Best Golf Courses in the World
December 17 2018
December 17 2018
Golf is an inspired sport, one that requires immense skill, focus and patience. But it also allows players to bond with fellow golf enthusiasts while being able to take in the incredible beauty of the courses they play on. Enjoying a round of golf on different championship golf courses around the world, created by golfing legends in the most sublime of settings, designed to be equal parts challenging and enjoyable, are part and parcel of the sport, with many famous courses finding their way onto avid players’ golfing bucket lists.
And it’s little wonder why—some of the top golf courses are simply breathtaking and really take the game of golf to new heights. If you are interested to find out which courses are deemed the best golf courses in the world—that certainly need to be on your must-play list—here are some of our favourites:
Royal County Down Golf Club
There are some who certainly believe this to be the best golf course in the world. Situated in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, the Royal County Down Golf Club is an incredible, old golf course that was originally designed by Old Tom Morris, but over the last 120 years, has undergone ample changes, the most recent of which were by Donald Steel. Bordered by dramatic and rugged terrain, the flat greens are somewhat of a surprise but the challenging bunkers make for exciting rounds. From incredible vistas to a surprisingly challenging course, there’s no wonder this par 71 championship golf course is a firm favourite.
Pine Valley Golf Club
Situated in New Jersey, the Pine Valley Golf Club is definitely one of the best golf courses in the world. Consistently voted among the world’s top golf courses, this par 70 golf course designed predominantly by George Crump, who collaborated with a number of the “Golden Age” architects on it and who sadly passed away before it was completed, boasts an incredible layout, with perfectly manicured greens that are surrounded by pine trees.
In 2012, this course received the accolade of Top Golf Course in the U.S by Golf Magazine. The clubhouse and grounds are fairly simple, but the true joy of playing here is due to its exceptional history—golf enthusiasts who risked it all to create the most incredible course in the U.S. It’s a consistent course, fabled for its collection of par fives and par threes, and is said to be one of the toughest golf courses in the world to play on. This golf course is perfect for the ‘true’ golfer looking to play a memorable round on historic grounds.
St Andrews (Old Course)
Any avid golfer is sure to have the fabled Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland on their list of must-play golf courses in the world. Dating back to the 15th century, this incredible par 72 course has been around as long as the game of golf itself and has hosted the Open Championship a whopping 29 times. Heralded as the birthplace of golf, this golf course has ample pedigree and its undulating greens, blind shots, huge bunkers and the Road Hole all make for an exciting game and a favourable layout. All courses ever designed either replicate certain design elements of St Andrews or rebel against them, making the Old Course at St Andrews the golf course design standard. A definite must-play for any golfer.
Royal Melbourne (West)
Australia’s most famous golf course, Royal Melbourne, situated in Black Rock, is definitely a contender for the best golf course in the world. This par 72 course is actually ranked 12th best course in the world, and many believe it to be Dr Alister Mackenzie’s greatest design. Carefully designed to flow with the sand belt, the stellar greens seem to be designed to replicate the surrounding topography. Championships usually skip the 8th, 9th,13th, 14th, 15th and 16th hole in order to play a few holes on the East Course, which is ranked about 28th in the world. Golf Digest describes it beautifully: “His [Mackenzie’s] crisp bunkering, with vertical edges, a foot or taller, chew into fairways and putting surfaces. Most holes are doglegs, so distance means nothing and angle into the pin is everything.” It’s challenging and enjoyable—no wonder it ranks amongst the best golf courses in the world.
Augusta National Golf Club
One of the most famous golf courses, Augusta National Golf Club has been tweaked over the years to ensure it remains competitive for the Masters Tournament, which it hosts annually (and has done so since 1934, with the exception of a few years during the second world war). This tweaking has made for some interesting combinations of design elements by some of the top course designers in the world. Here you can find water hazards by Trent Jones, Alister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones routing, Perry Maxwell greens, among many other elements and designers (the most recent being Tom Fazio). This golf course’s incredible appeal is understandable, it’s as challenging as it is intricate and is fit for any golfer's list of must-see golf courses in the world.
Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club
The breathtaking golf course at Ile aux Cerfs, just off the east coast of Mauritius, is definitely the kind of course that golfer’s dreams are made of. While it hasn’t yet hit the most popular list of top golf courses to play in the world, it’s not far off. Having already been awarded some prestigious titles (it ranked first in the UK—Top 20 of the World's "Must-Play" Golf Courses according to Golf World, was deemed to have the “Best Golf in the Word” at the Golf Journal Travel Awards in 2018, and was recognised as the World’s Best Golf Course at the Golf Journal Travel Awards in 2017), this stunning course is central to the budding golf scene in Mauritius.
Having put golf in Mauritius on the map (as have some of the other courses in Mauritius) this par 72 championship golf course is the fabled Bernhard Langer’s signature course and is as challenging as it is gorgeous. Undulating, precisely manicured greens are perfect for technical players, who are sure to relish the opportunity to test their mettle on the greens in this paradisiacal island in Mauritius (many of the 18 holes here boast awe-inspiring views). But the experience of golf in Mauritius, and Ile aux Cerfs specifically, doesn’t stop at fantastic greens boarded by lush gardens and jewel-coloured waters, the amenities here, along with the exclusive golfer beach, are absolutely outstanding.
Golfers looking to play in paradise should definitely have Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club on their golfing bucket list, and it’s certainly one to watch—there are those that believe that in the not too distant future, Ile aux Cerfs Golf Club will be on the top golfing lists around the world.