10 Best Golf Courses To Visit In England

Once you’ve played a few of the local courses and have gained confidence in your golf game, you’ll be ready to try some of the best golf courses in England. Some people use golf as an excuse to see the beautiful landscapes of England, whilst for others it’s a way of life.

There are over 2500 golf courses in the UK, and over 1500 in England alone. In fact, it’s said that over two percent of England is golf courses! The average golf course is around 100 to 110 acres. The golfer can be confident that they can find a place to play their favourite game at any time.

Golf courses can also be considered a sanctuary for wildlife, and are a great place where people can go to enjoy themselves. Even if you’re a beginner, you stand to benefit from visiting one of the best courses in England.

No matter what your level of play is, check out some of these great golf courses in England. We have ten of the best recommendations, so gather your friends together and make plans now!

1. Swinley Forest

swinley forest golf course

This is an exclusive golf course so if you know someone, you could get in. This course is located in Swinley Forest on Coronation Road, a few kilometres southwest of Ascot, Berkshire, England. It was first created in 1909. It’s been ranked one of the top 100 golf courses in the world by the website of the same name. It was originally designed by Harry Colt, and has a total of eighteen holes.

It’s also one of the toughest, and parts of it don’t even look like a golf course, which may be the whole point to its design. It featurs beautiful heathlands on 5500 metres. Its layout is a bit short by today’s standards, but it’s still a big challenge. But what’s even harder is getting a booked tee time there!

2. Woodhall Spa

woodhall spa golf course

Woodhall Spa is a golfing facility that also contains the National Golf Centre. It’s a private golf club located in the north of England, near Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. The golf club was originally founded in 1891, then was purchased by the English Golf Union in 1995. The EGU have since moved their headquarters onto this course, so that’s why it’s now called the National Golf Centre. This club has hosted many amateur championships, including the Brabazon Trophy and the English Amateur.

Here you can play two different golf courses, including the Hotchkin Course, which was designed by Harry Vardon. Hotchkin course opened in 1905. Later, Stafford Vere Hotchkin, namesake, tweaked it in the 1920s. The other golf course is called the Bracken, and this one was designed by Donald Steel. It originally opened in 1998.

3. Royal Birkdale

royal birkdale golf course

The Royal Birkdale is located in northwest England, in Southport, Merseyside. It originally opened in 1894 and was called Birkdale Golf Club back then. It was supposed to host the 1940 OC but WWII occurred and it was cancelled. This course has been worked on by three different generations of golf architects from the Hawtree family. At first glance, this course can appear daunting. The hills in the distance are flat, with several deep impressions in the ground that appear to be some scary sand traps. But you should golf here just once, as you’ll get quite a workout.

Apparently even the clubhouse is a bit funky. This is the site where the 10th British Open was hosted in 2017. The Women’s British Open has been here five times over the years. Padraig Harrington earned his second Open title here, in consecutive order. It’s on the rotation list for the Open Championship and the Women’s British Open. It’s hosted the Open over ten times, from 1954 to 2017.

4. St. Enodoc

St. Enodoc golf course

St. Enodoc is located on the north Cornwall coastline with some spectacular oceanside views. This course is 127 years old. If you take the trek in from London, it will be about a three hour drive. This is where the 2014 English Women’s Amateur tournament was held. This course is considered to have one of the finest links golf course in the southwest of England. It has a James Braid design, with firm greens, a few blind spots, and long undulating fairways.

It’s been listed by Golf Digest Magazine as being the 99th best course in the UK and Ireland, with Golf Monthly placing it 6th in England and 6th for golf courses to make you happy, and 3rd by National Club Golfer for affordable courses with green fees under £100.

5. Old Sunningdale

sunningdale old course

This course is located in Sunningdale, Berkshire, and is composed of bright green grasslands between a tall canopy of trees. It’s situated nicely about 50 kilometres to the west-southwest of London. This course was originally founded in 1900 on Chobham Common. There are two 18-hole courses: the old and the new.

It’s considered one of the best parklands in the country. It has a superb layout just miles from the centre of London. It was designed by Willie Park, and has been upgraded by Harry Colt. It has hosted the Women’s British Open for four times, and hosted a few Open Championships.

6. Old Walton Heath

old walton heath golf course

Old Walton Health is a golf club close to Walton-on-the-Hill in Surrey, England. This course is located just a bit south of London. It was originally founded in 1903. Golf has been played on the older course at Walton Heath since 1904. There is also a second 18-hole golf course on site. The newer course opened in 1907. Most people here don’t like to talk about the 1981 Ryder Cup where the US experienced a big victory.

No matter which one you choose to play, both courses have lush heather covering much of the ground. Herbert Fowler designed both courses on site, and he would later go on to design many other courses in the USA and UK.

7. Royal Cinque Ports

Royal Cinque Ports course

Royal Cinque Ports is an 18-hole links golf course located in Deal, Kent, and is south of the Royal St. George’s, on the southeastern side of England. It was formed in 1892. Its name was derived from the Cinque Ports, a membership of people in an ancient group of medieval towns in England. The course flows along the coast of Sandwich Bay.

Royal Cinque Ports was host to the 1909 British Open, and the 1920 British Open. It suffered some setbacks due to high flooding in 1938 and 1949, so had some tournaments cancelled and moved to different locations in England. Because of this, it was removed from the Open Championship rota, but still hosts the qualifiers and the amateurs tournaments.

8. Ganton

Ganton golf course

Ganton Golf Club is an 18-hole course in Ganton, North Yorkshire, in the northeast of England. It was originally founded in 1891. Tom Chisholm and Robert Bird jointly designed it. Over the years, other golf architects have made adjustments.

The Ganton golf course is where many legends have played—including Harry Vardon, Alister MacKenzie, and Harry Colt. Ganton is only one of two courses in England who have ever hosted the Ryder Cup in 1949, and the Curtis Cup in 2000. It’s also the location for a large number of amateur and professional competitions. Just recently, it hosted the 138th Varsity Match between Cambridge and Oxford universities.

9. New Sunningdale

sunningdale old course

New Sunningdale is located in Sunningdale, Berkshire, beside the old course, on the Ridgemount Road. Both old and new courses represent 36 of the best holes in the UK. It was Henry Colt who made modifications to the old course and designed the new course. It opened in 1923 to meet the increasing demand for members wanting to play golf.

This is the newer course at Sunningdale, created twenty-two years after the one at Old Sunningdale. You may wish to play on both in one day, and determine which one is the best. However, you’ll be set back over £330 for the privilege of doing so during golfing season.

10. Royal Liverpool

royal liverpool golf course

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club is one of the oldest on this list, having been established in 1869. It’s located in Wirral. This location was originally the site of a racecourse. It received its royal designation in 1871 from the Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria. Harry Colt redesigned the golf course in the 20th century.

Royal Liverpool has hosted twelve British Opens. The course does have a second name that’s more recognizable to locals—Hoylake—same as the town where it’s located. This was also the site where the 2012 Women’s British Open was held.

If you’re planning your next big golf game with friends or colleagues, see if you can get a tee time on one of these top 10 most popular golf courses in England. They offer a golfing experience that you just can’t miss!