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FRIDAY, 18TH MARCH 2011
Our pick of the best Golf Courses in England

Golf Club Against Ball - flckr - kulickiScotland may well attest to having some of the most famous golf courses in the world; St. Andrews, Turnberry and Muirfield all having a tendency to overshadow the plethora of stunning grounds within England. But ever since James VI took up seat in London from Scotland in 1603; his subjects soon got into the swing of a sport, that has since made England the golfing centre of the world.

England's eclectic topography has a significant influence upon shaping, and refining the personality of her golf courses. St. George's in Kent is renowned for being particularly testing, due in part to the hilly landscapes and dune-like sands that have now become a fond characteristic of the grounds. Sunningdale's Old Course on the Berkshire/ Surrey border too presents challenging terrain marked by pine, oak and beech forested areas, but is also considered one of the most beautiful in England. Whether you inhabit a bustling city, or enjoy the pacifying breeze of a rural residence – you'll never be far away from a truly 'English' golf course, where the precedent for the par of excellence will most certainly up your game!

Sunningdale Old Course, Berkshire.
The gates to shady Sunningdale first opened in 1901, attracting an eclectic mix of both professionals and aristocrats from around the world, to a course whose hilly terrain made teeing off from elevations a fantastic challenge. Despite Sunningdale's extension, and opening of the 'New Course' in 1923, many still prefer the quirkiness of the 5th par four, and elevated 10th – both of which feature in the 'The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes' by George Peper.

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St. George's Hill, Weybridge, Surrey.
Not to be confused with Royal St. Georges in Kent; the charming layout of the St. George's Hill course includes three nines (Red, Blue and Green) over 27 holes, and a heathland landscape of gentle promontories and dips, that make for a lively game. With a par 70, comprising 6,513 yards, Harry Colt's landscaped masterpiece will most definitely inspire your stroke.

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Hopwood Park (Manchester Golf Club).
Characterised by gorges, gullies and a dividing brook, Harry Colt's Manchester course proves a testing game for even the more experienced golfer. The uphill drive to the sixth (453 yards) is considered one of it's toughest holes, yet the general uneven topography has a tendency to test anyone's mettle. If you fancy checking out some new kit, Brian Connor's 'House of Golf' is worth a stop-off.

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Royal Lytham and St. Annes, Lancashire.
Second only to Carnoustie in terms of challenge, St. Annes currently ranks among the top four golf courses in the whole of the U.K, and with good reason. The course has seen ten Open Championships during it's history, with England's own Tony Jacklin taking the honour in 1969. The links course bears a long 1st, at over 206 yards, while the final presents a par four at 414 yards, which may sound easy, until you realise there are fifteen bunkers between you and the finish line.

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Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) Golf Club, Merseyside.
The former host to ten Open Championships, it would be 39 years before Hoylake once again stole the show in 2006 with Tiger Woods' infamous victory. Unusually for a prestigious links/ inland course, Hoylake is one of the flattest, yet offers a testing 18-hole game due to the course's exposure to the elements. Holes nine through twelve are situated along the Merseyside stretch of coast, where the wind happens to be both brisk, and unpredictable, yet the 7,000 yard course remains much loved for it's traditional, and testing rounds.

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POSTED BY: PAUL
AT 13:18

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