5 things golf-related that you can do at home

Following the government advice, the best place you can be is at home, and still, there are so many things golf-related you can do! ⁠Here are five things you can start with:

#1 Keep your golf knowledge up to date

Do you know the latest golf gear and equipment? The most iconic game in the PGA Tour? Where to go on your next golf break? Well, now is a good moment to take the couch and learn about all the things that make this sport amazing.

You can start by reading our article about the best golf magazines: Keep updated: Top 5 golf magazines

 

#2 Outline your career as a professional caddy

 

If you have a positive mindset, your mates trust you and rely on your opinion to make a successful stroke, you have skills to start a professional career as a caddy.

Wondering where to start? Check our blog post What makes a great golf caddy?

 

#3 Understand the details of a golf course

Many elements must be carefully combined to create a challenging, stunning and enjoyable golf course, not only to design a great layout but also to manage the team and understand the local environment.

Understand better the greens you are going to test in our article You might know the course but not the name; Golf’s most famous architects.

 

#4 Learn the lingo

Do you know what is a “fried egg”? And, yes, we’re talking about golf!

Discover more words of the golf slap in our article Learning the Lingo: Golf Slang & Terms

#5 Share your trick shots using the hashtag #StayAtHomeChallenge

Grab your toilet roll and keep it up as long as you can. Of course, don’t forget to film it and share it on social media with the hashtag #StatAtHomeChallenge.

What makes a great golf caddy? 

While watching a golf tournament, past the 10th hole, the tension on the course is visible. It’s the turn of your favourite player. They watch the ball, the course, the tee, and they start talking to the person holding the bag. They point to the tee and the caddy (or caddie) starts whispering to the player. The golfer returns to the ball, gets ready, stroke, and right into the hole! It’s like the person holding the clubs whispered a magic spell! 

More than a magic spell, the caddy recommends strategies to the player to make an outstanding stroke. A caddy is a mix of a personal physicist, a landscape analyser, a psychologist and a bestie. There are so many skills required in a professional golf caddy that their paycheck can get up to $2,000 per week. Not bad, eh?

But, what makes a good caddy? 

Understanding of the course

At Golf Drives, we know that being aware of the difficulties that a golf course presents is the key for a successful game, that’s why we care so much about details, such as who was the architect? Likewise, a good caddy will know the golf course better than the 19th hole, and they will be able to recognise the golfer’s challenges. You should provide the golfer insightful information that will help them to make the right decisions to make a bogey, especially if they’re playing at a new golf course. 

Give the right advice

While playing a game, and especially during a tournament, the golf player might need help to make the right stroke, and this is when the job of being a caddy gets the most exciting. Knowing the course without flaw and having a perfect understanding of the game will allow you to give the right advice to the player. Therefore, this requires time, a lot of practice and dedication. 

Watch the ball

A good caddy doesn’t miss the ball. Doesn’t matter how hard the golfer shot or if the wind modifies the trajectory of the ball, you have to know where the ball ended. By understanding the course well, it will be easier for you to see where the ball landed and guide the player to their next point. 

Emotional boosting

Mastering all the technical aspects of the course and the player is crucial to be a good caddy, but is also relevant to give emotional support and share a positive set of mind with the player. Playing such a challenging game sometimes can be frustrating for the golfer, with balls that end in ponds or hazards that over-complicate the game. If you want to be a good caddy, you will have to keep the player optimistic and boost their morale, complimenting them as much as possible when things go right.

Trust

As a caddy, players will ask you for advice when they don’t know what to do and, sometimes, you will give recommendations based on their flaws. To build the confidence to hear and say these things, it requires a lot of trust, especially considering they are the only person they speak to during some tense moments on the greens. 

For this reason, it is easy to find a professional golf player having dinner and some good laughs with their caddy. After a short time, you’ll build a solid bond that will help both to give your best on the course. For example, when Tiger Woods stopped playing, he suggested to Joe LaCava to take someone else’s bag and get back to the game. The answer of the caddy was unanimous: “No, no, I’m committed to you. I’m committed to your return and you playing golf again”. Find yourself someone that tells you those things. 

The bag

Carrying the bag and keeping the gear in optimal conditions might be a small portion of the work and may be less exciting. However, still, it must be done correctly, so the golfer can focus on the game. Make sure you carry a towel and clean the clubs after each shot and give them a deep clean before the game.

Being a caddy requires many different skills, from physical to mental, and mastering these tasks take time and hard work. You can start by joining the Professional Caddies Association (PCA) and get some official training from their apprenticeship programmes. Also, you can check the golf courses around your area and ask for caddying opportunities. But the best advice we can give you is to talk to other caddies and ask them for information or go for some drinks!

Keep updated: Top 5 golf magazines

The coronavirus outbreak has already changed many things in our daily lives and the golf industry hasn’t been exempt from the situation. Golf tournaments have been cancelled and many golf courses are closed. 

However, when everything settles, there will be plenty of time to prove yourself on the course, go to the 19th hole with your mates and enjoy a great golf break abroad. But for now, the best place you can be is at home, and still, there are so many things golf-related you can do! 

For example, you can read tons of articles, watch videos and listen to podcasts, so the next time you meet the lads at the club, you’ll be up to date on your golf knowledge. You can start with these 5 digital and printed magazines that will make you feel the excitement of a golf game from the sofa.

Golf Magazine

Suitable for golfers at all skill levels, Golf Magazine is one of the most-read magazines in the industry. On their cover, we’ve seen Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Michelle Wie and Tiger Woods, amongst other amazing golfers. They publish detailed articles about the latest gear and equipment in golf, interviews of your favourite professional golf players, tour coverages, hot news, and more! But probably the best part is the special section, a featured instruction from the TOP American teachers. 

On their website, you can also find the latest news in the golf industry, photos, hours of exciting videos and podcasts for free. Also, you can have the online and printed version for $30 a year and read your favourites articles whenever you want.

Golf Digest

Established in 1950, Golf Digest is the most popular magazine in the golf industry. On their social media platforms, they gather almost 2 million fans that enjoy their fantastic content daily. In Golf Digest they write about the latest news in golf, keep you updated with the newest gear in the market and analyse the professional golfer’s games. Also, they share hotlists of everything in the industry and, our favourite, detailed tips and guides to be successful on the green. 

We definitely suggest you join the Golf Digest’s community on social media, so you can keep updated on what’s going on in the industry. Also, if a daily post on Facebook is not enough for you, visit their website and read amazing articles, hear full podcasts and watch beautiful videos. To receive the printed issue, you can subscribe to the magazine for only $15 a year and also get the digital version for your tablet or phone.

Hands up if you'd hit a tree... 🙋‍♂️ (🎥: @bryanbrosgolf)

Posted by Golf Monthly magazine on Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Golf Monthly

Founded in 1911, Golf Monthly is known as the world’s oldest golf magazine. Since the beginning, they’ve been keeping their readers updated with the successful careers of their favourite golf players, discovering the latest gear and equipment, and any other news related to this brilliant game. Over a century later, they are still a reference in the golf industry, sharing seasonal features, including topics such as how to improve your swing or how to deal with blustering winds or changes in terrain.

You can read Golf Monthly online or have a printed copy. For the online magazine, you can download the app on the Apple Store or Google Play. On the other hand, to enjoy the high quality of the printed version, you can subscribe to the magazine for £48.49 a year. Also, you can follow the latest golf updates or hear their podcast on their website.

Tiger Woods was among the celebrities to weigh in with a calming reminder in an uncertain time.

Posted by Golfweek on Monday, 16 March 2020

Golfweek

We know, waiting a month to receive your next golf issue and read the latest news can be a long time. That’s why Golfweek slips a digital publication into your inbox every seven days! So you can read the core news in golf, updates of your favourite tournaments, business and golf lifestyle. They take golf seriously and apply high standards of journalism in their articles, following their motto of “enhance the enjoyment and understanding of golf”.

Golfweek website is regularly updated, but you might prefer to hold the magazine in your hands and curate a good collection of golf publications. Each to their own! You can have 11 printed issues per year delivered to your house for $74.95, plus the digital version to read on your electronic devices and weekly digital editions in your email.

Women & Golf

Established in 1991, Women & Golf is a magazine for any player. From beginners to experienced, the aim of the magazine is “to help women golfers everywhere get the most out of the game they love”. Amongst their articles, you can read the inspiring stories of female golfers, tips and guides to improve your stroke and discover some of the most luxurious golf resorts around the world.

Women & golf also can be read online or on paper. You can subscribe to the digital edition from £2.17 per issue and read it on your tablet or phone at anytime you want. Also, you can have it delivered every month to your house for £17 a year. Their web page and social media are also worth checking out regularly to keep updated with the core news of the industry.

Top-ranked female golfers on the LPGA

In 2018, the National Golf Foundation (NGF) showed that only 24% of the golf players on the course were female, and since then, we’ve seen the golf industry taking steps towards inclusivity. They’ve developed campaigns and initiatives to invite women to the courses, such as the actions taken in Northern Ireland, where they are making easier the membership for women at the golf clubs or giving dedicated tuition for women and girls, amongst other brilliant ideas. 

Still, the gap between genders is immense and affects the daily life of the women in golf, from ranking the players by their looks to prize money disparity. It’s clear that more needs to be done at a grassroots level to encourage female participation in the sport and develop inclusivity. 

At Golf Drives, we want everyone to challenge themselves on the courses while they have a good laugh with their friends. For International Women’s Day, we’ve made a list of the 10 of the top golfers rocking the LPGA Tour.

Jin Young Ko

South Korean golfer Jin Young Ko, who recently broke Tiger Woods’ record, leads the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking. Ko is the only known person on the planet to have gone more consecutive holes in a professional tournament play without making a bogey, doing 114 holes while Woods did 110. 

During her career as a professional golfer, she has earned almost $4million and collected several major awards for her shelves. At 24, she is an 11-times winner of the LPGA of Korea Tour, 6-times winner if the LPGA Tour, second at the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open, winner of the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship and has been named LPGA Rookie of the year in 2018. 

Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda is the runner-up in the list, which doesn’t surprise us. The American golfer has already won the LPGA Tour three times, the Australian Open and the Solheim Cup at only 21, so we can look forward to seeing plenty more Korda scissor kicks in the future.

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Fun trip over to Korea!!#Week2of5Complete

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Sung Hyun Park

After joining the LPGA tour in 2017 as a rookie, the self-taught South Korean golf player is a regular in the top three LPGA rankings. She has already won two LPGA, one US Women’s Open Golf Championship and a Women’s PGA Championship, generating winnings of more than $5million.

Danielle Kang

Kang has been part of the LPGA Tour for almost nine years and has been the winner three times, with her first win coming in 2017. Kang has also won the US Women’s Amateur two times.

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Thank YOU X2 ♥️

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Nasa Hataoka

As an amateur golfer, Hataoka won the Japan Women’s Open Golf Championship, part of the LPGA Japan Tour, becoming the youngest player and first amateur to win a JLPGA major. After the victory, she became a professional golfer and her current earnings are $2.7million. 

Sei Young Kim

After 15 professional victories, the career earnings of Sei Young Kim stand at $8.7 million. The South Korean golfer has won the Korea LPGA 10 times, the LPGA Tour 5 times, and became Rookie of the Year in 2015. 

Brooke Henderson

At only 18, she won her first major, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, becoming the event’s youngest winner. With nine LPGA wins as of June 2019, Henderson has the most victories of any professional golfer on major tours in Canadian history.

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A dream come true. 🇨🇦🏆❤️

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Minjee Lee

The Australian golf player had a successful start to her career. At only 13 years old, she became the youngest winner of the WA Amateur Open. Since then, she has gathered prizes such as five LPGA Tour, one Ladies European Tour and two ALPG Tour. 

Lexi Thompson

At 15, Lexi Thompson turned professional and a year later she won an LPGA tournament, becoming the youngest person ever to win one. The American golfer has won a total of 11 LPGA Tour, one Ladies European Tour and one Japan LPGA Tour.

Jeongeun Lee6

When she started the Korean LPGA Tour for the first time, there were already other five Jeongeun Lee, so she began to be called “Jeongeun Lee6”. She has won a total of 6 Korean LPGA Tour, one LPGA Tour and she’s working her way towards winning this one too! 

Royal Portrush Golf Club, Northern Ireland

You might know the course but not the name; Golf’s most famous architects.

Many elements must be carefully combined to create a challenging, stunning and enjoyable golf course, not only to design a great layout but also to manage the team and understand the local environment. To highlight the fantastic work of some golf architects and understand better the greens you are going to test; we’ve made a list of the best golf courses architects.

 

Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

Robert Trent Jones is probably one of the most repeated names in golf architecture, and not only because his father was also a well-known architect, but it’s also because in a career spanning over 50 years he built more than 300 courses all over the world. Some of these golf courses are The Real Club Valderrama, an exclusive golf course located in the south of Spain, Troia at Portugal, and even the 11th and 16th holes at Augusta National Golf Club. 

After so many years, and with the help of his team, “Bobby” Trent Jones has developed a bold style of bunker patterns, wherein he mixes a classical theme with sophisticated and modern shapes. Also, his golf courses have blended perfectly with the local environment but always keep refined sense. Some of his famous trademarks are narrow fairways, bold bunkers protecting the holes and raised greens that will engage you with every hole. 

 

Pete and Alice Dye

The American architect, Pete Dye, once said, “Golf is not a fair game, so why build a course fair?”, and he meant it. Pete Dye designed more than 100 golf courses and many of them with his wife Alice Dye. Their golf courses constantly challenge you without relent. Some of their key elements are narrow greens, hazards and trees strategically placed to keep the game exciting and “unfair”.

Some of the golf courses that have the Dye’s signature are Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean) in the USA, a delightful link where the green blends into the sand of the beach; and Golf de Barbaroux at France, with seven significant water hazards and numerous bunkers. Also, their children have joined the family business, with his son Perry Dye having designed Parco di Roma in Italy, amongst other great courses. 

 

Henry S. Colt

Have you ever arrived at Royal Portrush Golf Club, planned your stroke carefully at the 5th hole, a downhill par four with a left to right dogleg, and thought, “whoever designed this golf course must be a genius!” Well, all the credit goes to Henry S. Colt!

After studying at Clare College, Cambridge, Harry Colt quit his job as a lawyer to become a golf architect – and we’re grateful he did! The English architect has been involved in the design of over 300 golf courses,  115 of his own creation, including the mentioned redesign of Royal Portrush Golf Club. He did many relevant modifications such as the two new holes in an area known as “The Triangle”, and the 5th hole, called “WhiteRocks”.

 

Ida Nixon

The professional career of Ida Nixon wasn’t as plenteous as her aforementioned peers, since she only had the chance to design one golf course in her life. In 1904, the American architect designed an 18-hole golf course for The Springhaven Club. With impeccable fairways and greens, The Springhaven Club is suitable for golfers of any level. 

Her work at The Springhaven Club made her part of golfing history as the first female architect of golf courses in the world. 

 

Allan Robertson

The master architect of the world-famous golf course St. Andrews was mother nature. Besides her though, we have to credit the amazing work of Allan Robertson. In 1848, the Scottish architect made wide fairways, created the challenging Road Hole green and the famous giant double green, remarkable hazards that all golfers remember when they visit St. Andrews – apart from the windy weather. 

Robertson also designed the golf courses Carnoustie and Monifieth, both in Scotland. Also, he shared his knowledge with a young Old Tom Morris, an impressive golfer and an exceptional golf course architect in his own right. 

How the Northern Irish golf industry is fostering female inclusivity

With only 1.88 million inhabitants, Northern Ireland is the least populated country in the UK. Even so, it is home to almost 100 golf courses, has some of the best links in Europe and entertains golfers from all over the world. For these reasons, it has been the target of organisations looking to increase the inclusivity of golf for everyone’s enjoyment. 

Little by little, the golf industry is taking steps to be more gender-inclusive by offering dedicated tuition for women and girls or trying to make easier membership requirements to increase their ladies’ sections. 

In Northern Ireland, organisations such as the R&A’s Women in Golf Charter are developing a more inclusive culture within golf as well as making more opportunities for women and girls in the golf scene. 

These initiatives are seeing positive results in the industry, since the latest full report of the Irish Sports Monitor, unveiled in May 2018, showed that the number of women actively participating in the game increased from 0.9% in 2015 to 1.2% in 2017, while overall golf participation rose from 2.3% to 2.5%.  

Under the claim “Made for golf”, Northern Ireland is taking advantage of its natural green charm and is investing in the golf industry. Whether you’re seeking a championship experience, dramatically scenic settings, a slice of history, links or parkland, or simply idyllic tranquillity, Northern Ireland has it all. 

If you are going to the north of the emerald island, there are two golf courses everyone should visit: Portstewart Golf Club and Royal Portrush Golf Club.

 

Portstewart Golf Club (Strand)

At Portstewart Golf Club, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Belfast City Airport

Located at the seaside, Portstewart Golf Course has been hosting golf games since 1889 and had significant development in the 1980s to divide the link into three mighty courses: The Old Course, The Strand and The Riverside. The Strand course opened in 1992 following the designs of the architect Des Giffin, who updated Willie Park’s original layout mixing the new and the old concept. 

Keeping the essence of the Northern Irish coast, with gigantic dunes and a beautiful panoramic view of the Atlantic, Giffin placed strategic challenges to make a golf course with many excellent holes and thoroughly enjoyable. The first hole is an intimidating downhill 425-yard par four. Additionally, the 3rd hole is a long single shot of 207-yards; and the 6th, with a plateau green, will stay in your mind for a long time.

 

Royal Portrush Golf Club

At Royal Portrush Golf Club, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Belfast City Airport

Portrush is a charming and colourful small town where many Northern Irish people go for a coastal break from city life. Not far from the city and near to Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway, you’ll find the Royal Portrush Golf Club. The link is blessed with an ocean view and, if it’s clear, you can see the Paps of Jura. 

When it was founded in 1888, the link used to have 9 holes but, after a few reformations, it ended up having 18 holes. The last redesign of the course was by the architect Harry S. Colt in 1932, making many relevant modifications such as the two new holes in an area known as “The Triangle”. Also, the 5th hole, called “WhiteRocks”, is one most praised holes in the link, a downhill par four with a left to right dogleg.  

How will Brexit affect my golf holiday?

With Brexit, the United Kingdom and the European Union have a new political relationship, which establishes new agreements and arrangements. These new policies change the way we’ve been travelling and visiting European golf courses and might make you wonder how Brexit will affect your next golf holiday.

Even if since the 31st of January the UK is no longer part of the EU, British golf players travelling abroad haven’t experienced any critical changes in their holiday arrangements yet. You won’t have needed a visa to enter an EU country or had to pay extra charges, and it’s because travelling conditions will stay the same until the end of the current transition period. 

 

What is the transition period and how long it will take?

The transition period goes from the 31st of January 2020 until the end of December 2020, meaning that the UK is considered an independent country from the European Union. However, many agreements decided before this stage will still be active, especially the ones related to travellers. After the transition period, the United Kingdom and the EU will have new rules and agreements that haven’t yet been defined.

 

Do British citizens need a visa to travel to the EU?

The first question that comes to the mind of many British golfers planning their golf break in a European country is: will I need a visa to travel to Europe? The answer is no. Well, not for now. During the transition period, British citizens won’t need to get a visa if they’re going to stay as a tourist for up to 90 days in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Therefore, if you’re planning to travel after the 1st of January 2021, it’s likely that you need more requirements that the ones you have required for now and British citizens might have to pay for ‘visa-exempt travel’. Also, the European Union will implement the European Travel Information and Authorization System (Etias) by 2022, a specific programme for non-EU citizens that would like to travel in Europe, including British citizens. The application for Etias will cost 7 Euros.

 

Do I need a new passport?

After the transition period, if the expiration date is shorter than 6 months or if it’s more than 10 years old, you’ll need to renew your British passport. Keep in mind that replacing your passport usually takes 3 weeks. 

 

What will I need to travel after Brexit?

Currently, many non-EU citizens need to show their return ticket and prove that they have enough money for their stay and it’s possible that Britons will have to fulfil the same requirement after the transition period. Once at border control, British citizens will have to queue in different lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. Besides, when travelling between the UK and the EU, you’ll need to declare cash of £10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency).

 

How long can I stay in the EU?

If you are planning to live in an eternal golf break, you might keep in mind that British citizens will be able to stay as a tourist for up to 90 days in any 180 days in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. 

 

How will Brexit affect travel insurance?

Until the end of 2020, citizens with the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) are entitled to have healthcare in any EEA member state as well as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. 

Therefore, it’s always recommended to have travel insurance that covers your healthcare and pre-existing medical condition.

 

What will happen to roaming charges after Brexit?

After the transition period, the guarantee of free-roaming for British mobiles in EU countries will stop. We recommend you check the new terms with your phone operator to avoid any weird bills from getting that perfect photo for the ‘Gram. However, a new law protects you from getting phone charges over £45 without you knowing.

 

Brexit brings new policies when it comes to crossing borders, but once you arrive at the golf course, the enjoyable golf rounds with your friends will be the same. 

We hope we’ve covered your questions about travelling or planning a golf break after Brexit. In case you need more details, you can find more advice here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

If you are going on a golf holiday after the 1st of January 2021, we recommend visiting gov.uk to check the latest news about Brexit. 

5 great links: Golf courses near the beach

When you’re going on golf holidays with your friends or golf club, you want to make the most of your break: test yourself on the greens, enjoy a stunning view and get some vitamin D at the beach maybe. With spring and summer in your mind, you might want your next location to be close to the sea, so you can dive into the water and relax on the sand after improving your swing the golf course. For this blog post, we’ve selected some amazing and sunny courses near the coast that you should visit on your next golf break.

 

Vale do Lobo (Royal), Portugal

At Vale do Lobo, approximately 30 minutes away from Faro Airport

The Vale do Lobo is the most photographed golf course in Portugal and it’s one of the most beautiful courses in the Algarve. Right next to the Atlantic, the 18-hole link is the closest course to the sea in the south of Portugal, you can even see the golden sand of the beach right at the end of the green. Although the views are mesmerizing, being so close to the beach might add an extra difficulty: the wind. Sometimes you can have a nice and refreshing breeze from the Atlantic or the strong wind can give you a hard time and change the trajectory of the ball.

Established in 1997, Vale do Lobo (Royal) was designed by the American architect Rocky Roquemore, based on the original layout of Sir Henry Cotton. The link was built at the edge of a cliff on top of the Vale do Lobo beach and it extends further inland. The most remarkable hole in the course, and probably in the Algarve, is the par-three 16th, located on the top of the cliff.

 

Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, Cyprus

At Aphrodite Hills, approximately 15 minutes away from Paphos Airport

Named after the Greek goddess of love that emerged from the sea, Aphrodite Hills Golf Club is located near the Mediterranean shore, at the sunny island of Cyprus. A little bit further from the coast than Vale do Lobo, the view of the sea from this course is still stunning, being only 5 minutes away from the Ranti Forest Beach. 

The golf course was designed by the American architect Cabell B. Robinson and he considered Aphrodite Hills the culmination of his work. The golf course was built on two-level landforms separated by a canyon, two difficulties that the architect took advantage of to create memorable holes such as the 3rd and the 7th. In Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, Robinson integrates hazards and ponds on the greens with the local Mediterranean nature of the landscape. 

 

Finca Cortesin Golf Resort, Spain

At Finca Cortesin, approximately 1 hour away from Málaga Airport

The Finca Cortesin is situated between the Estepona Mountains and just a few metres away from the Mediterranean shore: an 18-hole link surrounded by an outstanding landscape. Located in the south of Spain and with an average temperature of 20C in spring, it’s a great destination to enjoy a sangria at La Galera beach (just 10 minutes away) after an enjoyable golf game with your friends. 

Therefore, not only do the views make Finca Cortesin a magnificent course, the abundance of details in the greens round off an elegant and challenging course. The link keeps the balance between the natural characteristics of the Mediterranean forest and high-quality Bermuda grass. The course is designed with white marble sand bunkers and water hazards placed strategically to make every hole a different and exciting challenge for the golfers.

 

Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria

At Thracian Cliffs, approximately 1 hour away from Varna Airport

Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort is the most photographed golf course in Europe. Built on the top of a cliff and with a stunning view, the Thracian Cliffs is a unique golf experience: Golfers can see the sea from every hole of the course. Sitting on the top of the cliff and with the Black Sea behind, the 6th hole will be the most memorable hole for any player, not only because of its difficulty but for the impressive views of the waves.

Gary Player designed a course suitable for all levels, but still challenging enough for the expert golfers, it requires analysis of the green and careful planning of each stroke. Hazards of sand, narrow fairways and even the edge of the cliff are some difficulties that will make players prove themselves.

 

Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean), USA

At Kiawah Island Golf Resort, approximately 50 minutes away from Charleston Airport

On the coast of South Carolina, the ground slinks into the Ocean making parcels of land almost independent islands that disappear in the water. Between these parcels of land, the architects Pete and Alice Dye designed the Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean), a delightful link where the green blends into the sand of the beach. 

At this majestic spot, Alice Dye wanted the players to enjoy the Ocean view while they were playing in the 23,028 feet golf course. Narrow greens, hazards and oaks are strategically placed to keep the game exciting, but once again, the wind is the biggest challenge the golfer will have to overcome. It has a key role when it comes to making a successful stroke and makes each round different and stimulating.

Thracian Cliffs, Bulgaria

9 European golf courses that rival Augusta National

Located in Georgia, USA, near to the border of North Carolina, Augusta National Golf Club is considered one of the best golf courses on Earth and one of the most exclusive golf courses in the world. Augusta is the home to the Masters Tournament and notable members of the club include Bill Gates, Jack Nicklaus, Warren Buffet and Ginni Rometty, amongst other successful personalities. Entrance is exclusive, but we’re constantly seeing in magazines and TV the incredible layout of this 18-hole course and golfers daydream about testing their technique in the 1st hole, the Tea Olive. 

However, on this side of the Atlantic, we have some amazing, unique and challenging golf courses that don’t need to be jealous of the Augusta National Golf Club.

 

Golf de Chantilly, France

36-hole course

At Chantilly, approximately 20 minutes away from Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

Tradition and etiquette are two of the most used adjectives to describe this remarkable golf course. Located in the forest of Ile de France, the English architect Tom Simpson strategically designed Golf de Chantilly to challenge the brains of golfers. The placement of the fairways, the many bunkers and the forest will test the players to find the right angle to shoot.

 

St Andrews (Old Course), Scotland

18-hole course

At St Andrews, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Edinburgh Airport

Established for over six centuries, St Andrews is one of the oldest golf courses in the world and, regardless of the international recognition and status, the course is open to everybody.

Mother Nature has been the main creator of this golf, although, Allan Robertson designed the wide fairways, created the challenging Road Hole green and the famous giant double green. Also, the Swilcan Bridge, the Hell Bunker and other strategic golf features have inspired the layout of many golf courses, such as the Augusta National.

 

Monte Rei (North), Portugal

18-hole course

Near Tavira, approximately 50 minutes away from Faro Airport

Located near the Algarve and the Spanish border, Monte Rei North is a golf course you should definitely add to your itinerary if you are planning to visit several courses in this area. In contrast to St. Andrews, Monte Rei is one of the newest golf courses on this list, having been established in 2007. Despite its recent beginnings, Monte Rei is already one of Europe’s top-ranked destinations because of the great conditions of the course and the superb holes.

 

Real Club Valderrama, Spain

18-hole course

At Sotogrande, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Málaga Airport

The Real Club Valderrama is among our favourite golf courses in Spain and one of the best golf courses in the world. The 18-hole course has hosted many international golf competitions, such as The Ryder Cup, Volvo Masters and WGC-American Express Championship.

This highly-exclusive golf course located in the south of Spain is known as “The European Augusta”. Entrance is mainly for members of the club, however, a limited number of other golfers can enjoy the course.

 

Campo de Golf El Saler, Spain

18-hole course

At El Saler, approximately 30 minutes away from Valencia Airport

Just 30 minutes away from Valencia Airport, in the middle of the Albufera Nature Park and next to the Mediterranean coast, El Campo de Golf El Saler is a great destination for a golf weekend get-a-away. 18 holes, with a par of 72, to test your golfing skills while you feel the Mediterranean breeze.

Considered one of the best golf courses in the world, The Saler has also hosted important international competitions such as the European Tour.  

 

Golf de Fontainebleau, France

18-hole course

At Fontainebleau, approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes away from Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

Golf de Fontainebleau, located in the Fontainebleau forest, is considered one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. The course is integrated with the nature of the Fontainebleau forest, where it’s located, with fairways surrounded by oak, pine and beech trees. For that true at-one-with-nature feel, sometimes, you can even spot deer.

 

Carya Golf Club, Turkey

18-hole course

At Carya Golf Club, approximately 25 minutes away from Antalya Airport

Thomson Perrett & Lobb Golf Course Architects designed Carya Golf Club as the first full-lighted golf course in Europe. Golfers can play at the 18-hole course until late at night without losing sight of the flag-stick. Certainly, the illumination won’t be a problem to the player, who will have to strategically plan each stroke and keep in mind the bunkers with heather-covered edges and the lakes.

 

Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria

18-hole course

At Thracian Cliffs, approximately 1 hour away from Varna Airport

Built on the top of a cliff and with a stunning view, the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort is a unique golf experience: Golfers can see the sea from every hole of the course. Because of this, Thracian Cliffs is the most photographed golf course in Europe. 

Gary Player designed a course suitable for all levels, but still challenging enough for the expert golfers. Sitting on the top of the cliff and with the Black Sea behind, the hole No. 6 will be the most memorable hole for any player, not only because of its difficulty but for the impressive views of the waves.

 

Troia, Portugal

18-hole course

At Troia, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Lisbon Airport

Located in the peninsula of Troia, south of Lisbon, this course was designed by the American architect Robert Trent Jones. Also in this golf course, the player will find some of Jones’ famous trademarks: narrow fairways, bold bunkers protecting the holes and raised greens that will engage the golfer in each hole.

Hole 15 at Real Club Valderrama © Real Club Valderrama

The top 5 golf courses in Spain

With a wonderful Mediterranean climate and an average temperature of 20C in spring, Spain is a well-known destination for sun, sangria and golf. In our favourites golf magazines and TV programmes, we constantly see this sunny country hosting some of the most important golf competitions, such as The Ryder Cup, Volvo Masters,  the Spanish Open or previous events such as the Gene Sarazen World Open. We know what you think when these amazing green courses appear on your screen: What course is that and how do I get there?

Well, we’ve put together the best 5 golf courses in Spain so you don’t have to wander around the internet anymore searching. All of these amazing Spanish golf courses have 18 holes and huge fields full of challenges for the most ambitious players. But probably the biggest challenge the golfer will have to face is to keep focus and don’t get distracted by the beautiful scenery of the fairways.

Getting there is easy peasy with Golf Drives: 

  • You get an instant quote
  • Golf bags are included in all journeys
  • We take you from the airport to the resort
  • And if you want to visit the 5 of them, we can take you from one course to another!

Get a quote for your airport to resort to golf course transfer

1. Real Club Valderrama

18-hole course

At Sotogrande, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Málaga Airport

The Real Club Valderrama is one of the best-known golf clubs in the world and the best golf course in Europe according to the magazine Golf World. Located in a prominent hill at Sotogrande, in the south of Spain, it has a single 18-hole course, along with a 9-hole par 3 course.

The golf club was built in 1974 following the designs of the renowned American golf course architect Robert Trent Jones. In 1984 Jaime Ortíz-Patiño acquired the golf club and recalled the original architect to expand and redesign the gold course. Since then, The Real Club Valderrama has just collected ovations and awards for fun.

Also, you are probably familiar with The Real Club Valderrama as the host for some of the most exciting and relevant competitions in Europe, such as The Ryder Cup, Volvo Masters, WGC-American Express Championship or Ladies Spanish Open, amongst others. 

 

2. Campo de Golf El Saler

18-hole course

At El Saler, approximately 30 minutes away from Valencia Airport

El Saler is located in the Albufera Natural Park, 30 minutes away from the centre of Valencia and right next to the shore of the Mediterranean. The biggest challenge for the Spanish architect Javier Arana was to design The Saler in a protected landscape. Still, the course will test the skills of the golfers with a mix of links and forest holes, being split into 18 holes, with a par of 72. Also, the golf club has two putting greens, a practice area, golf school, driving range and pro shop.

Considered one of the best golf courses in the world, El Saler has also hosted important competitions like the Spanish Open and the European Tour. 

 

3. Real Club de Sotogrande

18-hole course

At Sotogrande, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Málaga Airport

Number 3 brings us another course designed by the American architect Robert Trent Jones. The Real Club Sotogrande was the first golf course he designed in Europe in 1964 and after 36 years his 622-metre layout still fascinates the selected golfers that visit it. The golf course is located in the province of Cádiz and it was built only 150 metres from the Mediterranean.

The 18 holes of the golf course have been precisely designed, making the player plan each stroke carefully. Wide fairways lined by eucalyptus, oak, cork, pine and palm trees, and bunkers and water hazards strategically placed are some examples of the obstacles the golfer will have to overcome.

 

4. PGA Catalunya Stadium Course

18-hole course

At PGA Catalunya Resort, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Barcelona Airport (El Prat)

PGA Catalunya Resort has been considered the best Golf Resort in Spain, having one of the best golf courses in Europe: The PGA Catalunya Stadium Course. The convenient location is one of the reasons why The PGA Catalunya is a great decision for your golf holidays, just one hour away from the Pyrenees and 20 minutes from the delightful Costa Brava. Also, during the summertime, the cooler temperatures of the northeast mainland, makes it a suitable alternative to the intense heat of southern Spain.

The Stadium was designed and planned by several architects for more than a decade and, since it opened in 1998, has been ranked one of the 100 best golf courses in Europe. Just a few months after its opening, the PGA Catalunya Stadium Course hosted the Gene Sarazen World Open in 1999 and the Spanish Open in 2000. The ups and downs of the course create many memorable holes, like the first tee with an elevated drive where the player will prove themselves from the very beginning. 

 

5. Finca Cortesin Golf Resort

18-hole course

At Finca Cortesin, approximately 1 hour away from Málaga Airport

The Finca Cortesin is located between the Estepona Mountains and just a few metres away from the Mediterranean: an 18-hole course surrounded by an outstanding landscape. Also, as a golf resort, the Finca Cortesin is ranked one of the world’s top 50 hotels, delivering great customer service to all of their players. 

The course has one of the longest layouts in Europe with almost 7.000 metres of extension. Finca Cortesin was designed by Cabell Robinson and landscaped by Gerald Huggan and keeps the balance between the natural characteristics of the Mediterranean forest and high-quality Bermuda grass. Every hole is different and an exciting challenge for the golfers that will have to overcome bunkers full of white marble sand that are strategically placed around the golf course.

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