Top 100 Links Courses Britain and Ireland

Map of Top 100 Links Courses of Britain and Ireland

About

We take our links golf very seriously at Top 100 Golf Courses. So much so that at the start of 2017 we decided to create what we thought might be an interesting one-off listing of top links courses around the British Isles called Top 100 Links Courses of Britain and Ireland 2017.

We also at that time provided background notes entitled Our Interpretation of “Links” and Geology and geography of links golf courses to broaden the discussion. Then we produced a follow up article called The 240 “Real Links” courses of Britain & Ireland which provoked a good response from readers.

Three years later, we decided to take this project a step further by publishing a Top 100 links chart that will now be updated every two years, the same as all the other listings that we revise biennially. The latest version of those rankings can be found below.

Some golfers may well question why we’re so obsessed with the type of golf course that comprises less than 1% of the worldwide total of thirty thousand. Well, in the prologue for the book True Links, the following passage encapsulates much of what we think about how the game of golf should be played:

“Links golf is the game distilled to its core virtues. To walk beside the sea with a brisk breeze on your cheek and the firm, sandy turf beneath your feet is to experience golf not only as it was hundreds of years ago but arguably as it should be today – a simple, beguiling game in no need of embellishment.”

Donald Steel, in Classic Golf Links of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, also knows where we’re coming from when he writes in the introduction to the book: “many believe our traditional links are the only true form of expression and that everything else is second best. Their love of them amounts almost to a passion. Nowhere in the world is there anything else that compares; indeed, nothing that comes close.”

The author goes on to say: “a study of British and Irish seaside links remains the finest way to understand the principles of golf course architecture… They show the thinking behind placement of bunkers. They expound the virtues of positional play… They reveal the importance of the proper angling, shaping and contouring of greens… They underline the vital need for architects to possess those abstract qualities you cannot teach – imagination, attention to detail and eye for the land.”

Our Top 100 Links Courses of Britain & Ireland rankings were last updated in December 2019. Click the link to read the story.


Top 100 Links Courses - Britain & Ireland

Royal County Down (Championship)

1st Britain & Ireland

Royal County Down Golf Club is at Newcastle, a little holiday town nestling at the feet of the majestic Mountains of Mourne. It’s an exhilarating location for a classic links golf course...

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Trump Turnberry (Ailsa)

2nd Britain & Ireland

The Ailsa course at the Turnberry Resort is probably the most scenic Open Championship golf course. Located right next to the Firth of Clyde, with craggy rocks and superb views across to the Mull of Kintyre...

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

St Andrews (Old)

3rd Britain & Ireland

No other course has hosted more Opens than the Old Course at St Andrews. Its 29th Open and the 144th Open Championship returned “to the Home of Golf” in 2015.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Royal Portrush (Dunluce)

4th Britain & Ireland

The Dunluce links at Royal Portrush Golf Club is named after the ruined Dunluce castle that overlooks the course. Seven years after the club's formation, the first professional golf tournament in Ireland, won by Sandy Herd in 1895, was staged here.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Royal Dornoch (Championship)

5th Britain & Ireland

Royal Dornoch Golf Club is spellbinding. It seems to mesmerise amateur and professional golfers from all over the world and many make the pilgrimage to this natural links at some point in their lives.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Muirfield

6th Britain & Ireland

Muirfield is the course of “The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers” (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club – according to direct written evidence – formed in 1744.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Ballybunion (Old)

7th Britain & Ireland

As you drive from the historic town of Ballybunion, along the winding road to the golf club, your eyes feast upon the most spectacular links land imaginable.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Royal St George's

8th Britain & Ireland

There's nothing artificial about Royal St George’s Golf Club; there's a natural look and feel to the course that blends beautifully into its historical Sandwich surroundings.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Carnoustie (Championship)

9th Britain & Ireland

Carnoustie is a big natural seaside golf links and the Championship course is considered to be one of the most difficult in the British Isles.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Lahinch (Old)

10th Britain & Ireland

Lahinch Golf Club is situated next to the lovely beach of Liscannor Bay. It's an enchanting place to play golf... rugged, distinctive, unusually varied and immensely entertaining.

Read More >>

Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses reviewed
1 Jim McCann Courses Reviewed 88
2 Ed Battye Courses Reviewed 88
3 David Oliver Courses Reviewed 74
4 Dan Hare Courses Reviewed 73
5 Andy Courses Reviewed 61
6 Richard Smith Courses Reviewed 57
7 David Worley Courses Reviewed 54
8 Cédric Courses Reviewed 49
9 Kevin Henley Courses Reviewed 45
10 Keith Baxter Courses Reviewed 45