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Best Royal Golf Clubs

from the experts in Golf Holidays

Royal Golf Courses

Royal Golf Courses

There are just 64 golf clubs around the world that have a valid ‘Royal’ title bestowed by a member of the British Monarchy, 35 of them are in the UK & Ireland.

With many featuring on The Open Rota, royal courses are well known within the UK and are regularly put on the world stage. Becoming a royal course is a huge honour and one that is a testament to the quality of the golf course, facilities, service as well as its heritage.

With Open Championship host venues, past, present and future, these are courses which will excite golfing purists. So, take a look at our list below and you might be on a royal fairway soon.

Royal Golf Courses

Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Since gaining Royal status in 1951, Royal Birkdale has firmly established itself as one of the best golf courses in England, if not Europe.

Providing a pure links test in tough conditions, the course is set up for dramatic golf, something golf fans witnessed first hand in the 2017 Open Championship.

More info on Royal Birkdale >>

Royal Birkdale facts
Location Southport, England
Length 7,156 yards
Par 70
Designed by Frederick G. Hawtree / J.H. Taylor
Established 1889
Granted Royal status King George VI in 1951
Where to stay Southport

"Playing into the 17th you appreciate how amazing Harrington's shot was to claim his 2nd Open. From start-to-finish, this is a great day of golf."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Royal St George's Golf Club

Royal St. George's hosted its first Open Championship in 1894, some eight years before it was granted Royal status by King Edward VII, and after 13 more between then and now, it is set to host again in 2020.

The typical links course demands versatility and intelligence as you play on some of the most exciting and demanding holes in golf.

More info on Royal St George's >>

Royal St George's facts
Location Sandwich, Kent, England
Length 7,204 yards
Par 70
Designed by Laidlaw Purves
Established 1887
Granted Royal status King Edward VII in 1902
Where to stay Kent

"A serious test of golf, regardless of the tees you play off or the wind on offer."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club

This brilliant seaside layout is renowned for the quality of the course design, something which has been maintained and developed over the years.

A difficult test for all who grace the fairways, Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club is a brilliant destination for golfers looking to play a royal course and an Open Championship venue.

More info on Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club >>

Royal Lytham & St Annes facts
Location Lancashire, England
Length 7,118 yards
Par 70
Designed by George Lowe / Harry Colt
Established 1886
Granted Royal status King George V in 1926
Where to stay Southport

"Get there early and visit the clubhouse to experience the history, you are bound to by a souvenir from the clubhouse too. It begins with a gentle par 3 but beware this is one of the toughest courses in the Country."
Gareth (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 12)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Gareth about playing this course.

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

As one of the oldest seaside courses in England, Royal Liverpool naturally has tonnes of history and heritage behind it; in 1871 the course was extended to 18 holes, paving the way for the royal title in the same year.

The course is rather unprotected which can cause conditions to feel more severe, although elites like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have won Open Championships here, so they must like it.

More info on Royal Liverpool Golf Club >>

Royal Liverpool Golf Club facts
Location Wirral, England
Length 7,218 yards
Par 72
Designed by Robert Chambers, George Morris, Harry Colt
Established 1869
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1871
Where to stay Southport

"A great example of links golf. I think the opening tee-shot (the 3rd when they play The Open) is one of the toughest you'll face."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Royal North Devon (Westward Ho)

Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as its commonly known, is the oldest golf course in England, dating back to 1864 and even uses the same fairways to this day.

The course oozes personality with towering dunes throughout and a sharp sea breeze, however it’s returning to the traditional and iconic clubhouse which reminds you of why this course is so special.

More info on Royal North Devon Golf Club >>

Royal North Devon facts
Location Wirral, England
Length 7,000 yards
Par 72
Designed by Old Tom Morris, Herbert Fowler
Established 1864
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1867
Where to stay Devon

"The stretch from holes 4 to 9 contains some of the best golf you will ever play, the blind 4th, the short 5th hole surrounded by bunkers, the views from 6 & 7 played alongside the sea and the beautiful short 8th that feels like it is right on the beach."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Royal Cromer Golf Club

The clifftop course at Royal Cromer is perfect for golfers looking for some dramatic golf with brilliant views.

Designed by Tom Morris, the layout isn’t long at 6,500 yards but is still a pure links test and above all else, the club is welcoming, friendly and provides a great golfing experience.

More info on Royal Cromer Golf Club >>

Royal Cromer facts
Location Norfolk, England
Length 6,528 yards
Par 72
Designed by Old Tom Morris, James Braid, JH Taylor, Frank Pennick
Established 1888
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1888
Where to stay Norfolk

"Sat on top of the white cliffs of the Norfolk coast combining huge elevation changes with spectacular views, Royal Cromer will reward good shots but punish bad ones."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club

Royal West Norfolk is located between Brancaster Bay and surrounding marshes, making it an isolated island when the tide is high. The links course is a delight for golfers of all abilities with amazing coastal views as you play.

More info on Royal West Norfolk Golf Club >>

Royal West Norfolk facts
Location Norfolk, England
Length 6,457 yards
Par 71
Designed by Mr Holcombe Ingleby
Established 1892
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1892
Where to stay Norfolk

"Check the tide times before you visit, the course is located on a strip of links land that gets cut off at high tide, if you play it at this time you are in for a treat."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Royal Portrush - Dunluce Links

As the only venue outside of England and Scotland to host an Open Championship, Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland did so again in 2019.

The course itself is widely considered as one of the best courses in the world, with spectacular views and an unrivalled layout.

More info on Royal Portrush >>

Royal Portrush Dunluce Links facts
Location Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Length 7,143 yards
Par 72
Designed by Harry Colt
Established 1888
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1892
Where to stay Portrush & Derry

"Some of the best links views anywhere in the world. A very playable course if you drive it well and somewhere I'd recommend to all, such a great stretch of golf with great apres golf at Ramore in the Harbour."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Royal Norwich Golf Club

Royal Norwich was founded in 1893 but in September 2019 the course moved to it's new European Golf Design layout. The new par 73 course can be stretched to 7,209 yards from the back tees and is a challenging but fun experience for the visiting golfer.

More info on Royal Norwich Golf Club >>

Royal Norwich Golf Club facts
Location Norfolk, England
Length 7,209 yards
Par 73
Designed by Ross McMurray
Established 1893
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1893
Where to stay Norfolk

"The new course setting is great, the fairways are lined with mature Scots pine with some being over 400 years old, this makes it feel like the course has been here for years."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

As two time host of The Open Championship in 1909 and 1920, Royal Cinque Ports is a truly magical golfing destination on the Kent coastline.

Tall dunes, pot bunkers and a strong crosswind all contribute to the challenge that awaits as you make your way round.

More info on Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club >>

Royal Cinque Ports facts
Location Deal, Kent, England
Length 7,245 yards
Par 71
Designed by Laidlaw Purves
Established 1892
Granted Royal status King Edward VII in 1910
Where to stay Kent

"The contours of the fairway actually gather your ball towards the sand traps so they are really about two or three times larger than they look from the tee."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Royal Dublin Golf Club

Originally designed by Harry Colt, Royal Dublin is the second oldest golf club in Ireland and displays its heritage perfectly to this day. Just a short drive from Dublin city centre, this coastal course is relatively flat for a links course but is by no means easy.

More info on Royal Dublin Golf Club >>

Royal Dublin Golf Club facts
Location Dublin, Ireland
Length 7,269 yards
Par 72
Designed by Harry Colt, Martin Hawtree
Established 1885
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1891
Where to stay Dublin

"With long narrow drives, accuracy off the tee is required while the bunkering and run off areas around the greens means your short game will also be in for a stern test."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Royal Musselburgh Golf Club

There are fewer golf clubs in the world that have more history than Royal Musselburgh, considered as the fifth club to ever be established, going back to 1774. Over a Century later the club was granted royal status by Queen Victoria and has since been one of the standout venues with that title.

More info on Royal Musselburgh Golf Club >>

Royal Musselburgh Golf Club facts
Location East Lothian, Scotland
Length 6,254 yards
Par 70
Designed by James Braid
Established 1774
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1876
Where to stay East Lothian

"The open fairways are a blessing to the higher handicap golfer and so are the shorter than average par 4's although accurate approaches are still required."
Gareth (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 12)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Gareth about playing this course.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

Royal Aberdeen is again one of the world’s most historic golf courses and is one of the classic links golf courses. The heavily bunkered course offers almost no protection from the strong coastal breezes and can cause havoc to golfers on the elevated tees in places.

More info on Royal Aberdeen Golf Club >>

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club facts
Location Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Length 6,922 yards
Par 71
Designed by Robert & Archie Simpson, James Braid
Established 1780
Granted Royal status King Edward VII in 1903
Where to stay Aberdeen or Cruden Bay

"Royal Aberdeen contains some wonderful golfing terrain including a 'Postage Stamp' style 8th hole, it's also a traditional club so remember to take your jacket & tie if you wish to use the liunge or dining room after your round."
Gareth (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 12)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Gareth about playing this course.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

As a truly legendary links golf course, Royal Dornoch has gained plaudits from some of the most famous golfers in the world, including honorary members Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw. The beautiful scenery which surround the course make this a memorable round, regardless of how you play.

More info on Royal Dornoch Golf Club >>

Royal Dornoch Golf Club facts
Location Sutherland, Scotland
Length 6,748 yards
Par 70
Designed by Old Tom Morris, Donald Ross
Established 1877
Granted Royal status King Edward VII in 1906
Where to stay Scottish Highlands

"Arguably one of the most underrated top-rated golf courses. I don't know anyone who has played here who hasn't put it amongst their Top 10 Courses they've played."
Gareth (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 12)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Gareth about playing this course.

Royal Troon Golf Club

Having hosted one of the most dramatic Open Championships in recent times in 2016, Royal Troon is a simply stunning course. It’s the most recent club in the UK to gain royal status, with Queen Elizabeth doing so in 1978 and features some seriously iconic holes including the famous postage stamp 8th hole.

More info on Royal Troon Golf Club >>

Royal Troon Golf Club facts
Location Ayrshire, Scotland
Length 7,208 yards
Par 71
Designed by George Strath, Willie Fernie, James Braid
Established 1878
Granted Royal status Queen Elizabeth II in 1978
Where to stay Ayrshire

"Everyone knows about the 8th hole but it is the drive and view off the 1st that stands out for me, following in the footsteps of the many great Open Champions who have claimed victory there before."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Royal St David's Golf Club

Royal St David's is no stranger to hosting prestigious tournaments and has previously hosted Open Qualifying. The course itself is set in a remote part of North West Wales and keeps all golfers on their toes with all holes facing in different directions.

More info on Royal St David's Golf Club >>

Royal St David's Golf Club facts
Location Harlech, Wales
Length 6,629 yards
Par 69
Designed by Harold Finch Hatton, William Henry More
Established 1894
Granted Royal status King Edward VII in 1908
Where to stay Nefyn & Harlech

"The home stretch from the 14th is almost unrivalled in any course. You start with a partially blind long par 3 then the signature 15th hole and its unparallelled views, to finish unusually on the 18th with a par 3."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

Considered as Wales’ best links course, Royal Porthcrawl is a classic links test for all who visit. Located by the seaside, the course features several typical challenges of links golf, with many holes unprotected.

Having previously hosted the 2004 Senior Open Championship, Royal Porthcrawl is a hugely popular stop as part of a South Wales Golf Tour.

More info on Royal Porthcawl Golf Club >>

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club facts
Location Mid Glamorgan, Wales
Length 7,137 yards
Par 72
Designed by Charles Gibson, Ramsay Hunter, J. Simpson
Established 1891
Granted Royal status King Edward VII in 1909
Where to stay Swansea

"The course leads you into a sense of false security from the first few holes only to take that away with the brutal par 5 5th."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Frequently asked questions about Royal Golf Clubs

What are Royal Golf Clubs?
Offical Royal Golf Clubs are courses that have been granted Royal status by the British monarchy.

How many Royal Golf Clubs are there?
There are 64 Royal Golf Clubs throughout the world that have a valid ‘Royal’ title, bestowed by a member of the British Monarchy, 35 of them are in the UK & Ireland.

How do golf courses get a Royal title?
To receive the title of 'Royal' the golf club typically invites a member of the Royal family to be a patron or honorary member, or they apply for the title.

Royal Golf Clubs by Monarch

The Curragh Golf Club in Ireland is listed below as it was granted a Royal title in 1910, but does not use it.

William IV

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal Perth (Scotland) 1833
Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews 1834

.

Queen Victoria

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal North Devon 1867
Royal Liverpool 1871
Royal Musselburgh 1876
Royal Jersey 1879
Royal Wimbledon 1882
Royal Montreal 1884
Royal Belfast 1885
Royal Ascot 1887
Royal Eastbourne 1887
Royal Malta 1888
Royal Cromer 1888
Royal Epping Forest 1888
Royal Guernsey 1891
Royal Dublin 1891
Royal West Norfolk 1892
Royal Portrush 1892
Royal Ashdown 1893
Royal Norwich 1893
Royal Worlington & Newmarket 1895
Royal Melbourne 1895
Royal Sydney 1897

.

King Edward VII

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal Blackheath 1901
Royal Household Golf Club 1901
Royal St George's 1902
Royal Aberdeen 1903
Royal Dornoch 1906
Royal County Down 1908
Royal St Davids 1908
Royal Porthcawl 1909
Royal Cinque Ports 1910
Royal Curragh 1910

King George V

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal Cape 1910
Royal Calcutta 1910
Royal Ottawa 1912
Royal Winchester 1913
Royal Queensland 1921
Royal Adelaide 1923
Royal Port Alfred 1924
Duff House Royal Golf Club 1925
Royal Hobart 1926
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1926
Royal Mid-Surrey 1926
Royal Tarlair 1926
Royal Colombo 1928
Royal Burgess 1929
Royal Cape 1929
Royal Freemantle 1930
Royal Colwood 1931
Royal Johannesberg 1931
Royal Durban 1932
Royal Canberra 1933
Royal Quebec 1934
Royal Nairobi 1935

.

King George VI

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal Perth (Australia) 1937
Royal Birkdale 1951

.

Queen Elizabeth II

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal Selangor 1953
Royal Troon 1978
Royal Regina 1999
Royal Marianske Lazne 2003
Royal Mayfair 2005
Royal Homburger 2013

.

Prince Andrew

Golf Club Granted Royal status
Royal Wellington 2004