Golfweek's Best: Top 50 Classic Courses in Great Britain and Ireland

Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

Golfweek's Best: Top 50 Classic Courses in Great Britain and Ireland

Courses

Golfweek's Best: Top 50 Classic Courses in Great Britain and Ireland

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Here are the Top 50 Classic Courses in Great Britain and Ireland, as determined by the Golfweek Raters.

The members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course.

Those overall ratings on each course are averaged together to produce a final rating for each course. Then each course is ranked against other courses in Great Britain and Ireland to produce the final rankings.

We hope you enjoy poring over these rankings, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this list of Best Classic Courses (built prior to 1960) in Great Britain and Ireland.

Each course is listed with its name, location, architect(s), year opened and the average ranking from all the Golfweek Raters who reviewed it.

Top 50 Classic Courses in Great Britain & Ireland

Course Location Architect(s) Year Opened Avg. Rating
1 Royal County Down (Championship) New Castle, Northern Ireland George L. Baillie, Old Tom Morris, George Combe, Harry S. Colt, Donald Steel 1889 8.95
2 The Old Course at St. Andrews St. Andrews, Scotland Unknown 1800 8.81
3 Royal Dornoch (Championship) Dornoch, Scotland Old Tom Morris, John Sutherland, George Duncan 1877 8.65
4 Muirfield East Lothian, Scotland Old Tom Morris 1892 8.62
5 Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Portrush, Northern Ireland Harry S. Colt, Martin Ebert 1929 8.51
6 Sunningdale (Old) Sunningdale, England Willie Park Jr., Harry S. Colt 1901 8.35
7 Ballybunion (Old) Ballybunion, Ireland Lionel Hewson, Tom Simpson 1893 8.35
8 Trump Turnberry Resort (Ailsa) Turnberry, Scotland Mackenzie Ross, Martin Ebert, Tom MacKenzie 1951 8.20
9 Royal St. Georges Sandwich, England Laidlaw Purves 1887 8.16
10 North Berwick Golf Club (West Links) North Berwick, Scotland David Stratch 1832 8.01
11 Royal Birkdale Southport, England George Lowe, F.G. Hawtree, J.H. Taylor 1897 7.91
12 Lahinch Lahinch, Ireland Old Tom Morris, Charles Gibson, Alister MacKenzie, Martin Hawtree 1894 7.88
13 Carnoustie Golf Links (Championship) Carnoustie, Scotland Allan Robertson, Old Tom Morris, James Baird 1839 7.87
14 Swinley Forest South Ascot, England Harry S. Colt 1909 7.86
15 Royal Porthcawl Porthcawl, Wales Charles Gibson, Ramsay Hunter, J. Simpson 1892 7.75
16 Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin) Woodhall Spa, England Harry Vardon, J.H.Taylor, Harry S. Colt 1905 7.74
17 Sunningdale (New) Sunningdale, England Harry S. Colt, John Morrison 1923 7.72
18 Ganton Scarborough, England Tom Chisholm, Harry Vardon, Harry S. Colt 1893 7.71
19 Cruden Bay Cruden Bay, Scotland Old Tom Morris, Tom Simpson, Herbert Fowler 1899 7.65
20 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Lytham, England George Lowe, Harry S. Colt, Herbert Fowler 1897 7.64
21 St. George’s Hill Weybridge, England Harry S. Colt 1913 7.63
22 Rye Rye, England Harry S. Colt 1894 7.58
23 Royal Troon (Old) Troon, Scotland Willie Fernie 1878 7.57
24 Walton Heath (Old) Tadworth, England Herbert Fowler 1903 7.51
25 Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie) Aberdeen, Scotland Archie Simpson, Robert Simpson, James Braid 1888 7.46
26 Portmarnock (Old) Portmarnock, Ireland George Ross, W.C. Pickeman 1894 7.39
27 St. Enodoc (Church) Wadebridge, England James Braid 1907 7.39
28 Alwoodley Leeds, England Alister MacKenzie 1907 7.37
29 Royal Cinque Ports Deal, England Henry Hunter, James Braid 1892 7.35
30 Machrihanish Machrihanish, Scotland Old Tom Morris 1876 7.34
31 Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) Hoylake, England Robert Chambers, George Morris 1869 7.21
32 Wentworth (West) Virginia Water, England Harry S. Colt 1924 7.20
33 Wallasey Wallasey, England Old Tom Morris, James Braid, F.G. Hawtree, J.H. Taylor, Donald Steele 1891 7.18
34 Royal West Norfolk Brancaster, England Holcombe Ingleby 1892 7.14
35 Western Gailes Gailes, Scotland Fred Morris, F.G. Hawtree 1898 7.10
36 Gleneagles (King’s) Auchterarder, Scotland James Braid 1919 7.10
37 Prestwick Prestwick, Scotland Old Tom Morris 1851 7.04
38 Notts (Hollinwell) Kirkby in Ashfield, England Willie Park Jr., J.H. Taylor, Tom Williamson 1901 6.96
39 West Sussex Pulborough, England Sir Guy Campbell, Cecil K. Hutchison 1931 6.93
40 Gullane (No. 1) Gullane, Scotland Unknown 1884 6.92
41 County Louth (Baltray) County Louth, Ireland Tom Simpson 1892 6.90
42 The Island GC Donabate, Ireland Fred Hawtree, Eddie Hackett 1890 6.88
43 Portstewart (Strand) Portstewart, North Ireland A.G. Gow, Willie Park, Des Griffin 1907 6.86
44 Formby Formby, England Willie Park Jr., James Braid, Harry S. Colt, Donald Steel, 1912 6.85
45 Woking Woking, England Tom Dunn, John Low, Stuart Paton. 1893 6.85
46 Nairn Nairn, Scotland Archie Simpson, Old Tom Morris, James Braid 1887 6.82
47 Hankley Common Farnham, England James Braid, Harry S Colt 1921 6.81
48 Wentworth (East) Virginia Water, England Harry S. Colt 1924 6.81
49 West Lancashire GC Liverpool, England Unknown, James Braid, C.K. Cotton 1873 6.81
50 Burnham & Berrow Burnham on Sea, England Charles Gibson, Herbert Fowler, Harry S. Colt, J.H. Taylor 1891 6.80

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