Why England is Golf's Most Underrated Destination
Whilst Scotland and Ireland garner much international attention, England seems to fly under the radar for many travelling golfers. This, in our opinion, is a travesty; with England boasting some of the best golf on the planet. Don’t believe us? Then check out our reasoning below!
It’s undeniable that the version of golf we play today has its origins rooted firmly north of the border. However, golf in England has been popularised for almost as long - with the Royal Blackheath Golf Club founded in 1766. The course associated with this club has had several location changes over time, however the links at Westward Ho! (known more commonly as Royal North Devon) was opened for play in 1864, and continues to be home to a thriving membership to this day.
England has played host to the Ryder Cup on 15 separate occasions, and has also been a regular stop for the Walker Cup, across such famous tracks as Sunningdale and Ganton, as well as the Royal courses at Birkdale, Hoylake, Sandwich, and Lytham.
Additionally, following the boom in industry in the late 1800s, hundreds of golf courses were developed, notably around some of the country’s major cities, meaning that a good percentage of all courses in England have already celebrated a centenary!
So, whether you’re looking to emulate past heroes, or to learn more about the origins of our sport, England is (almost) as good a place as any to do so!
(Royal St George's)
Not a history buff? No problem! Golf in England quite literally offers something for everybody - with some of the strongest layouts for every type of golf imaginable. Links? How about Royal St George’s? Heathland? Sunningdale do anything for you? Wooded Parkland Perfection? How about the three courses at Woburn? New developments? The JCB Golf & Country Club is hard to beat. Or maybe you’re interested in a venue to host a championship? Then there’s few places better than The Belfry.
Put simply, the typography of England gives it an incredible advantage over almost every country on the planet when it comes to showcasing the best in class examples of whatever you’re looking for.
If you’d like some further proof of the quality across the different types of course, check this out. All 10 of the Top 10 Golf Courses in Scotland are Links (it’s actually more like the Top 15!). England, however, has the likes of Sunningdale (Heathland), Royal Birkdale (Links), Ganton (Inland), and Wentworth (Parkland) all competing for top spots. And these same courses also vie for position with the much heralded Scottish and Irish courses in GB & Ireland rankings, with around 20 of the Top 50 courses located in the land of St George.
This overwhelming abundance of excellence has inevitably led to numerous championships being held within England. From European Tour staples, through to Open Championship stunners, England continues to be one of the most visited countries across the world’s tours.
And what spectacular tournaments we’ve seen here through the years. From Darren Clarke’s emotional victory at Royal St George’s, to Tiger vs Sergio in Liverpool, to Seve from the Car Park at Lytham - golf in England seems to really stick in the memory.
So perhaps you want to revisit some of these famous moments? Or just head away on a golf trip. Then you really needn’t look any further than England! Bournemouth continues to be the best-selling tour for our friends at Golfbreaks, with golfers loving the quality of the golf courses during the day - coupled with the quality of the nightlife in the evening!
Those wanting to escape to the beach also love to break to Bournemouth, as well as to the likes of Cornwall and North Devon which all offer some first class golf to boot.
Maybe you’re more into a city break, taking in a gig in the evening after a morning on the course? The likes of Nottingham and Leeds both provide excellent off-course options whilst being close to the likes of Hollinwell (Nottingham), Sherwood Forest (Nottingham), Alwoodley (Leeds), Ganton (Leeds), and Moortown (Leeds).
And for those that really want to let loose, the likes of Blackpool also present the opportunity for you to let your hair down in a bustling town in the evening, whilst also taking in courses such as Royal Lytham, St Annes Old Links, Fairhaven, and even the coastal gems in Southport which are just 45 minutes from the famous Tower!
And speaking of travel … one of the best things about golf in England is its connectivity. The extensive motorway network makes it super easy for those travelling by car, however, the nature and roll out of courses in the country meant that the train was an intrinsic part of early golf in the country. Many of England’s most famous courses (from Hillside and Royal Birkdale, through to Woking, Worplesdon, West Hill and Wentworth) were all designed for access via rail. This meant that early golfers travelling from Liverpool or London could easily reach their course for the weekend - with that convenience carrying on to this day.
So, whether you're travelling by plane, train, or automobile - you’ll struggle to find a golfing country in the world that’s easier to navigate than England!
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