From stunning cliff-top courses overlooking the sea to courses in the African bush raised above a local watering hole, golfers travel around the world to play the sport at once in a lifetime courses. While some are famous for their historic significance, all of these courses have breathtaking backdrops, adding even more excitement and drama to the game.
Leopard Creek, South Africa
Leopard Creek, on the edge of the Kruger National Park in South Africa, brings a new meaning to the term ‘water hazards’, since, at this course, the water hazards include the baboons, elephants, crocodiles and more that come to drink from Leopard Creek’s streams. The fourth hole is set 100 feet above Crocodile River, a popular spot for the elephants to come and rest. After a long day of golfing in the sun, guests can take advantage of their colorful surroundings and enjoy an evening game drive through the national park.
Pebble Beach, California
Although the US is home to many fine golf clubs, a large number of them are only open to members, whereas Pebble Beach in California welcomes anyone who enjoys the sports. Designed almost 90 years ago by Douglas Grant and Jack Neville, the narrow fairways and sloping greens look out over the rocky Pacific coast, with panoramic views of the ocean. Holes 5 to 8, with their water hazards, are what many golfers particularly look forward to at this course.
Canouan, The Grenadines
This tropical island course was designed by Jim Fazio, and dramatically soars 840 feet above sea level, to the rim of an extinct volcano. With the backdrop of sheer cliffs, sparkling blue water and white sandy beaches contrasting with the lush green fairways and borders lined with hibiscus, it is truly a picturesque course. The back nine holes are the most spectacular, and the 13th hole, the highest of them all, offers some of the best views of Mustique towards the north and Mayreau to the south.
Royal County Down, Northern Ireland
This golf club, which has been around for over 100 years, has two beautiful 18-hole courses, both of which are set in between the majestic mountains of Mourne and the salty Irish Sea. Native plants, such as heather and gorse, line the fairways, while the bunkers are covered with wild tussocks. The course is made even more challenging by the strong winds that can often come off the Irish Sea, adding another dimension to the game.
St. Andrews, Scotland
Although there are six courses at St. Andrews, the one that is most famous all over the globe is the Old Course, and, dating back to over 600 years ago, it is also one of the oldest courses in the world, hugely influencing the way in which future courses were designed. One of the most unique features of the Old Course are the huge double greens, seven of which share two holes each.
Although each of these golf destinations provide their own challenges, one of the best features about them is that they all offer accommodation either on site or nearby. They also offer plenty of facilities for non-golfers, meaning that the whole family can enjoy a vacation to one of these once-in-a-lifetime golf courses. Have you been to any of these amazing golf courses? Let OROGOLD know using the comments below.