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One of the greatest things about playing golf in the UK and Ireland is the ability to tee it up on almost all of the very best golf courses, with all of our top 100 golf courses available to play.
All Open Championship venues welcome visitors and barring the 10 or so most exclusive golf clubs, all of the top courses take green fee payers throughout the week or at certain times at least.
However, despite golfers having the chances to play these world class golf courses, some may never get to experience them due to the high costs required to tee it up. Green fees certainly continue to rise as the years go by and a number of the very best courses in the UK now require £250-£300+ to play during peak times.
Green fees are very much driven by supply and demand and the fact that many of the top clubs have sold out of all their visitor tee times for 2022 (and in some cases 2023) shows that there are enough golfers out there who are prepared to spend big to play the top courses
Below, we take a look at the 20 most expensive green fees in the UK and Ireland and offer some advice on how to get them a little cheaper. The cheaper rates might suggests worse conditions but luckily the best courses, and especially links courses like the ones that feature heavily here, remain in playable condition all year round.
1. Trump Turnberry Ailsa Course, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £425
Trump Turnberry's Ailsa Course is comfortably one of the best golf courses in Scotland but golfers need to get out their wallets in order to play the four-time Open venue at peak times. This rate is from 1st June-30th Sep between Friday and Sunday but luckily golfers can still play the course for less than half that in off-season. A Mon-Thu rate during November costs just £175 (£200 Fri-Sun) although try and play before 11th November as that's the date when mats are required on all low cut turf.
View Trump Turnberry green fees (opens in new tab)
2. Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £374
Another Scottish golfing great, Kingsbarns, features in second place with the highest green fee coming in £51 shy of Turnberry's - although note this is the 2023 fee between May and November. The price tag here reflects the exceptional golf course, conditions and views but also its proximity to St Andrews and the famous Old Course. Kingsbarns of course features in the Dunhill Links and will be on plenty of golfing tourists' bucket lists and hit lists to tick off when in and around St Andrews. Kingsbarns doesn't appear to be the place to get a hugely discounted green fee, unfortunately, with the March-April 2023 offering of £315 looking the best.
View Kingsbarns green fees (opens in new tab)
3. The Golf Course at Adare Manor, Ireland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: €430
Adare Manor is Europe's answer to Augusta National and it's one of the best golf courses in Ireland, as well as the country's most expensive green fee. The stunning parkland, host of the JP McManus Pro-Am, welcomes the Ryder Cup in 2027 and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most golfers. Its peak green fee for 2023 of €430 converts to around £365 at the time of writing so it is right up there amongst the most expensive in the UK&I. The price goes up around €100 also as caddies (€95 per round) are required, unless you take a cart for €60 then a forecaddie is allowed. Cheaper rates can be accessed if you stay at the resort or go for a December tee time at €320.
View Adare Manor green fees (opens in new tab)
4. Old Head Golf Links, Ireland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: €395
Old Head Golf Links is undoubtedly the most spectacular golf course in the UK and Ireland, with mind-blowing views across the Ocean throughout the front and back nines. Those views and the experience of being at Old Head come with a price, though, with the course boasting Ireland's second-most expensive green fee. The peak fee comes in at €395, which translates to around £330 at the time of writing. It can be played for €225 (around £190) between October and April in 'low season'. Do it, you won't regret it.
View Old Head Golf Links green fees (opens in new tab)
T5. Trump International Golf Links, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £325
The stunning Martin Hawtree modern links offers up a unique and testing experience, and it can be yours for £325 during peak times. Save yourself £150 and play it for just £175 during November if the peak green fee is slightly out of range.
View Trump International Golf Links Scotland tee times (opens in new tab)
T5. Muirfield, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £325
We're starting to see a bit of a pattern here that golf at the very best courses in Scotland doesn't come cheap, at least during peak times for non-hotel residents and tourists. When it comes to the best courses in Scotland, there's absolutely no denying that Muirfield is right up the top. In fact, it's one of the best courses in the world. A trip round the famed 16-time Open venue will cost as much as £325 in 2023, but it can be played for just £125 (£200 off summer rate!) between November and December. Bargain. The course only takes visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays so book your day off now and enjoy playing a legendary golf course.
View Muirfield green fees (opens in new tab)
7. Royal Troon Old Course, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £315
Tackle one of the world's most famous golf holes, the Postage Stamp, at the legendary Royal Troon - home of nine Open Championships including the iconic Stenson vs Mickelson battle last time out in 2016. The stunning Ayrshire Links, next door to the likes of Prestwick, Western Gailes, Dundonald and plenty more great links courses, will cost up to £315 to get a tee time in 2023. There are still some 2022 bookings available but you must go through the office. Your best option for next year would be the £360 day ticket to play the famous Old Course as well as Troon's other course, the Portland.
View Royal Troon green fees and booking (opens in new tab)
8. Royal Lytham & St Annes, England
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £305
The most expensive green fee in England, and one of the best golf courses in England too, comes at Royal Lytham & St Annes. The testing, bunker-filled links has one of the country's grandest clubhouses and an 11-time Open Championship-hosting course to match. A peak green fee of £305 certainly isn't cheap although you could get on the course for just £160 between November 2021 and the end of February 2022, with 22-23 prices not yet showing on the website.
View Royal Lytham & St Annes green fees (opens in new tab)
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £300
Sunningdale is home to two of the best inland golf courses in the UK, in fact they are the two best, and the price is reflective of the quality on offer. Both the Old and the New are £300 each to play but the best, and only in our opinion, way to play them is to do both in one day for a reduced £500 price. It sounds a lot, and it is, but nothing comes close to a day at Sunningdale. Please note that October is the only month available for this year due to demand.
View Sunningdale green fees (opens in new tab)
T9. Royal Birkdale Golf Club, England
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £300
Another English course to boast a £300 highest green fee is Royal Birkdale, home to Jordan Spieth's dramatic 2017 Open triumph and a total of ten Open Championships altogether. The Lancashire links is arguably the best golf course in the country and is fully booked for the peak season, so luckily the £300 green fee doesn't apply here. Golfers looking to test their games at this stunning venue can pay £185 between November and February, and that even includes soup and sandwiches.
View Royal Birkdale green fees (opens in new tab)
T9. Royal County Down Championship Course, Northern Ireland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £300
Last and by no means least, as it tops our UK&I top 100 rankings, is the exceptional Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. The beautiful and dramatic links is not only one of the best golf courses in Northern Ireland but one of the world's very best too. It's £300 on Sunday afternoons during peak season but can be played for as little as £150 between November and February, and then £170 in March and £195 in April. It's one of the world's most incredible golf courses so if you haven't done it yet, do it!
View Royal County Down green fees (opens in new tab)
12. Carnoustie Championship Course, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £282
Green fees to play the iconic Championship Course at Carnoustie will cost £282 between May and October in 2023, with lower rates of £198 available during the shoulder seasons. The eight-time Open venue is famous for the Barry Burn that crosses a number of the holes, including the demanding 18th, which is where Jean van de Velde visited during his infamous final hole meltdown in 1999. The course also has the 'Hogan's Alley' par-5 6th and is regarded as one of the toughest tests on the Open rota. Francesco Molinari edged out the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to win the Claret Jug here in 2018.
View Carnoustie Golf Links green fees (opens in new tab)
13. Gleneagles, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £275
Gleneagles green fees are as high as £275 for the King’s Course, Queen’s Course and the PGA Centenary, host of the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cups. Gleneagles is regarded as the top golf resort in the UK, featuring three superb courses (two that feature in the Golf Monthly top 100 rankings) and world class facilities. Don't be put off by the £275 number as you can play the courses for as little as £78 between November-March and cheaper twilight rates are available in peak seasons.
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T14. St Andrews Old Course, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £270
The world famous Old Course is one for every golfers' bucket list, and its £270 peak green fee comes in at one of the highest in the UK - although everyone who plays the course will likely tell you that it is worth it. The 150th Open won by Cameron Smith was the 30th time the world's oldest Major was hosted here. The £270 rate applies between April and October but fees are as low as £135 between November and March.
View St Andrews Old Course green fees (opens in new tab)
T14. Dumbarnie Golf Links, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £270
The stunning Dumbarnie Golf Links near St Andrews is one of the best modern links layouts and has already received widespread acclaim after opening during the pandemic. Dumbarnie went straight into the UK&I Top 100 rankings, placing 40th. It costs £270 to play during peak times, with its off-season rates not yet publicised. The green fee is just £99 for Fife residents and £129 for Scottish residents, though, so locals can grab a bargain on what is already one of the country's best courses.
View Dumbarnie Golf Links green fees (opens in new tab)
T14. Castle Stuart Golf Links, Scotland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £270
Another of Scotland's tremendous modern links courses is Inverness' Castle Stuart, which golf fans know well after it hosted the Scottish Open four times between 2011 and 2016. The peak 2023 fee is £270 but shoulder season rates go down to £210. Scottish Golf members can play for as low as £100 during shoulder season and £140 in peak season.
View Castle Stuart Golf Links green fees (opens in new tab)
17. ROYAL LIVERPOOL GOLF CLUB, ENGLAND
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £265
Royal Liverpool, or Hoylake as it's also known as, is yet another Open venue to appear on this list and will welcome the 151st Open Championship in 2023. That will be the course's 13th Open and the first time it has hosted since Rory McIlroy's victory in 2014, coming after Tiger Woods' memorable 2006 triumph where he plotted his way around the bone dry links to perfection. Peak 2023 green fees will be £265, with October rates going down to £215.
View Royal Liverpool Golf Club green fees (opens in new tab)
T18. Royal Portrush Dunluce Course, Northern Ireland
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £255
Royal Portrush returned to our screens in 2019 for the Open Championship, which it hadn't hosted for 68 years after the 1951 edition. The stunning Northern Irish links will be back as 2025 venue after the success of Shane Lowry's stunning triumph last time out. Peak green fees cost £255 around the upgraded Dunluce Course with off-season fees as low as £100 between November and March.
View Royal Portrush Golf Club green fees (opens in new tab)
T18. The Berkshire Golf Club, England
HIGHEST GREEN FEE: £255
The Berkshire is home to two of the country's best heathland golf courses with the Red Course and Blue Course, with the fun, and beautiful, Red layout just edging out the equally gorgeous Blue in the Top 100 rankings - it does have six par-3s, six par-4s and six par-5s after all. This grand venue costs £255 at weekends during summer season but drops to just £140 between November and April, and during those months you can play both courses in one day for £195. A day playing both courses at the Berkshire is up there with one of the best days in golf.
View The Berkshire Golf Club green fees (opens in new tab)
To round off this list, we'll pick out a number of similar-priced peak green fees that come in just below the £255 mark:
- Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg, Ireland - €300 (around £253)
- Ballyliffin Glashedy, Ireland - €300 (around £253)
- Royal St George's, England - £250
- Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland - £250
- Walton Heath Golf Club, England - £250
- Portmarnock Red & Blue, Ireland - €295 (around £248)
Of course, we are living through a cost of living crisis so even if some of the reduced green fees are out of your budget take a look at our best cheap golf courses list, which features 100 hidden gems across the UK and Ireland that all offer up something special at a more affordable price. If you're looking for a top 100 bargain, make sure to check out the 10 cheapest top 100 green fees in the UK.
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. 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
2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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