Turnberry Triumphant While Portrush & Adare Manor Star In New Top 100

Trump Turnberry's Ailsa Course remains number one in the Golf Monthly top 100 rankings

New Top 100 Rankings
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Trump Turnberry's Ailsa Course remains number one in the Golf Monthly Top 100 rankings

Turnberry Triumphant While Portrush & Adare Manor Star In New Top 100

Trump Turnberry's Ailsa course keeps hold of the top spot in the new Golf Monthly Top 100 Golf Courses UK & Ireland 2019/20.

The Scottish links is, for us, the UK & I's undisputed number one whilst many other courses see success stories in the rankings including next year's Open host Royal Portrush and the resurgent Adare Manor, both shining after major redevelopment.

The Golf Monthly Top 100 is now in its eighth instalment and has been produced by club golfers rather than by tour pros, elite amateurs, course designers or those working inside the golf industry.


Turnberry's Ailsa course remains number one after the sensational course improvements prior to the 2016 opening.

They included a number of new holes including the par-3 9th, pictured above, a stunning one-shotter playing over the rockface and Firth of Clyde to a green nestled by the iconic lighthouse.

The 148th Open host Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland has seen a rise of five places, moving up from 13th to 8th.

Portrush has built two excellent new holes to replace the previously uninspiring finishing duo, and the result is remarkable.

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The new 7th hole at Royal Portrush

The two new holes, set amidst towering dunes, allow for the old and flatter 17th and 18th to make room for the Open tented village and other infrastructure necessary to host such a monumental event.

Adare Manor in Ireland is perhaps the story of the Top 100 this time out, re-entering at 25th after a spectacular re-design from Tom Fazio.

The parkland gem is now genuinely the closest thing the UK and Ireland has to Augusta, with stunning conditioning, world class green complexes and a new sub-air system to keep the playing surfaces impeccable.

Adare Manor re-enters the top 100 at number 25

Another Irish sensation, Old Head, is up four places to 31st whilst Open Final Qualifying Venue Notts, showcasing English heathland golf at its finest, is also up four to 36th.

Gleneagles' Queen's Course is another big riser, up seven to 55th whilst Southport and Ainsdale is up six to 60th, Cruden Bay in Scotland rises five to 71st and West Hill in Surrey goes up six to 73rd.

Gleneagles Golf Resort Queen's Course Review

Gleneagles' Queen's Course has risen seven places

Parkstone, one of Bournemouth's big three heathland classics, is up four to 78th, West Hill's near-neighbour Woking is up six to 80th and Woburn's Duke's course rises five places to 86th.

Woburn GC has all three of its courses in the Top 100 while the Home of Golf also has three of its courses featuring.

The Machrie re-enters at 90th

New faces in the 2019/20 rankings are The Machrie, re-entering after significant renovations, and 2017 Irish Open venue Portstewart on the north coast of Northern Ireland.

Ballyliffin's Old Course also enters the Top 100 for the first time, giving the club two entries in the list after the 2018 Irish Open course - The Glashedy - in 68th spot.

Clubs with two courses in the Top 100 are: Sunningdale, Walton Heath, The Berkshire, Gleneagles, Saunton and Ballyliffin.


How the UK and Ireland New Top 100 rankings were produced

WATCH: New Top 100 Rankings - Criteria

Compiling the rankings is a huge task involving many hundreds of course visits.

To complete it, we rely heavily on the endeavours of our panellists to get out and play across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.

They carry out their visits for the love of golf and receive no payment or expenses.

We are extremely grateful to them for their immense efforts and equally the contender clubs for finding space on busy tee sheets to accommodate their assessment visits.

The whole process is overseen by Michael Harris, Rob Smith and Jeremy Ellwood – all confirmed golf course collectors.

Rob chalked up his 1,000th course this year and has played all but one of the new Top 100; Jeremy has played the full 100 and Michael has notched 82 of the 100.

We are always looking for well-travelled golfers to join the panel, so if you think you know your Aldeburghs from your Aberdoveys, email golfmonthly@ti-media.com with a brief golfing CV and short review of the best course you played in 2018.

We are very grateful to FootJoy for its continued support of the rankings.

Our Top 100 partnership spans a decade and its investment has allowed us to produce our Top 100 rankings print supplement on sale 6th Dec to 2nd Jan, the Top 100 dedicated section of the website and some special video content that can be found on our YouTube channel.

We very much hope you enjoy reading about the courses, debating their merits and, most of all, playing them!

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5