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Some of the Best Places to Golf Abroad


The nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling from the trees and some of Britain’s less pleasant weather elements are almost upon us. True golfers will get out and play in any conditions but, it has to be said, motivation levels can dip when we wake up to gale-force winds and sheets of freezing rain. With this in mind, many golf enthusiasts choose to book a golfing holiday abroad. Scotland maybe the home of golf but there are plenty of fantastic courses abroad, take a look at our guide to some of the best.

Oceânico (Old Course), Algarve, Portugal

Designed by renowned golf course architect Frank Pennink and opening for play in 1969, the Old Course at Oceânico is one of Europe’s top courses. Because of the climate, any course in the Algarve is great for golfing throughout the year and Oceânico’s sympathetically landscaped course sits perfectly amongst the natural contours and terrain. A more than challenging par 73, it’s enough to tax the most experienced of golfers.

Oitavos Dunes, Cascais, Portugal

One of the more recent additions to Lisbon’s golfing community, Oitavos Dunes was inaugurated in 2001 and is sandwiched between the azure expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and the spectacular panorama of the Sintra Mountains. A par 71 course, Oitavos is a mixture of woodland and links, with fast greens and taxing hazards, ensuring that every golfing skillset is challenged.

Alhaurin, Málaga, Spain

Seve Ballesteros was a magician on the tees, fairways and greens and he also seems to have divined some sorcery when he designed the Alhaurin course in 1994. Nestled in the Sierra de Mijas Mountains, near to Coín, this endearingly idiosyncratic golf course provides a stiff challenge, with a dramatically undulating course that can leave you feeling as if you are clinging on to the edge of the mountain!

Golf Son Gual, Mallorca, Spain

Spain’s largest Balearic Island is host to 20 golf courses but Golf Son Gual is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch. Designed by German Thomas Himmel, Son Gual is a heady cocktail of olive trees, colourful wild flowers, sweeping bunkers and more than a few water hazards. Son Gual might at first seem an expansive, welcoming course but an occasionally fierce Mediterranean breeze and cunningly designed greens ensure that Mallorca’s crowning glory is no walk in the park.

Les Bordes, Loir-et-Cher, France

Situated in the lush and verdant Loire Valley, it has been said that Les Bordes should “unquestionably, undeniably, be in anyone’s top five courses in the world”. The brainchild of visionary Baron Michel Bich, the Robert Van Hagge-designed course has been meticulously created to deliver a tranquil woodland layout that is infinitely harder than it first looks. Covering over 7,000 yards, Les Bordes is unrelenting and unforgiving as shown by Jean Van de Velde’s course record of, just one under par, 71.

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

More than a rival for any of its Emirati cousins over in Dubai, the Yas Links course in Abu Dhabi hugs the curving shape of the Yas Island coastline. Part of a complex containing the Formula 1 Grand Prix track, Ferrari World theme park and a top-class water park, no expense has been spared to make this course the best in all of the United Arab Emirates. A narrow course with plenty of bunkers, Yas Links presents a difficult challenge and delivers great weather all-year-round.



Image credits, clockwise from top right:

© Copyright Jaguar Mena and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Guy Renard and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Gabriele Delhey and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence



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