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Let’s start with the halfway house which is possibly the most revered in England - Sunningdale.
The positioning of the hut is particularly of note. It is cleverly placed after the 10th hole on both the Old and New courses so is a busy place and a great spot to catch up with fellow golfers.
However, and I realise this may be a little controversial, I didn't share the general love for their sausage sandwich. People talk about this creation in hushed tomes and I was a little underwhelmed. Maybe I had one on an off day, but I didn’t think there was anything sensational about the two sausages slapped between white bread!
But Sunningdale still absolutely deserves its place on this list - thanks to the range of other products on offer, the warm welcome, and the magnificent view looking back down the 10th on the Old. A joy!
A sausage sandwich at Sunningdale's Halfway House
I’m not sure you’ll find a more spectacularly positioned halfway house anywhere in the world than on the Ailsa course at Turnberry.
When Donald Trump took over the resort, the run of holes 8 through 10 was completely revitalised. A new dramatic par 3 ninth hole was put in next to the famous lighthouse, with the tee shot for the new 10th hole tucked on the other side.
The lighthouse was converted to a halfway house on the ground level with a luxury hotel suite above. The redesign at Turnberry was a triumph - and the new refreshment stop was a genius move.
The only halfway house I can think of that gives Turnberry a run for its money for best location is the amazing boathouse at Ardfin.
Ardfin is one of the most exclusive courses in the UK, lying on the southern tip of the Isle of Jura - off the west coast of Scotland. You must stay at the resort to play the course and rooms start at £1,500 a night.
As you approach the 11th green, you see the pretty boathouse behind the green - with the neighbouring island of Islay just over the water. The story of this halfway house is quite something. A successful band from the 1980s, KLF, famously burned £1,000,000 in the fire here as a work of performance art.
The Halfway House at Ardfin - one of The UK's most exclusive courses
Given the number of great links courses in the UK, it is maybe surprising there aren’t more great links halfway houses. Maybe the ‘out and back’ nature of the courses means the logistics of installing a refreshment stop is sometimes difficult. But Royal Cinque Ports is a notable exception.
The hospitality at Deal is uniformly excellent. The clubhouse is a wonderful setting and having a pint and a sandwich out on the balcony is one of golf’s great joys. It is no surprise then that they do on-course refreshments well too.
The halfway house sits next to the ninth green and is particularly welcome as you turn back into the wind for the back nine. Bovril is an acquired taste, but the cup I had here was excellent.
Like Sunningdale, the halfway house at Gleneagles comes at the intersection of two courses - here it is the King’s and the Queen’s. There is a telephone on the tenth tee of each course where you can call in your order. Your food is waiting in the hut for you as you pause before taking on the respective eleventh holes.
The food is excellent (I particularly recommend the Scottish bridie - basically a puff pastry version of a pasty) and there is a good selection of beer and whisky too.
It’s a particularly fun stop on the Queen’s course as you have the short par 4 11th hole to come, a good birdie opportunity!
Inside the white bothy Halfway House at Nairn
I think I have saved the best till last.
Nairn is an excellent links course, just east of Inverness in the north of Scotland. As you play the ninth hole, your eye will go to the white bothy (a small crofting building) that sits behind the green.
A few years ago the club decided to convert the bothy to a halfway house and they’ve done a great job. You will find lovely fresh sandwiches, some fascinating memorabilia from the club and a dram of whisky waiting for you.
It’s a really welcoming place and the quaintness of the building just adds to the experience. Just make sure you stop after a couple of whiskies as the back nine here is quite a test!