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The Best Place to Play Golf in England

By: Golfshake Editor | Wed 18 Jan 2023

The Golfshake Course Section offers an invaluable resource of almost 300,000 independent reviews submitted by everyday golfers who rate the venues they visit on a wide variety of criteria.

Often, you'll see us share the best reviewed courses, but what about the most rewarding regions to experience? Having first showcased the overall picture for the United Kingdom, we decided to break down the data to focus solely on England, discovering which corners of the nation boast the finest collection of golf clubs and resorts to enjoy.

So, just where is the absolute best place to play golf in England?

What The Data Says...

Golfshake Data

Explaining The Data

  • Avg Golfshake Rating - average of all the golf courses listed on Golfshake.
  • Avg GS Rating Top 20% - average for the top 20% of courses.
  • Avg GS Rating Top 10 - average for just the top 10 courses in the region.
  • Top 100 - How many courses appear in a published Top 100 listing from the last two years throughout GB&I.
  • Top 100% - Percentage of Top 100 courses to total courses.

As you can see, there is much to like across the spectrum. The North West boasts the highest Average Golfshake Rating, while the South West can claim to have the highest concentration of Top 100 courses among its number. However, when you isolate two key categories; namely Average Golfshake Rating (Top 20%) and Average Golfshake Rating (Top 10 Courses), then it's the South East of England that takes both honours, suggesting that its best courses are effectively the very best that the nation can offer.

Nonetheless, there is clearly quality wherever you go in England, so we have provided an analysis of each of the regions below, including highlighting the three best rated venues from all of them on Golfshake.

The East of England

The Grove

(The Grove)

The East includes; Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, with 247 courses listed on Golfshake of which five feature in a Top 100 listing of the UK & Ireland.

Top 3 Courses...

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.94

Review Comment: "Cracking layout. The old fashioned in and out style of links is great fun, especially if the tide is in. The course is quite forgiving from the tee if you are on the right lines, but around the greens and bunkers is where it will catch you out."

Hunstanton Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Review Comment: "This is a fabulous links course with something for everyone, play well and there's some good birdie opportunities, hit bad shots and you'll be punished by the well placed bunkers. There's a great mix of holes - some interesting short par 4s, a nice blend of par 5s and some great looking par 3s. Greens are tricky and fast but true and fairways give plenty of run to well hit shots. It's a course you'll come off and already start thinking about coming back to!"

The Grove

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Review Comment: "A fantastic course, with manicured fairways in a picturesque setting and consistent greens. The staff are welcoming, friendly and really make your visit feel special and memorable. Although it's not a cheap round, it is certainly worth splashing out for as a treat!"

The East Midlands


(Lindrick Golf Club)

The East Midlands is made up from the following counties; Derbyshire, Humberside, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, which account for 165 golf courses and three featured in a published Top 100 listing.

Top 3 Courses...

Lindrick Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "Lindrick is a lovely course and not too challenging on the day we played it. It is very well laid out and the fairways were not too narrow. The greens were excellent and consistent as were the bunkers."

Sherwood Forest Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Review Comment: "Superb, fast greens. Firm fairways framed with gorse, heather and trees. Challenging par threes and tough stretch of par fours on the back nine will really test your game on this classic heathland layout."

Notts Hollinwell Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Review Comment: "Fantastic venue. Very challenging golf course that rewards accurate tee shots and good putting on the tricky greens."

The North East of England


(Ganton Golf Club)

The North East includes the following counties; Cleveland, County Durham, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire, with 273 golf courses listed on Golfshake with three making a Top 100 listing.

Top 3 Courses...

Ganton Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "We were genuinely welcomed and both myself and my playing partner had a wonderful time. Golf was tough. Bunkers are deep and need to be avoided at all costs. A wonderful experience and the course is as good as its reputation suggests. Don't hesitate."

Close House

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Review Comment: "Great course, great set up and great day. I cannot fault anything and will be back to play both courses."

Alwoodley Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.90

Review Comment: "Just wow! Amazing clubhouse, amazing heathland course. Great variety of holes and course design. Easily comparable to the best of Surrey/Berkshire."

The North West of England

Formby Golf Club

(Formby Golf Club)

The North West features; Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire and Merseyside, with 264 courses and ten appearing in a featured Top 100 listing over the last 18 months.

Top 3 Courses...

Formby Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Spectacular, in every sense of the word. Awesome from first tee to 18th green. An absolute must."

Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Golfing perfection. Place is immaculate and if you ever get the chance to go and play it then you absolutely must. There is a bit of room for those that aren't as straight, but there is about 122 bunkers so if that isn't a strength then you could be in for a long day. They could drop the pins in the middle of every green and it would still be hard to get your ball close - and pick the line. This is a difficult championship golf course so just enjoy it for the experience that it is."

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Review Comment: "Stunning place. So much history, everything you’d expect from an Open venue. Tee boxes are better then most greens around the UK."

The South of England


(Woburn Golf Club)

The South is made up of; Avon, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and the Channel Islands, with 202 golf courses listed including six esteemed Top 100 courses.

Top 3 Courses...

Swinley Forest Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Lovely course, challenging layout but great fun. Conditions lovely, staff fantastic. Couldn't fault it."

Woburn Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Review Comment: "Yes, it's expensive, but you can feel why, it's been done properly and lives and breathes proper golf. The Duke's Course, every hole is its own tranquil island of golf as you can't see any other holes when you play each one. If you can get a good weekend of weather and you want to play a proper course, this is one you need to go to."

Bearwood Lakes Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.95

Review Comment: "Probably the most attractive golf course I have played on, reminded me of Augusta in the way the whole course is so carefully manicured. Greens were tough but in very good condition. Could not fault the course as it rewards good shots and remains honest with few blind drives. If you get a chance to play it I would urge you to take that chance, you wont be disappointed."

The South East of England

St George's Hill

(St George's Hill - Image by Kevin Diss Photography)

The Golfshake system includes the following counties within the South East; East Sussex, Greater London, Kent, Surrey and West Sussex making this the largest region with 278 golf courses and an impressive 16 featuring within published Top 100 listings.

Top 3 Courses...

St George’s Hill Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "A great experience at a top track. Course is stunning, clubhouse is imposing. Staff were all great. If you get a chance to play take it."

The Wisley Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Golf Heaven. This is simply the best course I have ever played at. Friendly members, excellent staff, awesome facilities. Great practice ground and the course is superb."

West Hill Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.97

Review Comment: "Lovely place to play golf. The course was beautiful and felt like an honour to play. Greens were sharp and fast and fairways were firm and fair. I will definitely be back."

The South West of England

Parkstone Golf Club

(Parkstone Golf Club)

The South West features; Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and while there are only 144 golf courses within this region, almost 7% make the count among the ten featuring in a Top 100 listing.

Top 3 Courses...

Parkstone Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Great course in fantastic condition. Every hole a challenge and the greens are so fast and true. You will love the course."

St Enodoc Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Review Comment: "Played in absolutely perfect conditions. Sunshine and a gentle breeze made this course incredibly playable and an absolute joy to play (albeit I didn't play great). Friendly atmosphere all round the place, the practice facilities were ideal for warming up your game, the course itself is exceptional."

Saunton Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.95

Review Comment: "It really is as good as everyone tells you, a must to play and in perfect condition."

The West Midlands

The Belfry

(The Belfry)

The West Midlands includes; Gloucester, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire and is home to 212 golf courses with three featuring in a Top 100 listing.

Top 3 Courses...

Little Aston Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Review Comment: "Heard a lot about this course and it didn't disappoint as it's a great challenge of golf in a splendid traditional location."

The Belfry

Golfshake Rating: 4.85

Review Comment: "Played the Brabazon and it was special. A tough course with water in sporadic places, lots of twists and turns. The halfway hut is right by the famous Seve 10th and this is honoured with a plaque. Likewise is a Nick Faldo hole in one with a 6 iron, I think on the 15th. Great touches. Lots of bunkers and the layout is fantastic."

Enville Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.84

Review Comment: "Excellent! Beautiful heathland course in stunning condition…tees immaculate, fairways stunning, greens beautiful! Recommended!"

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The Golf Courses You Must Play in The South of England

The Golf Courses You Should Play in The Midlands

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

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