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The Best Golf Courses You Probably Haven't Heard Of

By: Kieran Clark | Tue 21 Nov 2023 | Comments


When you're shopping around for new golf courses to play, there's a likelihood that you'll look up rankings online. This can be an illuminating experience, but you'll often find that you're just looking at the same places in a slightly different order between publications that showcase venues that are potentially expensive and difficult to access.

These factors explain why so many golfers search for 'hidden gems' during their research, but it can be convincingly argued that the term is fairly redundant these days in the world of the internet and social media - nowhere is ever, truly hidden from view.

However, clearly there are courses dotted throughout the country that offer a memorable time for visitors that perhaps don't receive the wider acclaim and recognition that they deserve.

Fortunately, that's where we can help, presenting to you now The Best Golf Courses You Probably Haven't Heard Of.

These courses are ranked between 70th and 100th in the Golfshake Alternative Top 100, which brings together the best rated destinations in the minds of everyday golfers that are not routinely positioned within official Top 100s that you may see elsewhere.

Indeed, there's every chance you'll have heard of some of these courses, but probably not all of them - the only thing you really need to know is that they all come Highly Recommended on Golfshake!

Frilford Heath Golf Club

Frilford Heath

Location: Oxfordshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "Went as a society and played the Red and Green courses and thoroughly enjoyed our day. From the moment we arrived it looked amazing. The two courses were spectacular, challenging and beautifully laid out."

Studley Wood Golf Club

Location: Oxfordshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "I read the Golfshake reviews and agree 100% the greens are magnificent. Not overly undulating but well manicured and the ball rolls true. They had fertilised them and added some blue liquid feed to them so the colour of them is a fantastic green."

Conwy Golf Club

Conwy Golf Club

Location: Gwynedd

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "Beautiful place. Stunning golf course in excellent condition and has a special feel you don't get everywhere. Be back to play again soon."

Longhirst Hall Golf Club

Longhirst Hall

Location: Northumberland

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "Played here loads as a member and non member, year on year the improvements are great. Courses speak for themselves, greens this summer just beautiful. Wildlife stunning and staff very friendly."

Berkhamsted Golf Club

Location: Hertfordshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "Thinking golfer's course, need to hit the ball in the right areas. Lovely condition."

Strathmore Golf Centre

Location: Perthshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "Set in undulating parkland, the Rannaleroch Course is a fair challenge for all skill levels. Invitingly wide fairways are flanked by punishing rough should be be way off line but hit a decent shot and you have a fair challenge. Greens are always in first class condition with some tricky rises and falls but always true and fairly fast."

Leigh Golf Club

Location: Cheshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "Although on paper a short course it is well defended by tree lined fairways and green side bunkers. Greens in excellent condition. Course was very dry so the ball ran forever. Accuracy off the tee is the key to a good score. Great challenging course."

Heysham Golf Club

Location: Lancashire

Golfshake Rating: 4.56

Review Comment: "A nicely laid out course, and it was in great condition when we played. Nice clubhouse too."

Churchill & Blakedown Golf Club

Location: Worcestershire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "It really is a joy to play here and I'm not the only one to say this. If you want a friendly, enjoyable and relaxed game then here is the place to play."

Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort

Bowood

Location: Wiltshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Course is in excellent condition, but beware of straying from the fairway into the often deep rough! Greens are in fantastic condition and can offer some real challenging putts."

Olton Golf Club

Location: Warwickshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Played this today for the first time. Beautiful and very scenic, but brutal if you don't hit the ball far off the tee. Several blind holes which are quite interesting. Would love to play it again now that I know where the blind holes are. Can be played a lot more strategically if you knew where you were aiming every hole. Well worth a visit and a bash."

Erewash Valley Golf Club

Location: Derbyshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "The course was in excellent condition. Both the fairways and greens were clear of leaves. The weather was good when we played, however we have had some heavy rain in the area recently but the ground was firm. All holes were open. The greens were in excellent condition. A pleasure to play the course."

Purley Downs Golf Club

Purley Downs

Location: Surrey

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Absolutely superb condition and a nice variety of holes. Tranquil and quiet when I played, apart from the sound of the wind, it is well worth a visit. Not a long course but the greens are tough and you have to be precise with your shots."

Greetham Valley

Greetham Valley

Location: Leicestershire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "I highly recommend Greetham Valley. It's good value and easy to get to. Two good interesting golf courses. A lot of fun. Good food. Good service. Good rooms and practice facilities."

Cotswold Hills Golf Club

Location: Gloucestershire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Excellent course, long fairways with some slopes so you need to place your ball in the right place to attack the greens. Having said that they are quite wide. Greens were immaculate, best I have seen them. Some challenging bunkers but with plenty of sand. Views all around. Pace of play was great."

Clacton on Sea Golf Club

Location: Essex

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Excellent course and set up. Front nine quite wooded, then becomes much more of a links style. Plenty of decisions to be made on the way round. Nice people run it too."

Kings Norton Golf Club

Location: Worcestershire

Golfshake Rating: 4.54

Review Comment: "Played this course with a member and have played before. It's a lovely, well-kept private course and very nice to play if a little challenging in parts. Three 9 hole courses to choose from. Nice clubhouse, well stocked golf shop, excellent place to sit out after for a drink on a sunny day. Very rural setting."

Winter Hill Golf Club

Location: Berkshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.54

Review Comment: "Hard to find better views in Berkshire looking down onto the Thames and the course doesn't disappoint either. Tremendous value on a weekend afternoon, especially."

East Herts Golf Club

Location: Hertfordshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.54

Review Comment: "Heard good things about the club so decided to give it a go and loved it! The setting is stunning with mature trees and a mansion as the backdrop. The presentation as you drive in is first class and all staff made you feel very welcome. The service and food in the bar were first class and the view from the balcony is as good as you will find. The course is stunning, presentation was of the highest standard and the greens were as good as I have played on."

Woll Golf Club at New Woll Estate

Location: Scottish Borders

Golfshake Rating: 4.54

Review Comment: "Beautiful parkland course with stunning views. Very friendly staff and an excellent clubhouse restaurant. Have stayed at the on site accommodation for 15 years and the free golf is a great bonus. Can't recommend this place enough."

The Astbury

The Astbury

Location: Shropshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.54

Review Comment: "A fantastic course, well presented and maintained. A credit to the greens team. The staff are brilliant."

Horsley Lodge Golf Club

Location: Derbyshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "Lovely setting, course was in great condition, but as always is very testing. The last four holes are very difficult and it is easy to drop shots. Mid round my driving went askew!"

Reddish Vale Golf Club

Reddish Vale

Location: Cheshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "This was my first time playing the course. I found it a lovely set up with some interesting holes. The greens were in very good condition."

Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club

Location: Essex

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "Super undulating tricky course with stunning views over the estuary."

Aldersey Green Golf Club

Location: Cheshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "Aldersey Green is a little gem of a course. Very tight tree lined with its fair share of water hazards scattered about. Both the course and the greens were in very good condition, and how nice to see both the 9th and the 18th finishing by the club house. Good facilities with very friendly staff. Will definitely be returning."

Romiley Golf Club

Location: Cheshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "Friendly welcome at clubhouse. Good practice facilities. Course in good condition considering the recent hot weather, greens true and a joy to putt on. Nice walk around a few ups and downs but not too hard on the old legs. Worth a round in anyone's books this one."

Portlethen Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "Really good course. Some cracking holes. Greens are in fantastic. Looking to play again soon and possibly join Portlethen."

Rotherham Golf Club

Rotherham

Location: South Yorkshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "Such a nice atmosphere around the place. The holes are laid out well, challenging but not punitive and nicely thought through cuts off the fairway. The greens were super fast and immaculate meaning staying on some greens was a difficult challenge. Reaching the back nine you get the added bonus of white sand bunkers which make that part of the course look amazing."

Beamish Park Golf Club

Location: County Durham

Golfshake Rating: 4.52

Review Comment: "Haven't played Beamish for a while, but again reminds me why I need to play it more. Beautiful course, tricky and tight, and long on occasion, but a great test of golf, and fantastic views from the course."

Blackwell Golf Club

Location: Worcestershire

Golfshake Rating: 4.52

Review Comment: "This is a premier course up with the best in the country. The course was in superb condition and the greens something else again. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and many congratulations to the member, staff and especially the greenkeepers. Highly recommended."

Belton Park Golf Club

Location: Lincolnshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.52

Review Comment: "Excellent course with great facilities at the club. Great layout and all aspects in super condition."


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