Top 10 Golf Courses In The World
The 10 Best Golf Courses In The World
Augusta National Golf Club is considered to be the best golf course in the world and this status is confirmed every year when the US Masters is staged. The Masters is the only major that takes place on the same course every year and Augusta is the home of the year’s first major.
The US Open, Open Championship and US PGA Championship are rotated around some of the best courses in the world. In Britain, the Open rota consists of generally nine courses, five of which are in Scotland and four in England.
The US majors other than the Masters are rotated around many more courses but Pebble Beach regularly stages the US Open. St Andrews in Scotland, the so called Home of Golf, stages the British Open every five years and is the most used course on the rota.
Augusta National opened in 1933 and the first Masters was played there the following year. It is one of four courses in the States that makes our top 10 golf course in the world. England and Ireland each have one representative while there are two from Scotland, including the famous Old Course. The only Southern hemisphere course in the list is Royal Melbourne.
Augusta National has gone through several major changes since its inception. The course was especially vulnerable to changes in technology but the fundamental design features have remained unaltered which means that this special layout is still in our opinion the best golf course in the world.
Take a look at the 10 best golf courses in the world and feel free to comment if you feel I’ve left something off.
#10 The Old Course at St. Andrews
The Old Course at St Andrews is a municipal course that is open to the public. The course is characterised by huge double greens which feature on both nines. Arguably the most famous hole in golf is the 17th, known as the Road Hole. A blind tee shot over the Old Course Hotel sets up an approach to a green protected by a pot bunker. The 18th hole is a short par 4 by modern standards but its degree of difficulty is increased by the Valley of Sin which runs across the front of the green. Uniquely the course can be played in either direction with tees and greens interchangeable.
#9 Royal Birkdale
Royal Birkdale is one of several championship courses on the North West coast of England. From Royal Liverpool south of the river to Lytham and St Anne’s to the north this is one of the best concentrations of top class courses in word golf. Birkdale is characterised by huge dunes which make it a perfect spectating venue. The first hole is one of the hardest par 4s in championship golf and there are two par 5s in the last four holes from the back tees. The 18th is one of the toughest finishing holes in championship golf and a severe test for any player who require par to win a championship.
#8 Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach is possibly the most renowned course in the United States after Augusta National. It is also regarded as one of the most picturesque courses in world golf. In theory it is a links course with views of the Pacific Ocean from the Monterey Peninsula. In 2001 it became the first public course to be selected as the best course in America. The signature hole is the 8th, a par three that is played from an elevated tee with spectacular views of the Ocean. The 18th hole is a medium par 5 with the Pacific Ocean all along the left and has been described as the best closing hole in golf.
#7 Shinnecock Hills
Shinnecock Hills is a links style course located on Long Island in New York. The club claims to be the oldest in existence in the United States, featuring the oldest clubhouse and the first to allow women to become members. Shinnecock has hosted 6 US Golf Association events including the US Open in 2004, 1995 and 1986.The 2014 US Open will also be played on the course. At less than 7000 yards and with a par of 70 the course is relatively short by modern standards and one of its main defences is fast greens especially when staging the Open.
#6 The Royal County Down Golf Club
Royal County Down is located in Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1889 and as such it is one of the oldest clubs in Ireland. The complex contains two 18 hole links courses and the Championship Course is the most renowned and difficult of the two. The Championship Course is over 7200 yards in length and in the past has been rated the best course in the world outside the United States. County Down has hosted several prestigious tournaments, especially in the amateur game and would be a worthy venue for the British Open if the infrastructure was deemed suitable.
#5 Royal Melbourne
Royal Melbourne is the only Southern Hemisphere course in our top 10 and is located in the State of Victoria in southern Australia. The West Course is often ranked amongst the top 10 course in the world so is a worthy part of our list. Founded in1891 it is Australia’s oldest existing club. The course has hosted the Presidents Cup twice, in 1998 and 2011. The West Course has several world class holes but lack of length is a perceived problem. However, the fairway grasses have been modified recently to restrict the run of the ball especially on the par fives.
#4 Pine Valley
Pine Valley Golf Club is located in southern New Jersey. It was rated as the number one course in the world in a survey carried out by Golf Digest in 2009. Pine Valley was founded in 1913 and its designer incorporated some special features that exist to this day. No hole runs parallel to the next and no more than two consecutive holes play in the same direction. The course was set up to reward careful course management which means that tee shots and approach shots have to be played into the correct areas to maximise scoring opportunities. The Championship Course is just over 7000 yards in length, short be modern standards.
#3 Turnberry Ailsa
Turnberry Ailsa has dramatic views of the Alisa Craig from many parts of the course. This is one of the most familiar images in world golf and makes Turnberry one of the most prominent locations in the game. The most famous feature on the course is the working lighthouse overlooking the sea. The championship course staged the duel in the sun between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977. Watson beat Nicklaus by one stroke to win the second of his five British Opens. Turnberry is a classic links course as it runs alongside the coast and is susceptible to sea breezes that can change the demands of the layout.
#2 Cypress Point
Cypress Point is located on the Monterey Peninsula in the area of Pebble Beach so is a neighbour of the course with that name. The series of three holes from 15 to 17 run alongside the Pacific Ocean and they considered to be amongst the best holes in golf. The first nine runs through forest and is followed by the holes coming in on the coastline that are seen as the best set of finishing holes of any course in the world. The signature hole is the 16th, a par three requiring a 230 yard carry over the Pacific to a green guarded by several bunkers. Cypress Point regularly appears in polls for the best courses in the world and the United States.
#1 Augusta National
I believe Augusta National is the best golf course in the world. It is the home of the US Masters, the only major played on the same course each year. The location is renowned for its variety of flora and the colourful views are amongst the most picturesque in golf. The key holes are those that make up Amen Corner at the start of the back nine. There are two reachable par fives on the back nine which carry a significant risk-reward element. Shots can be made up or lost on these holes and they often contribute to the outcome of the Masters.
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