"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."
Top 100 Links Golf Courses of 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.
Many of the venues also have an attached golf course review. If there is no review it means the course was played pre-2013.
Top 100 Links Golf Courses of Great Britain
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Muirfield is one of the most historically important golfing venues in the world. Not only has it staged The Open Championship on 15 occasions but it is also home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. The HCEG is one of the oldest and most influential clubs in golf."
11. Western Gailes
12. Royal Troon
13. Royal Porthcawl
16. Burnham & Berrow
18. Saunton (East)
21. Royal Birkdale
28. Moray (Old)
30. Royal Liverpool
35. West Lancashire
41. St. Enodoc
42. Saunton (West)
43. Gullane (No.1)
45. Murcar Links
47. Luffness New
49. Dundonald Links
51. Montrose (Medal)
55. Seaton Carew
63. Gailes Links
64. Royal St. Davids
65. Gullane (No. 2)
70. Pyle & Kenfig
81. West Kilbride
82. Leven Links
86. Moray (New)
90. Crail (Balcomie)
95. Rye (Jubilee)
96. Gullane (No. 3)
98. Borth & Ynyslas
*The below links golf courses have not been played yet and therefore are not included in the list:
Castle Stuart, Colonsay, Cullen, Dunaverty, Durness, Kingsbarns, The Machrie, Reay, Spey Bay, Strathlene Buckie, Skibo Castle & Tarbat.