One Golf Club, Two Very Different Courses - We Tour The UK In Search Of Clubs With Wonderfully Contrasting Layouts

Despite their shared location, each of these clubs has two very pleasingly different courses

Despite their shared location, each of these clubs has two very pleasingly different courses - Gog Magog - Old Course - Hole 18
The sixteenth on the Old Course at Gog Magog is a beautiful hole that works its way gently up to the green
(Image credit: Kevin Diss)

The UK and Ireland is home to in excess of 3,000 golf courses, a good number of which are part of the same club, share similar topography and are understandably also similar in nature. Here, we take a look at clubs with more then one course but where they vary substantially and so offer great variety to their members and those seeking a 36-hole day out.

Gog Magog

Gog Magog - Old Course - Hole 18

The closing hole on the Old Course at Gog Magog

(Image credit: Kevin Diss)

Blessed with a beautifully peaceful site on the outskirts of Cambridge, this unusually-named club is home to not one but two of the very best courses in the county. The gently undulating Old Course opened just before the club was founded in 1901, and has subsequently benefited from the input of various architects including Willie Park Junior and JF Abercomby. The Wandlebury is Martin Hawtree’s mature but somehow more modern-looking expansion of the club’s nine-holer, and there are plenty who struggle to choose which they prefer. There is no doubting that together they add up to an extremely enjoyable and varied downland destination.

  • GF: 18 holes £90, either course

The Vale Resort

The Vale Resort

The Vale Resort has two very different courses but each feature water

(Image credit: The Vale Resort)

Although neither course is particularly old, they are dramatically different from one another at this fine golf destination just to the west of Cardiff. The Lake Course was the first to open, and is perhaps more of a traditional parkland design although water still comes into play on the vast majority of the holes. Opening just over 20 years ago, the Wales National Course is a more modern-looking, longer, and even more dramatic course where water is once again frequently in play. Here, length, accuracy and confidence are required all the way.

  • GF: 18 holes £50 Lake, £60 Wales National


Burhill - New Course - Hole 18

The closing hole on the New Course at Burhill with the grand clubhouse beyond

(Image credit: Andy Hiseman)

Just five minutes from Top 100 UK&I  favourite St. George's Hill and opening for play in 2001, the New Course at Burhill is almost a century younger than its sibling and makes for the perfect contrast. Designed with tournament play in mind, it is a little longer and slightly more open in appearance, but looks can be deceptive and it has hosted many professional events. The Old is another Willie Park Junior creation which opened for play in 1907, since when little has changed with the many mature trees and strategic bunkering continuing to ask all the right questions.

  • GF: 18 holes £130 Mon-Thu, £135we, either course

Carden Park

The 10th hole on the Cheshire Course

The 10th hole on the Cheshire Course

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Carden Park is a modern golf destination in an historic setting a little to the south of Chester, not far from the Welsh Border. The hotel is home to two courses from the 1990s of surprisingly different character. Nicklaus designs are always memorable, and the one here features several of the dynasty’s hallmarks including bold and expansive bunkering and plenty of water. The Cheshire Course is perhaps a little more tree-lined and subtle in its charms. It’s just as challenging, just as long, and builds to a terrific climax. They are both among the best golf courses in Cheshire.

  • GF: 18 holes £89wd, £105we, either course


The Old and the New at Moray

The Old and the New at Moray share common ground but are quite different

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Not one of the most famous Scottish golf courses, Moray would be far better-known if there were more premier league courses closer nearby. It’s actually not far east of Nairn and Cabot Highlands, Castle Stuart, and fans of traditional links will greatly enjoy the Old Course which is a Tom Morris design dating back to 1889. This Golf Monthly Top 200 layout is of championship calibre and is perfectly complemented by the New which was completed in 1979 by Henry Cotton and runs through the middle of the Old before looping around at the far end.

  • GF: 18 holes Old £130, New £50
Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2021, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He has been a member of Tandridge in Surrey for 30 years where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at