Fairways to heaven: Golf's plushest public courses

Published 1343 GMT (2143 HKT) October 7, 2013
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Pitch up with your credit card and your clubs if you want to walk the fairways at these golf courses. Places like Old Head Golf Links in County Cork, Ireland have some of the most expensive green fees on the planet. But given its glorious setting, it's no wonder some golfers will happily stump up the €220 ($300) required to play the course next summer. David Cannon/Getty Images
Mission Hills Golf Club, Shenzhen, China: Mission Hills' massive golf complex boasts 12 courses with more planned. $HKD 10 billion ($1.3 billion) has been ploughed into the 20-square kilometer plot since it opened in 1994. A round at the Jack Nicklaus-designed World Cup Course will cost a cool 1920 Chinese Yuan ($310).
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The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Melbourne, Australia: The West course at the Royal Melbourne is widely rated as Australia's best. Designed by Augusta National co-architect Dr Alister Mackenzie in 1926, the club has hosted the Australian Open and more recently the Presidents Cup. Overseas visitors pay AUS$350 ($330). David Cannon/Getty Images
Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: Donald Trump's course opened to great fanfare in the summer of 2012 with the American tycoon hailing the 7,400-yard links on the northeast coast of Scotland as "the world's greatest golf course." Weekend green fees during the summer cost $215 ($345). Local residents can play for less.
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Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, New Zealand: Perched on the cliffs above the crystal clear waters of Matauri Bay, Kauri Cliffs is one of the most picturesque golf courses in the world. Six of the holes on the 7,119-yard, par 72 championship course run directly along the Pacific Ocean coast. The David Harman-designed links was ranked 19th in Golf Digest's "100 best courses outside the U.S." in 2012. Green fees for international visitors peak at $NZD 425 ($350). David Cannon/Getty Images
Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland: A jewel in the crown of the home of golf. Turnberry's Ailsa course is one of the world's great courses and famously played host to the "Duel in the Sun" between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at the 1977 British Open. Visitors wanting to play golf in the summer of 2014 will have to pay £250 ($400)
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Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain: Designed by American architect Robert Trent Jones, Valderrama is arguably the European continent's most famous golf club. The 6,990-yard course has hosted European Tour events and was the venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup -- the first time the biennial match between Europe and the U.S. was played on continental Europe. A weekend round currently costs €320 ($435). Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Pebble Beach Golf Links, California: Probably the most famous links course outside Scotland and No.1 in Golf Digest's list of greatest American public courses. Half of Pebble Beach's holes sit alongside the Pacific Ocean including the par-three 17th where Tom Watson famously chipped in on his way to winning the 1982 U.S. Open. The 543-yard par five 18th (pictured) is one of the greatest closing holes in all of golf. Harry How/Getty Images
Shadow Creek, Las Vegas, U.S.: Sitting amid the uniformly beige landscape of Las Vegas' northern suburbs is a giant rectangular spash of green. Laid out over 350 acres, Shadow Creek was designed by Tom Fazio and, at $500 per round, is probably the most expensive public course in the U.S. The 7,239-yard course, which hosts Michael Jordan's annual charity golf event, can only be played if you are staying at a MGM hotel. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
Wentworth, Virginia Water, Surrey, UK: In keeping with its uber-posh surroundings -- average house prices climbed to £1 million ($1.6 million) in Virginia Water earlier this year -- Wentworth's famous West course has one of the priciest green fees in the world with summer rates set at £360 ($580). The course has played host to numerous pro tournaments down the years including the World Matchplay Championship and Wentworth still hosts the European Tour's flagship event, the PGA Championship. David Cannon/Getty Images