I've already written about the 10 greatest lighthouses in golf.
Now let's shed the spotlight on some lesser known courses (and a few famous ones, too) with dramatic views of other lighthouses.
I’ve scoured the globe for more lighthouses, some right on property of the course and some visible from a short distance away. Surprisingly, no lighthouses were found at the Links at Lighthouse Sound in Maryland, the Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria or at the Lighthouse Country Club in Texas. Those names are misleading.
There are plenty of others, however, especially on the links and cliff-top courses of Scotland and Ireland. Truth be told, there could be more. I couldn't find any in South America or Portugal or mainland Spain and only one in Asia. If you know one, send us another pretty picture. We'd love to share it. Here's a whirlwind world tour:
LINKS AND LIGHTHOUSES IN THE BRITISH ISLES
Fraserburgh Golf Club, Fraserburgh, Scotland
Lighthouse: The 16th-century Kinnaird Castle was converted into Scotland’s first lighthouse, Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, in 1787. Its original light looking into the North Sea is part of the onsite Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.
Course: The Corbie Hill course at Fraserburgh, the seventh oldest golf club in the world, climbs to reveal a glorious view of the town and lighthouse on the Moray Firth from the second green.
County Sligo Golf Club, Rosses Point, Ireland
Lighthouse: The 12th hole is called “Lighthouse” for a reason. The 82-foot Blackrock Sligo lighthouse, dating to 1835, sits in the bay behind the green.
Course: Irish architect-golf writer Pat Ruddy recently tweaked County Sligo, a links by Harry Colt. As the second hole climbs up a huge ridge to the green and third tee, golfers can see five Irish counties, the Atlantic Ocean and the massive Benbulben Mountain, the tabletop rock that inspired poet W.B. Yeats.
Dunbar Golf Club, East Lothian, Scotland
Lighthouse: Climbing a ridge to the ninth fairway reveals the 121-foot-tall Barns Ness Lighthouse, first illuminated in 1901 but shut down in 2005.
Course: Once players walk through an ancient stone wall to the fourth tee, the 6,597-yard, par-71 links reveals a set of beautiful holes on the Firth of Forth. Dunbar, founded in 1856, has ties to Old Tom Morris, Ben Sayers and James Braid.
Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland
Lighthouse: Several seaside holes on the back nine offer views across the Moray Firth of the 43-foot-tall Chanonry Lighthouse, first lit in 1846 and now entirely automated. It is a popular spot for watching bottlenose dolphins.
Course: Castle Stuart, co-designed by Gil Hanse and developer Mark Parsinen, has hosted three Scottish Opens, including in 2013 when Phil Mickelson won prior to his Open Championship victory lap at Muirfield. The first three holes of each nine roam along the shores of the firth before the layout reaches higher ground for more panoramic scenery. Likewise, each loop climaxes on opposite sides of the unique Art Deco clubhouse.
North Foreland Golf Club, Kent, England
Lighthouse: The current 85-foot-tall North Foreland lighthouse near Kingsgate Castle was first lit in 1691.
Course: Established in 1903 on the east coast of Kent, the 6,182-yard ‘Main’ course is complemented by the “Northcliffe’ course, a par-54 short course. North Foreland has an elevated location above the county’s iconic White Cliffs that ensures stunning panoramas of the English Channel and east Kent countryside from every hole. It is a Final Open Qualifying Course when The Open Championship comes to nearby Royal St. George's Golf Club .
Greencastle Golf Club, Count Donegal, Ireland
Lighthouse: The 30-foot-tall Warren Point Light, dating to 1861, is located directly behind the 12th green on the Lough Foyle.
Course: The members-owned links on the Inishowen peninsula near the more famous 36-hole Ballyliffin Golf Club was founded in 1892 as a nine-hole course and during its centenary year opened another nine, stretching to a par 69 of 5,788 yards. Anybody who hits a shot from the beach along the 12th hole is essentially playing golf from the United Kingdom, according to Joe McCafferty, the honorable secretary of Greencastle. Talk about an unlikely up and down!
Ardglass Golf Club, Ardglass, Northern Ireland
Lighthouse: The height of the yellow-and-black-striped St. John's Lighthouse, the tallest onshore lighthouse on the Irish coast at 128 feet tall, allows it to be seen from the 12th tee at Ardglass roughly three miles away. It was lit in 1844. The former lightkeeper's cottages can be rented for a minimum three-night stay.
Course: Ardglass is short, playing less than 6,300 yards, but it's endlessly scenic and interesting, dancing upon the cliff-tops and jagged black rocks along the Irish Sea. A (supposedly) haunted clubhouse is the oldest in the world, fashioned from a 13th-century castle. Course enhancements are ongoing in 2017.
Wicklow Golf Club, County Wicklow, Ireland
Lighthouse: The Wicklow Head Lighthouse sits in the distance several miles behind the first green. The first lighthouse was built on the headland in 1781, but the current stone octagonal tower was first lit in 1818. It can be rented out as a B& B, featuring 109 steps to reach the kitchen.
Course: Nine holes of Wicklow opened in 1902 before the duo of Tom Craddock and Pat Ruddy created a spectacular stretch of cliff-top holes on the newer back nine, stretching the par-71 layout to 6,035 yards.
GoldCoast Golf Club, County Waterford, Ireland
Lighthouse: The active 44-foot Ballinacourty Point Lighthouse, dating to 1858, is located near the seventh and ninth greens.
Course: The 6,788-yard parkland course of GoldCoast Golf Club delivers unrivaled views of Dungarvan Bay, the Irish Sea and Helvick Head. Mature tree-lined fairways laid out in 1939 cleverly mingle with the long and challenging newer holes.
ONE COURSE, TWO LIGHTHOUSES
Quivira, Los Cabos, Mexico
Lighthouse: El Faro Viejo, “The Old Lighthouse”, dates to 1905 and is the oldest structure in Cabo. It has been restored somewhat since Quivira opened in 2014. Golfers drive by it on their way to the seventh tee. A newer lighthouse (pictured below) started operating in 1959 atop a dune above the 14th hole.
Course: Quivira, a Jack Nicklaus stunner, serves up eye candy galore with holes that ride upon seaside cliffs, through desert terrain and over magnificent sand dunes. Comfort stations serve fresh-made food and drinks.
Flamborough Head Golf Club, East Riding Of Yorkshire, England
Lighthouse: Pictured above, the oldest surviving lighthouse in England, built in 1674, stands within the course at the back of the fourth green near the fifth tee. Made of chalk, it was never lit. The current 87-foot-tall Flamborough Head Lighthouse, also visible from the links, was lit in 1806.
Course: Founded in 1931, Flamborough, a 6,244-yard par-71 layout, is an 18 hole cliff-top links that has been carefully molded upon the famous headland on the North Sea that gives the club its name.
NINE HOLES (or less) AND A LIGHTHOUSE
Highland Links Golf Course, North Truro, Massachusetts
Lighthouse: The Highland Light, also known as Cape Cod Light, was Cape Cod’s first lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington and established in 1797. After two previous versions, the present 66-foot-tall brick tower, keeper's house and generator shed was built in 1857 and moved away from an eroding rocky cliff in 1996. Tours are available as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, a national park.
Course: Highland Links, a scruffy nine-holer, lacks length (at 2,665 yards) and clubhouse amenities (in a tiny shack), but its personality and charm fill the void. The layout dates to 1892 and might be one of the more authentic links on the eastern seaboard.
Fair Isle’s Lighthouse Keeper’s Golf Course, Fair Isle, Scotland
Lighthouse: The 85-foot-tall South Light on Fair Isle was designed by David A. and Charles Stevenson (cousin of author Robert Louis Stevenson) and entered into service in 1892. It became the last lighthouse in Scotland to be automated in 1998. The lighthouse keeper’s former home is now a B& B.
Course: It is billed as Scotland’s most remote golf course. The six-hole layout is still mostly maintained by Mother Nature and sheep. Tommy Hyndman owns and operates the course, asking £5 to play the loop three times for a full 18 holes.
Parrsboro Golf Club, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada
Lighthouse: The Parrsboro Lighthouse, visible across the bay, was first lit in 1852, although the current tower was constructed in 1980.
Course: Parrsboro, a short 2,393-yard nine-holer, sits atop the cliffs above the Bay of Fundy's Minas Basin. It is touted as one of Canada's most scenic courses.
Palm Beach Golf Club, New South Wales, Australia
Lighthouse: The 66-foot-tall Barrenjoey Lighthouse, built in 1881, stands at Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach on Sydney's northern beaches in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Course: The nine-hole Palm Beach Golf Club was founded in 1924.
Metropolitan Golf Club, Cape Town, South Africa
Lighthouse: The 52-foot-tall Green Point Lighthouse dates to 1824.
Course: Introduced in 1895, the nine-hole Metropolitan Golf Club sits in the shadow of the impressive Cape Town Stadium with views of the lighthouse on the par-5 third hole, along with the imposing Table Mountain and offshore to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held captive. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton played the course during a 2010 visit.
Shoop Park Golf Course, Racine, Wisconsin
Lighthouse: The 108-foot-tall Wind Point Lighthouse, situated at the northern end of the course, is on the National Register of Historic Places and was first lit in 1880.
Course: The par-5 second hole is the highlight of the nine holes on Shoop Park, a 2,624-yard, city-owned municipal course, making a dogleg right along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Simon’s Town Country Club, Cape Town, South Africa
Lighthouse: The 46-foot-tall Roman Rock Lighthouse, first lit in 1861, is the only lighthouse near South Africa built on a single offshore rock. It is located about one mile out in False Bay.
Course: Simon's Town CC, a nine-hole course on the Cape Peninsula, consists of 12 tee boxes and 10 greens, creating a unique routing of roughly 4,500 yards with views of Hottentots Holland mountain range framing the bay. The club is near the famous Boulders Beach Penguin Colony on the way to Cape Point.
PRIVATE CLUB LIGHTHOUSES
Victoria Golf Club, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Lighthouse: The 43-foot-tall Trial Island Lighthouse, built in 1906, is still staffed by two lightkeepers.
Course: The private Victoria Golf Club features Canada’s oldest golf course in its original location with 14 holes dating back to 1893. Five holes along the Strait of Juan de Fuca provide a memorable, linksy feel on the Pacific Ocean. While Victoria is private, there are plenty of other places to play along the Vancouver Island Golf Trail.
La Hacienda Golf Course, Simcoe Island, Ontario, Canada
Lighthouse: The 40-foot-tall Nine Mile Point Lighthouse, built in 1833 on Simcoe Island in Lake Ontario, is one of the oldest continually operating lighthouses in the Western Hemisphere.
Course: Built in the 1990s, this private club with only 12 holes (six par 3s, 5 par 4s and 1 par 5) tries to remain a secretive place off the radar. According to a source, there is only one member and three holes are lighted for night play. "It is the ultimate course for golfers that like to have fun," he noted.
Golf Club Sylt, Sylt, Germany
Lighthouse: The 130-foot Kampen Lighthouse was first lit in 1856.
Course: The first hole of the Golf Club Sylt plays directly toward the lighthouse. The island, nicknamed the “Queen of the North Sea", sits off the northern coast of Germany and is part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park. It is known for its beaches and health-and-wellness resorts.
Fuji course at Kawana Resort, Izu Peninsula, Japan
Lighthouse: The 177-foot-tall Kawana Saki lighthouse, which dates to 1957, has a triangular, skeletal design that looks like a golf tee.
Course: The popular seaside course, one of two at the resort, is a fabulous Charles Alison design set upon a dramatic promontory, featuring stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
Tierra del Sol Golf Course, Aruba
Lighthouse: The historic 98-foot-tall California Lighthouse, built in 1916 and restored for its 100th anniversary in 2016, towers over the Robert Trent Jones II course. It is named after the steamship that wrecked nearby in 1891.
Course: Situated on the scenic northwest point of Aruba, Tierra del Sol is the only 18-hole championship golf course on the island. It delivers windy oceanfront golf with a desert feel.
West Bank Golf Course and Country Club, East London, South Africa
Lighthouse: The 62-foot-tall Hood Point Lighthouse sits in the middle of the course in the Eastern Cape province. In 1895, it was the second navigational aid erected near East London, often referred to as the ‘Port of Wrecks’ since this coast has seen more than 85 wrecks.
Course: West Bank, a 6,327-yard, par-71 layout right on the Indian Ocean, celebrated its centenary in 2007. The lighthouse's proximity to such a good course made it a popular assignment for early lightkeepers.
Etretat Golf Club, Normandy, France
Lighthouse: The 125-foot-tall Cap-D'Antifer Lighthouse, built in 1955 a little more than a mile from the course, is best seen from the fourth hole. The original 85-foot-tall lighthouse was destroyed by retreating German forces during World War II.
Course: Golf has been played at Etretat Golf Club since 1908, but the club's facilities and course were badly damaged during the war. After a major renovation in 1992, the course has become a holiday getaway with five holes that play near the dramatic cliffs of the Normandy coast.
Club de Golf Alcanada, Mallorca, Spain
Lighthouse: The 49-foot Alcanada Lighthouse, built on its own small island in 1861, is visible from most holes, but best from the par 5 on no. 13.
Course: Named after the nearby lighthouse, Alcanada, a 7,107-yard course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., blends beautifully into the landscape of Mallorca Island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Hartlen Point Forces Golf Club, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Lighthouse: The 39-foot-tall Devils Island Lighthouse was first lit in 1852 and then succeeded by a second wooden lighthouse in 1877 that survives today.
Course: Each nine of this military course on the Halifax Harbour provides a different experience on this 6,399-yard links-style layout. The much longer front side, a par 37, winds through a forest. The par-34 back nine of Hartlen Point is more open.
The Jewel Golf Club, Mackinac Island, Michigan
Lighthouse: The 41-foot-tall Round Island Passage Light, built in 1948, sits in the Straits of Mackinac between Mackinac Island and Round Island. It is visible from a distance on the par-3 seventh hole.
Course: It's quite a unique experience playing The Jewel. The front nine – which dates to 1901 but was redesigned by Jerry Matthews in 1987 - sits in the shadow one of Michigan’s most iconic hotels, The Grand. Golfers then ride a horse-and-carriage inland to a secluded back nine in the woods added by Matthews in 1994.
Milnerton Golf Club, Cape Town, South Africa
Lighthouse: The 69-foot-tall Milnerton Lighthouse is the only nautical guard within meters of a golf course in South Africa, standing above the 18th hole near the clubhouse. More than 150 ships have wrecked on these shores, which resulted in the construction of this lighthouse in 1960.
Course: Milnerton, a 6,672-yard links-type layout, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Rietvlei lagoon to the east with stirring views of Table Mountain the entire round. In 1995, the course underwent a major facelift as a result of the development of the Milnerton Links housing estate.
The Algonquin Resort, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada
Lighthouse: The 43-foot-tall Pendlebury Lighthouse, also called the St. Andrews Lighthouse, was built on St. Andrews Harbour in 1833. It is most visible from the 13th hole.
Course: The historic course at The Algonquin Resort on Passamaquoddy Bay is getting a restoration from Rod Whitman that debuted this summer. It has roots to Donald Ross, but it was Canadian Thomas McBroom who first modernized the 7,000-yard routing in 2000.
COURSES WITH NON-TRADITIONAL LIGHTHOUSES
Fox Harb’r Resort, Wallace, Nova Scotia, Canada
Lighthouse: The 55-foot-tall Lighthouse at the Quay, built in 2000 for decoration but not as an active beacon for the 25-slip Fox Harb’r Marina, is best seen on the par-4 14th hole.
Course: The Graham Cooke course at Fox Harb'r hosted the 2009 Nike Golf Invitational, where Tiger Woods and Charles Barkley – talk about two opposite golf swings – and their former teacher, Hank Haney, teed it up.
Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Lighthouse: It might not look like a traditional lighthouse, but this 105-foot-fall skeletal tower next to the fifth green marks the northernmost bend of Jamaica's coastline and is a critical beacon for boats.
Course: Robert von Hagge built nine new holes and remade others to make Cinnamon Hill one of the Caribbean's best. Two ocean holes (5-6) and back-to-back finishing par 5s in the jungle (where the 17th green is framed by ruins of an aqueduct built in 1761) are the backbones of one of the Caribbean's most fun courses.
Cobble Beach Golf Links, Kemble, Ontario, Canada
Lighthouse: The lighthouse is actually a pump house, but it fits in so perfect with the par-3 17th hole that including it in this story seems appropriate. The structure is on the club logo and a symbol of the whole community.
Course: Cobble Beach, Doug Carrick’s creation on the shores of the Georgian Bay simulates a fine links with small pot bunkers, closely mown chipping areas and hollows surrounding the greens and fast-rolling fairways.
Editor's Note: Several other courses have distant views of lighthouses, but the lighthouses weren't close enough to be photographed. The Byron Bay Lighthouse in Australia is visible from the front deck of the Ocean Shores Country Club and from the ninth green of the Byron Bay Golf Club. The Kidston Island Lighthouse is best seen from the 18th tee of the Bell Bay Golf Club, in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada. The first and last holes at the Chester Golf Club in Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada, look out upon the Quaker Island Lighthouse. Despite being 4.5 miles away, the 56-foot-tall Danger Point Lighthouse, built in 1895, is visible from the fourth tee of the nine-hole Gansbaai Golf Club in Van Dyks Bay, South Africa, the southern-most golf course in Africa.