We all here different opinions of great challenging golf courses around the world, full of history and storytelling of great games and tournaments between the legends of the professional world. Every year we hear of new championship courses opening but in my opinion they have a lot to live up to if they want to stand alongside the old greats.
My favourite world courses with their own individual characters over the years
Augusta is a stunningly beautiful course located in the American Deep South. Augusta is the home of the world-renowned Masters tournament. Beautifully designed with lightning fast greens, without a doubt one of the world’s best.
Ballybunion is fantastic links course situated in County Kerry southern Ireland. Well known for it’s towering sand dunes and cliff side holes running along the Atlantic. Stunning scenery surrounds this course but it is an unbelievably challenging links course. A fantastic welcome awaits all who visits.
Just a stone’s thrown away from Mayor Clint Eastwood’s Carmel and John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. A fearsome course for hard men. The Monterey Peninsula on the American west coast is a pictures location but certainly one of the most difficult golf courses to date.
Kiawah Island was only opened in 1991. Located off the south coast of Carolina. Kiawah was awarded the 1991 Ryder Cup between Europe and the USA. Fabulous Atlantic setting rich in marsh land and sand dunes. A truly terrific links course.
One of Australia’s greatest golf courses. Located only 25km from the heart of Melbourne and is perfect test for championship golf. If you like bunkers then you will love Kingston Heath. Your sand wedge will be the best club in the bag (even bring a spare). Scoring well here needs you at your best concentration level.
Muirfield is located of the East Lothian coast in Scotland. A very flat links golf course that allows you play to your handicap. Most championship links courses are designed with only the professional in mind, muirfield is a very popular links course in Britain.
Simply one of the greatest golf courses in the world. Pebble Beach is located just south of San Francisco. A VERY, VERY challenging golf course. High winds play and important factor on your scorecard. Pebble Beach is adjacent to the rocky Californian coastline. Deceptive on every hole, beautifully designed.
A traditional style golf course located in North Carolina. This course has not got the man made features that other golf courses and is not stunningly located. Some people may think what all the fuss is about with this course. A very true saying, ” A good course doesn’t need glitter and glitz, Pinehurst has its unique unspoiled holes and will always be a favourite.
St Andrews is the oldest golf course in the world. The home of golf itself. The date for which it was first laid is still up for question but we think somewhere in the early 1300’s. The course was designed around the natural hazards and still remains one of the worlds most challenging links courses today. Home of the Open Championship. St Andrews has four 18 hole courses but the old is still the best.
Opened in 1985 but has become one of the favourites with the golfing world. Set with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains. It has become one of the world’s elite in championship courses. As stunning as it may look any wayward shot will be badly punished.
The above list of golf courses is from my own playing experience. Of course there are many more out there such as Royal Birkdale, Turnberry, Druids Glen (Druids Glen is based in County Wicklow Ireland and will be host to the Ryder Cup 2006) and so on that should have a mention, however I only speak from experience.
The key factors:
· Good Architectural work to start
· Designed with the input of a professional golfer who knows the game
· To work with nature and include natures hazards as apposed to removing them
· Good accessible location
· Excellent drainage on the land
No matter what your standard of golf is like from high to low handicaps we will share in the same excitement when we enter onto the first tee.