You’ve read these lists before—Pebble Beach, Augusta, Sand Hills… but what if you want to play some challenging golf and enjoy a fabulous vacation at the same time?
These are the Live and Invest Overseas top picks for golfing vacations around the world…
- Nejapa Country Club
The only club on our list to have survived a deadly earthquake, a revolution, and military occupation, these days, Nicaragua’s Nejapa Country Club is a peaceful place to spend some time.
The gentle bunkers and lush vegetation make the par-72 course perfect for a round of relaxed vacation golf. But beware the humidity.
- Verdura Resort
At the fashionable Verdura Resort in Italy, you’ll find not one but three links courses. With fabulous views of the ocean and Sicily’s year-round warm weather, the Kyle Phillips-designed courses are among the most appealing in Europe.
The resort is also home to a double-ended driving range and PGA-qualified pros.
- Quinta do Lago
Portugal’s Algarve region is dense with golf courses, but our golfing vacation recommendation is a visit to Quinta do Lago. With three award-winning championship golf courses—the North, South, and Laranjal—excellent practice facilities, and the only Paul McGinley Academy in Europe, Qinta do Lago demands more than a quick visit.
- The Bluffs
Vung Tau, Vietnam
The Bluffs, in Vung Tau, Vietnam, was designed by legendary Australian golfer Greg Norman. The coastal, links-style course makes the most of a stunning location and features huge sand hills, native vegetation, and dramatic views of the ocean.
Most days it’s a windswept spot, but the extra challenge is proving popular with golfers from Asia and around the world.
- Thai Country Club
The Thai Country Club golf course is a 45-minute drive from Bangkok City and is one of the most exclusive courses in golfing mecca Thailand.
Designed by Denis Griffiths, the former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the course is a par-72, 18-hole layout, with many water hazards and bunkers. It is regularly voted among the top 5 places to golf in Asia.
Set in parkland with lakes and winding streams and surrounded by the Andean mountains, the Chapelco golf course is one of Argentina’s finest.
The par-72 course, designed by golfing icon Jack Nicklaus and his son Jack Nicklaus II, features 73 starting tees and 65 bunkers.
- The Dunes
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The Dunes at El Diamante, in Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas, is a golf course with a stellar reputation. Designed by Davis Love III, the American pro with 20 PGA wins under his belt, The Dunes, at 7,300 yards from the back tees, is a challenging course.
Set on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula, Golf Digest rates The Dunes as the best golfing in Mexico,
The historic Morfontaine course outside of Paris, France, boasts 27 holes: a nine-hole course, built in 1911 and known as Valliere, and the 18-hole championship course, built in 1927.
Commissioned by the Duc du Gramont and designed by Englishman Tom Simpson, Morfontaine Championship is a 6,545-yard, par-70 course punctuated by towering Scotch pines.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome.
- Teeth of the Dog
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
As golf course architects go, it is hard to think of any more accomplished than Pete Dye. Pete and his wife Alice designed the butterfly-routed Teeth of the Dog in the early 1970s. The course adheres much more closely to the natural contours of the land than Dye’s usual designs—probably because of the underlying coral rock. However, some tees are built on man-made pedestals.
Occasional trade winds add an extra level of difficulty to this spectacular course.
Excellent caddies are available for hire.
- Ballybunion Golf Club
The Live and Invest Overseas number one pick for a hackers holiday is Ireland’s Ballybunion Golf Course.
Established in 1893, the Old Course at Ballybunion is Ireland’s most famous (Royal County Down and Royal Portrush regularly make international top 10 lists, but they are next door in Northern Ireland), and we agree. So, apparently, does Bill Clinton, who played at Ballybunion during his presidency.
The wild beauty, 100-foot dunes and unpredictable weather make Ballybunion the most exciting place on The Emerald Isle to hit a round.
Head to the 19th hole at the end of the day to make the most of the famous Irish hospitality.