A golfing holiday: the perfect trip if you’re after a refreshing break with a gently competitive edge. With the upcoming US Open about to showcase the greatest golfers the world has to offer, how about unleashing your own inner Tiger on your next getaway?
Whether you’re a novice on the green or boast a handicap that would frighten Faldo, the following five destinations are fabulous for an 18-hole holiday.
Before we tee off...
Keen for a golfing holiday? With golf travel insurance from World First, you get all the normal travel insurance benefits as well as cover for your golf clubs if they are lost, stolen or damaged. We will also reimburse your green fees if severe weather forces your golf course to cancel your booking.
Okay, that’s the travel insurance sorted. Let’s begin...
1. St Andrews, Scotland
Get yourself to the game’s ancestral heritage. St Andrews is home to a stunning array of world famous courses, such as the Eden and Balgove Course. Bask in the glory of the game by visiting the British Golf Course - and once you’re done on the fairway for the day, there are plenty of historic buildings and unique eateries bursting with flavour and character nearby.
It wouldn’t be a trip without a pilgrimage to the legendary Old Course, with its almost mythical views across the ocean and iconic Swilcan Bridge hole. Frequented by professionals and the likes of Barack Obama, beginners’ courses are available to get you started on your swing.
Being Scotland, there’s a chill around the low season (January - March), so pack your thermals to protect yourself form that bracing North Sea front!
2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
South Carolina’s coastline appears to have been carved out of the earth for pure holiday pleasure. A sun-kissed stretch of sand host to well over a hundred golf courses, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to flexing your 9 iron.
And quantity most definitely doesn’t come at the cost of quality. There’s something for everyone, from the fledgling beginner to the seasoned pro. What’s clear is that the region values the fun of the game above its heritage. So if you’re after the swing as well as the social, this is your destination.
The Caledonia is the area’s must-try course – a par 70 oak tree-lined masterpiece of modern design and undulating greens. It’s in Golf Magazine’s top 30 of the world’s greatest courses. And it’s not hard to see why.
3. PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain
Here’s a holiday tailor-made for teeing off. Designed by Italian Open winner Angel Gallardo, the PGA Catalunya course is Spain’s finest and has an entire complex built around it. When not enjoying the beautiful serenity of the lush 72 par course, take a stroll along the coastline or indulge in some local horse riding and let the Mediterranean air rush through your soul.
Most local hotels have a sea view and some their own private beach. On the course, solo golfers may have to be paired up in busy periods, so be prepared to buddy up. Due to the course’s popularity, this isn’t a part time players’ resort: handicap certificates are a must, so get practising on your putting!
4. Queenstown, New Zealand
Dubbed the thrill capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is a jaw-dropping natural beauty spot, surrounded by a range of awe-inspiring mountains. In fact, with the area’s propensity for thrill sports such as bungee jumping and skydiving, it’s easy to forget that golf is the country’s most popular sport.
Take a swing in the sun over at Jack’s Point course, which provides a soothing rustic charm set against the ethereal majesty of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. If you’ve ever wanted to get a birdie in Middle Earth, here’s your chance.
5. The Garden Route, South Africa
Home to nature reserves, coral reefs and exotic wildlife, South Africa’s stretch of south-western coastline looks as if it’s been copied from the easel of a master painter. An invigorating backdrop for working on your handicap.
There are several outstanding courses along the route, and it’s home to the exclusive The Links at Fancourt club (only Fancourt Hotel guests are given limited tee times). Elsewhere try the Oubaai Gold Club, a course-cum-hotel with deluxe spa, ocean views and attractive 18-hole courses.
Say hello to your ultimate caddy...
Okay, we can’t carry your clubs for you. But we can reimburse you for the cost of replacing them if they are lost, damaged or stolen. Because the prospect of somebody nicking your niblick or pinching your putter is annoying enough, without having to fork out to buy new ones once you’re home. Take a look at the benefits you get with World First’s golf travel insurance over on our website.