Goodwood Golf Club Chichester, West Sussex
Goodwood's old course has long been notable for being among the best downland tests in Britain—those being the areas of open countryside found near the white chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel. For three hundred years, the downs near Goodwood were primarily known as the home of a famed thoroughbred racetrack. Golf, however, is clearly a new focus for the current owner, Lord March, who tasked architect Howard Swan to oversee a four-year renovation of the 1914 James Braid design. Some of Braid's subtleties have been masked by the renovation, but the elevated greens and side bunkering—especially at the beautiful par-three twelfth—still offer hints of his masterpiece at Gleneagles. In the summer months, the contrasting colors of the grasses and the clear blue coastal skies are something to behold.
Greens Fees: Play is open to members only, but you can join Goodwood for $252 plus $350 worth of "golf credits," which will give you five peak-time or ten off-peak rounds. Inquiries: 011-44/1243-755-144 or visit goodwood.co.uk.
Royal Ascot Golf Club Ascot, Berkshire
Like Goodwood, Royal Ascot Golf Club's association with racing stretches back many years. This Berkshire club was founded in 1887 and for more than a century was surrounded by the famous Royal Ascot Racecourse. No longer. The club has jumped the fence, as it were, and this year, as the old course reverts to heathland, a new one opens within the grounds of Windsor Forest. The 6,294-yard layout was designed by Jonathan Tucker of the Sports Turf Institute and cuts its way through a medieval deer forest. Greens are mostly flat, protected by shallow bunkering, but the main asset of the course is the serene beauty of its surroundings. Play is supposed to be strictly with a member, but with a polite letter (in advance) to the club secretary, a playing partner may be found.
Greens Fees: $44$52. Tee Times: 011-44/1344-625-175 or visit royalascotgolfclub.co.uk.
Bovey Castle Lodges North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park, Devon
Following on the coattails of the successful redesign of John Abercrombie's 1926 gem by Tom Mackenzie and Donald Steel, as well as the addition of a new spa, Bovey Castle has further increased its status as one of Britain's best luxury golf resorts with twenty-two new castle-style Bodmin granite lodges, set around the woods and lakes of the estate. Each lodge has three large bedrooms, a vast main living area and a dining roomkitchen. Oak beams and local stone dominate the triple-height living area, while soaring granite fireplaces stretch up to a wooden gallery. Two terraces also create great spaces for a sundowner or a summer breakfast overlooking the golf course and lake.
Lodge Rates: $3,055 per night or $17,107 per week. Call 011-44/1647-445-016 or visit boveycastle.com.
East Sussex National Hotel Resort & Spa Uckfield, East Sussex
The former Nicklaus Design architect Bob Cupp delivered two layouts at Uckfield that opened in 1989. East Sussex National quickly established itself as a serious championship venue, with its East Course hosting the European Open in 1993 and '94. There have been rumors of a large-scale hotel for a decade, and this month it finally arrives: 104 rooms (including twelve suites), all with views over the courses and the South Downs. Gatwick Airport is a half-hour drive away.
Rates: Rooms from $158$229; suites from $211$351. Call 011-44/1825-880-088 or visit eastsussexnational.co.uk.
Brown's Hotel Mayfair, London
Teddy Roosevelt stayed in 1886, Rudyard Kipling honeymooned and Agatha Christie based her novel At Bertram's Hotel on Brown's. Over the last two decades or so, the historic hotel had been slightly on the decline, but that changed when Rocco Forte bought the place in 2003 and gave it a $34-million makeover. The result is the return of real star quality: 117 sleek bedrooms, including fifteen lavishly smart suites. Best of all, Forte managed to create this stylishly modern comfort zone while retaining the atmosphere of the old Brown's. It's a genuinely beautiful hotel smack in the center of London. Speak to the concierges of a desire to play golf and they nod knowingly: They have good relations with the London Golf Service, who can arrange outings to the best London-area clubs.
Rates: Rooms from $515$1,039; suites from $1,336$2,401. Call 011-44/2074-936-020 or visit brownshotel.com.