La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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Where do All Square’s Top 10 golf courses in England rank in our list of the World’s Top 100? Let’s take a look.
We rank Sunningdale as England’s best course, and it comes in at number 21 in our World’s Top 100 list. Located in Berkshire in the warmer and sunnier south of the country, this is a picturesque and elegant heathland course which has hosted the British Masters, The Walker Cup and The Women’s British Open. Elevated tees, blind shots, memorable par 3s and testing par 4s and 5s are decorated with pine and birch trees, heather, gorse and colourful rhododendrons.
One of the few courses on the Open rota to be located in the south of England. Set in the county of Kent, known as ‘The Garden of England’, this classic dune links has hosted The Open on 14 occasions since 1894 and is due to host again in 2020. A classic, natural and undulating layout with fast greens, Royal Saint George’s has incredible coastline views and plenty of hazards, including the UK’s tallest and deepest bunker at the 4th.
Founded in 1889, this par-72 links course at Royal Birkdale has hosted the Ryder Cup twice and The Open on 10 occasions, most recently in 2017 when Jordan Spieth lifted the Claret Jug. With fairways laid naturally upon undulating valleys between towering dunes, it’s a dramatic setting for players and spectators alike. The greens were renovated in 1998 and are now extremely tricky to read. When the wind blows off the North Sea, it’s a beast of a challenge.
‘New’ is slightly misleading, having opened for play in 1923. More rugged than the Old Course with less bunkering and tree-lined fairways, but, with longer carries over heathland, it plays more difficult than its older sibling. While both courses here are extremely picturesque, the New Course offers more pleasing views across the local countryside. Both are blessed with being laid across some of the best inland golfing terrain in the world.
Host to 10 Open championships, five British Women’s Opens and two Ryder Cups, Royal Lytham is steeped in history and tradition. It’s a rare inland links not far from Liverpool, with a train line famously as a neighbour. Without the usual sandy dunes of its coastal contemporaries, it is however a huge test with expansive, testing rough, pot bunkers, and quick and challenging greens. Perhaps the second toughest course on the Open rota behind Carnoustie.
As inland courses go, this rivals the layouts at Sunningdale as England’s finest. Improved further by recent Tom Doak renovations, The Hotchkin has returned to its original heathland character and restored bunkering has elevated its strategic nature. A stunning mix of doglegs, heather and pines, and open and tree-lined fairways. Tight greens add to the challenge.
One of the prettiest courses in the Berkshire/Surrey sand belt, Saint George’s Hill Golf Club opened in 1913 and is possibly the great Harry Colt’s finest work. The natural terrain of the Red and Blue nines that make up the 18 holes sweeps and rolls, festooned with evergreens, birches, heather and enormous rhododendrons, all leading eventually to the stunning and imposing clubhouse. A secluded, wooded masterpiece.
A rare inland links course, located around 10 miles from the seaside city of Scarborough, this splendid heathland venue has hosted the Ryder, Curtis and Walker Cups during its illustrious history. Ganton a stern challenge with over a hundred deep, strategic bunkers and impenetrable gorse and heather. It’s off the beaten track and well worth a visit – but bring your A-game!
This legendary venue has hosted The Open on 12 occasions, including Tiger Woods’ third victory in 2006 Rory McIlroy’s first in 2014. Hoylake, as it’s also known, hosted the Women’s British Open in 2012. Every hole has its special and distinctive charms and challenges, but the heart of the Royal Liverpool is the stretch from the eighth through thirteenth holes, which are threaded amid dunes right by the ocean.
A beautiful, traditional, pine-clad Swinley Forest in Berkshire dating back to 1909. At just over 6,400 yards and with just two par 5s, this Harry Colt classic is modest by today’s standards and very inch of the picture-perfect fairways feel like a step back in time. Not as well known as its illustrious neighbours Wentworth and Sunningdale, but this eccentric gem has bags of charm and as a golfing test it still packs a punch.