The Golf World Top 100 panel select their favourite golf courses in Hampshire.
The Golf World Top 100 panel selects the best golf courses in Hampshire, one of the most varied counties in England.
Few areas of Britain – never mind just England – can match Hampshire for its variety of courses. Sitting next to Surrey could easily give Hants an inferiority complex, but while the latter cannot match the former for depth, it surpasses it for its spectrum of character.
A wealth of heathlands, a premier links, a clifftop course and several fine parklands give Hants a rounded look that only a few can match.
But why should you trust our ranking of Hampshire’s best golf courses? Well, the Golf World Top 100 panel has been ranking the finest courses in England for decades and has the most comprehensive knowledge in the game. Using a combination of our current rankings and their experience of each county, the team has produced a comprehensive list of the best golf courses in every English county.
We welcome your feedback on all of our rankings and know that everyone will have an opinion on their favourite’s position. We’d love to hear from you via email, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
And, once you’ve enjoyed this ranking, please do take a look at some of our others – including the best courses in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Europe.
Chris Bertram, Golf World Top 100 Editor
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What are the best golf courses in Hampshire?
Liphook is a course decorated by holes of unforgettable quality, such as the 2nd, played to a semi-hidden, treacherous but gorgeous natural green site, or the utterly spellbinding short 7th, played downhill to one of the best greens you will ever have the fortune to be befuddled by.
It is an exquisite heathland with firm sandy fairways that are a joy to play from and holes that you are rapidly smitten with, including two of England’s finest par 3s
Relatively short, Liphook has some of the most engaging green complexes in the country, and it’s the only one of Hampshire’s courses to feature in our Top 100 Courses in Britain and Ireland, ranking 87th.
A true gem from Tom Simpson, Hayling is edging towards a spot on our GB&I list having already secured spots in our Top 100 rankings of England’s courses (52nd) and Britain and Ireland’s links (76th).
It is the only complete links between Rye and Cornwall, boasting superb fescue turf, flourising heather following gorse clearance, and a wonderful variety of holes that get better as the round progresses.
Another Top 100 England fixture (75th), Stoneham has undergone a huge renovation focused on taking trees out, promoting the growth of heather it was once famous for and returning its bunkers to the style created by Willie Park back in 1908.
This heathland near Southampton is relatively short at 6,400 yards but there are enough slopes, streams, heather and bunkers on the old deer park to ensure it holds your attention.
It is a robust course of real scale as the routing rumbles almost totally round the property’s outside for the front nine then works to and fro inside it coming home. There are also sufficient intricacies to please the connoisseur: clever use of ridges; greens wedged into banks; heather-topped cross bunkers the width of the county itself.
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Blackmoor is a Harry Colt classic on mesmeric heathland with holes crafted among pines, birch, oaks, heather, tight turf and white sand bunkers.
The great man laid out this 1913 in two loops of nine, and while it is a mere 6,164 yards, the obstacles to a good score that line the fairway make it plenty tricky enough.
Expect exquisite par 3s from a course ranked 72nd in our Top 100 England.
5. North Hants
Justin Rose’s boyhood club is the host of the well-known Hampshire Hog. Opened in 1904 and originally designed by James Braid, it was overhauled by Colt in 1913 and further renovated by Simpson in 1930.
Plenty of stout two-shotters with clever bunkering, run-offs around greens, blind shots, angled greens and an undulating but not overly taxing topography. Narrowly missed out on a spot in our Top 100 England.
6. Brockenhurst Manor
An accurate game will prosper on this attractive tree-lined Harry Colt track, headlined by the gorgeous par-3 12th across a valley to a heavily bunkered postage stamp green.
7. Leckford (Old)
This nine-holer is a mini Harry Colt classic on undulating chalk-based downland. Opens with a couple of par 5s and the classic par-3 3rd rounds off a terrific start
There’s a strong finale, too, with the par-4 8th played from an elevated tee to a sloping fairway and long, narrow green before signing off with another cracking par 3 to a downhill well-protected green.
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8. Hockley James
Braid-designed downland course that is in top nick all year round. At one with nature, it’s a stunning course but a true challenge and you need to be on your game. Memorable round within the South Downs National Park.
9. Barton on Sea (Becton and Needles)
There are three loops here, the third being known as the Stroller. The holes are a combination of original Harry Colt designs from 1932 and newer ones by J Hamilton Stutt in 1992. Becton has a table-top par 3 at the 3rd while the Needles has a gorgeous cliff-side 5th and ends on an island par 3.
Built in 1891, it is well-draining chalkland that is a joy to play. Super woodland views, and a challenge for all levels. “Simply wonderful, I would recommend Corhampton to any golfer,” said one panellist.
Fine heathland sitting on 165 acres of undulating terrain between Farnborough and Aldershot. Although the club was founded in 1883, the current course was created in the 1960s but has a Golden Age feel.
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12. Shanklin & Sandown
Splendid James Braid 1903 heathland on the Isle of Wight. Offers quality, challenging (slender fairways and well-protected greens) year-round golf. The par 3 9th, played to a three-tier green, is one of the stand-outs.
Private members golf club designed by Henry Cotton. A long but beautiful course; nature and humanity combining to create a delightful experience.
Sits on chalk downland on the banks of Tichborne Down – a delight from start to finish. Founded in 1890, the course stretches to just over 6,000-yards and the key to a successful round is to find the small, pacy, well-guarded greens.
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15. Royal Winchester
Established in 1888, it was designed by JH Taylor on Hampshire downland and enjoys views over the north-east of the county. Its bunker regeneration programme was praised by the panel.
16. Bramshaw (Manor)
Well-established undulating parkland covering 6,400 yards. It opened in 1971 and sits with the New Forest amid 200-year-old hardwood plantations.
17. Old Thorns
A woodland good enough to have featured in our Top 200 in England. Designed by Peter Alliss, it is cut through mature trees with at times significant elevation change. The perfect base for your Hants golf break.
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18. Hartley Wintney
Originally set down as a nine-holer in 1891, it was another 109 years before this parkland near Hook was extended to 18. The front half is regarded as the chance to make your score, with the back nine – notably the 13th, played from an elevated tee but guarded by water and a ditch – a consistent test.
19. Tylney Park
Completely overhauled in 2004, this mature parkland is a test for all at more than 7,000 yards from the tips and playing through well-established trees to large undulating greens.
20. Bramshaw (Forest)
The home of the county’s oldest course (circa. 1865) is a delightful, charismatic gently undulating heathland on common land in the heart of the idyllic New Forest and is a fun ride with humps, hollows, rippling streams… and roaming wildlife.
21. South Winchester
An intriguing early 1990s Peter Alliss/Dave Thomas design that stretches across over 200 acres. It’s flat, easy-walking and drains superbly.
The pick of the holes is the 429-yard par 4 15th, which involves a drive over a lake.
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22. Rowlands Castle
Harry Colt design from 1902 on the edge of the South Downs National Park, north-east of Portsmouth.
23. Freshwater Bay
Isle of Wight course with wonderful views from its cliff-edge fairways.
24. Sanford Springs
Three loops here, we prefer the Park and Woods nines. Super resort course in great condition.
Formerly Dummer, it boasts one of the most picturesque par 3s over a shimmering lake in Hampshire.
26. Meon Valley
Hampshire’s only European PGA Tour destination, hotel on site, oak tree-lined course, with amazing scenery.
27. Weybrook Park
Designed by Sandy Burrell with Ken Moodie of Creative Golf Design on downland that drains well and is interspersed with four lakes.
Championship course with great drainage. Picturesque, wooded course with an amazing par 3 over a glistening pond.
Shorter course but still a good challenge for all golfers with some intricate holes that have to be respected.
Tight, tree-lined course less than 6000 yards, with intricate bunker placements, dog legs and cardiac hill designed to test the fittest golfer. A friendly club that tests your wits as well as your swing.
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