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For many years, I was a ‘golf mom.’ I spent a lot of my afternoons and weekends at driving ranges and golf courses waiting for my kids while they took golf lessons or played a game with the golf instructor. My kids didn’t become professional golf players, but we did get to see quite a few golf courses.
When it comes to great golf courses, it’s different strokes for different folks. According to Hallmark Hotels, the top 3 things that make a golf course perfect are the landscape, the holes, and the amenities. I couldn’t agree more. So, here is my list of 7 great golf spots around the world.
1. Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland
Old Course at St Andrews is one of the seven courses at St Andrews links. It’s the world’s most iconic and oldest golf course. Non-golfers can join a guided walk of the Old Course with an expert guide. The tour takes you to the first, 17th and 18th holes and you’ll discover the 600-year history of golf. The tour highlights notable landmarks, and all tour participants get a complimentary Callaway golf ball at the end.
You’ll need to book months in advance for a tee time at Old Course. Per the website, half of Old Course’s tee times are allocated to the Ballot and drawn 48 hours in advance of play. You can get all the information at their website. Or join a St Andrews package tour that includes accommodation at St Andrews or North East Fife and a guaranteed tee time on the Old Course.
2. Turtle Bay Resort Hawaii
Turtle Bay Resort is the place to be for a golfer and his or her non-golfing family and friends. It’s only a 55-minute drive from Honolulu International Airport. You don’t have to catch a flight to another Hawaiian island.
Located in the north shore area of Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort’s two championship courses, Arnold Palmer Course and George Fazio Course were named Top 5 courses to play in Hawaii by The Golf Channel and Top 10 Resort Courses in Hawaii by Links Magazine.
Golfers can book one of the golf packages and receive savings and unlimited play at both world-class courses with ocean views and tropical vibes. There’s a golf academy providing private lessons and daily clinics on site.
3. Fancourt South Africa
Located in George, on the south-western coastline of South Africa, 269 miles from Cape Town and just 35 miles from Mossel Bay, Fancourt is a golfer’s paradise resort. The mild climate in the area makes Fancourt’s three championship golf courses (Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links) ideal for year-round golfing.
Apart from playing golf, guests can dine at four of the on-site restaurants, enjoy a spa treatment or go on mountain biking, hiking, fishing or horseback riding.
4. The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, Vietnam
Just 50 miles (over 2 hours’ drive) southeast of Ho Chi Minh City on the southern Vietnamese coastline is The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip golf course and resort. Guests can stay at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, a luxurious 1,100-room resort, located by The Bluffs and the Ho Tram beach. The hotel has ten restaurants.
The Bluff is not for beginners but for those who love challenges from the strong sea breeze, different elevations and playing among dunes.
5. Barnbougle Golf Tasmania Australia
Built on an old potato farm, overlooking Barbougle’s beach on Tasmania’s north east coast is Barnbougle Golf. On-site accommodation is available for all group sizes and budget. Choose the luxurious Golf Lodge at Lost Farm, or the 3.5-star Cottages at The Dunes, 4-bed Bunker Villas, and 2-bedroom Ocean Villas.
There are two courses at Barnbougle – The Dunes and Lost Farm. Set on dramatic dunes at Anderson Bay, both offer spectacular views of the coastline. Besides golf, guests can have freshly prepared meals made from locally sourced produce, drink Tasmanian wine and relax at the spa.
6. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, SC
Kiawah Island Golf Resort provides 90 holes of champion golf spread among five courses – The Ocean Course, Turtle Point Golf Course, Osprey Point Course, Oak Point Golf Course and Cougar Point Golf Course.
For accommodation, guests can choose the oceanfront The Sanctuary Hotel, The Resort villas or premier private homes.
This family-friendly resort is on a 10-mile barrier island, located 30 minutes from Charleston.
7. Augusta National Golf Club
The venue for the annual Masters Golf Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club is a membership only club located in Augusta Georgia. It’ll be tough for an average Jane like me to play or to visit, but according to Golf Digest, there are 7 Ways to Play Augusta National Without Becoming A Member. Three of these were, be a high-level college golfer at Georgia Regents University, become a caddie or get a job there.
Other ways to get inside include attending the Practice Rounds or Daily Tournament during the Masters Tournament. The Masters Tournament is considered one of the toughest sporting event ticket to get. Practice Rounds tickets are $75 each, and a Daily Tournament ticket is $115 each. These tickets are very limited, and the application was closed on June 1, 2017, for 2018 Masters Tournament. You may want to apply a year early for the 2019 tournament.
Article by Claudia Looi