St Andrews (Old Course),
The oldest and most iconic golf course in the world. The Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognised across the globe, yet the greatest feature of the Old Course is that despite its grand status it remains a public golf course, open to all.
Golfing nirvana. It may be outdated for Bryson, but it’s not outdated for us. The magisterial links is the perfect blend of strategy, history and occasion. There are people who say those latter two elementsdo not deserve to be included in a ‘course’ ranking, but they are inextricable aspects of the Old, just as much as the views around the turn are to Turnberry’s Ailsa.
The Old is about so much more than aura, though; the way it uses the modest contours of the land, the trip down to the Eden and the loop beside it, how the links is incorporated into the town and its peerless memorability mean it is worthy of its place right at the top of our ranking. All standards of golfer can nudge their way around the course, but you have to plot your way and play exceptionally well to score well on it.
The greens are as good as it gets, and the balance of the holes is just right. Our top four are all world class and all would be worthy No.1s, but we are sure we have the top spot correct.
"I fell in love with it the first day I played it. There's just no other golf course that is even remotely close"
- Jack Nicklaus, Open Champion 1970, 1978