The Most Expensive Golf Courses You Can Play
IMAGINE for a moment that money was no object, that you have a series of luxury cars in the driveway of your eight-bedroom home.
We have looked at some of the golf courses in the UK that provide the very best value for money. Now, we explore those where the green fees would make most of us baulk and walk away.
But before we do that, let’s take a quick look at what we believe to be the five most expensive courses on the planet, with some eye-watering green fees:
Green Fee: $1,000
Yes, you read that correctly. $1,000 for 18 holes! We believe that Shadow Creek is the most expensive golf course in the world. It first claimed the crown in 2019 when it increased its green fees to $600 per round during peak season. The Las Vegas-based course has since increased its fees again to $1,000 a round. And there is more. It is open to the public, but only if you stay in one of MGM Resorts International properties in LA, and that is going to set you back at least $300 a night.
Green Fee: $750
I have a friend who once struck his opening tee shot at Royal Melbourne into the clubhouse! He is a journalist who was in the city to cover the Australian Open tennis tournament and had been invited to play the course as a guest, so the shot he struck had nothing to do with him being asked to fork out the $750 green fee! Established 131 years ago in 1891, it is located in Black Rock, Victoria, southeast of Melbourne in Australia. Royal Melbourne has hosted numerous national and international events such as the 1959 Canada Cup, 1972 World Cup, and the Bicentennial Classic, a tournament to celebrate the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.
Trump National Doral
Green Fee: $650
You will find that the Trump name crops out quite a lot in these lists. The former president owns Doral. It was designed in 1962 and is spread around 800 acres of land, and along with the golf course, it also features luxury lodges and 700 hotel rooms. It is one of the world’s most expensive golf courses, most famous for the Blue Monster course.
Green Fee: $620
Pebble Beach is described as a public course but it is one like no other, having staged the US Open many times, as well as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am every year on the PGA Tour. It has also been voted the best public course in America by Golf Digest since 2013. So, a public course. How much do you reckon for 18 holes? A cool $620. If you stay at Casa Palmero you will receive a $45 discount on that green fee, but it will cost you $1,000 a night to stay there.
Green Fee: $600
Built in 1980, TPC Sawgrass is the home of both the PGA Tour and the Players Championship. Every year, thousands of golf balls are lost in the lake surrounding the world-famous par-three 17th and the golfers who do so are prepared to fork out $600 for the privilege but for that money you also get a cart and a bag of balls to hit while warming up.
So, how does the UK & Ireland compare? As you are about to discover, you can quickly empty your bank balance at a host of famous courses across Britain and Ireland.
And the most expensive of the lot? That honour goes to…
Ailsa Course, Turnberry
Green Fee: £425
Donald Trump spent a fortune remodelling the Ailsa Course at Turnberry. It was a wonderful course anyway but it is now a work of art. Sadly, Trump’s political views have led to Turnberry being removed from The Open rota, and that is a great shame. This green fee from June 1-September 30 is a whopping £425 from Friday to Sunday. The rate does, however, tumble in the off-season, although playing Turnberry in the winter may be a less than enjoyable experience.
Green Fee: £377
Adare Manor was bought by JP McManus in 2015 for about £30m. And it seems that he is determined to get his money back. The stunning parkland layout hosts the JP McManus Pro-Am and will also host the Ryder Cup in 2027. Its peak season green fee for 2023 will be €430 (£377). You will also have to factor in the cost of a caddie, at about £90 per round or a buggy for about £50. It is cheaper if you can afford to stay at Adare Manor. How much? Around £2,500 for two nights with a round of golf and breakfast thrown in.
Green Fee: £374
Another Scottish golfing great, Kingsbarns, features in third place with the highest green fee coming in at £374 next summer. Yes, it is expensive, but what a spectacular golf course this is. I have been lucky enough to play here and I rate it as the best course I have ever played. It has hosted the Women’s Open and is one of the courses used for the Dunhill Links Championship.
Green Fee: £342
Old Head Golf Links is a spectacular golf course with stunning views across The Atlantic Ocean throughout the front and back nines. You may not be surprised to learn that those views come at a high price - €395, which translates to £342. It can be played for around £190 between October and April in 'low season'.
Green Fee: £325
Yet another Trump-owned golf course. This one was designed by Martin Hawtree and is located near Aberdeen. It is a fabulous links but is it really worth £325 during peak season? Play it in the winter and it will ‘ only’ set you back £175.
Green Fee: £325
One of the joys of our sport is that mere mortals can tread the same fairways and greens our heroes do. But it does come at a cost. There is no denying that Muirfield is one of the best links courses on the planet but if you have plans to play it in the high season in 2023 you had better start saving now because it is going to set you back a cool £325 for 18 championship holes. However, between November and December it will cost just £125, which represents one heck of a reduction. Oh, and by the way, if you are a visitor, you can only play on Tuesday or Thursday.
Green Fee: £315
Another Open venue that will relieve you of more than £300 for the privilege of allowing you to play the legendary Postage Stamp and follow in the footsteps of Henrik Stenson. Troon is located close to Prestwick, Western Gailes and Dundonald - and the town is also home to some great municipal courses.
Royal Lytham & St Annes
Green Fee: £305
We believe that the honour for being the most expensve course in England goes to Royal Lytham, one of the most iconic of Open venues. It is a classic links course, boasting undulating fairways and lots of bunkers and is famous for being the scene of Tony Jacklin’s momentous Open triumph back in 1969. 18 holes here will cost you £305 during the summer months, but just £160 from November through until February.
Sunningdale Old & New
Green Fee: £300
Without doubt, the best heathland courses in England, boasting magnificent greens and fairways and a whole heap of gorse and heather. Both the Old and the New are £300 each to play or you can play both in the same day for £500. Despite the cost, there is huge demand to play these fabulous courses.
Green Fee: £300
Another Open venue, and another that will not give you any change out of £300. This is the course that hosted Jordan Spieth’s Open triumph in 2017 and is set in an area that boasts many fabulous links courses, including Hillside. Off-season, you can play here for £185.
Royal County Down
Green Fee: £300
Anybody fortunate enough to have visited Royal County Down will tell you that this links course in Northern Ireland is one of the best they have played. It is, quite simply, an unforgettable place to play this wonderful game. And there are some good deals to be had off-season.
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