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The New Year has only just begun, leaving you plenty of time to start planning your holidays for the remainder of it. Instead of just laying on the beach in the Caribbean, why not plan your holiday around one of your favorite past times; golf. Pair some sporty excursions with some of these stunning destinations to get the most out of your time off this year.

Pair some sporty excursions with some of these stunning destinations to get the most out of your time off this year.

The Scottish Highlands

Scotland is king when it comes to the sport and enthusiasts from all over the globe come here just to check out the courses. The views are absolutely stunning and the actual courses are impeccably designed. Check out the courses here.

Scotland

Suggested Course

The Queens Course: It’s one of the most beautiful in the Gleneagles region; full of woodlands and the occasional roaming deer. It was opened in 1917, has a challenging par of 68 and is actually less than 6000 yards.

Where to Stay

Gleneagles Hotel: Stay here for a luxurious experience with fantastic views. It’s a five star resort with exclusive dining options and a great location for people heading to the golf courses.

What to do

When you aren’t on the golf course, there is plenty to explore in the Scottish Highlands. Visit Cairngorms National Park, tour the Dunrobin Castle or wander through Inverewe Gardens.

 

Catalonia, Spain

One of the most beautiful regions of Spain, Catalonia is located in the northeast and is characterized by its beaches and the Pyrenees Mountains.

Barcelona

Suggested Course

Bonmont: It’s located in the hills of the surrounding mountains and offers views over the Mediterranean. The course is also quite versatile so golfers at most levels can have a good time here. 

Where to Stay

Hotel Ciutat de Tarragona: Situated in an ideal location, guests can easily walk to the beach and the historical center. It also has a rooftop lounge, pool, and spacious, modern rooms.

What to do

Take some time to visit Barcelona and taste the tapas, wander through Sagrada Familia and lounge on the beaches. If you can, rent a car and check out the beaches of Costa Brava, climb up Montserrat and visit the Dali Museum.

 

Antalya, Turkey

It’s the largest city on the country’s Mediterranean coast and is also the gateway to the Turkish Riviera. The city is also a great starting point if you want to visit the region of Belek, a natural beauty and great place to play golf.

turkey

Suggested Course

Carya: Opened in 2008, the course is quite new and is made up of 7,186 yards and has a 72 par. You can also play golf here well into the evening as it has plenty of lights.

Where to Stay

Voyage Belek Golf & Spa: This hotel overlooks the beach and is only a short drive from Montgomerie golf course. It’s an absolutely huge resort with swimming pools, plenty of dining options and entertainment.

What to do

Wander through the old quarter of Antalya to view the mosque, make a visit to some of the beaches and check out the zoo.

 

Paphos, Cyprus

This coastal location is a hot spot for tourists due to its history and cultural treasures. While it has been a holiday destination for years, the area is increasingly becoming known for its golf courses.

Paphos

Suggested Courses

Aphrodite Hills: It’s an award-winning course that is well manicured and full of native plants. It also features a challenging, 130 meters-long gorge to work your shots around.

Where to Stay

Aphrodite Hills Hotel: This hotel is five stars and known for its elegance. Guests are offered fine dining and entertainment as well as pools, outdoor Jacuzzis and garden views.

What to do

Wander through the archaeological park, visit the Tomb of Kings and spend some time learning a bit at the Episkopi Environmental Center.

 

Lisbon, Portugal

The weather is fantastic and the golf courses are in abundance around Portugal. While there are courses all over the country, the bustling city of Lisbon makes a great place to stay.

Lisbon Portugal

Suggested Course

Aldeia dos Capuchos: It features 9 holes and is one of the newest courses in the country. The ocean serves as the backdrop here and visitors will love the strategic bunkers, sloping greens and large lake.

Where to Stay

Sesimbra Hotel and Spa: Located right on the beach, this hotel is four stars and is in walking distance of restaurants and bars. Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment after a long day of golf.

What to do

It’s impossible to get bored in this thriving city. Visit the various parks and gardens, wander the historic streets and dig into the night life if you have the energy.

 

Costa Brava, Spain

It used to be an unlikely golfing destination but now has been voted one of the most up and coming spots to golf. While the resorts are modern and lush, there are plenty of quaint fishing villages and culture to explore when you’re finished your game.

Catalunya Resort

Suggested Course

Emporda Links: The fairways are fast and wide with very little tree coverage. To have success on this challenging course, make sure that your shots are precise!

Where to Stay

Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya Resort: It’s a five-star hotel that is actually located right on a 36-hole golf course. Enjoy the spa, outdoor pool, hot tub and hammam when you finish your game.

What to do

Wander the fishing village of Tossa de Mar if you want to add a little bit of culture and beauty to your trip. The old Jewish quarter of Girona as well as the Dali museum and marine park make great destinations as well.

 

Algarve, Portugal

This destination offers fantastic value as a golfing vacation spot. The course options are pretty wide and amongst the large hotels, there are also interesting fishing villages to explore.

Lagos

Suggested Course

Alamos: This course offers a variety of holes as well as undulating fairways and small sized greens. Conditions are great and the whole course is delightfully secluded.

Where to Stay

Penina Hotel & Golf Resort: It’s one of the most famous golf resorts in Europe and has quite a loyal following. It has charm, personality and offers elegant amenities on top of the fact that it has superb golf facilities.

What to do

Make sure to visit the old inner city of Lagos and see the red stone castle, Silves. Wander through the trails of Monchique mountains and try out one of the activities like mountain biking or a boat trip.

 

Cape Provinces, South Africa

This stunning area is characterized by good weather and is home to the country’s most famous city, Cape Town. The area is also full of vineyards and stunning desert scenery.

vineyard

Suggested Course

Arabella Country Estate: This estate is home to one of the most highly ranked courses in the country. There are tricky bunkers, pristine grass and an infamous closing hole.

Where to Stay

Arabella Hotel and Spa: It’s highly rated and offers rooms with private terraces to overlook the scenery. There is a swimming pool, plenty of elegant dining options and an award-winning spa.

What to do

Make sure to explore all of the museums and restaurants in Cape Town and take a drive to the wine growing region of Stellenbosch.

 

Vienna, Austria

This city is famous for the river that runs through it as well as the distinct culture. While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a golf getaway, it’s actually home to some pretty amazing courses.

vienna

Suggested Course

Adamstal Golf Club: You’ll find this course amongst the alpine foothills. The holes are actually quite flat while still offering up a challenge. There is also a bonus 19th hole!

Where to Stay

Diamond Country Club: It’s located an hour west of Vienna but is well known as the home of the PGA European Tour Lyoness Austrian Open.

What to do

There is an overwhelming amount of sites to see here but try to make it to the MAK museum, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the outdoor markets.

 

Bruges, Belgium

Known for its Medieval architecture, cobblestone streets and fairytale-like atmosphere, Bruges makes a lovely destination for your next golfing vacation.

belgium

Suggested Course 

Royal Zoute Golf Club: Only 25 minutes from Bruges, this course is one of the most premier in the country. It was designed by Harry Colt back in 1907 and is one of the top links courses in Europe. It resembles an English golf course and has hosted the Belgian Open for many years.

Where to Stay

Grand Hotel Casselbergh: It’s a historic hotel located in the center of Bruges. Guests can enjoy the wellness center, the bar, sauna and Turkish bath. All of the amenities are perfect for relaxing after a long day of golf.

What to do

Make sure to check out the Brewery De Halve Maan to learn all about Belgian beer making and the Choco-Story Museum to learn all about how Belgian chocolate is made. There are actually enough museums to keep your schedule filled throughout the entire trip.

 

Prague, Czech Republic

Another fairytale city, Prague is home to Medieval architecture, a 9th-century castle and an old town square. The outskirts of the city are home to some prestigious golf courses that have seen some pretty prominent players over the years.

albatross

Suggested Course

Albatross Golf Resort: Opened in 2009 and located just outside of Prague, this course sits at 420 meters above sea level. Due to its own distinct micro-climate, this course has the longest golf season in central Europe. It has 65 sand bunkers, seven lakes and is comprised of 50,400 square meters.

Where to Stay

Hotel Majestic Plaza: This hotel is located right in the center of Prague and offers a prestigious and elegant experience for guests. Guests can enjoy the outdoor and indoor pools, sauna, hot tub and restaurant which serves up some international cuisine.

What to do

Make sure to wander around both new and old town, walk along the Charles Bridge, and get a photo in front of the Dancing House.

 

Basque, France

Located in southern France, the Basque region has a French elegance with some Spanish flair. The natural scenery here is stunning, especially with the Pyrenees Mountains as a backdrop.

Basque

Suggested Course

Golf de Chantaco: This golf course is especially interesting as it’s located in the small fishing village of St. Jean de Luz. The course is family owned and was designed by Harry Colt. Golfers here can look forward to both coastal and woodland views.

Where to Stay

Grand Tonic Hotel Biarritz: This boutique hotel is located right in the heart of Biarritz. Guests here can walk to the casino, old port and 4 different golf courses.

What to do

Look at the architecture of the churches, visit the Museum of The Sea and spend some time lounging on the beaches.

 

South Coast, Ireland

This region of Ireland is full of history from castles and abbeys to stately homes. There is so much that visitors can see here aside from the pristine golf courses.

ireland

Suggested Course

Dingle Links: The scenery here is breathtaking and makes it worth visiting even if you aren’t playing golf. The course is a bit challenging but well worth it.

Where to Stay

Hayfield Manor: It’s said that this is the grandest hotel in Cork as it’s perfectly secluded and rated five stars.

What to do

Have a look at the Ring of Kerry, view the lakes of Killarney and wander through the lovely fishing villages of Waterford and Wexford. Also, head to Cork if you want to spend a little time wandering a city.

 

Western Gulf, Thailand

This popular area of the country is home to some of Thailand’s most visited places like Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan. While each of the islands are great for beach lounging and partying, Hua Hin is especially good for golfing.

Hua Hin

Suggested Course

Banyan Golf Club: Rolex named this course one of the top 1000 in the world. The course is 7,361 yards par-3 and has plenty of sand traps, waste bunkers and water hazards.

Where to Stay

Wannara Hotel: This four-star property is located in walking distance of Hua Hin beach. It’s modern in style and offers an outdoor pool, hot tub and on site restaurant.

What to do

If you can, head on over to the islands for a relaxing getaway once you finish your golfing. While in Hua Hin, try to get to the Railway Station, Klai Kangwon Palace, and Sam Roi Yot National Park.

 

Arizona, U.S.A

It’s full of desert, cacti and of course, the Grand Canyon. The weather here is ideal and the golf courses are abundant.

grand canyon

Suggested Course

Boulders North Course: Designed by Jay Morrish, this course is considered one of the very best in the area. It is 7000 yards with a par 72 and is surrounding by spectacular landscapes of desert and mountains.

Where to Stay

Hyatt House Hotel: It’s located in Scottsdale and is only a short walk from a nice selection of bars and restaurants. They have suites available that offer plenty of comforts like a lounge and equipped kitchen.

What to do

Make sure to visit the Grand Canyon! It should be the top destination on your list. Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are also gorgeous, natural sites that are worth visiting too.

 

North Region, Puerto Rico

This region of the country is full of caves, lagoons and rugged coastline. It’s all about the nature here which make the golf courses particularly beautiful.

Royal Isabela

Suggested Course

Royal Isabela-The Links: It’s a challenging 18-hole course that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is run by one of Puerto Rico’s most respected golf professionals.

Where to Stay

Royal Isabela: This hotel is the best place to stay if you want to be close to the golf course. Plus, it also overlooks the ocean as well as all of the other natural scenery.

What to do

Check out the bioluminescent bays, hang in the casinos and go snorkeling or scuba diving if you’re up for it.

 

Marrakech, Morocco

This city will take you back in time while offering up all of the best of the country’s culture. It has a stunning backdrop and plenty to do.

morocco

Suggested Course

Al Maaden Golf Course: It’s a par 72 course that measures 6644m and has strategically placed bunkers and plenty of water. The course can be quite challenging, but in a good way!

Where to Stay

Riad Cinnamon: This boutique hotel is tiny, housing only 5 suites. However, it offers the chance to stay amongst the winding streets of the ancient city and has pretty gardens, a roof terrace and dipping pools.

What to do

Make sure to wander around the souks, get a glimpse at the tanneries and view the architecture of the mosques. Don’t forget to drink the mint tea too.

 

Check out our destinations page for more inspiration of where to go on your golfing holiday. If you’d like to discuss this further, please do get in touch.

The UK is kind of a big deal when it comes to golf vacations. Did you know that? OK, maybe you did, but were you aware that many of these golf courses also pair themselves with spas? That’s right, the spa treatments that these resorts offer are just as incredible as the golf courses. Plus, after a long afternoon swinging your club, a relaxing evening at the spa may be just what the doctor ordered.

So, before you start planning your next golf outing in the UK, consider booking a resort that has the spa to match. Here are the best places in the UK for a golf and spa break!

Macdonald Linden Hall Golf & Country Club

Built in the 1800s, the country club is situated on 450 acres of private land. It overlooks the rolling countryside of Northumberland and has won awards for the food and drink offerings on site. In fact, this country club is such a destination that it’s a popular spot for business meetings, weddings, and other important events. The accommodation options are considered luxurious, and it makes the perfect getaway for couples looking for some romance.

The Golf Course

Spread across the large private estate is an 18-hole golf course that is just as beautiful as it is secluded. It was designed by Jonathan Gaunt and is a 72 par parkland course. The greens here are USGA specific and there are 4 challenging par 3’s. Golfers here can expect some strategically placed bunkers, water hazards, a par 5 hole, and a golfer’s lounge.

The Spa

The health and fitness club is home to a heated indoor pool, Technogym, sauna, and steam room. Some of the treatments include a hot stone massage, aromatic massage, body polish, ear candle, reflexology treatment, waxing, manicures and pedicures, and more.

Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

This mansion has been the home to royalty for centuries but is now open for visitors to enjoy. A visit to this estate offers a 50-acre lake, woodland trails, landscaped gardens, fine dining, and tennis courts.

The Golf Course

Designed by Mike Smith, this championship course stretches for over 7,000 yards. The challenging green follows USGA specifics and a front nine with an inland links feel. The back nine will take players parkland and around the estate.

The Spa

The oak framed building is an oasis of luxury that is perfectly secluded to provide the ultimate spa experience. Guests can lounge in the infinity pool or vitality pool, enjoy the heat therapy, or just relax in the gardens. Some treatments include: ESPA facials, scalp treatments, eye firming treatments, body wraps and scrubs, firming thigh treatments, hot stone massage, Swedish massage, and more.

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

Situated on 1,000 acres of parkland, this hotel and country club has dazzling views of the Edinburgh Castle as well as the Forth Bridges. There are more than 200 suites and rooms that are filled with history and surrounded by a variety of restaurants and bars. With a state-of-the-art fitness center and plenty of leisure activities, visitors will always have something to do.

The Golf Course

The east golf course was designed by James Braid back in 1927 and offers a par 73. Guests can enjoy the bunkers and perfectly manicured green across the 7055 acre course. The west course stretches for 5168 yards and is a par 68. It has narrow fairways and smaller greens that make this course slightly more challenging.

The Spa

Luxury is the goal of this beauty salon and spa. They offer nail treatments, spray tanning, waxing, facials, massages, and more.

Marriott Hanbury Manor Hotel & Country Club

This is one of the UK’s premier resorts as it has 5-star dining options, and an award winning spa. In fact, the hotel has a little of everything including tennis courts, fully-equipped gyms, steam rooms, and a pool.

The Golf Course

The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus II and requires a lot of nerve as well as physical and mental strength to complete. Opening up in 1990, it has quickly gained respect and a status as one of the best resorts in the area. It’s seen many of the sport’s greatest players on its immaculately tended for green.

The Spa

Visit this spa at almost any time of day and enjoy their rejuvenating treatments which include: body wraps, facials, manis/pedis, waxing, massages, a steam room.

Foxhills Club & Resort

This 400-acre estate is family run and offers an experience of both luxury and home comfort. Play tennis on one of the eleven courts, or wander through the picturesque countryside where the resort resides.

The Golf Course

Take a few swings at the driving range before heading over to one of the three onsite golf courses. While two of them are 18-hole championship courses, one is a unique 9-hole course.

The Spa

Finish each day with a spa treatment to work out the kinks from the course. Try a sports muscle massage, facial, thermal therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, and more.

Celtic Manor

It’s a 5-star hotel with 330 bedrooms, all expertly designed to be unique and exude luxury. Imagine calming terraces and large, sun filled picture windows welcoming you to each new day. Listen to a piano player while you sip craft cocktails in the many onsite restaurants and bars.

The Golf Course

The Twenty Ten Course features more than 7,000 yards and has a par of 71. Expect a links-like feel in some areas as well as water hazards. The Roman Road course has a par 70 and provides views of the Seven Estuary. The Montgomerie course has a par of 69 and stretches for more than 6,000 yards. Expect bunkers, valleys and downhill shots here.

The Spa

Visit the Forum spa for an afternoon of tranquility. Ambient lighting and aromatherapy characterize the sixteen rooms that offer hot stone massages, deep tissue massages, facials and more.

Marriott Breadsall Priory Hotel & Country Club

This 13th-century hotel is located right between Nottingham, Derby, and the Peak District. Aside from its architecture and history, this destination is known for its luxurious spa and the perfection of the golf courses.

The Golf Course

The Priory course offers some of the best golf in the entire area. There are 6054 yards of parkland that wind their way around the hotel. The Moorland course was designed back in 1991 by Donald Steel and is known for its excellent views overlooking the countryside. It’s par 70 and has 6,028 acres to play on.

The Spa

The property has been put on the map party because of its opulent spa. Picture a candlelit room reserved for you and your relaxation. Some of the treatments here include: facials, body wraps, massages, manicures, body scrubs, and waxing.

East Sussex National Golf Resort & Spa 

It’s nestled into the heart of the countryside and has become known as an epic destination for golf. The resort has been home to the European Open in 1993 and 1994, and is characterized by its luxurious atmosphere and elite spa experience.

The Golf Course

The East course was designed with the championship at the forefront, stretching more than 7,000 yards. There are two loops with nine holes, and the entire course as a whole is full of challenges. The west course is smaller and more scenic, yet slightly tighter with more challenges.

 The Spa

This spa offers some pretty exclusive packages like, “The English Garden Experience” which features a whole lineup of hot stones as well as “The Summer Body Treatment” package which features a salt scrub and full body moisturizer.

Cameron House

Look out over Loch Lomond as you ease into a new way of life at the laidback Cameron House. Take loch cruises, enjoy fine dining, stop in at the spa or play a game of golf while visiting.

The Golf Course

This 71 par course was designed by Doug Carrick, and has elevated holes that offer some pretty stunning views. While the course is certainly challenging, it makes it all worth it to look out at the beautiful views of the Scottish Highlands.

The Spa 

Take a journey into a tranquil and almost spiritual place. The spa at Cameron House will treat you like royalty and give you plenty of relaxing options to choose from. Try an ESPA facial, Carita facials, ESPA body experiences, and hair & nail treatments.

The Oxfordshire Golf, Hotel & Spa

Close to London, this hotel makes the perfect getaway into the countryside. It’s only 50 bedrooms which means it’s small enough to feel intimate but large enough to make you feel spoiled. With a sauna, swimming pool, and full gym, you will have plenty here to keep you busy. Don’t forget to visit the on-site restaurant and sample their world wine list.

The Golf Course

This course was built by the world renowned, Rees Jones and has been the site of multiple golf championships. With strategically placed lakes and bunkers, this course offers the perfect challenge.

The Spa

The ambient and calming atmosphere set the scene for an array of luxury spa treatments. While visiting, choose from: a full body massage, eco-chic facial, pregnancy treatment, and more.

Hallmark Welcombe Hotel Spa & Golf Club

Located in the northern Cotswolds, guests to this golf club will be welcomed with 157 acres of beautiful grounds. The building dates back to the 1800s but now has contemporary décor. Guests can keep busy on the green, at the tennis courts, in the thermal experience rooms or at the pool.

The Golf Course

This championship course is 18 holes and a par 70. The course stretches for 6,288 yards and offers par 3 and par 5 holes.

The Spa

It’s bright, light, and noticeably modern, making this spa a trendy place to relax. Check out the ancient Roman treatments, infinity showers, the Finnish sauna, or dual treatment rooms.

Belton Woods 

Set on more than 400 acres of countryside, this destination makes quite the escape. Not only is it beautiful and relaxing, but it also offers an exciting lineup of activities like squash, quad-biking, and croquet.

The Golf Course

The Lakes Course is a true challenge as it has lots of water hazards to work around. It’s a championship course with a par 72, and the lanes are long with tight fairways. The Woodside Course is a 73 par that runs along the wooded area of the property. It’s just over 6,000 yards long and is especially beautiful during autumn months.

The Spa

While at the spa, you can try an ESPA facial, ESPA body treatments, a mani/pedi or waxing.

Barnham Broom Hotel

The Norfolk countryside is home to this hotel, all 300 acres of it. It’s a four-star hotel with a contemporary design that is warm, welcoming, and quaint with its 46 rooms. There is also an award winning Brassiere onsite for when you’re feeling peckish.

The Golf Course

The Valley Course is characterized by its water features that blend into the natural landscape designed by Frank Pennink. It’s a 72 par course that has been operating since the 1970s. The Hill course is 71 par course with wide fairways and a real links feel.

The Spa

This luxury spa offers a wide range of holistic treatments. After a long game of golf, head on over for a body wrap, Indian head massage, Reiki, Hopi ear candle, or some reflexology.

Herons’ Reach

Guests here can choose from 172 bedrooms that have been modernly styled to make each guest feel at home. There are multiple restaurants on site as well as a Starbucks for all of the coffee lovers. Their wellness and beauty center, as well as the golf course, are what make this hotel so popular.

The Golf Course

Expect elevated tees, challenging holes, low-hanging trees and strategically placed bunkers. It’s a championship style golf course at its finest. Plus, they even have a floodlit driving range.

The Spa

Relax in the soothing spa with treatments that will relax your muscles after a long day on the green. Opt for a full body massage or get some work done on those shoulders.

Stoke By Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa

Located on 300 acres of English countryside, this resort is a site within itself. Guests to the luxury suites are welcomed to dine at the onsite restaurants or enjoy the health and fitness center. This is the perfect resort to visit if you’re a golfer but your wife just wants somewhere beautiful to relax.

The Golf Course

The Constable Course was built in the 1970s and is full of interesting water hazards. The green is well manicured and you will get lake views. The Gainsborough Course has been voted one of the best in the region and is filled with challenges that suit all skill levels.

The Spa

This spa has got it all from international treatments to the tried and tested favorites you know and love. Check out the Hammam, the mud therapy, steam room, Jacuzzi, and sanarium.

Macdonald Portal Hotel Golf & Spa

With an award winning restaurant, three golf courses, and gigantic bathtubs in each room, guests here can expect to seriously relax. There is also the town of Chester nearby which has plenty of shops and restaurants for guests to explore as well.

The Golf Course

The championship course is spread over 7000 yards that were once the site of a battlefield. With water features and USGA standard green, this course has an immaculate landscape in addition to the picturesque countryside. The 3rd hole has a 602 par 5 and the 14th hole has a par 3. The premier course has a par 3 7th hole and although smaller, is said to be the hotel’s most challenging.

The Spa

The spa is renowned and known for its expert pampering. Try a scalp massage, Elemis facial, a mani/pedi, and a whole lot more.

Gleneagles

This 5-star resort is one of the most luxurious destinations in the area. It’s in the heart of Scotland and offers 232 luxurious rooms for guests. While visiting, you can dine at the Michelin star restaurant before checking out one of the three championship courses. 

The Golf Course

The PGA Century Course was once the location of the Ryder Cup. It’s stunning views and expert design are something that you won’t want to miss. The Kings Course is fairly hilly with strategic bunkers and beautiful fairways. The Queens Course is the shortest but is a par 68 which makes it an interesting challenge.

The Spa

Indulge in both traditional and new-age spa treatments at this oasis for tranquility. Have a facial, try a foot ritual, or get a full body massage.

After a long day of golf, a little spa time is welcomed, so what better place to stay than a resort where you can do both. And, if you are traveling with someone who doesn’t necessarily share your enthusiasm for golf, why not book them a few spa treatments to enjoy while you play? On a rainy day in the UK, you’ll be pleased to spend some time soaking in the warm jacuzzi! Get in touch today to discuss your UK golfing plans. 

For the first week of the New Year, this week’s blog is on some of the best new hotels that are now ready and available for you to book through us! As 2017 is now upon us, it is certainly time to start thinking about where and when your next golf break to the sun is and there is no better way to start than by taking a closer look at some of the beautiful hotels that are on offer to you…

1

First up we have the five-star Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel situated in Majorca. Not only is this a beautiful hotel which is elegantly decorated with each room having large French windows and a satellite TV but whilst staying here you have easy access to three great 18-hole golf courses! Not only is there easy access to these courses but you get preferential tee-times at these courses to make your holiday even more enjoyable. Whilst you are not on the golf course there are three swimming pools, tennis courts and a beach volleyball court to enjoy. If the facilities at the hotel and the golf isn’t enough to preoccupy you then just 10-minutes’ drive will take you to the sandy beaches of Mallorca! Es Carbo is the hotel’s own restaurant and features stunning views across the Son Vida golf course or if you prefer a lighter tapas meal then the poolside restaurant is another superb location for you to enjoy your meal! This is a stunning hotel with some fantastic golf and other facilities which is perfect for your next golf holiday to Mallorca.

sheraton-mallorca-arabella

Next up is the four-star, all-inclusive resort of Elba Carlota which boasts a prime location within Fuerteventura Golf Club and just three-minutes’ walk from the beach. There is certainly not a shortage of things to do here with a casino, spa and sports facilities including a gym and a hot tub, the beach within such close proximity and an outdoor swimming pool! Of course, being situated within Fuerteventura Golf Club means that you have a brilliant golf course just a few minutes’ walk away but guests also play at Salinas de Antigua when staying here which is another fantastic course. When staying here, the resort offers you three dining options: Tindaya buffet restaurant, El Arrecife Restaurant which serves a range of tapas dishes and the Chiringuito Restaurant and Bar which serves delicious seafood. This is another superb hotel with high-class facilities and some spectacular golf – perfect for your next relaxing golf break.

elba-carlota

Situated on the Costa del Sol and on the beachfront of Playamar in Torremolinos is the four-star Sol Principe hotel. All of the rooms in the hotel have their own private balcony where you can enjoy views of either the sea or the pools. This is a beautiful all-inclusive hotel with the hotel’s main restaurant boasting buffet-style food of different cuisines of the highest quality and a lovely outdoor terrace on which to enjoy the food on! During the summer season, you can also enjoy a second buffet restaurant by the pool. With two huge, lagoon-style pools as well as a fitness centre with an indoor pool there are many places around the hotel for you to relax in and truly enjoy your holiday. For entertainment, there are nightly shows as well as a kids’ club if you are making this a family trip! Sol Principe is a lovely, all-inclusive resort and perfect for your next golf holiday with or without the family!

sol-principe

Also on the Costa del Sol is the H10 Estepona Palace which boasts a fantastic location as it has direct access to the beach and is just over a mile from the centre of Estepona. All of the bright rooms feature free Wi-Fi, a satellite TV, a minibar and a private balcony or terrace where you can enjoy stunning views of the hotel’s surroundings. The hotel features three outdoor pools, two for adults and one for children, one of the adult’s pools is heated during the winter months. Alongside the outdoor pools, there is also the Despacio spa where you will find a Turkish bath, an indoor pool and a fitness centre to enjoy. This hotel is perfect for your next all-inclusive golf break to the Costa del Sol!

h10-estepona-palace

Yet another superb property on the Costa del Sol is Hotel Melia Marbella Banus which is just three-minutes’ walk from the beach and if that isn’t enough then there are also three outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts as well as a charming spa area which features a Turkish Bath, a sauna and a Jacuzzi as well as an indoor pool. Each of the rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished and all have their own private balcony for you to enjoy the views of the surroundings of the hotel from. There are two superb restaurants on the property which serve a range of different cuisines to suit everyone and for after dinner or post-round of golf there are two lovely bar areas for you to sit in and enjoy a few drinks! With all of the hotel’s facilities and no less than five superb golf courses within close proximity of the hotel it is no surprise that this is one we highly recommend for your next golf holiday to Spain!

melia-marbella-banus

Last, but not least, is the four-star H10 Salou Princess Hotel on the Costa Dorada. This hotel boasts a fantastic location as it is situated right in the heart of the bustling town of Salou and is just four-minutes’ walk from the beach! The hotel is set out around the large outdoor swimming pool and terrace area where you can relax and soak up some of the sun that we rarely see in the UK! The hotel also offers a gym as well as a spa including a Jacuzzi and a sauna. As you are situated in the centre of town there are many dining and drinking options but the hotel’s restaurant – El Tarraco – is a lovely option where you can enjoy a range of Mediterranean dishes and some great show cooking! As far as bars go, you won’t ever be short of somewhere to grab a drink with the hotel’s three bars as well as the ones you will find in town! This hotel is a superb option for your next golf break to Spain where you can enjoy relaxing on the beach or around the pool whilst getting the chance to play some excellent golf and enjoy some great food and drink – all in a great location!

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We hope that you have enjoyed this blog and it has sparked off some thoughts for where your next golf break could take you…

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Happy New Year from all of us at Golf Escapes and we hope that you have a good year full of plenty of great golf!

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Well known course designer, Pete Dye, once said, “Golf is not a fair game, so why build a course fair?” This has sort of become a signature, a trademark attribute of every good golf course out there – the challenge, the notorious holes, the twists and turns. Win or lose, some of these golf courses are punishing enough to make professional golfers cry on global television. Some of sport’s most unforgettable moments (of joy or of defeat). Which explains why some of the toughest golf courses are the most famous ones. Here at Golf Escapes, our team has over 60 years of collective experience in travel and over 40 years of collective experience in golf travel, so we know a thing or two about golf courses by now, including the best ones, the hardest ones, the most scenic ones, and the most iconic ones. Here are 15 of the most famous golf courses from around the world!

1. St. Andrews Old Course, Fife (Scotland)

Scotland’s courses make the big lists every single year and few have beaten the fame or the popularity of St. Andrews. The club boasts seven courses in total but it’s the Old Course that really has people talking. This par 72 course spans 6721 yards and anyone who plays here will be following in the footsteps of legends. St. Andrews Old Course is one of the oldest and most acclaimed courses in the world, and the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognised as seriously tough obstacles by golfers worldwide. Despite its status though, this course remains open to the public so it’s as accessible as it is prestigious.

And in addition to its shining reputation, the course is also incredibly well managed – in a sustainable and responsible way – to ensure that every golfer has the best possible experience.

St Andrews

‘Erik Thörnqvist på golfresa i St Andrews 2015.’ by Erik Thörnqvist

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2. The King’s Course, Perthshire (Scotland)

Often referred to as “the best moorland course in the world”, King’s Course remains a favourite amongst amateur and professional golfers. The course itself is designed by renowned architect, James Baird, and is best known for blending all 18 holes seamlessly into the landscape for a scenic and utterly soul-soothing experience. An absolute visual masterpiece, with the rugged natural beauty of rural Perthshire serving as its backdrop, the King’s Course is a test to even some of the best players in the world. A unique challenge with unbelievable views of the surrounding moorlands.

(Find out more about The King’s Course in Scotland)

3. The Stadium Course at Sawgrass, Florida (USA)

The Stadium Course at Sawgrass in Florida is a regular contender for the Top 100 lists in well-known golf publications and the notoriously tricky 17th island green is one of the reasons that makes this course such a famous one. Designed by Pete Dye, this is one of the most recognised courses across the globe. And with 44 average balls in the water according to 2013 stats, it makes for a riveting watch during the annual Players Championships. The 17th is the course’s shortest hole and one of the most dramatic. It can easily go one way or the other. Plenty of pro players manage to score a birdie here, but you can cut the tension with a knife between player and audience every time, because no matter how seemingly achievable it is, golfers are always just one swing away from a double bogey.

The Stadium Course at Sawgrass, Florida

(Find out more about The Stadium Course at Sawgrass in Florida)

4. Oakmont, Pennsylvania (USA)

This par 4 course opened back in 1903 and was built by the father-son team of Henry and William Fownes, two highly regarded designers who set the standards of golf and took it to a whole new level. Henry and William said of the game, “A shot poorly played should be irrevocably lost.” And that has been the concept behind their challenging course architecture. One slight mistake, one minor error and all chances could be blown. Created to be the most punishing and difficult course in America, Oakmont makes you work for it at the Church Pews bunker and also on the left side of the 4th hole.

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5. Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia (USA)

If the spectacular scenery doesn’t blow you away, the history and the long list of world famous players sure will. The course was founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie, and has been the home grounds for the Masters Tournament ever since 1934. This is the only major tournament played at the same course every single year, making Augusta National Golf Club one of the most famous across the globe. It goes without saying that it ranks as one of – if not, the – best course in numerous publications and tournament experiences are always a fantastic and memorable experience for visitors. Our packages include hotel and breakfast with Masters tickets and transfers (with custom holiday packages also available).

Augusta National Golf Club

‘Augusta National Golf Club’ by Dan Perry

(Find out more about Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia)

6. Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeenshire (Scotland)

Made up of majestic sand dunes, rugged grassland and breath-taking sea views, golfing at Aberdeenshire’s Trump International Golf Links course is a truly memorable experience. Switch perfectly manicured greens for something wonderful and wild, and bring the whole family along for a great holiday exploring the area’s natural beauty and many nearby beaches. Set along the coast in Balmedie, this golf course is one of the most dramatic and golfers will enjoy staying at the grand five star Macleod House.

(Find out more about Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire)

7. Cypress Point, California (USA)

Cypress Point is another world famous course that never fails to be listed by big golf publications. Set along the stunning coastline of Pebble Beach in California, this 18 hole golf course offers the most awe-inspiring views. The natural beauty of the surrounding area is unmatched by any other golf course in the US, and the course boasts a timeless feel for classic playing. The course was designed by Alister Mackenzie, with a view of allowing the golf course to take a natural and organic route, blending the holes flawlessly with the beauty of the landscape. Watch out for the 16th hole and beware of The Pacific – the ultimate water hazard.

Cypress Point

‘View From Clubhouse to 16’ by Schnaars

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8. Pine Valley, New Jersey (USA)

Another impressive course that regularly makes the Top 100 and even Top 10 lists of the best golf courses in the world. And it isn’t without reason. Founder George Crump, who sadly died before the course’s completion in 1919, took a piece of desolate land in New Jersey and set about transforming it into a beautiful masterpiece. After public opening in 1919, it took more than three years before anyone could complete the course in 70 strokes and Pine Valley quickly earned its reputation as one of the most testing courses for even the best golfers. In the book Complete Golfer, Robert Trent Jones wrote about Pine Valley, “It fills you with dread and delight…..it takes your breath away…..it’s a monster…..but it’s beautiful”.

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9. Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle (Northern Ireland)

It’s no surprise that an Irish golf course has made it onto our list. With the incredible rugged landscapes and unforgiving coastal winds, golfing in Ireland or Northern Ireland is both a challenging and beautiful experience. The Republic of Ireland is fast becoming a key destination for golf holidays but we simply can’t go without mentioning a Northern Ireland course, the famous Royal County Down Golf Club and regular contender in Top 100 lists. It’s often compared to Royal Portrush, with the two clubs going head to head to be the best golf course in the Norther Ireland region. Nestled at the foothills of the Mourne Mountains and still upholding many of golfing’s old traditions, this is a great place to play.

Royal County Down Golf Club

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10. Kingsbarns Golf Links, near St. Andrews (Scotland)

Ranked in the ‘Worldwide Top 100 Golf Courses Outside the United States’, Kingsbarns is an 18 hole 72 par links course that every golfer should get to know. A dream to play for avid golfers, this course offers spellbinding views. And with such a beautiful seaside location along the Fife coastline, sunsets are pretty amazing too. Co-hosting the annual European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (together with the Old Course at St Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links), this is one of the most prestigious places to tee off in Scotland.

The Kingsbarns experience is something of a traditional one and the club aims to deliver the most excellent service to all of its guests. So if you’re looking for prominent, high-status course together with a friendly service from a very passionate team, this is the place to be for your next golf holiday.

(Find out more about Kingsbarns Golf Links near St. Andrews)

11. Monte Rei Golf Course, Algarve (Portugal)

This signature golf course ranks as the number 1 golf course in Portugal. Set in the beautiful Eastern Algarve, a golfing holiday here is fantastic for the entire family. The towns of Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Monte Gordo are all worth a visit and the beaches will keep everyone happy. The course itself is designed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus and shortly after opening to the public in 2007, this new course quickly established a reputation of being the best course in the country. The beautiful course features five stunning lakes and there is also a great driving range on site for practice.

Monte Rei Golf Course

(Find out more about Monte Rei Golf Course in Portugal)

12. Muirfield, East Lothian (Scotland)

Having been ranked number 3 in the world several times, Muirfield is a must. A rite of passage even. Since 1892, Muirfield has hosted 42 national and international competitions, averaging about one every three years. And the course has seen some of the biggest golfing stars come and go, including James Braid and Sir Nick Faldo (who have both won two majors on the course), Harry Vardon, Tom Watson, Sir Michael Bonallack, Ronnie Shade, Cyril Tolley, Robert A Gardner, Lee Trevino, Tony Jacklin and many more. Known to the golfing world as a low-key yet highly admired golf course with straightforward links and challenging fairways, Muirfield is just fantastic through and through.

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13. Dubai Creek, Dubai (UAE)

The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club has had global attention in recent years and is listed as the 5th best course in the United Arab Emirates. A relatively new club, opening in 1993, Dubai Creek has already been dubbed a “golfer’s paradise”. Best known for its well-groomed fairways and manicured greens, this is a picture perfect course that creates a serious challenge from tournament tees. But don’t worry if you’re not up to a punishing play because the course goes a little easier from the forward tees, making it a good course for golfers of every level. Situated just 5 minutes away from Dubai city centre, it’s also in a very convenient location, especially for holiday makers who are bringing the whole family.

Dubai Creek

(Find out more about Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club)

14. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, New York (USA)

A superb golf course for anyone touring the US! The beautifully green and rugged looking Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is set in the town of Southampton on Long Island in New York. For anyone popping over to the Big Apple, this course is a must. Prestigious, extremely well managed, and a course that holds its own with other high status courses in the US, Shinnecock Hills offers an experience you won’t forget. It has hosted the U.S. Open four times in three different centuries and is scheduled to host again in 2018.

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15. Corballis Links, County Dublin (Ireland)

Ranked in the Top 100 list, we simply can’t forget to mention Corballis Links in Donabate, County Dublin. Less than 30 minutes from the city of Dublin, it’s in a great location for a golf holiday, with easy access to sightseeing and the great food and drink culture of Ireland. The course is over 100 years old and you stumble across some old quirks, a smattering of old fashioned course design even though the layout has been upgraded a number of times.

Corballis Links

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If you are interested in experiencing what it is like to play golf on one of the most famous golf courses in the world, please do get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

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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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Sometimes it is hard to decide which of the many golf courses in Europe you are going to put on your golfing bucket list and which you are going to centre your next golfing holiday around but here is our tailor-made list of the top five golf courses in Europe…

To start the list we have these three superb golf courses in Portugal…

Monte-Rei

First up we have Monte Rei which could well be the best golf course that we sell in Portugal and it’s not just the golf course that is first class! All the buggies include GPS systems which help you navigate your way around the spectacular course. The club is renowned for its fabulous service, guests will be met by a member of staff who will even park the car and take the clubs to the first tee for them where they will be clean and waiting for you. This course is not to be missed and everything from its excellent service to the bunkers made of crushed marble and beautiful greenery explains why this is one of the finest courses in the Algarve.

#6San-Lorenzo

Then we have San Lorenzo which is a fabulously well thought out course in Portugal. It is constantly appearing in the list of “Europe’s top 100 courses” in magazines such as Today’s Golfer and Golf World and it isn’t hard to see why.  The course features sandy undulating greens with the fairways bordered by umbrella pines and the marsh sanctuary. The course offers some stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean before turning back inland after the 7th hole showing spectacular greenery and the lakes that make this course a little tricky. We recommend staying at Dona Filipa or the Formosa Park to ensure tee times on this great course!

SanLorenzo_06BackSunset_9681royal-obidos

Next up we have the Royal Obidos course which only opened in 2012 but is already making a name for itself. With its undulating greens and its spectacular scenery of lakes and greenery it’s not hard to see why this is one of the Golf Escapes’ favourites! We recommend a buggy at Royal Obidos as you will certainly know about it the next day if you decide to walk the course and water features so prominently on this course that you are certain to lose a few balls so make sure you bring a few spare! This picturesque course also offers great views of the Atlantic Ocean and holes of varying difficulty. Set in the grounds of the amazing Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa this really is a perfect golfing holiday destination.

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Portugal hosts some fabulous courses but these course which are situated in Spain are sure to turn any keen golfer’s head…

PGA-Catalunya

There are two fantastic 18 hole courses at PGA and both are brilliant in their own ways. These could be argued as the two best courses in Northern Spain easily. The PGA Stadium is the tougher of the two courses and has held the Spanish Open on a number of occasions. Although not confirmed until December, this course has a shot at even being the host of the Ryder Cup 2022. Even though the Stadium course is fantastic, the PGA Tour course seems to be more popular to a lot of golfers as it is easier and less punishing! We recommend staying in Girona if these two courses are on your golfing holiday itinerary which is just 20 minutes away. Girona is a mini Barcelona with plenty of Michelin Star restaurants, stylish bars and great nightlife.

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BlogValderrama

Last, but not least, we have Valderrama. Anyone who knows anything about golf and fantastic golf courses will have heard of Valderrama after its hosting of a plethora of championships. Set amongst cork trees on terrains in brilliant condition, this is arguably one of the best courses in the whole of Europe and has been justifiably been rated as number one. This course has been awarded for environmental excellence and it’s not hard to see why with its naturalistic setting and vast amount of wildlife. Although the course features quick greens it is playable for players of most abilities making it a great round of golf. If price will allow, no golfer should miss out on ticking this fantastic course off of their golfing bucket list.

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And our wildcard…the spectacular Thracian Cliffs course situated in Bulgaria…Thracian-Cliffs

Thracian Cliffs is unlike any other golf course in Europe.  It’s spectacular and a very tough and challenging course, even the best players will have to have a good round to score even close to their handicap! The course was designed by Gary Player and all 18 holes run along the cliff line of the Black Sea and the green fees at Thracian Cliffs all include unlimited use of the driving range facilities and a buggies. Just 15 minutes from the town of Balchik which is a great, local Bulgarian town where you can grab a pre or post round meal! We believe that the reason people should play at Thracian Cliffs is because it’s a world-class golfing experience, unlike any other course and it is also superb value for money. This course is a must-play and will be an unforgettable round!

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