With the help of an extensive panel of industry leaders, we bring you the official countdown of golfscape’s Top 100 Golf Courses in the World 2020. Join us as we travel through forests, over clifftops, and across the desert to uncover the world’s top golf courses.
The golf courses featured in this official ranking offer experiences to remember, from Scotland’s legendary layouts as the birthplace of golf, to the unspoiled spectacular nature of golf courses in South Africa.
20. Bandon Dunes at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, USA
Staying true to the spirit of Scotland’s ancient links, Bandon Dunes offers a timeless game in the heart of Oregon’s rugged coast. Pristine native dunes, sparkling ocean views, and indigenous vegetation are revealed in almost every hole.
19. The Links Course at Fancourt, South Africa
Sculpted into what Gary Player has described as his greatest feat as a designer, The Links is the golfing hallmark of the Fancourt estate. Featuring a dune-style landscape, the course is the collaborative handiwork of golfing icon Gary Player, course designer Phil Jacobs, and Fancourt’s owner Dr Hasso Plattner.
18. The Oconee Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee, USA
Nestled along the Lake Oconee shoreline, the Oconee Course is a dramatic layout with a rewarding play. Designed by Rees Jones, the course offers five holes in which the lake comes directly into play while the four other holes offer superb lake views.
17. The West Links at North Berwick Golf Club, Scotland
Since the 17th century, golf has been played on the remarkable West Links course – a championship course with a true links experience. The course offers breathtaking views of the Firth of Forth, the Islands of Bass Rock, Craigleith, and the town of North Berwick itself!
16. Cape Wickham Links, Australia
Cape Wickham quickly gained international recognition upon its completion in late 2015, it’s since attracted golfers from all over the globe to its location on King Island. Surrounded by ocean views on all sides and each hole varying from the last, this is a tribute to pure links golf not to be forgotten.
15. The Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry, Scotland
Ailsa is a legendary course set alongside the remarkable Ayshire coastline with a beautiful backdrop of Arran and Ailsa Craig. Known as one of the finest golf destinations in the world, the par-71, 6,474-yard course is the common home of the Open Championships, having hosted some of the most iconic names in golf.
14. Tara Iti Golf Club, New Zealand
Newly opened since just 2015, this beautiful layout is the first-ever American-style private club to grace New Zealand. Wide ocean views and bold mountainous scenery are the backdrops of this course. Greens are open and the location is perfectly nestled by the glistening shoreline.
13. Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland
Set along the charming North Sea coastline, Kingsbarns offers traditional Scottish links golf just 7 miles from St Andrews. Additionally, the course is the annual co-host for European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, presenting players with a majestic sea view from each hole.
12. Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, New Zealand
Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape and with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean atop dramatic cliffs. Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par-71 golf course measures 7,147 yards and will challenge golfers of all skill levels.
11. Royal Birkdale Golf Club, UK
Nestled in Southport’s golden links, Royal Birkdale has hosted more Championship and International tournaments since the second world war than any other course in the world. Golfers are assured to follow in the footsteps of many greats with a warm welcome and a golfing experience second to none.
10. New South Wales Golf Club, Australia
Proudly standing since 1928, this historic location is flanked by water on 3 sides and perched amongst foliage-covered sandhills. The inspiring layout has small greens with undulating fairways and has many features that represent true links golf.
9. The Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club, Ireland
Located in County Kerry, Ireland, Ballybunion Golf Club’s Old Course was founded in 1893 – an unknown treasure waiting to be found. Here, golfers experience natural golf amid dunes with sparkling ocean views and a raw challenge.
8. Kingston Heath Golf Club, Australia
The course is renowned for its natural charm and strategies created by its superbly crafted greens and bunkers. Designed by Dan Soutar and built by one of golf’s unsung heroes – Mick Morcom – the course opened in 1925 at 6800 yards and par-82 which made it one of the longest and hardest courses in Australia.
7. Pacific Dunes at Bandon Dunes Resort, USA
The wind bustles through 60 ft sand dunes, fairways and bunkers flow to the rugged landscape, and shore pine trees accent the grounds. Many holes provide amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Designed by Tom Doak, this course demands accuracy.
6. The Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland
Despite being acknowledged as one of the best and oldest courses in the world, the Old Course at St Andrews is open to all. Widely known by many as the Home of Golf, the iconic public course is recognized from the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunkers.
5. Cabot Cliffs, Cape Breton, Canada
Meandering through the coastal dunes and ocean-side cliffs of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, lies the world-class Cabot Cliffs. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed an even mix of par 3s, 4s, and 5s to offer golfers a wide array of shots with breathtaking ocean views from every hole.
4. Pebble Beach Golf Links, USA
Known as one of the United States’ best public courses, Pebble Beach Golf Links is a regular host for international tournaments such as the U.S. Open. Golfers can enjoy breathtaking sea views for 8 holes and finish off with the iconic hourglass-shaped green on the 17th followed by the most famous finishing hole in golf.
3. The West Course at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia
The West Course has a rugged, natural character, accented by native grasses framing each hole. The bunkering is bold with large, beautifully contoured putting surfaces. Most holes are dogleg, meaning distance means nothing while angle into the pin is everything.
2. Royal County Down Golf Club, Northern Ireland
Royal County Down is uniquely located in a beautiful and natural setting in the Murlough Nature Reserve with a magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Morne. As the course stretches along Dundrum Bay, every hole offers a different view – in particular, the ninth hole is favored amongst many golfers.
1. Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Scotland
Bordering the Dornoch Firth, the classic links land will offer you nothing but wild magnificent seas, skies, and mountains with ancient grass covering the dunes. Additionally, the par-70 Championship Course’s first 8 holes are played on the upper level of the duneland while the rest are found at beach level.
A special thanks to our partner, Vessel, for your continuous support in this year’s Top 100.