Top 100 Links Golf Courses of Great Britain

Top Links Golf in Great Britain

In the excellent book, True Links by esteemed authors George Peper and Malcolm Campbell, the writers claim that of the 30,000+ golf courses in the world there are only 246 true links.

Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played the majority* of these links golf courses in Great Britain and below he gives his Top 100 in order of personal preference.

We certainly do not claim this to be a definitive list so please don't be offended if you disagree with the order or your blood boils because your personal favourite languishes far too low. It's merely one man's opinion on the links golf courses of Great Britain. Hopefully this provides more interest than a list created by a panel which can often dilute the flavour of any given ranking. However, we are very interested in your opinions so please leave your comments below.

Many of the venues also have an attached golf course review. If there is no review it means the course was played pre-2013.

You can also see the list by country; England, Scotland and Wales.

Top 100 Links Golf Courses of Great Britain

1. St. Andrews (Old Course)

St. Andrews Links (Old) Golf Club

"There’s very little that hasn’t been written about the golfing mecca that is St. Andrews. Golfers (and indeed non-golfers) flock to this corner of Fife from all over the World to savour the delights of the ‘Grey Auld Toun’ and for most it is mainly to play, or at least see and walk, The Old Course; the spiritual home of golf and where it all began for our beloved game."

Read the full review

2. Askernish

Askernish Golf Club

"We’d already driven for over six hours and covered more than 350 miles before boarding a ferry in Oban sailing to Lochboisdale. The Lord of the Isles took a further five and a half hours before it eventually docked a little after seven that evening. We were tired and hungry, in need of food and sleep."

Read the full review

3. Royal Dornoch (Championship)

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

"It’s Christmas Eve. Well, not quite, but it certainly feels like it. It’s the evening before we are due to play Royal Dornoch for the first time. We are in an eatery in the historic town debating just how good tomorrow could be as we embark on playing unquestionably one of the World’s greatest golf courses."

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4. Trump Turnberry (Ailsa)

Trump Turnberry Golf Club

"Not all golf courses are created equal and that can certainly be said about Trump Turnberry. For here you will find the most spectacular stretch of coastline on any golfing land that I have ever seen. The natural setting and scenic beauty of the iconic Ailsa course, an Open Championship venue four times over, is simply sublime."

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5. Royal St. George's

Royal St. George's Golf Club

"In my mind Royal St. George’s at Sandwich is a championship links golf course with few, if any, superiors. Back in 2014 a trip to compete (I use that term very loosely) in the South-East of England Links Championship presented an opportunity for me to complete the playing of every Open Championship course in England."

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6. North Berwick

North Berwick Golf Club

"If Muirfield is regarded as the King of East Lothian then North Berwick is undoubtedly Queen. Sometimes words cannot accurately describe a course and do it total justice, you just have to go and experience it for yourself in order to get a proper flavour of the place. The West Links at North Berwick is one of those."

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7. Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie)

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

"Oh my word! The Balgownie Links at Royal Aberdeen is something else. It’s different gravy - an unbelievably good golf course. Not only is it the best in Aberdeenshire it’s one of the best you will play. Period. It is the epitome of an authentic, genuine and pure links golf experience."

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8. Kingsbarns

Kingsbarns Golf Links

"The Kingdom of Fife has long been associated with world-class links golf. The region is the spiritual home of the game and Kingsbarns fits seamlessly into the modern day environment. Located just seven miles down the coast from St. Andrews it is in a prime location and the layered landscape that the holes are played over simply add to the visual feast on offer at this sensational layout."

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9. Cruden Bay (Championship)

Cruden Bay Golf Club

"Cruden Bay is a golf course that dances to its own beat. It’s gripping, riveting, absorbing and most importantly its individuality shines through. Cruden Bay is one of very few courses that has a real personality. It’s laid out over a unique, special and infinitely fascinating piece of land."

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10. Silloth on Solway

Silloth on Solway Golf Club

"In my eyes Silloth is a golf course that has the ability to transcend your typical ‘championship links’. It has charm, character, intrigue and an identity all of its own but at the same time presents the truest, and quite often, stiffest of challenges to the golfer. It's an inspirational golf course with an endless collection of brilliant golf holes."

Read the full review

11. Royal Birkdale

12. Muirfield

13. Western Gailes

14. Royal Troon

15. Royal Porthcawl

16. Carnoustie (Championship)

17. Prestwick

18. Burnham & Berrow

19. Royal Lytham & St. Annes

20. Saunton (East)

21. Royal Cinque Ports

22. Hunstanton

23. Trump International

24. Southport & Ainsdale

25. Formby

26. Machrihanish

27. Royal West Norfolk

28. Brora

29. Moray (Old)

30. Royal North Devon

31. Royal Liverpool

32. Rye

33. The Machrie

34. Nairn

35. Wallasey

36. Panmure

37. West Lancashire

38. Southerness

39. Elie

40. Machrihanish Dunes

41. Renaissance

42. Tenby

43. St. Enodoc

44. Saunton (West)

45. Gullane (No.1)

46. Hillside (no review)

47. Murcar Links

48. Littlestone

49. Luffness New

50. St. Andrews (New)

51. Dundonald Links

52. Berwick Upon Tweed

53. Montrose (Medal)

54. Pennard

55. Perranporth

56. Hayling

57. Seaton Carew

58. St. Andrews (Jubilee)

59. Prince's (Shore, Dunes & Himalayas)

60. Fraserburgh

61. Aberdovey

62. Seacroft

63. Carnoustie (Burnside)

64. Conwy

65. Gailes Links

66. Royal St. Davids

67. Gullane (No. 2)

68. Ashburnham

69. Prestwick St. Nicholas

70. St. Annes Old Links

71. Dunbar

72. Pyle & Kenfig

73. Sheringham

74 .Trevose

75. Fortrose & Rosemarkie

76. Leven links

77. Bude & North Cornwall

78. Seascale (no review)

79. Lundin

80. Monifieth (Medal)

81. Arbroath

82. Irvine

83. Kilmarnock (Barrasie)

84. West Kilbride

85. St. Andrews (Eden)

86. Cleveland

87. Trump Turnberry (Kintyre)

88. Moray (New)

89. Tain

90. Peterhead

91. Spey Bay

92. Cruden Bay (St. Olaf)

93. Crail (Balcomie) (no review)

94. Inverallochy

95. Hesketh

96. Newburgh-on-Ythan

97. Kilspindie

98. Rye (Jubilee)

99. Craigielaw

100. Gullane (No. 3)

The Contenders


Borth & Ynyslas

Great Yarmouth & Caister


West Cornwall

Troon Darley

Wigtownshire County

Royal Troon (Portland)

Nairn Dunbar


North Wales




Kings Links

Swansea Bay

Monifieth (Ashludie)

Isle of Harris


Troon Lochgreen

Burnham & Berrow (Channel)


Felixstowe Ferry

Minehead & West Somerset


Weston super Mare

Carnosutie (Buddon)

St. Andrews (Strathtyrum)

Royal Dornoch (Struie)

Musselburgh Old


Pwllheli (no review)







Southport Links

Montrose (Broomfield)

Isle of Skye


St. Andrews (Balgove)


*The following links golf courses have not been played yet and therefore are not included in the list: Castle Stuart, Colonsay, Dunaverty, Durness, Reay, Strathlene Buckie, Skibo Castle & Tarbat.

We would love to hear if you agree or disagree with our selections. You can do so in the comments box below or tweet us.

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