A golfer may judge a course by the difficulty of the holes or the condition of the fairway. But equally – if not more – important to many golfers are the surroundings that distinguish one course from the next.
These could be the natural features of the course, such as trees, lakes or ponds. Or, it could be the landscape encircling the course; the fifth hole might overlook a glistening ocean, or the ninth may grant you uninterrupted views of distant, rolling hills.
Whether you’re an amatuer golfer or a seasoned pro, there are numerous destinations across the globe that have gained a reputation for their simply stunning courses. Here are a handful of them…
Costa del Sol, Spain
Expansive coastline, mighty mountains, lush rolling hills… it’s no wonder the Costa del Sol is a mecca for golfers. Santa Clara and Calanova are two of the region’s most popular courses, but for an extra special treat, Finca Cortesin and Atalaya Park’s courses are second to none. After a round of golf, spend an afternoon strolling around a quaint marina, before heading to an authentic restaurant to sample the fresh, local fare.
The Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve is perhaps Europe’s most renowned golfing destination. Boasting an enviable climate, it’s home to a number of world-class courses, many of which neighbour charming local towns, or peer down to the ocean. The resort town of Vilamoura is a golfing haven, with its pristine beaches – the perfect place to relax after 18 holes.
With its towering volcanoes, mighty canyons and vast, cascading waterfalls, Hawaii’s surroundings are nothing short of spectacular – with courses like Turtle Bay and the gorgeous Kapalua taking in these sights. If you’re keen to sample a new culture, you’ll find your solace on this beautiful island, where the locals’ laid-back way of life is both enviable and admirable. And remember, the more relaxed, the better your swing!
St Andrews, Scotland
St Andrews in Scotland is often referred to as the ‘home of golf,’ having developed a global reputation for its courses. Its ‘Old Course’ in particular is one of the oldest and most iconic courses in the world, with the ‘Swilcan Bridge’ on the 18th hole and ‘Hell Bunker’ its most famous features. Off the course, the town is rich in history and culture, with the nearby ruins of St Andrews Castle and its medieval bottle dungeon well worth a visit.
North Island, New Zealand
If you’re keen to move about on your golf holiday, sampling different courses, it’s got to be New Zealand’s North Island. You’ll quickly learn why this island is a top film location, with its ever-shifting, jaw-dropping natural landscapes. The Titirangi Golf Club can be found near the bustling city of Auckland, but for the views, it’s got to be the Kinloch Club, which overlooks the shimmering, turquoise Lake Taupo.
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