Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Highest Ranked U.K. Golf Courses

The United Kingdom has a variety of great courses in Scotland, England, N Ireland and Wales. Golf Digest have fairly regular rankings, among which are the top 100 golf courses beyond the United States. The top 10 of their rankings is dominated by the U.K. golf courses. These are the five highest ranked Golf Digest U.K. golf courses.

Five: Turnberry Resort (Ailsa), Scotland

Fifth in the rankings is that of Turnberry’s Ailsa championship golf course. This is a par-70 golf course that extends some 7,211 yards. It is renowned for its coastal scenery and holes that are flanked with rocks and sandy hillocks. Having hosted four U.K. Open Championships there’s no doubting that this is a championship course comparable with St Andrews.

Four: Royal Portrush G.C. Dunluce course, N. Ireland

One of N. Ireland’s most exciting courses is that of the Dunluce course. It is a links course approximately 7,143 yards. Among its notable holes is the fourth; a long 480 yard par-4 which has several bunkers alongside its fairway, and a green nestled between a couple of sand hills. The 14th hole, a long par-3 which plays over a large ravine, is also another of the course’s highlights.

Three: Murifield, Scotland

Muirfield, in Scotland, is one of the more regular venues for the U.K. Open. As it has played host to 15 Open Championships many great golfers of the PGA Tour have visited the course. In 1973 the Ryder Cup also came to town in Muirfield. Overall, the course has a great collection of holes such as 504 yard par five, and the uphill par-3 at the 13th.

Two: St. Andrews Links (Old), Scotland

St Andrew’s Old Course is probably the most famous, and is usually ranked among the top U.K. golf courses. Golf Digest place this second in their rankings, and as a home of golf the Old Course is something of a golfing shrine. 28 times the U.K. Open has been played at this acclaimed golf course, which is more than any other. It was here that Nicklaus played his large Major, and in 2010 the Open returned to St. Andrews.

Given its history the Old Course has some famed holes. The Road Hole, a 495 yard par-4, is probably the most famous. This includes the large Road Hole bunker. In addition to this, at the tee-box there are replica sheds that stretch out from the Road Hole Hotel. The 18th hole at St Andrews includes the Swilican Bridge. A number of the course’s holes have double greens which are combined for two holes. The holes have an overall yardage of 7,305 from the championship tees.

One: Royal County Down G.C., N. Ireland

Nestling at the feet of the majestic Mountains of Mourne is that of the Royal County Down championship links golf course. This is the U.K. course that Golf Digest rank higher than the Old Course. Its unique landscape combines both the Dundrum Bay coastline and the Mourne Mountains. Whilst it doesn’t quite have the same championship pedigree as St Andrews, few will doubt that the golf course’s landscape is unmatched by most.

Probably the most famous hole here is the ninth. That’s a 486 yard par-4 hole which has some great scenery. Here you tee off from an elevated tee, across a mound, to the fairway. The longest hole at the course is the 18th, a 548 yard par-5 which has 24 bunkers scattered along its fairway. Those are just a couple of the 18 holes which collectively have a total yardage of approximately 7,186 yards from the championship tees.

Those are five of the top ranked courses in the United Kingdom. These are great link golf courses, and you won’t find too many comparable anywhere else. Check out the Golf Digest website for the full rankings.

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