The Best Golf Courses in Europe That Won’t Break the Bank

If you work your way around all the destinations in Europe, there are so many golf courses out there that mean you can have a great Golf Escape without spending a small fortune. Every region has their signature course that all the group flock to play, but they usually come at a cost. Here is our advice on how to play great golf courses, but keeping it within a healthy budget too.el-chaparral

El Chaparral – A really fun course. The design is very different to others in the area and is a really interesting course to have in your itinerary. We always recommend to play it in the middle of your holiday as it is very tight and a tough one to start off with. The added bonus with El Chaparral is that shared buggies are included in the greenfee as well, just to make it even better value for money! After your round, stay for a drink as the staff are incredibly friendly and gives the superb clubhouse a great atmosphere. A real gem of the Costa del Sol.castro-marim

Castro Marim – In the East of the Algarve lays some great golf courses and with the town of Tavira in the middle of them all, it is a fantastic place to take your next holiday. Out of the local courses, Castro Marim is easily the best value for money. Three loops of 9 holes, the Grouse, Guadiana and Atlantico make up the resort and all three are great. The Grouse is the newest and perhaps the best if you wanted to take in the views of the rolling hills. The Guadiana is the tightest, set amongst pines trees. Several of the greens are elevated and are usually the fastest of the 9 holes. Beware of the bunkers! Finally the Atlantico. Plenty of water and similar to the Guadiana in that it is lined with pine trees. Definitely worth playing when staying in the East of the Algarve and an area in general that must be considered for your next Golf Escape.

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El Valle – Murcia is a golfer’s paradise with so many golf courses all in such close proximity to the sea front and to Murcia Airport and all brilliant value. You can play 6 different courses without travelling any further than 30 minutes from your base in Los Alcazeras. El Valle is the Golf Escape pick though. A vast open space littered with bunkers makes it a course that you have to think your way around. Tight fairways also add to the difficulty of the course. When you think you have mastered the fairways and bunkers you are then faced with huge expanses of water on the 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th. Tough, but a very pleasant walk taking in views of the hills surrounding you.

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Troia – A treat to play if you are staying anywhere in the Lisbon area and fancy a good day out. The course is situated in the Troia Peninsula and means getting a short ferry journey from Setubal. When you get there though, you will see why it is worth the journey. The course is stunning. If it was anywhere else in the world it would be a £150 round of golf easily. This is where location, location, location works in the guests favour. You can play this course for great value for money as long as you don’t mind the journey. Playing alongside a peaceful beach, it has a links feel to it at times with sandy wasteland for the 2nd cut of rough. A challenge, but a real favourite in the Golf Escapes office.

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Golf Escapes Top 18 European Holes, chosen by the team…

10th – Vale do Lobo Royal 16th – Par 3, Portugal.

  • The signature hole in the Algarve. A stunning sea view from the tee box and a daunting view to the green. An average length tee shot is needed over the picturesque gauge that will require steady nerves not to be put off by what lies ahead.

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11thPenha Longa 6th – Par 5, Portugal.

  • The long par five is a hole you need to add to your photo albums. The scenic approach shot to the green is one to remember. Penha Longa’s signature whole has a historic ruin to the right of the green and a pond to the left which makes this hole a real tough ask.

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12th – Santa Maria 16th – Par 4, Spain.

  • A par four that becomes very long if the wind is blowing its usual south west way. From the tee, you need to take into account the right to left slope on the fairway as any draw/hook will be pushed into the olive trees. The long, three tiered green means your approach shot will call for accuracy to make your putt as easy as possible.

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13th – Finca Cortesin 15th – Par 4, Spain.

  • The tee shot is very difficult, a huge stream must be carried to reach the fairway. The second shot will probably be faced with an uneven lie to a small and bunker protected elevated green. Always take a club more than you think for your second shot and don’t forget to take in the views of the Mediterranean from this very fast green.

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14th – La Reserva 9th – Par 4, Spain.

  • A long, par 4, uphill. A real daunting task when looking up at the hole from the tee box. The fairway is tight where your first shot will land and also has bunkers on each side of the fairway too. A long iron uphill again, will take you to the elevated green where you can view the hole back down the hill with pride that you made it.

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15th BlackSeaRama 18th – Par 3, Bulgaria.

  • This long par 3 greets you well as you walk to the tee box through an ancient ruin arch. Hit it right, you’ll need to reload from the tee. To short you may have the same outcome, or you are left with a tricky bunker shot. The signature hole here is just spectacular.

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16th – Monte Rei 2nd – Par 5, Portugal.

  • Monte Rei could have had all of their holes in our top 18, but this takes the bunch. The par 5 has a tricky start over water on the right hand side, so it is safe to play down the left if possible. Fairway bunkers where your second shot will land requires good accurate iron play. A lofted chip is needed to beat the bunkers in front of the green and leave yourself an easy putt.

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17th – Oceanico Victoria 14th – Par 4, Portugal.

  • A hole that is popular amongst spectators when the Portuguese Masters is held here. A tricky decision from the tee box weather or not to drive over the large lake which will take you onto the right hand fairway. Or play safe down the left hand fairway which leaves you with a harder approach shot into the green surrounded by water.

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18th – San Lorenzo 6th – Par 4, Portugal.

  • A beautiful hole to finish our 18. The dogleg left, stroke index 1, looking out to the sea tempts you to cut the corner. Unless you get the length and line just right, you will be penalised by landing in thick shrub. Once the corner is turned, the green becomes visible, kicked off to the right – club selection is paramount.

 

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Golf Escapes Top 18 European Holes, chosen by the team…

1st – PGA Catalunya Stadium 13th – Par 4, Spain.

  • The 13th at Catalunya is a stunning way to start our chosen 18 holes. With a backdrop worthy of being framed, the hole is a chance to hit a long straight drive downhill. The pitch into the green is tricky to say the least with something too short, long or right being punished by water.

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2nd – Aphrodite Hills 7th – Par 3, Cyprus.

  • The staggering 130 metre gorge dividing the tee from green at the 7th hole is an enticing challenge for all lovers of this beautiful game. Anything short is lost and to add difficulty the large bunker at the back of the green makes this a real tough tee shot, needing pin point accuracy.

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3rd – Valderrama 17th – Par 5, Spain.

  • The first of our Par 5 It’s long and narrow with two bunkers either side of the fairway where your tee shot and second shot will land. Water in front and to the left of the green to make your approach shot difficult as well. There’s no wonder Tiger Woods struggled with this hole back in 2000 hitting 3 shots over the 4 days into the hazard.

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4th – Carya 10th – Par 4, Turkey.

  • The Kracken as they call it officially. An incredibly difficult hole urging you into the water on the left in every way possible. Trees on the right hand side means a straight drive is vital. Get it wrong and you’re in the drink. The narrow fairway sloping right to left also doesn’t help matters, with bunkers lining the right hand side of the fairway. An iron off the tee is advised

 

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5th – Lumine Hills 18th – Par 4, Spain.

  • In our 18 for its beauty. The sharp dog leg right looks like a normal dog leg from the tee until you turn the corner and see the large lake on the left and a stunning open cliff face shadowing the green. A big hitter can avoid the lake if you can shoot over the trees, if not, a tricky approach shot over the water onto a slightly raised green, will mean anything too heavy will roll off the back of the green.

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6th – Santana 4th – Par 5, Spain.

  • A long par 5 and a hole to think about. Keep your tee shot left to avoid the cluster of bunkers that can be reached from your tee shot. The second shot is one you want to keep right to give yourself the best angle into the green. Be aware of the small stream and two nasty bunkers protecting the front of the green.

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7th – Costa Navarino Dunes 2nd – Par 4, Greece.

  • This stunning short par 4 requires you to be accurate off the tee to avoid the bunkers lining the fairway. This hole takes its place in our 18 because of its breath-taking, sea view backdrop from tee to green.

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8th – Thracian Cliffs 7th – Par 4, Bulgaria.

  • Possibly the most photographed hole in Europe. One of the most challenging too. The tee shot which is from a tee box in the sea needs to carry 170 meters over the sea onto a narrow, elevated fairway. Good luck!

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9th – Verdura East 18th – Par 4, Sicily.

  • The tee shot is played against a backdrop of the cliffs and an ancient ruin with the coastline of Sicily lying to the right with the waves breaking on the shoreline. The demanding second shot to the green must carry a deep hollow before rising up to the undulating putting surface set directly against the cliff face.

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