These five stunning coastal courses are knocking on the door of our UK & Ireland Top 100

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5 Of The Best Lesser-Known Links Courses

Hayling (Main Image)

Considering our shorelines are enriched by most of the world’s best links, it seems odd England’s affluent south coast has very few.

One exception is Hayling, whose roots date back to 1883.

The greatest barrier to scoring well is the tough par 4s, especially the 6th, 12th, 15th and 17th.

Good views abound and there’s an impressive art-deco clubhouse, which opened in 2002.

GF: Round: £80 Day: £95

Archerfield – Dirleton


Founded 15 years ago, this is an upmarket club situated in an area of outstanding golf, with two excellent links courses.

The Fidra is slightly more of a hybrid as it also runs through pine trees, while the Dirleton is largely lined by impenetrable gorse with revetted bunkers and strategically placed ditches.

It’s tough to say which course is better as both are first class.

Membership experience: £200

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links

Since it opened in the mid-1990s, the resort has had its ups and downs, but both hotel and links are now healthier than ever.

It is a terrific place to play and makes for an interesting alternative to Portmarnock, its immediate neighbour.

The hotel is a great base for tours – there are golf-inclusive packages and residents enjoy a welcome discount on green fees.

GF: €100-€185

Related: Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links course review

Wallasey

Wallasey is not the Liverpool region’s most famous name, but this historic club can hold its head high in exalted company as it is a first-class links.

Originally designed by Old Tom Morris, it was later modified by Harold Hilton, the original editor of Golf Monthly, and James Braid.

This is where Frank Stableford devised his points scoring system and the par-72 course has hosted Open Qualifying.

It’s a very memorable place to play golf.

GF: Round: £95wd/£120we Day: £115wd

Conwy

This fine links changes direction as you leave almost every green.

It has hosted many major events and will welcome the 41st Curtis Cup next June.

It’s almost 7,000 yards from the tips and all the par 5s come between the 9th and the 14th.

The course enjoys a beautiful, peaceful setting and there are fine views throughout.

GF: Round: £55-£65 Day: £70-£80

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