What if you could take these outstanding holes from any given course and create a hypothetical round of golf, an imaginary perfect 18?
Of course everybody's "perfect 18" would be different and there is clearly no right or wrong but the fun and enjoyment is in compiling it; an opportunity to indulge and reflect.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout the United Kingdom and below he gives his perfect round of golf.
The criteria was simple; the golf course must be in Great Britain or Ireland but could not feature more than once and the hole number must correspond.
Ed says, "On analysing the scorecard after the selection process there are two par-fives, three par-threes and the remainder a broad selection of par-fours. The course plays to a par of 71 and the yardage from the tips, which is where I am playing from, is a stern but manageable 7,009 under firm and fast conditions with an ideal two-club breeze. As it transpires it's unmistakably a day on the links."
"With only 18 holes available there were some truly world-class holes that missed out. Agonisingly, I couldn't find a place for any of the amazing holes at Dornoch, Cruden Bay, Muirfield, Birkdale, St. Enodoc, Rye, Carnoustie, Western Gailes, Porthcawl, Burnham & Berrow, Lytham, Saunton, Formby, Machrihanish and Royal Cinque Ports to name just a few!"
"In terms of location there are nine holes from Scotland, six from England, two from Wales and one from Northern Ireland. There was no motive to put the holes together in any sort of sequential order with regards to par, length or difficulty, in order to improve the round as a whole, but on reflection I think it flows pretty nicely... you could say perfectly."
We would love to know your perfect 18 or simply just some of the holes that would definitely be included. You can do so by tweeting us with hashtag #MyPerfect18.
My Perfect 18 Golf Holes
#1. Royal Aberdeen - Par 4 (409 yards)
"My round begins on the Balgownie Links, teeing off hard against the clubhouse under the watchful eye of onlookers. The sky is blue, the North Sea is glistening and ships wait their turn to dock into port. Meanwhile, I'm contemplating if I should hit a long iron between the quartet of fairway bunkers or gamble with driver for a shorter approach into a truly wonderful green site on the other side of a sunken valley."
#2. Perranporth - Par 5 (525 yards)
"The name Whym Wham (This Way and That) could not be more apt for this perplexingly brilliant golf hole. For the first-time visitor the suspenseful nature is frightfully good. On my first visit I recall walking ahead at least 100 yards to give my partner some advice on which line to take. I was greeted with not one but two marker posts and no sign of a flag! I simply shrugged my shoulders back to him."
#3. Tenby - Par 4 (392 yards)
"The undulating fairway legs to the right before you play to a table-top green. I was advised prior to visiting that whatever I do on this hole is not miss it right. Upon telling the professional on the day of play about my insider knowledge he simply smiled and said, “You don’t want to miss it left either.” He wasn't wrong! This is a hole where you really need to take a deep breath before your approach shot and hope the golfing gods are on your side."
#4. Royal St. George's - Par 4 (496 yards)
"The drive at this famous hole over the intimidating, once sleeper-faced bunkers, is a thrilling shot without question but it is the approach to the green that makes the hole for me. Long, partially-blind and to a putting surface, with a large basin towards the front-left, and a bulge that runs at an angle to the right which will deflect anything hit too shyly."
#5. Royal Portrush - Par 4 (382 yards)
"There are several magic moments during the round at Portrush and the plethora of options when you are stood on the 5th tee with the green far away to the right is bewildering juncture. Visually, walking onto the green is a feast for the eyes and a place you simply need to drink it all in; I could have spent an hour here simply appreciating the view, the land that we’ve already covered and will cover and simply appreciating the game of golf."
#6. Brora - Par 3 (190 yards)
"We turn 90 degrees to play this jaw-dropping hole called ‘Witch’ that has the most amazing green complex; two bunkers to the left and one to the right with steep run-offs at both sides and also the front. The putting surface has some serious movement with numerous hole locations and this helps make it a truly world-class golf hole. Braid at his best."
#7. Silloth on Solway - Par 4 (415 yards)
"This is perhaps the best example of where you can use the terrain to your advantage - the tee shot is a heroic drive over a mass of heather but it is the angled ridge that runs through the fairway that adds an extra dimension to the hole. Use it wisely and your ball will feed to the left and nearer to your ultimate target, but leak your tee-shot right and you will land on the wrong side of it and face a much longer and tougher approach to a sunken green."
#8. Royal Troon (Old) - Par 3 (123 yards)
"An obvious choice but with good reason. There is so much to write about this famous hole but no amount of words can do justice to how good this sub 125–yard par-three is. The elevated tee, the shape of the green, the bunkering and the run-offs; everything is just perfect at this sensational shorty. A world of pain waits for those who miss the target."
#9. Askernish - Par 4 (341 yards)
"For me the ninth hole at Askernish is its crowning moment. The point of understanding. A marker post at the end of a billowing fairway is your only guide from the tee on a hole that boasts a backdrop of sparkling ocean for the drive. The green is wider on the left, appears to favour a running approach from the right but teasingly falls away from you, deterring a lofted means of attack. The hole delivers on so many different levels."
#10. Turnberry (Ailsa) - Par 5 (565 yards)
"We now play the second and last par five on the card. The 10th at Turnberry is stupendously good; an angled drive across the rocky shoreline is your first task, avoiding the central bunker the second and then deciding whether to have a go for the green, situated on a kind of headland, over a huge bunker the third. But the job is not done there for the green complex has much interest too."
#11. Royal Liverpool - Par 3 (194 yards)
"The last par-five on the scorecard is quickly followed by the final par-three. The heart of the course at Hoylake is the stuff of dreams and the short 11th - named "Alps" - is the star of the show. It hides secluded in the dunes as you are asked to hit a draw ball against the wind into a green that is crouched within the sandhills."
#12. Southerness - Par 4 (421 yards)
"Southerness is a course that can beat you up but for a moment we have some respite and are able to drink in more splendid views - after a generous drive the 12th features an approach played towards a nestled green that kisses lips with the sandy bay of the Solway Firth and is absolutely divine – it’s one of the prettiest holes you’ll play."Read the full review for Southerness.
#13. Prestwick - Par 4 (458 yards)
"“Sea Headrig” is simply an amazing golf hole from start to finish; the drive from close to and along the shoreline to a heaving fairway, with just Willie Campbell’s hidden bunker to avoid, is excellent but this is topped by the shot to the angled and frantically undulating green fronted by a hogs-back approach. It’s one of those greens where you know that only the purest of strokes has a chance of finding the putting surface and that the odds are stacked heavily against you."
#14. North Berwick - Par 4 (374 yards)
"Sandwiched between the famous "Pit" and "Redan" holes at North Berwick the 14th sometimes slips under the radar but "Perfection" makes My Perfect 18 and not just because of its name. It has simply everything; a tee-shot to a tumultuous fairway, a blind approach and the beach just meters from the putting surface. There's a little bit of uneasiness and disorientation for the golfer when playing the first part of this hole and this is what makes it so brilliant."
#15. Royal St. David's - Par 4 (439 yards)
"It takes a while for Harlech to really get warmed up but when it does it gets fiery hot and the 15th is simply scorching. It is the shining light of Royal St David’s. A truly great hole with an angled drive to a fairway that is actually wider than it appears from the tee although the narrow sliver of fairway that leads us to the green is absolutely as tight as it looks, if not more so."
#16. Littlestone - Par 4 (464 yards)
"The glorious 16th at Littlestone is just a heavenly hole from beginning to end. Here, you must turn the ball from right-to-left off the tee to give you the best chance of reaching the cresting green which is located at the end of higher piece of ground and perhaps favours a fading approach."
#17. Hunstanton - Par 4 (464 yards)
"A magnificent hole that sweeps to the right, rises slightly and slopes from the high-sided left all the way. The approach is nothing short of brilliant. There is a slither of flattish land just short of the green that will give a mostly predictable bounce as you aim to find a narrow green with a steep fall-off to the right. The dilemma is that if you tug your ball too far left you are quite simply in deadsville."
#18. St. Andrews (Old) - Par 4 (357 yards)
"There is only one place to end My Perfect 18 and that is on The Old Course at St. Andrews. The hole itself is wonderful; driveable, out-of-bounds, the valley of sin, a cunningly sloping green. But it is the walk, the surroundings and the atmosphere that sways the balance."
#19. Royal North Devon
"After playing all those world-class golf holes there's only one place I can think off to wind down and reminisce. That place is the clubhouse at Royal North Devon. All that history, a relaxed ambience, delicious food and the comfiest armchairs I know."
#1. Prestwick, St. Enodoc, Brora, Burnham & Berrow, Saunton (West).
#2. Burnham & Berrow, Isle of Harris, Conwy, Portstewart (Strand), Royal Porthcawl.
#3. Machrihanish, Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch, Dunaverty, Royal Porthcawl.
#4. Fortrose & Rosemarkie, Burnham & Berrow, Perranporth, County Sligo, Royal Portrush.
#5. Cruden Bay, Sheringham, Royal Dornoch, Turnberry, Castletown, Royal Worlington.
#6. Panmure, Royal North Devon, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Western Gailes, Strandhill.
#7. Askernish, Skibo Castle, Rye, Royal North Devon, Dunaverty.
#8. Royal West Norfolk, Seacroft, Turnberry, Alwoodley.
#9. Tenby, Castle Stuart, Silloth on Solway, Golspie.
#10. Renaissance Club, Hillside, St. Enodoc, Moortown.
#11. Wallasey, St. Andrews Old, Pennard.
#12. Formby, Hayling, Dunbar, Royal Birkdale
.#13. Elie, Saunton (East), Gullane (No.2), Enniscrone, Strandhill.
#14. Carnoustie (Burnside), Cruden Bay, Leven Links.
#15. North Berwick, Royal St. George's, Prestwick, Enniscrone, Royal Porthcawl.
#16. Wallasey, St. Annes Old Links, Prestwick St. Nicholas, Royal Portrush, Golspie.
#17. Littlestone, Seaton Carew, Fraserburgh, Castletown, County Sligo.
#18. St. Enodoc, Leven Links, Muirfield, Saunton (East), Notts.