Active Vacations: Top 5 Golfing Destinations Around The World
Golf is a classic sport and though majority of its players are men, women are well in the game as well. The game requires patience, control, strength and stamina. It really is not easy to finish an 18-hole course. Playing golf is also a great way to relax, let go of pent-up energy and frustrations. Not to mention that it is also a great way to socialize and network, in a more casual yet slightly competitive environment.
Golf is said to be an ancient game, unfortunately golf's ancient origins is still up for debate, however, our modern version originated in 15th-century Scotland. In Scotland, the earliest known record of the game can be traced back to James II, when he banned the sport in 1457. Yup that's right, golf is a rebels game!
In 1502 James IV finally lifted the banned, and of course became a golfer himself. The Old Course at St Andrews dates back to 1574 and is considered a pilgrimage site for golf fans.
Golf courses consist of 9 or 18 holes and features a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and finally the wonderful land of "the green" where golfers will show their skill and concentration on putting the ball into the cup.
If you love the game of Golf and find that you are often the guy finishing all 18-holes at the nearest golf course, or you have only thought about playing, here are some of the best destinations around the world for a Golf vacation.
Image: St. Andrew's (old)
You knew we had to start with Scotland didn't you? It is the site of golfing pilgrimage after all. Playing the game in where it gained modern popularity, what a thrill that must be. Players have been aiming for par here since the 1400!
St. Andrew's (old) takes the top spot on top100golfcourses.co.uk list of courses in Scotland, and it really isn't a surprise. The course is special due to its links to the game. The course itself was also designed by mother nature, that's right, not only do you compete against yourself and fellow golfers, but you will be trying to beat mother nature. St. Andrew's (old) has also hosted many opens. Originally a 22-hole golf course, it was reduce to 18-holes around 1764. This course will surely pose a challenge for those that are new to the game.
Ailsa in Turnberry is another spot to golf. The golf resort has less natural ripples and chaotic contours as compared to other British golf courses. Ailsa is an 18-hole course, and the resort is a great place for bringing your family along. There are other activities here such as archery, horse riding and quadbiking. The best part is that they offer lesson for children as well for these activities. So, your family can have fun while you try to get par.
2. Arizona, USA
Image: The Raven Golf club
It started in the 1960s and now there are more than 300 golf courses in Arizona. Particularly laid out at cities such as Scottsdale and Phoenix. Beautiful surroundings and peaceful environments make it ideal for a good game.
The Canyon Course at Forest Highlands is a premier spot for golfers heading to Arizona. It was built in 1988 and was designed and created by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. One of two courses at Forest Highlands, golfers here will be surrounded by Ponderosa Pine, Oak and Aspen trees. Though because of the altitude of the area at 7000 feet elevation, it has a short playing seasons. However, this is definitely a course for those that love the outdoors.
The Raven Golf club in Phoenix is a course to try your hand at, if you have the skills that is. The course is noted for being "a desert course". Designed by former pro David Graham and Gary Panks, the course has pine trees lined at every hole. It is an 18-hole golf course with a 72-par, and yes it is open to the public. The Raven Golf club was also given the #1 spot for "Guest Service in North America" by Arizona Magazine.
3. Monterey Peninsula, California
Image: Pebble Beach Golf Links
The area of the Monterey Peninsula is unlike any other part of California. Humble architecture and a laid back lifestyle sums this place up. Think SoCal laid back and NorCal sophisticated. The north side of the area attracts most of the tourist and the south side attracts the easygoing wealthy.
The most notable golf course here is Pebble Beach Golf Links. The course ranks 2nd on the Top Best Courses You Can Play in the US by Golf Magazine. The area offers amazing landscapes, and a course that has challenge players like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Pebbles beach golf links is an 18-hole 72-par course.
Spyglass Hill golf course is another course in the Pebble Beach area. Design by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and was open in 1966. The course has some awards to boast, such as ranking 2nd on Golf Magazine's Best Courses You Can Play in California. Some golfers have said that this course has the best five opening holes in golf, and yes it is an 8-hole 72 par golf course.
4. The French Riviera
Ok, the French Riviera isn't exactly a golf specific destination. However, it is an amazing destination and they do have some good golf courses there as well. Have a vacation in a beautiful area and be able to golf? That's got to be on this list right?
Cannes is one of the premier destinations in the area, with great shopping, historical architecture and filled with culture, Cannes also has a golf course for you who want to get your game on.
Cannes-Mandelieu Golf Club is a course in the area that first came about in the 1800 and was later redesigned by Harry Colt. It is an 18-hole 71-par course, and has numerous parasol pine trees all over the course. This results in some of the fairways being quite narrow. Sounds like a challenge!
Cannes also has another place for you golfers to hit about. The Cannes-Mougins Golf Club is also an 18-hole and 71-par course and has been around since 1923 and was redesigned in 1977 by architects Peter Allis and Dave Thomas. Set in the Valmesques Forest, the golf course has a very notable hazzard, the Bouillide River. The courses at Cannes does seem to be challenging courses, which makes the area a great place for a vacation + golf.
5. Naples, Florida
Image: Tiburon Club Golf
Naples is one of those areas, with beautiful beaches like Tigertail beach, and great shopping at the waterside shops, the area is also a top spot for golfers. Known for its laid-back environment, quiet luxury and world-class golf, Naples would probably make your list too.
Tiburon Golf Club's Gold Course is one of those courses to hit up. They hold the annual Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout here, making it very popular. The course was open in 1991 and is an 18-hole 72 par course. Tiburon Golf Club's Gold Course has also hosted the season-ending event of the LPGA Tour since 2013.
Naples Grande Golf Club is another club in the area for golfers to have fun at. The course was designed by Rees Jones and is only accessible with a stay at the Waldorf Astoria Naples. Cypress and natural pine trees are laid out throughout the area. The club is popular during the high season of January util April and it also hosted the EMC Golf Skills Challenge from 2001 to 2003. The course is of course an 18-hole 72 par course.