With so many top courses to choose from, booking your first ever golfing holiday can be a little overwhelming. Here are some essential tips.
In an age when we work longer hours than ever, it is vitally important to secure some real down time to rest, relax and spend a few days away from work, focusing on enjoying life with loved ones.
Of course, sitting around by a pool sounds idyllic enough, but the truth be told, it can soon get boring. We live in an age of tailored products and services, and that applies to our leisure as much as to anything else.
If you enjoy the occasional round of golf at your local course, then the growing range of golf holidays that are available will be an appealing option.
Here’s a chance to visit a new location, see the sights, enjoy some hotel pampering and also indulge in your favourite hobby. If you’ve never been on a golfing holiday before, here are some considerations to keep in mind before you book.
Factor in some luxury
There are thousands of golf courses around the world, so you can afford to be a little choosy and look beyond the links when deciding which one to visit. Of course, it is a matter of personal choice, but as an example, Turkey is currently at the top of many golfers’ lists thanks to its amazing golf courses and luxury all-inclusive resorts.
This is a place where all-inclusive means just that, and you are guaranteed top-notch food and drink after a day on a champion-standard golf course. Belek is seen by many as the golfing capital of Turkey. Here, you will find a choice of golf courses and resorts. The Maxx Royal Belek Hotel and Spa is a recently built hotel that offers a VIP experience and is situated directly alongside the spectacular Montgomerie Golf Course.
An established resort or choose your own adventure?
Some people prefer to stray from the beaten track, by avoiding the resorts and tourist traps. The beauty of a golfing holiday is that it allows you to do exactly that. However, for first timers in particular, finding an obscure golf course and looking for somewhere to stay nearby can be pushing the bravery a little too far.
Rather than risk the disappointment of a sub-standard course or one that will demand an eye-watering fee to simply play a few rounds, it makes sense to work with a specialist golf tour operator. They will be able to guide you towards the golfing experience that is right for you.
As is so often the case, the earlier you book, the better. The more time you allow, the more choice you will get in terms of tee times. In many cases, you might also be able to take advantage of special offers and discounts that will reduce the overall cost.
Again, it makes sense to talk to a specialist operator, as they will have the information at their fingertips as to what sort of special deals might be.
The World’s Top 20 Golf Courses, 2019
Golfscape has been working with the expertise of industry leaders to put together our first World’s Top 20 Golf Courses, 2019.
The golf courses that have been selected to feature in the ranking are those that offer unique, memorable, and luxury experiences worldwide. From the evergreen beauty of South Africa’s golf scene to the enchanting golf gems along Portugal’s coast, we have travelled far and wide to bring you the world’s greatest golf.
Join us on the countdown from 20 to 1 and find out who we have selected as a Top 20 golf course and what course managed to make it to our top spot.
20. Leopard Creek Country Club, South Africa
Situated on the southern bank of the Crocodile river forming the natural border of the world-renowned Kruger Park lies one of Africa’s golfing jewels – Leopard Creek. Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles.
19. Osprey Point, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, US
What began as a members-only golf course on Kiawah Island has evolved into a championship-level course with a world-class layout that was completely renovated in 2014. Course architect Tom Fazio takes full advantage of ample water and sweeping vistas throughout this course noted for its playability, making it one of the resort’s most popular courses. The course is marked by four large natural lagoons, salt marshes, and mature maritime forest.
18. Thai Country Club, Thailand
Open to the golfing world in December 1996, Thai Country Club was developed as one of the finest golf clubs in Asia. The design adapts from everyday casual play up to a very tough challenge for the finest players in the world. This beautiful course is known for its immaculate conditions, neo-classic design, and a variety of holes.
17. The Old Course, Ballybunion Golf Club, Ireland
Ballybunion Golf Club is located on the northwest coast of County Kerry, on a beautiful stretch of sand dunes complete with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Old Course exudes a majestic feel that simply cannot be compared to any other course on Earth.
16. Finca Cortesin, Spain
Nestling in an exclusive corner of Andalucia, Finca Cortesin is globally renowned for providing one of Europe’s most unforgettable experiences. The harmonious relationship between the natural Mediterranean landscape and environment on the resort’s world-class 18 hole championship course make for a most attractive design.
15. Yas Links Golf Club, Abu Dhabi
Designed by Kyle Phillips, Yas Links Golf Club is the first true Links course in the region. Yas Links brings the noble heritage of a traditional Links experience to Abu Dhabi, a course that combines unparalleled visual glory with the thrill of golf’s ultimate test.
14. Bandon Dunes, US
Bandon Dunes is true to the spirit of Scotland’s ancient links. Players can immerse themselves in the traditions of a timeless game and the grandeur of Oregon’s rugged coast. Sweeping, untamed shores stretch for miles.
13. Majlis Course, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai
The Majlis is the first grass course in the Middle East, taking its name from the Arabic word for ‘meeting place.’ Home to the Omega Desert Classic, the world-class course at Emirates Golf Club features challenging holes, undulating greens, and hundreds of indigenous species of flora and fauna.
12. Spyglass Hill Golf Course, US
Located in California, the Spyglass Hill Golf Course is a links golf course part of the Pebble Beach Company. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, the course is renowned for the fourth hole, with Robert Trent Jones called his favourite par 4.
11. Kingston Heath Golf Club, Australia
The host of the 2016 World Cup of Golf, Kingston Heath Golf Club is widely recognized as one the world’s finest golf courses. Located in the southeast suburbs of Melbourne, the course was designed by Dan Soutar with the help of Alistar MacKenzie, who provided the bunkering strategy during his visit to Australia in 1926.
10. Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, New Zealand
Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 6,510 meters and will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Completed in 2004, the spectacular New Zealand golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape complete with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean top dramatic cliffs.
9. Adare Manor, Ireland
The Golf Course at Adare Manor is unmatched in world golf. Redesigned by Tom Fazio, constructed to the highest of standards and opened by four Irish golfing stars: Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, and Shane Lowry. A remarkable construction story set against Ireland’s finest resort destination, Adare Manor is one of the world’s best-golfing experiences.
8. Cabot Cliffs, Cape Breton, Canada
A great compliment to its sister course Cabot Links, Cabot Cliffs in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, provides an incredible golf experience. Designed by the decorated team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the course meanders through coastal dunes and along ocean-side cliffs. An even mix of par 3s, 4s, and 5s offers golfers a wide variety of golf shots. With an ocean view from every hole on the course, postcard-worthy panoramas are par for the course.
7. Meadow Links, Mission Hills Haikou, China
The Meadow Links Course at Mission Hills Haikou is part of the enormous and extraordinary Mission Hills complex in China which spans 22 golf courses across two locations, making it the largest golf facility in the world, as recognised by the Guinness World Records. The Brian Curley-designed Meadow Links layout features lay-of-the-land sensibilities and somewhat geometric shapes in both bunkering and fairway lines.
6. Ailsa, Trump Turnberry, Scotland
Home of four Open Championships, the legendary Ailsa course has hosted some of the most iconic names in golf. Reborn in June 2016 at the hands of the renowned architect, Martin Ebert, the transformation enhanced the world-class playing experience. Located alongside the glorious Ayrshire coastline, with Arran and Ailsa Craig as a stunning backdrop, Trump Turnberry is one of the finest golfing destinations in the world.
5. West Course, The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia
With so many write-ups on the West Course at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the world-class course simply comes down to the combination of great design and construction. The course is full of dramatic undulation, fertile sandy soil, and a natural rugged appearance.
4. Pebble Beach Golf Links, US
Since 1947 Pebble Beach has hosted a PGA Tour event, rolling out its green carpet fairways for the game’s best golfers and Hollywood stars. Pebble Beach Golf Links is full of breathtaking beauty from stunning seaside holes to dramatic cliffs. The course finishes with two of the most beautiful holes in golf. Pebble Beach is also home to the picturesque but perilous Cliffs of Doom, awaiting heroic golfing shots.
3. Royal County Down Golf Club, Ireland
Regularly rated as one of the best golf courses in the world, Royal County Down is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful links settings against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Morne. The world famous ‘beaded’ bunkers feature overhanging lips of marram, red fescue, and heather. The ninth hole is one of the most photographed holes in golf.
2. Royal Dornoch, Scotland
Birthplace of the great Donald Ross, the courses at Royal Dornoch are natural links located in the Highlands of Scotland. Many golfers from all over the world make the journey to Royal Dornoch to experience the plateau greens and to take on the challenge of the course. This must-play course should take the top spot on your bucket list, both the Championship and Struie Courses offer a world-class golfing experience.
1. The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland
The oldest and most iconic golf course in the world. The Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognized across the globe, yet the greatest feature of the Old Course is that despite its grand status it remains a public golf course, open to all.
(Article source: Various)