Leading course architect Martin Ebert ‘builds’ his perfect English course
Leading course architect Martin Ebert is challenged with whittling down thousands of holes to ‘build’ his perfect English golf course.
Of the thousands of holes in England, which ones would you choose to compile your perfect course? That’s the task we set respected designer Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert, the firm trusted by the R&A to work on the courses that host The Open.
His selections cover all parts of the country and are located inland as well as by the coast – and interestingly they are nearly all on courses that have risen in this Top 100.
“There are a lot of par 3s on the front nine – but why not?” says Ebert. “They are all great holes and maybe the ideal 18 should have more par 3s included…”
1st Royal Cinque Ports PAR 4, 418 YARDS
Why I like it: If I cannot choose the 1st at St Andrews as it is in Scotland, it has to be the closest replica in England. 2nd Rye PAR 3, 180 YARDS Why I like it: A simple but superb par 3. Great green perched up. 3rd Ganton PAR 4, 349 YARDS Why I like it: This is a beautifully bunkered relatively short par 4. 4th Rye PAR 4, 440 YARDS Why I like it: Don’t miss the fairway left… or right. 5th Royal Worlington & Newmarket PAR 3, 155 YARDS Why I like it: Wonderful short hole to a green only eight yards wide. 6th Sunningdale (New) PAR 5, 485 YARDS
Why I like it: A lovely heathland sweep; relatively short for a par 5 yet not easy.
7th Rye PAR 3, 159 YARDS Why I like it: Another superb par 3 on a course that is full of them. 8th Royal West Norfolk PAR 5, 494 YARDS
Why I like it: Two leaps over the sea marsh; this is spectacularly good whether the tide is in or whether it is out. 9th Burnham & Berrow PAR 3, 169 YARDS Why I like it: It is wonderfully bunkered and a great green. 10th Royal North Devon PAR 4, 378 YARDS Why I like it: The most natural golf among the reeds. 11th Royal Liverpool PAR 3, 194 YARDS Why I like it: The Alps is all that needs to be said. 12th Swinley Forest PAR 4, 455 YARDS
Why I like it: A superb approach on one of the toughest holes on a magical course.
13th Royal Birkdale PAR 4, 433 YARDS
Why I like it: It offers fantastic views, especially from the tee used in The Open. 14th Royal St George’s PAR 5, 545 YARDS Why I like it: How brave will you be with the Out of Bounds? 15th Woking PAR 5, 507 YARDS
Why I like it: Gives me back-toback par 5s – but worth it for ‘Harley Street’ and a superb green. 16th Royal Cinque Ports PAR 4, 496 YARDS
Why I like it: A par 4… or is it a par 5? Such a great green and I think it should really be a par 5. 17th Royal Lytham and St Annes PAR 4, 467 YARDS Why I like it: Bobby Jones! 18th Rye PAR 4, 439 YARDS
Why I like it: So much President’s Putter drama on this bunkerless hole past the clubhouse.
Rye’s par-3 7th, one of four holes Ebert chose from the East Sussex layout. Out 2,849 yards, par 34, In 3,914 yards, par 37, Total 6,763 yards, par 71