Continental Europe

Map of Continental Europe

About

In strict geographical terms, Continental Europe excludes the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus and the Balearics but we include all of these golfing hot spots in our Continental Europe grouping. For good measure, we also include a number of other islands: out in the Atlantic, we have the Azores and the Canaries, whilst up at the top of the world, we take in Iceland and Greenland. Turkey and Russia are sometimes listed within the Asian continent but we take the more conventional approach of including them in our mainland Europe ranking charts.

We cover more than a hundred courses in Central Europe, maintaining a Top 5 chart for Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia, a Top 10 for Poland, a Top 20 for the Czech Republic, a Top 25 for Switzerland and a Top 40 for Austria. With almost two hundred layouts showcased from the Nordic region of Europe, we feature a Top 15 for Iceland, a Top 30 for Norway, a Top 40 for Denmark and Finland and a Top 70 for Sweden. We also profile over four hundred courses in the environs of the Mediterranean and beyond, supporting the following major ranking charts; a Portuguese Top 50, an Italian Top 60 and French, German and Spanish Top 100s.

The current Continental European Top 100 (displayed lower down this page) lists only the very best courses from the seven hundred plus that we promote in mainland Europe. Within the upper echelons of this chart, France rules supreme as four of its top tracks appear in the Top 10, led by the wonderful old Tom Simpson design of Morfontaine at No. 1. Some might be surprised at the prominent positions held by Dutch courses, where a couple (Koninklijke Haagsche at No. 2 and Utrecht de Pan at No. 3, occupy Top 10 spots; nonetheless, we think this largely undiscovered golfing nation might just be one of Europe’s best kept golfing secrets.

The recent R&A report entitled Golf around the World 2019 stated: “golf is well established throughout the north and west of Europe and is making steady progress into the central and southeastern regions”. It listed the following continental European nations in its global chart of Top 20 countries in terms of number of golf courses: #6 Germany (1,050); #7 France (804); #9 Sweden (662); #12 Spain (497); #17 Denmark (346); #18 The Netherlands (330); and #19 Italy (321).

The report continued: “Anyone who questions the European temperament for golf need only recall the football stadium excitement conveyed by the massive home crowds at Le Golf National outside Paris for the 2018 Ryder Cup.” To see this document and two previous editions from 2015 and 2017 click this R&A link then download the appropriate free publication.

Our Continental European Top 100 rankings were last updated in January 2020. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Continental Europe

Morfontaine (Grand Parcours)

1st Continental Europe Ranking

Morfontaine remains a monument to Tom Simpson’s original design, although Kyle Phillips has recently made some minor changes to the course.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Koninklijke Haagsche

2nd Continental Europe Ranking

The similarity between this Dutch linksland and that of the British coastline is uncanny. Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & Country Club is an exacting layout which pitches and rolls across undulating land.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Utrecht de Pan

3rd Continental Europe Ranking

Host to the Dutch Open on three occasions, Utrecht de Pan Golf Club is a strategic and exacting layout which requires thought rather than muscle, especially during the homeward nine.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Real Valderrama

4th Continental Europe Ranking

Most golfers will be familiar with Valderrama from TV coverage. The golf club has hosted a plethora of championships, including the legendary 1997 Ryder Cup. In 2014 the club was granted Royal status.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

El Saler

5th Continental Europe Ranking

Javier Arana designed El Saler and it opened for play in 1968 to a rapturous standing ovation. In fact, shortly afterwards, it was voted the No.1 golf course in Continental Europe.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Les Bordes

6th Continental Europe Ranking

There's a slight American feel to the golf at Les Bordes, both in terms of design and conditioning, but there is no doubting that you are in France.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Chantilly (Vineuil)

7th Continental Europe Ranking

According to the old Big Bopper song, "Chantilly Lace had a pretty face and a wiggle in her walk". Golf de Chantilly is far more than a pretty face; it’s one of Europe’s most glorious courses.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Fontainebleau

8th Continental Europe Ranking

The Ile de France region has more golf courses than anywhere else in the country but they don't come much better than the delightful Golf de Fontainebleau.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Real Sotogrande

9th Continental Europe Ranking

Sotogrande was designed by Robert Trent Jones. It was his first European course, and it is a credit that the par 72, 6,224-metre layout is still enthralling players more than 50 years after it first opened.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

PGA Catalunya (Stadium)

10th Continental Europe Ranking

The Stadium course at the PGA Catalunya Resort is the culmination of more than a decade of planning by the European Tour. They wanted to build their own Players Championship course to rival the PGA's TPC Sawgrass.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Continental Europe Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Georg Kittel Courses Played 61
2 Bob McCoy Courses Played 54
3 Jim McCann Courses Played 50
4 Jorn Greve Courses Played 49
5 Aulis Ranua Courses Played 46
= Brian Ward Courses Played 46
7 Joseph Andriole Courses Played 44
8 Helmut Baeck Courses Played 43
9 David Davis Courses Played 42
10 Frederic Vooght Courses Played 41