"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."
Top Open Championship Golf Courses
No less than 14 golf courses have staged the best and most important golf competition in the world; The Open Championship.
Ten of the venues can be construed as being on the 'current rota' whilst it is almost certain that Prince's, Royal Cinque Ports, Musselburgh Old and Prestwick will never again decide the Champion Golfer of the Year.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played all of the Open Championship venues and below he lists them in order of his personal preference.
All of the venues have an attached golf course review.
Top Open Championship Golf Courses
"I don’t think I would ever accept the notion that a golf course is perfect – not even The Old Course at St. Andrews – but boy does Royal Portrush come close. Tantalisingly close. To say I was completely and utterly blown away by the sheer quality and golfing aura that surrounds what will be the 2019 Open Championship venue is a gross understatement."
"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."
"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."
"Muirfield is one of the most historically important golfing venues in the world. Not only has it staged The Open Championship on 15 occasions but it is also home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. The HCEG is one of the oldest and most influential clubs in golf."
"Royal Birkdale is a golf course which is incredibly hard not to like but at the same time it’s not an easy one to truly love. If it were a football team it would probably be the Arsenal side that won multiple trophies under George Graham in the late 80’s and early 90’s when the phrase, “One-nil to the Arsenal” was coined."
"Playing Royal Troon less than a fortnight after Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson had produced what is arguably the greatest golfing duel in history, and certainly the best final day of an Open Championship, was a special occasion. With the spectator grandstands still in place I really got a feel for the course that I’d witnessed on television just days previously."
"I recently took advantage of the 3-round ticket that the Carnoustie Golf Links offers. For the sum of £200 this entitled me to one round on each of the three courses. The focal point of the trip was of course the main championship course, a notoriously testing links that has hosted The Open Championship on seven occasions."
"As you would expect from a club that has seen the Claret Jug contested over its links on no less than eleven occasions Royal Lytham & St. Annes didn't disappoint."
"I always enjoy my visits to play Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club at Deal, the Kentish town that the course is often referred to by name. It’s an excellent links golf course that requires imagination and skill as well as distance and sound hitting. However, cunning is certainly the order of the day for the most part here."
"Prestwick has been on my hit list of golf courses to play for quite some time and I’m ashamed to say it has taken me far too long to visit this iconic links. From everything I’d read and heard I was expecting it to be ‘my type’ of golf. After several visits to Ayrshire without visiting this much-lauded venue I finally made it to the birthplace of The Open Championship."
"It could be argued that no golf club has had a greater influence on the amateur game of golf than Royal Liverpool, the second oldest links in England behind only Royal North Devon. Open Champions and prolific amateur golfers, Harold Hilton and John Ball, learnt their trade on this important links."
"It may be located in the far South-East corner of England but as I found out recently a trip to Prince's is well worth a visit. My first word of advice would be to take a few days to enjoy a place where tradition and history not only meets the demands of modern day golf head on but somehow merges them seamlessly to create a fabulous experience."
"It’s not every day you get to play the oldest golf course in the world! But that’s what happened in August 2014 when I pegged it up inside the racecourse at Musselburgh Links and played the Old Course; host to the Open Championship on six occasions. It was an absolute blast."
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