Like everything else, the best golf courses in the world are open for debate. Everyone has their favorite, and they aren’t afraid to stand up for it. Golf has been played all over the world since it was invented in Scotland in the 15th century. It is a wildly popular game that just about anyone of any age can play. But playing a round of golf at any of these courses is going to set you back a few bones. Before you book a flight and schedule a tee time, you’d better work on your game a bit so you don’t embarrass yourself.
Augusta National Golf Club
Located in Augusta, Georgia, the Augusta National Golf Club is home to the Masters tournament every April. It was built in 1933 but bears little resemblance to the original course today. Constant improvements and changes over the years keep it ever-evolving. This is a private club, so you have to be a guest of a member to play. The membership of the club keeps chasing the perfect course and they funnel vast resources into it.
Royal County Down Golf Club
New Castle in Northern Ireland is home to the Royal County Down Golf Club. It was built in 1889 and has hosted many prestigious tournaments over the years, such as the Walker Cup and the Irish Open. The course is heralded for having the best front nine holes in the world. The sheer beauty of the landscape and course keeps it at the top of the list.
Pine Valley Golf Club
Another private club, Pine Valley Golf Club is located in Pine Valley, New Jersey, and was built in 1918. There are no major tournaments here, just the Crump Cup, an amateur tournament named after the course designer. Pine Valley is unique in that it looks like a desert course comprised of sand, rocks, and brush, surrounded by pine trees. It blends all three schools of golf design—penal, strategic, and heroic—throughout the entire course.
The Old Course at St. Andrews—the “home of golf,” as it’s known—has hosted the Open Championship (British Open) a record 29 times. The Scottish course is as old as the game itself, having been built in the 1400s. The massive rolling greens, cavernous bunkers, blind shots, and jungle-like rough make this course a challenge for even the most talented pro golfers. The weather, history, and sheer difficulty make this one of the best golf courses in the world.