These are not new problems for golf but in the fast-paced modern society that we live in nowadays it has become a serious issue. Existing layouts are being undermined because of modern equipment, certainly at the elite level, whilst others are being stretched to within an inch of their life thanks to the constant need to add new tees.
Erin Hills broke new ground at the 2017 US Open with a yardage of 7,800 and there are already 'future proofed' golf courses in existence that exceed 8,000 yards. Most of the recognised top golf courses in the United Kingdom have 'championship' tees over the 7,000 yard mark and whilst there are forward tees for daily play the length of golf courses is only going one way. Rant over!
Golf is not all about length though. There are many wonderful shorter golf courses in Great Britain where creativity, course management and shot-making trump the distance that a person is able to hit the ball. They are no less enjoyable either, in fact they tend to be a lot more fun. Plus, I think most of us would rather be making birdies than bogeys anyway.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout the United Kingdom and below he gives his personal top golf courses under 6,000 yards.
The criteria was simple. If it is possible to play any given golf course from tees measuring 6,000 yards or more it was excluded from consideration.
We also only include 18-hole golf courses in the list. That may seem harsh on the many fine nine-holers under this yardage but we already have a dedicated section for the best nine-hole golf courses.
There were a few high profile courses that just missed out; Swinley Forest (6,122), New Zealand (6,075), Carnoustie (Burnside) (6,028), Fortrose & Rosemarkie (6,035), Golspie (6,0521), Piltdown (6,055), Moray (New) (6,084), Frilford Heath (Green) (6,015), Reddish Vale (6,086), Holyhead (6,090) and Tadmarton Heath (6,043).
To help compile the list Golfshake.com very kindly assisted by providing data to help us identify golf courses under 6,000 yards. Without their help it would have been an onerous task and this feature may well not have even been completed.
If you know any courses that play no more than 6,000 yards we'd love to hear your recommendations.
It’s possible, and most likely probable, that the Queen’s at Gleneagles is the best golf course under 6,000 yards. Not just in Scotland but anywhere.
With around 3,000 golf clubs in the UK it’s inevitable that courses will get bracketed by style and character.
I can’t imagine many reviews for Royal County Down – one of the world’s great golf courses – beginning with mention of the Annesley Links…. but that is exactly where I’m going to start.
Of all the links golf courses around the Fife Coast the Balcomie Links at Crail must be the most picturesque of them all.
I heard the squelch first. The gentle sinking sensation soon followed. However, it was a few seconds before I felt the warm, moist trickling sensation around my ankle. The smell arrived shortly afterwards.
There’s something quite remarkable about Kington. It has what I call the “Double Q” factor; Quirk and Quality.
The Dunskey course at Portpatrick is one of the most fun and enjoyable I have played in Scotland.
I’m easily pleased. All I ask for is good turf, natural movement in the land and engaging greens. Simply give me all of those on a golf course and I’m a happy bunny.
At just 5,700 yards Cavendish may be on the short side in terms of length but there is nothing lacking in the amount of fun that can be had at this Derbyshire delight.
No less than three courses, ranked by number reflecting their age, constitute Gullane Golf Club.
Strathlene was the final Scottish golf course I played that features in the True Links book by George Peper and Malcolm Campbell – a publication that details all the genuine links golf courses in the world.
Located in the very heart of the Lake District, Windermere Golf Club must be one of the most adventurous golf courses I know and I make no apology for loving bamboozling layouts like this.
Bamburgh Castle most definitely falls into the ‘odd sock drawer’ of golf courses… and that’s a good thing!
Formby Ladies is a uniquely special golf course where the 18 holes flow seamlessly over a varied landscape spawning an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Established in 1890 Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club is a picturesque and varied course situated in the heart of the beautiful Cairngorm National Park.
Firstly, a confession. We only added Inverallochy to our recent Scotland trip itinerary because of its close proximity to Fraserburgh, located just a few miles down the coast.
Atop a large hill in Mid Wales, above the Victorian spa town of Llandrindod Wells, lays a topsy-turvy, rough-and-tumble, bags-of-fun sort of golf course.
A minibus of American golfers is not the first thing I expected to see on arrival at Reay Golf Club; the most northerly 18 hole links on mainland Scotland!
The guy behind the bar who I handed my £12 twilight green-fee to simply laughed after he asked if I had played the course before and I replied, “No, Why?”.
Established in 1889 West Cornwall Golf Club at Lelant is the oldest in the peninsula county, it is also one of the finest.
Church Stretton Golf Club sits atop the stunning Shropshire Hills above the historic market town of the same name. Please believe me when I say the panoramic views from the summit of the course are as good as you’ll find anywhere in England.
Glencruitten is a fascinating golf course I whole-heartedly recommend anyone should play.
Hopeman is an enthralling clifftop links that just gets better and better as the round progresses, both in terms of the golf and the location.
The Monifieth Golf Links Trust manage two wonderful golf courses that are the home to a trio of golf clubs.
The Silverburn course, home of Aberdeen Ladies Golf Club, and offers a great deal but sadly doesn’t quite live up to its excellent early billing.
It’s a real shame that Warren Golf Club, located at the seaside town of Dawlish Warren in South Devon, was omitted from the “True Links” book showcasing the 246 true links golf courses of the world.
I recently took advantage of the 3-round ticket that the Carnoustie Golf Links offers. For the sum of £200 this entitled me to one round on each of the three courses (Championship, Burnside & Buddon) that are looked after by the management committee of this iconic Open venue.
I’m not quite sure where to start when writing a review for Cullen. It’s probably the craziest course I’ve ever played. In truth I’m still a bit bamboozled by it all.
London Scottish Golf Club plays over the fast-running, gravel-based course on the busy Wimbledon Common where a blend of heath and woodland converge to provide a delightful and natural golfing experience.
On a recent drive from West Yorkshire to South Wales we decided to jump off the M5 and play a quick round at the highly unusual Painswick Golf Club. It proved to be one of the best decisions we’ve made.
The Riverside layout is located adjacent to the Strand (some of the holes and land used to be form part of the main course).
I wouldn't necessarily recommend you visit Colonsay specifically for the golf, however, that's not to suggest you shouldn't visit this beyond beautiful island, inhabited by less than 150 people, in the Hebrides and play their truly unique golf course.
Girvan is very much a tale of two halves although mathematically speaking it is actually a story of 8/18's (or should that be four-ninths?) and 10/18's.
The Old Course, often referred to as the ‘Town’ course is not actually located at the main Portstewart Golf Club.
The Fullarton links is one of three courses emanating from the starters office at the Troon Municipal golf complex which is owned, managed and run by South Ayrshire Council.