Best Links Golf Courses In England
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Scotland may be more widely known for its links courses, but England certainly packs a punch...

20 Best Links Golf Courses In England

Royal Birkdale

Royal Birkdale Golf Club Hole By Hole Guide: Hole 15

The 10-time Open venue is one of the toughest, fairest and finest links in the UK.

It last hosted the world's oldest golf Major in 2017 when Jordan Spieth lifted the Claret Jug.

This outstanding links is blessed with some of the most impressive, towering dunes in the country, and these frame the holes beautifully at the same time as creating excellent vantage points for spectators.

Royal Lytham and St Annes

Royal Lytham & St Annes

Lytham has hosted The Open on no fewer than 11 occasions, a testament to this excellent test of golf, which was first laid out by the club’s original professional, George Lowe.

It also played host to the 2018 Women’s British Open won by Georgia Hall.

Last time The Open was held here in 2012, Ernie Els won his second Claret Jug.

Royal St George's

Royal St George's Golf Club Pictures

Founded in 1887, the club has welcomed golf’s most prestigious tournament 14 times in all, with Darren Clarke the most recent Open champion here in 2011.

The Open will return to the Kent links in 2020.

Set over a beautiful tract of unspoiled seaside land, every hole is distinct.

It’s testing and with its undulating terrain, dunes and deep bunkering, a premium is placed on accurate hitting and steady driving

Royal Liverpool

Another Open venue, Royal Liverpool has hosted on 12 occasionals and crowned some incredible champions including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Peter Thompson, Bobby Jones, JH Taylor and Golf Monthly's first editor Harold Hilton.

At the tip of the Wirral peninsula and set on fairly flat ground, it’s a superb layout with beautiful greens and wonderful natural contours.


Ganton Golf Club Course Review

Ganton may be some 8-10 miles from the sea but really is as close to an inland links as they come.

The historic Yorkshire club is the only course on these shores to have hosted the Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup and Amateur Championship.

The links-like course's terrain is sandy and undulating with huge, deep bunkers.

It was home to Harry Vardon, who was the club's professional from 1986-1903.

It is simply one of Britain's greatest golf courses that tests all aspects of your game.

Burnham and Berrow

The Somerset links is steeped in history and presents an excellent test, with a traditional out-and-back layout.

Burnham & Berrow stands for all that is great about links golf and offers excellent value for money.



The 2019 British Masters host sits next door to Royal Birkdale and is another of Lancashire's incredible links offerings.

Most obviously a links course with fairways lined by rough-covered dunes, mature pines alongside many holes add great definition and character.

Its back nine is widely regarded as one of the best on offer on these shores.

St Enodoc - Church

St Enodoc 6th

The rugged, rolling beauty of the Cornish coastline provides a stunning backdrop to this wonderfully varied James Braid design.

Packed with memorable features such as the Himalayas bunker, it’s a thrilling ride all the way.


Formby 16th revised

While many links courses lack the framing and variety offered by trees, Formby offers the best of both worlds with an almost heathland feel in places.

Formby is a unique course, predominantly it’s a links with fast-running fairways, deep bunkers and firm greens.

Saunton - East

Saunton Golf Club East Course Review

The more challenging of two wonderful links courses set in the glorious North Devon dunes, the East Course at Saunton was designed by Herbert Fowler in the 1920s.

Flanked by tall dunes, it’s challenging and a wonderful place to play.

Silloth on Solway

The pa4-5 5th is one of the best holes at Silloth on Solway

Blessed with a dreamy, idyllic setting, the rumpled links at Silloth on Solway is one of those rare courses that never seems to attract a bad word.

Heather, gorse and the breeze will test every department of your game.

With a summer weekend green fee at £65, Silloth is undoubtedly the best value for money course in our UK and Ireland Top 100.

Royal West Norfolk

Royal West Norfolk, or Brancaster Golf Club, was founded in 1892 and the original course layout by Holcombe Ingleby has been little altered over the past 120 years.

History is a great feature at Brancaster and, as a result, this is a course and club of true character.

The course’s individual charm is evident from the outset where you step out of the fabulous old clubhouse to cross a section of the beach to reach the 1st tee.


The south coast links was the first creation of legendary course designer Harry Colt, who was also the club's first captain.

He designed the course at the age of 25 and it would switch him from his career as a solicitor into that of a golf course architect.

Now a shade more acknowledging of the outside world and welcoming than in times gone by, Rye remains one of our most old-fashioned clubs, with memorabilia and ghosts haunting each corner of the clubhouse.

Royal Cinque Ports

Set among the rolling dunes to the north of the Kentish town of Deal, Royal Cinque Ports is one of the finest links courses in the south of England.

Twice host to The Open, it forges out from the clubhouse, following the coastline towards the turn. The last seven holes can be seriously challenging into the wind!

Southport and Ainsdale

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review best golf courses along train lines

Dating from 1925, Southport & Ainsdale is the work of five-time Open champion and prolific course architect James Braid.

The fact the layout has remained largely unchanged since that time is testament to the quality of Braid’s design and the terrain on which it sits.

This is a very natural-feeling links set over undulating duneland that was previously used for grazing cows and sheep.


Hunstanton 7th IMG_5770

A fabulous Norfolk links, Hunstanton dates from 1891 although the course has evolved considerably with work by James Braid and recently by Martin Hawtree.

It’s a traditional out-and-back layout with holes played on either side of a dune ridge, which runs through the middle of the layout.

Saunton - West

Saunton Golf Club West Course Review

In 1935 the members at Saunton decided they required a second course, so Herbert Fowler was asked to submit a design.

The new course was built, but when the Second World War started in 1939 it was occupied by the military and used for training.

This is an undulating links with many of the holes set between the dunes. Cross-ditches, grassy mounds and hollows, clever bunkering and raised greens combine to produce an excellent challenge.


Trevose is yet another of Harry Colt's links courses that feature our Top 100, and for many the combination of a classic seaside test with the design touches of a master is hard to beat.

His work at Trevose on the north Cornwall coast is a prime example of a course that offers challenge and fairness in equal measure.

The 4th is then the most famous and photographed of all Trevose’s holes, a wonderful dogleg-left par-5 that takes you right down to the rocks that separate Constantine Bay from Bobby’s Bay.

West Lancashire

West Lancashire Golf Club Course Review

Founded in 1873, The West Lancashire Golf Club is one of the 10 oldest clubs in England.

West Lancs delivers an uncompromising but fair test of seaside golf.

The holes roll naturally across the terrain, with views of the Mersey Estuary and across to the mountains of Wales.

Humps and hollows, raised greens, coastal dunes and of course, a railway line, it epitomises British seaside golf.

Royal North Devon

The links at Westward Ho! in Devon is steeped in history, so its recent battles with coastal erosion have understandably been headlines news.

Sharing the fairways with sheep and horses evokes a tangible link to the game’s roots.

The greens are firm and true and they feature a number of difficult slopes and collection areas.

RND really is a unique old-school links where you get a sense of the game's history.

How many of these English links courses have you played? Let us know on our social media channels

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. Elliott graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He is obsessed with the game and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey. His handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Honma TR20B

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x