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The Best Golf Breaks in England - Region by Region

Sep 13, 2008
Something golfers often don't realise when they prepare to book their golf breaks is that the UK has some of the finest courses you'll ever play. And I'm not just talking about the classics such as Wentworth and Birkdale. Golf has been played in England for centuries and there are several thousand courses - choose the right ones and you've got courses which rate alongside the best in the world. For this article, I've divided the country into five regions and listed my favourite course in each to help you plan a golf break in England. So starting from the north and moving downwards...

Best of the North: The Hunting Course, Slayley Hall

The North-East has several lovely courses but Slayley Hill is the one which stands out. Designed by Dave Thomas and opened in 1989, the course nearly obtained the 2006 Ryder Cup and has hosted several European Tour events. Plenty of shrubs and trees help make it beautiful but Dave Thomas has worked his magic to provide a fine challenge in gorgeous surroundings. Slayley Hall has been "The Gleneagles of England" and a golf break here is always a treat.

Best of the Midlands: The Brabazon, The Belfry

Moving further south, we have the pride of the West Midlands - The Belfry's Brabazon course. This course has benefited a great deal from a couple of redesigns so it is no longer just "two great TV holes" but is now 18 holes of tough and very-well maintained golf. Regular host to major tournaments (including the Ryder Cup and European Tour), the course is definitely not for beginners - to score well, you'll need length, patience, great green reading and the ability to get up and down more than once...It's not by accident that the best players come to the fore here. The Brabazon at The Belfry is a course that attracts tourists from all over the world to the UK for a golf break.

Best of the East: Royal St. Georges

Moving East and, unbelievably, pushing up the difficulty is the legendary Royal St. Georges. It has hosted the Open Championship 13 times and will present a challenge to even the most seasoned golfer. Opened all the way back in 1914, this is traditional links at its very best with the wind playing a major part in the design (and your scorecard!).
Keep the ball low, avoid the treacherous bunkers and keep out of the rough and you'll put a decent score together. Get greedy and try to "fly the trouble" and the score we'll beat you just as it has beaten the greatest players in the world...Over and over again. And if you've torn up your card, just enjoy the Kentish coast views and the charming and history-laden clubhouse. Royal St Georges is very much an English rose!

Best of the South: Sunningdale

Sunningdale gets into the list easily - not just for its quality, but for its quantity too. Both courses at the club ('Old' and 'New') offer a splendid round of golf and two very different designs. The New Course encourages aggressive driving but needs accuracy, while the Old Course's heavily bunkered fairways means that a more strategic golfing mind will come to the fore. For a 36 hole day, with the great clubhouse roasted lunch in between, Sunningdale is very, very memorable and is very much part of the package that attracts people to golf holidays in England.

Best of the South West:

Finally, heading down to the south west, we have one of England's finest inland courses: Bovey Castle's Old Course. Recently redesigned (along with the completely renovated luxury hotel), it's not easy by any means and much respect has been paid to the original Abercrombie design, laid out over 80 years ago. Small greens, tree-lined fairways and meandering streams rivers (plus any of the fine wines in the hotel restaurant!) provide plenty of challenge but it's not too long and very, very pretty so you should post a respectable score on a UK golf break here...

The five courses above could be joined by another 50 so before you go looking abroad for your golf holiday, try England.
About the Author
Morgan Clarke is the Managing Director of Your Golf Holidays, a company that has been providing bespoke golf holidays for over 25 years. They are experts in the world's best places to play, including golf breaks in England , France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Dubai, Morocco and over 20 other countries. The award-winning specialist tour operator is privately-owned and determined to ensure that both experienced go
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