Golf Course

The Best Golf Courses in the World

Clarke’s Golf Top 20 most popular golf courses

Every golfer has a bucket list of the courses around the world they just have to play.

Whether they want to tackle the famous par 3 at Augusta National, pretend they’re Tiger Woods winning the US Open by 15-strokes at Pebble Beach or try and replicate Terry Wogan’s world record setting 100-foot putt on the greens of Gleneagles.

But the question remains, what is THE course that stands out as the best in the world by players?

Analysing data on 500 of the best golf courses across the world, Clarke’s Golf has now determined the Top 20 most popular golf courses based on three ranking factors:

  • Popularity
  • Interest
  • Social following

And the results might no be what you’d expect:

Augusta National Golf Club

Country: USA
Par: 72
Opened: 1930
Designed by: Bobby Jones & Alister MacKenzie

Followers: 1,100,000
Interest: 29,500
Popularity: 2,618,150

Augusta National Golf Club

Home to some of the most famous golfing moments in memory, Augusta National Golf Club stands above the pack as the best golf club in the world.

The Masters 12th hole par 3 alone is one of the most iconic holes in golf and has ended the dreams of many a professional aiming for the legendary green jacket.

At 7,445 yards, with a rating of 76.2 for a 72 par course, Augusta is also one of the most difficult courses in the Top 20, but with its iconic greenery and legendary status on the PGA Tour, it’s no surprise to see it top the list.

Sandals Emerald Bay

Country: Bahamas
Par: 72
Followers: 612,889
Interest: 23,500
Popularity: 1,726,478

Sandals Emerald Bay

Designed by golfing legend Greg Norman, Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course is an award-winning course that’s one of the most recognisable courses thanks to its ocean-side position in the Caribbean.

This course isn’t for the faint-hearted and it has some of the most challenging fairways you’ll find anywhere.

Whistling Straits

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 30,317
Interest: 64,300
Popularity: 180,742

Whistling Straits

A former airfield turned golf course with no shortage of bunkers (967), rough, hills and dramatic twists and turns, Whistling Straits is popular for golfers looking to live out some of the games more dramatic moments.

It can definitely be challenging to navigate this course, but it’s clearly popular among players looking for a challenge.

Pebble Beach Resorts

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 109,629
Interest: 2,420
Popularity: 326,501

Pebble Beach Resorts

Built within a rocky coastline Pebble Beach is probably most famous among younger players as the place Tiger Woods historically romped to a 15-stroke winning margin at the 2000 US Open.

In 2001 it became the first public course to be selected as the number 1 golf course in America by Golf Digest.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 55,297
Interest: 22,310
Popularity: 265,911

Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Kiawah Island Golf Resort is much more than just a golf course, it’s a luxury golf and beach experience full of five star accommodation and multiple courses to choose from (five in total).

Choose from The Ocean course which has hosted many an event on the PGA Tour, including the 2012 PGA Championship or the Osprey Point course.

Whichever you choose you’re guaranteed a round of golf surrounded by some of the best scenery you’ll ever find.

Gleneagles Hotel

Country: Scotland
Par: 71
Followers: 98,494
Interest: 16,100
Popularity: 114,664

Gleneagles Hotel

With three championship golf courses surrounded by a luxury spa resort, Gleneagles is one of the most famous golf courses in the world, hosting events like The Ryder and Solheim cups in the past.

It’s not just a pro golfers’ playground either.

Gleneagles is equally enjoyed by amateur players looking to take on some challenging holes on the weekend.

Casa de Campo

Country: Dominican Republic
Par: 71
Followers: 154,036
Interest: 41,800
Popularity: 94,851

Casa de Campo

Not one, or two, but three exciting golf courses make up this luxury resort on the coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Dye Fore course (pictured) is one of the more popular courses at the luxury resort, so it’s no surprise it’s so popular with players looking for a game.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 104,111
Interest: 14,970
Popularity: 93,344

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Right on the coast of Oregon this collection of links courses is a reflection of the first courses designed in Scotland and Ireland.

With the Pacific Dunes course ranked as the 13th best golf course in the USA, it’s no surprise to see this golf resort ranked one of the most popular in the world.

And it’s no surprise that the courses are heavily inspired by the links courses of Scotland, given that the course designer David MacLay Kidd is from Scotland and grew up around the famous fairways of the home of golf.

And while it is a challenging round, it’s great for all types of players with huge greens and pristine fairways just some of the main features of each course.

Adare Manor

Country: Ireland
Par: 69
Followers: 116,343
Interest: 22,000
Popularity: 36,913

Adare Manor

One of Ireland’s top five star hotel and golf resorts, Adare Mare will be the home of The Ryder Cup in 2027 – so its credentials as a top course speak for itself.

An award-winning course, it was taken to a new level when golf architect Tom Fazio redesigned the course to make the most of the resort’s lush parkland surroundings.

Each hole has been redesigned to add a different challenge for amateurs and professionals alike and has the benefit of being playable all year round. 

Streamsong Resort

Country: USA
Par: 73
Followers: 40,055
Interest: 12,170
Popularity: 54,986

Streamsong Resort (credit: Bill Hornstein)

Located in the sunny surrounding of Florida, Streamsong celebrates three of the best courses in the world.

Built right into the indigenous terrain, the high sand dunes and twists and turns make this a unique golfing experience.

With courses designed by renowned golf architects Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Doak, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner this a true bucket list destination for any player.

Pinehurst Resort

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 87,053
Interest: 9,990
Popularity: 191,059

Pinehurst Resort

Having hosted three US Open championships, a US Women’s Open, one PGA Championship, three US Amateur Championships, the Ryder Cup and scheduled to host the 2024 US Open, Pinehurst is a genuine golfer’s dream.

And with nine courses available, is there any wonder it’s so popular with professionals and amateur players?

This is a great resort to recreate some of golf’s best memories and provides an experience players aren’t likely to forget.

Royal Blue Golf Course

Country: Bahamas
Par: 72
Followers: 223,869
Interest: 420
Popularity: 151,430

The name Jack Nicklaus doesn’t get more recognisable in golfing world, and as a signature course of the player with the most Majors in the history of the game, Royal Blue is full of stunning, natural surroundings.

Dramatic views, long fairways and pristine white sand dunes are just some of the features that make this bucket list destination so popular with players.

Sandy Lane

Country: Barbados
Par: 72
Followers: 29,298
Interest: 10,000
Popularity: 28,183

Sandy Lane

A world-renowned golf resort in the heart of Barbados, Sandy Lane resort offers three courses to choose from:

  • The Old Nine
  • The Country Club
  • Green Monkey

Take in the views of Barbados’ platinum coastline while you tackle some challenging lies and sand dunes or take on some on punishing twists and turns with fairways surrounded by lakes and forest.

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Country: Mauritius
Par: 71
Followers: 187,876
Interest: 3,160
Popularity: 27,031

Three championship-level courses make up this luxury resort, each one offering something a little different to challenge golfers of all abilities.

Host of the upcoming Legends Tour in December, you’ll find a mix of link-style courses designed by Rodney Wright and Peter Allis in accordance with USPGA specs, next to championship courses like The Legend golf course (Constance Belle Mare Plage’s first championship course) designed by South African champion Hugh Baiocchi.

Corales Golf Course

Country: Dominican Republic
Par: 72
Followers: 169,734
Interest: 240
Popularity: 88,898

Designed by Tom Fazio, Corales Golf Course sits along the cliffs, bays and ocean coves of the Caribbean Oceanside.

With some of the most challenging holes you’ll find on this list, including the notorious “Devil’s Elbow” on the final three holes (including a challenging drive over the ocean) this is a must play for any player.

Muirfield Village Golf Club

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 1,643
Interest: 15,800
Popularity: 13,478

Muirfield has the claim of being designed by the winner of the most Majors in history, Jack Nicklaus, who decided to design and name his hometown course after the famous Muirfield in Scotland after winning the 1966 Open.

With more than 7,500 yards of fairways, bunkers, rough and challenging greens, players of all abilities have taken on this famous course.

When the course opened on May 27, 1974 Nicklaus commented he “set out to build not only an outstanding golf course for every level of player, but a magnificent course for watching a tournament,” – needless to say he succeeded, given how popular the course has become.

Old Head Golf Links

Country: Ireland
Par: 72
Followers: 14,943
Interest: 1,260
Popularity: 11,719

Old Head Golf Links

Created by golf course experts Ron Kirby, Liam Higgins, Dr Jo Carr and Eddie Hackett the detail on each and every hole on this historic course has been minutely examined to create a unique experience.

And sitting on a roof top with ocean views and the famous lighthouse, golfers of all abilities have been playing and enjoying this fantastic course for years.

The Ocean Club

Country: Bahamas
Par: 72
Followers: 1,746
Interest: 2,660
Popularity: 553,069

Stretching more than 7,000 yards along Paradise Island’s peninsula the Ocean Club Golf Course is a scenic yet challenging place to test out your skills.

Surrounded from every angle with views of the Atlantic Ocean and Nassau Harbour the pristine white bunkers and crosswinds from the ocean give golfers plenty to think about when driving the greens or planning their approach shots.

The course itself is as stunning as the ocean views, with immaculate fairways and greens cut into rough and tree lines providing just enough obstacles to demand accuracy from the tee.

For golfers looking for a luxury resort experience and a chance to play one of the most exclusive courses in the world, The Ocean Club is a must.

El Conquistador Resort

Country: Puerto Rico
Par: 72
Followers: 25,366
Interest: 8,130
Popularity: 44,930

Breathtaking mountain views, the Atlantic Ocean and the El Yunque Rain Forest are just some of the scenery that could distract you when taking on the challenges presented by the El Conquistador Resort golf course.

One for all ages and abilities, there’s enough challenge for experienced players without causing new players to lose their minds (and golf balls) navigating the bunkers, water traps and tree-covered rough.

Oakland Hills Country Club

Country: USA
Par: 72
Followers: 2,736
Interest: 33,360
Popularity: 36,527

When you think of Detroit, you might think of Motor City and the birthplace of the Ford car or Motown Records.

Related: How Teamwork Leads to a Successful Golf Course

You might not think luxury golf destination, but that’s exactly what you’ve got with the Oakland Hills Country Club, which rounds off the top 20 most popular golf courses.

Founded in 1916 in Michigan (Northwest Detroit), it’s hosted many of the game’s biggest tournaments, including six US Opens, three PGA Championships, the Ryder Cup and two US amateurs.

Easiest Golf courses in the world

Course NameCountryPar
Glades Golf and SpaAustralia55
The Lakes Golf ClubAustralia63
Royal Zoute Golf ClubBelgium64
Concord Golf ClubAustralia67
Rye Golf ClubEngland68
West Sussex Golf ClubEngland68
RACV Healesville Country ClubAustralia68
Adare ManorIreland69
St Enodoc Golf ClubEngland69
Royal St David’s Golf ClubWales69

Glades Golf and Spa

Par: 55
Course Length (yards): 1967

The Lakes Golf Club

Par 63
Course Length:4430

Royal Zoute Golf Club

Course Length: 3898

Concord Golf Club

Par 67
Course Length: 4369

Rye Golf Club

Course Length: 6454

West Sussex Golf Club

Par 68
Course Length: 6333

RACV Healesville Country Club

Course Length: 5328

Adare Manor

Par 69
Course Length: 5807

St Enodoc Golf Club

Par 69
Course Length: 6557

Royal St David’s Golf Club

Par 69
Course Length: 6629

Hardest Golf courses in the world

Course NameCountryPar
Honourable Company of Edinburgh GolfersScotland76
Streamsong ResortUSA73
Woodhall Spa Golf ClubEngland73
The Wentworth ClubEngland73
Interlachen Country ClubUSA73
Enniscrone Golf ClubIreland73
Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach ResortPortugal73
Commonwealth Golf ClubAustralia73
Fancourt Hotel & Country ClubSouth Africa73
Narin & Portnoo LinksIreland73

Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers

Par 76
Course Length: 7245

Streamsong Resort

Par 73
Course Length: 7331

Woodhall Spa Golf Club

Par 73
Course Length: 7024

The Wentworth Club

Par 73
Course Length: 7302

Interlachen Country Club

Par 73
Course Length: 6981
Realated: Restoring the “Old Style” Essence of Donald Ross at a Historic Golf Course

Enniscrone Golf Club

Par 73
Course Length: 7033
Slope: 133

Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort

Par 73
Course Length: 7036

Commonwealth Golf Club

Par 73
Course Length: 6928
Slope: 131

Fancourt Hotel & Country Club

South Africa
Par 73
Course Length: 7579

Narin & Portnoo Links

Par 73
Course Length: 6856

Most picturesque Courses in the world

Course NameCountrySocial MediaFollowers
Augusta National Golf ClubUSA,100,000
Sandals Emerald BayBahamas,889
Royal Decameron GolfPanama,515
Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana BayDominican Republic,572
Royal Blue Golf CourseBahamas,869
Constance Belle Mare PlageMauritius,876
Hamilton Island Golf ClubAustralia,744
Corales Golf CourseDominican Republic,734
Fazenda Boa VistaBrazil,238
Casa de CampoDominican Republic

Augusta National Golf Club

Insta followers: 1,100,000

Sandals Emerald Bay

Insta followers: 612,889

Royal Decameron Golf

Insta Followers: 394,515

Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay

Dominican Republic
Insta Followers: 299,572

Royal Blue Golf Course

Insta Followers: 223,869

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Insta Followers: 187,876

Hamilton Island Golf Club

Insta Followers: 186,744

Related: Australian Golf Courses Recognized in Global List

Corales Golf Course

Dominican Republic
Insta Followers: 169,734

Fazenda Bos Vista

Insta Followers: 162,238

Casa de Campo

Dominican Republic
Instal Followers: 154,036

Related: Dye Fore – Pete Dye’s Other Masterpiece at Casa de Campo

Play the world’s best courses with the best golf clubs and equipment from Clarke’s Golf

Taking on the world’s most popular golf courses needs the best golf clubs, clothing and equipment to ensure you make the most of your experience.

At Clarke’s Golf we’ve got a large selection of all the latest gear from the biggest brands like Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway and FootJoy.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your golf clubs, update your golf clothing or need some extra golf balls, you’ll find them all online or at our dedicated golf centre in Rainford.

And if you need to practice your swing before taking on some of these famous links, you can always come and use our 27-bay driving range, complete with targets, putting green and even a Par 3 course to work on your short-game.

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