Courses 31-40

31. Silloth On Solway (2004 position ? 24)

6335 yards; Par 72; SSS 70

Green fees £35-£48

Tel: 01697 332404

Located on the north-west coast of England in Cumbria, Silloth contains a perfect blend of exciting tees, blind shots, a proportionate amount of hazarding (varying from heather and broom to pot bunkers) and images that stimulate the golfing mind from tee to green. On a clear day you can see the Galloway Hills in Scotland to the north, the hills of the Lake District to the south and the Isle of Man out in the distance

in the Irish Sea. Established in 1892, this very fair test of golf has many exciting prospects while standing over the ball. Second shots are just as interesting as the tee shots due to the brilliant positioning of the greens.

32. Western Gailes (26)

6640 yards; Par 71; SSS 74

Green fees £50-£110

Tel: 01294 311649

A very friendly welcome ? it feels like coming home to your family after a long overseas trip and it has a lovely clubhouse boasting panoramic views across to the Isle of Arran. A really popular club for visitors and members alike, although at £100 per round it is on the expensive side. However, even though I was stuck behind a group of Scandinavians and ended up playing a five-hour round, the time went very quickly. If I could be a member of any Scottish golf course I would choose here ? a real golfer?s club, a diamond.

33. Hillside (27)

6850 yards; Par 72; SSS 74

Green fees £50-£65

Tel: 01704 568360

A true links course where the holes are shaped primarily by nature, following the contours of the dunes and valleys. But Hillside is softer, gentler and perhaps more subtle than a traditional links, with stands of conifers to enhance the visual impact of several holes. But it is difficult from the white tees. From the yellow tees it?s less intimidating ? a competent club golfer can meet the challenge laid out by the designer with strategy and good shot-making, as opposed to muscle.

34. Tralee (37)

6678 yards; Par 72; SSS 71

Green fees E160

Tel: 00353 66 713 6379

One word describes the views you get around Tralee ? incredible. Standing on the 11th green on a sunny day you will not want to move and for this view alone it?s a must-play course. The sound of the sea, the wind and the birds, plus the beautiful views make the course top of my list of locations to visit again. It is a heavily used course with lots of Americans arriving throughout the summer but there?s little visual evidence of this traffic. If you are in Ireland don?t leave without playing this course and make sure to take your camera with you.

35. North Berwick (41)

6456 yards; Par 71; SSS 72

Green fees £25-£75

Tel: 01620 893233

This is a golfing experience every player should taste. It?s not dissimilar to St Andrews in that it starts and finishes in the town and winds its way out and back along a narrow strip of shoreline. However, North Berwick has an intriguing mix of golf holes and many distinctive features. The course has great par 3s, including the memorable 15th hole. The 13th has a boundary wall right in front of the green, which is set sideways to the hole. The 16th green is amazing, with a plateau surface and a huge dip in the middle of the green. The course is kept in fine condition and contains all the features expected of links golf with fast, true greens and tight, rolling fairways.

36. Portmarnock Old Course (21)

6934 yards; Par 72; SSS 72

Green fees E165-E190

Tel: 00353 1846 2634

An outstanding links golf course with a great variety of holes and the recent new fairway bunkers are excellent. The re-designed 1st hole is quite extreme and possesses one of the best 1st tee locations in golf. The course is set amid sand dunes and has lots of views out to sea, making it a real treat to play. It?s in excellent condition with fast and true greens, while the refurbished and extended clubhouse has excellent facilities.

37. St Andrews New Course (34)

6625 yards; Par 71; SSS 72

Green fees £28-£57

Tel: 01334 466664

The New has always lived in the shadow of its more illustrious older brother but it is, of course, superbly challenging in its own right. Whereas the Old is rather open with a propensity to forgive the odd hook, the New is tighter with greater definition, placing a premium on accuracy and a sound strategy. The fear factor doesn?t lie in the course length but in the gorse, sleepered bunkers and small greens. Pointing into the prevailing wind, the final three is a very exacting stretch of holes.

38. Walton Heath Old Course (48)

7063 yards; Par 72; SSS 74

Green fees £85-£105

Tel: 01737 812060

This wonderful heathland course has a traditional format of four par 3s, 10 par 4s and four par 5s. The fairways on the whole are generous but if you miss them you?ll encounter the penal gorse and heather. The 18th is an absolutely wonderful finishing hole. The course is situated in some extremely beautiful countryside and from the moment I arrived I was made to feel welcome by the secretary and club staff. The clubhouse is steeped in tradition and offers exceptional facilities.

39. Prestwick (49)

6544 yards; Par 71; SSS 73

Green fees £105-£140

Tel: 01292 479483

This is very much a second shot course. There?s not an awful lot of danger off the tee and though you can?t spray it around with abandon it?s certainly not critical if you are off line. The main test here is the greens, which are generally either tilted, undulating, small and protected by mounds or all three! Purists will love it, but the green fee seems rather steep ? there are some surrounding courses offering better value. The clubhouse is full of memorabilia and it has a very fine 19th to observe the golf (or aeroplanes) with your repast and a dram.

40. Gleneagles Queens Course (31)

5965 yards; Par 68; SSS 70

Green fees £70-£115

Tel: 0800 389 3737

Short but oh so sweet, the Queens is the smaller sibling of the Kings and an almost Lilliputian cousin of the monster-sized PGA. However, dismiss it as a track to come to and flatter your handicap at your peril. The course rewards good strategy from the tee (leaving a driver in the bag for many of the holes is a clever move) and shot-making skills on the approaches if you?re to score well. As with the other two Gleneagles courses the Queens is always in super condition and your round is played out against the stunning backdrop of the Ochil Hills, which take on an almost spiritual quality in the late evening sun. There is a great variety of par 3s including the testing 14th (below) with its two tier green.

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