Continental Europe

In strict geographical terms, Continental Europe excludes the Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus and the Balearics but we include all of these golfing hot spots in our Continental Europe grouping. For good measure, we also include a number of other islands: out in the Atlantic, we have the Azores and the Canaries, whilst up at the top of the world, we take in Iceland and Greenland. Turkey and Russia are sometimes listed within the Asian continent but we take the more conventional approach of including them in our mainland Europe ranking charts.

We cover more than a hundred courses in Central Europe, maintaining a Top 50 for Germany, a Top 20 for the Czech Republic, a Top 30 for Austria and a Top 10 for both Poland and Switzerland. With nearly one hundred and fifty layouts showcased from the Nordic region of Europe, we feature a Top 30 for Norway, a Top 30 for Finland and Denmark, and a Top 50 for Sweden. We also profile over two hundred courses in the Mediterranean region, where we support the following major ranking charts: an Italian Top 30, a French and Portuguese Top 40 and a Spanish Top 100.


The current Continental Europe Top 100 lists only the very best courses from the near five hundred that we promote in mainland Europe. Within the upper echelons of this chart, France rules supreme as four of its top tracks appear in the Top 10, led by the wonderful old Tom Simpson design of Morfontaine at number 1. Some might be surprised at the prominent positions held by Dutch courses – where a couple of Dutch links (Koninklijke Haagsche at number 2 and Utrecht de Pan at number 9) – occupy Top 10 spots; nonetheless, we think this largely undiscovered golfing nation might just be one of Europe’s best kept golfing secrets.

A recent R&A report entitled “Golf around the World 2015” identified an interesting new golfing trend in Europe, where new development appears to be based on short, compact public courses comprising of six, nine or twelve holes. Europe, with nearly three hundred 6-hole golf courses and twenty eight 12-hole courses in operation, had another sixty-six 9-hole courses under development at the end of 2014. To see the full report, click this R&A link then download the appropriate free publication.

Our Continental European Top 100 rankings were last updated in December 2015. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Continental Europe

Morfontaine (Grand Parcours)

1st Continental Europe Ranking

Morfontaine remains a monument to Tom Simpson’s original design, although Kyle Phillips has recently made some minor changes to the course.

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Koninklijke Haagsche

2nd Continental Europe Ranking

The similarity between this Dutch linksland and that of the British coastline is uncanny. Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & Country Club is an exacting layout which pitches and rolls across undulating land.

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PGA Catalunya (Stadium)

3rd Continental Europe Ranking

The Stadium course at the PGA Catalunya Resort is the culmination of more than a decade of planning and design by the European Tour. They wanted to build their own Players Championship course to rival the PGA's Sawgrass course.

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Les Bordes

4th Continental Europe Ranking

There's a slight American feel to the golf at Les Bordes, both in terms of design and conditioning, but there is no doubting that you are in France.

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Chantilly (Vineuil)

5th Continental Europe Ranking

According to the old Big Bopper song, "Chantilly Lace had a pretty face and a wiggle in her walk". Golf de Chantilly is far more than a pretty face; it’s one of Europe’s most glorious courses.

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Fontainebleau

6th Continental Europe Ranking

The Ile de France region has more golf courses than anywhere else in the country but they don't come much better than the delightful Golf de Fontainebleau.

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Real Sotogrande

7th Continental Europe Ranking

Sotogrande was designed by Robert Trent Jones. It was his first European course, and it is a credit that the par 72, 6,224-metre layout is still enthralling players...

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Real Valderrama

8th Continental Europe Ranking

Most golfers will be familiar with Valderrama from TV coverage. The golf club has hosted a plethora of championships, including the legendary 1997 Ryder Cup. In 2014 the club was granted Royal status.

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Utrecht de Pan

9th Continental Europe Ranking

Host to the Dutch Open on numerous occasions, Utrecht de Pan Golf Club is a strategic and exacting layout which requires thought rather than muscle, especially during the homeward nine.

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Monte Rei (North)

10th Continental Europe Ranking

Set in the picturesque foothills of the Eastern Algarve, with sweeping views of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.

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