The 10 Best Golfing Destinations in the World
Every avid golfer must look beyond the same old 18 holes they play each week. The world is full of amazing golf courses just waiting to be experienced. Check out the ten best golf destinations in the world.
The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Scotland
Passionate golfers will love nothing more than hitting a hole-in-one at the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews, Scotland. It is the most famous course in the world, and for good reason, as it offers superb 18-hole courses, a 9-hole course and a practice center to get to grips with different clubs or wedges for beginners.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or a first-time golfer, an adult or a child, you will enjoy hours of fun on the course, which is embedded into the North Sea’s dunes. You can also book a stay at the five-star Old Course Hotel, so you’re a stone’s throw away from its many golf courses, and a short distance away from the charming old town.
With delicious dishes to try in two restaurants, a relaxing spa and 200 malt whiskeys to sample, you’ll feel you have stepped into a golfer’s paradise. It’s no surprise the course has become part of golf’s extensive history, as golfers have been playing here since the 15th century. It’s one course you will want to add to your golfing bucket list.
Pebble Beach Resort, Pebble Beach, California, USA
Pebble Beach Resort is easily the most well-known course in the United States, as it has played host to five US Opens and the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from the PGA Tour. You can choose from a range of golf courses, such as Spyglass Hill, the Del Monte Course and The Links at Spanish Bay, as well as a nine-hole and par-three course.
Master your swing as you enjoy beautiful Pacific Ocean views on every course, as you walk in the footsteps of pro golfers, such as Woods, Palmer, Nicklaus and Hogan. You can also choose between three accommodations at Pebble Beach, and can drop into one or more of the nine restaurants that offer cuisines to complement every palate. You can also grab a beer at a sports bar or relax after a busy day of golfing with an indulgent spa treatment.
The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland
How can you not fall in love with courses that were designed by none other than the great Arnold Palmer? The K Club in Co. Kildare, Ireland, offers The Palmer Ryder Cup course, which is a stunning parkland course with an avenue of trees that line the fairways. You can also play on the Smurfit, which offers no trees and additional water hazards, which make for an enjoyable game.
Book a stay at the K Club Hotel, which dates back to 1932, which offers the River Room Restaurant and the K Spa. You can even take a break away from golf with a little horse riding, fishing, falconry and clay pigeon shooting on the K Club estate.
The K Club is also a short distance away from other famous Irish courses, such as the Royal Dublin, Montgomerie, Portmarnock and O’Meara courses at Carton House, as well as Brittas Bay’s The European Golf Club.
Sotogrande, Andalucia, Spain
The Sotogrande’s Valderrama played host to the 1997 Ryder Cup, as well as the first two years of the WGC-American Express Championship, which is now known as the WGC-Cadillac Championship. You will be spoilt for choice when choosing between five and a half courses.
Another must-try course is The Almenara Golf Resort, which was designed by Dave Thomas, a former Ryder Cup player, and offers an incredible 27 holes. You can also experience the La Canada course that offers nine holes, or the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande by Trent Jones Senior, and La Reserva, which is the newest course in Sotogrande that opened back in 2004.
Book a room at the Almenara Hotel to unwind in one of the luxurious rooms, which offers charming wooden beams, terracotta flooring and sloped ceilings. You can also work out at the gym, take a dip in the swimming pool, play tennis or enjoy horse riding.
Many more great golf courses are also within close proximity, including two courses at the Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort and The San Roque Club. Dedicated golfers will never want to leave southern Spain!
Mission Hills, Haikou, Hainan Island, China
You could easily spend a month or year at two of Mission Hills’ golf courses on Hainan Island. Both have easily earned their place as the finest courses on the planet.
The original Guangdong Province features an impressive 12 courses, which have each been designed by some of the biggest names in the sport. The Blackstone course is currently the host of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup of Golf. The tournament brings together two of the best golfers from golfing nations across the world, who each compete to become a world champion.
The resort is open to all ages, so it’s ideal for a family holiday, as Dad can play on one of the world-famous courses, while Mom indulges in a relaxing spa treatment or shops at one of the many stores. Children can also enjoy a golf lesson or can have a little fun at one of the large play areas.
Quinta do Lago, Almancil, Portugal
Quinta do Lago is not short of amazing golf clubs to experience. Those who love a challenge on the course should look no further than the Laranjal course, which will help put your skills to the test.
If you want to enjoy a mesmerizing view while you play, consider San Lorenzo, which is located beside the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. There’s also the Quinta do Lago North and South course to try, as well as two-hole courses that will separate the wheat from the chaff. There’s the option to travel 30-kilometres of the resort to enjoy an additional 15 courses.
Travelers looking for a luxurious place to stay should consider the Hotel Quinta do Lago, or you can choose to rest up after a busy day of golfing at a rental villa or apartment. With many restaurants, stores, bars, spas and nightclubs to choose from, you will never want to go home.
Fancourt, George, South Africa
Fancourt is the most popular golf resort in all of Africa and is home to the 2003 President’s Cup, which is similar in style to the Ryder Cup. Teams from across the world, excluding Europe, compete against one another during a non-Ryder Cup year. It is, therefore, a must-visit for golfing fans.
Spend your days on Fancourt’s three amazing golf courses: Montagu, the Links (President Cup course) and Outeniqua. The Links has also played host to various other golfing tournaments, such as the Volvo Golf Champions tournament and the South African Open. After a busy few days of golf, you will jump at an opportunity to go on safari to spot lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo and leopard.
Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
Take your pick from eight wonderful golf courses at Pinehurst Resort, with the No.2 course hosting the 1951 Ryder Cup, the 1999, 2005 and 2014 US Open, and 2014 US Women’s Open. The Pinehurst No. 2, 4 and 8 courses are also ranked as the best in America, while golfers will want to visit courses 1 and 3, as it was designed by Donald Ross, a famous golf course architect.
The resort is steeped in history, as it dates back to the 1900s and is widely known for some of golf’s most iconic moments. For instance, Payne Stewart won the 1999 US Open at No.2 Pinehurst with a dramatic 15-foot putt at the 18th hole.
North Carolina’s finest three hotels are also located close to the golf resort, and you can choose from eight restaurants, as well as a variety of cafes and bars for lighter meals and drinks.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York, USA
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is a ground-breaking destination, as it was the first club to admit female members. It is also the first clubhouse in the world and was built back in 1893. It’s ideal for passionate golfers who want to enjoy a quiet, private and challenging course, while enjoying beautiful surroundings and learning more about the sport’s history.
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, USA
Last but by no means least is the Augusta National Golf Club, which is the home to the most revered golf tournament in the world, the Masters. The breath-taking course comes to life with stunning pink azaleas that beautifully bloom near the 18-hole and 9-hole courses.
Golfers who want to challenge themselves must attempt the sport’s toughest holes on the 11th, 12th and 13th, which are known as “Amen Corner”. The winners of Amen’s Corner are also easy to spot, as they are each presented with a special green blazer. You never know, you could soon be wearing one, too.
Do you have a favourite golf destination? Share your tips in the comment section below.