Golf Courses Around The World - Top Travel Spots for Golfers

Golf Courses Around The World - Top Travel Spots for Golfers
By Katya Coen

While golf is not played everywhere (yet), there are many wonderful golf courses around the world to visit – many offering truly unique golfing experiences for the adventurous golfer as well as some breathtaking views for travelers.  From America to Japan, there are thousands of great courses to please golf enthusiasts, but where better to start than the birthplace of golf – Scotland.

Seated in the Birthplace of Golf - Scotland Courses

Let us start with the what many would argue is the best golf course in the world - the game was invented and evolved at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.  To get an idea of how amazing it is, listen to the experts – Jack Nicklaus said about St. Andrews, “I fell in love with it the first day I played it. There’s just no other golf course that is even remotely close.” And Tiger Woods lauded, “Without a doubt I like it the best of all the Open venues. It’s my favorite course in the world.” With opinions like these from two of the top golfers in history, you can see why this one is not to be missed.

It is no surprise that Scotland hosts some of the finest golf courses in the world.  One of the finest of the finest is Cruden Bay.  Some say that golf was played on Cruden Bay as early as 1791.  Today the course offers many unique challenges to golfers and is set against a gorgeous panoramic view, it was even voted as number 52 in the world by “Golf Magazine.” The course is actually set over the North Sea pipeline – so while you play over their contoured greens, muck of the U.K.’s crude oil supply is running beneath you!

Another great course, especially for tourists, is the Stromness Golf Club located in Orkney.  It is not as challenging as many other top golf courses, and it is not even as attractive as most, but is it located just minutes away from the 5,000 year old burial mound Maes Howe.  You could make a day of historical sightseeing and a golfing all in the same area.

Longest (and Highest) Links

Golf courses seem to be popping up all the time these days, so the site that holds the honor of longest course is disputed and ever changing.  But there are some very notable ones around the globe…

One such contender for the longest course is the International Golf Club in Bolton Massachusetts.  While the regular tees already have an impressive length of 6,547 yards, the “tiger” tees boast a full 8,325 yards.

A course in Chine that sits near the Himalayas claims to have a longer course that runs the length of 8,548 yards, but it is hard to measure a course that is situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet in mountainous terrain.  So it is still hard.to determine to which course really is the longest.

By the way, of you thought 10,000 feet was a high enough elevation for golfing, take a deep breath and try out the Tactu Golf Club in Morochocha, Peru.  This course sits 14,335 feet about sea level – and that is at its lowest point!

The Satsuki Golf Club in Japan is said to have the longest single, stretching the length of 909 yards.

Gorgeous Greens

If you’re looking for a course with some great scenery, you don’t have to look outside of the U.S.  Located in Idaho, Hidden Lakes Golf Resort has some of the loveliest scenery you could ask for in a course.  Not only does it have bent grass greens and carefully manicured bluegrass fairways, but you can often spot some local wildlife on the course.  It is not uncommon to spot a deer or moose grazing just yards away from the links.  Hidden Lakes has a log cabin lodge for you to enjoy, and has a new clubhouse, lounge, restaurant, and golf shop.  If you want to get away and experience the beauty of nature while enjoying some golf, this highly rated resort is the place for you.

Historical Holes

If you want a golf vacation that’s rich in history, you have a few great options.  How about golfing with a view of the Great Wall of China?  That’s just what you’ll get when you play at the Beijing Golf Club, located just 30 minutes away from the Beijing International Airport.  While Scotland has the oldest courses, India has the second oldest.  The Bombay Presidency Club was built in 1827, and the Bangalore Golf Club was founded in 1876.

And this is just the beginning!  There are many other winning courses in America, including “Golf Magazine’s” top ten rated courses of 2004: Pebble Beach in California, Pacific Dunes in Oregon, Bethpage in New York, Pinehurst in North Carolina, and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.  Scotland also houses many other historical and lush courses.  And while I would definitely recommend making a trip to St. Andrews in Scotland, since it is one of the best courses around as well as the oldest, there are also many other fine courses worldwide just waiting for some traveling golf enthusiasts!

Katya Coen is a regular contributor to Golfing Eighteen, where you will find a wealth of information on golf, golf equipment, courses, and news.  Find more on great courses along with beautiful photos on our site!

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