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What are the World's Best Golf Trip Destinations? We want your Views! Golfbreaks.com

Golf Vacation Trip Worldwide Golfbreaks.com Reviews Best Destination Holiday Course

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#61 duffer987

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    I'm not laughing. I'm just befuddled.

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 11:02 AM

View Postkatbird, on 04 August 2016 - 07:16 AM, said:

Hey Duff....Just confirmed the Braid courses I'll be playing...Girvan, Boat of Garten, Brora and Golspie...
Now I may have to play Royal Dornoch after all if I'm to make the connection to Donald Ross (we have DR connections here in Palm Beach County, and have played Pinehurst #2 and even a backcountry track in Palatka, Florida).

If that's what it takes to get you to play it, then by all means ;)
Seriously though, of all the regions to play a big name course with a minimum amount of tourists, Dornoch is likely your best bet, as it is a bit of a hike. There's another lesser-known course up there Fortrose & Rosemarkie, which is a simple, modest, not too long links course. It also has a Braid pedigree - amongst many who touched it over the years. I've played golf here a few times with a guy that goes over there every year. Buys an overseas membership and plays it more days than not for the better part of a month. Might be worth a look.

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#62 katbird

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 02:05 PM

I'd seen pix of F&R (I've Googled images for courses up and down the coastlines) and located it on the peninsula, kind of out of the way requiring a special trip to a course that yes does look special.  How much golf I play will depend somewhat on how much driving I'd rather do to see your country.  Which will I tire of more...driving down country roads or down fairways?  

There's a nice 9-holer in Durness for example that while not high of people's "must play list" is at the far end of a nice loop driving from Golspie through the country side to the north coast and then returning south along the west coast with a stop at Kylesku Hotel for a seafood lunch.  (I Google for interesting places to eat too.)

Being a photographer, such drives are as much a draw for me as drives down fairways.  As I've said, it's a balance between nature, cultural history...castles and such...golf, and the music in Callander and Edinburgh.  

Even in 3 weeks, I'm sure I'll miss a lot regardless, just making a left turn instead of right.  I get a lot of advice here about golf and will keep my ears to the ground for sights to see when I get there.

Edited by katbird, 04 August 2016 - 02:06 PM.

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#63 katbird

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 06:09 PM

Just played a round with a Scot.  How's that for serendipity!  He's living here on business and ventured that OUR home course, Okeeheelee, is the best in the area!  We had plenty of time to talk about Scotland and he was full of recommendations....he was pleased that I was a Scotchman, and that I liked Tennent's Ale.
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#64 duffer987

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    I'm not laughing. I'm just befuddled.

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 07:27 PM

View Postkatbird, on 04 August 2016 - 02:05 PM, said:

I'd seen pix of F&R (I've Googled images for courses up and down the coastlines) and located it on the peninsula, kind of out of the way requiring a special trip to a course that yes does look special.  How much golf I play will depend somewhat on how much driving I'd rather do to see your country.  Which will I tire of more...driving down country roads or down fairways?  

There's a nice 9-holer in Durness for example that while not high of people's "must play list" is at the far end of a nice loop driving from Golspie through the country side to the north coast and then returning south along the west coast with a stop at Kylesku Hotel for a seafood lunch.  (I Google for interesting places to eat too.)

Being a photographer, such drives are as much a draw for me as drives down fairways.  As I've said, it's a balance between nature, cultural history...castles and such...golf, and the music in Callander and Edinburgh.  

Even in 3 weeks, I'm sure I'll miss a lot regardless, just making a left turn instead of right.  I get a lot of advice here about golf and will keep my ears to the ground for sights to see when I get there.

Oh sure you don't want to overdo it, and heck it could rain for 4 or 5 days straight and put you right off playing golf. Of course the opposite could happen and you string a couple good rounds together and keep on playing :)

Last year when I was over in the UK, I brought my sticks, with only 3 rounds actually booked and would play the rest by ear and I ended up playing 15.5 rounds in 2 weeks, as the weather was fantastic. My first two days were solely seeing friends and drinking and I took one day off to traipse around with another friend, otherwise it was at least 1 round of golf a day.

If you like a pint search out places that have Harviestoun brews on the hand pump: Bitter & Twisted is one of my favorites and Schiehallion is another solid, lighter choice too.
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#65 katbird

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 07:41 PM

Rain would be great for photographing nature, and all those castles....classic depictions of "the Scottish play" (best portrayed in "Throne of Blood" by Kurosawa)....

Thanks for the recommended brews...
Gavin the Scot recommended this distillery, amazingly just 20 minutes from Hopeman, another serendipitous event:
http://www.benromach.com/story

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#66 Argonne69

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 09:21 AM

I've made over 50 trips in the past 13 seasons. My latest was a 6 day, 10 round trek across Nebraska (http://www.golfwrx.c...-nebraska-trip/). I played my 350th course on the trip, Dismal River Red (Doak).

Highlights include Bandon Dunes, Streamsong, Palm Springs, Scottsdale, RTJ Trail, Northern Michigan, Pinehurst, Kiawah Island, Hilton Head, The Big Island, and Whisting Straits. I've also enjoyed mini-tours in South Central Wisconsin, Austin, Southern Mississippi, Ohio, Houston, Riviera Maya, and Southern Michigan.

On the to-do list include SF-to-Monterrey, Cabo, Long Island, Punta Cana, Pennsylvania, Eastern Maryland, Alberta, RTJ Trail (North), Ireland, Scotland, and England.

I'm playing roughly 50 new courses a year, so I'd like to try and make Pebble Beach my 400th next August.

I'd be curious if there was a travel company that could hook me up with a group traveling to Ireland or Scotland. The thought of trying to book the flights, golf, lodging, and transportation as a single golfer gives me the heebie-jeebies. I have to imagine that from time to time there are groups that need a 4th/8th/12th, etc.

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#67 katbird

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 09:55 AM

Hey Duffer....I just booked Dornoch!  ....along with Tain, Brora and Golspie.  A week to remember.
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#68 s1ten

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 07:15 AM

If you're traveling to southern Spain its hard to find a bad golf course.  Most are kept absolutely immaculate and don't break the bank to play.  

Costa Ballena
Villa Nueva
Nova Santi Petri
Arcos
Club Royale de Seville (not in Summer)
Monte Castillo

Are some of the courses I've enjoyed and revisited.

Edited by s1ten, 03 September 2016 - 07:18 AM.

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#69 Golfbreaks.com

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 05:49 AM

View PostArgonne69, on 30 August 2016 - 09:21 AM, said:

I'd be curious if there was a travel company that could hook me up with a group traveling to Ireland or Scotland. The thought of trying to book the flights, golf, lodging, and transportation as a single golfer gives me the heebie-jeebies. I have to imagine that from time to time there are groups that need a 4th/8th/12th, etc.

@Argonne69, I am sure that we can help you with your trip, or at least give you some tips and advice and point you in the right direction. You can contact us on 855.699.5853 and usasales@golfbreaks.com, or message me and I can put you in contact with one of the team. Thanks, Guy
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#70 Golfbreaks.com

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 06:22 AM

The thread seems to have swung back to mainland Europe, so I thought I’d add a snippet about Northern France (written by our France Manager), which is a very popular destination for the Brits (a short hop over the channel), Dutch and Belgians, as well as the locals.

“Le Touquet is the main attraction, as the town itself resembles a small resort, with many bars, restaurants, shops and even a couple of casinos on offer. What’s good about Le Touquet is that it is suitable for any type of budget such as the 2* Hotel Red Fox, perfect for groups looking for nightlife, the 3* Hotel Bristol, a customer favourite, or the 4* Hotel Westminster, the town’s iconic establishment. They are located within walking distance of the town centre, with many other options to choose from.

Le Touquet is actually called “Le Touquet-Paris-Plage” as many Parisians come over for a long weekend, being only 2h30 drive north of the country’s capital.

There is an array of cracking golf courses within an hour’s drive of the town, namely the “Golf du Touquet” which has 45 holes, including the famous links  “La Mer” course which hosted the French Open in the past, won by the great Seve Ballesteros. It’s impressive new clubhouse opened in July 2016, and is ready to welcome visitors to sample what is has to offer. The “La Foret” course is a traditional parkland layout, a very good 2nd course to sample.

Drive 25 minutes north of Le Touquet and you will find 2 cracking layouts at Hardelot. The “Les Pins” course is another classic, and is set within a Pine forest, as its name suggests. However, it has a links feel with deep bunkers an large waste areas, truly unique and a sight for the eyes! The Dunes courses, just 5 minutes up the road is more of a traditional parkland course, and boasts a great clubhouse for post round meals. You can also chose to stay in Hardelot, if you’re not into the hustle and bustle of Le Touquet, where we have some lovely 3* star hotels such as the Hotel du Parc which is a 2 minute drive from the golf courses.

On the other side of le Touquet, about 40 minute south is Belle Dune golf course. Another must play. Different from Le Touquet or Hardelot, it is a mix of Parkland and Links, always in amazing condition and incredible value for money, as it is a government owned course.

For many years, Le Touquet, Hardelot and Belle Dune have been the traditional big three in the area, however in the past 5 years, this has now changed. There is now a big 5, with the inclusions of Wimereux and Aa St Omer, both very close to the Calais Eurotunnel terminal if you’re coming from the UK.

For the past 10 years, Aa St Omer Golf club has been a regular host of the European and Challenge tour event, called the Najeti Open. The course is very fun to play, with quite a lot of elevation changes and dog-legs, a real treat. However the highlight of this course is the conditioning of the fairways, and its greens, which are the best in the area, by far. If you do not fancy the 1 hour drive to and from Le Touquet, you can stay there, as it has a lovely 3* hotel on site, with modern rooms and a very affordable Half Board menu, which is of excellent quality.

And then you have Wimereux, the only links course where you have views of the coastline on most holes. Wimereux is a little gem situated only 20 minutes from Calais, 30 from Hardelot and 40 min from Le Touquet. The club’s staff are always very welcoming, and the course is a gem. It’s fairly flat but it does not mean easy, as the wind can be a big factor here. As with St Omer, the course is always in fantastic condition, at any time of year, and it’s greens are always praised by its members and visitors alike. Do not leave without sampling the club’s great kitchen, and go for the Steak Tartare, one of the best I’ve ever had.

For those looking to tour further afield in Northern France, there is also great golf to sample in and around Arras or Lille.”

France is definitely worth visiting for those on a European golf tour, with 400 courses to choose from including traditional designs by famous British Architects (Colt, Simpson, Hawtree)and more modern style stunners such as Terre Blanche on the Riviera and the Golf National in Paris. The Ryder Cup will also swing into town in 2018, so make sure you get there before the crowds do! Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the food, wine and culture yet…

Anyone else played in France? How did you find it?

Thanks, Guy

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#71 Golfbreaks.com

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 03:26 AM

View Postkatbird, on 02 August 2016 - 06:32 AM, said:

I'm not a card-carrying golf club member....just a life-time muniman who loves the game.  I decided this year to go to Scotland and will include a few rounds there just like here, driving down a few fairways during my 3 week stay driving through beautiful country.  I chose to go there in Autumn because we have no such weather here in Florida, USA, and THAT is as much a draw as is the history and culture I visit.  A morning or afternoon round during a day of sightseeing there is an extra bonus quite specific to Scotland from where I'll bring back memories of the unique experience of Scottish munis there.

I'm traveling solo and have decided to stay in Airbnb homes (my 1st experience) since I'll be out on the road virtually all day and night....no need for hotels that would see so little of me.  I've selected four area "base camps" from which I can get most anywhere in a couple of hours of an interesting drive.  I like such road trips.

The itinerary takes me south of Glasgow for a few days where I'll play muni links in Ayr, Girvan, Troon and Prestwick St. Nicholas.  From Ayr I head north to central Scotland and Aviemore for a nice tour of the Highlands and just 15 minutes from Boat of Garten, a highly recommended parkland course.

I'll be staying a few days in Golspie, where Donald Ross got his start (who has a major roadway named for him here in Palm Beach County).  There I'll play Golspie, Brora and Tain, and midway through the scenic drive to the far north I'll drive out and in on the 9-hole Durness Golf Club.  Heading back south I'll play an interesting muni I found in Hopeman.

My last stop is near Stirling for access to the lower Highlands, Fife and Edinburgh.  After a weekend of jazz and blues in Callendar, I'll play Aberdour on the north side of the Firth across from Edinburgh, Braid Hills in Edinburgh, (James Braid THE Scot designer alongside Donald Ross and old Tom Morris), and perhaps one other.  

I don't know if I'll get to play all of these courses given how much there's to do and see in Scotland, even in three weeks. Still, that's about 8-10 rounds in 22 days.  All munis.  Interestingly most are described as "short" and that works great for me, a short hitter who relies on a good greenside game to shoot his 90 H.C.  

Many of the clubs neighbor more famous courses that are recommend here, I know, but those (Prestwick, Royal Troon, Royal Dornoch, The Old Course and its kin, Kingbarns, and North Berwick) are 2x-3x the price and while well worth the fee, golf is not THE destination of my vacation...but playing authentic links golf is a real bonus that will provide many fond memories when I get home.  It's a vacation balanced between dives through nature, drinks at pubs, and drives down fairways. Can't wait to get there.

@Katbird, I have picked up very late on this (sorry), and you may already be traveling. However I've asked Kieran, one of our team who is based in St Andrews and very knowledgeable on Scottish golf, for his tips for your trip; especially around unearthing lesser known gems. Here is his advice...

"That’s a great selection of courses you’ve already picked out for the three weeks. Starting south of Glasgow, all of those municipals in and around Troon are excellent, but you could add a couple within the city itself. Williamwood and Cowglen are both James Braid designs that are playable and reasonably priced, which would complement what you’ve already chosen.

During your time in the Highlands, Brora, Tain and Golspie are all excellent, but I would recommend stopping at Fortrose and Rosemarkie, which is a really unique spot, before you reach Hopeman, which is a fine course, most famous for the par three. You may also consider playing one of the two courses just along the road at Moray, or even Grantown on Spey, which is similar in nature to Boat of Garten and always popular with visitors.

When you come back south towards Stirling, I would recommend playing Pitlochry Golf Club, which is a spectacular layout in the Highlands of Perthshire. It does require a bit of stamina to walk, but the views are breathtaking. When you pass through the city of Perth, there are two courses of interest; the North Inch municipal, which is one of the oldest in the world, and the Old Tom Morris designed King James VI, which is uniquely situated on an island in the River Tay.  

If you’re looking for another course to play near Edinburgh, make it Kilspindie, which is near the village of Aberlady, less than 20 miles from the city. Short and sweet, this is one of the most enchanting of the links to be found in East Lothian. It’s tremendous fun to experience.

As for stuff to do around the golf, basing yourself near Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling, there is so much to see. Rather than breaking things down individually, I would just recommend spending as much time as possible going around the cities and taking in the surroundings and culture, particularly in the bigger of the two. You’ll also discover a lot of the country when driving, with the road north and south taking you through the Highlands, but do make sure you stop at Loch Ness, which is a stunning and atmospheric place to spend some time."

Hopefully some good recommendations in there, many of which endorse the other comments and posts in this thread, so worth in investigating on your travels.

Have a great trip!! Guy
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#72 katbird

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 08:14 AM

@Golfbreaks...
Thank you for you reply and suggestion....
I decided to play Dornoch instead of Hopeman. Being in Dornoch-Golspie, it is once in a lifetime chance I couldn't pass....I'm playing the four courses of the Dornoch Firth Golf Pass, From Tain to Brora.

[I've posted on the "Tips for Scotland" thread of the several passes and memberships for visitors to the area.  Good deals there.]

Outside that week of intensive week of golf and a day at Gullane#3 (just my length) I still have days open for a few more choices during my last week staying in Doune near Stirling....so Kilspindie is on my radar for my last week when I have a day set for a drive through Perthshire...

I'm staying a weekend in Aviemore...driving around Loch Ness one day and another traveling through the Cairngorms.  Pitlochry is PERFECT for a round half-way through the circular route I'm taking through Cairngorms so it is on my itinerary now...

Thank you.

Edited by katbird, 09 September 2016 - 08:15 AM.

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#73 vallygolf

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 04:17 PM

View Postoperator, on 16 July 2016 - 08:47 AM, said:

View PostGolfbreaks.com, on 06 June 2016 - 01:26 PM, said:

Who's played Kiawah Island? And how do you rate it versus other renowned US resort destinations?

Dave, one of our UK based sales consultants, has just returned from a trip there... and here are his thoughts...

"Having played and stayed at Pebble Beach I never thought I’d visit a better resort however after returning from Kiawah Island recently I think I now have a new favorite!

Kiawah Island itself is a stunning location surrounded by natural marsh land and hugs the coastline with huge deserted beaches as far as the eye can see. The Kiawah Island Resort is the main place you stay there are two choices of accommodation to pick from. Option 1 would be the Sanctuary Hotel, this is very much a high end 5* grand luxury property and I would compare this to the likes of The Lodge at Pebble Beach or The Carolina at Pinehurst. It oozes class and its location right on the beach front is fantastic. It comes with a hefty price tag per night but you won’t be disappointed with what you’ve paid, for trust me. Option 2 will be the self-catering Villa’s which are far more affordable as they have a huge range which are located all around the Resort. You can stay in a basic resort view villa all the way up to a premium high level property situated on the beach and all you have to do is walk down the balcony stairs to have your feet in the sand. I personally stayed in two bedroom villa a 3 min walk from the beach and it was absolutely perfect for what I wanted and the resort can offer everything for each individual’s price ranges.

In terms of activities the island offers everything from Surfing, Fishing, and tennis to guided Kayak tours through the marsh land to all the wildlife including plenty of Alligators. For dining and shopping there is a brilliant small town just before you get to the main Kiawah gates called ‘Freshfields Village’. This offers a wide range of restaurants, cafes and shops and it’s perfect if you fancy getting out of the villa or the hotel.

Now we get on to the main activity which of course is the golf on Kiawah. The resort boasts 5 courses which are all brilliant however I would rate them in the following order;

1. Ocean Course
2. Turtle Point
3. Osprey Point
4. Cougar Point
5. Oak Point

The main event really is the Ocean course and I think it’s the best golf course I’ve ever played. Off the tips it’s around 7400 but it can be played over 8000 which they’ve never actually done and I’m not surprised as it’s a monster at 7400! It’s very much a links style golf course however it still has that American feel to it and offers fairly large landing areas off the tee but your 2nd shot into the greens is where it really starts to get interesting… make sure you have plenty of golf balls! The layout is superb and there’s never an average hole and the finishing stretch from 13th – 18th back to clubhouse are holes you’ll never forget.

After the round you can sit right in front of the clubhouse looking over the 18th with the Atlantic in the background and enjoy a well-earned drink in the sunshine."

Kiawah is only 30 miles from our offices in Charleston, so it sounds like I need to get an excuse to get back out there... Maybe on my next trip...!

Thanks, Guy

I stayed in the Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Sanctuary at Kiawah last year. The Sanctuary is far, far nicer than the lodge. And I agree that the Ocean Course can stand up in a comparison to any golf course.


While I respect your opinion on this matter, I would hate for anybody reading this thread to believe the sanctuary as far far nicer than the lodge.  Having spent considerable time at both I can without reservation say I would choose the Lodge every time.  I love the Sanctuary.  Room service shrimp and grits (or Jasmine Porch shrimp and grits) are worth the trip.  Two vastly different golf courses.  I love both and have played great golf at both, stay in oceanfront rooms at both.  The rugged beauty of Monterey is far superior in my opinion to the beautiful but less breathtaking views at the sanctuary.  Service is better at the Lodge.  If by nicer you mean newer, then yes it is far newer.  In the areas that mean the most to me the Lodge wins hands down.

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#74 Golfbreaks.com

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 06:38 AM

View Postkatbird, on 09 September 2016 - 08:14 AM, said:

@Golfbreaks...
Thank you for you reply and suggestion....
I decided to play Dornoch instead of Hopeman. Being in Dornoch-Golspie, it is once in a lifetime chance I couldn't pass....I'm playing the four courses of the Dornoch Firth Golf Pass, From Tain to Brora.

[I've posted on the "Tips for Scotland" thread of the several passes and memberships for visitors to the area.  Good deals there.]

Outside that week of intensive week of golf and a day at Gullane#3 (just my length) I still have days open for a few more choices during my last week staying in Doune near Stirling....so Kilspindie is on my radar for my last week when I have a day set for a drive through Perthshire...

I'm staying a weekend in Aviemore...driving around Loch Ness one day and another traveling through the Cairngorms.  Pitlochry is PERFECT for a round half-way through the circular route I'm taking through Cairngorms so it is on my itinerary now...

Thank you.

@Katbird, your trip seems to be getting better and better! If you do have time to truck east from Aviemore then a couple of other courses on the East Coast well worth a visit are the Old Course at Peterhead GC and Fraserburgh. Both are just north of Aberdeen (...and while you are there you might as well play Cruden Bay!). The latter, Fraserburgh, is  a James Braid design and the 7th oldest course in the world.

Enjoy the trip! Guy
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#75 Golfbreaks.com

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 05:44 AM

View Posts1ten, on 03 September 2016 - 07:15 AM, said:

If you're traveling to southern Spain its hard to find a bad golf course.  Most are kept absolutely immaculate and don't break the bank to play.  

Costa Ballena
Villa Nueva
Nova Santi Petri
Arcos
Club Royale de Seville (not in Summer)
Monte Castillo

Are some of the courses I've enjoyed and revisited.

Southern Spain is hugely popular with European golfers, so great news @s1ten that you have brought this into the thread.

I checked in with two of our team,  Ed and Cameron, who are very knowledgeable in this area and here are their picks for the best courses in the region based on out-and-out quality and value:

"Southern Spain is quite a large area, and has many good golf courses. The choice is large, but the best courses would probably be in Andalucia. Here's my Top 5 from the courses that are accessible to the public :
- Valderrama
- Finca Cortesin
- El Saler (Valencia)
- San Roque Old
- La Reserva

However, if you are looking for a some lower priced, more affordable courses:, then consider these five:
- Rio Real:  One of the flatter courses in the area, which is close to Marbella / Puerto Banus
- Santana:  Is great value for money (book with Golfbreaks.com and you'll receive free carts :) )
- Alcaidesa Links:  has some of the best views out over the Gibraltar "Rock"
- Flamingos Golf:  Has some classic risk reward shots that can be enjoyed by all levels of players, all set against the backdrop of Villa Padierna
- Guadalmina South:  If you package it up with staying at Guadalmina Hotel it's fantastic value for money."

Flights into Malaga and Gibraltar from most countries in Europe are also good value for money, so southern Spain should be inked into every golfer's tour itinerary. Plus the weather is usually fantastic!

Thanks, Guy

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#76 kennysunstonelinks

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:17 AM

This is easy for me, Royal Dornoch. I am lucky enough to be a member there but it is still my favourite break as well. Not only is the famous links magnificent but it sits in a great stretch of golfing country. The coast around Sutherland has a bunch of other gems including Tain, Golspie, Fortrose & Rosemarkie and Brora. Brora is perhaps the most unspoilt links anywhere and worth the trip on its own. Find out a bit more here sunstonelinks.scot/blog

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#77 Browns71213

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:17 PM

I've done Pinehurst, Sea Island, Myrtle Beach, Reynolds Plantation, Scottsdale, Hawaii, Torrey Pines/Aviara, LaQuinta and all were great. Places I want to go are Pebble Beach/SpyGlass, Scotland, and Kohler.
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#78 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 07:52 PM

View PostFbgstaff, on 15 April 2016 - 08:38 PM, said:

Loved pinehurst area! Hoping my trip to Nebraska will top it this year

If you are in Nebraska I would highly recommend Wild Horse. Best course under $50 I have ever played.

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#79 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 08:01 PM

I have played a ton of great courses. I think somewhere in the lines of 40ish of the Top 100 you can play.

Thoughts:
-> Pebble Beach in my opinion was a bit overrated.

-> Scotland is awesome...the courses and the history. The Old Course is a must, but I will add some must plays that most overlook...1) Musselburgh Old Course: it's the only 9 hole course that has ever hosted a major and it hosted the open 6 times and the course really hasn't changed since 1893. 2) North Berwick - the Pebble Beach of Scotland 3) Prestwick Golf Club - Simply awesome and the course that hosted the Open for the first 13 years of its existence. 4) Machrihanish - Old Tom Morris was the architect, but he said that God designed it.

-> The best golf destination is the USA is Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and there is no close competitor.

-> A golf trip to Florida needs to include Streamsong Red, White and soon to be Black.

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#80 Golfbreaks.com

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 08:04 AM

Great recommendations from @Andrew Bond of Glencoe. Following on from your comments and picking out two or those courses from Scotland's West Coast, Prestwick and Machrihanish, here are the thoughts of Kieran Clark on Ayshire (West Coast Scotland). Kieran's a golf fanatic and freelance journalist based in St Andrews (lucky chap... :) )

"With a memorable Open Championship having recently been played at Royal Troon, and one that will undoubtedly be remembered in decades to come, it has rightly brought Ayrshire, on Scotland’s West Coast, to the forefront of attention once again. When you consider the competition of St. Andrews, East Lothian and the Highlands, this is a region for golf that maybe doesn’t quite receive the credit that it deserves.

Despite the natural reverence towards the Old Course in Fife, it’s worth recalling that the birthplace of the game’s oldest major was just down the road from Troon at Prestwick in 1860. There are many quality courses in Ayrshire these days, not least the revamped Ailsa at Turnberry, but they don’t have the romantic charm that you experience on this historic old links.

It must be said that you have to be accepting of blind shots and the quirks of a course that has retained its original intent, but if that is something you are receptive of, then Prestwick is tremendous fun to play. There are some wonderful holes, including the first alongside the railway and the brilliant third, while the famous Sahara bunker can be found on the 17th.

Elsewhere, the aforementioned Ailsa at Turnberry has been unquestionably improved by the recent changes; which have replaced the previously lacklustre holes around the turn with some that are genuinely dramatic and make the most of the course’s stunning location.

Royal Troon itself is one of the least distinctive courses on the Open rotation, despite the championship history, particularly on the front-nine, but its formidable second half (not to forget the Postage Stamp) are worth taking on for the challenge.

In terms of getting there, Glasgow Airport is less than 40 miles away, so it’s more than accessible for international visitors and various local carriers fly into Prestwick Airport. The town of Prestwick itself is fairly non-descript but nearby Ayr is larger place with more bars and restaurants as well as a famed racecourse. It also has numerous hotels and B&Bs, which is handy if you aren’t staying at Turnberry or the Marine Hotel that overlooks Troon.

Having Scotland’s largest city just a short drive away is a huge asset. There is so much to do in Glasgow, from sporting event and entertainment to cultural and historic. It’s a wonderful place to spend time, and it may even be worth basing yourself there for the entire vacation and electing to drive down to the coast each day to play the courses.

Ultimately, much like East Lothian which is near Edinburgh, the strength of Ayrshire is the sheer abundance of courses, which range from the likes of Western Gailes, Dundonald Links (venue of the 2017 Scottish Open) and Irvine Bogside, to the excellent municipals of Troon. However, for some of us, the majesty of Prestwick still reigns supreme."

This area of Scotland has hosted 28 British Opens... and is only a couple of hours' drive from Edinburgh and three from St Andrews... so a must visit region for any Scotland trip.

Thanks, Guy

Here's Prestwick:
Posted Image

And the Ailsa Course at Turnberry:
Posted Image

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#81 Roadking2003

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:20 PM

View PostBrowns71213, on 21 September 2016 - 12:17 PM, said:

I've done Pinehurst, Sea Island, Myrtle Beach, Reynolds Plantation, Scottsdale, Hawaii, Torrey Pines/Aviara, LaQuinta and all were great. Places I want to go are Pebble Beach/SpyGlass, Scotland, and Kohler.

You really should play Pebble ASAP.  It's the pinnacle of American public golf courses.  Also, add the courses around Lake Tahoe to your list and the Beaver Creek CO courses, especially Red Sky.  I love mountain courses and these two areas are stunning.

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#82 hot_corner

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 08:21 AM

One great place that is very affordable is Boyne Resorts in Boyne, Michigan.  A lot of variety.

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#83 hot_corner

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 08:22 AM

Another place is French Lick, Indiana.  They have three very nice courses with a fun little 9 hole course.  The Pete Dye Course at French Lick is the headliner.

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#84 R-Kid

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 06:32 PM

Great thread.  We just started taking golf vacations and now after reading this thread we have a lot of places to visit especially Ireland.  My wife and I love Northern Michigan in the summer ( 2012, 2014,2016). Terrific weather and a great value for the courses you can play.   Arcadia Bluffs, Forest dunes, and some of the Boyne courses plus others are fantastic.  This spring we are going to Pinehurst and next summer we will be doing Monterey penninsula so I will report back  then.

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#85 wrayner

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 05:28 PM

View Postvallygolf, on 15 September 2016 - 04:17 PM, said:

View Postoperator, on 16 July 2016 - 08:47 AM, said:

View PostGolfbreaks.com, on 06 June 2016 - 01:26 PM, said:

Who's played Kiawah Island? And how do you rate it versus other renowned US resort destinations?

Dave, one of our UK based sales consultants, has just returned from a trip there... and here are his thoughts...

"Having played and stayed at Pebble Beach I never thought I’d visit a better resort however after returning from Kiawah Island recently I think I now have a new favorite!

Kiawah Island itself is a stunning location surrounded by natural marsh land and hugs the coastline with huge deserted beaches as far as the eye can see. The Kiawah Island Resort is the main place you stay there are two choices of accommodation to pick from. Option 1 would be the Sanctuary Hotel, this is very much a high end 5* grand luxury property and I would compare this to the likes of The Lodge at Pebble Beach or The Carolina at Pinehurst. It oozes class and its location right on the beach front is fantastic. It comes with a hefty price tag per night but you won’t be disappointed with what you’ve paid, for trust me. Option 2 will be the self-catering Villa’s which are far more affordable as they have a huge range which are located all around the Resort. You can stay in a basic resort view villa all the way up to a premium high level property situated on the beach and all you have to do is walk down the balcony stairs to have your feet in the sand. I personally stayed in two bedroom villa a 3 min walk from the beach and it was absolutely perfect for what I wanted and the resort can offer everything for each individual’s price ranges.

In terms of activities the island offers everything from Surfing, Fishing, and tennis to guided Kayak tours through the marsh land to all the wildlife including plenty of Alligators. For dining and shopping there is a brilliant small town just before you get to the main Kiawah gates called ‘Freshfields Village’. This offers a wide range of restaurants, cafes and shops and it’s perfect if you fancy getting out of the villa or the hotel.

Now we get on to the main activity which of course is the golf on Kiawah. The resort boasts 5 courses which are all brilliant however I would rate them in the following order;

1. Ocean Course
2. Turtle Point
3. Osprey Point
4. Cougar Point
5. Oak Point

The main event really is the Ocean course and I think it’s the best golf course I’ve ever played. Off the tips it’s around 7400 but it can be played over 8000 which they’ve never actually done and I’m not surprised as it’s a monster at 7400! It’s very much a links style golf course however it still has that American feel to it and offers fairly large landing areas off the tee but your 2nd shot into the greens is where it really starts to get interesting… make sure you have plenty of golf balls! The layout is superb and there’s never an average hole and the finishing stretch from 13th – 18th back to clubhouse are holes you’ll never forget.

After the round you can sit right in front of the clubhouse looking over the 18th with the Atlantic in the background and enjoy a well-earned drink in the sunshine."

Kiawah is only 30 miles from our offices in Charleston, so it sounds like I need to get an excuse to get back out there... Maybe on my next trip...!

Thanks, Guy

I stayed in the Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Sanctuary at Kiawah last year. The Sanctuary is far, far nicer than the lodge. And I agree that the Ocean Course can stand up in a comparison to any golf course.

While I respect your opinion on this matter, I would hate for anybody reading this thread to believe the sanctuary as far far nicer than the lodge.  Having spent considerable time at both I can without reservation say I would choose the Lodge every time.  I love the Sanctuary.  Room service shrimp and grits (or Jasmine Porch shrimp and grits) are worth the trip.  Two vastly different golf courses.  I love both and have played great golf at both, stay in oceanfront rooms at both.  The rugged beauty of Monterey is far superior in my opinion to the beautiful but less breathtaking views at the sanctuary.  Service is better at the Lodge.  If by nicer you mean newer, then yes it is far newer.  In the areas that mean the most to me the Lodge wins hands down.

While I haven't had the luxury of staying at The Sanctuary I've visited it several times as my wife's aunt and uncle have a home right down the street.  It is a wonderful place but pales in comparison to The Lodge.  I was fortunate enough to stay at The Lodge for a Pro-Am and stayed right on the 18th fairway.  The ambiance of The Lodge is second to none and The Tap Room may be one of my favorite golf bars.  In terms of the courses, the Ocean Course is a better course and test from start to finish.  Pebble is really Holes 4-10 and 17-18 as I felt the inland holes weren't much to write home about.  Don't get me wrong, I would most definitely play it over and over but in my opinion the best course in that rotation is Spyglass.


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#86 flushem

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 01:44 AM

How about Caribbean destinations like Cancun, Puerto Rico, Bahamas or Jamaica?

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#87 Texsport

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 08:33 PM

You might wish to study this Top 100 U S Public Courses list -  just published, and based on up-to-date 2016 reviews only!

Compiled from over 200,000 golfing member's responses - a whole lot more than any magazine with raters!

https://www.mygolfsp...2016-mygolfspy/

Very interesting results - no advertising involved to boost rankings - quite a different ranking list than magazines post.

2 of my favorite courses in Minnesota are highly ranked:

The Quarry@Giants Ridge is #8/100

The Legend@Giants Ridge is #28/100

https://www.youtube....h?v=8FIZ6L4VL6U


Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 16 January 2017 - 06:46 PM.

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#88 duffer987

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 12:18 PM

View PostTexsport, on 28 December 2016 - 08:33 PM, said:

You might wish to study this Top 100 U S Public Courses list -  just published, and based on up-to-date 2016 reviews only!

Compiled from over 200,000 golfing member's responses - a whole lot more than any magazine with raters!

https://www.mygolfsp...2016-mygolfspy/

Very interesting results - no advertising involved to boost rankings - quite a different ranking list than magazines post.

2 of my favorite courses in Minnesota are highly ranked:

The Quarry@Giants Ridge is #8/100

The Legend@Giants Ridge is #28/100

Texsport

I've not LOL'd at a list of "Top 100 Golf Courses" before. Thanks for the link :)
That crowd-sourced list makes GD's list look like it's done by PHds.
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http://tinyurl.com/CoursesPlayedList

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#89 One_Putt_Blunder

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 12:35 PM

View Postduffer987, on 29 December 2016 - 12:18 PM, said:

View PostTexsport, on 28 December 2016 - 08:33 PM, said:

You might wish to study this Top 100 U S Public Courses list -  just published, and based on up-to-date 2016 reviews only!

Compiled from over 200,000 golfing member's responses - a whole lot more than any magazine with raters!

https://www.mygolfsp...2016-mygolfspy/

Very interesting results - no advertising involved to boost rankings - quite a different ranking list than magazines post.

2 of my favorite courses in Minnesota are highly ranked:

The Quarry@Giants Ridge is #8/100

The Legend@Giants Ridge is #28/100

Texsport

I've not LOL'd at a list of "Top 100 Golf Courses" before. Thanks for the link :)
That crowd-sourced list makes GD's list look like it's done by PHds.

Wow that is one awful list even just from an AZ perspective, no Saguaro, no southern dunes but Boulders is on it hahahahahahaha. I cant really comment on Bandon courses since I have yet to play them but they all seem really really low
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#90 duffer987

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 01:07 PM

View PostOne_Putt_Blunder, on 29 December 2016 - 12:35 PM, said:

View Postduffer987, on 29 December 2016 - 12:18 PM, said:

View PostTexsport, on 28 December 2016 - 08:33 PM, said:

You might wish to study this Top 100 U S Public Courses list -  just published, and based on up-to-date 2016 reviews only!

Compiled from over 200,000 golfing member's responses - a whole lot more than any magazine with raters!

https://www.mygolfsp...2016-mygolfspy/

Very interesting results - no advertising involved to boost rankings - quite a different ranking list than magazines post.

2 of my favorite courses in Minnesota are highly ranked:

The Quarry@Giants Ridge is #8/100

The Legend@Giants Ridge is #28/100

Texsport

I've not LOL'd at a list of "Top 100 Golf Courses" before. Thanks for the link :)
That crowd-sourced list makes GD's list look like it's done by PHds.

Wow that is one awful list even just from an AZ perspective, no Saguaro, no southern dunes but Boulders is on it hahahahahahaha. I cant really comment on Bandon courses since I have yet to play them but they all seem really really low

I was thinking you AZ guys would get a chuckle out of that :)
Yocha Dehe is a nice course and if someone said it was the 'best' public course in the Sacramento area, I could agree with that, but the #3 course in the US of A and a destination course? Deary me. I assume it's just 3 guys playing it 10 times each and rating it highly.

Edit: I actually went and checked and only count 20 reviews for Yocha in 2016. Seems to be counter to what MGS says in regards to criteria.

Edited by duffer987, 29 December 2016 - 01:12 PM.

Taylormade M1 12*: Set to 11*
Cleveland Classic XL 15.5*
Titleist 913H 21*, 24*
Callaway Legacy Black 5-PW
Mizuno T4 54*, 58* | Odyssey MXM #7
http://tinyurl.com/CoursesPlayedList

Apparently wearing trousers makes me elitist.

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