Here is a list of the current most popular clubs and courses in the UK and Ireland.
Royal County Down
This course is located in Newcastle in Northern Ireland. It was first establish by George L. Baillie who laid out the first nine holes in an idyllic setting with picturesque sand dunes and smatterings of heather. The course itself measure more than 7000 yards from the back trees and the 4th and 9th hole have universal recognition, ranking globally as the 3rd best course in the world. Although it is a magnificent course it is yet to have hosted an open since its creation in 1889.
The Old Course at St Andrews has hosted the more Opens than any other course and is often referred to as the ‘spiritual home’ of golf. It is a course steeped in history and plays host to the oldest surviving royal golf club, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The course takes some time to adjust to and is not always popular with golfers playing there for the first time, however despite this it hosts what is quite possibly the most renowned hole in the world, the 17th.
Muirfield is home to the oldest golf club in the world, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and is very distinct in its design. Instead of traditional layouts, it has two concentric rings each consisting of nine holes, this is to ensure the golfer experiences all levels of wind direction enhancing the difficulty.
Despite its distance, Royal Dornoch is a breathtaking course which attracts golfers from all over the world. It is the world’s 3rd oldest course in a wild rural setting, whilst still retaining its natural beauty. It’s a definite must play for all golfing fanatics.
This course boasts some of the most breath taking scenery, and held the honour of hosting the first professional golf tournament in Ireland in 1895. It has one of the most dramatic entrances of many course, as you approach the land unfolds before you with flags scattering the scenery. For many golfers their preferred part of the course is down by the shoreline. However, despite its beauty, do not be fooled by this course it is by far one of the most difficult to master and requires a strong drive in order to maintain a good score.
The Alisa course at Turnberry is quite possibly one of the most scenic course to have ever held the open. It was established in 1902 and has had not had the easily life, it was used as an airbase during both world wars and has had to be rebuilt. It is most famous however, for the battle between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus during the 1977 Open. It has some of the best coastal holes in the country.
This course has often been described as one of the finest coastal courses ever and boasts some of the largest sand dunes in Ireland. It remained a secret golfing haven until the 1937 Open when it shot to fame. It tests the skills of some of the greatest golfers around today. It can be very tricky to negotiate the course even with the slightest breeze.
Royal St George’s
St George’s, named after the English patron saint, is not only the number one in England but also hosted the first Open to be held outside of Scotland. It is styled in a similar way to Muirfield having each nine in a vaguely circular, figure of eight pattern. It is a unique course with some delightful features which all contribute to a very memorable game of golf.
This club has hosted a range of major events including the Ryder Cup, Walker Cup, Ladies British Open Championship, the Curtis Cup and the British Open Championship. It is a very well known course, especially for its excellent fairways, it is very rare you will find your ball being thrown off course. There tends to be the occasional adverse weather which can be off putting for a novice, however it is an exhilarating course and a must try.
This is one of the most beautiful inland courses in the country lined with pine, birch and oak trees, however was originally built on barren land. It is often called the perfect golfing venue with stunning heath land and memorable holes.