Your Comprehensive Guide and Golf Checklist to an Ace Golf Season
The weather is finally starting to swing in your favour, and it is time to enjoy the sunshine once again as the best season of the year arrives! No, not summer – golf season!
And because preparation is key, we’ve created the ultimate pre-season golf checklist so that you’re 100% prepared and ready to play your favourite game in the sun somewhere amazing.
Get Your Body in Check
Golf is an activity that can be taxing on the hips, pelvis and upper back as well as other areas, so it’s important to keep working out to stay fit, even when it’s off season.
These are the four most important parts of the body to work on and how you can implement them into your workout routine:
The Upper Body: with bicep curls and push-ups.
The Lower Body: wall sitting for 30-60 seconds at a time.
Core: stomach crunches and leg lifts.
You’re also going to want to work on your flexibility, so stretching on a daily basis is key to avoiding injuries and aching muscles.
Even when the weather makes a turn for the worse, you’re going to have to make sure you’re still practicing. Luckily, it’s easy to do so without leaving your home.
Start off by putting in your house or office, which is an important element of the game. Then, if space allows, you could implement a dome or an indoor net that allows you to practice your short game.
Invest in Excellent Golf Clothes and Accessories
If you’re an avid golf player, you have probably already invested in golf clothes and shoes of excellent quality. If not, we strongly suggest spending that extra bit of money for your attire so that you not only feel comfortable but also look presentable.
Additionally, you’re going to want to plan your attire based on the weather. If your chosen golf holiday location is prone to wind, prepare a windbreaker. For those chilly days, a pair of hand warmers and a beanie. And when it rains, you’ll definitely need waterproof outerwear and an umbrella.
Having the right attire, of course, applies for all kinds of weather fluctuations, including summer. When the sun shines – sun cream, a hat, and sunglasses is paramount.
Lastly, when it comes to waterproof shoes, the longest guarantee is around two years. So if you’re hoping to sport the same pair as last season, it’s probably for the best that you invest in a new pair.
A tip to make your shoes last longer? Buy two pairs and alternate between the two during golf season.
Maintaining your Golf Equipment
Bear in mind that your grip should be replaced after every 30 – 40 rounds of golf. If you’re playing a round with a worn out grip, it will not only make you feel uncomfortable, but it’ll also cause inconsistency and even penalties when it comes to your stroke.
Also, make sure that your shafts and grooves are in good condition.
Time for New Golf Equipment?
If you feel that your golfing equipment has run its course, or perhaps you’re looking for an upgrade, the best thing to do is to get your new items fitted by a professional. Again, you’re going to want to spend that extra bit of cash now as opposed to buying what’s on sale every season.
Use a bucket and fill it with a mixture of mild dish washing soap and warm water. Add your club heads so that they are completely covered in the water and leave them for a few minutes. Use a soft bristle brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the grooves, then rinse the head with clean water. Dry with a soft towel.
Treated almost the same as irons, make sure that your metal woods are only dipped into the water/dish washing liquid mixture for a second. Metal woods should never be soaked. Then, dry with a damp cloth. Again, you can use a device to scrub the grooves.
To keep a good grip, wet it then add a touch of hand soap. Scrub the grips with an old toothbrush, rinse with water, and dry.
Accountability and Progress
For many, bringing along or making new friends at the golf course is a regular occurrence. And that’s not only great for your social life, but also an excellent way in which to remain accountable.
Create a WhatsApp group or meet regularly to practice and talk about your progress, so that you can watch your and your buddy’s skills get better over time.
Research Golf Holidays
Have you decided where you’ll be going golf season? Research is key! Try to make a list of the things that are desirable to you in terms of a golf course, weather, and other activities, then find a location that best suits you.
It’ll also be extremely beneficial for you to find holiday golf resorts that offer golf transfers. This is because, if you’ve ever travelled with your equipment, you’ll know that it can be quite a nightmare.
Traveling with Golf Clubs
When traveling, you have one of two options. You could either hire clubs at your golf resort or you could bring yours along with you. If you’re planning for the latter, then here are several tips on how to travel with golf clubs:
Check your airline to see if there are any additional fees attached to bringing your golf clubs.
Be sure to get travel insurance (or better yet, travel insurance for golf holidays) so that, should something go missing or damaged, you’re covered.
Try to book a non-stop flight, as it minimises the risk of damage while in transit.
Choose a sturdy golf bag to reduce the chance of damage, and add towels in between your irons and wedges for extra padding. Woods should always have head covers.
Consider a shipping service that can transport your golf equipment for you, so that you don’t need to travel with them yourself.
An Additional Helpful Tip for Golf Season
If you’ve chosen to go on a golf holiday and it’s your first time playing there, a handy tip would be to use a GPS-tracking watch. Even better, would be to consider a GPS-tracking watch made especially for golfers.
Depending on which GPS-tracking watch you choose, it can help you in a number of ways:
It’ll help you to navigate a new course
It’ll help you find your distance to the green
It’ll track your shots
It’ll track the distances off the tee
It’ll track your steps
It’ll track the speed at various points in your swing
It’ll track your performance over time
And there you have it! A comprehensive golf checklist and everything you need to know about preparing for golf season! Hopefully you’ll be graced with excellent weather and an even better swing!
Many sports have its own vocabulary and golf is no exception. Learning golfing terminology can be like learning a foreign language at times.
Here at Golf-Drives, we have put together an A-Z list of our favourite and the most commonly used golfing terms and slang:
A golfer’s best game which is executed on a regular basis.
Hitting the ball into the hole in one swing of the club.
Afraid of The Dark:
When the putted ball refuses to fall into the hole.
A golf shot which travels a considerably longer distance than planned.
Albatross (aka Double Eagle):
This means a score of three strokes under Par, which as you can imagine is very rare.
Tied score in match play.
Like a marching rhythm: Left-right-left, in the game of golf it means hitting the ball out of bounds to the left then to the right the next time.
When you hit the ball casually with the back-side of the putter to “Hole” a very short putt.
The ball travels in a ”banana-shaped” curve. A very sharp fade shot known as a “slice”.
Hitting the golf ball at trees and obtaining a good score despite it.
Term used for a sand bunker.
A score of one less than par.
If a ball has lots of backspin it is said to “bite” because it stays close to where it landed or may spin back toward the player. If a ball appears to be going past the hole a player may shout “pray” or a more humorous way can be to shout, “grow teeth!”.
A score of one over par.
To be prepared for a different situation where you need to hit a certain shot you will need to take additional clubs – one higher and one lower known as a Bracket.
Buzzard (aka Double Bogey):
A score of two over par.
Cabbage (aka Spinach):
If you hit the ball into inescapable thick rough.
Refers to the “Cup” on the Green.
Term which refers to the “Green”.
A build-up of water on the golf course after heavy rain that is not part of a water hazard. The player can move the ball without penalty.
A sand bunker
If faced with a difficult shot, a golfer will choose a play-it-safe club that is within his capabilities to properly complete the shot.
Chili Dip (aka Fat/Chunk shot):
Hitting the ground behind the ball before impact with the ball.
Short shot usually made from just off the green.
Putting action where the ball stops short of dropping into the cup.
The hole on the green – 4.5-inch diameter, 4-inch-deep.
Refers to the green.
Golfers who play at sunrise.
Reference to players in a Professional Tournament who have the earliest Tee times (when the dew is still on the course), in the third or fourth round of the tournament.
Dog Track (aka Goat track):
When a golf course is in poor condition.
Dribbler (aka Fat Shot):
When a shot that only goes forward a few feet.
Duck Hook (aka Snap Hook):
A ball that curves right to left on a low trajectory and off target.
Duffer (aka Hacker):
An “inexperienced” or mediocre golfer.
A hole/flagstick that is located on the back of the green.
The small chunk of turf that is dislodged when a club head strikes the ground as a player hits the ball.
Slang term for having sunk a putt.
A golf shot (for a right-handed golfer) where the ball slowly moves right to left.
The first shot taken at the teeing ground at each hole.
The longest club with the biggest head, used for tee shots as it’s designed to hit the ball the farthest.
A bad shot.
A score of two under par.
A golf course that is shorter and has a lower par than regular golf courses suitable for beginner golfers and juniors.
Fade (aka Cut Shot):
A golf shot (right handed golfer) in which the ball gradually moves left to right.
The centre, short-mown portion of a golf hole in between the teeing ground and the green.
Where a round of golf play begins.
Hit from the rough, a ball which goes a lot further than envisioned.
Fly the green:
A shot that goes over the green.
Shouted when the ball is heading towards someone.
The teeing ground located closest to the green.
A golf shot which is hit quite high and short, which upon contact with the Green, rolls very little and stops. The ball is “Flopped” onto the putting surface.
A terrible shot which causes a loss in scoring.
Where the golfer uses his “foot” to push the ball into a better position.
On any given Greentaking four putts to get the ball in the hole.
Fried Egg (aka Plugged):
Where only the top half of the ball is visible when buried in a Sandtrap.
Closely mown grass surrounding the Green.
A shot so close that only a short putt is needed, and the other players agree can count automatically without being played.
An expression shouted at a ball that looks like it’s going to land short of the target.
Setting the heel of the golf club on the ground.
A numerical representation of a golfer’s playing ability.
The right to tee off first based on having the best score on the last hole or being furthest away from the hole.
When a right-handed player strikes the ball such that it curves sharply from right to left.
A shot that goes faster than intended.
An “inexperienced” or mediocre golfer.
Where the golfer uses his “hand” to nudge the ball into a better lie.
A ball that is in an unfortunate lie and dubious whether the ball can be struck well for a good golf shot.
In the Leather:
A putted ball close enough to the hole to be accepted by the other players.
Offers a nice clean hit. A juicy lie indicates the ball is sitting on top of grass as if it is mounted on a short Tee.
A ball hit into the deepest and rough area on the golf course.
A golfer who asks for a good kick is hoping for the ball to bounce in a good position.
A nervous reaction when a golfer has a short putt (3 to 4 feet) remaining for the next Putt.
When trying to reach the Green could be a risky shot and it is a lot safer to hit a drive or fairway shot short of the Green.
You have “lipped out” when your ball hits the lip but doesn’t go in the hole.
Refers to one 18-Hole circuit around the Golf Course.
When a golfer hits a ball into a wooded area numerous times during a round and continues to hit the trees trying to get out of the woods.
While in play the Lie is the position/location of the golf ball.
The degree/angle of the face of the club.
Mickey Mouse course:
Refers to a course with many short holes and bad maintenance.
Referring to a second shot from the Tee, after a bad first shot.
A golf format where the goal is to win individual holes rather than tallying the total of all the strokes.
Modified scramble (aka Shamble/ Texas Scramble):
Tournament format where golfers select the best shot off the tee, move all balls to that spot, and play individual stroke play for the rest of the hole.
Nineteenth (19th) hole:
The Clubhouse Bar.
A Clean hit which tends to lessen the amount of backspin.
When you gain a greater distance than your average or typical distance.
Out of Bounds (OB):
The area of the course is often marked by white stakes which should be avoided where play is not allowed.
Pin (aka The Stick):
The flagstick on the green standing inside the cup.
When a group of golfers pass by another group of slower playing golfers.
A second ball that is played if the first ball is or may be lost or out of bounds.
The golf stroke used to roll the ball on the green.
Rushing your swing or trying to hit too hard.
A golf shot with a very high trajectory.
To speed up or maintain the pace of play players will hit when ready.
The long grass bordering the fairway.
A golfer with Zero handicap.
Reference to scoring an 8 on a hole.
A stroke made above the equator of the ball which is mis-hit, resulting in a line-drive trajectory.
The plural “sticks” means golf clubs not to be confused with flagstick.
A golf format in which the objective is to finish the game using the fewest total shots.
A short, easy to make Putt.
Tends to test a golfer. It is where a Putt is too far away for a “Gimmie”, but short enough a good putting golfer can hole it.
The Tips (aka Championship Tees/Back Tees):
The farthest teeing ground from the green, usually defined by blue, black or gold tee markers.
Thin (aka Skinny):
A shot strike near the centre of the ball, characteristically causing a low flight.
The halfway point in a round of golf.
Up and down:
Only taking two strokes to get the golf ball into the hole when your ball is resting around the green.
A Putt that rolls almost all the way around the edge of the “Cup” before actually coming out and around without falling in.
Relatively flat areas with sharp undulations between mounds on a green.
The circle a Putt makes around the rim of the Cup before going in.
Is the speed of the Putting Green on a golf course.
A golf shot (not a putt) in which the ball never gets but a few feet off the ground.
A final resting place for your “Miss-Hit” shot over a water hazard.
A poor golf swing with a complete miss of the ball.
Due to nervousness and lack of a smooth putting stroke, Yips is the inability to make short putts.
When a Putt is pulled sharply to the left.
You’re said to be “in the zone” if you are playing well.
The Best 40 Golf Blogs You’ll Find Online in 2018!
Do you like to be kept up to date with the latest news and golf opinions? Then why not get a different perspective from the usual golfing media and read the best golf blogs out there. Aside from booking Golf holidays find out about the best courses, equipment and even clothing from people who have experienced it first-hand.
If you don’t know where to start don’t worry because we have made a list of the top golf blogs for you to check out!
How are they ranked? In order to make our ranking fair, we took into account 4 factors:
Social Media Presence
For each factor we gave each blog points, with the top blog getting 1 point, the 2nd blog getting 2 points etc. With each factor worth 25%, we added up the total number of points, with the lower the number of points the higher the ranking.
To everyone included in the rankings…
There are a number of ways you can shout about your listing on Golf-Drives’ Top 40 Best Golf Blogs.
Get your well-deserved badge to display on your website:
We’ve been featured as a @GolfDrives Top 40 Golf Blogs! Check it out: https://www.golf-drives.com/blog …
So what are the Top 40 Best Golf Blogs? Let’s find out!
The Best 40 Golf Blogs
1. Wei Under Par
Stephanie Wei is a well-known name in the golf industry, as a golf broadcaster, writer and blogger, she is known for her unique outlook and reporting style from the PGA Tour and LPGA tournaments. Stephanie is a keen golfer and was nationally ranked in the top 100 as a junior golfer.
If you’re looking to keep up-to-date with anything and everything related to Irish golf, then Irish Golf Desk is the place for you. More a news website, rather than a blog, but we felt it deserved its place in this list! The content is written and edited by Brian Keogh, who’s also a regular contributor to many top publications.
Hooked on Golf Blog (HOG) is without a doubt one of the most popular golf blogs around at the moment. It’s easy to understand why when you read their content. If you’re looking to keep in the loop with everything from equipment reviews and travel to tournament news, then you should be a regular reader of HOG!
We love Golf Stinks! It’s a golf blog that we can really relate to. It’s good to read a blog from the perspective of someone in the same shoes as the regular golfer. Golf Stinks doesn’t take itself too seriously. It offers a place to appreciate golf, without the constant pressure to improve your game, as they say, ‘taking the frustration out of golf’.
With posts covering the latest news, equipment, travel, betting, players, courses and everything else across the industry, GolfBlogger.co.uk is a one-stop-shop for everything golf. This golf blog is written by people who love golf, for people who love golf. A must-read for any golf enthusiast.
If you’re looking for a website which brings you the best online golf news, blogs and photography then Golf & Course is the site for you. Golf & Course offers brilliant tips and advice, with some added humour for our entertainment, which we love! Find brilliant posts on everything from swing tips to golf app reviews.
Troy Vayanos helps golfers with all abilities achieve their golf goals and increase their confidence on the course by showing them how to get the best out of their game. Troy has over 25 years of golfing experience to pass on. He knows exactly what it takes to go from a high 40+ handicap to lower single figures.
The Sand Trap began from humble origins on a few golf-nuts friends wanting to share their passion and have a place of their own to talk about golf and share their opinions. Launching in mid-2004, TST has grown to become one of the top golf blogs around, offering news, swing tips, opinions and a whole lot of commentary.
The Armchair Golf Blog launched back in 2005 as nothing but an experiment by Neil Sagebiel. Since then, the blog has gone from strength to strength and it is now one of the top golf blogs on the internet. Neil’s endeavours have led him to meet golf legends such as Jack Fleck, Errie Ball, Tommy Bolt and many more.
Josh is a keen golfer who is currently a 4-handicap, with the eventual goal of becoming a scratch golfer. He started Golf is Mental blog as a way of sharing his thoughts and experiences and connect with like-minded golf lovers. He believes golf isn’t just a game, it’s a lifestyle and we agree!
GolfDash Blog is great if you’re looking to get the very best out of your game or even your life in general with cutting-edge performance ideas. The blog was launched way back in 2006 by John Diekmann and Doug Farrick and since then it has gone from strength to strength to become one of the top golf blogs around.
Kevin Smith is the man behind Golf Ball Guy. This one-time professional golf club fitter/maker now describes himself as a weekend golfer and family man from Southeast Texas. Kevin is an expert when it comes to signature golf balls and golf ball memorabilia & he considers himself a know it all in the ways of the high handicap golfer.
GorillaGolfBlog offers a unique and fun environment for passionate and would-be golfers. Tommy Priest is from Switzerland. He Launched GorillaGolfBlog back in 2010 and uses the blog to communicate with fellow passionate golfers from everywhere around the world. He encourages compelling conversation between golfers and non-golfers to create a wider interest.
Back in 2012, Jim Burton launched The Grateful Golfer. You might be wondering where the name comes from, well there is a story behind that. Jim is a cancer survivor after being diagnosed in 2009. He now uses the blog to talk about the positive aspects of golf and interact with like-minded golfers and have constructive exchanges about all things golf.
Rob AKA GolfGuyRob is a true golf enthusiast and he is also a golf tutor. He has over 40 fantastic, but frustrating years playing the beautiful game of golf. He shares his passion through his blog – and this really comes through in his writing – with golfers around the world! He’s also been mentioned in several top golf publications.
Eddie Pepperell is 22 from England and currently Golfing on the European Tour. He aims to inspire young people and pass on his knowledge through his blog as well as to be able to keep all his thoughts and experiences stored.
Blogger Ru McDonald was awarded Golf Tourism Scotland Young Person of the Year in 2013 for work across the industry. Using his initiative, to grow his personal brand he provides informative content to budding golf travellers. Ru created The Scottish Golf Podcast in 2014 and was joined by Graylyn Loomis whose detailed Scottish golf course reviews always prove popular.
Although Jack Moorehouse, is not a golf professional himself, he has worked to help thousands of golfers worldwide to lower their handicaps quickly. As an author of “How to Break 80 and Shoot like the Pros”, he provides useful tips, strategies and techniques to thousands of golfers.
Stacy Solomon, from New York, is a Yankees fan but started to learn Golf in 2000. As an avid golfer, she began her Golf for Beginners blog in 2004, as a way for her to write down and remember all her lessons and golf tips. She has since written hundreds of articles and blogs which have been reprinted on thousands of websites including Worldgolf.com.
Author of ‘999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2012-2015’ Barry Rhodes, resident in Dublin, is an enthusiastic, high handicap golfer. He developed a fascination with the Rules of Golf in 2000 after his participation in the inter-club Rules of Golf quiz competitions, organised by the Royal & Ancient for Golf Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland. This then led to him writing articles and creating his blog in 2008.
Ed refers to himself as a Guru after nearly three decades visiting golf resorts and destinations and writing about them. He started playing golf from a young age at Mohawk Golf Course in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has since played in golf havens such as Scotland, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco and China. The Golf Travel Guru Blog is his way of giving back and sharing the knowledge he has gained about golf travel over the past 30 years.
Golf in Romania is closely related to the Royal Family. The first woman to play golf in Romania was Queen Maria. Golf in Romania started from the idea of having all the details about the golf game, about the lands, competitions, teachers, equipment and impressions about them in one place.
Rob West, golfer from England blogs for players and fans of all levels. He owes his passion of golf to his golfing father who introduced him to the game 40 years ago. Birdieable came about after he was unable to find a site which offered something else outside of instructional and equipment sales. He takes great pride in writing about not just golf equipment but the best golf courses, news, features and the funniest golf videos on the web.
Kevin Markham is a Golf Writer and photographer from Wexford, Ireland. He is a published author having written ‘Hooked’, the most comprehensive guide to Ireland’s golf courses, and ‘Driving the Green’. He has 35 years’ experience playing Golf and is a featured writer for Irish Golfer Magazine, a freelancer for Irish Examiner and Editor for Destination Golf Ireland.
The blog focuses on the top 100 golf courses in the world. It covers golf course critique, travelogue and social commentary in equal parts. This blog offers opinions about each course as well as information about the club’s atmosphere and traditions.
As an avid golfer, Golfgal took up the sport 10 years ago for both business and pleasure. When she is not playing golf, she is writing about it and has now turned golf into her business. Working as a daily blogger for Golf for Women magazine in 2008 she has also been a senior writer for Inside Golf Magazine and Golf Today Northwest.
Three Guys Golf is a golf blog founded by Adam Staelin, Matt Murley and Wade Baynham. It has regular contributing writers who all seek to provide a unique perspective for fellow golfers. They write long-form prose on a variety of topics including product reviews, golf instructional posts and videos.
If you’re looking for honest yet fair analysis, predictions about the Tour with lots of information you’ve never been exposed to then this blog is for you. Owned by Joel Harrington 4 Deep Golf Blog is not yet another golf website. It is a source for PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour picks, previews, analysis, honest criticism, news, opinions, as well as golf course and equipment reviews.
Amy is an amateur golfer and marketer by profession – the Golfer Babe is her persona that brings it all together. Around three years ago, she had her very first golf lesson and she admitted it wasn’t the best. She is now consistently in the low to mid-80s. Her blog is a little bit of everything she loves.
Ryan lives in San Antonio with his wife and is the Chief Golf Blogger at Front9Back Golf Blog. In November 2009 he started his golf blog and has grown into something he is quite proud of. He has a passion for the game of golf. He loves playing golf and talking about it. He has an 11.2 USGA handicap and puts himself in the “average” category.
UK Golf Guy is designed to help people plan golf trips at some of the greatest courses in Europe and beyond. It’s one person’s subjective opinions but aims to inspire. As a Scottish based keen golfer, the UK Golf Guy is a 14 handicapper. Having agonised over which courses to include on a golf trip and fantasised about playing all over the world it was time to start writing about it.
Patricia Hannigan’s The Golf Girl lives in Danbury, CT. Her blog the Golf Girl’s Diary was one of the first independent golf blogs edited by a woman. She regularly writes about golf lifestyle, travel publications and has appeared on Inside Edition and Good Morning America. She is the go-to voice for a female’s perspective on gender issues in golf.
Golfhacker, are proud to say they have worked with the best in the golf business. Initially, they produced articles for GolfPunk however they have also been involved in events such as the Solheim Cup, Ricoh Women’s British Open and the British Par 3 Championship and several golf shows including the American Golf Show in Manchester. Their aim is to provide golf extensive content for those who love the game and the help young writers. It is fair to say Golfhacker is part of a wider golfing community and they want to help everyone involved in golf.
Phuketgolf.net is one of Phuket’s most established golf agents and provide discounted golf packages for all of Phuket’s stunning golf courses. Started in 2006 the company sells golf packages and have taken care of thousands of golfers, these include individual golfers to large international golfing groups. Their blog provides extensive content about ways to book a golf holiday through PhuketGolf.net.
One Bearded Golfer is an avid golfer, living in Lexington, Kentucky. He started his blog to document his golfing adventures. Although he has multiple interests golf remains his passion. He enjoys the challenge as well as the exercise. He has been inspired to document his achievements and to document Kentucky’s golf courses.
This blog is written from the golf perspective of about a 10-handicap and is an appreciation of Southern California golf. Socalgolfblog.com contains published work, blog work and companion pieces about golf and travel in California, as well as information about life in Southern California.
The Most Expensive vs. The Cheapest Golfing Destinations in the World, 2018!
We’ve taken a look at 40 golf destinations across Europe to find out which destinations will leave you quids in and which will leave you with holes in your pockets.
We’ve taken into account the bargain and priciest destinations for a round of golf, high and low-cost accommodation, meals which are as cheap as chips and ones which cost an arm and a leg, low-cost pints to drink away and end up with change to spare and pricey pints, as well as transport costs, all to help you make an informed decision when you’ve decided where to go on your next golf holiday in Europe this year!
Nice takes the top spot as the most expensive golf destination in Europe, where costs total £264.98. Whereas Varna has been crowned the cheapest destination, with a total spend of £127.74, which would be even less if you’re not playing golf every day!
Will your next holiday to Vilamoura be pricey? Are prices fair in Malaga? Take a look at the infographic below to find out where your favourite destination ranks.
Everything You Need to Know About Taking Your Golf Clubs Abroad
You’re fancying a change from your local golf club, so you decide you want to jet off to warmer, more exotic climates to the likes of Vilamoura, Malaga and other places and play on some of the most iconic courses Europe has to offer. You’re not alone on that! However, there’s the age-old dilemma of wanting to take your own clubs away with you, but not having to pay a fortune for doing so. Anyone who has been on a golf holiday has come across this predicament, so don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, taking your clubs abroad isn’t as simple as popping them in your luggage, checking in and collecting them on the other side. With the age of airlines adding on costs for anything and everything, expenses can soon rack up if you’re not careful.
That’s why we’ve created a guide for you, covering everything from check-in to collecting your clubs and everything in between.
First things first…
Take your clubs abroad or hire some when you’re there?
This isn’t as clear-cut as you think. Whoever you speak to will likely have a different preference, some people swear by taking their own clubs and only using their own clubs. While some love the convenience of hiring clubs abroad.
First, to help you make the choice, we’ll go through the benefits of hiring clubs abroad…
For starters, your golf clubs are your prized possession, by taking them in your baggage there’s always the risk that they could go missing. It’s a slight risk and it certainly hasn’t happened to anyone who we know, but there’s always that risk
It can be more cost efficient to hire clubs abroad. For instance, ClubstoHire has brilliant prices on hiring clubs. Some airlines have steep charges for taking your clubs abroad, so it might not always be the most cost-efficient of processes.
As I mentioned, some people love the convenience of hiring golf clubs abroad. Who wants to step out of the likes of Faro or Malaga airport to 30 odd degrees heat and drag their golf clubs about with them while they try and find a taxi or use public transport. Well, there is a solution to this problem. Our transfers include 1 golf bag per person in the final price, so there’s no getting sweaty carrying your clubs about with you when you book your transfer itinerary with us!
Now we’ve been through the benefits, you can make your own choice whether you would prefer to hire clubs abroad.
Read on for tips on taking your clubs abroad with you.
Charges for taking your golf clubs from different airlines
If you’re jumping on a Jet2 flight to tee off in Costa del Sol or elsewhere in Europe, then you’ll have to pay an additional fee if you want to take your golf clubs with you.
You can take your clubs with you for a total price of £30 for each way (£60 for a return flight). Be aware, there are weight and dimensions that you won’t want to exceed. There’s a max weight of 22kg and size of 182 x 91cm.
Flybe counts golf clubs as an ‘exceptional item’, so there is always a fee incurred for taking them in your hold luggage. Keeping with the theme of all the airlines, fees are charged per flight, so you can expect to pay £60 to take your golf clubs on a return flight (£30 each way).
BA’s rules with sporting equipment are like those of Lufthansa, you can take your golf clubs as a part of your hold luggage allowance (not in addition to).
You can take your golf clubs as long as they do not exceed the dimensions of 190 x 75 x 65cm (I’m sure they won’t!) Also, they cannot exceed the weight allowance of 23kg.
If you want to take a suitcase as well as your golf clubs on your holiday, you always have the option to pay for additional luggage. When travelling in Europe to/from London Gatwick or Stansted airports, you will have to pay £36 for any additional bags. All other routes carry a charge of £60 per additional bag (prices are charged each way).
EasyJet count golf clubs as ‘small sports equipment’, so you will have to pay an additional charge to take them with you on your flight. Charges do vary from booking online and paying when you’re at the airport, so we would always recommend booking in advance.
When you book online, you will pay £37 each way and if you pay at the airport, expect to pay £47 each way.
Unfortunately, there are additional costs other than the airline costs when you take your golf clubs abroad with you. I say, unfortunately, but this one is a necessity.
Remember when I said some people opt for hiring clubs rather than taking their own as they would not want to risk losing their prized possessions. There is always a chance this could happen, albeit a very low chance, however, there’s still that slim chance. If the worst were to happen, you would like the piece of mind that you wouldn’t be out of pocket, wouldn’t you?
That’s why we would always recommend insurance!
Cost of flight
Extra Baggage Fee
Total Cost (return flight)
Price of flight + £130
Price of flight + £120
Price of flight + £60
Price of flight + £120
Price of flight + £60
Price of flight + £134
Things to remember when taking your golf clubs on a plane
Clearly label your bag and make it identifiable
We keep coming back to this, but if the very worst were to happen, you would want to know in your head that if your bag does go missing, but is found, that whoever finds it would be able to contact you.
Also, by adding something bright, like bits of string, to your bag, will make it much more identifiable when you’re looking at every golf bag which looks the same on the conveyor belt.
Use your bag as additional storage
If you’re flying with Lufthansa or BA, why not just use your golf bag as extra storage. Place clothes and other belongings inside your bag, around your clubs. Also, you get the added benefit of your clubs being protected by the clothes. We don’t know this for sure, but our guess is that airline employees don’t carefully place your bag down when moving it. We’re guessing it’s more a toss in the direction of where it is supposed to go. Make sure you protect those clubs!
Get a durable, well-made bag
Some people swear by a hard bag for your golf clubs, which offers maximum protection. If your very cautious about your clubs getting damaged, we would recommend a hard bag. However, if you are a bit more laid back and are happy with a soft bag, maybe with some extra padding around the clubs, then we would recommend a lightweight pencil bag.
Whichever bag you go for, make sure you don’t scrimp, and you choose a well-made bag. The cost may be slightly higher at first, but a durable bag will last you years!
Money Saving Tips
Book beforehand, don’t wait until you get to the airport
As you can see above, if you book your golf bag as extra luggage online, rather than at the airport (if you must pay for extra luggage), the prices are cheaper. It might be tempting to leave things until last minute, especially when you haven’t made your mind up. However, just bite the bullet and make the payment online to save those pennies (pounds).
Use a pencil bag
We touched on a pencil bag being a lot less bulky than a hard-cased golf bag, so it is much easier to carry around. However, they are much more slimline than your usual bag, so there’s less chance of being over any baggage limits.
In short, a pencil bag is a lot less bulky, but with enough room for one set (maybe even two) sets of clubs.
Work out the total cost of the flight, rather than just the golf club cost
When you’re looking for a flight, whether that be on Skyscanner or wherever else, don’t forget to consider the total cost of the flight and any extra charges. You might think that a Ryanair flight is much cheaper than a flight with BA, but is it with the extra charges included?
Some airlines such as Lufthansa and BA allow golf clubs in your baggage allowance which is included in the price of your flight. If you travel light and don’t go over the maximum allowance, this will avoid the extra fees they charge for overweight baggage.
To hire or not to hire?
Ultimately, hiring golf clubs once you reach your destination is usually cheaper than taking your own clubs with you. We’ve gone through the pros and cons, but in the end, the decision is down to you.
We love taking our own clubs abroad with us, but if you’re on a budget trip, we would recommend hiring once you’re there.
What to do when you’re on the other side
Forget about the hassle of dragging your golf clubs from the luggage conveyor belt, out of the doors into the blazing heat and to the taxi stand or public transport station, to wait in line and get more and more sweaty.
Why put yourself through that, when you can book your golf transfer itinerary beforehand with Golf-Drives. We take care of your transfer needs for the whole of your golf holiday, you’ll have a friendly driver waiting for you at the airport. It doesn’t stop there, we’ll also collect you from your hotel and take you to the golf course and back to your hotel. We’ll even take you between golf courses!
These Rules Can Get You in Trouble. Golf’s Weirdest Rules!
If you’ve ever been the victim of your ball falling off the tee and had someone merrily call “one”, you will know only too well the frustration and, often, confusion, the rules of golf can cause.
Regulated by the R & A, you could say that golf is a well-governed sport, with countless eventualities being covered by the Rules of Golf. With so many rules, you would think playing golf would be easy yet there are still plenty of situations that leave your average golfer scratching their head.
With the arrival of the new golf season, we’ve shared some of the strangest golf rules to help you stay out of trouble on the green.
Situation 1 – Hide & Seek
As usual, your ball has ended up in a bunker. On the first inspection, you think your ball has completely vanished, and there is no trace of it in the hazard. However, after further searching, you realise that your ball is in the hazard, but has somehow been buried in the bunker. What do you do?
According to Rule 12-1a, if your ball is believed to be covered by sand to the extent that you can’t find or identify it, you can touch or move the sand in order to find or identify your ball without penalty.
However, if your ball is found and identified, you must re-create the lie as accurately as possible.
Under this Rule, you are permitted to leave a small area of your ball uncovered and visible.
Situation 2 – Something in the Wind
You’re lucky enough to be playing a links course in Scotland and about to take your turn when a gust of wind moves your ball. Under Rule 18, the wind is not an ‘outside agency’ and therefore you should play from where it came to rest. However, if your ball is moved by artificially propelled air, you must replace your ball without penalty. No fans on the green, please.
Speaking of wind, how do you test wind direction without being disqualified? Picking and throwing grass into the air, a handkerchief or the smoke from a cigar or cigarette are all allowed under Rule 14-3. However, a ‘windsock’ would not be compliant as its sole purpose is to measure conditions that may affect your play.
Situation 3 – Tools of the Trade
You’re about to tee off when you notice some dirt on your Driver. Under Rule 4-2, you can spit on your clubface before playing a shot to clean it. However, if it is your intention to influence your ball’s movement and reduce spin to hit an opponent’s shot, you would fall foul of Rule 4-2b.
You’ve finally perfected your swing, but your club lets you down with the clubhead falling off. However, depending on when the clubhead fell off, you might be able to retake the stroke. Whilst your clubhead falling off during the backswing of a completed swing which misses the ball doesn’t count as a stroke, if the situation occurred during the downswing it would count (Rule 4-2 & 4-3).
Situation 4 – Current Situation
You’re enjoying a golf holiday in the Algarve and are having a round at Quinta de Cima Golf Course. Things were going great until your ball landed in the stream with permeant flowing water on the 5th hole. What happens next?
Under Rule 14-6, you have two options. You can either hit the ball whilst it’s still moving or take a stroke. However, you must ensure that you don’t delay play in order for the current to move your ball into a more beneficial position.
Situation 5 – Snake in the Grass
Guaranteed to cause confusion on the course, ‘loose impediments’ are defined by the R & A as natural objects such as stones, dung and insects that are not fixed, growing, solidly embedded or adhering to the ball. Whilst this might sound simple, in practice, it’s anything but.
Let’s talk about fruit first. Unsurprisingly, a half-eaten apple is considered a loose impediment regardless of whether there are any apple trees close by. However, if your ball becomes embedded inside an apple or any other piece of fruit, you must play the ball as it lies or declare it unplayable and face the penalty (Rule 23-10).
Whilst you can’t usually control wildlife, you can sometimes remove them. Whilst a dead snake would be treated as a loose impediment and can be removed, a live snake is classed as an ‘outside agent’ and therefore cannot be moved before continuing play (Rule 23).
Situation 6 – A Prickly Situation
Whilst visiting Tenerife in the Canary Islands, you play a round at Golf Del Sur. Whilst admiring the incredible sea views, you lose concentration and your ball lands next to a cactus. What do you do?
According to the Rules, you can wrap an arm or leg in a towel to protect yourself from the needs whilst playing your shot but can’t cover the cactus with the towel (Rule 1-2/10).
Situation 7 – An Inside Job
Under Rule 24-2b/14, if your shot ends up inside the clubhouse, and the clubhouse isn’t considered out-of-bounds, you can open a window or door and play your next shot without a penalty.
Similarly, if you hit your ball under a parked car, but can readily move the car, the car is treated as a movable obstruction and moved. However, if it can’t be moved, it is classed as an immovable obstruction and you are entitled to free relief (Rule 24-2b).
Situation 8 – The Forgetful Friend
You’re playing a round with your golf buddies and have just finished playing a hole. Whilst moving to the next one, you realise that you left your putter at the previous hole. Of course, you return back to the hole to get your putter, but will your forgetfulness earn you a penalty?
Unfortunately, you’ve fallen victim to Rule 6-7 (Undue Delay) and will be subject to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play (6-7/1).
Situation 9 – A Sticky Situation
Your ball has landed in the bunker and, following a recent rain shower, you’re playing from wet sand. As you take your stroke, the ball becomes stuck to the face of your club because of the wet sand.
Thankfully, the Rules offer a logical solution with Rule 1-4/2 allowing you to drop the ball, without penalty, as near to the spot where the club was when the ball becomes stuck.
Situation 10 – Anger Management
You are playing a round of golf on a golfing holiday in the Vilamoura. Whilst playing the course, you are nearly struck by a ball played by a player in the group behind you. In anger, you hit the ball back towards the group. Has your moment of madness resulted in a penalty?
Yes. Unfortunately, you should incur the general penalty of loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play (Rule 1-4/4).
Angry at your penalty, you break your putter. In a bid to recover from your disadvantage, you buy a new one in the Pro Shop after the first nine holes and use it for the rest of the round. However, as long as you started the round with 13 clubs, you are entitled to add another club under Rule 4-4a and so will escape further penalties.
We hope these situations have entertained and educated you on some of the strangest rules in golf.
If you plan on testing your new knowledge on your next golfing holiday, let Golf-Drives take care of all your transfer needs. Golf-Drives will transfer you from the airport to hotel, hotel to course, and back again! Get an instant quote and book your transfers online now.
We all know who the regulars are when it comes to the best golfers in the world. And we all, of course, know who consistently has a huge number of golfers in the top 200 in the world (cough) the USA. However, what we really wanted to know, is who’s the best golfing nation by population.
The USA’s population dwarfs the likes of Denmark and Scotland for example, so it is no surprise that they regularly have a larger amount of top golfers than their smaller counterparts by population. We decided to mix things up a bit and judge the best pound for pound golfing nation through their total number of major championship wins and population.
Here’s where the maths came in… We worked out the total number of major championship wins from each nation. We then divided that number by the total population. Giving us the ranking figure of population per major championship win.
Now for the important part, who really is the best pound for pound golfing nation??
The Top 19 Pound for Pound Nations
Major Championship Wins: 1
Population Per Championship Wins: 66,900,000
The first entry onto our list of the best pound for pound golf nations is France. Male French golfers have a total of 1 major championship to their names. This win dates all the way back to 1907 and that winner was Arnaud Massy. Massy won the Open Championship back in 1907. With it being over 110 years since French players won a major championship, one should be due in the near future, surely?
18. South Korea
Major Championship Wins: 1
Population Per Championship Wins: 51,250,000
South Koreans see golf as a status symbol, possibly down the how expensive it is to play golf there compared to the likes of Japan and the US. It is still an incredibly popular sport. South Korean golfers have won 1 men’s major championship, however, it is more towards the women’s side of the game where their strengths lie, with 47 Korean women playing on the LPGA. The 1 South Korean man to win a major championship is Yang Yong-eun, who won the 2009 PGA Championship, coming from behind to beat Tiger Woods.
Major Championship Wins: 1
Population Per Championship Wins: 36,290,000
Golf is a widely popular sport in Canada. Golf Canada has over 300,000 individual members. Judging by that, it may be a surprise to see Canada only come in the best pound for pound nations table at 17th place. However, with 1 major championship win to their name and a population of 36m, they cannot move any higher. They’re one and only major championship winner is Mike Weir, who spent over 110 weeks in the world top 10 between 2001 and 2005 and won the Masters in 2003.
Major Championship Wins: 4
Population Per Championship Wins: 20,667,500
Two golfers have pushed Germany into 16th place in the best pound for pound nation table. Those golfers are Martin Kaymer and Bernhard Langer who have both won 2 major championships during their career. Kaymer was actually the first German to win a major championship when he won the PGA Championship in 2010. Remarkably, one year later he rose to World No. 1, before winning another major championship in 2014, when he won the U.S Open.
Major Championship Wins: 3
Population Per Championship Wins: 14,616,666
Nationals from Argentina have won a total of 3 major championships in their careers and they sit comfortably at 15th place in the all-time pound for pound nations table. Their most successful player is Ángel Cabrera who is also known as “El Pato” (Spanish for “The Duck”) for his waddling gait. Ángel was and still remains the first Argentine to win either the U.S. Open or the Masters, which he won respectively in 2007 and 2009.
Major Championship Wins: 1
Population Per Championship Wins: 9,903,000
Henrick Stenson is the one and only major championship winner for people from the nation of Sweden. Henrick won the Open Championship back in 2006. Stenson competed in the 2016 Olympic Games (the first Olympics that golf was rightfully reinstated as an Olympic sport since 1904). He was so close to victory for Sweden if it wasn’t for Justin Rose who pipped him at the post and denied him a feat of victories on all six continents that golf is played.
Major Championship Wins: 8
Population Per Championship Wins: 5,820,000
Spain is a country with a rich sporting past & golf contributes a huge amount to their overall sporting success. The sport is becoming ever more popular throughout Spain and the country is now home to many of the top European golf courses, with the likes of the Costa del Sol and the Costa Brava being golf tourist hotspots. It goes without saying who Spain’s most successful golfer is, but we’ll say anyway, the one and only Seve Ballesteros. Seve has a total of 5 major championship wins during his career. His admiral career led him to be one of golf leading figures through the 70s to the 90s.
Major Championship Wins: 3
Population Per Championship Wins: 5,383,333
Zimbabwe makes the list all down to one man… Nick Price. Nick has had an incredibly successful career. He’s won a total of 3 major championships between the short period in 1992-1994, where he won 2 Open titles and 1 PGA title. Price actually gave up his Zimbabwean citizenship in 1984 and played under his British passport, until 1996 when Price regained his dual citizenship.
Major Championship Wins: 1
Population Per Championship Wins: 3,063,000
Golf in the UK mainly has an association with Scotland and England. However, golf in Wales actually dates back to the late 19th century. Taking into account the long tradition of playing the sport in Wales it is actually no surprise to see them make the list. That being said, the population of 3 million does go in their favour, with only 1 major championship win for Welsh players. That win was from Ian Woosnam in 1991, when he famously won the Masters.
10. South Africa
Major Championship Wins: 22
Population Per Championship Wins: 2,541,363
There are more than 125,000 golfers who are served by over 450 affiliated clubs across South Africa. Golf has always been a popular sport in South Africa and it was actually where famous English golfer Justin Rose was born until he moved to England aged 5. Gary Player is the most successful South African golfer. He has won a total of 9 major championships during his career. Gary is actually the joint 4th most successful golfer ever in terms of titles, which is no mean feat.
9. New Zealand
Major Championship Wins: 2
Population Per Championship Wins: 2,346,500
Next up, is the home of the All Blacks, Lord of the Rings and world-famous vineyards. That’s right, the one and only New Zealand. New Zealanders can bost a total of 2 major championship titles in their time. The most recent title came in 2005 from 36-year old Michael Campbell when he won the U.S. Open by holding off the charging Tiger Woods by 2 shots to claim the title on the Sunday.
Major Championship Wins: 3
Population Per Championship Wins: 1,591,000
The Emerald Isle is home to plenty of stunning golf courses, helped along the way by the constant greenery and picturesque shorelines through the country. Pádraig Harrington is their most successful golfer, with a total of 3 major championship titles to his name. Pádraig hails from Dublin and this sport-centric man was also a boxer and a hurler before becoming a professional golfer.
Major Championship Wins: 35
Population Per Championship Wins: 1,514,571
Around 8% of the English population play golf at least one time per year, so it is no surprise to see this golf loving nation at number 7. English golfers can shout about a total of 35 major championships between them, with 4 Masters titles, 7 U.S. Open titles, 22 Open titles and 2 PGA titles. Not bad for a nation on a small island hey? Nick Faldo is the most successful golfers in English golf history, with a total of 6 major championships, won from 1987-1996.
Major Championship Wins: 17
Population Per Championship Wins: 1,419,411
Golf in Australia officially dates back to 1931, when the first golf club was opened. Unofficially, golf was first played in Australia sometime during the 19th century, with several claims to the actual date that was. Australian golfers have won a total of 17 major championships in their time, with their most recent win coming from Jason Day. However, their most decorated Player is Peter Thomson, who won 5 Open titles between 1954-1965.
Major Championship Wins: 268
Population Per Championship Wins: 1,215,298
If this was a list solely based on the number of major championship wins, then the USA would be streets ahead of any other nation, with a total of 268 major championship wins in their history. Ther are’s many well-decorated golfers through the history of the United States. The most decorated US golfer and in fact the most decorated golfer of all times it the one and only Jack Nicklaus. However, we couldn’t write this post without mentioning the likes of; Tiger Woods, Water Hagen and Ben Hogan. There are, of course, many more, but we would be here all day.
Major Championship Wins: 3
Population Per Championship Wins: 299,586
Fiji is well known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear Pacific waters. It may come as a surprise to see this small Pacific island make the list at number 4. The Fijian push is all down to one man – Vijay Singh. Vijay has had a fantastic career. He was the 12th man to reach the world number 1 spot and rather interestingly, he was the only new number 1 in the 2000s decade.
3. Northern Ireland
Major Championship Wins: 7
Population Per Championship Wins: 258,714
Northern Ireland takes spot number 3 on the list. Once again, their small population has ensured a population per championship win smaller than some golf heavyweights. Rory McIlroy is Northern Ireland’s most decorated golfer, with a total of 4 major championship wins to his name. At the age of 28, Rory is still going strong, although he’s not won a major championship since 2014, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him add to Northern Irelands major championships in the near future.
Major Championship Wins: 55
Population Per Championship Wins: 96,272
Scotland is a nation with great golfing heritage, with it being the birthplace of this great sport. There are over 550 golf courses spread across Scotland with many of these courses being known to be some of the finest in the world, so it comes as no surprise that Scottish golfers have won their fair share of major championships. A total of 55 is no small feat, especially when Scotland doesn’t have the huge population that some other golf heaviest do have. Scotlands most decorated golfer is James Braid with a total of 5 major championship wins.
Major Championship Wins: 9
Population Per Championship Wins: 11,120
Drum roll… It’s Jersey who takes the number 1 spot as the best pound for pound country in golf. We know this may be controversial to some, but this small island which lays between England and France has a total of 9 major championship wins. With a population of only 100,080, it made Jersey a clear winner. Those 9 major championships are shared between two golfers from Jersey; Ted Ray with two championships to his name and Harry Vardon with a whopping 7 major championships, including 6 Open titles.
Welcome to the top 50 hidden gems golf courses in Europe. We quite often hear about the same courses which are the most well known across Europe, especially in the Algarve and the Costa del Sol. We wanted to provide recognition to those courses who aren’t as well known, but offer an equally spectacular or even better game of golf!
To compile the ranking we tracked hundreds of independent golf websites from around the globe and collected first-hand information from golf enthusiasts. We then created a shortlist of the top 50 hidden gem golf courses in Europe.
A huge congratulations to all the golf clubs and resorts that made it onto this years list!! We look forward to seeing how you develop and evolve over time.
Best Hidden Gem Golf Courses
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This stunning course is laid out across a landscape which includes everything from olive greens, brash mountain canyons and the seashore leading into the sparkling blue ocean. It has to be said a particular highlight is the two holes which have been laid out alongside the famous Bay of Navarino. Robert Trent Jones Jnr has designed a gem of a golf course.
This course was initially opened as 6-holes in 2001. It wasn’t until the end of 2002 when people got to appreciate the brilliance of Vuissens across two returning loops of 9 holes. Rather impressively the course includes 5,000 planet trees and several man-made water hazards. This course is a real golfing challenge even for the very best of golfers, however, it does offer a little respite for the less proficient golfers with it being a shorter course.
This course can only be accessed by a private ferry, the only course of its nature in Ireland. This par 72 parkland resort was designed by Des Smyth and Declan Branigan. Although there is water surrounding the whole course, this hasn’t stopped the addition of water hazards coming into play. Playing on this course most times of the year is possible down to the sand based greens and tees used when the course was first built
This course was opened in 2011 and is located on the northern Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria it offers unique and stunning views for players. There is no other course like this one on the planet. It truly is one of a kind. When you play on this course you will appreciate the views, sometimes photos do not do justice to the vistas of the course or the layout once you play on it.
The main emphasis on this course is accuracy. It can be a real challenge to keep the ball in play, so you’ll need to be on the top of your game to score well. With a par of 70 and measuring 6,400 yards from the back tees, this course is a true test for even the best of golfers. Straight from the off Sandiway holds your interest, with each of the first 7 holes having a different par from the last.
This 72-par course which stretches over 6,800 yards provides stunning views of the close-by Cooley and Mourne mountains, Dundalk Bay and the Irish Sea. In combination with the outstanding picturesque views you’re treated to, you can also enjoy a testing round of golf. Following the 18th hole, you can then move on to the 19th hole in the magnificent clubhouse. A must-visit for any golf holiday in Ireland.
Alcanada Golf Club is located at the Northern tip of Majorca, right by the town of Alcudia. The first thing that will capture your attention when you play on this course is the spectacular scenery with the view across the bay to Alcudia, the coast and the rolling hills. The course is designed by the one and only Robert Trent Jones Jnr, so as you would expect, you will be unlikely to find a hole that you will not enjoy.Find out more on Club de Alcanada
8. Mottram Hall Golf Club
This hidden gem is found within 270 acres of the finest parkland in the country of Cheshire, England. The front nine offers a picturesque backdrop of the 18th Century Hall. While the back nine winds across lush woodland and provides a more demanding test, even for the very best of golfers. This 7,006 year 18-hole par 72 Championship course is a must-visit for any golf trip in England.
Situated on within a 2,500-acre estate in County Carlow, Mount Wolseley Golf Course certainly has the surroundings to match the brilliant 18-holes. The course has a par of 72 and spreads across a total length of 7,106 yards. This parkland course is very demanding with more than half of the holes including water hazards. 8/10 par fours are more than 400 yards long. Are you up for the challenge?
Prior to being a full 18-hole course, golfers at Wicklow had to play on a 9-hole course from 1904. However, 90 years later the course was extended to 18-holes and then in 2002, a new clubhouse was built for members to celebrate Wicklows centenary year. This scenic parkland course is laid out on cliffs which overlook the Irish Sea. The whole course measures just under 6,000 years and has a par of 71.
Formed in 1945 as a 9-hole layout, Balbriggan Golf Club expanded into an 18-hole course 44 years later once the land was available. The many doglegged tree-lined fairways of Balbriggan are laid out on the pleasantly undulating terrain. From the 13th to the 18th hole the elevated tee positions and raised green offer brilliant variety over the closing holes to really finish your round on a fantastic note.
This championship golf course is located on a grand 200-acre estate which also contains a stunning restored 18th century Manor House. The course is laid out in a classical formation of two par 5s and two par 3s on each loop of 9 holes. The most difficult thing about this course is keeping your net score below the par of 72, with a combination of strategic bunkering and the length of the tee at most holes, it tests the best of golfers.
Miramar Golf Club is the third oldest club in Portugal and in our eyes, one of the best. The course measures just over 3,000 yards in length, with just 1 par 5 at the 8th hole and 6 par 4s varying from 292 yards a the 7th hole all the way to 399 yards at the 3rd hole. The layout of this course is much the same as it was 75 years, paying testament to the excellent design.
One of the lesser-known golf clubs in the Emporda region of Catalonia, but this course can hold its own to the best in the area. It truly is one of Europes golf course hidden gems. This course is laid out in the true resort course style, with generously proportioned fairways surrounded by a tranquil landscape. The even lie of the land ensures that Torremirona is an easy course to walk.
This high-class heathland/parkland course is located just 1 mile outside of York. Initially founded in 1906, the club didn’t move to its current site until 1935. This course is a true test for the handicap golfer, measuring 6,779 yards from the back tees. There’s no doubt you will enjoy your round on Fulford, it’s a brilliant course surrounding by beautiful countryside.
Powerscourt Golf Club is located just a short drive from Dublin Airport. However, the setting is polar opposite from the nearby capital. Powerscourt Estate stands in 1000 acres of beautiful parkland. The natural beauty of this club alone is worth the visit. However, the main attractions are the brilliant two championship golf courses, in particular, the East Course.
This course was designed by Antonia Garcia Garrido and that’s clear to see by its conserved landscaping. The Alferini Course is a challenge for any level of golfer. This course has a total length of 6,614 metres and is one of the few par-73s on the coast. The course is surrounded by serenity and peace and quiet, thanks to the course being in the middle of a lush valley within the mountain of Benahavis.
Nestled in the slopes of Grand Kindelberg, this 27-hole course stretches over 70 hectares of stunning forestland. This course is filled with water hazards and elevated tee boxes to fit in well with the contours of the terrain. The par 4s and 5s of the course which are exposed to hilltop winds offer brilliant challenges to every level of golfer. The most challenging and recommended combination is course A+B. This course is playable all year round.
La Envia Golf and Country Club is located in a valley surrounded by mountains. The mountains surrounding the course ensure that the 18-holes are protected from east and western winds, which leads to brilliant golfing conditions. Each of the 18-holes are lined with palm and mimosa trees, giving the feeling you’re playing golf in a true paradise.
This brilliant links course is located in ideal golfing terrain right on the western coast of France. You won’t be let down by the fantastic views. The first 9-holes of the course are set in pine woods which act as protection from the sea winds, but watch out for the tricky, tactically placed bunkers. The next 9-holes have traditional links characteristics and run right alongside the ocean.
With many water hazards set throughout this course, even the most experienced of golfer will find this a challenge. Set on the outskirts of Ailette water park and on mature woodland, this 18-hole course is a true hidden gem. Before you tackle ‘Chemin des Dames’ course you can practice your play on a shorter 9-hole course.
There are plenty of mature trees, elevated and tiered greens to pose a challenge, so you must be accurate off the tee on this course! If you really want to score well, you need to be on top of all your game, including having a good short and putting game. The course stretches over 5,974 metres and plays to a par of 70.
This is one of Scotland finest inland courses. It’s not the longest course you’ll find, measuring at just under 5,700 yards. However, what you will find, is that it is a tricky course with small and fast greens. There’s no par-5s on Pitlochry, however, as most of us know, short doesn’t necessarily mean easy.
Back in 1899 Greenore Golf Course was extended from 9-holes to 18-holes and the following year a pavilion style clubhouse was constructed. The course is a mixture of parkland and links-like holes which are surrounded by tall pine trees. Over the year continuous improvements have been made to Greenore Golf Course.
There is no doubt that Golf Colline Del Gavi is a challenging course. Sometimes the course can be so quiet that it will be only you and the birds playing a round of golf. This course is a true hidden gem, which appeals to both beginners and advanced golfers. The fairways are placed through forests and hills, while little creeks and lakes form natural water hazards.
The Old Course at Tramore has managed to retain much of its original character which makes this course so great after recent remodelling. If you’re accurate off the tee, you will be rewarded on this course. This parkland course has a par-72 and some fantastic features. One thing that is consistent all the way through the course is quality, hence why Tramore makes our list of hidden gems.
Set in the beautiful French countryside, Golf de Bauge will keep you on the top of your game. Your head will have to be on the game for every single shot if not, you’re likely to be punished from one of the unforgiving hazards. This hidden gem offers a great challenge with fantastic surroundings to match.
This unique members club is the second oldest course on the Spanish island of Majorca. The 18-hole course sits between pine-clad mountains on one side and stunning views over the bay of Cala Millor on the other. All levels of golfer will enjoy their game while being challenged by water hazards and bunkers around the course.
Situated between Cannes and St Tropez, Roquebrune Golf Course is a must-visit for anyone in the region. The club is nestled in peaceful and tranquil natural surroundings, allowing you to mix your passion for golf with a relaxing walk taking in a side to the French Riviera that is barely talked about.
This parkland course has views towards the Ochil Hills and Gleneagles. It runs alongside the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Hotel, so it is no surprise this brilliant course is sometimes overlooked. However, we would urge anyone to make this 5775-yard course a priority when they visit Scotland. Each of the holes throughout the course offers a different test to golfers of all abilities. Find out more on Auchterarder Golf Club
31. Golf Club Padova
Situated in a valley at the foot of Colli Euganei, Golf Club Padova is mostly set over even ground, however, there are plenty of tactically placed water hazards to catch you out. As well as looking out for water hazards, do not forget about the biggest test on the course, avoiding the dense vegetation on both sides of the fairways.
Christy O’Connor Jnr has created a brilliant yet challenging parkland course, measuring a total distance of 6,669 yards. The course contains a total of 4 lakes, along with many trees which will add more and more definition to the course over time. There are 4 par-3s (all 170 yards in length), several of the par-4s have doglegs and one of them is a huge 490 yards in length!
Club de Golf Vallromanes is an 18-hole course with a par of 72. The course is divided into two distinct sections. The first 9 holes of the course stretch across a flat valley, while the last 9 holes hang on the edge of a hill. The enormous greens on the course are one of the stand out features, with a putt of over 40 metres!
Just a few minutes from junction 28 of the M1, you will find an 18-hole course hidden away at the head of a stunning Derbyshire valley. Shirland has a manicured layout which merges brilliantly with the rugged beauty of the surrounding area. This all makes for an unforgettable golf experience. If you’re looking for a game of golf in tranquil surroundings, then Shirland is the place for you.
Garlenda Golf Club features an 18-hole course with no two holes the same, the variety across the course will suck you in and leave you wondering why you’d never played here before. One of the highlights for us is the par-4 4th hole, which is slightly doglegging to the left. The green is protected by 2 bunkers and a river at the back, while the fairway is closely lined with trees, so you’ll need to be on the top of your game.
This scenic course is situated on the southern slope of the Dolomite Alps, set at an altitude of around 1,200 metres. One thing you’ll instantly notice is that the course is surrounding by pictorial mountaintops. The course was opened in the spring of 1989, being the first course in South Tyrol. Numerous doglegs and beautiful greens are surrounded by trees.
Druids Heath Golf Club offers a challenging and exciting 18-hole, par 72 course. This course is a test for all levels of golfer. The course stretches over 6,660 yards. As well as a quality course, the surroundings of Druids Heath Golf Club also add to the experience, with the course being set in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside.
Another addition from Bulgaria, which is one of the true hidden gems in Europe when it comes to golf courses. BlackSeaRama Golf Course is another course with stunning views over coastal cliffs, what more could you ask for while you’re being tested on a brilliant Championship golf course?
This heathland course is just 12 miles from Carnoustie and a must-visit for any golf holiday in the area. The tight fairways and classic layout give this inland course a similar feel to a links course. There are several difficult holes on the course to keep you challenged throughout. A tough test for golfers of all levels of ability.
Situated in a natural desert valley, you will be hard pushed to find a golf course with better surroundings. With the small dunes and elevated views over the desert valley, you might be tricked into thinking you’re playing golf in the middle of Arizona. This course is routed in a core format, so basically, several holes are grouped together, keeping the surrounding development on the perimeter.
With the Mijas mountains on one side of the course and the sea on the other side of the course, you are sure to find spectacular surrounding views on every hole you play on the course at Calanova Golf Club. Credit to Manuel Pinero who designed this 18-hole course in late 2005, the greens consist of brilliant shaping work. Be careful of the hazards which are clearly visible on every hole.
This a new course to Andalusia, which has been designed in an American style, meaning you will have to use brains as well as brawn to score well. Be ready to get your driver out on the tee, with wide fairways and expansive greens. The flat fairways ensure that the course provides a test of accuracy. With every good golf course, Sherry Golf Jerez is suitable for both amateurs and professionals alike.
Established in 1892, the wooded course at Fermoy Golf Club is a test for expert and novice golfers. Once you’ve enjoyed your round of golf, you can relax in the newly refurbished clubhouse and restaurant which overlooks the course and beautiful surrounding countryside. One thing you will notice when you’re at Fermoy Golf Club is Corrin Hill and its stone cross at the summit, a focal point for the whole area.
This spectacular undulating 18-hole course is set out within a garden of Provence. In turn, this offers unrivalled views of the Garlaban Massif and the town of Marseille. The winding fairways are compliment the valleys perfectly, which creates an almost unbelievable contrast with the flatlands. It has got to be said, this course is one of the most exciting that architect Michel Gayon has ever designed.
Right by the Spanish border Domaine de Falgos is a must play for any golf enthusiast in the area. This top quality course lies in a unique location with beautiful surroundings. It is set amongst rolling mountain countryside. Golfers of all abilities can hone their game on this course; it does require skilful shot-making. Enjoy a round of golf on a spectacular course right by the foot of Mount Canigou, overlooking the bay of Rosas.
Just a couple of miles east of Marbella and surrounding by so many well-known golf course, it isn’t hard to see why Santa Clara Golf Club Marbella is sometimes overlooked. However, we would urge anyone who is on the Costa del Sol to visit this course. The course will test even the best of golfers and it is unforgiving. The course is designed to the latest USGA specifications of a parkland course. There are plenty of water hazards throughout the course, including a giant river which swirls across the golf course and many lakes.
This 18-hole championship course is the most modern and largest course at the Northern Adriatic Sea. The location is breathtaking, with the pathway of the course being sandwiched between lakes and ponds. This course is arguably one of the most beautiful in Italy. Pack your bags and get to Golf Club Grado, you won’t regret it! A brilliant round of golf with views to match.
With so many top courses in the Vilamoura and the Algarve, it is easy to understand why Santo Antonio Golf Course is sometimes overlooked. However, we would happily place this course in the same category as many of the regions top courses. The course architect has succeeded in creating a fascinating, yet challenging course, with its own unique style. This course is sure you have you eager to come back for another round in order to master the more challenging holes.
Guadalhorce Club de Golf has a course which can be divided into two distinct areas. The first area, from the 1st-9th hole, bears no major water hazards. Whereas the second area from the 9th-18th hole is where it gets tricky, with uneven terrain, raised greens and more difficult fairways. This course is a must-visit for any golf holiday in Malaga.
What could be more appealing than a course situated in a location which gets over 300 days of sunshine a year? Well, southern Spain does and that’s exactly where El Paraiso Golf Club is. As with many of the hidden gem golf courses in our top 50, El Paraiso is surrounded by picturesque landscape, with hills on the boundaries and views of the coast. Fairways on this course are wide, but we warn you to attack them carefully, the roughs are dangerous traps. Also, make sure you watch out for the water hazards! Many Spanish courses get overlooked for those near the likes of Malaga and Alicante, but this one shouldn’t!
Whether you are thinking of playing golf or are a seasoned pro, choosing the right golf clubs is key. Using the right clubs can change the way you play on the golf course and help you reduce your handicap dramatically.
But which golf clubs should you buy?What should you look for when choosing your golf clubs?
Whatever your ability, whether you are buying one club or a full set, the sheer volume of clubs on the market can be overwhelming.
To make choosing the right golf clubs less daunting, we’ve shared our top tips to help you make the right choice.
By all means, start there but be willing to try and test other brands too. As golf club technology has advanced, manufacturers have targeted different players when creating the latest models.
From body type and gender to physical condition and ability needs, focus on the clubs that cater to your requirements and not the name. After all, it’s your score that counts.
The thickness of the grip can have a massive effect on your swing. A grip that is too thin can lead to golfers having large hand actions leading into the swing. However, too thick a grip will restrict your hands and have an equally devastating impact.
What does the right grip look like?
The proper grip should let you hold the club using your middle and ring fingers of your left hand with very little touching the pad with the thumb. If your finger doesn’t touch your thumb, it’s a sign that the grip is too big.
Although obvious, getting the correct length of shaft is a fundamental consideration when buying golf clubs.
Key considerations to check are your height, body type and physical strength.
As a general rule, taller players usually need longer shaft to play at their best.
In addition, you should also consider the shaft flex and its suitability to your swing.
Selecting a shaft too stiff will cause lower ball flight and a loss of distance, with a too soft shaft resulting in ballooning and, again, loss in distance.
How can you judge if the shaft flex is correct? Too stiff shafts usually make you slice the ball to the right whilst too soft shafts hook your ball fly to the left.
A vital measurement, the loft, or loft angle, refers to the angle formed by a line running down the centre of the shaft and the face of the club.
Measured in degrees, a golf club with a relatively low loft, such as 3 iron sitting at 21 – 23 degrees, will make the ball go further than one with a higher loft. Alternatively, a golf club with a high loft, such as a 9 iron sitting at 45 – 48 degrees, will result in the ball rising and descending into the air on a steeper angle.
You can judge the loft by how much of the face of a club is angled upward or how much the top of the face is angled away from the shaft. Visually, a clubface with a higher degree of loft will appear to be more horizontally angled compared to the that with a lower degree.
If you want to make the most of your golf club, having different sized clubheads can be a real advantage. Most brands offer standard, midsize and oversized heads for their golf clubs and your choice of clubhead size is mainly dependent on your experience level.
Generally, the larger the club head, the more forgiveness your swing has. Although you can make a poor hit and still achieve a good result with an oversized head, these are often heavy and hard to control.
2. Golf Clubs for Beginners
It’s very easy to get caught up in the initial enthusiasm of starting a new sport and buy the best golf gear, but beginners beware.
If you are just getting your first taste of golf, we suggest borrowing a set or buying used clubs. Once you have played a couple of rounds and have become familiar with the game, you can decide if you want to continue and buy your first golf clubs.
As we’ve explained previously, custom-fitted or top brand name clubs are not necessary or suitable for beginners. For your first golf clubs, we recommend buying a beginner set of clubs that include a driver and 3-wood, odd-numbered irons (3, 5, 7, 9) and a putter.
Apart from the basic decisions between men’s and women’s clubs and right or left-handed clubs, you might have a choice between steel and graphite shaft clubs. At this stage, we recommend choosing steel shafts as they are more durable and less expensive.
3. Golf Clubs for Intermediate & Experienced Golfers
For players with a year or more experience, you might want to start building a set of golf clubs that is more tailored to your physical characteristics and ability.
Intermediate players should begin to slowly build there set as their game improves over the years.
Forexperienced players, considering the top brand names and latest models is not such a risky investment. Whilst your understanding of your strengths and weaknesses will guide your choice, custom fitting could also be an option. Tailoring the club shaft length and flex, and club head lie angle and loft to your specifications, it’s a worthwhile investment if you are looking to become a serious golfer.
4. Type of Golf Clubs
Used off the tee on long holes, the purpose of using a driver is to hit the ball as far as you can.
Measured by volume in cubic centimetres, the biggest driver head allowed is 460cc.
Most drivers are made of titanium and/or carbon composite because they are much lighter than steel, letting manufacturers increase the size of the head.
If you are buying used drivers or those manufactured prior to January 2008, ensure that they are still legal for club competitions. The maximum legal Coefficient of Restitution is now 0.83, which means that if you hit a golf ball at a clubface of 100mph, the rebound would be 83mph. If a rebound is at a higher speed, the driver would be deemed illegal.
In addition to the standard models, golfers also have a choice of ‘Offset’, ‘Draw’ and ‘Neutral’ options. These options help to fix golfers slicing the ball (e.g. balls veering right unintentionally for right-handed golfers) by placing weight inside the clubhead to help you keep it more ‘closed’ at impact.
Another consideration is the shape of the head. Manufactured by a few brands, square-shaped drivers help players align tee shots and visualise the line of shot much easier than traditional shaped drivers.
Typically, the loft of drivers ranges from 8 degrees to 13 degrees. When deciding what loft to select, you should consider the speed of your swing:
Fast swing? Clubs with a loft of 8-9 degrees are great for very powerful golfers who want to hit further. ‘Normal’ players should avoid these clubs as they will achieve less distance.
Slower swing? Ideal for seniors, juniors or ladies, a club with a loft between 12-13 will help get the ball airborne more easily.
Average swing? Most players opt for a loft between 9-11 degrees which suits all handicaps.
When considering what woods to purchase, your first consideration should be what you want to use it for. Do you want to hit off the tee or replace long irons? Maybe you want to reach par 5’s in two on your golf holiday to the Costa del Sol? Whatever your reason, this should guide your purchase.
When deciding which golf club number (3, 5, 7 etc) to purchase think of the following:
The higher the golf club number, the higher the loft.
The higher the golf club number, the shorter the club shaft length.
Golfers have a choice of graphite or steel shafted woods:
Graphite woods tend to be more popular and generally reach a further distance.
Steel woods help to achieve a lower, more accurate ball flight.
Wood Head Design
Just like with drivers, manufacturers offer a choice of ‘Offset’, ‘Draw’ or ‘Neutral’ head designs on woods.
Attempting to correct any side-spin on the ball, weight has been placed inside the clubhead to help keep it square at impact.
Wood Head Material
There are three choices of head material to choose from, each with its own characteristics:
Steel – Not too expensive and durable, Steel is the most popular material.
Titanium – Great for hitting from the tee, Titanium is half the weight of steel and helps to get the ball airborne sooner.
Composite – Combining materials such as carbon with steel or titanium, this material is great for fixing twisting or off-centre hits.
Making up the bulk of your set, irons are numbered like woods.
With the lowest loft (around 20 degrees), the 3 irons achieve a low and long hit with approximately 200 yards. In contrast, a Pitching Wedge (50 degrees loft) or Sand Wedge (56 degrees loft) produce a high flight but a low distance of approximately 100 yards.
Other irons such as the 7-iron sit between these two extremes, with around 12-15 yards difference between each club.
Essentially, the lower the golf club number is, the lower the flight, the further it will travel but the harder it is to control.
Like woods and drivers, irons offer different models depending on your needs:
Perimeter-weighted Irons – Having more weight around the perimeter of the head, these are much easier to hit and help get the ball airborne easily.
Offset & draw Weighted Irons – Designed to keep your hands ahead of the ball, these clubs help counteract slicing.
Casting or Forging?
Golfers choose between two manufacturing processes when buying a new iron:
Aimed at low handicappers, most irons are made by casting as this process allows manufacturers to design more creatively.
Common terms used include:
Cast 17-4 stainless steel – strong, durable and very hard.
431 stainless steel – softer than 17-4 but has a better ‘feel’.
Using a softer metal than cast irons, forged irons are often said to have a better ‘feel’.
Steel Shafts – Steel shafts are the most popular option and are considerably cheaper than Graphite Shafts. More durable than graphite, it offers consistency of flex and torque throughout all of the irons.
Graphite Shafts – Lighter than steel shafts, Graphite shafts absorb vibration better than steel shafts but offer less feedback on impact.
Crucial to post a good score, choosing the right wedge can help improve your game dramatically.
Pitching Wedge (PW) – Usually featuring a loft between 46 and 50 degrees, the PW is used for shots of around 120 yards into the green.
Gap or Approach Wedge (GW) or (AW) – More lofted than a PW, the approach wedge has a loft between 50-55 degrees.
Sand Wedge (SW) – Generally used for bunker play, sand wedges have a loft of 54-58 degrees.
Lob Wedge (LW) – With a loft between 60 and 64 degrees, LW’s are ideal for high flights from short distances.
Referring to the curved section on the sole of the wedge, the ‘bounce’ prevents the club from snagging in the sand or rough.
Visually, the bounce is the gap between the ground and the leading edge of the wedge when placed in the address position.
As a general rule, most golfers are best with a bounce between 10 to 14 degrees.
High Bounce wedges – Those with a high space between the ground and the leading edge, the biggest bounce is around 18 degrees. Best for play out of soft turf and sand, they are good for golfers with steep attack angles.
Low Bounce wedges – Ideal for shots from tight lies and firm turf, Low Bounce Wedges are best for those who have shallow attack angles through impact.
Standard Bounce wedges – A great all-around wedge, a standard bounce wedge is versatile and a great choice if you like an open or square face out of a bunker, and an average to slight steeper attack angle.
One of the most important clubs in your bag, yet one of the most neglected, putters can transform your game.
Ranging between £10.00 and £200.00, it can be difficult to decide which putter to get, but there are four things you should consider:
There are three main types of putter:
Blade – Very simple, this type of putter tends not to be very forgiving if hit from the middle of the surface.
Half-mallet – Similar to the blade but much easier to hit.
Mallet – Heavier than the others, this option offers lots of designs that help you align the ball up more accurately.
The typical putter length is 35″, but anything from 33″ to 35″ is used.
A cross between a wood and iron, Hybrid clubs are slowly replacing traditional long irons.
Do you need a Hybrid club?
Nobody needs a hybrid club, but they can be helpful. Featuring a ‘deeper’ face-to-back than a regular iron, the centre of gravity has been placed further back making it much easier to get the ball airborne.
Hybrid clubs are also great from the rough with smooth edges that don’t drag through thick grass.
We hope this guide has helped you choose the perfect golf clubs for your next golf holiday.
If you’re planning on taking your golf clubs on holiday with you, get a quote from Golf-Drives for your transfers. With golf bags included as standard, Golf-Drives will transfer you from the airport to hotel, hotel to course, and back again!
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