The World’s Most Gorgeous Golf Courses
Many often joke that golf is boring, but that may just be coming from people that aren’t playing the right golf courses. Around the world, there are a number of incredible golf courses which offer up some of the most incredible scenery the world has to offer. Some of the world’s best golf courses are well worth a visit even if you don’t play the game. From dramatic cliff top courses to ones built on exotic islands, we have rounded up some of the world’s finest golf courses that deserve to be put on any traveller’s bucket list.
Come join us as we take you around the world to six out of the world’s seven continents to bring you some of the most notable and beautiful golf courses on the planet. Many of these courses host iconic professional tournaments where the greatest names in golf have set foot. Many of these courses even allow the general public the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of great golfing legends.
North American Golf Courses
It is no surprise that the main home of the PGA Tour would be home to many of the world’s most beautiful and notable golf courses. Three of the four major PGA tournaments are held in North America including the Masters which is held annually at the Augusta National Golf Club. Founded by the great Bobby Jones, this private Georgia golf club features immaculate greens and beautiful flowering azaleas, awarding the famous green jacket to the annual winner which includes past champions like Tiger Woods who has donned the jacket 5 times during his career.
While Augusta may be America’s most famous golf course, California’s Pebble Beach Golf Links is arguably the country’s most beautiful. While the green fees may be some of the highest in the world, the course is open to the public. It also hosts PGA Tour events including the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and to date six men’s major championships. This challenging course running directly alongside the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean makes it extremely difficult to predict who will win the PGA Tour events that are held here. Pebble Beach’s holes 6-8 are just as challenging as Augusta’s infamous Amen Corner and both Jack Nicholas and Arnold Palmer have helped design specific holes at Pebble Beach.
To the north of the U.S., Canada’s Banff Springs Golf Course is one of the nation’s most picturesque. Set in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains bordering the UNESCO listed Banff National Park, the course was designed by Canadian golf Architect Stanley Thompson and was once the most expensive golf course ever created. Today, golfers can enjoy stunning vistas and chances to see wildlife such as elk and bears while they play 18 holes.
South American Golf Courses
South American golf courses may not get a lot of notoriety, but there are some wonderful courses that run all the way down to the tip of the continent in Ushuaia, the last stop before the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
Many of the continent’s most exceptional courses are found in Argentina. The country is home to hundreds of courses including The Jockey Club and Pilar Golf Club. Designed by Alister MacKenzie, The Jockey Club’s Red or Colorada Course features many holes which were inspired by Scottish golf courses such as the Old Course at St. Andrews and has been visited by professional golfers such as Severiano Ballesteros, Bobby Jones, and Lee Trevino. Another great course near Buenos Aires is the Pilar Golf Club, with its famous undulating greens and many challenging water holes featuring lakes and wetlands.
To the south of Buenos Aires, you can enjoy a round of golf at the southernmost golf course in the world by teeing up at the Ushuaia Golf Club. Only playable during the summer months, the course is set in the foothills of the Andes and usually presents challenging fierce winds and thick fog. While it may be difficult to play, the dramatic landscape and weather make it truly beautiful.
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is also home to some pretty exceptional courses including the Gavea Golf Club, the country’s most prestigious course. The nearly 100-year-old course was the city’s first and is set to a backdrop of the rocky outcrop known as Pedra da Gávea as well as Two Brothers Mountain. Rio is also home to the Olympic Golf Course which featured golf as an Olympic event for the first time in more than 100 years when it hosted both a women’s and men’s golf event at the 2016 Summer Olympics. It is now a public golf course.
Pilar Golf Club: photo byFernando Carrizo Sherlock 4000 [CC BY 2.0 wikimedia commons]
African Golf Courses
Much of Africa may be impoverished, but the continent surprisingly boasts close to 1,000 golf courses. Most of the continent’s courses are found in South Africa, which is where you will find both the Gary Player Golf Course and Fancourt Links. At almost 8,000 yards in length the Gary Player Golf Course in Sun City is one of the world’s longest. Sun City is a luxury resort and casino boasting another course named the Lost City Golf Course, which features a hole with a pit of real live crocodiles and a green that is shaped like the African continent.
Another South African course designed by Gary Player, Fancourt Links in Western Cape is often ranked as the country’s top golf course. Once an airfield, the land was transformed into an exceptionally beautiful course that was inspired by links courses found in the British Isles. It has hosted the President’s Cup and is very concerned about playing a role in environmental sustainability.
Of course one of Africa’s most Instagram-worthy golf course isn’t found on the mainland itself. To see Africa’s tropical paradise golf course, you have to head to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Here, you’ll find the Lemuria Golf Course on Praslin Island. Golfers enjoy a backdrop of swaying palm trees and the beautiful white sands of Anse Georgette Beach. By day you may spot hawksbill sea turtles and as nightfall looms, giant fruit bats take flight. Lemuria is the only 18-hole course found in the Seychelles.
Lemuria golf Course: Photo By so Seychelles
Australian Golf Courses
While most of Australia’s interior is relentless desert and rugged Outback country, the nation is home to a few stunning courses and very talented professional golfers including Greg Norman, Jason Day, and Adam Scott. Mainland Australia is home to the 36-hole Royal Melbourne Golf Club. The club dates back to the late 19th century, making it Australia’s oldest golf club still in operation, and is home to the nation’s highest ranked golf course, the Royal Melbourne West Course. While the course doesn’t feature any water hazards, there are plenty of bunkers and beautiful gum trees to contend with.
The island state of Tasmania is home to Australia’s most prized public access course. Named Barnbougle Dunes, this links style course features extensive dunes which overlook the cold waters of the Bass Strait. All kinds of rare wildlife call Tasmania home and many may be spotted on and near the golf course including quolls, Tasmanian devils, platypus, and echidnas.
European Golf Courses
Europe is of course the birthplace of golf, and Scotland is home to The Old Course at St Andrews which many consider to be the world’s oldest golf course. Golf has been played here since the early 15th century, despite it being banned at one point by Scotland’s King James II. A unique feature of the Old Course is its enormous double greens which are shared by multiple holes.
Just north of Paris, you’ll find what many say is Europe’s finest course. Morfontaine is a private heathland golf course set in beautiful woodland with many natural rocky outcrops. France is also home to the beautiful Albatros Course at Le Golf National. Also near Paris, this course recently hosted the 2018 Ryder Cup, the annual golf competition between US and European golfers.
Asian Golf Courses
Heading to Asia, Singapore offers up the Marina Bay Golf Course. Offering a stunning backdrop of the Singapore city skyline, the course is often regarded as one of Asia’s finest public golf courses. The 18-hole links-style course was designed by South African native Phil Jacobs and features pristine greens and fairways. One of the most exciting ways to play the course is at night, as the course offers night-time rounds under artificial lighting. It also boasts an enormous 4-tier driving range with well over 100 individual bays.
Another great golf course to check out in Asia is Malaysia’s 18-hole, 72-par Els Club Teluk Datai. The course encompasses nearly 50 acres on the island of Langkawi and is regarded as one of Asia’s most scenic courses with its extensive rainforests and mountain vistas. Redesigned by golfing great Ernie Els, the course presents a luxury golf experience while managing to protect the surrounding natural habitat. The course is surrounded by native flora which includes bougainvillea, various palms, and many broad-leafed plants. The rainforest is also home to abundant Malaysian wildlife including monkeys which sometimes make their way onto the course.
Marina Bay Golf Course: Photo By Nicolas Lannuzel