What are some of the most exclusive golf courses in Europe?

Originally began in Scotland…..the term golf  itself was simply an acronym for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. The British Open is the only one of the 4 major tournaments in professional golf that make up what is called the Grand Slam of Golf to actually be held in Europe (the other 3 are the Masters, the US Open, and the PGA championships).

The British Open is moved annaually. In 2002 it was held at Muirfield Golf Links in East Lothian in Scotland, in 2003 it will be at the Royal St. George’s in England, in 2004 at the Troon Golf Club in western Scotland, and in both 2001 & 2005 the British Opens were/will be held at St. Andrews in Scotland respectively. Here are the top 10 exclusive golf Courses:

  1. Royal County Down Golf Club, Northern Ireland, UK: Nestled against the backdrop of the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea, this course consistently ranks among the top courses globally. Its rugged dunes and challenging layout make it a favorite among serious golfers.
  2. St. Andrews Links, Scotland, UK: Often referred to as the "Home of Golf," St. Andrews is an iconic destination for golf enthusiasts. The Old Course, in particular, is steeped in history and is considered one of the oldest golf courses in the world.
  3. Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande, Spain: Valderrama is widely regarded as one of the finest courses in Continental Europe. Known for its meticulous conditioning and challenging layout, it has hosted numerous high-profile tournaments, including the 1997 Ryder Cup.
  4. Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews, Scotland, UK: Although not a standalone course, the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of the Old Course at St. Andrews is an iconic spot in golf history. It's where countless legendary golfers have walked, and it holds a special place in the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide.
  5. Portmarnock Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland: Situated on a slender peninsula along the Irish Sea, Portmarnock offers stunning views and a classic links experience. Its challenging design has earned it a reputation as one of the best courses in Ireland.
  6. Club de Golf Valderrama, Andalusia, Spain: Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., Valderrama is a masterpiece of course architecture. It has hosted prestigious events like the Volvo Masters and the WGC-American Express Championship.
  7. Turnberry Golf Resort, Scotland, UK: Set along the rugged coast of Scotland, Turnberry is known for its dramatic coastal views and challenging holes. The Ailsa Course has played host to four Open Championships.
  8. Villa d'Este Golf Club, Como, Italy: Located on the shores of Lake Como, this picturesque course offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lake. The layout is challenging yet enjoyable, making it a favorite among golfers visiting Italy.
  9. Le Golf National, Paris, France: Known for its demanding layout and water hazards, Le Golf National is home to the Albatros Course, which hosted the 2018 Ryder Cup. It's considered one of the finest courses in France.
  10. Real Club Valderrama, Andalusia, Spain: This exclusive club is renowned for its exceptional conditions and challenging layout. It's a favorite among golfing aficionados and has hosted prestigious events such as the Volvo Masters and the Ryder Cup.

These golf courses in Europe offer not only exceptional playing experiences but also a chance to immerse oneself in the rich history and natural beauty of their respective locations. They are sought-after destinations for avid golfers looking to combine their love for the sport with memorable travel experiences.

The other principle tournament held in Europe is the Ryder Cup. It is held at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England in late September.

Britain has over 2000 total golf courses. Useful websites include: