Top 100 under £80: No. 80-71
Three delightful Dorset heathlands in this selection of 10
Isle of Arran, Scotland
Designers: Willie Fernie/Willie Park
Green fee: From £20
Tel: 01770 860 226
ONLY one hole on this 12-hole course measures over 400 yards but that does not mean it is anything other than a must-visit. The Isle of Arran, off Scotland’s south-west coast, is a gorgeous spot and Shiskine is the best course on the island. Eight of the holes are par 3s and blind shots are the norm rather than the expection. This is seaside golf in its rawest, prettiest and most natural form.
79 Isle of Purbeck
Designers: Harry Colt
Green fee: £44
Tel: 01929 450 361
IT is rare to find anywhere with views this special but the real glory of Isle of Purbeck is that they come on all four sides, whether looking to the Isle of Wight, across Poole harbour or towards the Purbeck Hills. This heathland course is set in a nature reserve, a par of 70 making it more testing than its modest yardage suggests.
78 Crowborough Beacon
Green fee: £50
Tel: 01892 661 511
THIS is a pretty heathland course not unlike Royal Ashdown Forest. It is not especially long but does not need to be with small greens and sloping fairways. It gets fast and firm in the summer, when position is more important than power. Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was club captain here 100 years ago.
Designers: Tom Dunn/Harry Colt
Green fee: £58
Tel: 01202 692 595
CONSIDERING how close it is to the bustling centre of Broadstone, it is remarkable how quickly you find yourself on a heathland plain with little evidence of modern life. The best holes are undoubtedly in the middle section with the 7th rated the hardest hole – a matter there can be few arguments about.
Designers: Tom Dunn
Green fee: From £60
Tel: 01263 823 488
A CLIFFTOP course rather than a links, Sheringham occupies a narrow strip of land between the railway line and the North Sea. Most holes offer outstanding views while several are extremely challenging. Of its impressive collection of stout par 4s perhaps the pick is the 5th, a dogleg played towards the cliffs to a shelf green.
75 North Wales
Designers: Tancred Cummins/Harold Hilton
Green fee: From £25
Tel: 01492 875 325
NORTH WALES is bordered on one side by the beach and on another by the railway. This is a natural layout where the holes range from the straightforward to the quirky, as at the back-to-back short holes, 16 and 17.
The par-4 8th is possibly the pick of the lot while the view from the next tee is simply stunning.
Designers: Willie Park Jnr/James Braid
Green fee:From £60
Tel: 01202 707 138
DORSET is a great venue for a golf holiday and Parkstone is a course that must be inked in to your itinerary.
Build your score over the front nine, which offers three par 5s under 500 yards and no par 4 over 375. This heathland layout offers a fine variety of holes and lovely
views down to Poole below.
73 Saunton (West)
Designer: Frank Pennink
Green fee: £69
Tel: 01271 812 436
AS the younger sibling to the mighty East, the West is forever destined to take second billing but this is a fine course in its own right. Originally laid out in the 1930s only to be used in the war, Frank Pennink brought it back to life in the 1970s. Little streams always seem to be positioned just where you least want them to be.
72 Chart Hills
Designers: Sir Nick Faldo
Green fee: From £60
Tel: 01580 292 148
SIR NICK FALDO’S first UK design is a big, American-style layout that features an inordinate number of bunkers and plenty of water. As on all his designs, you will need to think your way round with care because the six-time Major winner has no time for those who like to smash away with their driver. So to prosper here you must play within your limitations and possess a good touch on the quick greens.
71 Luffenham Heath
71 Luffenham Heath
Designers: Colt/Alison/ Braid/Cotton
Green fee: From £50
Tel: 01780 720 205
RECENT work to extend and restore Luffenham has restored prominence to a quiet, sleepy, traditional, members’ club.
With lots of trees and pleasantly undulating, the course has a secluded, classy feel. The pick of the holes is arguably the 17th, a long par 3 played downhill. With the 18th a par 5, this is a finishing stretch where much can change in a tight match. Luffenham is within easy reach of the A1 and therefore an ideal venue en route to or coming back from anywhere on the eastern side of England.
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