Golf was born in the UK, so as you might expect some of the finest courses in the world can be found throughout Great Britain. From ancient Scottish links to purpose built parkland courses, there is so much choice across Britain that the golfer is truly spoiled.
While many of the top ten courses in the UK are home to the British Open, Ryder Cups and other top UK tournaments, all of them can be played by amateur golfers although this will need to be arranged beforehand.
Here are 10 of the best golf courses that Britain has to offer:
St Andrews Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland
It may be an obvious place to start but the most historic golf course in Britain is the pinnacle for most amateur golfers and everyone strives to play here. It is thought that golf may have been played as far back as the 12th century and that is one of the reasons why St Andrews can rightly be called the 'home of golf'.
St Andrews allocates places by way of a ballot, but it's worth having a try just to say you have played here. The Old Course plays to around 6700 yards from the medal tee and buggy hire is available. If you are lucky enough to win the ballot, costs can range between £64.00 to £140 per round, depending on the time of year you play.
Muirfield, East Lothian, Scotland
Staying in Scotland, the superb course at Muirfield has also played host to the British Open, as well as other major tournaments in the UK. It will probably be best remembered for Nick Faldo's dramatic Open victory in 1987 that set him on the way to becoming a dominant force in the game.
Muirfield is a links course with an unusual layout that consists of an outer and an inner loop. The course is a par 70 6673 yards and the cost of a round is between £75.00 & £190.00, depending on the time of year. Buggies and trolleys can be hired if required.
Royal County Down, County Down, Northern Ireland
For many, the Royal County Down is something of a hidden gem, but with Northern Ireland firmly back on the golfing map, this beautiful course is being discovered anew by amateur golfers the world over.
Over the years, the Royal County Down has played host to the Walker Cup and countless home internationals. Old Tom Morris engineered the increase from 9 to 18 holes and the current course is a par 71 that plays to 6,902 yards. Buggies and trolleys are widely available for hire and you can expect to pay between £50.00 in low season & £180.00 at peak times, but for the most spectacular views imaginable, any green fee is worth every penny.
Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire, England
Royal Lytham in Lancashire has played host to the British Open on no fewer than 10 occasions, up to and including 2001. It has also held the women's open championship in the past.
At 6,371 yards at a par 71, the beauty at Lytham is in the challenge to the amateur golfer and this is widely known as the one of the most testing courses around. Green fees vary from £105 to a fairly hefty £212.00 at the height of the season and you will find buggy and trolley hire can be easily arranged.
Turnberry Ailsa, Turnberry, Scotland
Scotland's Turnberry offers a choice of courses but the Ailsa, home to many British Open Championships is the finest of all. This is one of the most picturesque courses in the world and that alone attracts countless visitors every year. The course plays to 6,493 yards and visitors can expect to pay between £95.00 and £175.00 for green fees depending on the time of year. Buggies and trolleys can be hired.
Royal Dornoch, Dornoch, Scotland
In Scotland once again, the Royal Dornoch is thought to be the best of those courses that don't regularly hold major championships. Designed by old Tom Morris, this is a beautiful links course that fits the contours of the land to leave a challenging 6,595 yards 18 hole course. Trolleys and buggies can be hired and at green fees between £45.00 and £100.00, this represents perhaps the best value of any course in the UK.
Royal St Georges, Kent, England
In the heart of the Kent countryside, Royal St Georges is another regular on the British Open circuit and many memorable tussles have been played out here. There have been many alterations over the last few years which have left a testing par 70 course of 6,630 yards. Trolley and buggy hire is available and green fees range from £70.00 in low season, to £150.00 at the height of summer.
Royal Birkdale, Southport, England
Southport's Royal Birkdale is another British Open course that is known for its combination of longer holes and extremely tight fairways. Birkdale is a testing 18 hole par 72 course at 6,817 yards. Buggies and trolleys are widely available and prices are on the higher side, ranging from £120.00 to £195.00, depending on the time of year that you play.
Royal Portrush, Portrush, Northern Ireland
Dunluce. Back in Northern Ireland, the Portrush course made history when it held the British Open Championship back in 1951. A links course with beautiful coastal views, this location is growing in popularity every year, so make sure to book well ahead. This is an eighteen hole, par 72 course at 6,658 yards and you can expect to pay from £60.00 in the low season up to £140.00 in the summer months. Trolleys and buggies are widely available here.
Sunningdale, Sunningdale, England
Just 30 miles to the west of London in picturesque Berkshire lies Sunningdale, which has been home to the British Masters, the Women's British Open and the Seniors open through the years. With fast greens and some long, testing holes, this is reputed to be one of the toughest challenges for the amateur golfer. The course is an eighteen hole par 70 at 6,443 yards and green fees vary from £95.00 to £155.00, depending on the time of year. Buggies and trolleys are available here at Sunningdale.