Best Golf Destinations Around the World
Are you a golf enthusiast who is always looking to play different courses and give yourself a real challenge? Are you the type of person that likes to combine a game of golf in your travel plans, and also visit an amazing destination?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then there’s no doubt you’re always on the lookout for the next amazing golf resort to check out.
To help you find that ideal golf destination, we’ve put together a list of the best golf courses around the world which you really need to visit once in your life.
The US is one of the best golf destinations and has more top rated golf courses than any other country in the world. With so many different courses to choose from throughout the country, these are the most highly rated places to check out:
California, United States
If you're looking for a golfing destination that you can visit year-round, then the state of California could be a great option. Not only can you find a variety of challenging courses, but the natural scenery is nothing short of breathtaking thanks to the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Standout courses include CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, and Torrey Pines' South Course in San Diego.
Florida has some of the best weather in the world and is the perfect location for golfers. There are so many courses located here and also lots of amazing things to do in your spare time. Top rated golf resorts to check out include: TPC Sawgrass’s THE PLAYERS Stadium Course in Ponta Vedra Beach, Calusa Pines in Naples and Streamsong’s Resort in Streamsong.
Hawaii is famous for surfing but it might surprise you that you can find 17 amazing golf courses in Maui and Lana'I including Challenge at Manele which is often included in the list of top courses in the world and Jack Nicklaus signature course.
Other places to check out include Experience at Keole, The Dunes at Maui Lani, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui's Grand Golf Resort, Kapalua Resort, Royal Kaanapali Course, Ka'anapali Kai, Makena North Course and Wailea Gold Course.
Other Top Rated Golf Resorts in the USA:
- Bethpage State Park, Farmington, New York
- Bandon Dunes Resort, Brandon Oregon
- Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin
- Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst, N.C.
- Kiawah Island, South Carolina
For anyone who is a true lover of the sport, you understand just how important Scotland is to golfing. It is the birthplace of golf, and therefore continues to be a huge draw for golfers of all skill levels.
While the country is dotted with all kinds of fabulous, scenic, and challenging courses, some of the standout ones include Royal Dornoch in the Highlands, St. Andrews' Old Course in St. Andrews, Gleneagles' King's Course in Perthshire, Muirfield in East Lothian, and Nairn's Championship Course.
In terms of when to visit, golf season officially begins in April and carries through to October. Golfers tend to prefer April and May as this is when it tends to be the driest with the least amount of rain. Keep in mind that because it’s such a popular hotspot, the courses tend to be very busy.
If you would like to see more of the UK then our top recommended course in England in the Royal St. George located in Sandwich, Kent.
In Wales, check out Celtic Manor which has the Twenty Ten Course, designed for the only Ryder Cup ever played in Wales. This is one of the best value for money courses on our list.
Or for Northern Ireland, dating back over 100 years, Royal County Down is one of the oldest golf clubs to play on.
Ireland might not have the warm sunny weather compared to some of the countries on our list but there are world class golf resorts offering something for all levels and abilities.
There isn't one specific location in Ireland to visit, there are places to visit all over the country. Top rated golf destinations in Ireland include Ballybunion Golf Club in Country Kerry, Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, Waterville Golf Links in County Kerry, European Club in Wicklow, and Tralee Golf Club in County Kerry.
Another fabulous hotspot for the sport is the country of Canada which offers more than 2,400 courses from coast to coast. You get a real variety of scenery, types of course, and challenge level across the country, allowing golfers of all skills to find the "ideal" course. Keep in mind that the golf season doesn't last year-round thanks to the cold winters in Canada, so you'll need to plan accordingly.
Some of the hotspots in the country include the many courses located in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Nova Scotia's stunning options, and of course British Columbia. Cape Breton Golf Resort in Nova Scotia is our top pick whilst Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper and Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, are also highly rated.
Australia is a country you really need to visit once in your life and Melbourne is one of the best cities in the country. Here you can find some of the top rated golf courses in the country with Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath, Victoria Golf Club and Metropolitan Golf Club.
Sydney also has several top rated clubs including The Australian (the oldest club in the country), New South Wales Golf Club and Royal Sidney. If you are keen to see more of Australia and would like to plan a trip to Tasmania check out Cape Wickham golf resort which is incredible.
Some companies also offer golfing tours of Australia which include visting multiple destinations, this is something worth considering if you have a flexible schedule.
If you are prepared to travel that extra distance in search for the perfect golf resort, you will fall in love with New Zealand. Although a long way from most countries, New Zealand has some of the most spectacular courses on the planet.
Three of the best rated golf resorts on the North Island include Cape Kidnappers in Hawke's Bay, The Kinloch Club in Taupo and Kauri Cliffs Golf Course in Matauri Bay.
Cape Kidnappers was designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doaka and is a 71 golf course measures 7,147 yards (6,569 meters). The course is stunning and is located high above the ocean atop dramatic cliffs, built on a ridge-and-valley landscape.
Valderrama, Andalucía, Spain
Valderrama Golf Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr and hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup. This course is located close to the Rock of Gibraltar and has spectacular scenery. This is still one of the most popular courses in Spain and Europe.
Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and it is also home to some of the top golf results in Europe. Why not combine a trip and check out different regions of Italy and combine it with your love of golf.
Here are the top courses in the country:
- Torino-La Mandria’s Blue Course and Royal Park I Roveri’s Trent Jones Sr. Course, in Turin
- Olgiata Golf Club in Rome, Golf Club Castelfalfi’s Mountain Course in Tuscany
- Golf Club Castelconturbia’s Blue Course outside of Milan
Fancourt Resort, South Africa
Located on the stunning Garden Route of South Africa, this has to be one of the most breathtaking places on our list. You can choose between three courses at Fancourt Resort, with our top pick being the Links Course that hosted the 2003 Presidents Cup. In your spare time, you should also book a safari to make the most of your time in this beautiful country.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
More and more golf resorts are opening up in Mexico every year and Cabo San Lucas in Baja Peninsula is one of the top locations in the country. You can choose between so many great courses here including Dunes Course at Diamante and El Cardonal. If you would also like to enjoy a rewarding vacation, there is also the chance to combine golf with volunteering in Mexico and helping local good causes.
If you fancy mixing an exotic vacation with beaches, weather and fabulous courses then consider the Dominican Republic which is quite possibly the best golfing destination in the Caribbean.
Although small in size, the Dominican Republic has some highly rated courses with more than 12 in Punta Cana alone. The top rated course in the country is at Casa de Campo Resort & Villas.
Prepping Your Game for Your Golf Adventure
Of course, if you’re going to hit any of these hotspots, you’ll want to be sure you’ve done all you can to prep yourself for a great game. That means plenty of practice, where inevitably you’ll be looking to make improvements to your swing, form, and your score. To help this process along, you may want to consider investing in a golf launch monitor which will display data on your shots.
You can find both stationary and mobile launch monitors, giving you the option to use it just at home or on the course as well. Depending on the model you choose, it will be able to give you data on your total distance, carry, side angle, launch angle, club speed, ball speed, side spin, back spin, and even your smash factor. These monitors are extremely high-tech, which is what guarantees their accuracy and will help improve your game.
Hopefully our list of top rated golf resorts in the world has give you some ideas for places to go. Now, the only hard decision is to decide where you will visit next.
Have you ever been to any of the courses on our list? Do you have any advice or recommendations for somewhere we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.