When you are looking to go on a golf holiday worldwide, it is impossible not to be spoilt for choice, with many countries boasting great infrastructure when it comes to golf clubs and courses. From luscious courses overlooking the ocean to clubs frequented by professional players, there is no shortage of desirable locations for everyone to enjoy, no matter if you are a beginner or an expert golfer. This guide compiles all of the best locations to visit in every continent regardless of your skill level, allowing you to enjoy the best of world travel alongside the ability to improve your golfing skills.
What to Pack
Before you read on to discover which destinations sound like the right ones for you and your family, it is important that you know exactly what to pack when travelling abroad. These items include irons, woods and a range of golf clubs, as well as balls, tees, a golf GPS and golf-appropriate footwear and clothing. For longer journeys to continents such as America and Asia, it is important that you protect your luggage appropriately with a hardy and tough travel bag which can prevent damage to your clubs. PXG bags can help to combine exciting designs with functional protection for all of your golfing gear, ensuring that your prized equipment can stay safe across the pond.
Although the Algarve may be better known for its popularity with families and the proliferation of beach resorts along Portugal’s Southern Coast, it’s popularity surprisingly creates the perfect conditions for a relaxing golfing stay. With moderate temperatures throughout the year, there are an astonishing amount of golf clubs inside both large and independently run resorts. Not only this but due to its appeal with tourists, most resorts on the Algarve are also family friendly. This means that you can soak up the best of the sunshine with the people you love best while enjoying some hard-earned play.
- St Andrews, Scotland
If you are looking for somewhere to visit that is a little closer to home, you might be interested in St Andrews, Scotland, which has a lengthy and renowned golfing history. In fact, it remains one of the most popular and must-visit locations for golfers worldwide, with world-class and infamous courses to try your hand at. If you are interested in the history of golf in the prestigious University city, you can even take guided walks of the grounds to satisfy your curiosity and find out more about the origins of the sport in Scotland.
- The Costa del Sol, Spain
The Costa del Sol in Spain is also one of the most popular golfing destinations in Europe, particularly in the autumn months when the coast is less packed with the summer holiday crowds. With sprawling golf courses centred around Marbella such as the La Cala resort, there is an endless amount of golf to be played in the astonishingly warm temperatures of Southern Europe. Popular resorts in locations such as this will also often offer golfing tuition and courses which you can sign up to if you want to take the opportunity to improve your golfing skills and learn all-new tricks to add to your repertoire.
If you are thinking of traveling to Europe to find the best conditions to play golf all year round, you should head to the island country of Tenerife, a volcanic island off the coast of Africa. Tenerife, one of the most popular Canary Island for tourists, is also excellent for those that want to try their hand at golf, with many popular resorts offering fun and challenging courses for both beginners and professionals. Combine your love for golfing with a beachside retreat or walking in national parks such as Las Canadas El Tiede, and revel in the relaxed environment of the Canary Islands.
- North and South Carolina
Both North and South Carolina in the United States are well-known to be havens for those who have a penchant for golf, more so even than other golf-popular states such as Arizona and Florida. These states are often heavily compared for golf, despite their differences. However, both states have entirely different landscapes and climates when it comes to golf, with North Carolina’s centred around the mountains and sandhills of the state, and South Carolina’s in the low country which is spread along its coastal areas. In North Carolina, they have Pinehurst, the resort with the largest amount of courses than any other state in the USA, while in the South, you have Kiawah, which hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup.
No list of the best-golfing destinations could be compiled without mentioning Florida. Although you might think that Orlando is only for the kids, its resort-based nature means that there is an endless amount of infrastructure for golfers outside of theme parks such as Disneyworld and Universal. The popularity of Orlando also means that there are almost endless lists of resorts and hotels to choose for accommodation, although you may want to head to this outside of the summer to ensure that you can beat the crowds. However, there is never a lack of things to do in Orlando, and if you get bored of golf, you can take a trip to the Everglades or Florida Keys or check out the Kennedy Space Centre. If you enjoy the city vibe, you can explore the Metropolitan centre of Orlando only a couple of miles from the main resort area of Orlando, which is focused around Kissimmee.
Hawaii: the land of palm trees, hibiscus flowers- and golf. Hawaii is on most traveller’s bucket lists for its beautiful landscapes, volcanic nature, and rich culture. However, golfers should also start to add Hawaii to their lists of must-visit places, with the island state boasting supreme golf resorts and courses set within the dramatic volcanic landscapes of the verdant islands. If you need a recommendation, professional golf players are known to favour Hawaii, with many courses having been designed by the professionals and the state having hosted many famous tournaments.
- Puerto Rico, Caribbean
Outside of the States, you also have Puerto Rico, the sunshine splattered Caribbean island known for its golfing tenure. Luxurious golf resorts such as the Ritz-Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach offer dazzling ocean views and activities for all the family such as water parks and a fitness centre. This means that it is relatively simple to have an indulgent and relaxing visit to the Caribbean golf courses in Puerto Rico, allowing you to indulge in both the consistently gorgeous weather and amazing surroundings.
Mexico is another exotic part of the Americas that you should consider visiting. The country is not all historical and cultural landmarks such as Chichen Itza or family-friendly beaches in Cancun, however. There are also ample opportunities for golfing, with many resorts and courses set alongside the beaches and astonishing landscapes of the coastal areas. Locations such as Riviera Maya and Baja California provide some of the best courses in the world. These include Hard Rock properties along the Riviera district and in Cancun itself. Here, you can combine challenging courses with great layouts for a professional game that you will fall in love with.
Thailand is a favourite of backpackers and students on a gap year, but it can also be a favourite with golfers too, with excellent courses situated around cities such as Bangkok. In fact, Thailand is a rising star in the world of golf, with many golf courses catering to both beginners and experts. Although the Golf Association opened its doors in the 1960s, it is only now that Thailand is becoming a popular place for golf. Combine tourist hotspots such as Chiang Mai and island paradises such as Ko Samui with a variety of over 60 golf courses surrounding the capital city.
Although China has a long history of golf as a sport, golf and golf courses are still a growing industry in the country. This growing industry means that in 2012, 1 million Chinese played the sport, leading to an increase in golfing infrastructure. This makes now the best time to visit China for a great golfing experience as you can enjoy the less-crowded golf courses before others find out about them, and China begins to settle on the map as a go-to golf destination. One of the best courses in China is The Dunes, which made it to third place in the rankings for Top 10 New International Golf Course in US Golf Magazine in 2010 and is positioned close to the beauty of the South China Sea.
- Bali, Indonesia
Bali in Indonesia is well known to tourists looking for a cheap and exotic holiday in Asia. However, golfers can get the most out of this exciting location too, with some of the best golf resorts in Asia here, such as the Bali National G.C and Resort, whose idyllic location, scattered with palm trees and wildlife, is paired with a relaxing and yet challenging course for any level of expertise. Other places in Indonesia that you can visit for excellent golf opportunities include Jakarta, where the Royale Jakarta golf club reigns supreme over the golfing community with its luscious courses.
- South Africa
South Africa is a blossoming location to play golf in Africa, with many resorts starting to crop up in the country. Not only will you be able to make the most of your money in South Africa due to the good exchange rate, but you can also explore the safaris and dazzling landscapes on your days off from golf. The golf courses in South Africa are not just any courses, and can better be said to be ‘experiences.’ For instance, helicopters are available to fly you to the top of Hanglip Mountain, which is home to one of the most thrilling courses in the country. Not only this, but you have the option to golf on a resort which borders onto the plains, allowing you to spot wildlife on the Safari while you play.
Heading on a golf tour in Egypt can also be an exciting option for those looking for something a bit different. Egypt as a country is a thrilling place to be, with wonders of the world such as the pyramids and the Sphinx to catch a glimpse of before you take to the golf courses- in fact, there is so much to see that you may never even reach the golf resort. With resorts such as the Alexandria Sporting Club and Katemeya Heights in Cairo, there are endless options to enjoy a view of the Red Sea. Not only this, but it barely ever rains enough to limit your play in Egypt, meaning that you can spend more time playing golf, exploring the area, and even doing other sports such as scuba diving.
- New Zealand
New Zealand is the paradise that most people dream about, and so what better country to visit when thinking of a holiday? New Zealand is the perfect country for those that love brilliant vistas and views as well as the sport itself, with locations such as Cape Kidnappers giving you a vibrant look-out over the sea. If you want to focus solely on golf, then you should consider the courses available in Wellington, such as at the Royal Wellington Golf Club, a private members club in the Hutt Valley which can provide you with uninterrupted play.
- Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne Golf Club say that they are the oldest golf club in Australia without interruption, and this makes Australia a wonderful option when thinking of travelling abroad for golf. There are many golf courses spanning the length of the Eastern Coast such as the Commonwealth Golf Club and New South Wales Golf Club. The amazing weather makes Australia a great all year round destination, especially in its quieter winter months, and there are also a number of other exciting sports that you can play in the country. Some of these include water sports like surfing and snorkelling, which are a particularly once-in-a-lifetime experience if you want to get up close and personal to the unusual and one-off eco-systems here.
Golfing holidays can be incredibly rewarding and satisfying, and now is the best time to combine your love for golf with travel. Whether you want to visit world-famous resorts, see where the professionals have trained, or simply pair golf with a relaxed week with the family, there is a golfing holiday out there for everyone to enjoy.