A stay and play break offers the best of both worlds. There’s the chance to play a top course and afterwards unwind, be it with a beer, a good meal or a spa treatment, safe in the knowledge that you don’t have to get in the car and drive home. The next day you can then get up and do it all over again. And, whether it’s an enjoyable jaunt away with a group of pals or a bit of quality time with your other half or family, the UK & Ireland boasts a wide range of golfing breaks to suit every taste and budget.

It has been three years since our last rankings and since then there have been many new destinations opened and this is reflected with eight new entries. The rankings have been compiled by Golf Monthly staff with significant input from our band of well-travelled writers. Between them they have stayed and played at every one of the destinations listed and each of the reviews contains useful information and key details about each resort. The aim of the rankings is to supply you with ideas for your next golfing getaway. All you need to do is decide where to visit and who to go with!

Top 50 Stay & Play – The Criteria


GOLF COURSE – Quality of the layout’s(s’) test, design, condition, presentation, visual appeal, atmosphere as well as practice and clubhouse facilities.

QUALITY OF THE HOTEL – Standard of decor and furnishings throughout as well as the range and standard of dining and bars on offer to guests.

ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES – From swimming pools and gyms to off-course pursuits.

AMBIENCE – The welcome, service and resort’s general feel.

VALUE FOR MONEY – Does a stay represent good value for money? It should be noted, however, that we feel somewhere that is expensive can be considered good value if all the above criteria are met to an outstanding level.

1. Turnberry
2. Gleneagles
3. Doonbeg
4. The Grove
5. Carton House
6. Lough Erne
7. The K Club
8. Mount Juliet
9. Adare Manor
10. Celtic Manor
11. Bovey Castle
12. Old Course Hotel / Duke’s Course
13. Archerfield
14. Stoke Park
15. De Vere Slaley Hall
16. Marriott Hanbury Manor
17. Druids Glen
18. Fairmont St Andrews
19. De Vere Cameron House / The Carrick
20. The Belfry
21. Brocket Hall
22. Dromoland Castle
23. Rockliffe Hall
24. Marriott Forest of Arden
25. The Heritage
26. Foxhills
27. Goodwood
28. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
29. Macdonald Spey Valley
30. Fota Island
31. Manor House
32. Stapleford Park
33. Carnoustie
34. East Sussex National
35. Marriott Dalmahoy
36. Trevose
37. St Mellion
38. Rosapenna
39. Marriott St Pierre
40. Mar Hall
41. Close House
42. De Vere Carden
43. The Vale
44. The Roxburghe
45. De Vere Oulton Hall
46. Marriott Breadsall
47. Old Thorns
48. Forrest Pines
49. Formby Hall
50. The Oxfordshire