Europe is home to some of the most prestigious and scenic golf courses in the world, attracting golf enthusiasts from every corner of the globe. As an avid golfer, I’ve scoured the continent to compile a list of the top 10 golf courses in Europe. These courses are not just renowned for their stunning landscapes and challenging layouts, but also for their rich history and exceptional design. In this article, we’ll explore the process of creating this list and what criteria were used to determine the top priorities.

Creating the List:

Selecting the top golf courses in Europe is a challenging task, given the sheer number of world-class courses throughout the continent. To curate this list, I considered several key factors:

  1. Course Design and Architecture: The course’s design and architecture were paramount. We evaluated the skill and creativity of course architects, emphasizing those layouts that seamlessly blend with the natural landscapes, offering a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience.
  2. Historical Significance: The historical significance of a golf course is another essential factor. Courses with a rich heritage and a tradition of hosting major championships often held a special place on our list.
  3. Scenic Beauty: Europe boasts some of the most picturesque landscapes on the planet. Golf courses that capitalize on these natural beauties, from coastal views to mountainous backdrops, were given extra consideration.
  4. Challenging Play: A great golf course should offer a fair but challenging test for golfers of all levels. We considered the layout, course difficulty, and variety of shot-making required.
  5. Amenities and Service: The overall golfing experience isn’t just about the course itself. High-quality amenities, attentive service, and a well-maintained clubhouse were also taken into account.

The Top 10 Golf Courses in Europe:

St. Andrews Links, Old Course – Scotland: The birthplace of golf, St. Andrews is steeped in history and offers a challenging links-style experience with breathtaking views of the North Sea. Golf Digest, in its list of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, ranks St. Andrews Old Course at number 4.

Royal County Down Golf Club – Northern Ireland: Nestled in the dunes, this championship course is known for its undulating fairways and lush green surroundings. Golf Digest places it at number 10 on its list of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

Sunningdale Golf Club, Old Course – England: A masterpiece of Harry Colt’s design, Sunningdale is a classic heathland course offering both beauty and challenge. Golf Digest ranks Sunningdale’s Old Course at number 30 in the world.

And there are more!

Royal Portrush Golf Club – Northern Ireland: This course has gained prominence for its return to The Open in 2019 and features some of the most stunning seaside views in Europe. It’s listed at number 8 on Golf Digest’s World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

Ballybunion Golf Club, Old Course – Ireland: A favourite among golfers, Ballybunion’s dramatic links landscape and challenging layout make it a must-play. Golf Digest lists it at number 19 in the world.

Valderrama Golf Club – Spain: Host to the 1997 Ryder Cup, Valderrama is known for its meticulous conditioning and formidable layout. Golf Digest ranks Valderrama at number 86 in the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club – Scotland: Offering natural beauty and a timeless design, this Scottish gem is considered one of the world’s finest links courses. It is ranked at number 5 on Golf Digest’s list.

Cruden Bay Golf Club – Scotland: Nestled between sand dunes and cliffs, Cruden Bay is known for its stunning location and memorable holes. While it’s not on Golf Digest’s top 100 list, it’s highly regarded by golf enthusiasts.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club – England: A regular host of The Open Championship, this course features challenging links golf amid the wild sand dunes. Golf Digest lists it at number 37 on its World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

What a choice!

Selecting the top 10 golf courses in Europe is no small feat, as there are countless gems across the continent. The courses mentioned in this list not only excel in design and playability but also offer a memorable experience enriched by their historical significance and stunning surroundings. While this list captures some of the best golf Europe has to offer, there are many more hidden gems awaiting discovery by avid golfers looking to tee off on the old continent.

In your quest to explore these remarkable courses, remember that each golfing experience is unique, and personal preferences play a significant role in determining your favourites. Europe’s golf scene is a diverse tapestry of tradition, beauty, and challenge, and whether you’re a seasoned pro or an amateur, teeing off at any of these European gems promises an unforgettable golfing journey.

Europe not to your liking? how about the top course in the USA – LINK