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.

The Top 5 Best Golf Courses in Turkey

Gloria-Golf-Club-Antalya

The-Golf-Travel-People

 

Guest contribution from The Golf Travel People, providing golfers with more opportunities for high-quality golf holidays at the very best price and with the finest customer service available, so your next golf break won’t break the bank.

 

Where Europe meets the Middle East – Antalya and Belek provide the perfect golfing hub for those looking for a world-class golfing break with championship courses set in a warm climate. As well as a host of luxury resorts and hotels, Turkey’s coastline boasts pristine sandy beaches and turquoise waters, perfect for taking a break from golf to soak up the sun and culture.

 

1. Gloria Golf Club

 

Course Type: 18-hole golf course (Gloria Old & Gloria New) and 9-hole golf course (Gloria Verde)
Time to Gloria Golf Club from Antalya Airport: 35 minutes (35.4km)
Recommended accommodation: Gloria Golf Resort

Set on the beachfront, Gloria Golf Club benefits from serene views of the ocean.

Situated between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Coast, Gloria Golf Club was one of the first resorts in Turkey to feature its own golf course and now boasts three on-site courses. The Gloria Old and New are both 18-hole parkland-style courses, while the Gloria Verde is a modest 9-hole course – all set among the pine forests of Belek.

The Gloria Golf Hotel is the most popular hotel out of three Gloria accommodation options, with a desirable beachfront location and the Acusi River within putting distance. Overall, there are eight diverse restaurants available to choose from, as well as two snack bars, one café and six bars.

 

2. Carya Golf Club

 

Course Type: 18-hole golf course
Time to Carya Golf Club from Antalya Airport: 46 minutes (29.0km)
Recommended accommodation: Regnum Carya Resort

The Carya Golf Club is a true championship golf course, uniquely designed to host night-time floodlit golf.

The parkland-style course features free-flowing holes that run between pine and eucalyptus trees and through a dramatic sand ridge. The Carya Golf Course has also recently welcomed a new clubhouse and advanced driving range.

The Regnum Carya Resort provides the perfect place to stay if you’re golfing at the Carya Golf Club. The luxury, 5-star accommodation has an all-inclusive option which features four a-la carte restaurants for guests to choose from. The modern-designed hotel also boasts a large spa for ultimate relaxation.

 

3. Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club

 

Course Type: 18-hole golf course
Time to Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club from Antalya Airport: 40 minutes (30.5km)
Recommended accommodation: Maxx Royal Golf Resort Hotel

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club, situated in Belek features an 18-hole parkland-style golf course, a golf academy and dedicated training facilities. The course is positioned in 104 hectares of pine forest and ridges, with eight lakes and seven hectares of bunkers which create a truly natural feel.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club is the obvious choice for complimentary accommodation, providing a complete VIP experience for keen golfers. The 5-star hotel features amazing views overlooking the Mediterranean and also includes an indoor pool, spa and all-inclusive food and drink.

 

4. Antalya PGA Sultan Golf Club

 

Course Type: 18-hole golf course
Time to Antalya PGA Sultan Golf Club from Antalya Airport: 32 minutes (24.6km)
Recommended accommodation: Kempinski Hotel

The PGA Sultan is a challenging, competition-level, parkland-style golf course which blends into its forest setting and features tactical bunkers and water hazards to challenge each player. The Belek-based course was created for the skilled golfer and delivers a rewarding test of golfing ability.

The Kempinski hotel is the perfect 5-star place to stay for those booked to play the PGA Sultan course. Known for its wellness facilities, the hotel has a private beach where visitors can enjoy watching the sunset over the turquoise waters. There are five restaurants to choose from and 4 luxury bars.

 

5. Sueno Golf Club

 

Course Type: 18-hole golf course
Time to Sueno Golf Club from Antalya Airport: 36 minutes (27.5km)
Recommended accommodation: Sueno Deluxe Belek

With 18-holes on both the Sueno Pines and Sueno Dunes parkland-style courses, the Sueno Golf Club was designed by PGA Design Consulting and Bob Hunt. The picturesque courses feature a total of 20 lakes and 128 bunkers, both courses provide an exciting game, with the Pines, in particular, hosting a range of challenging, winding fairways.

The Sueno Deluxe Belek is a 5-star resort which opened in 2015, making it one of the newest golfing hotels in the area. The all-inclusive, luxury hotel has direct beach access and is positioned behind the driving range of the Sueno Golf Club for easy access.

 

To find your next golfing break in Turkey, contact the Golf Travel People on 0800 114 3176 or email [email protected].

 

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