However, there is so much information out there on websites, in books and magazines that it seems a collective opinion has been formed about the best golf courses. It's not quite a closed shop but it's a tough school to break into and the running order is often very similar.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout Great Britain & Ireland and below he gives his top most underrated golf courses. These are the ones that he feels do not get the due recognition they deserve in most (not all) of the ranking lists.
The majority of the courses do feature in the various lists so effectively it is a list of the "most underrated highly rated" golf courses! The ones that don't get the credit they deserve relative to their competition. Essentially he feels they should be significantly higher than they generally are.
Following a 4:00am alarm call we’d already driven for more than six hours and covered over 350 road miles before boarding a ferry at Oban sailing to Lochboisdale.
The links at Burnham & Berrow begins at a pulsating pace and rarely lets up until the moment you reach the comfort of the historic 100-year-old clubhouse where you are able to relax and reflect.
I've been raving about the golf course at Hollinwell to anybody who would listen for the last 20 years since I first played here.
In my eyes Silloth is a golf course that has the ability to transcend your typical ‘championship links’.
Over breakfast at the guest house in Dornoch where we were staying conversation is struck up with a fellow guest; an American from Chicago and a member at Royal Dornoch.
If you’ve got an itch sometimes you’ve just got to scratch it… even if it’s in a hard-to-reach place! And in my personal quest to play all the true links golf course in the British Isles that was exactly the case with Castletown.
The members of Moray Golf Club, founded in 1889, must rightly be very proud of their two fine links courses laid out on some fabulous tight and sandy golfing terrain to the south of the Moray Firth.
Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as it is often fondly referred to, is a very special place. Perhaps it should be called Royal North Heaven!
Southport & Ainsdale offers everything that the other famous links courses on this fabled stretch of Lancashire coastline can… and the golfing connoisseur would perhaps argue it delivers even more than this.
Beau Desert is like a good book, a real page turner. After finishing each hole you just can't wait to play the next.
Panmure is a classy and historic golf club with a wonderful natural links course located near Carnoustie, Angus, in the East of Scotland.
The biggest compliment I can give to Parkstone is that I cannot think of many inland golf courses in the British Isles that are superior.
Except for the undeniable beauty of the 12th hole there’s nothing truly outstanding at Southerness. Please note that this isn’t meant with negative connotations though because everything about this true links course is of a consistently high standard and is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s sleeping gems.
They say you only get one chance to make a first impression and I was well and truly mesmerised when I first set sights on Wallasey.
Delamere Forest must go down as the biggest surprise of the year for me, and a very pleasant one at that.
There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever.
Golf courses such as Tenby are very few and far between. For me they capture the absolute essence of links golf.
Looking out from the clubhouse at Berwick upon Tweed Golf Club you would be forgiven for thinking that the course wasn’t really up to a great deal. You would be wrong. Very wrong.
I played Blackmoor on a beautiful summer evening, paid just £35 for a twilight green-fee and had virtually the entire property all to myself.
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.
Conwy, the third oldest course in Wales, is a first rate championship links on the spectacular Caernarvonshire coastline wedged between sea and heather-clad mountains.
Fraserburgh Golf Club, the seventh oldest in the World, delivers no frills, classic links golf on a very impressive scale.
The Gailes Links at Irvine belongs to Glasgow Golf Club, a club steeped in history and the 9th oldest in the world.
The Purdis Heath layout at Ipswich Golf Club is an intimate heathland course played over rolling terrain and through beautiful, tranquil woodland in the heart of Suffolk.
I love pretty much everything about the intriguing and challenging links at Littlestone. There is a rustic charm to this most appealing of layouts where you enjoy all the best traits of seaside golf.
Luffness New serves up an uncomplicated yet delicious feast of pure and traditional links golf laid out naturally across unbelievably firm and fast turf, some of the best I’ve golfed on.
Montrose, recognised as the fifth oldest course in the world, epitomises everything that is great and superior about links golf.
If you like your links golf a little bit on the extreme side (I do) then you will love Perranporth. It not only has a ‘wow’ factor, it has several of them!
The Valley course in its own right is a very fine links and one that makes a fine bedfellow for the Dunluce.
I recently took the opportunity to play Royal Wimbledon Golf Club in their 36-hole scratch open competition, The Royal Wimbledon Trophy.
Located close to Hartlepool in the North-East corner of England Seaton Carew, where golf dates back to 1874, has a reputation for being a bleak, chilly and grim links.
Sherwood Forest is a superb heathland golf course that is played over an amazing isolated property which reveals its full beauty through holes seven to 14, both visually and playing wise.
Saint Annes Old Links sits amongst distinguished guests along England's North West coast. It holds its own.
Stoneham’s biggest asset is undoubtedly its superb routing over adventurous terrain which ultimately lends itself to some unique and brilliant golf holes.
Strandhill Golf Club is a links course that often lives in the shadow of its GB&I Top 100 near neighbour, County Sligo, and that is doing it a real disservice because this befuddling good golf course delivers with a bang and offers great value at the same time.
Coxmoor Golf Club is currently three years into a 10-15 year project to restore their course back to its true heathland characteristic.
Stumbling across Knole Park on a balmy May afternoon was like finding a little golfing treasure trove. There’s lots of golfing goodness to be found at this most English of golf courses.
I arrived at Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club on the back of a morning round at Seapoint and a lap of St. Anne's the day before.
It always puzzles me why Prestbury doesn't feature, either higher or even at all, in the numerous 'top 100' golf course rankings.
There is so much good things happening at Rosslare it is a mystery why it doesn't get talked about amongst more esteemed company.
A round at Sandiway, on a glorious spring afternoon, completed my playing of all the recognised top inland golf courses in Cheshire.
There’s a deceptive quality to the humble yet alluring links course at Arbroath which would not only make an excellent companion when playing at Carnoustie, or en route to Aberdeen from the South, but is well worthy of a play in its own right.
Huddersfield Golf Club is probably not given the sufficient coverage it deserves on a national scale. It's a very, very fine golf course.
The Barrasie Links at Kilmarnock Golf Club is an extremely fine and well-presented golf course. It’s also a superb test of every part of your game and has a real consistent feel of quality to it.
There’s something quite remarkable about Kington. It has what I call the “Double Q” factor; Quirk and Quality.
North-East England is not widely regarded as an area with an abundance of top quality golf courses. However, The Northumberland Golf Club stands proudly as a fine exception.