It’s difficult to settle on one short list of the best golf courses in the world. There are so many spectacular courses from the South China Sea to the Irish Sea, Nova Scotia to the Cabot Cliffs. They offer unforgettable terrain with stellar views and aromas of the ocean, soothing lakeside landscapes, and some of the most challenging features that any golfer will ever encounter. We can’t put them all on the list, so we settled on four that are arguably among the best golf courses in the world.
Escape to the Best Golf Courses in the World
When we pondered a short list of the best golf courses in the world, we thought about more than the beauty of the greens, proximity to the ocean, and history of hosting championships. We considered the history of each individual course as well as the opportunity for amazing blind shots, deep bunkers, sand dunes, undulating terrain, and fairways designed by some of the biggest names in the golf world.
We settled on a compilation that includes some of the most famous golf courses around the world, including the U.S., Scotland, Australia, and Northern Ireland. If you’re not so lucky to head off on an international golf holiday, allow us to whisk you away in spirit with this list of the best golf courses in the world.
4 Best Golf Courses in the World
It’s time to explore five of the best golf courses in the world. They’re all excellent picks if you’re in search of a destination for your next golf travel adventure. If golf vacations aren’t in your near future, then allow the list to inspire the next round with your indoor putting mat. Every golfer needs a great visual or two when playing golf, whether it’s in an exotic location or in your living room.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews – St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
The R&A of St. Andrews tops our list of the world’s best golf courses due to its rich history and iconic clubhouse. Images of the clubhouse are known throughout the golf world and the club currently boasts more than 2,500 members from all over the world. It was created in 1754 and now represents one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs.
Working with the USGA, the R&A helped form the Rules of Golf as well as the operational rules for many of the largest championships in the world. Visiting Scotland to step on the prestigious greens is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. Though it’s an exclusive club, they do accept requests for guest visits online. Don’t forget to visit the World Golf Museum if you’re lucky enough to make the trip.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club – Victoria, Australia
The golf course at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia will have you bending your shots uphill, downhill, and from all angles. Many tees will have you second-guessing your approach as more than one option is possible. There are blind tee shots, deep bunkers, and challenging features created by well-known designers like Alex Russell. The original course was designed in 1932, and there are now 36 holes available.
Most visitors are sent out to walk through either the East or West course with the guidance of a caddie. While the landscape isn’t seaside and there are no rugged cliffs, the greens are pristine and the Australian backdrop will give your eyes continuous beauty to enjoy from the first tee to the last.
National Golf Links of America – Southampton, New York
If you feel like you’ve been transported to the British Isles when you step onto the National Golf Links of America golf course, you’re in the right state of mind. This unique course was designed by Charles B. Macdonald with the help of Seth Raynor with the intention of mimicking the beauty and challenge of courses throughout England and Scotland in the early 1900s. They took some of the best ideas from international golf courses and put their own spin on them for an exciting course in Peconic Bay.
Few people know what it’s like to play golf at the National Golf Links because it’s one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. In fact, it’s invitation-only and guests are only admitted along with a current member. According to Forbes, initiation runs around $150,000, and that doesn’t count about $10,000 in dues.
Royal County Down Golf Club – Northern Ireland
The Royal County Down Golf Club is settled in the Murlough Nature Reserve and offers a relaxing clubhouse with delicious food and incredible views of the green and the Mountains of Mourne. Dundrum Bay stretches along the links, giving the course a stunning combination of water and mountain views from every hole.
While the Royal County Down club is one of the world’s best, it’s also quite welcoming of visitors. You can enjoy the Championship Links most days of the week with a quick booking through the Secretary’s Office online. Some of the best-known features of the Championship Links include “bearded” bunkers, domed greens, sweeping downhill fairways, and spectacularly shaped sand dunes.
It’s fun to explore the best golf courses in the world, but you don’t need an exclusive golf club or exotic location to perfect your swing and play your best game ever. You can practice everything from blind tee shots to difficult takes from deep bunkers right in your living room or even the office when you have downtime at work.
Perfecting your craft in golf often starts right at home. For those days when the fairways seem too distant or the weather outside is less than accommodating, the best putting mats come into play. A great putting mat is more than just a stretch of green; it’s a portal to mastering the nuances of your putter's swing. And if you’re searching for the pinnacle of indoor golf experiences, look no further than the best putting mats.
These mats have been meticulously designed to simulate the texture and undulations of real greens, allowing you to recreate that on-course feel. Whether you're dreaming of the iconic courses of Scotland or the pristine links of Northern Ireland, with the right putting mat, every practice session can feel like a step closer to those legendary greens. So, before you set off on your next golfing adventure abroad, invest in the best putting mats and ensure every stroke is a stroke towards perfection.
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Perfecting your golf game starts at home, and these putting greens offer a portal to mastering your putter's swing. Whether reminiscing about iconic courses or dreaming of pristine links, these mats simulate real greens, helping you get closer to legendary greens with every practice.