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Best UK Golf Courses in Winter

Just because the cold days are here, it doesn’t mean you have to hang up your clubs until the spring. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy playing golf over the winter months in the UK, if you can’t get across to warmer shores!

27 November 2023 Words by David Jones 2 minute read Best UK Golf Courses in Winter

Table of Contents

  1. Choosing the Course
  2. When to Book and Play
  3. Some of the Best Value Winter Golf
  4. Keeping Warm

Choosing the Course

Pick your course with care - this bit is key. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Parkland courses are often a lot wetter than links courses in the winter. So, if you can, head to the coast. And the East is a lot drier than the West too.
  • Phone ahead to ask whether there are temporary tees or winter greens in play. For example, lots of courses on the East coast of Scotland never use winter greens, while most on the West do. It’s worth checking to avoid disappointment.
  • More and more courses are asking players to use mats this year. Again, if this is important to you, then phone ahead to check before you book.

When to Book and Play

  • Don’t book a golf course too far in advance. There’s nothing worse than having a tee time booked at a dream course just to find the weather is awful, but the course is still open! If you can, keep a date ringfenced and book it a day or two in advance. Most courses have availability close to the day in the winter.
  • Don’t book a tee time for first light, unless you are sure there is no frost. Frost delays are not uncommon, even at the coast, but courses often open up after an hour or two. If you book for around 10am, you may avoid a delayed start.

Best UK Golf Courses in Winter

Some of the Best Value Winter Golf

Green fees at the top courses are more expensive than ever. But you can play one of these top ones at a much-reduced price in the winter. You will also find it a lot easier to get tee times at this time of year -

  • St Andrews Old Course: Summer 2024 price £320. Winter price £150. Mats. No winter greens.
  • Muirfield: Summer price £340. Winter price £120. No mats or winter greens.
  • Turnberry: Summer £495. Winter £175. Mats. No winter greens.
  • Royal St George’s: Summer £330. Winter £125 - £165. Occasional mats. No winter greens.
  • Ganton: Summer £195. Winter £90. Phone to check whether using mats and winter greens.

Best UK Golf Courses in Winter

Keeping Warm

The other key to enjoying your winter golf is to make sure you keep warm. Technology in golf clothing has improved massively over recent years so you can stay warm and still be able to swing at the same time:

  • Layer, layer, and layer again. Start with a nice warm layer like the g.KELSO roll neck and work your way up from there. I normally do a base layer, shirt, jumper then a jacket. I recently completed a long charity walk on the east coast of Scotland in some brutal weather and this jacket (was just fantastic. It kept me dry and warm and was very easy to swing in on the course too.) Many opt a more contemporary golf look with a shirt, midlayer and gilet rather than the jumper.
  • Keep your hands warm! When you lose feeling in your hands, it’s hard to keep swinging well, so be sure to protect them well. I go for a three-prong strategy. On the clothing front, I recommend a warm pair of winter golf gloves (such as followed by some mitts. Then you can also buy a rechargeable portable hand warmer. They’ll set you back around £20 but are worth every penny and the Sunderland mitts has a little pocket in which they sit neatly.
  • A woolly hat is clearly a must, but add a neck warmer too. A game-changer!

We can get some beautiful winter days in Britain, when the sun is shining and the courses are quiet. I hope these tips will help you make the most of them and we look forward to seeing you on course, hopefully not freezing...