The bucket list
We all dream about the courses we would play if there were no road blocks such as impossible to get into exclusively private clubs, wait lists and money. So take all that away, here are our top 5 that we would go and play next week if we could...
1. Augusta National - Augusta, Georgia, USA
To play the course that hosts the Masters is by far the pinnacle for any golfer. The course has been changed often over the years to ensure it remains competitive for the tournament. It is also one of the most stunning courses in the world, which never hurts!
Can you get a game there? Unfortunately, unless you area a member of this extremely prestigious club, a member of the press (and also win a ballot), an employee or volunteer at the club or a very good up and coming local college golfer you are out of luck. This course is kept securely under lock and key for its members and the Masters.
PAR 72 | 6584 yards
2. Old Course St Andrews Links - St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Undoubtedly the grandfather of golf courses, St Andrews Links is over 600 years old and has been the blueprint for many modern course designs. Also the home of The Open, this traditional course is on the list for many competitive and social club players. The Royal and Ancient club itself is also one of the most traditional and conservative, only allowing women members as recently as 2014.
Can you get a game there? Yes, as long as you're willing to wait. The course is currently booked out until October 2017, so you can either plan well in advance and book as you would anywhere else or you can still enter the traditional ballot and take any tee time that becomes available. Provided you can actually get a tee time, the Old Course is relatively affordable, the green fee at peak season is 175 pounds.
PAR 72 | 6721 yards
3. Pine Valley - Pine Valley, New Jersey, USA
Pine Valley has been held in high regard for many years as a particularly challenging course and one that holds perhaps the highest number of world class holes in the one course. The greens on this course have often been considered to be amongst the finest in the world in terms of their complexity.
Can you get a game there? Not unless you can find a member of the club and twist their arm to take you as a guest or get our your wallet and make a very generous contribution to a charity that is allowed access to the course.
PAR 70 | 7057 yards
4. Pebble Beach Links - Monterey, California, USA
Possibly the best seaside course in the world and played by some of the best golfers in the world, host of the US Open Championship, Pebble Beach has been rated highly for many years. Pebble Beach was also the first public course to reach the Golf Digest highest ranked US courses in 2001.
Can you get a game there? Being a public course you can play there but it will cost you. Not only are the green fees high, but to play the links course you also have to stay two nights at the resort, so don't expect much change from $2000
PAR 72 | 6828 yards
5. Cape Kidnappers - Clifton, New Zealand
A baby in comparison to the other courses on our list, having been designed in 2004, but this relatively new course has also been hailed as one of the best in the world since its birth. Kidnappers features some of the deepest bunkers you could ever dream of, and all surrounded by even deeper drops into ravines either side of fairways and then cliffs that fall away dramatically to the ocean.
Can you get a game there? Yes, but be sure to reserve in advance and of course you will pay a premium to play there, green fees are $495 NZD in peak season.
PAR 71 | 7119 yards