Millions of golfers enjoy their beloved game every weekend, and many of them set off to an exotic location every year to enjoy a golfing vacation with a group of friends. Whether they are novices or experts, they all look for the same things: good courses, comfortable accommodation and an enjoyable nightlife. Here are ten superb locations that you might want to consider for your next golf break.
Portugal’s southern coastline has been welcoming golfers from all over the world for many years, and the Algarve is now home to some of the finest courses in Europe. The climate is ideal for the game, and even during the winter months the venues are generally just as playable as they would be in the summer.
There are some parts of southern Spain which receive very little rainfall during the course of a year, so subsequently the local golf courses remain popular all year round. The fairways are generally hard and bouncy, so long tee shots will often travel even further. The golfing holiday infrastructure in this region is as impressive as any in the world.
The area around the beautiful and historic city of St Andrews is the birthplace of the game, and there are dozens of superb courses for visitors to choose from. The weather is often unpredictable, which makes the game more of a challenge than you might be used to. Be careful of the ever-changing winds that blow in off the sea.
If you like your golf to be played under clear blue skies and a warm sun, Florida is the place for you. The Sunshine State is a golfer’s paradise, and the relatively flat landscape means even the least active golfers can still enjoy a game. Courses are often busier because of the number of tourists in the area, but that shouldn’t be a major problem.
Rugged coastlines, warm weather, dramatic backdrops and superb courses… what more could you possibly want? There are so many wonderful venues in California, so any golf vacation organiser will be spoilt for choice. The selection of breath-taking courses around the Monterey Peninsula in particular is a tempting one.
Although most non-UK golfers tend to think of St Andrews when they talk about golf in Scotland, it’s worth remembering there are several superb venues on the east coast as well. Well-established courses such as Troon, Prestwick and Ayr are all highly regarded, and will test the skills of even the finest players.
To the south of London you’ll find a number of excellent golf courses, many of which have hosted major tournaments over the years. They include Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent, a regular Open Championship venue, and the superb Walton Heath in Surrey, a tricky course that hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup.
Golf is more than just an occasional pastime in Ireland, and there are several parts of the country which offer an excellent golfing environment. County Cork, which is in the south of the country, has a number of well-established courses which are happy to welcome visitors. And of course, there will be a lively nightlife to keep you entertained after your round.
In recent years, a growing number of UK golfers have chosen France for their golfing adventures, partly because the northern area of the country is within easy reach and partly because French courses are generally under-used. There are several wonderful venues available, including the stunning Le Touquet.
In golfing terms, Turkey is something of a new kid on the block, but with a wonderful climate and a cost of living that’s lower than most European destinations its popularity is increasing. One of the most impressive courses of all is the PGA Sultan at Antalya Golf Club on the country’s south-western coast.