Ratings & Definitions

Where2Golf Course Ratings:

Where2Golf has applied a rating to each golf course visited, based on the personal experiences and views of the Where2Golf team. The course ratings range from 5 highest, to 2 lowest. They attempt to provide an indication of the golfing experience you might expect at the course. The ratings are based on our personal assessment of three things:

  • Quality of the golf course design and layout.  
  • Course condition and presentation. 
  • Scenic attraction of what you see beyond the course. 

The quality of the clubhouse, practice ground and associated facilities beyond the golf course are not factored into the ratings. In each rating category we highlight the top courses with a “plus” sign. In our view a 4+ course offers something in addition to a standard 4-star course, in terms of course design, conditioning or scenery beyond the course.

  • 5-PLUS: In the world’s elite - has few peers; one of our top-rated 5s!
  • 5-star: Fabulous – courses don’t get much better than this.
  • 4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
  • 4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
  • 3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
  • 3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
  • 2-star: Reasonably okay course - if better courses not available.
  • Unrated: Well regarded course not yet visited by the Where2Golf team.
  • Private: A course for members and their invited guests only.
  • Stay & Play Golf Resorts: Golf Clubs and resorts with onsite accommodation

Course type: Something about the course itself. For example:  

  • Links: a course by the sea and usually laid out amongst sand dunes. 
  • Cliff top: much of the course is set above the sea on the top of cliffs. 
  • Open parkland: inland course, with not too many trees lining the holes. 
  • Tree-lined parkland: inland course, with many tree-lined holes. 
  • Heathland: inland course, typically on sandy soil with heather or gorse lining the holes. 
  • Desert-style: inland course, occupying desert terrain, with desert shrubland lining the holes. 

Course surroundings: Something about what lies beyond the course:

  • Residential: proximity to residential housing or a suburban area.
  • Rural countryside: away from housing in a natural environment of farmland or ranchland.
  • Seaside/oceanside: adjacent to the sea, although this may not guarantee sea views! 
  • Lakeside/riverside: a sizeable lake or river provides an additional feature to the course. 
  • Desert: desert scrubland or shrubland lies beyond the course. 
  • Forest/woodland: most of the course is situated in forest or a wooded area. 

Walking the course: Something about the physical effort needed to get round the course. 

  • No effort to walk: relatively flat terrain; perhaps a few gentle gradients to climb. 
  • A few slopes to climb: some gradients could feel a bit like hard work. 
  • Several slopes to climb: some steeper or longer climbs on the way round. 
  • Tough going: hilly and/or long distances from greens to tee. Golf cart generally advisable.

Hotels:

Hotel ratings shown in the Where2Stay section are taken from published hotel guides; they are not the assessment of the Where2Golf team. In line with providing details of the best golf courses, we have attempted to provide details on some of the better hotels in the neighbourhood of the courses.

  • 5-star: excellent standard, luxury hotel. 
  • 4-star: very good all-round standard. 
  • 3-star: covers a wide-range, but should be of good quality.
  • 2-star: could be a bit basic in some areas.

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Where2Golf Spotlight

Tournaments:
2021 Opens: whether by accident or design, four of the top five mens’ Open Championships played in the British Isles occupy consecutive weeks in July: the Irish Open (1-4), Scottish Open (8-11), The Open (15-18) and Wales Open (22-25). The recently relaunched English Open is scheduled for early-August.
Hoag Classic: Ernie Els defends his title in this prestigious PGA Tour Champions event, played since 1991 at the Newport Beach Country Club, CA (Mar 5-7).

Who's Who:
Brooks Koepka: won his second Phoenix Open title, with a chip-in eagle at TPC Scottsdale’s short par-4 17th included in his final round.
Annika Sörenstam: the legendary Swede makes a return to the LPGA Tour in the Gainbridge LPGA, to be played at Lake Nona, her home club (Feb 25-28).

Latest Golf Course Updates

New course opens for play at Barnbougle
Bill Coore designs 14-hole layout with “sporty” holes on dune ridge above Lost Farm.

New links course planned for Scottish Highlands. Landowner aims to appoint a ‘world-class architect’ to work on site next to Cromarty Firth.

New Faldo Design layout in Vietnam set for summer completion. Nine holes of the course at Thanh Lanh are routed across a the lake peninsula.

Dundonald Links Scotland: Construction work is in progress on new practice facilities and course changes at Dundonald Links in Irvine, Scotland, as part of a £25 million investment by new owners Darwin Escapes that also includes the construction of a new clubhouse with rooms, plus eighteen lodges. Read more ...

R&A submits planning application for new golf facility in Glasgow.
Look up the Top Golf Courses in Scotland.

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