Adam Kuettel | Bentonville, Arkansas

Adam Kuettel is a Financial Planner passionate about golfing, fishing, and more.

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Adam Kuettel - Best Golf Courses Outside The US

Best Golf Courses Outside The US

Despite the belief of many American golfers, not all great courses are found in North America. There are numerous courses all around the world which play spectacularly and offer amazing challenges. Landscapers and designers have worked on some of these courses for centuries, so go looking for a history lesson as well.

Royal County Down – Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland

Located in Newcastle in Northern Ireland, Royal County Down Golf Club opened in 1889. It has two 18-hole links, a Championship Course and Annesley Links. Initially, it was designed by Old Tom Morris in conjunction with the railroad depot to bring added visitors to the area. By 1908, the club received royal patronage from King Edward VII, making it one of the most popular in Europe.

Both the Championship Course and the Annesley Links have been constructed with the landscape in mind. Set in the Murlough Nature Reserve, the Championship Course is situated on the shores of Dundrum Bay making for a very scenic game. The Annesley Links is a smaller, but challenging course. It still features the majestic views of the mountains, sea, and dunes.

Old Course at St. Andrews – St Andrews, Scotland

Considered the “home of golf” by many golfers, the game was played here as long ago as the 15th century. Banned in 1457 by James II of Scotland, it wasn’t until 1502 that golf was permitted again under King James. The Old Course at St. Andrews is particularly famous for giving us the game as it is played today. In 1764, the club members decided to combine eight of the holes into four holes, giving the modern course of 18 holes. It’s also responsible for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the governing body of golf throughout most of the world.

Gameplay at St. Andrews is a unique experience. With so much history behind the course, each of the 112 bunkers has its own story, most notably the 14th hole’s 10 foot deep “Hell Bunker.” The Road Hole, the par-4 17th, is one of the most famous holes in the world. One tees off without being able to see where the shot lands due to railway sheds being in the way. It features the “Road Bunker,” a significant hazard in front of the green. Other hazards include a tarmac road and a stone wall. The final hole is an interesting experience in that golfers need to cross a 700-year old bridge to play.

Muirfield – Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland

Located in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland, the Muirfield Links overlooks the Firth of Forth, a famous estuary. It also operates as the home to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the oldest known golf club established in 1744.

While the majority of links courses are set up for two sets of nine holes each running in one direction and then opposite for the second set, Muirfield is not set up this way. This course is set up as two loops, each nine holes. One goes clockwise and the other counterclockwise.

Royal Portrush Golf Club – Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Established in 1888, the Royal Portrush Golf Club gained its patronage within a decade from the Duke of York and the Prince of Wales. This course is located on the North Antrim Causeway Coast and has views of sand hills, islands to the north and is overlooked by the remains of the Dunluce Castle from the 13th century.

The Dunluce course is known for a number of interesting holes. On the fourth hole, the green is situated between two small sand hazards. The fifth hole’s green is situated on the edge of a large drop to the beach. Outside of the threat of having the ball go over the cliff, there is a spectacular view of the White Rocks beach.

Turnberry – South Ayrshire, Scotland

Commissioned in 1902, this course grew with the opening of a hotel in 1906. During both world wars, it served as an air training base for new pilots and the hotel was converted to a hospital. This heavily damaged the course and facilities in general. During this time, an airstrip was constructed which still stands today. There is also a monument to the 200 airmen and others who died at the base during those years. It wasn’t until 1951 that the course was properly rebuilt. After changing hands for decades, Donald Trump bought the course in 2014.

The course has gone through many changes through the years. Most recently, the Trump organization has modified many of the holes to make it a new experience. In addition, it has converted eight holes starting with the fourth to be a coastal run.


While the United States can lay claim to possessing some of the best golf courses in the world, other countries have also developed great courses, many predating those in America. These courses offer both traditional and unique golf experiences and are worth playing.

 

A Look At Golf Digest's Top 5 Courses in America

A Look At Golf Digest’s Top 5 Courses in America

One of the greatest sports known to man is golf. From combatting stress to increasing concentration and focus, golf is great for anyone to play, especially when you’re on a course that gives you the right set of mind. Below are the top five American golf courses according to Golf Digest.

5 Merion Cricket- Ardmore, PA

After given the assignment to create a golf course in 1912, Hugh Wilson traveled to Scotland to learn about golf courses. He designed the course with a Scottish influence which could be the reason it is one of the most beautiful golf courses today. Located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, Merion has a reputation for its history. It is home to Bobby Jones’s Grand Slam Championship. 18 United States Golf Association Championship tournaments have been held here. Today the golf club retains its high standards through the most prestigious care a golf course can offer.

4 SHINNECOCK HILLS- South Hampton, N.Y.

One of the oldest golf courses in the United States, Shinnecock Hills was one of the first five members of the USGA when it was founded in 1891. The course retains its reputation through the natural landscape incorporated in the course, and was restored in 1991.  The U.S. open has been held here twice. The 2018 U.S. Open will be held here as well.

3 Cypress Point Club- Pebble Beach, CA

One of the more private golf courses in America, Cypress Point Club is located along the shore-line of Pebble Beach. Although the views of the ocean and natural granite rock are spectacular, it’s not as crowded as most golf courses tend to be. It is a wonderful place to get quiet time and practice.

2 Pine Valley- NJ

Considered one of the most exclusive golf courses in the US, most people won’t get to play at Pine Valley. The private golf club offers what ESPN calls “the greatest 18 holes of golf ever created by man.” Past members include George H. W. Bush and Arnold Palmer. Although most people must have exclusive member connections to play on the course, the club opens its gates to the public once a year for a tour during the Master’s Tournament. This is crucial for any golf enthusiast to see.

1 Augusta National- GA

Augusta is known for its history. Before it was a golf course, it was a fruit and ornament nursery. Today, it is one of the most famous golf courses in the world, with only 300 members. Membership is highly exclusive and is only accessible through invitation. The public is only allowed a tour once a year, during the Master’s Tournament. However, you have to be lucky enough to grab a pass (which could cost thousands of dollars). Although the golf course may not be practical to visit, the city itself is a wonderful place with famous art, landmarks and history.

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