Some of the finest golfing opportunities in the world are found on our shores. And where there are great courses, you can be sure there are great hotels too. Here are some of the beautiful upscale properties to book for a sporting break.
Tee off at Matfen Hall hotel and you follow in the footsteps of 30 years of golfers, from novice to pros. The 27-hole course is renowned as one of the best in the North East of England and there’s a 9-hole Par-3 course serving as an ideal introduction to those who are new to the sport. Open seven days a week, the courses are part of Matfen’s established Golf Club, welcoming a mix of loyal regulars and travellers seeking a new challenge. There’s a golf academy on site, a pro shop and The Keepers, an indoor and outdoor venue serving gastro-pub style food.
Rudding Park, Yorkshire
This privately-owned hotel in Harrogate has 90 rooms, a spa, two gourmet restaurants, a cinema and its own kitchen garden. Set over 300 acres, it has a driving range and two courses that suit beginners and experienced golfers alike. Visit just for the day, stay for longer or sign up for a membership and take some lessons. Jason Norwood resident apprentice greenkeeper at Rudding Park, received the accolade of ‘Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year 2019’ – so you can expect perfectly manicured grounds. Accommodation options here include 6-person cottages, lodges, suites, spa rooms and family rooms.
Murrayshall Country House Hotel & Golf Club, Perthshire
Suitable for all the family (including any four-legged members who can join for the stay). This hotel has not one, but two courses – the Murrayshall and the Lynedoch. 27 holes stretch across Perthshire parkland, along with a driving range and Pro Shop. PGA tuition can be arranged and visitors aren’t asked for a handicap certificate. The Stutts Clubhouse bar & grill with its outdoor courtyard is a delightful spot to enjoy a sociable post-round bite to eat and drink. The hotel has 41 newly refurbished bedrooms, fantastic brasserie for dinner, lunch and breakfast and there’s a dedicated Head of Golf to meet all your play-related needs.
The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links, Isle of Islay
Practice your swing to a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean in this beautiful Hebridean island setting. Golf Monthly describes the hideaway as: “Wild and desolate. The Machrie is a wonderful modern interpretation of the classic links game”. The sport has been a pastime on the grounds – originally designed by Willie Campbell – since 1891. However more recently, architect DJ Russell redesigned the course with a grand reopening taking place in May 2017. In addition to an 18-hole championship links, Machrie has a Wee course (six holes, par-3). For inclement weather, there’s a 5-bay driving range and an indoor golf studio with a Trackman Golf Simulator providing analytics. The cosy resort also has an on-site screening room and boutique spa facility for off-course relaxation time.
Rockliffe Hall, County Durham
Nestled in the sleepy village of Hurworth near Darlington, is Rockliffe Hall. With an idyllic setting, five-star facilities, its own golf academy and an 18-hole championship course this is a wonderful choice for a ‘play and dine’ break – and non-golfing partners can enjoy the spa facilities while you’re on the green. Sleep in the Tiplady Lodge or a classic bedroom with views of the Old Hall. One of the longest and prettiest courses in the UK, the grounds include three lakes, eight reed beds, 25,000 new and mature trees and A4 creeping bentgrass greens.
Close House, Northumberland
Venue for the British Masters 2017, the competition is returning to Close House for the second time in 2020. It also boasts the only Lee Westwood golf courses (two) in the world and has the only PGA Academy in the North East. The British golfing legend and OBE often visits here – Westwood maintains a close relationship with the resort and has created courses to challenge all levels of player. The 16 room boutique hotel has a grand lodge and huge cottage for larger groups or those wanting privacy and extra space outwith the main building.
Old Course Hotel, St Andrews
One of the most famous Scottish golf hotels, the Old Course is a 144 roomed AA Five Red-Star resort, frequently holding society and corporate golf events. The Duke’s is a stunning course with sea views and if the weather’s inclement, players can head indoors to The Swing Studio to play a round on one of 60 virtual courses, with optional tuition. There’s also a renowned Pro Shop here, and Golfino stocking designer golf clothing. In the hotel, you’ll find a Kohler Waters Spa, a range of refined eateries, bars and upscale rooms with traditional Scottish decor.
The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
Home of three championship courses (as well as a fourth) and The PGA National Golf Academy for Scotland, Gleneagles hosted The Ryder Cup in 2014 and the 2019 Solheim Cup – making it the only venue to have held both tournaments. There’s a total of 63 holes to be played here, including two 19th holes. The historic hotel established in 1924 and flanked by the epic Perthshire hills was also the venue for the G8 summit of world leaders in 2005. Lodges, luxury rooms, a concierge and plethora of high-end restaurants and bars ensure you never need to leave its prestigious grounds during your break away.
Links House at Royal Dornoch, Sutherland
Ultra boutique with just 15 rooms, Links House has a prime location, just steps away from the Royal Dornoch’s first tee and a short walk to the beach. Clubs are available to borrow if you’re unable to bring your own, along with a range of other activity supplies. Play the neighbouring course ranked #2 in Scotland and #4 in the world by Golf Digest, as well as a further four championship course nearby. It’s not only golf that’s the highlight of a stay at Links House – the two AA Rosette-awarded restaurant offers some of the finest food in the region. The 19th-century hotel also benefits from two honesty bars and sumptuous furnishings.
The Grove, Hertfordshire
The former home of the Earls of Clarendon is a convenient spot to combine a London city break, or for a weekend escape from the capital. Designed by renowned course architect Kyle Philips, the course played host to the British Masters in 2016 and runs regular tournaments. 215 stylish soothingly decorated rooms in pale palettes, an award-winning spa and two chic restaurants are found within the 18th-century manor house and its connected modern wing.
Bovey Castle, Dartmoor
Devon’s wild moors are home to this 90-year-old course designed by J F Abercromby and the adjacent traditional baronial hotel. Meandering through the grounds, there’s plenty of challenge to be found on this course, as well as a short game practice facility and a putting green. Guests can take advantage of lessons, caddy/buggy/trolley hire and a driving range. The main house has a spa, pool, two restaurants, an oak-panelled bar, 60 rooms – and there are 22 three-storey country lodges with kitchens for those who prefer to self-cater. A nearby helipad means you – and your clubs – can arrive in ultimate style.
Resort Hotel Celtic Manor, Wales
In the Usk Valley is Celtic Manor, a championship, three-course resort, host to the Ryder Cup in 2010 and the 2014 NATO summit. Play here and you’ll be following in the footsteps of Tyger Woods, Rory McIlroy and more. Facilities are five-star and abundant, providing guests with ample choice – there are six restaurants, multiple bars, two spas, a golf academy, floodlit driving range, two fancy clubhouses and over 1000 staff members to take care of you. Stay in a plush contemporary secluded lodge, or in one of its 400 country club style rooms.