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Holiday in Britain: Best for golf courses

british golf_course_12_06_12What’s not to love about good old Blighty with its stunning coastline, awe-inspring views and quirky British eccentricities?

Dudsbury Golf Club and Spa, Dorset

With streams meandering gently through this 6,904-yard championship golf course, this 71-par route is a scenic adventure around nine lakes linked by Purbeck stone bridges. Designed by Donald Steel, with a feature hole at the 16th where the green is over two lakes, the golf course has been the venue for many prestigious events, including the PGA Europro Tour. Putting and pitching aside, the Clubhouse, with its elevated south-facing position, offers stunning, scenic views of the Stour Valley and the surrounding Dorset countryside.

Don’t miss: Bentley’s Restaurant, with its award-winning chef and relaxing setting. Visit in the evening or on a Sunday lunchtime and there’s live music to enjoy, too.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club,Southport, Lancashire

Originally a nine-hole course when it opened in 1889, Royal Birkdale has been an 18-hole course since 1894. It is regarded as one of England’s top golf courses and has hosted several important golfing events – notably the British Open Championship. Its stunning coastal setting makes it a beautiful place to play – there’s open dune grasslands, sand dunes, a hole (the 7th) that’s virtually on the beach and a plantation of Corsican pines – you may even see some wild asparagus growing as you tee off at hole three!

Don’t miss: Double your fun and stay at the Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, just a few minutes’ drive away. With a bonus 72-par golf course and PGA nine-hole, par three, course to play on, it’s a golf enthusiast’s dream.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Scotland

The world’s third-oldest golf club – records show golf was played here in 1616 – Royal Dornoch has been described as spellbinding. Its isolated position means its setting can be wild, but there’s no doubt about its beauty. In early summer, the gorse creates a blaze of vivid yellow, a white sandy beach hugs the course and there are spectacular views over the Dornoch Firth. The 14th hole, The Foxy, is regarded as one of the most natural – almost 460 yards, a long par four, it’s a simple hole with a classical Donald Ross domed green.

Don’t miss: The beautiful views over the course and the Firth beyond, can be seen from the Royal Golf Hotel.

This article was first published in at home with Lorraine Kelly in April 2012. [Read the digital edition here]

Photograph: Getty Images

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