What makes a beautiful golf course? It isn't a great club house with all the amenities, although that certainly helps. It is a course so picturesque that no matter where you stand, you're almost not focusing on your next shot, but taking in the beauty of the design, and the backdrop of what is around you. This could be bunkers that are as tall as houses, pristine views of the Pacific Ocean as you tee off, or undulating mountain ranges alongside your fairway. There are many spectacular courses around the globe that will have you taken aback with breathtaking views and architectural brilliance. They may not be cheap, but sometimes you need to indulge a little to experience the most beautiful things. While there is always debate and rightfully so, here are 10 courses we consider to be some of the most beautiful in the world to experience.
Barnbougle Dunes, Tasmania
The first course is in our very own backyard down in Tasmania, it is a world renowned course often recognized as one of the most beautiful courses to walk. In fact, walking is the only option for this course. It is known as a true links course, with nice short holes and huge, well placed bunkers - in fact, famously the 4th hole has the largest bunker in the Southern Hemisphere. Every hole from tee to green has a panoramic view and many holes run right along the Bass Strait.
Royal County Down, Northern Ireland
Consistently voted as one of the best courses in Northern Ireland, this is another true links course, hosting many big golf tournaments annually. The natural beauty lies not only within the challenging strategic bunkering around the golf course, but this 125-year old gold course has a stunning back drop provided by the Mountains of Mourne one side the Irish Sea on the other.
Thracian Cliffs, Bulgaria
This golf course is on a stunning stretch of the Black Sea coastline and has hosted the World Match Play Championships. Some professional golfers have stated that "on some holes it just makes your feet tingle" as there are 8 holes that play directly along the cliff-tops above the Black Sea. Definitely one to add to the bucket list!
Pebble Beach, America
Arguably, there’s no other golf course in the world that offers the same level of beauty as that of Pebble Beach. From its curving coastline and cliff-top setting above the Pacific Ocean to its entrancing moody mix of sun, wind and fog this course is surrounded by incredible scenery, lush fairways and deep bunkers. Every keen golfer should aim to walk this course at least once in their life.
Old Head Golf Links, Ireland
This course is located on a peninsular off the southern coast of Ireland and is without a doubt considered one of the UK and Ireland’s most beautiful settings for a golf course. It is a relatively new course for the country, established in 1989 by two brothers who transformed 220 acres of farmland into a world-class course. Over half of the holes run alongside huge cliff faces and all holes have the "wow" factor.
Legends Golf Course, South Africa
This golf course is in Entebeni, South Africa and interestingly all 18 holes were designed by 18 different golfers. One tee box is 430m above the green and your tee shot remains airborne for 30 seconds! One green is shaped like the continent of Africa, and there’s one hole you actually can't walk - you need to take a helicopter ride to the tee box! How’s that for utterly amazing?
Pinnacle Point, South Africa
Another striking golf course we find in South Africa is Pinnacle Point. It is commonly described as South Africa's very own "Pebble Beach" and plays right alongside Mossel Bay overlooking the Indian Ocean. Seven holes play alongside the ocean whilst four play over the ocean and cliffs.
Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
Another relatively new golf course designed in 2004, this course feels like it has been there for decades. The holes play right alongside thin jagged edges of cliffs of the cliff "fingers". The players can walk right up to the cliff edges which are 140m above sea level. This is one of the most photographed courses in the world and one that is one the bucket list of most golfers.
Banff Springs, Canada
Set amongst the Canadian Rockies and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banff National Park, this golf course features tall trees, huge mountains in every backdrop, and runs along the Bow River.
St Andrews Old Course, Scotland
There’s no better course to finish this list than the classic St Andrews Old Course. It is certainly a must-play course for almost every golfer. Every part of the course has a nickname, from the Eden Estuary on the 2nd hole, to the Hell Bunker and Valley of Sin on your run home. It has 112 bunkers, endless hills and swallows that you must walk, and the course has a history dating back to the beginning of golf. There are waterways flowing through the fairways, small stone bridges, and each of the 112 bunkers have their very own name.
Unlike other sports which are played in standard courts and arenas, every golf course is different and there are some truly spectacular spots to have a hit all over the world. If the surrounds of a golf course can distract you from your game, it’s guaranteed to be an amazing experience.
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