From history to modern layout – a golf course is a work of art on its own. This is what makes golf stand out in comparison to other sports. It is a scenic sport. A good course makes you feel like every hole is a new story. Today in Teed Up, we’ll be breaking down some of the best golf destinations in the world that don’t just give you a nice view and a good round but lets you have an almost surreal experience as a whole.
Being the motherland of golf itself, with over 550 courses all over the country and home of the first international golf match that we now know as The Ryder Cup – one does not simply call themselves as a true golfer if one hasn’t been or at least wish to play rounds in the lush courses of the country of Scotland.
You can never get enough of the diverse area of the Scottish Highlands. It is beautiful as it is massive. From Macdonald Aviemore resort that features the country’s longest hole of 635 yards and an 18 hole championship that goes around the banks of River Spay and views of the Caledonian pine forest – to the Royal Dornoch that’s been famously called as the “King of Scottish links courses”, Scotland is definitely a golf paradise of beauty and unique experience.
More than just the exquisite nature and iconic courses, Scotland plays a great part in the luxury golf scene. Turnberry hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel where you can enjoy the world-class Ailsa course that is considered one of the best and toughest challenges in championship golf, a round on the King Robert the Bruce or enhance your golf skills at The Golf Academy. There is also the 5 AA Red Star rated Old Course Hotel that showcases the Links courses, West Sands beach, and the amazing Scottish coastline.
Ireland was the first country to organize golf on a national level and has evolved into one of the most popular golf destinations in the world. Rory Mcllroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell are names most of us, if not all, are very familiar with. These talented golfers together with the quarter of the world’s natural links courses are the golf pride of Ireland. Ireland also shows off its very own Royal County Down that measures nearly 7,200 yards which ranked first on the Golf Digest’s second biennial ranking of the World 100 Greatest Golf Courses in 2016. The natural elegance of this country makes it a regular for every golf enthusiast regardless of proficiency and expertise.
Ireland also hits all sorts of interests. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links is the perfect combination of Irish history and luxury. What was once the home of the famous Jameson Dynasty is now an award-winning hotel with breathtaking natural golf links designed by two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer. Portmarnock was also rated #14 on Golfscape’s 18 Best Courses In The World in 2018. You can also find Virtuoso Best Of the Best Awards 2018 winner of the Hotel of the Year in Ireland – Adare Manor. Designed by the famous golf architect Tom Fazio, the golf course is described as each hole “was redesigned and reconstructed, with the very latest technology and course innovations, creating a challenging, characterful, and profoundly satisfying playing experience for golfers of every level.”
Approximately 45% of the golf courses in the world are in the United States. From the more sophisticated approach of Scotland and Ireland, Americans have a more friendly and open for all perspective when it comes to playing golf. With the growing popularity of the sport, there also came about more destinations (around 17,000 courses) within the country to cater to the demand of the market. Hosting 3 of the 4 Major championships, America is home to many of the finest male and female players.
The famous Masters Tournament is hosted every year in Augusta. You’ll get the chance to watch the pros compete during the annual tournament at the private Augusta National Golf Club. The course is closed to the public but there are many venues and courses nearby for you to tee off your golf energy after being all hyped up watching the pros do their thing.
Another bucket list destination when you’re in America is California; one word: Monterey. You know what? Let’s make that two words: Pebble Beach. Alright, let’s go with three: 17-mile drive. The 17-Mile Drive as its name explains is driving through an exclusive neighborhood. It lets you pass through a beautiful lush forested area, passing three golf courses at the oceanfront, two luxury hotels, and the famous Lone Cypress tree. Pebble beach has attracted big names throughout the years from celebrities like Bill Murray, iconic golfers like Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods, and late politicians like Teddy Roosevelt. One of the most well-known courses in Pebble Beach is Spyglass Hill Golf Course. As termed by Sports Illustrated, it is a Pine Valley-by-the-Sea meets Augusta National. This 6,960 yards course is deemed by many as one of the toughest courses in America.
With the perfect mix of mountain and jungle, ocean and desert, Mexico is a festival of golf courses. Mexico provides breathtaking resort and course layouts that is competitive side by side with the iconic destinations of Scotland and famous spots of America.
Mexico sets the bar high when it comes to luxury golf. Riviera Maya’s Mayakoba Luxury resort offers a golf experience that takes you through three distinct ecosystems as it ventures through lush jungle, dense mangrove, and oceanfront views. This is also where the Mexican PGA Tour is annually held. Los Cabos’ One and Only Palmilla Resort takes pride in its Jack Nicklaus designed course. first signature course built in Latin America comprising a 27-hole layout consisting of three nines: Arroyo, Mountain, and Ocean.
Combining golf and wildlife takes the golf experience to a whole different level. This is what makes South Africa unique. Leopard Creek Country Club offers a course that complements with the animal sanctuary of the Kruger National Park. Equally luxurious, the Links in Fancourt is designed by the renowned pro-Gary Player. He described it as his greatest work as a course designer. Fancourt also has practice facilities available for who want to perfect their swing or learn the basics before heading out to the award-winning courts.
It is almost impossible to rank destinations around the world from the best to least. Each has its own story and is the best in their own way. What is your favorite golf destination?
Planning on your next Golf vacation trip? Download the Best Golf Destinations Around The World for your bucket list here!