61<br />

56<br />

27<br />

23<br />

76<br />

37<br />

3<br />

20<br />

59<br />

90<br />

9<br />

79<br />

25<br />

17<br />

58<br />

86<br />

15<br />

63<br />

53<br />

46<br />

29<br />

97<br />

64<br />

51 74<br />

2<br />

5<br />

7<br />

38<br />

22<br />

28<br />

32<br />

44<br />

16<br />

36<br />

43<br />

70<br />

72<br />

73<br />

81<br />

42 24<br />

68<br />

13<br />

83<br />

30<br />

93 98<br />

40 Golf World <strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> ENGLAND 2015

ENGLAND’S <strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> –<br />


Use this map of all the courses to help plan your Top <strong>100</strong> trip.<br />

1 Royal Birkdale Lancashire<br />

2 Sunningdale (Old) Surrey<br />

3 Royal St George’s Kent<br />

4 Royal Lytham & St Annes Lancashire<br />

5 Sunningdale (New) Surrey<br />

6 Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) Lincs<br />

7 Walton Heath (Old) Surrey<br />

8 Ganton Yorkshire<br />

9 Saunton (East) Devon<br />

10 Royal Liverpool Cheshire<br />

11 Alwoodley Yorkshire<br />

12 The Berkshire (Red) Berkshire<br />

13 West Sussex Sussex<br />

14 Formby Lancashire<br />

15 St Enodoc Cornwall<br />

16 Wentworth (West) Surrey<br />

17 Hankley Common Surrey<br />

18 Silloth-on-Solway Cumbria<br />

19 Hillside Lancashire<br />

20 Royal Cinque Ports Kent<br />

21 Swinley Forest Berkshire<br />

22 St George’s Hill Surrey<br />

23 Royal West Norfolk Norfolk<br />

24 Rye Sussex<br />

25 The Berkshire (Blue) Berkshire<br />

26 Notts (Hollinwell) Nottinghamshire<br />

27 Hunstanton Norfolk<br />

28 Woking Surrey<br />

29 Ferndown Dorset<br />

30 The Addington Surrey<br />

31 Woburn (Marquess’) Bedfordshire<br />

32 Worplesdon Surrey<br />

33 Moortown Yorkshire<br />

34 Remedy Oak Dorset<br />

35 Southport & Ainsdale Merseyside<br />

36 Wentworth (East) Surrey<br />

37 AldeburghS u f o l k<br />

38 Walton Heath (New) Surrey<br />

39 Woburn (Duke’s) Bedfordshire<br />

40 Burnham & Berrow Somerset<br />

41 Little Aston Stafordshire<br />

42 Royal Ashdown Forest Sussex<br />

43 New Zealand Surrey<br />

44 West Hill, Surrey<br />

45 West Lancs Lancashire<br />

46 Broadstone Dorset<br />

47 Sherwood Forest Nottinghamshire<br />

48 The Grove Hertfordshire<br />

49 Woburn (Duchess’) Bedfordshire<br />

50 The Belfry (Brabazon) Warwicks<br />

51 Liphook Hampshire<br />

52 Wallasey Cheshire<br />

53 St Mellion (Nicklaus) Cornwall<br />

54 Lindrick Nottinghamshire<br />

55 Seaton Carew Durham<br />

56 Seacroft Lincolnshire<br />

57 Beau Desert Stafordshire<br />

58 Littlestone Kent<br />

59 Prince’s (Shore & Dunes) Kent<br />

60 St Annes Old Links Lancashire<br />

61 Ipswich (Purdis Heath)S u f o l k<br />

62 Delamere Forest Cheshire<br />

Hindhead deserves to be classed<br />

alongside Surrey’s classics.<br />

63 Perranporth Cornwall<br />

64 Hayling Island Hampshire<br />

65 Isle of Purbeck Dorset<br />

66 Bearwood Lakes Berkshire<br />

67 The Centurion Club Hertfordshire<br />

68 Crowborough Beacon Sussex<br />

69 Blackwell Worcestershire<br />

70 Hindhead Surrey<br />

71 Parkstone Dorset<br />

72 Wisley Surrey<br />

73 Coombe Hill Surrey<br />

74 Blackmoor Hampshire<br />

75 WoodbridgeS u f o l k<br />

76 Sheringham Norfolk<br />

77 Fulford Yorkshire<br />

78 Ashridge Hertfordshire<br />

79 Royal North Devon Devon<br />

80 Seascale Cumbria<br />

81 Tandridge Surrey<br />

82 Lufenham Heath Lincolnshire<br />

83 Goodwood Sussex<br />

84 Huntercombe Oxfordshire<br />

85 Goswick Northumberland<br />

86 Trevose Cornwall<br />

87 Royal WorlingtonS u f o l k<br />

88 Chart Hills Kent<br />

89 Close House Northumberland<br />

90 Saunton (West) Devon<br />

91 Stoke Park Buckinghamshire<br />

92 Berkhamsted Hertfordshire<br />

93 Camberley Heath Surrey<br />

94 King’s Lynn Norfolk<br />

95 London Club (Heritage) Kent<br />

96 Frilford Heath (Red) Oxfordshire<br />

97 Stoneham Dorset<br />

98 Foxhills (Longcross) Surrey<br />

99 Brocket Hall (Palmerston) Herts<br />

<strong>100</strong> Fairhaven Lancashire<br />

<strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> ENGLAND 2015 Golf World 41

Sherwood ForeSt<br />

GolF Club<br />

“One of the fnest heathland golf<br />

courses in Great Britain.”<br />

“A true hidden gem!”<br />

Visitors are welcome Monday to Friday.<br />

Green fees: April £45, May to September £65.<br />

discounts are available for parties of 20 or more.<br />

Please contact the Professional Shop to make a booking.<br />


Photo courtesy of Chris Onions<br />

Sherwood Forest Golf Club,<br />

eakring road, MANSFIeld,<br />

Notts NG18 3ew<br />

telephone: 01623 626689<br />

Professional Shop: 01623 627403<br />

website: www.sherwoodforestgolfclub.co.uk<br />

27 holes of classic heathland golf in Suīolk<br />

www.woodbridgegolfclub.co.uk<br />

01394 382038<br />


Although Dorset-based Remedy Oak is an exclusive golf club for<br />

members and their guests, we reserve a few tee times to welcome<br />

a small number of visitors. Constructed in 2006, yet already rated<br />

in the top 50 courses in GB and Ireland, Remedy Oak offers one<br />

of the most personal golf experiences on the South Coast.<br />


Please call us on +44 (0) 1202 812070 to discuss availability.<br />

Prstigeous, Unique & Exclusively Your<br />


Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

THe NeXT <strong>100</strong><br />

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

Here are <strong>100</strong> super venues, with comments on those that were Top <strong>100</strong> contenders.<br />

alnmouth, northumberland<br />

Bamburgh Castle, northumberland<br />

a quirky course built close by to the sea<br />

but not a links course other than a few<br />

early holes. With spectacular views of<br />

Bamburgh Castle and Budle Bay, few golf<br />

courses can rival it for location. The golf<br />

course is short with six par 3s.<br />

Bath (Sham Castle), Somerset<br />

Bingley St Ives Yorkshire<br />

Bovey Castle, devon<br />

Bradford (Hawksworth), Yorkshire<br />

Brampton, Cumbria<br />

Brancepeth Castle, durham<br />

This is a gem of a Harry Colt course. a well<br />

thought out bunker replacement and<br />

refurbishment scheme over the last few<br />

years has re-instated the challenge. The<br />

9th and 10th are stunning back to back<br />

par 3s with the magnificent Brancepeth<br />

Castle providing a stunning backdrop.<br />

Brocket Hall (Melbourne), Hertfordshire<br />

Brokenhurst Manor, Hampshire<br />

designed by Harry Colt in the new Forest<br />

it is short but delightful.<br />

Bude & north Cornwall, Cornwall<br />

Carlisle, Cumbria<br />

Cavendish, derbyshire<br />

Clevedon, Somerset<br />

Cleveland, Yorkshire<br />

Clitheroe, lancashire<br />

Cooden Beach, Sussex<br />

an absolute gem and one of the few<br />

downland courses in Britain.<br />

Copt Heath, Warwickshire<br />

Coventry Finham, Warwickshire.<br />

a top-class layout and the one-time home<br />

to the piccadilly Medal matchplay<br />

tournament in the 1970s.<br />

Coxmoor, nottinghamshire<br />

Crosland Heath, Yorkshire<br />

dartmouth (Championship) , devon<br />

It was an astonishing feat to build such a<br />

fine course on this steeply sloped site. The<br />

curving 4th, with out of bounds all the<br />

way up the right and a stream along the<br />

left, is one of the UK’s top par 5s.<br />

diss, norfolk<br />

dunham Forest, Cheshire<br />

a very, very good tree-lined course with<br />

wonderful greens.<br />

East devon, devon<br />

excellent views along the Jurassic coast<br />

from the bracing clifs above Budleigh<br />

Salterton.<br />

East dorset, dorset<br />

East Sussex national (East), Sussex<br />

With a finish designed for tournament<br />

play and some great par 5s, it has more<br />

subtlety than appears on first playing.<br />

East Sussex national (West), Sussex<br />

Both courses are top <strong>100</strong> quality, but we<br />

slightly prefer the West, which is high<br />

calibre. a superb collection of par 5s with<br />

the double-dog-leg 12th demanding a<br />

stream to be crossed and a lake avoided.<br />

Edgbaston, Birmingham<br />

Enville (Highgate), Stafordshire<br />

Combines a mixture of heathland and<br />

parkland and was a very real contender<br />

for the main Top <strong>100</strong> list.<br />

Felixstowe Ferry, Sufolk<br />

Underrated ‘linksy’ course which is<br />

extremely difficult when the wind blows –<br />

lovely surroundings and views.<br />

Forest of arden, Warwickshire<br />

Forest pines, lincolnshire<br />

Formby ladies, lancashire<br />

Royal Cromer ’s seaside<br />

location offers stunning views.<br />

Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015 golf World 43

Top <strong>100</strong> England 2015<br />

old Thorns is a spectacular<br />

course among mature trees.<br />

Foxhills (Hunt), Surrey<br />

There is a lot of discussion as to which of the<br />

Foxhills courses is the best. Both have<br />

improved enormously over recent years and<br />

both have superb greens and many top holes.<br />

Frilford Heath green, oxfordshire<br />

Fulford Heath, Worcestershire<br />

Gog Magog (Old), Cambridgeshire<br />

Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire<br />

Halifax, Yorkshire<br />

Hallamshire, Yorkshire<br />

Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire<br />

Hawkstone park (Hawkstone), Shropshire<br />

Ilkley, Yorkshire<br />

John O’Gaunt, Bedfordshire<br />

Kington, Herefordshire<br />

Knole park, Kent<br />

a surprisingly good course that thrills all the<br />

way round. It opens with a tough par 3 and<br />

then has some magnificent holes on the way<br />

round. a glorious test played around Knole<br />

House that was probably the most unfortunate<br />

course to drop out of the main list .<br />

ladbrook park, Warwickshire<br />

Many suggest this is an undiscovered gem on<br />

the south side of Birmingham. It’s a Harry Colt<br />

design noted for its challenging par 3s and<br />

reachable par 5s in two shots. over recent<br />

years this parkland has been improved and<br />

ofers a challenging round with the standard<br />

scratch nearly always being higher than the<br />

course rating.<br />

littlehampton, Sussex<br />

Manchester, lancashire<br />

Manor House, Wiltshire<br />

enjoyable to play with some terrific views and<br />

delightful scenery. only drawback are the long<br />

distances between holes which, combined<br />

with the steep hills, means a buggy is<br />

necessary and using one is not for everyone.<br />

Mannings Heath (Waterfall), Sussex<br />

a picturesque course with a handful of<br />

fantastic holes. Some on the panel were very<br />

keen on it being elevated to the main list by<br />

virtue of its beautiful holes as well as its<br />

greens, which are routinely in great condition.<br />

Moor park (High), Hertfordshire<br />

There are some great par 4s and the<br />

clubhouse has to be seen to be believed. a<br />

palladian mansion full of genuine old Masters.<br />

PLUS 10 more we LIKe...<br />

Astbury, Shropshire<br />

Church Stretton, Shropshire<br />

Great Yarmouth & Caistor, norfolk<br />

Heythrop Park, oxfordshire<br />

Knighton Heath, dorset<br />

London Club (International), Kent<br />

Newbiggin, northumberland<br />

Stratford (Welcombe Hotel), Warks<br />

West Cornwall, Cornwall<br />

Yeovil (Old), dorset<br />

The course is a typically-inspirational design<br />

by Harry Colt through mature parkland and<br />

includes the intimidating par-3 12th with its<br />

significantly-tiered green.<br />

Mullion, Cornwall<br />

North Foreland, Kent<br />

north Hants, Hampshire<br />

Some excellent holes and a tough test.<br />

northamptonshire County, northants<br />

The Northumberland, northumberland<br />

old Thorns, Hampshire<br />

Really terrific inland course and were it not on<br />

the Hants-Surrey border it would be much<br />

better known. See picture above.<br />

painswick, gloucestershire<br />

piltdown, Sussex<br />

penrith, Cumbria<br />

penrith is a real undiscovered secret of a<br />

course, with four really good opening holes<br />

before crossing a quiet road to play a very<br />

tough index 1 par 4. They are followed by a<br />

number of lovely holes before returning over<br />

the road to play a very tidy finishing stretch.<br />

pleasington, lancashire<br />

prestbury, Cheshire<br />

great mix of long and short holes, all with<br />

classic Colt bunkering; shot shaping is critical<br />

here for a good score.<br />

Reddish Vale, lancashire<br />

Rocklife Hall, durham<br />

44 golf World Top <strong>100</strong> england 2015

Ross on Wye, gloucestershire<br />

a proper undiscovered classic with tight holes<br />

that is always in tip-top condition.<br />

Royal ashdown Forest (West), east Sussex<br />

Traditional club and like its sister a superb<br />

moorland-heathland with no bunkers. Some<br />

really excellent holes and for some on the<br />

panel, should join its sister in the main list.<br />

Royal Wimbledon, Surrey<br />

less well known of the london courses but a<br />

great test. This course prefers a low profile –<br />

but is a ‘hidden gem’ steeped in history – and<br />

is worthy of open qualifying status.<br />

Royal Cromer, norfolk<br />

Huge improvements at Royal Cromer over the<br />

last four years. arguably better views than at<br />

Sheringham – and Cromer is in consistently<br />

good condition.<br />

Spalding, lincolnshire<br />

a fantastic layout and some of the best<br />

starting and finishing holes you will find<br />

anywhere in england.<br />

Sandiway, Cheshire<br />

Sandwell park, Stafordshire<br />

Sandy Lodge, Hertfordshire<br />

Selby, Yorkshire<br />

Sherborne, dorset<br />

Shipley, Yorkshire<br />

Slaley Hall, northumberland<br />

South Stafs, Stafordshire<br />

Stockport, Cheshire<br />

St Mellion (Kernow), Cornwall<br />

Tadmarton Heath, oxfordshire<br />

a really interesting, old-fashioned course.<br />

always enjoyable and although relatively<br />

short, there are many challenges at this fine<br />

heathland. an imaginative short game is vital.<br />

Teignmouth, devon<br />

Telford, Shropshire<br />

The Buckinghamshire, Buckinghamshire<br />

For many on the panel, a more interesting and<br />

challenging course than other ‘Shire’ courses<br />

such – and it would be a worthy Top <strong>100</strong><br />

course, as it has been in the past. a smoothly<br />

flowing modern design with just the right<br />

amount of risk and reward on ofer.<br />

The oxfordshire, oxfordshire<br />

Visually not inspiring but a fantastic, tough<br />

challenge with some superbly-designed holes.<br />

need to be on top of your game to score well<br />

here – and on a cold windy day its exposed<br />

nature means is a most exacting test. a great<br />

course with a lot of water and a design more<br />

often seen in the US mid-west. excellent holes<br />

such as the par-4 8th and par-5 17th give it a<br />

strong case to be included in the Top <strong>100</strong>.<br />

The players Club (Codrington), glos<br />

Fine course that will rise up the list in the future.<br />

Thetford, norfolk<br />

Thorndon park, essex<br />

Thorpeness, Sufolk<br />

proper heathland set out close to the sea.<br />

Thurlestone, devon<br />

Ulverston, Cumbria<br />

Walmer & Kingsdown, Kent<br />

Wentworth (Edinburgh), Surrey<br />

a super challenge with a variety of holes that<br />

make you think. For some, a few too many<br />

dog-legs but generally a little easier than the<br />

West or east, with generous landing areas of<br />

the tee. Wentworth is close to matching<br />

Woburn in having all three in the <strong>100</strong>.<br />

West Herts, Hertfordshire<br />

West Surrey, Surrey<br />

Weston super Mare, Somerset<br />

Whittington Heath, Stafordshire<br />

Woodhall Spa (Bracken), lincolnshire<br />

York (Strensall), Yorkshire<br />

Formby Golf Club, one of the<br />

World’s great links courses<br />

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

pines which combine to make this incredible golf course truly unique. The course, renowned<br />

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

golf course architects, and is a challenging, idyllic and unforgettable experience with a club<br />

history and golfing pedigree going back to 1884.<br />

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

golf clubhouses in the world. Recently renovated, the clubhouse boasts dormy rooms sleeping<br />

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

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

real ales, fine wines and a comprehensive selection of bar snacks.<br />

Formby has also hosted the Amateur Championship on four occasions and boasts Jose-Maria<br />

Olazabal and Matteo Manassero amongst its champions.<br />

The Club also hosted the Curtis Cup in 2004.<br />

Formby Golf Club Limited | Golf Road | Formby | Liverpool | L37 1LQ | United Kingdom<br />

twitter: @formbygolfclub email: info@formbygolfclub.co.uk<br />

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

<strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> ENGLAND 2015<br />



By Sky Sports commentator Bruce Critchley.<br />

Awaking in the Mermaid Inn in<br />

Rye – rebuilt in 1483 – a day on<br />

the links beckons. A ‘Full<br />

English’ precedes the six-mile drive out<br />

over the Marshes to Camber Sands, the<br />

journey enlivened by conversation with<br />

my old Halford Hewitt chum, Tim Koch<br />

de Gooreynd, who’s currently ‘excused<br />

driving’. ‘How fast this time Tim?’ ‘Oh,<br />

probably 87 gusting to 92, I suppose’,<br />

the laconic reply.<br />

It’s early March, and the annual Rye<br />

versus the Oxford and Cambridge<br />

Golfing Society; 36 holes of foursomes,<br />

30 players on either side, Gerald<br />

Micklem selecting both teams and who<br />

plays with whom. No argument or no<br />

invite next year. As a handicapper he<br />

knows no equal and rarely does any<br />

match finish before the 16th green.<br />

My morning partner is Peter<br />

Richardson, the old England opener<br />

and as competitive on the course as he<br />

was at the crease; a 4 handicap and<br />

pretty tasty of that.<br />

Tee of at 9.50am and back in the<br />

clubhouse shortly after midday, a tight<br />

but comfortable victory chalked up.<br />

Lunch has to be carefully paced as<br />

I’m not of ’til 1.40pm, more than<br />

enough time to do serious damage. The<br />

Bloody Marys at Rye tend to be three<br />

measures of Vodka and two small<br />

bottles of tomato juice. A couple of<br />

these, club claret with the rudimentary<br />

but excellent Rye Lunch and just one<br />

large Kummel on the rocks while you<br />

change your shoes.<br />

My partner in the afternoon is Quinny<br />

Hoare – he of the banking family – who<br />

is a much better player after lunch. The<br />

secret with Quinny is to use his welllubricated<br />

skills early on to get a few<br />

holes up and then have enough in hand<br />

to see you through as he ‘tires’ on the<br />

back nine. This we just manage and<br />

then it’s time for tea and cake before<br />

the shower.<br />

Emerging in black tie at the Savoy<br />

Hotel to join John Bayman – husband of<br />

Lindy who played in the Curtis Cup in<br />

the 1980s – who is hosting a bridge<br />

evening in one of the Gilbert & Sullivan<br />

suites. A true oenophile, John greets<br />

us with Gosset champagne, a mature<br />

Montrachet with the fish and the good<br />

news that he has just broached his<br />

hogshead of ’61 Latour which had been<br />

lying in bond in Bordeaux. Decent<br />

cards, a few quid and a night at the<br />

Savoy rounds of a perfect day.<br />

■ A GB&I player in the 1969 Walker Cup,<br />

Bruce was a commentator with the BBC<br />

before moving to Sky Sports in the ’90s.<br />

He is part of golf’s premier commentary<br />

partnership alongside Ewen Murray.<br />

46 Golf World <strong>TOP</strong> <strong>100</strong> ENGLAND

Notts. Golf Club<br />

(Hollinwell)<br />

Host to the 2015 Brabazon Trophy<br />

A stunning Championship venue<br />

Glorious all-year golf is played on free-draining heathland<br />

defned by waving grasses, yellow gorse and birdsong.<br />

Fairways undulate, greens run fast and true, making this<br />

the favourite course of many.<br />

Characterised by speedy 2-ball format and traditional<br />

membership, Aldeburgh ofers a satisfyingly generous<br />

welcome in the clubhouse.<br />

Contact Te Secretary: 01728 452890,<br />

info@aldeburghgolfclub.co.uk.<br />

www.aldeburghgolfclub.co.uk<br />


Discount prices available for large groups<br />

To discuss these please call the Ofce<br />

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

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

is 73 against a par of 68. Every hole presents an examination in shotmaking<br />

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

a beautiful place to play golf. Te views of the River Alde and glimpses of the<br />

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

the score is not quite up to expectation.<br />

Notts. Golf Club (Hollinwell)<br />

Kirkby In Ashfeld | Nottingham | NG17 7QR<br />

T :01623 753225 | E: ofce@nottsgolfclub.co.uk<br />

W. www.nottsgolfclub.co.uk<br />

Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club is<br />

a true championship links course,<br />

with first class facilities to match.<br />

The course is set amongst the dunes<br />

on the North West coastline and is<br />

another of course designer,<br />

James Braid’s great creations.<br />

The course is challenging but fair and the profusion of heather, gorse and<br />

year round top class greens combine for an immensely enjoyable experience.<br />

The renowned 16th hole (Gumbleys) always provides excitement. Our recently<br />

refurbished clubhouse ( March 2015) and exceptional dining opportunities<br />

ensure that your day with us can be the highlight of your golfing year.<br />

www.dorsetgolfresort.com<br />

admin@dorsetgolfresort.com<br />

Club House: 01704 578000<br />

www.sandagolfclub.co.uk<br />

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



One of Surrey’s Finest Courses<br />

• Memberships • Golf Days • Visitors Welcome<br />

• Ranked in the Top <strong>100</strong> Courses in England<br />

T: 01276 23258<br />

W: www.camberleyheathgolfclub.co.uk<br />

E: info@camberleyheathgolfclub.co.uk<br />

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

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