You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but you can certainly judge a golf course by its clubhouse. Clubhouses are an essential part of golfing experience. They give you a place to suit up in the morning, kick back after the round with a beverage, and pass the time with friends.
While your local muni’s clubhouse may not have been built in 1854 and overlook St. Andrews, it doesn’t mean you can’t dream. Here’s a look at 10 of the most beautiful clubhouses in the world.
Jack Nicklaus Golf Club – New Songdo City, South Korea
Jack Nicklaus opened up his first South Korean course in 2010. While the track itself is spectacular, its the clubhouse that really stands out. Designed by an Iranian architect that goes by the name of Mehrdad Yazdani, the exterior is fitted with curved zinc roofs and Merbau wood that minimizes glare and heat gain. Inside features all marble floors, bead-blasted stainless-steel columns, and limestone wall panels. Nicklaus once said the clubhouse is “something very unique and very special.”
Loch Lomond Golf Club – Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Loch Lomond’s clubhouse is a beauty. Situated on a 660-acre lakeside estate that used to be home to a Highland Scottish clan, the Colquhouns. It’s built from pink and yellow sandstones, some of which were salvaged from the clan’s 18th-century mansion. It now contains artwork and furniture ever since it was turned into a golf course in 1994.
The Bridge – Bridgehampton, New York
Rees Jones may have designed a beautiful golf course, but the 40,000-square-foot glass-walled clubhouse may be even more spectacular. Constructed on the site of a former racetrack in 2010, this super-modern structure showcases blue-chip artists from around the world.
King Kamehameha Golf Club – Maui, Hawaii
The KKGC clubhouse is only two Frank Lloyd Wright designs on the Hawaiian Islands.This 74,778 square-foot structure features porthole windows and what folks in the industry call desert-rose skin. This design was actually intended for Authur Miller and Marilyn Monroe’s Connecticut home.
Medinah Country Club – Medinah, Illinois
The clubhouse at Medinah Country Club is one to marvel at. Built in 1926, the iconic redbrick and green-roofed structure, which was reportedly modeled after a Turkish mosque has played host to numerous PGA events, including the 2012 U.S. Open.
The Hills Golf Club – Arrowtown, New Zealand
Built in 2007 to host the New Zealand Open, the clubhouse at the Hills Golf Club located at the base of the Remarkables Mountains is built from 200 tons of meter-thick concrete and rocks sourced from local rivers. In fact, it was a finalist at the 2008 World Architecture Festival.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club – Southport, England
Royal Birkdale’s clubhouse was designed by George Tonge in 1935 and is supposed to resemble a ship. Made entirely of cinderblock, it has all the amenities you can ask for including a card room, smoke room, and billiard room. While it’s located in England’s Southport Dunes, one reported once said during the opening, “Standing on the promenade deck overlooking the Irish Sea it needs little imagination to feel that one is on a cruise.”
Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s Golf Club – Lancashire, England
The green-trimmed redbrick clubhouse of Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s Golf Club has been around since 1897. It was once referred to as “the former residence of Count Dracula.” It has billiard rooms, books, and a wide array of beers in the wood-paneled Club Room, just like any proper clubhouse should.
Stoke Park Country Club – Buckinghamshire, England
Stoke Park was Britain’s first country club and it’s no surprise the clubhouse is magnificent. Located on a nearly 1,000 year-old estate, the building remained a private residence until 1908 when the club was established. Even James Bond tees it up here in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
Old Course at St. Andrews – St. Andrews, Scotland
The mother of all clubhouses is the Royal & Ancient Clubhouse at St. Andrews. Originally built in 1854, it has undergone eight renovations over the years, which includes additional floors, wings, and the iconic bay windows that overlook golf’s most hallowed ground.