10 of the best golf clubhouses.

I had a wonderful guest post from Mark Thompson, Golf Ambassador for Bobby Jones Golf who after playing several of the best courses in the world came up with his view on the best 10 golf clubhouses. Here they are with his commentary…

“After a long round out on the links, it’s always nice to just sit back, relax and absorb another day of golf with your playing partners. Nearly every golf course has its own clubhouse that offers a variety of social and recreational accommodations outside of golf, making them more than just a place to sit down and enjoy food and drink. While all clubhouses are great companions to an even greater golf course, here are some of the best golf clubhouses in the world in terms of their design, amenities, and history.

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The famous Augusta National Clubhouse.

1. Augusta National Golf Club: United States, Augusta Georgia

Perhaps the most famed course in the United States, Augusta National’s clubhouse is as iconic and beautiful as the course that it overlooks. The central part of the clubhouse is actually a plantation house constructed in 1854 that was then repurposed by course architect and famed golfer Bobby Jones to serve as the clubhouse in 1931. The three-story building is said to be the first concrete house constructed in the Southern United States, which has allowed it to stand the test of time. The clubhouse has since undergone several expansions to include the now iconic trophy room and Masters grill. Perhaps the most historically rich golf clubhouse in the country, Augusta National has been host to the Masters tournament since its inception in 1934. Countless golf legends have walked the halls of this beautiful country club and it is a place which any golf history buff should have on their bucket list.

Royal Birkdale, Southport England

2. Royal Birkdale Golf Club: England, Southport

One of the country clubs included in the Open Championship rotation, Royal Birkdale is often considered to be one of the best golf courses in England. Its clubhouse was constructed in 1935 and is one of the most distinctive in the world. Constructed in with an art-deco inspiration, the clubhouse at Royal Birkdale is as iconic as the historic course itself. Its floor-to-ceiling windows are often the first thing that people notice as they walk up to first tee and they are perhaps its most distinguishable design characteristic. The grand windows paired with the snow white exterior make Royal Birkdale’s clubhouse a true sight to behold.

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Stoke Park GC in all it’s glory.

3. Stoke Park Country Club: England, Buckinghamshire

Stoke Park Country Club, founded in 1908, is the first country club established in Britain. The epitome of tasteful luxury, the clubhouse is one of the most recognizable in the world due to its domed central tower and extravagant gardens. It is accompanied by one of the best golf courses in the country, one that hosted the first match play event in PGA Tour history in 1910 and holds the honor of being ranked one of the 100 Best Courses in England. The clubhouse and course are both featured in the 1964 James Bond classic, Goldfinger. It boasts the honor of being one of the best hotels and spas in the world, receiving a 5 star rating for its world class amenities as well as its championship level golf courses. If you’re looking for an English golf retreat in the near future, there is no better place to sit back and relax after a successful round on the course than the Stoke Park Country Club.

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Olympic Golf Course: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

4. Olympic Golf Course: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

The venue for golf’s return to the Olympics, the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro may be young but it is a true spectacle of modern golf design. The same can be said for its truly unique modern contemporary style clubhouse; it’s something you won’t see anywhere else in the golf world. Built all on one level, the clubhouse sits at the entrance of the course and immediately catches your attention. The entire clubhouse is designed around a central patio area which allows for an open and welcoming feeling as you’re going to the first tee or exiting the 18th green. The building resembles more so a California mansion than any typical clubhouse, yet it blends perfectly with the surrounding course and tropical rainforest. It is the perfect site to host golf’s return to the Olympic world as it embodies the Olympic organization’s commitment to innovation in the sports world.

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The Old Course – St. Andrews, Fife Scotland

5. The Old Course, St. Andrews: Scotland, Fife

Considered to be the birthplace of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews played host to its the first round of golf in the 15th century. More Open Championships have been played here than anywhere else since the first Open was played there in 1873. The clubhouse is nearly as spectacular as the course itself; its design pays homage to the course’s long history while also integrating more modern design features. The massive two story building boasts one of the best restaurants in Scotland, the Swilican, as well as a rooftop bar offering incredible panoramic views of the fabled links. Many of the famous photographs of the Old Course were taken from the roof of the clubhouse. It a truly a sight to behold for any avid golfer looking to experience golf where it all began and should be on the bucket list of any golf fanatic.

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Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea – New Songdo City, South Korea. Jack Nicklaus Golf

6. Jack Nicklaus Golf Club: South Korea

One of only 15 courses to be named to the 2015 annual list for Best Golf Clubhouse Architecture, the building is unlike anything else in the world of golf. Designed in modern contemporary fashion, the clubhouse features curved zinc roofs and all marble floors. Although the design is incredibly modern, it implements architectural staples of the Korean culture, most notably its patios that offer breathtaking 360 degree views of the ocean and surrounding nature preserve. Perhaps its most incredible design feature is the manner in which it presents its massive 50,000 square foot floor plan in a completely open fashion allowing connectivity between each room. The Jack Nicklaus designed course which first opened in 2010, is already ranked in the Top 100 Golf courses in the world and played host to the 2015 Presidents Cup. If you’re ever in South Korea, this is a must see spectacle of golf innovation.

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The King Kamehameha GC. Maui, Hawaii.

7.The King Kamehameha Golf Club: Hawaii

The only private golf club in the island of Maui, The King Kamehameka Golf Club offers world-class golf as well as a spectacular clubhouse. The massive 74,000 square foot complex serves as an exceptional hotel and a home-away-from-home. Its unique white dome ceilings can be spotted for miles off the coast of the island serving as beacons for a true golf paradise. Its inspirations are derived from the estate of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and are what prompted the design of its iconic white domes. It is not only a great golf clubhouse but visitors can also enjoy its elegant yet casual dining locations and outdoor terraces with expansive views of the ocean. The PGA Tour visits King Kamehameha each year for the annual Hyundai Classic as the tight 7,300 yard coastal course serves as a great challenge for even the greatest golfers in the world. The course is as unique and the beautiful as the clubhouse and both are worth the flight overseas to come see.

cd7991707e76c0874f87b2eabfdbc0d17a85a84c8. Stone Clubhouse at Golf Santa Ponsa Club: Mallorca

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The inside of the Clubhouse at Santa Ponsa

While many clubhouses wish to stand out on a golf course, the clubhouse at Golf Santa Ponsa Club aims to do the opposite. Its unique stone design is meant to resemble a rock sitting in the middle of the course. The building features a very angular monolithic form using local stone to create a homogenous look throughout. The floor to ceiling windows give a very open feel to the interior of the building making it welcoming to its visitors and creating the impression that the relatively small clubhouse is much larger. Santa Ponsa has three championship courses: its original, built in 1977, is visited often by the European PGA Tour for events such as the Spanish PGA Championship and many amateur tournaments. Two of the three are ranked in the Top 100 in the world and they are some of the best in Europe. The pairing of this eccentric clubhouse and world class courses make Santa Ponsa an ideal destination for any golfer.

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Guilin Merryland Golf Club – Guangxi Province

9. Guilin Golf Clubhouse: China

Maybe the most unique of all clubhouses in golf, the clubhouse has a curvaceous design drawing influences from the elements of light, wind, water, and mountain all in harmony with each other. The almost sci-fi looking building is one of the most ambitious and innovative buildings in the golf world. Complete with a rooftop pool and short game practice facility, the four story structure contains world class amenities as well as breathtaking views of the Chinese countryside. The course itself is breathtaking as well offering stunning mountain backdrops to its pristine greens and fairways. This incredible experience offered by Guilin Golf is worth the flight overseas considering it has some of the finest amenities in the world along with 5 star golf.

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Oijared Executive Country Club, Vastergotland, Sweden

10. Oijared Country Club: Sweden

This incredible clubhouse sits quietly submerged in the surrounding Swedish forest. It blends perfectly with the surrounding foliage and environment as it is built with the same spruces found in the adjoining forest. As simple as it looks from the exterior, it’s actually incredibly innovative and practical. Its walls slide to reveal its expansive windows and provide natural light to every room. Taking inspirations from Mother Nature herself, the building is also designed to be green friendly as it is completely powered by solar panels. The course that the clubhouse sits on is a long and challenging course with steep inclines and declines with tight and long fairways. It is a true treat and while it is challenging it is equally rewarding for players willing to take the big risk. The combination of the two is incredible and it is a great place to come stay for a few nights while enjoying some exceptional golf.

What do you think? Have we left out any obvious candidates? Let me have your choice.

Thanks Mark

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