5 of the world’s most beautiful golf courses
With the Ryder Cup in full swing, it’s a good time for golfing fanatics to start fantasising about a break in the company of their clubs. In this post, we hook, slice and shank our way through a short selection of the world’s finest fairways.
Shall we tee off?
1. Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
Forget about New Zealand’s Cape Kidnappers being antipodal, this mind-boggling course looks like it belongs to a completely different planet. Undulating fairways tower over the Pacific aloft dramatic, narrow ridges. Don’t expect much chance of retrieving your ball if you slice your drive. It will be swallowed by the deep ravines that line the fairways quicker than you can say ‘Bernhard Clanger’. Green fees start at £115 per round.
2. Björkliden Arctic Golf Course, Sweden
Björkliden only opens from July to September each year and with good reason. It’s the world’s most northerly golf course and for most of the year it’s covered with a thick blanket of snow. Located 250km north of the Arctic Circle, visitors to this spectacular course are rewarded with breathtakingly beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The green fees will set you back 250 Swedish Kronor (about £23). Alternatively, you can enjoy 24 hours of unlimited play for 350 SEK (£33). And 24 hours of cracking the irons is a very real possibility at Björkliden. For much of the season, you can play around the clock under the midnight sun.
3. Pebble Beach, United States
Head across the pond to California’s west coast and you’ll find the hallowed greens of Pebble Beach, ranked as the USA’s best public course. The skinny fairways and sloping greens can frustrate even the most gifted golfers. But one glance out across the spellbinding views of the Pacific coast that grace the course will soon take your mind off any struggles to stay on par. Just make sure your golf trousers have deep pockets. Green fees start from $495 (just under £310).
4. The Royal County Down Golf, Northern Ireland
It’s worth remembering that the UK has more than its fair share of the world’s best courses. That’s perfectly typified by The Royal County Down Golf Club, thirty miles south of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Heather and gorse sprawls over a complex course that sits alongside white-sanded dunes flanking the Irish Sea offering wonderful views up to the Mourne Mountains. Little wonder it’s a favourite of Rory McIlroy. Green fees begin from £50 per round.
5. Doonbeg Golf Club, Ireland
Another Gaelic great is Doonbeg in Ireland. Designed by two-time British Open Champion Greg Norman to work in harmony with the natural topography, the course is revered for its immaculately kept fairways and stunning Atlantic views. The sixteen holes will take you from the cliff tops right down to sea level, where the fairways are flanked by golden sands. Glorious.