"Sunningdale is a great golf club with two fantastic heathland golf courses; you could argue all day long which is the best. I was expecting something special on my first ever trip to Sunningdale and it didn't let me down. In fact it delivered in spades. I have returned since and it continues to mesmerize."
Top "Second" Golf Courses of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is blessed with some of the finest golf courses in the world. Some venues even have two or more layouts!
Golfers only playing the main attraction at these venues will miss out on some seriously good golf. In a couple of cases (I'm thinking of Sunningdale) it could even be argued as to which the "second" course is.
Many of the golf courses listed below make for an excellent round of golf in their own right but are even better when complimented with their big sister for a full day of golf.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout the United Kingdom and below he gives his top "second" golf courses that he has played.
Many of the venues also have an attached golf course review. If there is no review it means the course was played pre-2013.
Top "Second" Golf Courses of the United Kingdom
"If anyone dare claim there is a better 36 holes of links golf at one golf club in England than at Saunton I'm pretty sure I could make an unquestionable case for this wonderful piece of linksland. One of the things that confirms this for me is, not only the quality of every single hole, but the subtle yet significant differences between the two courses."
"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."
"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. If it wasn’t for a particularly lacklustre run of holes between two and five on the Burnside I would place this course in a similar bracket to many other distinguished and notable links venues in Scotland."
"No less than three courses, ranked by number reflecting their age, constitute Gullane Golf Club. The second course at Gullane was built 14 years later and is a championship course in its own right. Indeed it has also staged Open Qualifying in the recent past as well as the Seniors Open Amateur Championship in 2002."
"Following an innocuous, but acceptable start, the round really gets going at the 6th from where we enjoy a run of holes until the 10th which are quire excellent. The 6th, 7th and 8th in particular offer much shot-making opportunities."
"It’s possible, and most likely probable, that the Queen’s at Gleneagles is the best golf course under 6,000 yards. Not just in Scotland but anywhere. Yet don’t be fooled into thinking this is a short layout which can be overpowered or that it’s a fiddly little thing lacking any real substance."
"I’m not really bothered if you’ve crossed an ocean, a sea or just the Irish border to make it to Royal County Down but missing a quick spin on their relief course would be a mistake. It’s a wee course full of character, contains some exceptionally good golf and is played over the same joyous terrain as its big brother."
"Walton Heath, a club with a rich history and distinguished membership, is an oasis of pure heathland golf situated a mere 20 miles outside the city of London. All but one of the 36 holes that comprise both the Old and New courses are laid out on a wonderful piece of golfing terrain that is hauntingly barren yet stunningly beautiful."
"The Duke’s, the oldest of the trio of courses at Woburn having being founded in 1976, has a little bit more seniority about it. This layout has hosted several prestigious professional and amateur golf tournaments in its relatively short existence. And apart from a short stretch of holes, just before and around the turn, each hole is memorable and at times breathtaking."
"A full day of golf (and lunch) at The Berkshire is one of life’s little luxuries and definitely worth saving up for. Here you will find 36 holes of excellent heathland golf that is played over some wonderful land with many memorable holes amongst a tranquil and secluded setting."
"The demanding yet delightful Edinburgh golf course is a John Jacobs design with input from Gary Player and Bernard Gallacher. The idea of a third course at Wentworth, to complement the two created by Harry Colt in the 1920’s, was conceived in the late 1970’s but it didn’t actually open its doors for play until 1990."
"The Duchess’ course starts off in scintillating fashion with a couple of absorbing holes and has a much better and compelling routing than the other two layouts. The course is also slightly more undulating as well as being shorter in length."
"Enville is an extremely intriguing 36 hole golf complex located in deepest Staffordshire countryside that is slowly but surely building a reputation as one of the country’s most respected venues. This fascinating private members club was founded in 1935."
Gleneagles (PGA Centenary)
Slaley Hall (Priestman)
The Belfry (PGA National)
*Turnberry Kintyre has now been renovated and reopened as The King Robert The Bruce course.
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