Whether you’re indulging in a competitive game with friends or practising your putting before happy hour, golf breaks with Expedia are sure to satisfy anyone with a love of the great outdoors.
It may be best known for its flamenco, tapas and historical cities, but Spain is also a treasure trove of first-class golfing resorts. From the Andalusian backdrops of Costa del Sol to the palm-lined greens of Tenerife, Spain golfing holidays comprise some of the best courses in the world.
If you’re eager to pack in as many rounds in as possible on your golf break in Spain, head straight to Costa del Sol (or ‘Costa del Golf’, as it is also known). Here, you’ll come across more than 70 golf courses, such as Finca Cortesín, La Cala and Torrequebrada, which are great starting points. The latter is a favourite for Brits on a golf holiday in Costa del Sol, thanks to its beautiful sea views and closeness to Malaga Airport (the course is just 20 minutes away by car).
Prefer to take your golf clubs to the Canary Islands? Tenerife is jam-packed with PGA-standard courses. While the Abama golfing complex is the most prestigious members-only course on the island, those looking to sample Tenerife golf holidays should head towards Tecina Golf in the bustling Santa Cruz neighbourhood. Pulled up alongside the Atlantic Ocean and occupying part of a former banana plantation, this stunning 18-hole golf course boasts not just breath-taking views, but challenging greens.
Portugal boasts a smorgasbord of first-class golfing resorts – each with their own unique atmosphere. From the coastal crags of West Cliffs to the sweeping vistas of Madeira’s Santo da Serra, premium courses command attention at every turn on a Portugal golf holiday.
To see some of Portugal’s finest A-list greens in one go, there’s only one place to visit: Vilamoura in Central Algarve. This laidback harbour town boasts lively bars, medieval quarters and, most importantly, some of the best golf resorts in Portugal. Vale Do Lobo and Quinta Do Lago are among the most popular, along with San Lorenzo. This glamorous course, designed by legendary architect Joseph Lee, enjoys a backdrop of pine woodland, saltwater lagoons and beautiful Bermuda grass fairways. It doesn’t get much better than this on an Algarve golf holiday.
From the chateaus of Bordeaux to the high-end boutiques of Paris, the French, it seems, have a certain je ne sais quoi for creating high-end luxury. And nowhere is that more apparent than on a French golf holiday.
To see some of the finest golf courses in the country, head towards the Loire Valley. Golf de Sablé Solesmes and Golf de Bauge, with their undulating countryside and lush gardens, are two of the prettiest. However, if you’re hunting for the crème de la crème of golf courses, you’ll want to visit Golf d'Avrillé. Set in the grounds of Château de la Perrière, this golfing complex is more than just a pretty face, with its long par-four holes and expertly designed doglegs a perennial favourite amongst the French golfing elite.
Scotland might be famous for many things - kilts, haggis and Hogmanay – but it is their world-class golf courses that truly take the biscuit (or shortbread).
Gleneagles and St Andrews are easily the most exclusive courses in the country (if not the whole world) and are frequently regarded as the birthplace of premium golf. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable and available course on your Scotland golf holiday, you should pay a visit to the Carrick in Loch Lomond. The previous host to the Ladies Scottish Open and EuroPro Tour events, this course puts you at the heart of the Highlands.
With its sprawling landscapes and sunny southern climate, it’s easy to see why the Land of the Free is a hub for golfing enthusiasts. But with nearly 2,000 courses to choose from, where will you play first?
Clubs such as Cypress Point on Monterrey Island are the most highly sought-after in the country and are notoriously difficult to book (JFK himself was even once refused entry). Instead, you should make a beeline to Florida where there are plenty of picturesque pay-and-play courses to enjoy.
With more golf courses than any other state and a tropical climate to boot, the Sunshine State is where you can find the bulk of the country’s golf pros. For the best non-members clubs on your Florida golf holiday, head towards Tampa. Here you’ll find Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue (the short par four 9th on the Red is a favourite of Tom Doak, world-renowned golf architect) – two courses known for wide fairways and dramatic sand dunes.
The Ferrari of tourist destinations, Dubai is a favourite not just for its 7-star hotels and skyscrapers, but for its Aladdin’s Cave of top golf resorts.
One of the most elaborate courses in the city, the Jumeirah Golf Estates, sits on its own artificial island just a stone’s throw from the centre. Their Earth and Fire courses offer championship-standard terrain, with dusky sand dunes and rolling fairways par for the (golf) course. These also play host to the DP World Tour Championship every November.
If the Jumeriah is fully booked on your Dubai golf holiday, however, you needn’t travel too far to find another A-class complex. The Dubai Creek and Yacht Club is a great option and, while it might sound uber-exclusive, you can pay as you play (or simply relax in their award-winning clubhouse if the sun gets too much). With its gorgeously groomed fairways and subtle burrows offering up a challenging game of golf, you’d be remiss to pass up on your chance to tee off here.
South Africa has long set the standard for golf resorts around the world. And with courses offering up backdrops of flat-topped mountains, low-lying clouds and fairways that stretch for miles, it’s easy to see why thousands of people book golf holidays in South Africa.
For one of the best courses in the Southern Hemisphere, visit Durban Country Club in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Pulled up along the beachfront, this golfing complex has played host to a staggering 17 South African Opens and is well known for its deceptively high sand dunes and narrow valleys – ideal for practising long-range swings. Other courses, such as Gary Player and Humewood, are regarded for their firm and fast terrains, although it is Leopard Creek that immortalises all that is wonderful about South Africa. Backed onto Kruger National Park, this pretty golf club/nature reserve serenades its golfers with the sounds of trickling waterfalls and snoring hippopotamuses.