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Best Parkland Golf Courses

from the Experts in Golf Holidays

✍️ Rick Wilton | ⏰ 10 min read

Best Parkland Golf Courses in England

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What is a Parkland Golf Course?

Parkland golf courses are generally located inland, away from the coastline, and frequently showcase abundant trees and immaculate grass. These courses offer a serene and aesthetically pleasing golfing environment. Renowned for their well-groomed look, parkland courses are filled with bunkers, ponds, and carefully designed rough.

Unlike courses with natural terrain variations, parkland courses require more effort from the architect to create an engaging and thrilling layout. Perhaps the most renowned parkland course globally is Augusta National.

So where are these parkland courses and which ones should intrepid golfing explorers look out for on their next golf break?

Little Aston Golf Club, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England
Little Aston Golf Club, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England
Carden Park Country Estate - Chester, Cheshire, England
Carden Park Country Estate - Chester, Cheshire, England
The Belfry - Brabazon Course, Warwickshire, England
The Belfry - Brabazon Course, Warwickshire, England
Gleneagles - Perthshire, Scotland
Gleneagles - Perthshire, Scotland

Parkland Golf Courses in England

Southern England is a golfer's paradise, boasting a rich tapestry of courses, each offering a unique challenge and charm. While heathland courses garner much acclaim, parkland designs provide a contrasting yet equally delightful golfing experience.

Cornwall is renowned for classic links layouts by the sea but also offers great inland courses. St Mellion Estate is widely considered the premier golf getaway spot in the South West with two courses that rank among the finest parkland layouts in England. As we move out of the south west to Bournemouth we have Queens Park, a former European Tour venue that has seen the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Sir Henry Cotton and Tony Jacklin play there.

Staying south, in the heart of the Sussex countryside, we find East Sussex National featuring two exceptional parkland courses filled with character. Offering challenging greens, stunning views of the South Downs and a location near Brighton that makes it a perfect golfing weekend getaway.

Kingswood Golf and Country Club, created in the 1920s by James Braid, is a parkland gem among the heathland courses of Surrey. Spanning over 6,900 yards from the white tees it has hosted significant tournaments, including the British Senior Open Qualifying and three Ladies Europeans Open. As we move into Berkshire we find the breathtaking scenery of Donnington Valley, the final four holes here provide a great test for golfers of any skill level.

Moving away from the south we find the three courses at Woburn which provide a unique test of skill against the breathtaking setting of historic woodlands. The designs skillfully incorporate natural elements like silver birch and pine trees to form traditional parkland layouts that have tested golfers for years.

Central England beckons golfers with history, culture, and rolling countryside, making it a haven for a quintessential parkland experience. Staverton Park in Northamptonshire is a mature course with water features and strategic bunkers for all skill levels. Little Aston in Warwickshire is renowned for its classical bunkering, water hazards, and tree-lined fairways. Don't miss the downhill par-five 3rd and the scenic water-guarded 17th.

Legendary Ryder Cup host, The Belfry, offers a thrilling parkland experience with water features and bunkers throughout the three courses. The neighbouring Forest of Arden is surrounded by beautiful ancient woodland. The two courses meander through mature trees, offering a peaceful escape while providing a strategic challenge. Pushing further north we find the likes of Carden Park, boasting two championship courses, The Nicklaus and The Cheshire. Both offer strategic play with water features and well-placed bunkers, testing golfers of all abilities.

As we enter Yorkshire, Aldwark Manor serves up a picturesque parkland layout with stunning views of the Vale of York. Water features come into play on several holes, adding an extra layer of challenge. Another parkland layout in Yorkshire is Oulton Hall, a Dave Thomas design that takes in the natural undulations of the landscape to create a good challenge, whilst retaining the course's playability for golfers of all standards.

Finally, in the north of England, Slaley Hall offers a choice of two courses – The Priestman with panoramic views across the Tyneside Valley and The Hunting, a Dave Thomas design measuring over 7,000 yards from the championship markers. Just down the road sits the historic Matfen Hall, presenting 27 holes of classic parkland with a mix of challenging features and picturesque water obstacles.

Whether you're a seasoned golfer seeking a championship challenge or a casual player looking for a scenic escape, the parkland courses in England offer something for everyone.

Parkland Golf Course Packages in England

Parkland Golf Courses in Scotland

Scotland, renowned for its links courses, also boasts some of the finest parkland gems in the UK. These lush, tree-lined havens offer a distinct golfing experience, often with dramatic backdrops and challenging layouts. With previous hosts of some of the very best tournaments in golf, it's easy to see why so many venture to Scotland to enjoy some of the very best in Parkland golf.

Nestled just outside Edinburgh, Dalmahoy stands as a testament to parkland excellence. Having hosted the prestigious Solheim Cup, this resort course is a magnet for avid golfers. Two championship courses, the East and West, wind through mature woodlands, demanding strategic play and precision. With luxurious accommodation and top-notch facilities, Dalmahoy is regularly recognised as one of the best golf resorts in the UK.

Venturing south, The Roxburghe welcomes guests seeking luxury hotel facilities with a championship golf course designed by the famed Dave Thomas. beckons with its sprawling estate and championship course designed by Dave Thomas. The course weaves through the estate's mature Scottish countryside, blending challenging holes and scenic views. The hotel's elegant interiors and warm hospitality ensure a truly indulgent golfing weekend in Scotland.

Heading west, Belleisle, an Ayrshire hidden gem, awaits discovery. This classic parkland course, designed by 5-time Open Champion James Braid, offers a delightful blend of mature trees, rolling fairways, and subtle greens. With its tranquil setting and challenging layout, Belleisle is a must-play for those exploring the West Coast of Scotland.

In the heart of the Scottish Borders lies Cardrona, a popular resort with a testing championship course that has hosted the Challenge Tour. The course presents a stiff examination complete with undulating fairways, well-placed bunkers, and demanding greens. Popular with groups of a mix of handicaps, this is top-rated destination for golf societies and groups.

No list of parkland courses is complete without mentioning Gleneagles. This iconic resort is home to 3 championship courses, including the King's Course, a parkland masterpiece designed by James Braid. The course, preferred by some to The Ryder Cup host, The PGA Centenary, offers a symphony of rolling fairways, towering trees, and stunning views of the surrounding Perthshire countryside. With its rich history and world-class amenities, Gleneagles is a must-visit for golfers around the globe.

Finally, Downfield, located in Dundee, is a true parkland gem that regularly hosts top amateur tournaments and Final Qualifying for The Open Championship. Designed by Donald Steel, this championship course is renowned for its strategic layout, demanding tee shots, and challenging greens. The course's immaculate condition and picturesque setting make it a joy to play.

This is just a taste of the parkland golf on offer in Scotland. With countless courses, unique design and character, a round here as part of your Scottish golfing adventure is well recommended. Just remember, Scotland isn't just for links but parkland as well!

Parkland Golf Course Packages in Scotland

Parkland Golf Courses in Ireland

Ireland, celebrated for being home to some of the world's best links golf courses is also home to an array of truly memorable parkland courses. Golfers can expect scenic landscapes, tree-lined fairways and some of the most dramatic scenery of any in Europe.

A golf trip to Belfast wouldn't be complete without a round at Malone Golf Club. This parkland gem, combines mature trees with lakes and undulating terrain making for a memorable day on the course.

Venturing south, Druids Glen, often hailed as "The Augusta of Ireland," awaits with its recently revamped Glen Course. This parkland masterpiece, designed by Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock, weaves its way through lush woodland, offering a blend of strategic holes, dramatic elevation changes, and breathtaking views. With its impeccable conditioning and world-class amenities, Druids Glen consistently ranks among the very best golf resorts in Europe.

In County Cavan, Slieve Russell stands as a testament to parkland excellence. This championship course, designed by Patrick Merrigan, has hosted numerous professional and amateur events, including the Irish PGA Championship. The course's immaculate fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and challenging greens offer a true test of golfing skill.

In Northern Ireland, Roe Park is a popular destination for golfing enthusiasts. This parkland resort offers a unique blend of challenging holes and scenic views, making it a great choice for golfing societies or those with a range of handicaps. The resort's welcoming atmosphere, excellent facilities, and proximity to the stunning Causeway Coast make it a perfect choice for a golfing getaway.

Nestled in the heart of Killarney National Park, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club is a visual masterpiece. The Killeen Course, in particular, is renowned for its picturesque parkland holes, framed by majestic mountains and serene lakes. With its breathtaking scenery and challenging layout, Killarney offers an unforgettable golfing experience. Plus, after your round head into nearby Killarney for one of the best nights out in all of Ireland.

Galgorm Castle, located in Ballymena, is a parkland paradise. The course, meticulously maintained and beautifully landscaped, is a joy to play for golfers of all abilities. Its fairways, lined with mature trees, wind their way through the estate's parkland, offering a blend of strategic holes and scenic vistas.

On Fota Island, in Cork Harbour, lies another parkland beauty. Fota Island Resort is a former Irish Open venue and is a must-visit for anyone venturing into Cork. The course, designed by Jeff Howes, offers a challenging yet enjoyable round, with its undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and fast greens.

Dromoland Castle, a luxurious 5-star resort in County Clare, is home to a magnificent parkland course. Designed by Ron Kirby, the course offers a unique blend of challenging holes and scenic views. The resort's historic castle, elegant interiors, and world-class amenities make it one of the finest golfing destinations in Ireland.

Finally, Adare Manor, widely regarded as one of the best golf resorts in Europe, beckons with its opulent accommodation and world-class golf course. The course, designed by Tom Fazio, has received international acclaim for its immaculate conditioning, lightning-fast greens, and innovative design.

Wherever you decide to play in Ireland, you'll be in for a treat. Be drawn in by the links but don't discount the parkland courses above, they're underrated and it is easy to see why they form such an important part of a golf break in Ireland.

Parkland Golf Course Packages in Ireland

Parkland Golf Courses in Wales

Wales, a land of dramatic coastlines and majestic mountains, also boasts a hidden gem for golfers: its parkland courses. These meticulously landscaped havens offer a tranquil escape, where manicured greens wind through mature trees and rolling hills.

The award-winning courses at Celtic Manor Resort are prime examples of the parkland style in Wales. Here, meticulously manicured fairways weave between mature trees, offering a scenic and strategic challenge for golfers. The Ryder Cup Twenty Ten course in particular offers strategically placed water throughout adding another layer of challenge and visual appeal.

Just outside Chepstow sits St. Pierre Country Club nestled in the picturesque Welsh countryside. The resort boasts stunning views of two impressive parkland golf courses that cater to golfers of any handicap. The Old Course in particular stands out as one of the top parkland layouts in Wales and was the host of the 1996 Solheim Cup.

Staying in the south east we find The Vale Resort, one of the finest golf resorts in the UK, providing guests with two top-notch courses. The parkland layouts surrounding the excellent four-star resort hotel offer a delightful playing experience, adding delightful variety to each visit.

Located 15 minutes north of the capital, Cardiff Golf Club is widely regarded as one of the best courses in South Wales and is considered Cardiff's best-kept secret. The exquisite design of this parkland gem has helped maintain a regular postition in the Top 100 course rankings.

The Rolls of Monmouth is located in the peaceful Welsh countryside, less than an hour's drive from Cardiff. Known for its stunning visuals it is easily accessible from the West Midlands and southern England making it a convenient destination for roaming golf enthusiasts.

Moving west into Pembrokshire we find Haverfordwest, established in 1904, the parkland course offers breathtaking vistas of the Preseli Mountains to the north and the castles of Haverfordwest and Roch. Over the years, the course has been enhanced with mature trees bordering the fairways. The latest improvement is the transformation of the pond on the par 3 fourteenth into an island green, presenting a challenging tee shot for golfers of all skill levels.

Swapping the south courses of Wales for the north and the eye-catching layout of Abergele, located at the base of the Gwyrch Castle. This parkland layout has been honored as the Most Scenic Course in North Wales and is known for being both intricate and demanding, offering an excellent game for both beginners and experienced players.

The golf club at Abersoch is a mix of traditional links and parkland but is a must for golfers of all abilities visiting the area. Accuracy is key here as wayward drives can be punished.

The parkland courses of Wales offer scenic beauty, strategic challenges, and tranquil atmosphere, a unique and rewarding way to tee off in this beautiful country.

Parkland Golf Course Packages in Wales

Parkland Golf Course Packages Outside the UK & Ireland

More About Rick

Handicap: 11
Favourite Course: Chiltern Forest
My 'Expert' areas: Kent & the Home Counties
Best trip I've done: Dubai with golf & Rugby 7's
Where my next trip is to: Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way

Give Rick a call on 0800 043 6644 to arrange your next golf break.

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