golfscape has been working with the expertise of industry leaders to put together our first World’s Top 100 Golf Courses, 2019.
The golf courses that have been selected to feature in the ranking are those that offer unique, memorable, and luxury experiences worldwide. From the enchanting fairways of traditional links in Ireland to the Mediterranean greens at the glamorous destination of Marbella, we have traveled far and wide to bring you the world’s greatest golf. Join us on the countdown from 100 to 1 and find out who we have selected as a Top 100 golf course and what course managed to make it to our top spot.
For the complete top 100, click here. Below is the top 20 golf courses in the world. Do you agree?
20 – Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa
Situated on the southern bank of the Crocodile river forming the natural border of the world-renowned Kruger Park lies one of Africa’s golfing jewels – Leopard Creek. Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles.
19 – Osprey Point, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, US
What began as a members-only golf course on Kiawah Island has evolved into a championship-level course with a world-class layout that was completely renovated in 2014. Course architect Tom Fazio takes full advantage of ample water and sweeping vistas throughout this course noted for its playability, making it one of the resort’s most popular courses. The course is marked by four large natural lagoons, salt marshes, and mature maritime forest.
18 – Thai Country Club, Thailand
Open to the golfing world in December 1996, Thai Country Club was developed as one of the finest golf clubs in Asia. The design adapts from everyday casual play up to a very tough challenge for the finest players in the world. This beautiful course is known for its immaculate conditions, neo-classic design, and a variety of holes.
17 – The Old Course, Ballybunion Golf Club, Ireland
Ballybunion Golf Club is located on the northwest coast of County Kerry, on a beautiful stretch of sand dunes complete with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Old Course exudes a majestic feel that simply cannot be compared to any other course on Earth.
16 – Finca Cortesin, Spain
Nestling in an exclusive corner of Andalucia, Finca Cortesin is globally renowned for providing one of Europe’s most unforgettable experiences. The harmonious relationship between the natural Mediterranean landscape and environment on the resort’s world-class 18 hole championship course make for a most attractive design
15 – Yas Links Golf Club, Abu Dhabi
Designed by Kyle Phillips, Yas Links Golf Club is the first true Links course in the region. Yas Links brings the noble heritage of a traditional Links experience to Abu Dhabi, a course that combines unparalleled visual glory with the thrill of golf’s ultimate test.
14 – Bandon Dunes, US
Bandon Dunes is true to the spirit of Scotland’s ancient links. Players can immerse themselves in the traditions of a timeless game and the grandeur of Oregon’s rugged coast. Sweeping, untamed shores stretch for miles.
13 – Majlis Course, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai
The Majlis is the first grass course in the Middle East, taking its name from the Arabic word for ‘meeting place.’ Home to the Omega Desert Classic, the world-class course at Emirates Golf Club features challenging holes, undulating greens, and hundreds of indigenous species of flora and fauna..
12 – Spyglass Hill Golf Course, US
Located in California, the Spyglass Hill Golf Course is a links golf course part of the Pebble Beach Company. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, the course is renowned for the fourth hole, with Robert Trent Jones called his favorite par 4
11 – Kingston Heath Golf Club, Australia
The host of the 2016 World Cup of Golf, Kingston Heath Golf Club is widely recognized as one the world’s finest golf courses. Located in the southeast suburbs of Melbourne, the course was designed by Dan Soutar with the help of Alistar MacKenzie, who provided the bunkering strategy during his visit to Australia in 1926.
10 – Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, New Zealand
Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 6,510 meters and will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Completed in 2004, the spectacular New Zealand golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape complete with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean top dramatic cliffs.
9 – Adare Manor, Ireland
The Golf Course at Adare Manor is unmatched in world golf. Re-designed by Tom Fazio, constructed to the highest of standards and opened by four Irish golfing stars: Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, and Shane Lowry. A remarkable construction story set against Ireland’s finest resort destination, Adare Manor is one of the world’s best-golfing experiences.
8 – Cabot Cliffs, Cape Breton, Canada
A great compliment to its sister course Cabot Links, Cabot Cliffs in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, provides an incredible golf experience. Designed by the decorated team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the course meanders through coastal dunes and along ocean-side cliffs. An even mix of par 3s, 4s, and 5s offers golfers a wide variety of golf shots. With an ocean view from every hole on the course, postcard-worthy panoramas are par for the course.
7 – Meadow Links, Mission Hills Haikou, China
The Meadow Links Course at Mission Hills Haikou is part of the enormous and extraordinary Mission Hills complex in China which spans 22 golf courses across two locations, making it the largest golf facility in the world, as recognized by the Guinness World Records. The Brian Curley-designed Meadow Links layout features lay-of-the-land sensibilities and somewhat geometric shapes in both bunkering and fairway lines.
6 – Ailsa, Trump Turnberry, Scotland
Home of four Open Championships, the legendary Ailsa course has hosted some of the most iconic names in golf. Reborn in June 2016 at the hands of the renowned architect, Martin Ebert, the transformation enhanced the world-class playing experience. Located alongside the glorious Ayrshire coastline, with Arran and Ailsa Craig as a stunning backdrop, Trump Turnberry is one of the finest golfing destinations in the world.
5 – West Course, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia
With so many write-ups on the West Course at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the world-class course simply comes down to the combination of great design and construction. The course is full of dramatic undulation, fertile sandy soil, and a natural rugged appearance.
4 – Pebble Beach Golf Links, US
Credit: Pebble Beach Company Photography
Since 1947 Pebble Beach has hosted a PGA Tour event, rolling out its green carpet fairways for the game’s best golfers and Hollywood stars. Pebble Beach Golf Links is full of breathtaking beauty from stunning seaside holes to dramatic cliffs. The course finishes with two of the most beautiful holes in golf. Pebble Beach is also home to the picturesque but perilous Cliffs of Doom, awaiting heroic golfing shots.
3 – Royal County Down Golf Club, Ireland
^^ See above
Regularly rated as one of the best golf courses in the world, Royal County Down is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful links settings against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Morne. The world famous ‘beaded’ bunkers feature overhanging lips of marram, red fescue, and heather. The ninth hole is one of the most photographed holes in golf.
2 – Royal Dornoch, Scotland
Royal Dornoch is a spellbinding golf club and many golfers from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the natural links at some point in their lives. It’s wild, isolated, and at the same time, absolutely beautiful. There is also a blaze of color in early summer when the gorse is in flower. Raised or sloping greens are a characteristic of the Championship Course, as well as elevated tees so the target is well presented although rarely easy to reach.
1 – The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland
The oldest and most iconic golf course in the world. The Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognized across the globe, yet the greatest feature of the Old Course is that despite its grand status it remains a public golf course, open to all.
“I fell in love with it the first day I played it. There’s just no other golf course that is even remotely close,” – Jack Nicklaus, Open Championship 1970, 1978.