‘Tis the season for long drives into the countryside and manicured grass for as far as the eye can see. Yes it’s true, spring is here and it is here to stay – which also means 6am tee times on freshly dewed courses and terrible angst with your new driver (why does it work so well for Tiger but not you?).
Top 5 Golf Destinations in Europe
Well, whether you’re a beginner or expert golfer, here’s a list of the Top 5 Destinations and Courses for a Golf Holiday in Europe. These spots are great because they not only offer some of the best golf in Europe and in the world – but offer a diversity of playing levels, challenge, styles (traditional links or modern style), and amazing scenery that in itself, is enough to appreciate – especially after a long, tough game.
What’s even better is that these places also offer the best of these regions’ sights, cultures, activities, foods and wines, entertainment and more. No doubt, these spots will guarantee you an unforgettable golf holiday!
5) Eastern Europe: Czech Republic, Russia, Poland and Slovakia
Where the Iron Curtain once dominated in these eastern European countries, these former Eastern Bloc regions have slowly begun to regain their colour and vibrancy amid independence and freedom. The grass has begun to grow and so too, have the golf courses. Known as the “Iron Curtain Golf Trail,” these regions offer a new kind of golf trying to establish itself nearby its ancient St. Andrews-like neighbours.
Like many golf courses in China, few locals play the sport and often look on in interest at visitors or travelers sporting their golf clubs through train stations. At present, however, many locals are beginning to learn how to play and develop this industry in their countries.
The golf courses offered in these areas are a little more off the radar because it is more difficult to find tour operators offering golf in these areas – but in the next 10-20 years, it is certain that golf travel to Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania will grow immensely (just like golf in China!).
4) Alsace, Bordeaux & Provence Regions in France
In Alsace, Bordeaux and Provence in France, you’ll find three of the top wine regions in the world, with some of the best terroir and finest wines for the past hundreds of years. These areas are every wine lover’s most coveted destinations – but are also the perfect regions in Europe to get the best of the luxuries of life: golf, wine and exquisite French cuisine. Visit internationally rated restaurants, castles and chateaux littered throughout France’s massive green countryside and play golf in style.
France is home to more than 500 golf courses, the most in any country in Europe, 12 of which are often included in Europe’s Top 50 courses. Visit the Bordeaux and Biarritz region for the best of French seaside golf, small villages and old style luxurious 5-star beaches, hotels and resorts. Cannes and Monte Carlo are also just a train ride away. In Alsace, try Golf Club Le Kempferhof, rated the No. 2 course in France and offers renovated lodging in a 18th century residence.
3) Costa del Sol in Andalucia, Spain
Also known as “Costa del Golf,” or the Golf Coast, this area is a favourite for Europeans looking for a golf getaway. Normally known as Costa del Sol in southern Spain in Andalucia, it has the highest number or concentration of top notch, world-class golf courses in the world and gives you the most bang for your buck.
With just over 60 golf courses concentrated in the small area nestled on the Mediterranean coast surrounded by breathtaking scenery and a multitude of activities, there’s no wonder Europeans have been coming here for years and years. In Andalucia, you can catch a bullfight, flamenco dancing, rich Spanish wines and lots of tapas restaurants and bars.
2) Wales & England
Wales and England are no doubt destinations that offer golf at its classiest – and have been doing so for hundreds of years. Wales offers a smaller countryside-link style golf experience amongst charming houses, country homes and bed and breakfasts for those looking at exploring the countryside. For two of the best golf courses in Wales, try Royal Portcawl and Royal St. David’s, often listed as two of the British Isles’ best.
England offers a taste of golf fit for royalty, for lords, earls and noblemen – and are a great experience for today’s golfer. Visit the Lancashire Coast or the Southeast coast for a “golf trail” of sorts and don’t forget that there are several courses nearby London for those looking to stay close to the city.
1) Scotland & Ireland
The best of all of Europe’s golf experiences begins where the whole game began – in Scotland, the celebrated home of golf. All along its coastline and between, Scotland offers all kinds of courses for beginners, intermediates and experts. From link style courses to newer style courses, the prestige and spirit of golf bleeds through its grass. Don’t forget to visit St. Andrews Links – the course where “the game evolved and where the spirit and traditions of golf have been safeguarded for over six centuries.”
Ireland with its vast landscapes of rolling hills has become an popular golf destination, nearby its big brother, Scotland. Championship courses as well as links courses are available for golfing – but nothing matches the brilliant scenery available only in the Emerald Isle. Visit ancient castles, ruins and picturesque Irish towns and pubs when you’re visiting.
Good luck and enjoy your golf holidays!