Ten of the Best Winter Golfing Getaways
We all know playing golf in the winter in the UK isn’t always the most thrilling. Getting up and looking outside your window to either a thick frost or the pouring rain doesn’t exactly fill you with joy when you have to spend around 3-4 hours on the golf course.
With winter golfing getaways becoming more and more popular, we take a look at ten of the best places to jet off to this winter.
The Algarve is regarded as one of best golfing getaways all year round. The temperature rarely drops below 10 degrees making it perfect golfing weather throughout the winter. It’s not too hot yet you won’t need to wear the several layers you would in England.
The Algarve also posses a whole host of championship standard courses that are easily accessible. Vilamoura is ever popular with the travelling golfer and the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course at the resort is regarded as one of the best in the Algarve. Other impressive courses include the Faldo course at the Amendoeira Golf Resort, Boavista, Penina Championship Course, Vale de Lobo and Palmares. But, no matter where you play in the Algarve, you will not be disappointed.
Most UK airports regularly serve flights to Faro airport and regular coach transfers head to major towns and resorts. Hiring a car is also simple at Faro Airport and gives you easy access to even more courses and the opportunity to discover what the Algarve has to offer off the course.
It comes as a surprise to most people that Dubai offers some excellent championships standard golf courses. Away from the mile-high buildings, the luxurious shops and the expensive restaurants you can enjoy an outstanding golfing holiday.
The Emirates Golf Club is a must visit as the European Tour regularly hosts the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majilis Course. You can play in the footsteps of the greats such as Tiger Woods and Seve Ballesteros who have all graced the fairways of this 7,301-yard course.
Other great courses include Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the Faldo Course, Al Badia Golf Club and the Jumeirah Golf Estates which hosts two courses, the Fire and Earth courses. During the winter months, Dubai has an average temperature of 25 degrees so make sure you pack your shorts and sun cream.
Cyprus is quickly becoming one of the go to places of the Mediterranean for golfers as it now hosts some of the best golf courses in Europe. The Nick Faldo designed Elea Golf Club is regarded as the “jewel in the crown” of Cypriot golf and is a must visit if you’re planning on playing golf in the winter sun.
With other courses such as Aphrodite Hills and Minthis Hills, you definitely can’t go wrong with a golfing holiday in this part of the world. The average temperature in January & February is around 18 degrees, which is perfect golfing climate.
The Alexander the Great Beach Hotel is a hotel you should definitely have at the top of your list when visiting Cyprus. The hotel boats a perfect location in Pathos and overlooks a “Blue Flag” sandy beach. They even drive on the left hand side in Cyprus so driving in this beautiful country should be no problem at all.
Spain is another must visit if you’re planning a winter golfing getaway. Spain is without a doubt the leader when it comes to the number of golf tourists that visit the country every year and this is mainly due to its year round sunshine. But just off the east coast of Spain lies Mallorca, which is beginning to grow a reputation of its own in the golfing world.
With an average temperature of around 15 degrees in the winter, Mallorca is a wonderful place to enjoy a winter golfing getaway. Most of the courses are naturally situated near the capital, Palma, but are far away enough to offer that sense of tranquillity you don’t get from city life.
The Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort & Spa is regarded as the premier golfing destination in Mallorca. It’s two championship golf courses are just 10 minutes from Palma Airport. Despite only opening in 2007, Son Gaul has quickly become one of the leading courses on the island. The final hole is definitely one to savour.
The Azores is one of the most incredible golfing regions you will ever set foot upon. Thanks to the unique weather conditions, golf can be played all year round. Situated 850 miles west of continental Portugal, you probably didn’t have the Azores down as a great golfing getaway.
There are just three courses over two islands in the Azores and these are situated near the airport and cities. However, when you set foot on any of the three courses you’ll be greeted by an explosion of flowers, nature and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Furnas and Batalha are the two courses you can play on the Saõ Miguel Island and Terceira is the only course on the Terceira Island. The perfect nature of The Furnas course can only inspire perfect golf and it is no wonder it is regarded as one of the most beautiful golf courses in Portugal. For a truly unique winter golfing getaway, we definitely recommend the Azores.
With just seven courses to choose from, Gran Canaria doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a golfing destination. But, when you take into account that these seven courses are some of the most stunning in Europe, mixed with the all year round good weather, why wouldn’t you choose Gran Canaria?
The island is split in two by a central mountain range with three of the courses on the north side of the island and four courses on the south side of the island.
On the north side of the island you have Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas, which is the oldest golf course in Spain or, alternatively, you can choose to play at El Cortijo Golf Club, which winds its way around 6 lakes and has over 600 palm trees.
The Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort is definitely the pick of the golf courses on the south side of the island. This 5* resort consists of a 313 room hotel and an Aloe spa on top of the two 18-hole golf courses. Another must play in the south is the Championship Course at Anfi Tauro golf. The 6,000-yard golf course is set to a stunning backdrop of mountains and waterfalls.
Keen golfers often call the Costa del Sol the “Costa del Golf” due to its high concentration of golf courses. In fact, the Costa del Sol has the highest concentration of golf courses in the whole of Andalucia.
In the province of Malaga there are 63 golf courses and over 20 of these fall in the Marbella region so you’re never short on choice. The first course on your list of courses to play in Andalucia is definitely Valderama. This course has hosted various European Tour events and even saw Europe’s famous victory over USA there in 1997.
With so many courses to choose from you can bet your bottom dollar that one-week in Andalucia won’t be long enough. The coldest month is January when the temperature averages a relatively warm 11 degrees. That’s certainly more than enough reason for us Brits to hang up the wooly jumpers and hats and get out the shorts.
If it is a golf and city break that you’re after then Lisbon is the perfect destination for you. Lisbon, Portugal, is one of the world’s oldest cities and offers some fantastic golf courses that can be played in the year round sun.
The Penha Longa 5* Resort is just a 40-minute drive from Lisbon Airport and hosts the 18 hole Atlantic Championship course and a 9 hole course. The Atlantic Championship course has hosted the Portuguese Open on several occasions and is even ranked inside the top-30 in Continental Europe. Another resort in Lisbon is the Quinta da Marinha Golf Resort 5*. The course here offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Sintra Hills.
Lisbon has an average winter temperature of around 14 degrees meaning you won’t be cold as you take in the vibrant cultured city life. If you’re a football fan you can plan your trip around the fierce football rivalry between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.
La Manga Club
La Manga Club is the golfing mecca for golf tourists and has been the top choice for many holidaymakers for the past 40 years meaning quality is most certainly assured. La Manga Club is located in the Spanish region of Murcia and has long been Murcia’s heartbeat. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself in the 300 days of sunshine on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
La Manga Club has three courses to offer. These are the North, South and West courses, which are all of Championship standard. In fact, the North Course has hosted several Spanish Opens. It is hard to separate the three as they all offer something unique in terms of quality.
In September 2014, La Manga Club opened the new David Leadbetter Academy. This consists of a brand new Academy building as well as a new practice ground, putting and chipping green. The coaching philosophies at this Academy are simple and lessons are opened up to beginners, amateurs and even professionals.
If it is the sunshine you’re more bothered about catching than the golf then splashing the cash on a flight around the world to Melbourne is a must. Obviously, during our winter, it is summer in Australia and temperatures often reach the dizzy heights of 40 degrees so make sure you pack your sun cream.
But, Melbourne and regional Victoria offer some outstanding golf courses. Royal Melbourne Golf Club is regarded as the best in Australia and has three courses to choose from. If you’re lucky enough to know a member at The Australian Golf Club then take advantage of that. You can only play the course that hosts the Emirates Australian Open if a member invites you.
On top of the exquisite golf courses, you can also take a look around the ever expanding and modernising city of Melbourne. Its relaxed lifestyle mixed with the climate makes it an exciting place to visit. So if you want to spend your Christmas “putting another shrimp on the barbie” after a round of golf then make sure Melbourne is the place you do so.
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