Golf began in England soon after the unmarried Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, when James VI of Scotland moved court to London, taking up residence at the Royal Palace in Greenwich becoming James I of England. His royal entourage is thought to have contained a number of golfers and they found the perfect ground at Blackheath on which to play their beloved game.
In 1608 Blackheath Golf Club was instituted, but documentary evidence has yet to be discovered. However, Henry Foot presented Blackheath with a silver club for a competition first played in 1766, so there's absolutely no doubt that Blackheath is England's oldest golf club. Westward Ho! opened for golf in 1864 and it remains the oldest course in England still playing along its original fairways.
Today there are approximately 700,000 golfers affiliated to England’s 1,900 or so golf clubs. There are more golf courses in England than Ireland, Scotland and Wales put together. The topographical variation of England’s golf courses is perhaps totally unique the world over but the vast majority of overseas visitors head to Scotland and Ireland rather than choosing to play golf in England. We think the English Tourist Board are missing an opportunity.
To see our latest Top 100 Golf Courses of England, simply scroll down this page.
We last updated our England Top 100 rankings in November 2019. Click the link to read the story.