Best Golf Courses In The Midlands

Not so well-known as a golfing destination, a look at the best golf courses in the Midlands serves up an absolute feast of top quality inland golf

Best Golf Courses in the Midlands - Hollinwell - Hole 13
The fabulous par-3 thirteenth at Hollinwell, the highest-ranked golf course in The Midlands
(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, golfworking.co.uk)

Best Golf Courses in The Midlands

Golf Monthly’s Top 100 courses of the UK and Ireland, along with the Next 100 that sit snapping at their heals, is spearheaded by links courses and historic golf. This sometimes means that inland golf, particularly away from the more obvious hotspots such as the best golf courses in Surrey and also the best golf courses in Yorkshire, is a little overlooked.

Treating the Midlands as the central belt excluding the east coast and the border with Wales, there is a huge amount of excellent golf to be enjoyed including three courses in the Top 100 golf course rankings and a further six in the Next 100. Starting with these, this guide to the best golf courses in the Midlands also includes plenty of terrific golf, much of which flies under the radar.

Hollinwell, the home of Notts Golf Club

Hollinwell - Hole 18

The closing hole at Hollinwell is a strong par 4 back to the clubhouse

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, golfworking.co.uk)
  • Location Kirkby-in-Ashfield
  • Founded 1887
  • Architect Willie Park Junior, Tom Williamson & JH Taylor
  • GF £150 Mon-Fri, £160 Sunday afternoon
  • Par 72, 6,619 yards
  • Contact Hollinwell - the Home of Notts Golf Club (opens in new tab)

As you enter this vast, golfing oasis between the par-5 3rd and the closing hole, there is a huge sense of anticipation for what is to come. This is one of the most expansive courses in the Top 100 and it covers a huge acreage of absolutely beautiful heathland. In part wooded, it also benefits from rocky outcrops, the occasional encounter with water, bracken and fern. Rarely do consecutive holes run in the same direction, and the gentle slopes on the northern side of the estate reward both with lovely views and strategic challenge. This glorious course is a genuine and very rewarding must-play and one of the best inland golf courses in the UK.

Read full Hollinwell course review

Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest - Hole 17

The penultimate hole at Sherwood Forest is a fine par 4 played to the flattest green on the course

(Image credit: Sherwood Forest Golf Club)
  • Location Mansfield
  • Founded 1895
  • Architect Harry Colt, James Braid
  • GF £100
  • Par 71, 6,685 yards
  • Contact Sherwood Forest Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Sherwood Forest has benefited from the design genius of both Harry Colt and James Braid, and this beauty runs over springy, perfect turf, putting it up there with the best heathland golf courses in the country. It calls for strong and accurate driving with most of the fairways lined by swathes of heather and a wide variety of trees. The opening loop of four holes returns to the clubhouse before you then head way out into the forest. The bunkering is attractive and very well positioned, and the gentle undulations all offer up a wonderful round of golf.

Read full Sherwood Forest Golf Club course review

The Belfry

The Belfry - Brabazon - Hole 10

The driveable par-4 tenth on the Brabazon Course at The Belfry is a brilliant risk-reward hole

(Image credit: The Belfry)
  • Location Wishaw
  • Founded 1977
  • Architect Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas
  • GF Contact club for details
  • Par 72, 6,869 yards
  • Contact The Belfry (opens in new tab)

The Brabazon Course at The Belfry is probably best known for hosting four Ryder Cups, and more recently has hosted the last two British Masters. It opened for play in 1977, since when it has benefited from regular and significant upgrading and redevelopment. Water hazards abound, and the driveable par-4 10th is one of the best examples of a risk-reward hole in the country. The famous closing hole works from right to left and over water, and two further courses - The PGA National and The Derby - along with a lively hotel - make this a complete golfing resort.

Read full Belfry - Brabazon course review

Beau Desert

Beau Desert - Hole 17

A pair of bunkers protects the entrance to the green on the par-4 seventeenth at Beau Desert

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location Cannock
  • Founded 1911
  • Architect Herbert Fowler
  • GF £80-£95 Mon-Fri
  • Par 72, 6,458 yards
  • Contact Beau Desert Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This excellent heathland course is very highly regarded as a test of golf and is in the Golf Monthly Next 100. It was designed by Herbert Fowler whose extremely strong CV boasts both pairs of courses at The Berkshire and Walton Heath. It covers a large acreage with the holes in many places separated by large tracts of pine, and with just the one start point close to the clubhouse, there is a lovely feeling of space once you are on your way. The 12th is a particularly testing par 4, a double dogleg where it’s all too easy to be blocked out.

Blackwell

Blackwell Golf Club - Hole 18

The final green at Blackwell is beautifully situated beneath an oak tree right outside the clubhouse

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Bromsgrove
  • Founded 1893
  • Architect Herbert Fowler and Tom Simpson
  • GF £100 Mon-Fri
  • Par 70, 6,260 yards
  • Contact Blackwell Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Blackwell is a timeless and very charming course that is one of a small number on which Herbert Fowler and Tom Simpson collaborated. This was some 30 years after the club’s formation, and the result is a course where subtlety and strategy are far more important than brute strength. The five short holes are extremely varied and interesting, and the closing hole up to the clubhouse makes for a picture-perfect finish. Beneficiary of some recent and ongoing bunker upgrading, the surprisingly secluded and rural course at Blackwell is a real delight and well worth seeking out.

Cavendish

Cavendish - Hole 4

Looking down from the tee towards the green on the par-3 fourth at Cavendish

(Image credit: Jonathan Gaunt)
  • Location Buxton
  • Founded 1925
  • Architect Alister MacKenzie
  • GF £45 Mon-Fri, £55 Weekend
  • Par 68, 5,721 yards
  • Contact Cavendish Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This short but nonetheless testing Alister MacKenzie design is packed with charisma, natural beauty and golfing delight! Three of the five par 3s are just a short iron and there is a lone par 5, but it’s no pushover. There are several demanding two-shotters including the super-tough 10th and the closing hole, a dogleg right to a green beside the stylish clubhouse which plays every inch of its 441 yards. No distance from the town of Buxton, you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by stunning scenery.

Read full Cavendish Golf Club course review

Enville

Enville - Highgate - Hole 4

The par-4 fourth on the Highgate Course at Enville works its way from left to right over a cross bunker

(Image credit: Enville Golf Club)
  • Location Stourbridge
  • Founded 1935
  • Architect Alf Pagham, Frank Pennink, Ron Hinton
  • GF £80 Mon-Fri
  • Highgate Par 72, 6,491 yards
  • Lodge Par 71, 6,253 yards
  • Contact Enville Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Enville is the home of two very fine heathland/woodland courses, the newer being the Lodge which opened for play in 1983. It is the Highgate, however, that generally receives the greater attention and is in the Golf Monthly Next 100. It features some very interesting and at times demanding golf with perhaps the prettiest hole being the 16th; a lovely par 3 in a clearing which calls for a long-iron or even wood over a pond that attracts both wildlife and golf balls. A round on each course provides an excellent golfing day out.

Little Aston

Little Aston - Hole 17

Water awaits anything left of the green on the penultimate hole at Little Aston

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location Sutton Coldfield
  • Founded 1908
  • Architect Harry Vardon, Harry Colt
  • GF £135 Mon-Wed, Fri & Sun
  • Par 72, 6,717 yards
  • Contact Little Aston Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Little Aston is rightly thought of by many as not only one of the finest layouts in the Midlands, but one of the best inland designs in the country. Over the years, the two Harrys laid the foundations for what is a beautiful and superbly conditioned parkland test. The most notable recent change is to the green at the penultimate hole which has been moved to the left so that it is now almost surrounded by water. The practice green is one of the best and most recognisable in England.

Read full Little Aston Golf Club course review

Luffenham Heath

Luffenham Heath - Hole 4

The par-4 fourth at Luffenham Heath plays down to a two-tier green that slopes away

(Image credit: Jonathan Gaunt)
  • Location Stamford
  • Founded 1911
  • Architect Harry Colt
  • GF £85 Mon, Wed & Thu, £95 Fri-Sun
  • Par 70, 6,563 yards
  • Contact Luffenham Heath Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Enjoying a wonderfully rustic and rural location, Luffenham Heath sits on a spacious parcel of peaceful and gently undulating heathland. The par-70 course stretches to 6,500 yards from the back tees and asks its toughest questions at the longer par 4s. Visual highlights include the approach down to the 4th green with rolling fields and North Luffenham in the distance, and the excellent par-3 17th played from an elevated tee to a well-protected green.

Read full Luffenham Heath Golf Club course review

Burton-on-Trent

Burton-on-Trent - Hole 18

A pond protects the entrance to the final green at Burton in Staffordshire

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Burton-On-Trent
  • Founded 1894
  • Architect Harry Colt
  • GF £45 Mon-Fri, £50 Weekend
  • Par 70, 6,510 yards
  • Contact Burton Golf Club (opens in new tab)

In 1914, Harry Colt redesigned and expanded what is now a tree-lined course which from the back tee plays to a tight par of 70. With just two par 5s, at the 3rd and 13th, it covers a large acreage and has a very active, competitive and friendly membership. Three of the four short holes play uphill, including the super-tough 12th, and there is an exciting finishing hole where you play down into a valley and then, hopefully, over the pond. Burton-On-Trent is perhaps not so well-known as it should be, an advantage of which is that a round here offers excellent value.

Coxmoor

Coxmoor Golf Club - Hole 17

The seventeenth hole is the longest and the last of the four par 3s at Coxmoor

(Image credit: Coxmoor Golf Club)
  • Location Sutton-in-Ashfield
  • Founded 1913
  • Architect Tom Williamson
  • GF £90 Mon-Fri
  • Par 73, 6,738 yards
  • Contact Coxmoor Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Celebrating its centenary back in 2013, the current layout of the course at Coxmoor was mainly developed in the 1930s at which point there were no trees on the site. Since then, birch, beech and pine have helped to define the design, and the course now stretches to over 6,700 yards from the championship tees. There are five par 5s which raise the prospect of a birdie, and the elevated location means that wind can often be a factor here. With Hollinwell and Sherwood Forest close by, Coxmoor can justifiably hold its head high.

Edgbaston

Edgbaston - Hole 15

All of the Colt bunkering at Edgbaston such as here on the fifteenth has recently been restored

(Image credit: Edgbaston Golf Club)
  • Location Birmingham
  • Founded 1896
  • Architect Harry Colt
  • GF £100 Mon-Fri
  • Par 69, 6,128 yards
  • Contact Edgbaston Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Edgbaston is a fine, attractive and very enjoyable parkland course. The elegant Georgian clubhouse is actually the club’s third home, and with the exception of Martin Ebert’s expert and comparatively recent bunker renovations, the lush, tree-lined course is little changed from the ‘30s, still bearing many of Harry Colt’s trademarks. Look out for the delightful par-3 7th with the huge clock tower as its backdrop.

Read full Edgbaston Golf Club course review

Forest of Arden

Forest of Arden - Arden Course - Hole 16

The par-4 sixteenth on the championship Arden Course is protected by a pond

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location Meriden
  • Founded 1970
  • Architect Donald Steel
  • GF Contact club for details
  • Par 72, 6,707 yards
  • Contact Forest of Arden Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Both courses at this golf, country club and hotel resort were designed by Donald Steel. The longer of the two, the Arden, rose to prominence in the 1990s as a regular host of first the English Open and then the British Masters. Both are laid out over a beautiful old deer park with plenty of majestic old specimen trees, and the deer are still an attractive feature. Both have also been regularly upgraded over time and are kept in tip-top order. Water is a regular feature on the Arden and the closing hole, a long par 3 over water, offers a tantalising sting in the tail.

JCB

JCB Club - Hole 17

The penultimate hole at the JCB Club is a sensational par 3 played down to an island green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Uttoxeter
  • Founded 2019
  • Architect Robin Hiseman
  • GF Contact club for details
  • Par 72, 6,599 yards
  • Contact The JCB Club (opens in new tab)

First the bad news, and regular green fees are not permitted here - it's one of the UK's most exclusive golf clubs. This means that in order to play this sumptuous and very exciting new design, you will have to seek out an invitation or look for an event into which you can enter. Having said that, then this extremely varied and at times innovative new course is well worth the effort. There are many fabulous holes, including the gorgeous opening par 4 and the amazing par-3 penultimate hole, and the friendliness and informality in the clubhouse are refreshing.

Kedleston Park

Kedleston Park - Hole 16

The short sixteenth at Kedleston Park with the magnificent manor house beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Derby
  • Founded 1946
  • Architect James Braid, John Morrison, Tom Mackenzie
  • GF Contact club for details
  • Par 72, 6,727 yards
  • Contact Kedleston Park Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This lush, tree-lined James Braid design just to the north of Derby rose from the ashes of the defunct Markeaton club. One of its many charms is the backdrop of the stately home, Kedleston Hall, a magnificent neo-classical mansion which appears frequently during the round. Mature trees define the course and come into play regularly, and there are some lovely holes close to water, especially the long but bunkerless 5th and the exciting par-3 7th which calls for a lofted short iron over the lake. The 18th is a real sting in the tail; an uphill, dogleg left that plays substantially longer than its yardage.

Read full Kedleston Park Golf Club course review

Sandwell Park

Sandwell Park - Hole 18

The closing hole at Sandwell Park plays gently uphill and over a cross bunker towards the clubhouse

(Image credit: Sandwell Park Golf Club)
  • Location Birmingham
  • Founded 1895
  • Architect Harry Colt
  • GF £55 Mon-Fri
  • Par 71, 6,468 yards
  • Contact Sandwell Park Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Harry Colt was undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of golf course architecture, and while many of his designs are world-famous, there are plenty of first-class layouts that are comparatively unknown outside of their home territory. Sandwell Park is one such course, and it is a delight. Despite its proximity to the M5, it is remarkably peaceful, and there are two loops of nine testing but completely fair, tree-lined holes. This is a top-quality course that offers excellent value for money.

Read full Sandwell Park Golf Club course review

South Staffordshire

South Staffordshire - Hole 18

Out of bounds lines the right side of the par-4 eighteenth hole at South Staffordshire

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, golfworking.co.uk)

The original course was designed by Harry Vardon, but there have been subsequent alterations by the likes of Harry Colt, James Braid, Fred Hawtree and Donald Steel. This is the home of former Ryder Cup star, Peter Baker, and the tree-lined layout is a tough test which requires both accuracy and strength. The middle section from around the 7th to the 14th is particularly demanding with some long par 4s such as the super-tough 457-yard 9th, so you will need to try and get ahead of the card at the start and the end.

Sutton Coldfield

Sutton Coldfield - Hole 15

Fox Hole is the par-3 fifteenth at Sutton Coldfield

(Image credit: Sutton Coldfield Golf Club)
  • Location Sutton Coldfield
  • Founded 1892
  • Architect Alister MacKenzie
  • GF £80
  • Par 72, 6,548 yards
  • Contact Sutton Coldfield Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Alister MacKenzie of Augusta National fame designed many excellent but less well-known courses. Sutton Coldfield is one, and he designed it some 30 years after the club’s formation. Most unusually, there is a back-to-back-to-back triangle of par 5s from the 5th. Two of these are under 500 yards from the back tee and so it may be here that you can make your score on this very enjoyable and testing heathland layout. According to MacKenzie, "The land on which the present course is situated is almost the best heathland I know for golf.” A recent bunker refurbishment has turned what was already a fine course into an extremely good and enjoyable test of golf.

Read full Sutton Coldfield Golf Club course review

Whittington Heath

Whittington Heath - Hole 7

The lovely par-3 seventh hole at Whittington Heath plays back towards the new clubhouse

(Image credit: Whittington Heath Golf Club)
  • Location Lichfield
  • Founded 1886
  • Architect Harry Colt, Jonathan Gaunt
  • GF £90 all week
  • Par 71, 6,658 yards
  • Contact Whittington Heath Golf Club (opens in new tab)

With its Harry Colt heritage, the course at Whittington Heath already had a great deal going for it way before substantial and recent changes which were brought about by the controversial HS2 rail link. Five new holes have been created by Jonathan Gaunt on land to the east of the original layout, and the routing and configuration has also changed elsewhere. The idea was to create a more open design with the original heathland feel, and while there is some maturing and finishing still to come, the omens are good. A new clubhouse has been built in a more peaceful location away from the road, and this is even more of a must-play now than before.

The Worcestershire

Worcestershire Golf Club - Hole 17

Water protects the green on the par-4 seventeenth at The Worcestershire

(Image credit: The Worcestershire Golf Club)
  • Location Malvern Wells
  • Founded 1879
  • Architect Alister MacKenzie
  • GF £50 Mon-Fri, £60 Weekend
  • Par 71, 6,455 yards
  • Contact The Worcestershire Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This very attractive, distinctive and beautifully-located Alister MacKenzie design was revamped by Fred Hawtree. It is some way off the beaten track, but this only adds to the charm and it is more than worth any effort made to get here. The course nestles in the base of the Malvern Hills, and the club is the oldest in the county. There are plenty of varied and testing holes including each of the four excellent par 3s and the super-tough par-4 14th. This was very rightly included as one of the 2022 Golf Monthly 100 Hidden Gems.

Read full Worcestershire Golf Club course review

Further to the north and west, the best golf courses in Cheshire and the best golf courses in Lancashire are packed with famous names, particularly their dazzling array of links. The Midlands has no seaside golf to offer, but its excellent array of top-quality heathland, parkland and courses that defy description mean that there is a huge amount of rewarding golf to explore.