Golfweek's Best 2021: Top 50 Modern Courses in Great Britain and Ireland

Welcome to Golfweek’s Best rankings of the Top 50 Modern Courses in Great Britain and Ireland – built in or after 1960 – as determined by Golfweek’s Best Raters for 2021 (Pictured atop this story: Kingsbarns in Scotland).

The members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings on each course are averaged to produce a final rating for each course. Then each course is ranked against other courses in Great Britain and Ireland to produce the final rankings.

Golfweek also ranks Classic Courses in Great Britain and Ireland, and that list will be released next week. For more on top courses outside the U.S., check out the following lists:

Listed with each course below is its average ranking, location, designers and year opened.

Nos. 1-10

Trump International Scotland (David Cannon/Getty Images)

1. Trump International Scotland 7.90
Balmedie, Scotland; Martin Hawtree (2012)

2. Kingsbarns 7.86
St. Andrews, Scotland; Kyle Phillips (2000)

3. Loch Lomond 7.66
Dunbartonshire, Scotland; Jay Morrish, Tom Weiskopf (1993)

4. Castle Stuart 7.64
Inverness, Scotland; Gil Hanse, Mark Parsinen (2009)

5. Waterville 7.53
Waterville, Ireland; Eddie Hackett (1973)

6. Old Head of Kinsale 7.41
Kinsale, Ireland; Eddie Hackett, Joe Carr, Ron Kirby, Paddy Merrigan, Liam Higgins  (1997)

7. Queenwood 7.28
Ottershaw, England; David McLay Kidd (2001)

8. Renaissance Club at Archerfield 7.25
Dirleton, Scotland; Tom Doak (2008)

9. Hogs Head 7.19
Waterville, Ireland; Robert Trent Jones Jr. (2018)

10. The European Club 7.18
Brittas Bay, Ireland; Pat Ruddy (1992)

Nos. 11-20

Carne in Ireland (Jason Lusk/Golfweek)

11. Tralee 7.01
Tralee, Ireland; Arnold Palmer (1984)

12. Enniscrone 6.90
Enniscrone, Ireland; Eddie Hackett, Donald Steel (1974)

T13. Hillside 6.80
Southport, England; Fred Hawtree (1967)

T13. Carne 6.80
Belmullet, Ireland; Eddie Hackett (1992)

T13. Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg 6.80
Doonbeg, Ireland; Greg Norman, Martin Hawtree (2002)

16. Killeen Castle 6.78
Dunsany, Ireland; Jack Nicklaus (2009)

17. Ballyliffin (Glashedy) 6.68
Ballyliffin, Ireland; Pat Ruddy, Tom Craddock (1995)

18. Lough Erne (Faldo) 6.66
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland; Nick Faldo (2009)

19. Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) 6.58
Letterkenny, ireland; Pat Ruddy (2003)

20. The Grove 6.49
Chandler’s Cross, England; Kyle Phillips (2003)

Nos. 21-30

Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten Course (Getty Images)

21. Carnegie Links at Skibo 6.48
Dornoch, Scotland; Donald Steel (1991)

22. Woburn (Marquess) 6.42
Milton Keynes, England; Ross McMurray, Clive Clark, Peter Alliss, Alex Hay (2000)

23. St. Andrews (Castle) 6.41
St. Andrews, Scotland; David McLay Kidd (2008)

24. Trump Turnberry (King Robert the Bruce) 6.35
Turnberry, Scotland; Donald Steel, Martin Ebert (2001)

25. Carton House (Montgomerie) 6.33
Maynooth, Ireland; Colin Montgomerie, European Golf Design (2003)

26. Celtic Manor (Twenty Ten) 6.29
Newport, Wales; Ross McMurray (2007)

T27. Fairmont St. Andrews (Kittocks) 6.27
St. Andrews, Scotland; Bruce Devlin, Gary Stephenson (2001)

T27. Machrihanish Dunes 6.27
Machrihanish, Scotland; David McLay Kidd (2009)

29. Woburn (Dukes) 6.25
Milton Keynes, England; Charles Lawrie (1976)

30. Dundonald Links 6.24
Gailes, Scotland; Kyle Phillips (2003)

No. 31-40

Donegal in Ireland (Courtesy of North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland)

31. The Carrick 6.23
Loch Lomond, Scotland; Doug Carrick (2007)

32. Crail (Craighead) 6.20
Crail, Scotland; Gil Hanse (1998)

33. Fairmont St. Andrews (Torrance) 6.18
St. Andrews, Scotland; Sam Torrance (2001)

34. Bearwood Lakes 6.15
Wokingham, England; Martin Hawtree (1996)

35. Adare Manor 6.09
Adare, Ireland; Tom Fazio (1995)

36. Gleneagles (PGA Centenary) 6.07
Auchterarder, Scotland; Jack Nicklaus (1993)

37. St. Andrews (The Dukes) 6.04
St. Andrews, Scotland; Tim Liddy, Peter Thomson (1995)

T38. K Club (Palmer North) 5.99
Straffan, Ireland; Arnold Palmer, Ed Seay (1991)

T38. Craigielaw 5.99
Aberlady, Scotland; Donald Steel (2001)

40. Donegal 5.98
Murvagh, Ireland; Eddie Hackett, Pat Ruddy (1973)

Nos. 41-50

Portmarnock in Ireland (Golfweek files)

41. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links 5.96
Portmarnock, Ireland; Stan Eby, Bernhard Langer (1995)

42. Druids Glen 5.92
Newtownmountkennedy, Ireland; Pat Ruddy, Tom Craddock (1995)

43. Fota Island 5.82
Cork, Ireland; Christy O’Connor Jr., Peter McEvoy, Jeff Howes (1993)

44. Carton House (O’Meara Parkland) 5.80
Maynooth, Ireland; Mark O’Meara, European Golf Design (2002)

45. Ballybunion (Cashen) 5.79
Ballybunion, Ireland; Robert Trent Jones Sr. (1982)

46. K Club (Palmer South) 5.78
Straffan, Ireland; Arnold Palmer (2003)

47. Connemara 5.63
Ballyconneely, Ireland; Eddie Hackett (1973)

48. The Belfry (Brabazon) 5.59
Wishaw, England; Dave Thomas, Peter Alliss (1977)

49. Archerfield Links (Dirleton) 5.56
Dirleton, Scotland; David J. Russell (2006)

50. Archerfield Links (Fidra) 5.41
Dirleton, Scotland; David J. Russell (2004)

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