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Are These Dream Golf Courses on Your List to Play

By: | Tue 31 Oct 2023

As winter approaches, it's always a time for golfers to reflect on what they have accomplished this season and what they hope to achieve next year. 

For many of us, that can include playing new courses, perhaps experiencing the layouts that have long held a place in your mind that are just waiting for you to finally make the journey and book that desired tee time.

Everyone has a "bucket list" of sorts - either consciously or subconsciously - and I am certainly among that group of dreamers.

Over 1,200 of you have shared your own must play lists on our sister website Where I Play Golf, where close to 1,000 courses have been name-checked by members of the Golfshake Community.

But which venues do golfers most treasure in their hearts? We recently shared the most popular in this feature article, but now we delve deeper to uncover more places in the UK & Ireland that you want to play above the rest.

Are these dream golf courses on your own personal list to play?

Lahinch Golf Club


Location: Co. Clare, Ireland

Golfshake Rating: 4.94

Review Comment: "Wow - not sure I have the superlatives to explain how much I enjoyed this place. Played early, with a member and the place was immaculate and stunningly beautiful. Golf simply doesn’t get any better."

The K Club

Location: Co. Kildare, Ireland

Golfshake Rating: 4.43

Review Comment: "An absolutely beautiful course. Deserves all the praise it gets. Beautiful kept and perfect greens."

Castle Stuart Golf Links

Location: Highlands, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Top five favourite course. Excellent practice facilities. Amazing views. Course excellent condition. Layout is amazing, you feel like you are the only ones on the course."

Loch Lomond Golf Club

Location: Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "This course must be on your list to play at some point. Beautiful surroundings right on the edge of the Loch. Dress warm if there is a breeze as some of the holes are very exposed."

Gullane Golf Club


Location: East Lothian, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Review Comment: "An amazing golfing experience. Gullane is one of the very best in the UK. All three courses should be played by everyone."

Formby Golf Club

Location: Merseyside, England

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Absolute gem of a course with rolling fairways and true greens. Friendly service in the clubhouse with huge breakfast rolls."

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Location: Kent, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Review Comment: "Superb traditional out and in links. Fantastic staff, welcoming environment in the clubhouse, course in immaculate condition and extensive practice facilities. Their new putting green must be one of the largest in the country and is excellent."

Old Head Golf Links

Location: Co. Cork, Ireland

Golfshake Rating: 4.94

Review Comment: "If I had one round left in my life and could play anywhere in the world, this would be my choice, the views are one of a kind. Pebble Beach on steroids."

North Berwick Golf Club

Location: East Lothian, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 4.95

Review Comment: "Every hole was unique and offered amazing views. The layout was perfect and the greens were true. The course was in fantastic condition, and the ever changing views were something to behold. I was also extremely impressed by the clubhouse facilities, customer service, staff friendliness and professionalism."

Nefyn & District Golf Club


Location: Gwynedd, Wales

Golfshake Rating: 4.61

Review Comment: "Well worth playing, course in fantastic condition, greens quite slow but in great nick, friendly clubhouse and pro shop. Sea views are something special, if the wind is blowing it's quite a challenge."

Ganton Golf Club

Location: North Yorkshire, England

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "What a great course. Deservedly rated a top 100 course. Fairways and greens are pristine. Stay out of the fairway bunkers and you can score well. Most golfers will not have experienced anything like them. Deep and difficult, the only option in most is to pop it out and take the medicine. Beautiful and brutal in equal measure."

Close House

Location: Northumberland, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.44

Review Comment: "I had a great time on my golfing trip playing both the Colt and Filly courses. Both courses provided a great challenge and were perfectly manicured. The staff were very friendly and helpful. I would definitely recommend this golfing trip to anyone looking for a fun and challenging experience."

The Grove

Location: Hertfordshire, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "The golf course is in great condition, with brilliant greens and challenging holes. The whole experience was amazing, and I really enjoyed the variety of holes and the level of difficulty. The course is top quality and very well kept."

Silloth-on-Solway Golf Club

Location: Cumbria, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Review Comment: "You will not find a better value for money course in the country. You CANNOT get away with anything that is just slightly off-line and you need to think your way around the course or it will make a fool of you. I loved this course so much as it tested my golfing brain and challenges you not take to many risks. So much so I have just been accepted as a member."

Royal St David's Golf Club

Royal St David's

Location: Gwynedd, Wales

Golfshake Rating: 4.87

Review Comment: "We were travelling to the North Wales area for a birthday and decided to book into Royal St. David's. I had visited the area many times before and always wanted to play the course. It is long and tricky but very rewarding. In wind and heavy rain, I found it challenging but very rewarding. The course is in excellent condition and well worth the green fees paid."

Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell)

Location: Nottinghamshire, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.90

Review Comment: "Amazing course, just everything about it was special. Different league to some of the courses I normally play."

St George's Hill Golf Club

Location: Surrey, England

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."

St Enodoc Golf Club

Location: Cornwall, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "Great links course. Not intimidating but always a challenge with an offshore breeze coming in."

Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club

Location: Merseyside, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "A stunning course that asks lots of questions from tee to green. Then once you find the putting surface you are confronted by humps and hollows galore. An absolute pleasure to play, in such fine condition."

Prestwick Golf Club


Location: Ayrshire, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 4.94

Review Comment: "The course is very quirky with lots of history within the original 12 holes/landscape. Those 12 holes are probably the best with the extras not quite up to the rest. There are some definite standout holes and some quirky, almost bizarre, holes that you are unlikely to have played before."

Trevose Golf Club

Location: Cornwall, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Review Comment: "Great facilities here and a championship course to match. Greens were in fantastic condition for the time of year. The starter was very helpful as it was my first visit."

Prince's Golf Club

Location: Kent, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Review Comment: "Excellent facilities with all three courses in top order, staff helpful and friendly. The courses are all challenging in their own way but the Himalayas in a stiff breeze is particularly challenging for length and accuracy. All of the greens were in excellent order and it will take a bit of adjustment if you are used to slowish greens."

The Renaissance Club

Location: East Lothian, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "The welcome was exceptional, all front of house staff were warm, welcoming, and friendly. The course was in fantastic condition for October. Greens were running true, even this late in the year. A great place to play golf."

Moortown Golf Club


Location: West Yorkshire, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.90

Review Comment: "I was very pleased with the overall condition of the course with the greens in excellent condition. The layout was interesting and fair. The club also provided a warm welcome with a great sense of history."

Burnham & Berrow Golf Club

Location: Somerset, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Review Comment: "Unbelievable course in great condition. Not for the faint hearted but will walk off with a smile no matter what your score."

Alwoodley Golf Club

Location: West Yorkshire, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Review Comment: "A fantastic club and course. Very challenging and in superb condition. Very friendly staff."

St Mellion Resort

Location: Cornwall, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.57

Review Comment: "The course was in immaculate condition and proved to be challenging, but in a great way. A lot of thought has gone into the design. The pro shop is well stocked, and the pros are incredibly friendly."

Saunton Golf Club

Location: Devon, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Review Comment: "Two spectacular courses and just a great set up. Everything was class there and although the course probably didn't suit my driving game (especially the East) the challenge was brilliant. The East punished anything off-line severely and the greens were challenging, but beautiful. The West was a very different proposition, with a few more holes to get the driver out, but lots of thought needed."

Cruden Bay Golf Club

Cruden Bay

Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Review Comment: "Fantastic course, great welcome, highly recommend!"

Brora Golf Club

Location: Highlands, Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "Terrific links course with great holes and great views. I was lucky with the weather, but can imagine how tough it must be when the wind really blows. The staff were very welcoming too."

The West Lancashire Golf Club

Location: Merseyside, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.97

Review Comment: "I had the opportunity to play this fantastic course recently and it was an absolute pleasure. The course was in great condition and the layout was superb. The classic links design and challenging yet fair conditions made this a classic course that I would highly recommend."

Waterville Golf Club

Location: Co. Kerry, Ireland

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "Got it on a glorious day and have rarely enjoyed a game so much - it really is out of this world."

Tralee Golf Club


Location: Co. Kerry, Ireland

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Review Comment: "This a wonderful links course which is surrounded by the beautiful Tralee Bay and its many little islands. It is a difficult course particularly the back 9. Take a buggy if you can and if you’ve thought the first 9 are energy sapping, you’ve seen nothing yet. Greens are in great nick."

Parkstone Golf Club

Location: Dorset, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "The course is not the longest course but leave the fairways and your scorecard will take a hit. It is in immaculate condition. The tee boxes are perfect and the greens were quick and true. I couldn't rate this course more highly and the members were friendly and welcoming."

Hunstanton Golf Club

Location: Norfolk, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Review Comment: "I was really impressed with the condition of the course considering the time of year and weather we had. The layout of the links was great and the views were stunning. This was my first time playing here, and it exceeded my expectations."

Ferndown Golf Club

Location: Dorset, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.90

Review Comment: "Played Ferndown as a guest, it was everything I expected. Well maintained despite the dry conditions. Greens in immaculate condition. Try not to go in the heather, ball finding is difficult. All things considered, a fine challenge played in good company!"

Aldeburgh Golf Club

Location: Suffolk, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.80

Review Comment: "The greens were true but not too quick, fairways in excellent condition, but it does play long when the wind gets up and although the fairways are generally forgiving enough for you to score well a bad shot will be punished severely should you go into any of the gorse that lines most of the fairways. All in all it is a proper championship golf course and you will need to be on your game to score well. Will definitely return."

The Addington Golf Club

Location: Surrey, England

Golfshake Rating: 4.78

Review Comment: "Another year of maturing and this will be definitely one of the finest courses in England! A pleasure to play!"

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

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