Golf media has undergone a revolution in the last few years. While newspapers have shed golf correspondents and magazine circulations dwindled, new channels have emerged for engaging an audience. Nothing epitomizes this more than the rise of No Laying Up. What started as a Twitter account and a blog has now become one of the most influential voices in golf. Players are happy to spend hours talking to them on podcasts, tournament organisers woo them to cover their events and the biggest corporates want them to promote their products.
They have achieved this success, not just with good quality ‘banter’ (shudder) but by having an intelligent, articulate and thoughtful outlook on the game, presented in an entertaining way. At the start, some of the traditional media treated them with some cynicism, but there is now a real respect for what they have achieved.
Their coverage of golf course architecture and golf holidays has been a real highlight in the last couple of years. Whether you like the YouTube series on their Australian trip, the write-ups of a trip to the north of England or the regular check-ins with the world’s best architects, there is plenty to get stuck into.
Anyway, enough love. I am delighted to say that one of the founders, Soly, has shared his ten favourite courses for this series. Soly is a 1 handicap golfer who in recent years has played many of the world’s best courses – sometimes alongside some of the world’s best players. Thanks a lot Chris for taking the time to do this and the fantastic work with No Laying Up!
ST ANDREWS - THE OLD COURSE
It's the most fun you can have on a course for so many reasons. Ignoring all of the history (somehow), it's the most enjoyable strategic exercise I've ever experienced in golf.
UK Golf Guy Review
Golf's ultimate paradise. The sum of its parts equals the best overall golf experience I've ever had. It's probably Doak's best work, and it's idyllic setting makes it feel like you're playing golf on the Truman Show.
No Laying Up Article, Planet Golf, Golf Club Atlas
As close to a perfect golf course as you can get. The course feels pretty remote, and once you get away from the clubhouse, you're shut off from the rest of the world. Pure turf, tremendous shot values, and everything you could want in a golf experience.
UK Golf Guy Review, top100golfcourses.com, telegraph.co.uk, Graylyn Loomis,
The back nine is as enjoyable as any nine holes of golf anywhere on the planet. 12-18 are near perfection, and it's a place you could play every single day and never get bored.
UK Golf Guy review, Scottish Golf History, Planet Golf
The best firm and fast experience I've had in the US. It may be viewed as Chicago Golf Club's little brother, but it's more fun, and it changed the way I view golf courses. Golf is so much more fun when the ball rolls, and besides links courses, I've never seen the ball roll like it did at Shoreacres.
Golf Club Atlas, Fried Egg
ROYAL COUNTY DOWN
So pure. So challenging. It breaks a ton of "rules" but that's what makes it special. Not only will you need every club in your bag, you might use them all before you make the turn.
UK Golf Guy Review, Golf Digest Feature
A masterpiece. The scale is tremendous, the run up areas are specially maintained to be firm to promote run-up approach shots. The bunkers are cut straight into the greens, and the course is brilliantly routed around one enormous ridge.
No Laying Up Tourist Sauce, Shackelford Golf Channel Analysis
PINEHURST NO 2
Probably my favorite course to play in the States. It's such a great test off the tee, yet it's not the end of the world when you miss fairways. Everything here comes down to your ability to hit the ball in the middle of the green, and the approach shots are as fun as you can get.
Golf Digest, YouTube Flyover
This is the course that probably belongs on this list the least, but it's my list and I don't give a damn. I've played it twice and I've walked off so curious as to why it doesn't rank higher. It's not too special of a design, but it's such a simple links, and impossible not to enjoy.
West Lancs, Youtube guide
Not the most heralded of the Bandon bunch, but it's always been my favorite. I can't seem to master it, and every time I try to pin my ears back and attack it, I get bitten. The reveal on the 4th hole and seeing it for the first time with my Dad is a golf memory that won't ever be washed away with time.
Graylyn Loomis, Plugged-in Golf, Golf Advisor
BONUS - WHISTLING ROCK
Not the most amazing golf course in the world, but the most insane golf experience I think I've had. $40 million dollar clubhouse, serene setting in the mountains in Korea, not a blade of grass out of place, and a really fun layout that uses the landscape brilliantly.
Whistling Rock, TGJ Podcast