10 of the best stay & play golfing destinations
Post by Golf Journalist Josh Carr
With so many great golfing destinations around the world, it is often hard to find the one best for you. When deciding on where to go for your golfing holiday you should definitely consider whether golf is the key aspect of the holiday or the social side, such as whether there is a bustling nightlife.
To make things a little easier for you, we’ve picked out ten of the best stay & play golfing destinations around the world.
Vilamoura can offer you almost everything you could want from a golfing getaway and it is no wonder it is one of the most popular destinations for golfers to go to. It offers five high quality, championship golf courses and no matter which one you choose to play, you won’t be disappointed.
The Oceanico courses are superbly priced for the quality of golf course you get to challenge. The five courses are the Victoria Course, the Old Course, Millennium, Laguna and Pinhal. The first two on that list are regarded as the top two courses and offer a very stern test of golf, however the Millennium, Laguna and Pinhal are no pushovers themselves.
In terms of where to stay, there are several choices. You can stay in Vilamoura itself where the Crowne Plaza and Tivoli Victoria hotels are popular among golfers who are heading purely for the golf side of the holiday or on a family holiday. For those who also want a bustling nightlife should look to stay in Albufeira. The Hotel Brisa Sol is just a five-minute walk from the main strip where you can find several bars and nightclubs for when you change your golf shoes for dancing shoes.
Find out more about Vilamoura here, including what to do when you’re not on the golf course: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/9718/Stay_Play_e_Albufeira_Vilamoura.html
Hotel Los Monteros Spa & Golf Resort, Marbella
Marbella is well known for being a playground to the rich and the famous. Its cosmopolitan attitude mixed with its Andalucian traditions and hospitality is what makes it such a popular holiday destination. But away from the pricey cars and expensive shops is an even more impressive 5* golf and spa resort, Los Monteros.
The Costa del Sol or, as it is often known to golfers, the “Costa del Golf” has the highest concentration of golf courses in the whole of Andalucía. 20 of the 63 golf courses in the province of Malaga fall in the Marbella region and Los Monteros Golf & Spa resort is situated right in the middle of the “golf mile”. Marbella Golf & Country Club, La Quinta and Atalaya Golf & Country Club are to name but a few of the courses you can take advantage of.
The hotel at Los Monteros offers luxurious rooms that are “designed for your comfort.” You have the choice of a classic or superior double room, a suite or a VIP Suite. The resort is a mere 500-yards from the beach meaning you can relax when you’re not on the golf course or alternatively you can take advantage of the amazing 5* spa.
Myrtle Beach, USA
Located in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is very much a golfing haven. Every golf course, whether it be in North, South or Central Myrtle Beach, is designed to protect the natural habitat and wildlife indigenous to the area. The courses offer a technically challenging experience as well as an aesthetically beautiful one on courses that have been designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones and Greg Norman.
The King’s North course, South Creek course and West Course are the three courses at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club that prove popular with the travelling golfer. The King’s North course is named after the king himself, Arnold Palmer as he designed this gem of a course and features 18 of the most dramatic and picturesque holes you will ever encounter.
The Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort is a popular hotel for those looking to spend their golfing holiday in Myrtle Beach. However, there is a large choice of hotels, villas and apartments to choose from. The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes 4*, Fairfield Inn Myrtle Beach 3* and Myrtlewood Villas & Golf Resort 3* are to name but a few.
Take a closer look at what is available at Myrtle Beach: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/7762/Destination_Feature_Myrtle_Beach_South_Carolina.html
K Club, Ireland
The K Club has recently been voted as one of the top 10 worldwide golf resorts by CNN so it was a no brainer to include this incredible resort in our own top 10. The Palmer Ryder Cup Course at the K Club is best known for hosting the Ryder Cup in 2006 at which Darren Clarke was the centre of one of the most emotional scenes in golf.
The Palmer Ryder Cup Course has also held 11 European Opens and is regularly ranked in the top three parkland courses in Ireland. Most recently, the course hosted the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation and was duly won by Rory McIlroy. Alternatively, you can play the Smurfit course, which is an inland links and offers a completely different test to the Palmer Ryder Cup Course.
The hotel is a long-standing member of a Preferred Hotels & Resorts and offers the very best of pampering, leisure and golf facilities, all within a 30-minute drive of Dublin. This mature estate that covers 550 acres was Ireland’s first AA Five Red Star Property and to this day delivers the very highest levels of service and standards in terms of food and beverage offerings, golf, leisure and spa treatments.
Evian Resort, France
When looking for a golfing holiday destination, France is often overlooked and it shouldn’t be, especially when incredible destinations like the Evian Resort exist. At this resort you can discover the Evian Championship Course and enjoy your 18 holes while taking in views of the Lake Geneva and the Alps.
You can play golf on the course which hosts the famous Evian Championship women’s golf tournament that has been held in Evian every year since 1994. The course was recently renovated in 2013 but retained its French identity. All 18 greens have been altered on the course while five holes have been completely redesigned to create a top-level course. Best of all, after completing your round, you can enjoy dinner at the Chalet du Golf.
Accommodation wise there are three options to choose from; the Hotel Royal 5*, the Hotel Ermitage 4* and the Manoir. The Hotel Royal enjoys a stunning location in Evian-les-Bains, on the French bank of Lake Geneva, as does the Hotel Ermitage. The Hotel Ermitage is a genuine family home, tucked away in the heart of the immaculate countryside at the foot of the Alps. Finally, the Manoir is perfect for those who are looking to stay right beside the course.
Discover all there is to know about golf in France: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/7646/The_French_Connection.html
St Andrews, Scotland
Where better to go on a golf holiday than the home of golf, St Andrews? This iconic venue is home to some of the best golf courses in the world and you most definitely will not be disappointed. I would definitely urge every golfer to play some of the courses in St Andrews as the place is filled with so much history that every golfer should witness.
The Old Course, The Castle Course, New Course, Jubilee Course, Eden course, Strathtyrum Course and Balgove Course make up the seven choices you have in this golfing haven. Obviously, the Old Course is the one that everyone wants to play as it has so much history behind it and there have been so many memorable moments from Open Championships. However, the other courses available also offer an outstanding test of golf on some of the best surfaces in the world.
The Macdonald Rusacks Hotel is the ultimate 4-star golf break hotel in St Andrews. The 18th hole is within a sand wedge of the world-famous 18th hole of the Old Course. The hotel has been stylishly remodeled on a golfing theme and this luxurious hotel has been occupied by some of the great names in the game’s history.
Discover more about St. Andrews and what is on offer in north-east Fife: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/1852/Golf_Trip_Report_Fife_St_Andrews_and_golf_on_the_East_Coast.html
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria
Gary Player said: You will not find a golf course like this anywhere else on the planet,” and he is quite right. Located on the Marina Village circle, the clubhouse offers golfers a comfortable place to meet, have a casual meal or drink before they begin their adventure on to a course that hosted the Volvo World Matchplay Championship in 2013.
The golf course itself is framed by rugged coastal cliffs and the vast blue of the Back Sea to offer a tough but aesthetically pleasing test of golf. The 18-hole Gary Player Signature Golf Course forms the course of the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort and covers 85 hectares of truly beautiful Cliffside. The course will definitely challenge even the best of golfers due to its difficulty and length, however there are several sets of tees to make the course accessible to all golfers.
Those visiting the resort will be accommodated in two quiet and peaceful villages that are separated by a beautiful lake and also offer a stunning landscape view of the sea. The Marina village is situated on the cliffs with 64 deluxe suites. The Hillside Village is nestled 350m above the sea and hosts 87 suites designed in a crescent shape around three infinity pools.
Take a closer look at Bulgaria's Thracian Cliffs: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/8583/Thracian_Cliffs_Europes_Pebble_Beach.html
Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai
Jumeirah Golf Estates is regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious residential golf developments in the world. The golf estates are a collection of individually designed homes set amidst a truly breathtaking landscape and enclosed in a gated community. With four different districts offering luxurious villa residences finding somewhere to stay shouldn’t be a problem.
The golf courses include Greg Norman’s Earth and Fire Championship courses and if you are a close follower of the European Tour you will have noted that the Race to Dubai final, the DP World Tour Championship, is held at the Jumeirah Golf Estates. Other notable courses in the area include Dubai Creek Golf Club, Emirates Golf Course Majilis` and The Montgomerie Golf Club.
If some of the villas and houses in the gated community don’t tickle your fancy, then there are various hotels to choose from, most of which are 5*. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel 5*, Grosvenor House 5* and Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort 5* are popular among golfers and offer an unforgettable experience when off the golf course.
Discover all there is to know about Dubai: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/7956/Destination_Dubai_The_Ultimate_Golfing_Holiday.html
Southport has rightly been named the “Golfing Capital of England” due to its staggering number of championship standard golf courses. Whether you want a quite or lively golfing holiday, Southport can offer it all with leisure facilities, museums, pubs and bars to keep everyone happy.
Southport is overloaded with exquisite links course cut between the sand dunes on the Lancashire coastline. This beautiful golfing town has a lot to offer for both golfers and non-golfers. The Royal trio of Birkdale, Liverpool and Lytham & St Annes are the big names in the Southport area but there are also plenty of superb links courses to choose from in such close proximity. On top of that there is also Hillside, Southport & Ainsdale and West Lancashire Golf Club to test your golfing skills on.
In terms of where to stay, there is plenty of choice. The Vincent Hotel and Spa is popular among golfers and is situated on Southport’s main shopping street so you’re right in the heart of the town. To add, it is only a short drive from courses such as Hillside and Royal Birkdale. If you want to stay on the course, then Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa should be high on your list. The hotel is set in 200 acres of Parkland and is perfect for golfers and families alike.
For more details on Southport and the surrounding area: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/9088/Where_to_play_Southport.html
Gloria Golf Resort, Turkey
Turkey is quickly becoming one of the top golfing destinations in the world and with resorts like the Gloria Golf Resort, it will most definitely be popular for years to come. This resort can offer you golf standard golf in the Mediterranean for a much lower price than some of the more well known destinations.
At the Gloria Golf Resort you have three top quality courses to choose from, the Old Course, the New Course and the Gloria Verde Golf Course. The Old Course is nestled among pine trees and offers a comfortable environment to perfect your game. The New Course has proven to be a favourite among golfers and in 2007 it hosted the European Seniors Tour Classic and in 2012, the World Amateur Team Championship. Finally, the Verde Golf Course is one of the top nine-hole courses in all of Europe.
The Gloria Golf Resort also offers luxurious accommodation with a choice of a standard room, a suite or a villa. Whichever you choose, you will definitely have a relaxing stay. Other resorts include the Gloria Serenity Resort, the Gloria Verde Resort or Gloria Villas. The people at the Gloria Resort have thought of every detail in order to make your stay one that will linger in your memory, long after the holiday is over.
Further explore the delights of golf in Turkey: http://www.golfshake.com/course/news/4804/Golf_in_Turkey_e_A_Rough_Guide.html