Golf Course Types of Britain & Ireland

The initial draw to the British Isles is no doubt pure, links golf. Four seasons in under four hours with a caddy you can’t understand is part of the mystique. Following a once in a lifetime round at The Old Course St Andrews and some fish and chips, where is one to play? Would you be surprised to hear you should head inland?! To help you understand why, we breakdown golf course types in the UK & Ireland.

Golf Course Type – Seaside

Links – Seaside sandy dune land formed by the wind which is often open and undulating. St Andrews, Lahinch, Aberdovey and Royal St Georges are examples. 

Golf Course Type – Inland

Travel inland and you are faced with a plethora of options. To dispel some of the myths, we present some of the more common course types across the UK & Ireland.


This is some of the most gorgeous, eye-catching golf you can imagine. Blooms of purple are clear evidence of the heath family of plants. The areas south and west of London are known for their heathland character. Sunningdale Old and New, Swinley Forest, St George’s Hill and West Sussex are examples. After links, this is perhaps the best type of golf course in the UK & Ireland.


Despite some debate, it is broadly held moorland is heathland at a higher elevation.


Derived from the Celtic word for hills, downland is usually free-draining, chalk-based, rolling terrain. In the south of England, you often come across hilly and varied terrain. Courses laid out on downland are Crowborough Beacon, Goodwood and Temple.


For most first time visitors to the UK & Ireland, links golf will be the main attraction. However, world-class golf is not limited to the coastlines. Now you know what makes for different golf course types in Britain and Ireland, why not start planning your next inland golf adventure?

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