21-30 Top 100 Golf Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

Golf Monthly's full list of the UK and Ireland's Top 100 courses

Ballybunion Golf Club Old Course with the top 100 UK and Ireland logo
(Image credit: Evan Schiller / Ballybunion Golf Club)

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21-30 Courses


Royal Porthcawl from above

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Porthcawl, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Founded: 1891
  • Designed by: Charles Gibson and Ramsay Hunter
  • Green fee: £145-£195
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 1

There’s a special feeling as you drive out of town towards Rest Bay and catch your first glimpse of the Porthcawl clubhouse.

The terrain slopes gently up and away from the shore, so one of the very best things is the sea views from every hole. The start is pretty tough as you hug the beach over a challenging opening trio. You then turn back for the long par-3 4th, with its brand new tee complex, where a vast undulating green adds to the test. There are so many good holes, with the short but extensively bunkered 7th living proof that even the shortest of par 3s can more than hold its own.

- Royal Porthcawl Golf Club review and key info

Waterville Golf Links from above

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland
  • Founded: 1973
  • Designed by: Eddie Hackett and Claude Harmon
  • Green fee: €300 (off-season rates on application)
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 2

Although golf was played here a long time ago, it petered out until the land was taken under new ownership in the 1960s. The links opened for play in 1973 and is therefore celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023.

It is almost completely surrounded by water and also has wonderful views of the nearby mountains. Tom Fazio has been involved in more recent years making a number of improvements. The opening two holes lead you down to the shore before the next two hug the edge of the dunes and beach.

Great closing stretches are perfect to leave you wanting more, and Waterville delivers as you head back to the shoreline at the 15th for a thrilling finish.

- Waterville Golf Links review and key info


Ballybunion Old 11th hole

(Image credit: Steve Carr)
  • Location: Ballybunion, County Kerry, Ireland
  • Founded: 1893
  • Designed by: Robert Trent Jones Sr
  • Green fee: €300
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 2

Ballybunion justifiably enjoys a worldwide reputation for its imperious setting on Ireland’s wild, west coast.

The club dates back to 1893, and following a very enjoyable limbering up over the opening six holes, the Old Course shifts into overdrive as you reach the rugged cliffs at the 7th. From then on, you work your way though spectacular dunes where it is all too easy to be distracted by the visual feast that awaits.

Golfing legend Tom Watson has been singing its praises for more than 40 years and even served as the club’s captain in 2000. Named after the great man, the 11th is a superb par 4 that slaloms its way along the shoreline.

- Ballybunion Old course review and key info


Adare Manor par-3 16th hole

(Image credit: The Golf Course at Adare Manor)
  • Location: Adare, County Limerick, Ireland
  • Founded: 1995 (re-designed 2016)
  • Designed by: Robert Trent Jones Sr (Tom Fazio re-design)
  • Green fee: €300-€380 plus caddie fee
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 2

In 2015, 20 years after the course first opened, leading American designer Tom Fazio was engaged to fully reinvigorate the original Robert Trent Jones Senior design. As this was already pretty good, he kept the same routing while effectively rebuilding every tee, bunker, green and water feature. Every blade of grass was replaced while installing the latest and best equipment.

Today’s course has commonly been described as the most Augusta National-like experience you can get anywhere in Europe, and the staging here of the 2027 Ryder Cup is already eagerly anticipated. At the 15th, 16th and 18th you have as spectacular and memorable a par 4, short hole and sensational par 5 as you will find just about anywhere.

- Adare Manor review and key info


The stunning par-3 8th hole pictured at St George's Hill

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Weybridge, Surrey, England
  • Opened: 1911
  • Designed by: Harry Colt
  • Green fee: £240
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 1

Step back a century to the very best historical golf course architecture, and St George’s Hill near Weybridge in Surrey is right up there with Swinley Forest and the two courses at Sunningdale.

Everything here is premier league, from the undulating pine-clad holes to the very distinctive and instantly recognisable clubhouse. What sets Harry Colt’s design apart are its gentle but still significant elevation changes. These add greatly to the visual appeal at the same time as asking questions on club selection.

If you had to point to a signature hole, it would be tough as there are so many, but the par-3 8th is an absolute pearl. Scenic, majestic, testing, this exquisite one-shotter plays over a valley of heather and sand.

- St George's Hill review and key info


Lahinch pictured from above

(Image credit: Steve Carr)
  • Location: Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland
  • Founded: 1892
  • Designed by: Alister MacKenzie
  • Green fee: €225-€275
  • 23/24 ranking: No change

Golf at Lahnich on the County Clare coast began in 1892 when two officials of Limerick Golf Club laid out 18 holes with the assistance of officers from the “Black Watch” regiment.

Old Tom Morris made improvements in 1894 but it was Dr Alister MacKenzie who, in 1927, created the course largely still in play today. Martin Hawtree has completed sympathetic renovations more recently. There’s a great mix of holes, some asking for raw power, others for a more subtle approach. The natural contours of the land and the ever-present wind make for a superb natural test.

- Lahinch Old course review and key info


Burnham and Berrow Golf links general view

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England
  • Founded: 1891
  • Designed by: Charles Gibson
  • Green fee: £130-£190
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 1

The routing of the Championship Course on the Somerset coast is very much that of a traditional single starting point links, with the opening hole taking you westwards from the clubhouse out towards the Bristol Channel and into the dunes.

Dating back more than 130 years, its development has been influenced by architectural greats such as Fowler, MacKenzie and Colt, the result being 18 individual and memorable holes including the recently redesigned par-4 12th. The four par 3s are exceptionally strong and memorable, and the closing hole is a colossal two-shotter to a well bunkered green by the clubhouse.

- Burnham and Berrow review and key info



(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Portmarnock, County Dublin, Ireland
  • Founded: 1894
  • Designed by: William Pickeman
  • Green fee: €165-€450
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 1

Set on a relatively flat and wonderfully sandy peninsula to the north of Dublin, the land at Portmarnock looks like it was always destined for golf. And while it may not have the towering dunes that occur elsewhere in the country, this is a serious championship test that is extremely highly regarded and has long been ranked as one of the country’s very finest golfing examinations.

It hosted the 2019 Amateur Championship which coincided with upgrades to some of the championship tees and bunkers, the creation of new areas of mounding and a new irrigation system.

- Portmarnock Golf Club review and key info


north berwick

(Image credit: Getty Images - David Cannon)
  • Location: North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
  • Founded: 1832
  • Designed by: David Strath, Old Tom Morris, Ben Sayers and C.K Hutchison
  • Green fee: £110-£200
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 1

The West Links is a largely a traditional out and back links with the sea in play on six holes. It’s quirky with walls running through fairways, raised greens, sunken greens, unusual greens like the two-part 16th and just brilliant greens like that on the much-copied 15th “Redan.”

But it’s not overly quirky and the varied holes deliver a complete test of your game. The course demands creativity and an open mind about where you should aim from the tee and on approach, but it’s a fair test and supremely fun to play.

- North Berwick Golf Club review and key info


Hankley Common Golf Club from above

(Image credit: Jason LIvy)
  • Location: Farnham, Surrey, England
  • Opened: 1897
  • Designed by: Harry Colt and James Braid
  • Green fee: £145-£160
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 2

The layout at Hankley Common was designed by James Braid and Harry Colt and it has long been cherished as one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country.

Both course and surrounding area are classed as a “Site of Special Scientific Interest,” and are home to many interesting species of flora and fauna. The club takes pains to ensure the course is maintained superbly but sympathetically with free-draining soil and excellent playing surfaces. Hankley Common is a club that is constantly looking to improve upon what is already a high-quality offering.

- Hankley Common review and key info

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer 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: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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