Amateur and Club Level Golfers of multiple ages are increasingly getting hooked to the idea of taking golf vacations to various parts of the world. Consequently there are various destinations that have come into focus, some because they have been great golfing centres of the world for centuries, some because they have made a conscious effort to attract the golf addict by putting in place the necessary infrastructure to support it
The Great Golfing Centres of the world that are enveloped in strong tradition and history dating back to centuries are without doubt in England, Scotland and Ireland. Boasting of what are celebrated as the world’s greatest links courses, the quality and quantity is only to be seen to be really imagined. Coupled with this the history of where the game was first conceived and played and the rules formed, these are destinations like no other and for the avid golfer a must on his bucket list. The great beauty of the golf courses in these parts is that they have stood the test of time and provide as much if not more of a challenge to the modern day golfer with all the modern technology and equipment as any other recent brute design anywhere in the world. Great examples of these centres are in St. Andrews in Scotland home to the Old Course dating back to 500 years where even now the British Open is played, around Liverpool – with the famous trio of the Royal Birkdale, Royal St. Anne’s and Lytham’s and Royal Birkdale, in Kent county overlooking the Dover Straits including Royal St. George’s and Princes, in South West Ireland – the outstanding links of Ballybunion Old Course and the likes of Lahinch and Tralee and if that doesn’t get you, then in Northern Ireland – the delights of Royal Portrush and Royal County Down, widely regarded as the best golf course in the world.
While the rest of the world pales in comparison to the number of years these centres have been around, there is a special place that the golf courses of the United States enjoy in people’s minds. Often difficult to access, it is many people’s dream to play on these layouts – that include Pebble Beach in California that has hosted many a US Open, Augusta in Georgia which is home to the Masters, Muirfield Village in Ohio, Bethpage Black in New York State. Similarly there are other famous centres in the world that include the Melbourne Sandbelt in Australia.
Various other destinations are a result of the conscious effort by the respective bodies to develop golf tourism. Some of the famous ones are the Costa Del Sol in Spain and the Algarve in Portugal which receives several thousands of golfers every year from UK and Northern Europe in search for milder climate, all inclusive resorts and easy paced golf. It is no surprise to find revered and sought after championship golf courses such as Valderrama, Sotogrande, Finca Cortesin that are a must on any avid golfer’s list as are the Oceanico golf courses in the Algarve. The Antalya region in Turkey has adopted a similar strategy to bolster the golf tourism with high quality all inclusive golf resorts by big designer names the norm. In Asia, Thailand leads the inflow of golf tourists especially with the service attitude- a great combination of affordable hospitality, high quality golf with an almost compulsory yet cheap caddy service. Catching up closely are Malaysia, Indonesia and now China where large scale golf resorts like Mission Hills have come up to take the golf holiday maker captive for a length of time.