Some of our finest and most interesting courses are surprisingly young...


5 Of The UK&I’s Best 21st Century Golf Courses

Concra Wood (Pictured above)

Although the club is more than a century old, its dramatic course on the slopes surrounding Lough Muckno only opened just over a decade ago.

It is the only joint Christy O’Connor Sr and Jr design, and it’s a genuine up hill and down dale rollercoaster.

Half of the holes border the water, and as soon as you head onto higher ground, you are greeted with glorious vistas.

Although no pushover, it is defined by its spectacular setting.

GF: round: €65-€85

Close House – Lee Westwood Colt Course

To the west of Newcastle, architect Scott Macpherson has designed a superb accompaniment to the club’s older Filly course.

Opening in 2010, his undulating creation hosted the British Masters two years ago and the tournament will return next year.

It is packed with interesting and varied holes and the off-course facilities are all tip-top.

GF: round: £150


Designed by Gary Nicklaus, son of Jack, this modern links/parkland hybrid runs alongside marsh and estuary and offers an easy-walking but challenging round.

Lakes, ponds and ditches are regularly in play, and there is plenty of risk and reward.

The spacious clubhouse boasts a spa, gym and brasserie, as well as excellent views of the course. For a course of this standard, the green fee represents terrific value.

GF: round £45-£55

Stats: Par 72, 6,431 yards

Castle Stuart

This Gil Hanse design opened ten years ago to immediate and rapturous acclaim.

It is a visual feast, with the par-3 11th encapsulating the essence of the course: humps and bumps, wispy grasses, greedy bunkers and a watery backdrop.

Many of the fairways are very wide, but the golfer must be mindful of the areas of ‘rumple’ (small hillocks and hollows) and the partially revetted bunkers.

GF: round: £210; day: £275


Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review

In an area surrounded by some of the oldest and best courses in the world, Kingsbarns burst onto the scene in 2000.

Almost immediately it gained worldwide attention as a co-host of the Alfred Dunhill Links, and it has staged the event every year since.

There are three parts to the course: the central body and two spurs, home to holes 2 to 5 and 12 to 15.

It’s one of those rare courses that everyone seems to love.

GF: round: £288

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