Top 25 Golf Courses in the World

For golf enthusiasts, the allure of an immaculately crafted course is as much a part of the game as the swing itself. The world is brimming with spectacular outdoor retreats with glamorous golf courses that offer challenging play and stunning landscapes. Furthermore, this article takes you on a journey through 25 of the world’s best golf courses.

St. Andrews (Old Course), Scotland

Swilcan Bridge St Andrews Golf Course
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The Old Course at St. Andrews is the world’s oldest and most iconic golf course. The course, situated in Scotland’s east coast town of St. Andrews, is over 600 years old. It has wide fairways, deep bunkers, and large, double greens. The 18th hole, with the Swilcan Bridge, is one of the most photographed spots in golf.

Augusta National, Georgia, USA

April 1991: General view of the 13th hole at Augusta National Golf Course during the US Masters. The Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia was founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of a former indigo plantation, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie. AP10145907; .
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Augusta National, situated in Augusta, Georgia, is home to the prestigious Masters Tournament. Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie designed this course, which boasts impeccable beauty with its lush fairways lined by flowering plants, including the famous azaleas. The course is also notorious for its fast greens and dramatic elevation changes.

Royal County Down, Northern Ireland

Royal County Down Golf Course
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Royal County Down is located in Newcastle, at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne. Purple heather and golden gorse line its fairways, while intimidating bunkers surround the undulating greens. Additionally, the course is known for its ‘bearded’ bunkers, which have overhanging lips of marram, red fescue, and heather.

Pebble Beach Golf Links, California, USA

View to the 7th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links and beyond to Carmel Beach during the 2023 AT&T Pro-Am.,  PGA Tour golf tournament
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Located on California’s Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach Golf Links offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, rocky cliffs, and sprawling cypress trees. The course is also notorious for its signature hole, the par-3 7th, is one of the most beautiful in the world.

Muirfield, Scotland

Tantallon Castle, semi-ruined mid-14th-century fortress, located 5 kilometres east of North Berwick, in East Lothian, Scotland.
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Muirfield, situated in East Lothian, Scotland, is the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. This golf course is unique due to its layout of two loops of nine holes – one clockwise, the other counterclockwise. This means that the wind direction constantly changes, providing a unique challenge.

Pinehurst No. 2, North Carolina, USA

Junior World Championship Golf at Pinehurst No. 9
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Pinehurst No. 2 is located in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Designed by Donald Ross, also known for its turtleback greens, which are some of the most undulating and difficult to put on. Its fairways are bordered by native wiregrass and pine trees.

Royal Melbourne (West), Australia

A general view of the course during a practice day at the 2019 Presidents Cup golf competition at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, 09 December 2019.
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The West Course at Royal Melbourne in Black Rock, Victoria, is among the finest in the Southern Hemisphere. Additionally, Dr. Alister MacKenzie designed its classic layout with beautifully contoured greens, strategic bunkering, and a mix of hole lengths.

Shinnecock Hills, New York, USA

Overall of the course during the first round of the 118th US Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, USA, 14 June 2018. The tournament will be played 14 June thorough 17 June.
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Located in Southampton on Long Island, Shinnecock Hills is one of the oldest golf clubs in the United States. It features a classic links-style layout with undulating fairways, thick rough, and a constant breeze from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

Limestone cliffs near Cape Kidnappers golf course, Hawkes Bay New Zealand
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On the North Island’s Hawke’s Bay, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course defies gravity as it is set on fingers of land nearly surrounded by vertical cliffs. Designed by Tom Doak, it’s known for its dramatic landscape and challenging play.

Morfontaine, France

DU: Photo Credit: Golf of Morfontaine

Located north of Paris, Morfontaine is set in a beautiful, secluded woodland. Its layout includes contoured fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and superb greens. The par-3s are especially noteworthy, with various water hazards and elevation changes.

Royal Dornoch, Scotland

An incredible view of a golf hole in Scotland with the ocean in the background in Dornoch, in the highlands of Scotland during spring with the gorse bush in full yellow bloom
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Royal Dornoch is situated in the Highlands and is often mentioned as one of the must-play courses among serious golfers. The course is laid out naturally along the Dornoch Firth with raised domed greens, many of which are open at the front, encouraging a ground game.

Cypress Point, California, USA

Cypress Point Provides the Background As Phil Mickelson Tees-off On the 4th Hole at Spyglass Hill Golf Course During the First Round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-am in Pebble Beach California Thursday 10 February 2005 Standing at Right is Mickelson's Amateur Partner Steve Lyons
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Designed by Alister MacKenzie, Cypress Point Club is set at the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Monterey Peninsula. Its diverse layout has holes in the forest, dunes, and along the rocky Pacific coastline.

The Old Course at Ballybunion, Ireland

landscape of the Ballybunion Cliff Walk and rugged cliffs and seashore in County Kerry in western Ireland. High quality photo
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Ballybunion’s Old Course, located in County Kerry, Ireland, offers a traditional links layout against the Atlantic Ocean. Its towering dunes, narrow fairways, and small greens demand precision.

Valderrama, Spain

golf swing in valderrama, spain
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Situated in Sotogrande, southern Spain, Valderrama is a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design. It features tight, sloping fairways lined by mature cork oak trees and greens surrounded by strategically positioned bunkers.

Kingston Heath, Australia

Kingston Heath Golf Club, Australia's No.1 golf course, Melbourne. Australia.
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Kingston Heath is another gem in Melbourne’s Sandbelt, known for its strategic bunkering and excellent conditioning. The course’s roughs and bunkers are a mix of native grasses which beautifully frame each hole and add to the challenge.

Trump Turnberry (Ailsa Course), Scotland

Turnberry lighthouse in Scotland
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Located on the southwest coast of Scotland, Trump Turnberry’s Ailsa Course has hosted The Open Championship four times. Its lighthouse, acting as the halfway house, is an iconic symbol of golf in Scotland.

Whistling Straits (Straits Course), Wisconsin, USA

US team member Scottie Scheffler (L) hits out of a bunker on the eighth hole as European team member Tommy Fleetwood of England (Top) looks on during the Four-Ball matches on the pandemic-delayed 2020 Ryder Cup golf tournament at the Whistling Straits golf course in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA, 25 September 2021. Competition for the 43rd Ryder Cup between the US and Europe begins 24 September 2021.
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Whistling Straits, on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers a links-style experience in the heart of America. Designed by Pete Dye, it has vast rolling fairways, dunes, and deep bunkers.

Barnbougle Dunes, Tasmania, Australia

Drone view of the Barnbougle Dunes and the seascape in Tasmania
Photo by Ross Flannigan/Wirestock Creators on Adobe Stock

This course is situated on the northeast coast of Tasmania and is built on a stretch of dunes. It’s the brainchild of famed golf architect Tom Doak and Australia’s Mike Clayton.

Sunningdale (Old Course), England

Golf - The Open - International Final Qualifying The View down the 10th hole of the old course at Sunningdale
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Set in Berkshire, England, Sunningdale’s Old Course is a quintessential heathland course. It features fast-running fairways, stunning heather, and excellent green complexes.

Banff Springs, Canada

Banff Fairmont Springs Hotel Golf Course
Photo by Craig Zerbe on Adobe Stock

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff Springs is a stunning course designed by Stanley Thompson. The layout meanders through rugged terrain with snow-capped mountains in the backdrop.

Shadow Creek, Nevada, USA

Phil Mickelson tees off at the third hole of his pay-per-view winner-take-all $9 Million dollar golf match against longtime rival Tiger Woods at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 23, 2018.
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Shadow Creek transforms the Las Vegas desert into an oasis with lush greens, water features, and towering trees. Designed by Tom Fazio, it’s a spectacle of both design and luxury.

Sentosa (Serapong Course), Singapore

The course during LIV Golf Singapore at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore, 28 April 2023.
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Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course is a masterpiece designed by Ronald Fream. It boasts a challenging layout with undulating fairways, water hazards, and excellent views of Singapore’s skyline.

Hirono Golf Club, Japan

DU: Photo Credit: The Hirono Golf Club

Hirono, situated near Kobe, is Japan’s most distinguished golf course. Charles Alison designed it to feature various holes, with strategic bunkering and beautiful use of the natural terrain.

Leopard Creek, South Africa

Branden Grace of South Africa plays a shot from the drop zone to the 18th green during the third day of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at the Leopard Creek Golf Course in Nelspruit, South Africa, 29 November 2019.
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Located on the edge of Kruger National Park, Leopard Creek has water hazards, home to crocodiles, hippos, and other wildlife. The course, designed by Gary Player, is a stunning integration of golf and nature.

Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog), Dominican Republic

Marina Casa De Campo Dominican Republic
Photo by michal on Adobe Stock

Pete Dye designed Teeth of the Dog as the top course in the Caribbean. It is named for the jagged rocks along the shoreline and seven holes along the ocean.

These 25 golf courses represent the pinnacle of golfing excellence across the globe. From the rugged Scottish links to the lush greens of Augusta, the diverse challenges and mesmerizing beauty of these courses capture the imagination and test the skills of golfers worldwide. Each course, steeped in history or exuding modern luxury, offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

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