Whilst we need no reminding how great golf is, sometimes playing the same course on a consistent basis can diminish the excitement that was once prevalent.

It’s not a reflection on the sport – okay, maybe our ability (!) – but experiencing the same afternoon countlessly can lead to boredom or worse yet – burn out.

Visiting other courses can help rejuvenate our passion for the game, in addition to providing us with once in a lifetime experiences.

The problem is, with so many exceptional resorts and courses available on our doorstep – let alone the wider world – it can prove difficult to determine which one to visit next.

Fortunately, the Golfshake Community have recently voted their favourite resorts throughout the world, and this article will focus on where to travel for an English golf trip.

The Belfry Hotel & Resort

Golfshake Rating: 4.40

One of the most iconic golfing destinations in England, The Belfry has previously hosted the Ryder Cup on four occasions – the most of any venue in the cup’s history.

The resort boasts three golf courses: The Brabazon, PGA National and The Derby. They all offer varying experiences of golf but if you’re looking to recreate the footsteps of golf’s finest figures, then The Brabazon should be played.

In 2013, The Belfry underwent refurbishment which totalled £26 million invested into the property as bedrooms, meeting rooms, public spaces and other amenities were greatly augmented as a result.

The venue was awarded ‘England’s Leading Golf Resort’ for 2004, 2011 and 2015 – in addition to being voted as the ‘World’s Best Golf Hotel’ at the 2019 World Golf Awards.

What elevates this destination as an ultimate stay & play are the accommodation options on offer, with The Belfry being able to accommodate party sizes ranging from two visitors to eight.

The on-site spa can offer an array of treatments, which also includes the new wellbeing experience that has been designed to relieve tension and promote a calming and peaceful state.

Survey Comment: “Both the tees and the greens were simply immaculate; the overall design of the golf course was incredible.”

Survey Comment: “The quality of the greens, tee boxes and the card-destroying rough is enough to ensure I return.”

Golfshake Survey Result

The Belfry scored highly in a number of categories, which isn’t all that surprising considering its year-round popularity. The facility ranked joint 1st for the Best Course 2021 (Brabazon) but that wasn’t their sole success. They were voted 2nd for Best UK Breakfast, 7th for Best Halfway Hut, 1st for Best UK 19th Hole and 2nd for Best UK Accommodation. If we were to briefly summarise, The Belfry continues to deliver from all angles.

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Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.70

Located in Warwickshire, Forest of Arden is responsible for elevating the county’s golfing prestige through two excellent and award-winning golf courses.

The two loops – Arden and Aylesford – were designed by Donald Steel, and the complex also boasts a golf academy.

The Arden course is the championship layout, and it has received global recognition thanks to its usage for an array of international tournaments, which includes the British Masters and the English Open.

The Aylesford, however, is a substantially shorter course – measuring at only 5,801 yards – but do not let this perceived lack of distance fool you, shot-makers will be duly rewarded.

Utilising its intricate design, accuracy is a premium as you contend with challenging water hazards and difficult greens.

From an accommodation perspective, the 4* hotel boasts impressive bedrooms that come equipped as fully furnished with all the amenities you desire for your trip.

There are 214 stylish and contemporary bedrooms available, each providing the quality you would expect from a Marriott establishment. 

Survey Comment: “The condition of the course was simply outstanding. Each hole makes you think rather than whip out your driver. The back nine, in particular, is beautiful.”

Survey Comment: “Beautiful surroundings and some very nice holes. Expertly maintained!”

Golfshake Survey Result

Forest of Arden continues to hone its reputation, and the progress that the facility is making is clearly evident, having ranked highly in three categories. They were voted 6th for Best Halfway Hut, 9th for Best UK Accommodation and 11th for Best UK Breakfast.

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St Mellion

St Mellion

Golfshake Rating: 4.60

St Mellion Golf Club is located deep into the Cornish countryside and it can proudly boast two outstanding golf courses.

Both loops of are championship quality and whether you tackle the Nicklaus Course or the Kernow Course, you are guaranteed a tremendous test of golf.

The Nicklaus Course opened in 1988 and it was the first European golf course that would be meticulously designed by the Golden Bear.

Several water hazards, elevated tees and the need for a sharp, golfing brain is synonymous with Nicklaus-designed courses, and that’s particularly true here too.

A special highlight is the stretch between the 10th and 13th holes, all exhibiting the vast and beautiful Cornish landscape.

The Kernow has long been regarded highly by visitors and members alike, but it was not until 2008 where this original 9-hole course expanded to complete 18 holes.

Holes from the original layout have been extended, which includes the first hole after its transformation saw it become one of the longest – and greatest – holes throughout the course.

In total, St Mellion has hosted 12 European events in its history.

In 2010, St Mellion Estate underwent a £20 million refurbishment, which helped it to become an exceptional golfing resort. 

There are 80 guest rooms available for booking and they all offer the perfect sanctuary after a testing afternoon on the course.

Each room comes equipped with high-speed internet, flat-screen TVs, storage, tea and coffee facilities and a safe.

The spa on-site is a superb facility for those looking to improve their wellbeing, and the complex has three swimming pools, studio, gym and a kids club.

Survey Comment: “The condition of the fairways and greens were incredible. Each hole is different and there is a collection of amazing par 3s.”

Survey Comment: “Stunning layout that is evidently beautifully maintained, the setting of the countryside only adds to this sensational feeling.”

Golfshake Survey Result

St Mellion can deliver on two of the most important aspects: golf and accommodation. The Nicklaus Course ranked 7th for Best Course 2021 and the venue also finished 5th for Best UK Accommodation.

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Slaley Hall

Slaley Hall

Golfshake Rating: 4.30

Deep into the Northumberland countryside lies Slaley Hall, a 4* luxurious golfing and spa hotel and retreat.

Both of the golf courses that reside on-site – The Huntsman and Priestman – offer two excellent tests of golf with all 36 holes in constant, pristine condition.

The venue has played host to eight European Tour and Senior Tour events, in addition to acting as host for the 2021 PGA EuroPro Tour Championship.

The Hunting Course is often referred to as the number one course at Slaley, and Dave Thomas produced a magnificent layout for golfers to get stuck into.

The greens are of USGA standard – so they’ll need to be negotiated with expertly – and generally, there aren’t too many wise places to miss.

The Priestman, on the other hand, is more open and therefore, scoring opportunities should present themselves more frequently.

The layout weaves across 280 acres of picturesque countryside, whilst vistas such as the Cheviot Hills in Scotland can be viewed from areas of the loop.

Make no mistake, however, as the undulating fairways, numerous lakes and intentional streams hold the potential to ruin any glorious afternoon in the sun.

The accommodation options are luxurious and spacious, with each room offering ample room for you and your luggage.

All of the rooms come equipped with an en-suite bath and shower, a radio, coffee and tea facilities, Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV.

There are a total of 135 bedrooms and six suites, which all have been effortlessly designed and reflective of the luxurious stay you’ll be experiencing.

The spa offers a collection of treatments and it can be the ideal way to recover from yesterday’s round of golf.

A jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and heated leisure pool are all located in the hotel’s spa.

Survey Comment: “Slaley Hall has two incredible golf courses and both were in immaculate condition when I visited.”

Survey Comment: “Both courses at Slaley are well prepared and have a challenge for all standard of golfers. You have to plot your way around the Hunting Course whilst the Priestman has trouble of its own.”

Golfshake Survey Result

Slaley Hall is a classy establishment and there were two categories that boded well for them. Firstly, they finished 11th for Best UK Accommodation, but they can also provide an excellent location for the must deserved 19th hole – finishing 8th for Best UK 19th Hole.

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Prince’s Golf Club

Prince's Golf Club

Golfshake Rating: 4.70

Prince’s Golf Club is one of three legendary links courses in the region of Kent, with the others being Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George’s – all three have hosted The Open Championship.

Gene Sarazen won his only Open Championship at Prince’s in 1932, before becoming the first golfer to win the ‘Grand Slam’.

The facility is made up of three loops of nine, with visiting golfers being able to choose their desired route.

They are called The Shore, The Dunes and The Himalayas, and it is the latter two that typically make up the ‘championship’ experience.

The Shore is a par-36, 3,448-yard nine-hole loop and its routing initially follows the shoreline to the south.

The 5th hole, which previously played as the 18th during The Open Championship, is where Sarazen captured golf’s oldest title.

The Dunes is a par-36 and measures 3,432 yards and will take the golfer anticlockwise, with the first five out to the south – to the boundary of Royal St George’s – and the final four coming homeward.

The Himalayas, with a par of 36 and measuring 3,201 yards, is a firm favourite for members and thanks to heavy renovation, this collection of nine holes has been enhanced by Mackenzie & Ebert.

The new holes were unveiled in 2018 and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The longest par-5 of the three loops is present here too, the 580-yard 6th.

Also, keep an eye out for the double green that the 4th and 8th holes share.

The Lodge at Prince’s Golf Club is located in the centre of Sandwich Bay and the four types of accommodation all exude quality and luxury.

Having only opened in July 2011, The Apartments are modern and enhance any trip – whether that be for golf or a simple getaway.

The Apartments come equipped with two en-suite bedrooms, a generous lounge area with a TV, free Wi-Fi and tea making facilities.

The Lodge, which previously operated as the Old Clubhouse, opened in 2012 and offers further accommodation, with facilities such as a restaurant, snooker table, bar and terrace – which are all available for visitor usage.

If you’re looking for the first-class experience, then the Links or Bay Suites are awaiting to enrich any stay.

Due to the complex’s size and popularity, there are several restaurants located on-site, with The Bay serving fresh food that has been locally sourced.

After your meal, why not head to the Lodge Lounge & Terrace, where the perfect environment has been crafted to enjoy those after-hours drinks.

Alternatively, the second floor homes the Prince’s Suite, which showcases the beautiful surroundings that encapsulates this estate with stunning views across Sandwich Bay.

Although there is not a dedicated spa or gym affiliated with the premises, guests can request usage of the gym or sauna/steam facilities that are located at the Baypoint Sports Club.

Survey Comment: “The quality of the course was incredible. The conditioning was great although it was not easy at all!”

Survey Comment: “I don’t play links golf that often but what a good test of golf Prince’s is.”

Golfshake Survey Result

Prince’s Golf Club is steeped in rich history and considering it’s formerly operated as an Open venue, it’s rightfully on a lot of golfers’ bucket list. The course ranked within the top 40 for Best Course 2021 but elevated to 8th for Best UK Breakfast. They broke the top 50 for Best UK 19th Hole but their recently unveiled lodges have clearly impressed visitors, as Prince’s Golf Club was voted as the 6th best UK Accommodation across the last year.

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The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club

The Nottinghamshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.30

The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club is the only resort that is located in Nottinghamshire, and its beautiful countryside residence augments the experience.

Located only six miles from Nottingham City Centre, the premises comprise of 340 acres and it is a majestic golfing haven.

There are two excellent golf courses on-site, Signature and Championship, and both offer a tremendous test of golf.

The Signature is absolutely superb, with the entire design of the course enticing yet challenging.

Undulating fairways dominate the front nine, which is bolstered by the serene environment, but it is the back nine that can offer the most beauty.

As you progress through the round and venture deeper into the vast countryside, keep an eye out for wildlife that roam the venue’s greenery.

A particular highlight is the Par-3 136-yard 16th hole, which requires a short carry over water to a wide green.

Whilst the Signature may be the superior of the two, due to a hefty redesign that took place in 1997, the Championship Course started to mirror its sibling in quality.

Both loops are kept in superb condition, and the Championship layout will task you with keeping your ball dry – as there are plenty of water hazards patiently awaiting minor mistakes.

Rather peculiarly, the first hole is the signature hole of the Championship Course, which was reduced from a par-5 to a 4 after renovation took place in 2017.

It is now a mightily long hole that can pose difficulty; nothing but the golfer’s absolute best will be enough to start with a respectable par.

In 2016, The Nottinghamshire enhanced its accommodation options by adding a further nine rooms to its already impressive collection of bedrooms.

Every room has been given thoughtful consideration and they have been decorated to induce peacefulness.

The main eatery located on-site, The Lakeview restaurant, offers a full menu with a blend of traditional dishes and British fayre.

The bar is also healthily stocked, and the clubhouse exudes an excellent and welcoming atmosphere.

Considering its close proximity to the centre of Nottingham, there aren’t many British resorts that can offer the tranquillity of the countryside whilst simultaneously being situated so near to a bustling city centre.

Golfshake Survey Result

The Nottinghamshire was voted 47th for Best Halfway Hut and 27th for Best UK Accommodation. Although these two rankings may be inferior to the previous entries, this facility can still offer fantastic experiences.

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England can provide an exceptional experience of golf, and with so many excellent resorts and facilities available, the choice is healthy.

Maybe you want to visit the bustling Belfry. Perhaps you may want to relieve yourself of the busyness of normal life and head deep into the Northumberland countryside where the beautiful and stunning Slaley Hall estate lies.

Alternatively, Kent is an excellent option for summer golf as its idyllic coastline can also be generated into a beach-themed holiday.

Due to the varying climate found across the country, there’s always somewhere to play golf in England – why not try to visit them all? 

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original article can be found here