Top 100 Links Golf Courses of Great Britain

Top Links Golf in 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.

We certainly do not claim this to be a definitive list so please don't be offended if you disagree with the order or your blood boils because your personal favourite languishes far too low. It's merely one man's opinion on the links golf courses of Great Britain. Hopefully this provides more interest than a list created by a panel which can often dilute the flavour of any given ranking. However, we are always very interested in your opinions so please leave your comments below.

Many of the venues also have an attached golf course review. If there is no review it means the course was played pre-2013.

You can also see the list by country; England, Scotland and Wales.

Top 100 Links Golf Courses of Great Britain

1. St. Andrews (Old Course)

St. Andrews Links (Old) Golf Club

"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."

Read the full review

2. Askernish

Askernish Golf Club

"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."

Read the full review

3. Royal Dornoch (Championship)

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

"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."

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4. Trump Turnberry (Ailsa)

Trump Turnberry Golf Club

"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."

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5. Royal St. George's

Royal St. George's Golf Club

"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."

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6. North Berwick

North Berwick Golf Club

"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."

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7. Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie)

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

"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."

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8. Castle Stuart

Castle Stuart Golf Club

"You don’t need to think strategically to play Castle Stuart but to play Castle Stuart you need to think strategically. The above summarises this modern links perfectly and in my opinion is a sign of greatness. Castle Stuart is great. It’s a thinking man’s course for sure but the more naive golfer will still get maximum enjoyment from this wholly manufactured course."

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9. Kingsbarns

Kingsbarns Golf Links

"The Kingdom of Fife has long been associated with world-class links golf. The region is the spiritual home of the game and Kingsbarns fits seamlessly into the modern day environment. Located just seven miles down the coast from St. Andrews it is in a prime location and the layered landscape that the holes are played over simply add to the visual feast on offer at this sensational layout."

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10. Cruden Bay (Championship)

Cruden Bay Golf Club

"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."

Read the full review

11. Silloth on Solway

12. Royal Birkdale

13. Muirfield

14. Western Gailes

15. Royal Troon

16. Royal Porthcawl

17. Carnoustie (Championship)

18. Prestwick

19. Burnham & Berrow

20. Royal Lytham & St. Annes

21. Saunton (East)

22. Royal Cinque Ports

23. Hunstanton

24. Trump International

25. Skibo Castle (Carnegie Links)

26. Southport & Ainsdale

27. Formby

28. Machrihanish

29. Royal West Norfolk

30. Brora

31. Moray (Old)

32. Royal North Devon

33. Royal Liverpool

34. Rye

35. The Machrie

36. Nairn

37. Wallasey

38. Panmure

39. West Lancashire

40. Southerness

41. Elie

42. Machrihanish Dunes

43. Renaissance

44. Tenby

45. St. Enodoc

46. Saunton (West)

47. Gullane (No.1)

48. Hillside (no review)

49. Murcar Links

50. Littlestone

51. Luffness New

52. St. Andrews (New)

53. Dundonald Links

54. Berwick Upon Tweed

55. Montrose (Medal)

56. Pennard

57. Perranporth

58. Hayling

59. Seaton Carew

60. St. Andrews (Jubilee)

61. Prince's (Shore, Dunes & Himalayas)

62. Fraserburgh

63. Aberdovey

64. Seacroft

65. Carnoustie (Burnside)

66. Conwy

67. Gailes Links

68. Royal St. Davids

69. Gullane (No. 2)

70. Ashburnham

71. Prestwick St. Nicholas

72. St. Annes Old Links

73. Dunbar

74. Pyle & Kenfig

75. Sheringham

76 .Trevose

77. Fortrose & Rosemarkie

78. Leven links

79. Bude & North Cornwall

80. Seascale (no review)

81. Lundin

82. Monifieth (Medal)

83. Arbroath

84. Irvine

85. Kilmarnock (Barrasie)

86. West Kilbride

87. St. Andrews (Eden)

88. Cleveland

89. Trump Turnberry (Kintyre)

90. Moray (New)

91. Tain

92. Peterhead

93. Spey Bay

94. Cruden Bay (St. Olaf)

95. Durness

96. Crail (Balcomie) (no review)

97. Reay

98. Inverallochy

99. Hesketh

100. Newburgh-on-Ythan

The Contenders


Rye (Jubilee)


Gullane (No. 3)


Borth & Ynyslas

Great Yarmouth & Caister


West Cornwall

Troon Darley

Wigtownshire County

Royal Troon (Portland)

Nairn Dunbar


North Wales




Kings Links

Swansea Bay

Monifieth (Ashludie)

Isle of Harris


Troon Lochgreen

Burnham & Berrow (Channel)


Felixstowe Ferry

Minehead & West Somerset


Weston super Mare

Carnosutie (Buddon)

St. Andrews (Strathtyrum)

Royal Dornoch (Struie)

Musselburgh Old


Pwllheli (no review)







Southport Links

Montrose (Broomfield)

Isle of Skye


St. Andrews (Balgove)


*The following 4 links golf courses have not been played yet and therefore are not included in the list: Colonsay, Dunaverty, Strathlene Buckie, & Tarbat.

We would love to hear if you agree or disagree with our selections. You can do so in the comments box below or tweet us.

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