The demand for first-class golf in the most populated part of the country is massive, as such, some of the best courses in the UK can be found right on London's doorstep. There are a host of stunning woodland layouts within easy reach of the capital, including the famous Sunningdale, one of best 36-hole layouts in the world, and Walton Heath, the host of the 2018 British Masters, one of the European Tour’s most prestigious events.
As you head further out of London, towards the South East coast, the choice of championship golf courses become more varied but equally as spectacular. The east coast of Kent is a mecca for golfers, the legendary links courses here are among the best in the world. On the stunning shores of Sandwich Bay, there are three Open Championship hosts within a 5km stretch; Prince's, Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George's, the latter of which is commonly ranked in the top 25 courses in the world.
Royal St George's
The best golf club in England needs little introduction, the legendary dunes at Royal St George's have formed the layout of one of the best golf courses in the world. Following Darren Clarke's epic victory here in 2011, another Open Championship is heading to Sandwich in 2020, a testament to the fact that this course is worthy of any bucket list.
|Designed by:||Laidlaw Purves|
Royal Cinque Ports
One of three Open Championship hosts found in Sandwich Bay on the beautiful Kent coast, Royal Cinque Ports is one of the greatest, and toughest, links courses in the country. Although it has been some time since The Open was last played there, Deal has not lost a step and should be a must play for any golfers in the south of England.
|Designed by:||Henry Hunter, James Braid, Sir Guy Campbell, Henry Cotton|
Sunningdale (Old Course)
One of the most stunning inland courses you will ever see, the Old Course at Sunningdale is a special golfing experience. Located less than an hour from London, this magnificent layout is perfect for those based in the city. Whilst the Old Course is clearly the headline track, both courses at Sunningdale are consistently ranked among the top 50 in the world.
|Designed by:||Willie Park, Jr.|
Prince's Golf Club
Often the most overlooked of the three Open hosts in Sandwich Bay, Prince’s more than deserves its place as one of the top links courses in the country. As the direct Neighbour of Royal St George’s, Prince’s shares the same dramatic coastline that makes both courses such epic places to play the game. For anyone golfing in the South East, this track is worthy of a place on the list.
|Designed by:||Henry Cotton and Gene Sarazen|
Walton Heath (Old Course)
Much like Sunningdale, Walton Heath boasts a world-class 36 holes of golf, however, the Old Course is clearly the headline act. This storied track played host the 1981 Ryder Cup, a disaster for the European team, but cemented the Old Course as one of the elite course in England. Anyone in London should play the Old Course, as it is rare to find such calibre of course inside the M25.
|Designed by:||Herbert Fowler|
Littlestone Golf Club
Yet another stunning golf course that can be found on the Kent coast, Littlestone is a fantastic, true links course, a worthy neighbour of the three Open hosts just up the coastline. Located in one of the driest spots in the UK, Littlestone’s greens are lightning fast and run true, your putting will need to be on point to keep the 3 putts off your card.
|Location:||New Romney, Kent|
|Designed by:||Laidlaw Purves and James Braid|
Walton Heath (New Course)
A fantastic addition to an already fantastic golf club, the New Course propelled Walton Heath into contention for the best 36-hole layout in the UK. While the New Course may not have hosted a Ryder Cup like its older brother, it has similar look and feel, as the courses run so closely together. Both courses at Walton Heath are world-class layouts.
|Designed by:||Herbert Fowler|
Chart Hills Golf Club
Set in the midst of the Kent countryside, Chart Hills is an awesome and refreshing change of pace from other parkland courses in the South East. Despite being in the Garden of England, Chart Hills has a decidedly American look and feel. As Nick Faldo’s first attempt at course design in Europe, it has been widely considered as a huge success, a definite must play in the Kent area.
|Designed by:||Nick Faldo|
East Sussex National (West Course)
Deciding which course is best at East Sussex National has been a hot topic for debate among locals since the club first opened, however, the West commonly wins out as the prettier of the two. Throughout the round, you are welcomed by glorious views over the South Downs, but don’t let the natural beauty fool you, this course has hosted two European opens, it's no pushover.
|Location:||Uckfield, East Sussex|
|Designed by:||Robert E Cupp|
One of the youngest courses in the South East, The Grove only opened for business in 2003, however, since then it has been heralded as a huge success. Now ranked as one of the top courses in the country, this track has become a must-play course for anyone based in the city. In fact, The Grove has become a serious contender for the top course inside the M25, as the standard is comparable to the great Walton Heath.
|Location:||Chandler's Cross, Hertfordshire|
|Designed by:||Kyle Phillips|