Deciding on the criteria to determine the top 5 golf courses of the World could be as difficult as coming up with the list itself. As the saying goes, “Ask 5 people a question and receive 5 different answers.” We will tackle this task by using a consensus of opinions. This method should get some results.
Going into the mix will be the pedigree of golf courses, the course difficulty, popularity, backdrop scenery, and luxury factor. The game of golf as we know it today has been played since the 15th century and can be traced back to Scotland. So that means there’s an awful lot of golf courses out there – let’s begin our journey to locate.
The top 5 golf courses of the World.
1. Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.
This is considered the oldest golf course in the World and has made number one on our list of the top 5 golf courses of the World. Dating back to 1552, here you can pretty much get an idea of how and where it all began. This course is known as The Cathedral of Golf.
Old Course has hosted The Open Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Its total length is 7,305 yards and is a par 72. An iconic feature here is the Swilcan Bridge which spans between the first and 18th holes.
2. Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia, USA.
Augusta is one of the most famous and well-known golf courses in the World. It is the permanent host of the Masters Tournament and also has hosted the PGA Seniors’ Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Augusta opened in 1933 and was designed by Bobby Jones. It is 7,768 yards in length and offers a par of 72. He built the course on the grounds of what was once a plant nursery and each hole are named after a tree or shrub.
3. Pine Valley Golf Club, New Jersey, USA.
George Arthur Crump lived in nearby Philadelphia but was familiar with some land in Pine Valley, New Jersey because he hunted there. In 1913, he and a group of other amateur golfers purchased 184 acres of land and built the course.
The course is popular enough and the list of members over the years reads like a Who’s Who, but it isn’t really large enough to host major tournaments. You also need to know a member to play here as it is a very exclusive and private club.
4. Royal County Down Golf Club, Northern Ireland.
Located in Newcastle, County Down, there are two famous courses here. The Championship Course and Annesley Links. Established in 1889, both courses were designed by Old Tom Morris. He built the course next to a railway station but now that station has been replaced by the Slieve Donard Hotel.
The Champion Course is 7,204 yards in length and is a par 71. Annesley Links is shorter at 4,617 yards and is par 66. Several major tournaments have been hosted here such as a Senior British Open and The Amateur Championship.
5. Ailsa Course, Trump Turnberry, Scotland.
Established in 1906 this professional course was designed by Willie Fernie originally. Ailsa was redesigned in 1949 by Mackenzie Ross and then again in 2015 by Martin Ebert. It’s located in South Ayrshire, Scotland and named after a rock island called Ailsa Craig which is visible from the course.
The total length of the course is 7,448 yards and it is a par 71. Tournaments hosted here include four Open Championships and seven Senior Opens. The grounds include a 5-star hotel designed by James Miller – read article on best golf courses by state.