THERE ARE FEW people on this planet who can stake a claim to being an expert on what makes a top-quality golf course. Masters champion and former world number one golfer Adam Scott is one of them.
During a recent catch-up with Men’s Health, we asked Scott to name his favourite course. A straightforward question, but a difficult one he “gets asked a lot”. Considering he’s spent more than two decades travelling the globe and playing golf on some of the world’s most coveted grounds, narrowing down the best of the bunch is not an easy undertaking. “I have so many favourite courses it’s hard to pick only one,” Scott says.
Nevertheless, Scott was able to whittle down the contenders into three bona fide institutions spread across different corners of the globe. These are his picks for the world’s best golf courses.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Green Fee: $700 per round
Nestled in the famous Melbourne Sandbelt region, Kingston Heath Golf Club stands as a paragon of golfing excellence and natural beauty. Established in 1909, this venerable course has earned its reputation as one of Australia’s best championship layouts. Renowned for its strategic design and challenging bunkering, Kingston Heath has played host to numerous prized events, including the Australian Open and the 2016 World Cup of Golf. As Scott says, “it’s brilliant and always enjoyable.”
The course, meticulously sculpted by architect Dan Soutar with creative guidance from the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie, weaves seamlessly through undulating terrain, demanding precision and analytical shot-making from players. Its world-class fairways are bordered by a tapestry of native vegetation, providing a scenic backdrop. A testament to the rich history of Australian golf, Kingston Heath is an ideal bucket-list addition for both seasoned professionals and hobbyists.
Location: Pebble Beach, California, USA
Green Fee: N/A, private course for members only
Cypress Point Club, situated along the rugged coastline of California’s Monterey Peninsula, is one of the most revered and exclusive golf courses in the world. Another course designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie, this time with primary creative control, Cypress Point opened in 1928 and is a masterclass in the art of blending natural beauty with a refined course design.
Cypress Point is renowned for its breath-taking ocean views, which surround the course, and iconic landmarks like the 16th hole, which requires a nerve-wracking tee shot over the crashing waves of the Pacific. Cypress Point has played host to many historic moments in golf, attracting a select group of players privileged enough to tee off on its hallowed grounds. Accessible only to members and their guests, Cypress Point remains a symbol of exclusivity and golfing excellence, captivating all who are fortunate enough to step onto its storied fairways. Scott is one of the select few lucky enough to have graced the green, an experience he remains thankful for. “Not everyone gets to play there, I’m just glad I did,” he says.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Green Fee: $640 per round
As Scott says, Scotland is quite simply “the home of golf.” So he would be remiss if he didn’t include a premier course from the nation among his favourites. Muirfield has been a bastion of championship golf since its establishment in 1891. The course, which has hosted numerous prestigious events, including The Open Championship on 16 occasions, is characterised by its rippling fairways, intriguingly placed bunkers, and challenging greens.
Scott only played in The Open Championship twice at Muirfield, with his best outing at the course occurring just over three months after he won The Masters in 2013, when he finished equal third. Despite his comparatively limited exposure to the links, his experiences there have been memorable. “I was really just riding that winning high all through 2013, so I had a great time at Muirfield.”
Men’s Health’s pick: Cape Wickham
Location: King Island, Tasmania, Australia
Green Fee: $225
While Scott kept his choices limited to courses in different corners of the globe, we’re throwing another hat into the ring, one that’s slightly closer to home for most Australians. Located on the remote, secluded and utterly awe-inspiring King Island off the coast of Tasmania, Cape Wickham is evidence of what happens when natural beauty meets golfing excellence.
This links-style course uses the island’s scenic coastline to its advantage, offering players unparalleled views of the Southern Ocean. A relative newcomer, Cape Wickham only opened in 2015 but has quickly gained international acclaim for its challenging layout, stunning vistas and backdrop of dramatic coastal cliffs. Cape Wickham provides a true test of skill for golfers of all levels, and it’s slightly more accessible to the average person than most of Scott’s picks.