Back in December, we made the New Year’s resolution to play more golf and rounded up a few of our favourite Australian golf courses to mark the occasion. Now we’re a quarter of the way through the new year, which means all but the most serious resolutions have fallen by the wayside and it’s time for a jumpstart. A big one. We’re talking international big. Hopefully you’ve got spare miles laying around, because you’ll be dying to play each of these spectacular golf courses around the globe.
Port Royal Golf Course – Bermuda
When you manage to peel yourself off the beach in Bermuda, grab your clubs and head to the Port Royal Golf Course. Its 18 holes are spread over 6,842 manicured yards with ocean views, making it the longest and most scenic course on the island. You’ll be especially tempted to sneak your smartphone out for an Instagram snap at the 16th hole, which is world famous for its picturesque but precarious perch on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Add to that the 300-yard oceanfront driving range and the luxurious clubhouse and you’ve got a perfect day of play.
Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach stands out as unique amongst the world’s most preeminent golf courses. Not only because it’s considered one of the most beautiful. Not only because it was called the No.1 Golf Course in America by Golf Digest. Not only because its greens fees are some of the highest anywhere, or because it appears in so many video games, or because it’s hosted so many major events. What really makes Pebble Beach Golf Links stand out is that it’s all that and a public course, so amateurs can play right alongside their professional heroes.
Teeth of the Dog – Casa de Campo Resort, Dominican Republic
Designing a golf course could always be considered an act of art, but when it comes to Pete Dye’s Teeth of the Dog, it’s art on the scale of the Sistine Chapel. Located at Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic, the course was carefully crafted on a micro scale by pick axes, chisels and sledgehammers with nary a piece of heavy machinery in sight. Dye only takes credit for eleven holes, saying the other seven were “created by God,” but you’ll still leave in awe of his impeccable vision. It’s no surprise at all it’s considered the top course in the Caribbean.
Forest Hills Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia
In keeping with its location in a genteel southern state, Forest Hills Golf Club is steeped in history. The 18-hole course was originally designed by world-renowned golf course architect Donald Ross in 1926 and has been played by many of the game’s greats. That being said, it is fully up to the challenge of the modern golf game and, thanks to its affordable rates, is accessible to all kinds of players. The three finishing holes are particularly outstanding, but there isn’t a bad one in the bunch.
Black Course, Bethpage State Park – Farmingdale, New York
With five 18-hole regulation golf courses, Bethpage State Park is something of a mecca for public golf. Most famous of all is the Black Course, which wowed and humbled some of the game’s best players at the 2002 and 2009 US Opens. Getting a tee time is no easy feat, but if you do, expect to get a serious amount of golf for your money. The course has a reputation for being gruelling, but at least you can breathe easy knowing it has stymied even the pro-iest pros.
Cape Kidnappers – New Zealand
In addition to having a name that comes straight out of your childhood’s favourite adventure story, Cape Kidnappers has stunning sea views, dramatic cliffs, and endless accolades calling it one of the top golf courses in the world. Thanks to designer Tom Doak, the course is famed for both its theatrical beauty and compelling play. Take special note of the par 5 15th hole which, in keeping with Cape Kidnappers’ colourful moniker, is called Pirates Plank – go long over the green and your ball will splash straight into the Pacific Ocean.
Stadium Course, Bro Hof Slott – Sweden
Bro Hoff Slott offers an extraordinary experience from start to finish. From a top-notch lunch on the terrace to a soak in the changing room hot tubs, everything feels like an extravagant escape from real life. And then there’s the actual golf. Try the Stadium Course, an exceptional lakeside golfing experience considered one of the best in Europe. The castle grounds offer longer holes, larger greens, more water, well-positioned bunkers and difficult winds.
Plantation Course, Kapalua – Maui, Hawaii
The Kapalua Plantation Course delivers a sensational landscape unlike any other golf course found in Hawaii. Perched along the seaside slopes of the West Maui mountains, you’ll be torn between focusing on the game or the commanding views of Molokai and Lanai. The lengthy 7,411 yard par 73 layout is a challenge, but wide fairways and generous greens are welcoming to the average golfer. You won’t feel average when the aggressive slope of the 18th fairway means you hit one of the longest drives of your life.
The Emirates Golf Club – Dubai
Naturally Dubai, a city know for its love of unrepentant excess, earns a place on this list. The course in question is the Emirates Golf Club, which claimed the distinction of being the first all-grass championship golf course in the Middle East when it opened in 1988. The club sports two of Dubai’s finest courses, the Majlis and the Faldo Course (the only 18 hole course in the region to offer night golf), plus fine dining, pool and gym facilities, tennis courts and a spa.
Pine Beach Links – South Korea
If you think “Pine Beach” is reminiscent of “Pebble Beach,” you’re on the right track. The South Korean course was designed by David Dale of Golfplan with the legendary Californian course in mind. Though it’s only been around since 2009, making it relatively young compared to others on this list, it’s already notable for its remarkable physical characteristics and the outstanding play they provide. Dale has even called it one of the finest natural golfing sites to come along in the last 50 years, and once you’ve played it you’ll be hard-pressed to argue.