Top Golf Courses
We think the best surf towns in the world, should not only be a location for the surfer who’s looking to prove themselves in more challenging waves, but should cater for the people who are just beginning to start out in the sport as well, whilst offering plenty of fun and exciting activities for those wanting a bit more from their surf holiday.
To give you a nudge in the right direction, we have listed 10 of the best surf towns in the world below, so have a read, add them to your surf holiday bucket list.
St. Andrews Old Course, Fife (Scotland)
Scotland’s courses make the big lists every single year and few have beaten the fame or the popularity of St. Andrews. The club boasts seven courses in total but it’s the Old Course that really has people talking. This par 72 course spans 6721 yards and anyone who plays here will be following in the footsteps of legends. St. Andrews Old Course is one of the oldest and most acclaimed courses in the world, and the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognised as seriously tough obstacles by golfers worldwide. Despite its status though, this course remains open to the public so it’s as accessible as it is prestigious.
And in addition to its shining reputation, the course is also incredibly well managed – in a sustainable and responsible way – to ensure that every golfer has the best possible experience.
The King’s Course, Perthshire (Scotland)
Often referred to as “the best moorland course in the world”, King’s Course remains a favourite amongst amateur and professional golfers. The course itself is designed by renowned architect, James Baird, and is best known for blending all 18 holes seamlessly into the landscape for a scenic and utterly soul-soothing experience. An absolute visual masterpiece, with the rugged natural beauty of rural Perthshire serving as its backdrop, the King’s Course is a test to even some of the best players in the world. A unique challenge with unbelievable views of the surrounding moorlands.
The Stadium Course at Sawgrass, Florida
The Stadium Course at Sawgrass in Florida is a regular contender for the Top 100 lists in well-known golf publications and the notoriously tricky 17th island green is one of the reasons that makes this course such a famous one. Designed by Pete Dye, this is one of the most recognised courses across the globe. And with 44 average balls in the water according to 2013 stats, it makes for a riveting watch during the annual Players Championships. The 17th is the course’s shortest hole and one of the most dramatic. It can easily go one way or the other. Plenty of pro players manage to score a birdie here, but you can cut the tension with a knife between player and audience every time, because no matter how seemingly achievable it is, golfers are always just one swing away from a double bogey.
This par 4 course opened back in 1903 and was built by the father-son team of Henry and William Fownes, two highly regarded designers who set the standards of golf and took it to a whole new level. Henry and William said of the game, “A shot poorly played should be irrevocably lost.” And that has been the concept behind their challenging course architecture. One slight mistake, one minor error and all chances could be blown. Created to be the most punishing and difficult course in America, Oakmont makes you work for it at the Church Pews bunker and also on the left side of the 4th hole.
Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia
If the spectacular scenery doesn’t blow you away, the history and the long list of world famous players sure will. The course was founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie, and has been the home grounds for the Masters Tournament ever since 1934. This is the only major tournament played at the same course every single year, making Augusta National Golf Club one of the most famous across the globe. It goes without saying that it ranks as one of – if not, the – best course in numerous publications and tournament experiences are always a fantastic and memorable experience for visitors.
Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeenshire
Made up of majestic sand dunes, rugged grassland and breath-taking sea views, golfing at Aberdeenshire’s Trump International Golf Links course is a truly memorable experience. Switch perfectly manicured greens for something wonderful and wild, and bring the whole family along for a great holiday exploring the area’s natural beauty and many nearby beaches. Set along the coast in Balmedie, this golf course is one of the most dramatic and golfers will enjoy staying at the grand five star Macleod House.
Cypress Point, California
Cypress Point is another world famous course that never fails to be listed by big golf publications. Set along the stunning coastline of Pebble Beach in California, this 18 hole golf course offers the most awe-inspiring views. The natural beauty of the surrounding area is unmatched by any other golf course in the US, and the course boasts a timeless feel for classic playing. The course was designed by Alister Mackenzie, with a view of allowing the golf course to take a natural and organic route, blending the holes flawlessly with the beauty of the landscape. Watch out for the 16th hole and beware of The Pacific – the ultimate water hazard.
Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle (Northern Ireland)
Surfers know why Costa Rica is often referred to as the “happiest place on earth.” This country boasts some of the best surfing on earth with waves crashing against golden sand and isolated beaches right next to lush rainforests. On the Caribbean coast, one of the more famous surf breaks is Puerto Viejo in the southeast, with its massive waves that are best during the dry season (November to April). One of the country’s best-known spots is Witch’s Rock, a favorite for beginners and intermediates that’s best from December to March. With a variety of surf camps (including many women-only surf camps), it’s easy to find a surfing beach that’s ideal for your lifestyle and level – and there are plenty of opportunities to advance your skills.
Monte Rei Golf Course, Algarve (Portugal)
This signature golf course ranks as the number 1 golf course in Portugal. Set in the beautiful Eastern Algarve, a golfing holiday here is fantastic for the entire family. The towns of Faro, Olhão, Tavira and Monte Gordo are all worth a visit and the beaches will keep everyone happy. The course itself is designed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus and shortly after opening to the public in 2007, this new course quickly established a reputation of being the best course in the country. The beautiful course features five stunning lakes and there is also a great driving range on site for practice.