The universal appeal of golf is a puzzling phenomenon. Widely regarded as one of the go-to rich man’s sports, the 18 hole course has booked a spot in popular culture as the meeting place for businessmen to woo potential clients and close deals.
As the global economy continued to grow over the course of the twentieth century, flight prices and golf equipment costs have significantly gone down. All of a sudden, the exclusiveness of golf seemed to have been eradicated, with American country clubs remaining as the last standing bastions of the stereotypical “rich golfer”. Tiger Woods’ rise to international fame has also contributed to many middle-class members to take up an interest in the sport.
Gone are the days when buying a set of golf clubs was considered to be an investment. Nowadays, you can get a pretty good deal on new and used equipment online, whether on Amazon or other retailers (example: https://bestbudget.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/golf-. All-time greats like Greg Norman might have honed their skills at their local golf course before heading out on world tours, but it doesn’t take a pro to appreciate the diversity and variety of the world’s best golf resorts.
Every resort has its own history and unique architecture. Whether you’re just an enthusiast or an aspiring professional, you simply cannot miss out on visiting at least a couple of these top golf courses around the world!
The Banyan Tree, Thailand
Located in Phuket Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, this luxury resort is considered by many to be the best place of its kind in Asia. Most famous for its multitude of water hazards, your aim has to be on point if you want to compete.
Phuket may have garnered a bit of a bad rep due to the thousands of drunken tourists flocking in as soon as the monsoon season is over, but The Banyan Tree will spare you that headache. It’s surrounded by natural barriers, including lagoons, which are extremely effective in keeping troublemakers at bay.
One&Only Palmilla, Mexico
Consisting of three 9-hole courses, this family-friendly golf resort in Los Cabos will surely satisfy pros and beginners alike. Designed by the legend of the game, Jack Nicklaus himself, this place is famous not only for the quality games you can play out there but also for its picturesque surroundings.
Of course, it’s located in the Cabos, so be prepared to see a lot more Americans than Mexicans during your trip.
St. Andrews Old Course, Scotland
As a serious golf enthusiast, you might have already heard of this course. While it isn’t a resort per se, it had to be included in this list for one simple reason — it is the oldest golf course in the world! This Scottish treasure is full of interesting features, and once you’ve been there, you’ll start recognizing its influences at pretty much any other course in the world.
It’s one of the most sought-after courses on the planet, and there is a ballot system in place. In order to get a spot, you need to be patient, book in advance, and prepare for many, many attempts.
Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand
Starting at a little over $3,000 per two nights of golfing fun, the Kauri Cliffs are the most expensive resort on this list. There is a good reason for it, though. It’s located in the most jaw-dropping part of New Zealand — the Bay of Islands in the Northland region. Aside from the sporting value, the place also serves some of the best food the Pacific Rim has to offer.
La Manga, Spain
This sprawling, majestic resort in the Murcia region of Southeast Spain is one of the largest in the world. Three 18-hole courses and a 9-hole training ground will ensure days of uninterrupted game time. It’s been one of the most popular golfing destinations for over nearly 50 years, and it’s still going strong to this day. La Manga makes for the perfect training ground for beginners who want to compete against better players.
Sea Island, United States
This five-star resort in Georgia is one of the best when it comes to facilities and staff who are truly passionate about golf. With world-class trainers and three full-size courses, as well as a renowned SPA and great restaurants, it’s a great place for a family getaway. Sea Island’s Golf Performance Center is the perfect starting point for kids and adults with no prior experience who want to learn how to handle a golf club.
Terre Blanche, France
Cote d’Azur is the province to vacation in when you’re in France. With numerous celebrities and prominent figures who own property there, it is no surprise that it’s also home to some of the best golf courses in the world. Besides the mouth-watering fields of green to break your golf club on, the Terre Blanche is home to the Le Faventia restaurant, a proud holder of a Michelin star.
There are plenty of other great places to play golf at, both in the U.S. and abroad. You don’t have to visit a luxurious resort to enjoy this wonderful game. The places listed above do provide the best possible experience, though, and they combine it with the finest hospitality displays in the world. These experiences are certainly worth saving up for, especially if you value peace, quiet and beautiful natural surroundings during your golfing excursions.
Maciej Grzymkowski – an avid traveler with a particular affinity for Southeast Asia. Some of my favorite sports include trekking, football, and golf. I’m also a strong believer in outdoor gyms, as I think everybody should have full, uninhibited access to basic exercise equipment.