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.