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Top 100 Golf Courses "BiteSize" - August 2015

Whistling Straits proved to be a wonderful venue for the final Major of the 2015 season and it’s undoubtedly a course that Australia’s Jason Day will hold dear in a major way for the rest of his life.

There is a natural tendency to prefer courses where memories are fond. We thought it would be fun to ask England’s Robert Rock, a two-time European Tour winner, to identify his personal Top 20 shortly after the opening of his Golf Academy at the Greg Norman-designed Bluffs Ho Tram Strip. Robert’s list is interesting, highlighting the effect of fond memories, which naturally influences everyone’s opinions. Click here to read more.

This month’s BiteSize focuses on Wales and the continuation of the rollout of our English Best In County rankings, which we’re hoping to complete by the end of September.

Top 50 Golf Courses of Wales 2016

There’s little movement at the top end of our new Top 50 rankings for Wales, where all of the first seven courses remain in the same position as last edition. The two regally prefixed venues at Royal Porthcawl and Royal St David’s head the new table and that’s been the situation since 2006 actually, when we created our inaugural Top 15 chart for the Principality.

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Top 5 Golf Courses in Mid Wales 2015

Number 1 in Mid Wales is the 18-hole layout at Llandrindod Wells, which Harry Vardon created in 1907. Subsequently remodelled in 1935 by another member of the Great Triumvirate, James Braid, this course is set out on a dramatically elevated tract of land which offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

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Top 20 Golf Courses in North Wales 2015

The top five places in the North Wales chart all remain the same, headed by the Royal St David’s course at Harlech. Described in recent reviews as “a challenging course which requires all the clubs in your bag” and “a serious golf course with a tough back nine and a par of only 69”, Royal St David’s is also prominently positioned in both the national rankings and the Britain & Ireland Top 100.

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Top 20 Golf Courses in South Wales 2015

Looking at the recently updated edition of this Top 20 for South Wales, the first three places remain exactly the same as last time, with Royal Porthcawl holding off the challenge for the top spot from Pennard at number 2. Of course, the old links at Porthcawl also features in our World Top 100 chart so it’s no great surprise to see it hold onto the regional number 1 position.

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Top 10 Golf Courses in West Wales 2015

Ashburnham is at the number 1 position in our regional chart and this venerable old J.H. Taylor design is where Bernhard Gallagher and Sam Torrance picked up their first winner’s cheques as professionals; Bernard claiming the Schweppes PGA in 1969 and Sam lifting the Martin International in 1976. Recent reviewer comments describe the course as “an interesting test of golf” and “right up there with the best that Wales has to offer”.

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Top 10 Golf Courses in Worcestershire 2015

It’s “as you were” regarding the number 1 position in Worcestershire, with the beautiful parkland course at Blackwell retaining the top spot. Herbert Fowler and Tom Simpson laid out this classic old track in 1923 and it occupies a place in our Top 100 for England. It’s a layout that recent reviewers have certainly appreciated, with comments like: “classy… always in excellent condition… one of the best club/course combinations around”.

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Top 10 Golf Courses in Northamptonshire 2015

The course at Northamptonshire County comfortably retains its number 1 position in the new county listings. Formed in 1909, the club has architects Harry Colt and James Braid to thank for its 18-hole layout, though Cameron Sinclair also added three holes in more recent times, allowing golfers to play a quick 9-hole circuit that brings them back to the clubhouse.

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Top 10 Golf Courses in Warwickshire 2015

The top three places in Warwickshire remain the same for the third edition in a row. Holding on to the number 1 slot is the Brabazon at The Belfry, where the course is just one of three that are available to play at the 54-hole resort. A four-time Ryder Cup venue, the layout splits opinion with our reviewers, but we think it’s worth playing for its historical golfing connotations alone.

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Top 10 Golf Courses in Oxfordshire 2015

At the top of the standings, the wonderful old Willie Park Jnr-designed course at Huntercombe has been knocked off the top perch by another heathland classic, the Red course at Frilford Heath. One of three outstanding 18-hole layouts at Frilford, the original Red course is a century-old J.H. Taylor design which has been described by one of our reviewers as “a top golfing venue with greens in mint condition”.

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Northern Ireland: Made for Golf

A couple of weeks ago our editor played in the pro-am ahead of the third edition of the Northern Ireland Open in County Antrim, with Galgorm Castle Golf Club once again hosting this prestigious European Challenge Tour event. As part of their strategy to promote the region as a top class golf destination, both Tourism Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland invited a number of journalists to see just how good the facilities are in this part of the world.

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Recent Player Reviews

Have you played any Top Golf Courses recently?

If so, we’d love to hear from you, so why not post a review and share your experience? If you took a great photo during your visit, email it to info@top100golfcourses.co.uk and we’ll include it within your review. Don’t forget you can now have your own personalised Reviewers page on the Top 100 website.