Revealing 7 of the Most Famous and Beautiful Golf Courses in the World

One of the beauties of golf is that wherever you are in the world, you are never too far away from a famous course. 

Whereas there are some courses that have been in existence for centuries, there are others that are newer who use the beauty of the landscape that surrounds them to full effect.

There are certain golf courses all over the world that have grown to be iconic and are instantly recognisable. Forming a bucket list for any keen golfer, in this article we will reveal seven of the most famous courses on the planet and tell you what it is that makes them so special.

Augusta National

Augusta National

When talking about the world’s most famous golf courses, it is only right to start with Augusta National.

The home of the Masters, for many Augusta is golf. Designed by golfing royalty in the shape of Bobby Jones, Augusta has been described as ‘Paradise on Earth’ and is amongst the most recognised courses in the world. 

Not only does Augusta provide the perfect setting for drama, but it also allows for peace and serenity within certain parts of the course. This is most notable in Amen Corner. 

Set around the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes, Amen Corner provides a golfing challenge like no other. Famously, the wind can blow in different directions from hole to hole which means a player playing the 12th is experiencing completely different conditions from those playing the 13th. Each of the three holes that makes up Amen Corner provides its own unique challenge.

Year on year Augusta National continues to dazzle. With its stunning nature, wildlife, and sheer attention to detail, it still remains the course that players want to conquer the most. 

Key Specifications

  • Location: Augusta, Georgia, United States
  • Designer: Alister MacKenzie, Bobby Jones
  • Established: 1933
  • Yardage: Approximately 7,435 yards (as of 2024, may vary slightly)
  • Par: 72
  • Greens: Bentgrass
  • Fairways: Ryegrass, Bentgrass
  • Hazards: Numerous bunkers strategically placed throughout the course
  • Signature Holes: Iconic holes include Amen Corner (11th, 12th, and 13th holes), the par-3 16th hole, and the finishing hole, the par-4 18th
  • Elevation Changes: Features significant elevation changes, especially notable on the back nine
  • Flowering Plants: Famous for its stunning display of azaleas, dogwoods, and other flowering plants during the Masters Tournament in April
  • Clubhouse: Historic clubhouse overlooking the 18th green
  • Membership: Membership is exclusive and by invitation only, with a limited number of members

St Andrews - The Old Course

St Andrews - The Old Course

The Old Course is the most famous golf course in the world and is simply known as the Home of Golf. 

Dating back over 600 years, the first iterations of the game we love today were played on this hallowed ground.

Located in the town of St Andrews in the Scottish Kingdom of Fife, the Old Course still sits atop many golfers’ bucket lists and has history seeping out at every turn. 

Not the longest by modern standards, when the wind bites, the Old Course still presents a major challenge with its huge greens, pot bunkers and undulating fairways.

The 17th offers its sternest test. Known affectionately as the ‘Road Hole,’ it has long been regarded as one of the toughest holes in golf. Not only does a player need to hit their tee shot over the famous St Andrews Hotel, but next to the tiny seventeenth green is a public footpath; if your ball misses the target, it makes securing a par almost impossible. 

St Andrews is the most historic golf course of them all, and every professional player dreams of lifting the famous Claret Jug at St Andrews.

Key Specifications

  • Number of Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Yardage: Approximately 6,721 yards (varies slightly depending on tee placement)
  • Designer: The design has evolved over centuries, with the original course dating back to the 15th century.
  • Location: St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
  • Major Tournaments Hosted: The Old Course has hosted numerous prestigious golf tournaments, including The Open Championship (the oldest major championship in golf), which it has hosted more times than any other course.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach

Few courses can match the beauty of St Andrews and Augusta, but one course that can run both of them close is Pebble Beach. Set on the California coastline, Pebble Beach has long been regarded as one of the finest courses in all the world.

Like so many courses in America, Pebble Beach is open to the public and often comes out on top of the rankings for America’s best public course. Set alongside the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach is hugged by a rugged coastline and offers superb views from all around the course. Using all California’s natural beauty to its advantage, Pebble Beach makes for a truly dramatic backdrop.

There are many holes around the course that stand out, but its most famous is the par-3 seventh. 

Set at just over 100 yards, the tee shot is elevated and is surrounded by the raging ocean. With the wind howling, the tee shot needs to be accurate; otherwise disaster can strike.

Pebble Beach is often used to host several of America’s most prestigious tournaments and in 2023 the course made history as it hosted its first-ever Women’s Major, which was won by Allisen Corpuz.

Key Specifications

  • Number of Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Yardage: Approximately 7,000 yards (varies slightly depending on tee placement)
  • Designer: Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, opened in 1919.
  • Location: Pebble Beach, California, USA
  • Major Tournaments Hosted: Pebble Beach has hosted numerous prestigious golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open (multiple times), PGA Championship, and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course

TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course

Home of The Players Championship since 1981, TPC Sawgrass has garnered a reputation for being one of the most visually striking but challenging courses in the world.

Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, there are two courses on the property but the most famous is the Stadium Course.

Designed by famous golf course designer Pete Dye, the course opened in 1980 and has been the permanent home of the Players Championship ever since.

When you think of Sawgrass, you only think of one hole, and that is the seventeenth. 

A par-3 that measures a little over 130 yards, the green stands on an island and is often spoken about as being the most famous hole in all of golf. 

If a player has any dreams of winning one of the most lucrative tournaments in the sport, they simply have to conquer seventeen.

Key Specifications

  • Number of Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Yardage: Approximately 7,245 yards (varies slightly depending on tee placement)
  • Designer: Pete Dye
  • Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA
  • Major Tournaments Hosted: The Stadium Course is best known for hosting The Players Championship, often referred to as the "fifth major" in golf.

Bethpage Black

Bethpage Black

Bethpage Black is another of America’s most famous public courses and it is regarded by many professionals as the toughest course in the world. 

A brute of a course, Bethpage Black is long and is made up of narrow fairways. With the rough surrounding the fairways thick and juicy, any errant tee shots can be severely punished.

Like Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black has played host to several major championships and, in 2025, will host the Ryder Cup.

Key Specifications

  • Number of Holes: 18
  • Par: 71
  • Yardage: Approximately 7,468 yards (varies slightly depending on tee placement)
  • Designer: A.W. Tillinghast
  • Location: Farmingdale, New York, USA
  • Major Tournaments Hosted: Bethpage Black has hosted several major tournaments, including the U.S. Open (2002, 2009) and The Barclays (2012, 2016) as part of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.

Royal County Down

Royal County

Whilst St Andrews can still lay claim to being the most famous course in the UK, Royal County Down isn’t too far behind. 

Often viewed as the UK’s best golf course, its setting is truly spectacular. Sitting in the Murlough Nature Reserve, which hugs the Dundrum Bay, many have compared it to Pebble Beach as there is simply beauty at every turn. 

With the Mountains of Mourne adding a dramatic backdrop, few courses can compare with Royal County Down. The setting for the 2025 Irish Open, it is only fitting that one of the DP World Tour’s premier events is played amongst such a beautiful setting.

Key Specifications

  • Number of Holes: 36 (Two 18-hole courses: Championship Links and Annesley Links)
  • Par: Championship Links - 71, Annesley Links - 66
  • Yardage: Championship Links - Approximately 7,186 yards, Annesley Links - Approximately 4,805 yards
  • Designer: Championship Links - Old Tom Morris, Harry Vardon, Harry S. Colt, Donald Steel; Annesley Links - Old Tom Morris
  • Location: Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Rankings: Consistently ranked among the top courses in the world and often regarded as one of the best links courses globally.
  • Major Tournaments Hosted: The Championship Links has hosted several prestigious tournaments, including the Walker Cup and the Irish Open.

Royal Melbourne 

Royal Melbourne 

Whereas the majority of our famous course list is composed of courses from the UK and America, Royal Melbourne is one of Australia’s best courses and is usually in the conversation when it comes to ranking the world’s most famous courses. 

Located in the southeastern part of Melbourne, the course was first opened back in 1891 and is Australia’s oldest course. 

The host of the 2019 Presidents Cup, Royal Melbourne has also hosted numerous Australian Opens. 

The toughest hole on the course is the fifth hole, surrounded by a myriad of bunkers. The green is also elevated, which means any ball that falls short of the target will trundle back into the valley. Although not the longest, the best hybrid golf clubs are often needed to ensure the ball reaches its desired destination.

Key Specifications

  • Number of Holes: 36 (Two 18-hole courses: East Course and West Course)
  • Par: East Course - 72, West Course - 72
  • Yardage:
  • East Course: Approximately 6,651 yards
  • West Course: Approximately 6,943 yards
  • Designer:
  • East Course: Alister MacKenzie (with modifications by Alex Russell)
  • West Course: Alex Russell
  • Location: Black Rock, Victoria, Australia
  • Rankings: Consistently ranked among the top courses in the world and often regarded as one of the best golf courses in Australia.
  • Major Tournaments Hosted: The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, including the Presidents Cup, Australian Open, and World Cup of Golf.