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Best Golf Courses Never to Host The Open

8 courses that could be on the Open Rota

The 150th Open at St Andrews

What it takes to Host The Open Championship

The Open Championship is synonymous with the likes of The Old Course at St Andrews, Muirfield, Royal Birkdale and Royal St Georges but what about the rest? The hidden gems that haven't made the Open Rota despite great reviews but potentially doesn't have the transport links or might well be a new links golf course that hasn't been considered just yet.

Finding the best golf courses to never have held The Open Championship is a difficult task. With an extensive list of courses that could potentially host the event, finding which courses truly deserve the right to be on The Open rota just isn't easy.

We take a look at a host of the best golf courses never to have hosted golf’s oldest major championship with a rating as to how likely they are to host in the future.

Best Course NEVER to host The Open Championship with Mark Crossfield

Kingsbarns Golf Links

Kingsbarns Golf Links is considered by many to be one of the best contenders to host The Open Championship. Kingsbarns has made waves across the world since opening in 2000 by famed designer Kyle Phillips.

A regular feature within The Top 100 Golf Courses in The World, Kingsbarns has not only hosted The Women's British Open but also part of the trio of Carnoustie and The Old Course that make up The Alfred Dunhill Championship.

More info on Kingsbarns Golf Links >>

Our Ratings for Kingbarns

Transport Links 8/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 9/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 8.5/10

Royal County Down

The Northern Ireland course from the brain of Harry Colt is as testing a test as any Championship golf course in the UK. It’s a brute measuring nearly 7,200 yards from the back tees with one of golf’s finest outward nine holes. Factor in the ever-changing wind and you have a stern test indeed.

As a past host of The Irish Open and Walker Cup, it is a course that is not only well set up to host the very best players in the world but is regularly featured as The Best Golf Course in the UK and normally within the Top 5 in the World.

More info on Royal County Down >>

Our Ratings for Royal County Down

Transport Links 6/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 9/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 7.5/10

Saunton Golf Club

One of England's top-rated links golf courses, Saunton is often at the top of the list when golfers think about the next batch of courses to join The Open Rota.

With 2 excellent golf courses on offer (East and West) as well as a regular host of The West of England Strokeplay which sees the cream of amateur golf test themselves, it is easy to see why Saunton could host an Open but has never managed to do so.

More info on Saunton Golf Club >>

Our Ratings for Saunton Golf Club

Transport Links 6/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 7/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 6.5/10

Trump International Golf Links

Designed by Martin Hawtree who has contributed to a host of Open Championship golf courses including Muirfield, Trump International Golf Links is a course which appears to be perfectly suited to hosting an Open Championship.

Located within easy reach of other top-rated links golf courses such as Murcar Links and Cruden Bay, Trump International is a golf course that is revered as one of the toughest you'll play anywhere in the UK. With forced carries combined with incredible dunes, the course can test the very best golfers.

More info on Trump International Golf Links >>

Our Ratings for Trump International Golf Links

Transport Links 7/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 8/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 7.5/10

Castle Stuart Golf Links

This modern stunner has already hosted some of the world’s best golfers as a venue for The Scottish Open. With Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson amongst those who have won at Castle Stuart, the course certainly has a pedigree worthy of hosting an Open Championship.

A regular feature within The Top 100 Golf Courses in The UK & Ireland, Castle Stuart has quickly gained a reputation as a must play when visiting Inverness as part of a Highlands golf trip.

More info on Castle Stuart Golf Links >>

Our Ratings for Castle Stuart Golf Links

Transport Links 7/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 8/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 7.5/10

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

Royal Aberdeen is a golf club that is steeped in tradition and history. Ranging from elite professional events in hosting The Scottish Open in 2014 which was won by Justin Rose to The 2011 Walker Cup where the UK & Ireland team featuring Andy Sullivan beat the USA with Jordan Spieth in their ranks.

Since being founded in 1780, Royal Aberdeen has been revered as one of the finest links experiences in the world of golf. Whilst the course isn’t long by modern standards, the playability and course management required to position the ball off the tee are key to scoring well here.

More info on Royal Aberdeen Golf Club >>

Our Ratings for Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

Transport Links 7/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 7/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 7/10

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

Rated by many as the best golf course in Wales, Royal Porthcawl is a golfing experience that has been enjoyed for over 100 years. Having hosted not only The Senior Open Championship but also The Walker Cup where Tiger Woods was part of the USA Team, Porthcawl is a course that is regularly featured amongst the best golf courses never to have held an Open.

Whilst their time hasn’t come just yet, those visiting this South Wales golfing gem are in for a treat with memorable views and a clubhouse brimming with history and character.

More info on Royal Porthcawl Golf Club >>

Our Ratings for Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

Transport Links 6.5/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 7.5/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 7/10

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

A course that features within many golfing bucket lists, Royal Dornoch is a highland golfing gem that golfers from across the world flock to each year. Forming part of a memorable trio including Nairn and Castle Stuart, Dornoch is a regular within the Top 100 Golf Courses in the World and also is home to famed Donald Ross domed greens which are enjoyed at another marquee course, Pinehurst Number 2 in North Carolina.

Whilst the course, again, isn’t long by modern standards, it has many fans including Open Champion Tom Watson who described his time at Dornoch as “the most fun I’ve had on a golf course” praise indeed from someone who has claimed The Claret Jug 5 times.

More info on Royal Dornoch Golf Club >>

Our Ratings for Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Transport Links 6.5/10
Modern Championship Pedigree 7/10
Likelihood of hosting The Open 7/10