1. Royal County Down
Nestled in a Northern Irish seaside town is Royal County Down golf course, a course that is repeatedly named one of the best in the world.
The ‘bearded’ bunkers are some of the best known in the golfing community, the greens are fast and some are domed which rejects any shots lacking conviction. For those of you who like a photogenic course, the ninth hole is the most photographed golf hole on the planet, with stunning panoramic views of the coast and the mountains.
2. St Andrews - Old Course
There are some golf courses in the UK that are just classics. They’re on every golfer’s bucket list for a reason - they are some of the best the UK has to offer. St Andrews Old Course is one of them. As the home of golf, it’s not surprising that the Old Course is one of the world’s most desirable courses to play. Some of the landmarks of the course, like the Valley of Sin and Hell Bunker, are recognisable to golf fans around the world. Playing on the Old Course lets you follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s favourite golfers like Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones and Darren Clarke himself.
If you do want to play on the Old Course, it’s best to get your booking done quickly. Spaces are filling up quickly with everyone wanting to hit the course in the same year as the 150th Open Championship.
With new developments for courses in the region (like The Angus, Darren Clarke’s signature golf course opening slightly north of St. Andrews in the Angus region of Scotland in 2024), now is the time to plan that Scottish golfing trip.
3. Dumbarnie Links
Dumbarnie Links gives you the chance to play on a brand new course. Located just outside of St Andrews, the course has been voted one of the world’s best new golf courses and is already soaring up in the UK rankings. For someone wanting to experience the best of Scottish golf, Dumbarnie Links is a must play for any golf tourist.
4. Chart Hills
The Nick Faldo designed course has been closed due to a renovation project but is reopening in the late summer of 2022. The creative golf course is beautifully laid out, and was already one of the top golf courses before its refurbishment - we’re sure it will be back up there when it reopens and will be a must visit for 2022.
Muirfield is one of the best links golf courses you’ll find in the East Lothian area. It’s unusual for Scottish links as it plays in two loops. For the first nine holes, the perimeter of the course is in a clockwise direction before the 10th takes you into the centre of the course, mainly in an anti-clockwise direction. With the famous Scottish wind, this can be a challenging course to play but will really let you test your skills. This course is full of thrills and challenges, so for those of you who like the classic challenging courses that Scotland is famous for, this is the course.
The Hillside course is still viewed as a hidden gem although it is a well-known course. It is situated near the Royal Birkdale, one of the Open Championship venues. Although it has been completely redeveloped from the original 1911 course, Hillside is a truly great English golf course that’s worth a visit any year.
7. JCB Golf Course
In rural Staffordshire, you’ll find the JCB Golf Course. Built across 240 acres, the course takes you in and out through the woodland and around some water features that make the course an exciting play. In July, you’ll see Darren Clarke himself visiting the course, to host the Legends Tournament there. It is a corporate club but keep your eyes peeled for some of their charity days to see if you can have a chance to play on this green.
8. Prince’s Golf Club
The newly renovated Sandwich based course has been climbing the ranking over the past 12 months and has recently reached the National Club Golfer’s top 30 courses in England. This is the perfect location for a golfing weekend as it’s next door to the 2021 Open Championship venue, Royal St George’s.
9. Celtic Manor - Twenty Ten Course
Celtic Manor Twenty Ten Course is the first course that was purpose-built for a tournament, in this case, the 2010 Ryder Cup. This course is full of risks and rewards, with water hazards in nine of the eighteen holes. The Newport course is one of the most spectacular opportunities you’ll have to play on such an iconic course that was designed for the ultimate golf tournament.
CBD for Golfers
Before you head off on your golfing adventures in 2022, it’s best to make sure you are in the best headspace. A ground-breaking survey from Darren Clarke CBD, Shot Scope and Sports Marketing Surveys, discovered that on average, golfers improved their shots by 1.16 per round after using Darren Clarke CBD oil, which could improve concentration and reduce feelings of anxiety. You can find out more about our amazing survey findings here and why pro-golfers like Darren Clarke use CBD oil.