18 of the Greatest Golf Resorts in the World
From the world’s highest golf course in The Himalayas to a challenging lava layout in Hawaii, golfscape reveals 18 of the greatest golf resorts across the globe.
Imagine luxurious accommodation complete with a magical view and a designer golf course a few steps away. Let that dream become a reality and read on to discover unique golfing experiences that will leave you with a severe case of wanderlust. Join golfscape on the countdown to find the world’s greatest golf resort.
18. Oitavos Dunes, Portugal
Oitavos Dunes is the perfect destination for active travelers, culture, gastronomy, and wellness enthusiasts; whether this be cycling along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, enjoying tapas on the terrace, visiting historical local villages or playing a round of golf.
Designed in 2001 by the famous architect Arthur Hills, the Oitavos Dunes is considered to be one of the finest and best golf courses in the world. With an exceptional location, it offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Sintra. Oitavos Dunes has been recognized as the 55th best golf course in the world on GOLF Magazine’s 2017 Top 100 Courses in the World as well as the number one course in Portugal.
17. Handara Golf & Resort, Bali
Handara Golf & Resort Bali is a mountain golf resort located near Bedugul that brings world-class golf to the region of Bali. The first golf & country club resort to open in Bali was voted by Golf Magazine as ‘One of the 50 Greatest Golf Courses in the World.’ Course founder, Ibnu Sutowo (1914-2001) named it after his youngest daughter, Handara. The Ibnu Sutowo Senior Open is held at the course every year in memory of Ibnu’s remarkable legacy.
What makes Handara Golf so unique is its location in the central highlands of Bali, at an altitude of 1,142 meters above sea level, making it the coolest golf course in Bali with temperatures ranging from 14 to 24 Celsius. Nestled inside the crater of an extinct volcano, the views offer lush green mountains, crater lakes, and equatorial rain forests.
16. Dusit Thani Laguna, Singapore
Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore is superbly located within the renowned Laguna National Golf & Country Club only 10 minutes by car from Changi International Airport and 15 minutes from downtown.
A prominent golf club in the local and regional golf scene since its inauguration in 1993, Laguna National is a world-famous Singapore golf course, boasting two eighteen-hole championship courses that have been ranked consistently among Asia’s top layouts. The courses have won prestigious accolades and hosted international championships including the European Tour’s Singapore Masters, Korean LPGA-ADT Caps Tour Championship, European, and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event and The World Classic Championship at Laguna National.
15. Banyan Tree Lăng Cô, Vietnam
With the luxury pool villa resort Banyan Tree Lăng Cô, the family-friendly beach resort Angsana Lăng Cô, and the serviced apartments at Laguna Park Townhouses, Laguna Golf Lăng Cô golf club is the centerpiece of Vietnam’s premier beach golf resort. Located in the heart of the international integrated resort Laguna Lăng Cô is Laguna Golf Lăng Cô, a par-71, 18-hole course designed by six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo. Ideally situated between the ancient capital of Hue to the north and Danang to the south, this rugged course overlooks one of the World’s most beautiful bays. Laguna Lăng Cô received the Golf Digest Editor’s Choice Award 2018 for “Best Golf Resort In Asia – Vietnam”.
14. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Ireland
Built upon the original family home of the iconic Jameson Dynasty, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links is the perfect combination of Irish history and luxury. A classic Links course, the Portmarnock Links encompasses all the characteristics that a golfer seeks when playing Links golf; deep pot bunkers, challenging roughs, and unpredictable coastal wind. The round of golf, albeit potentially challenging, is made worthwhile by the stunning hotel amenities.
13. Verdura Resort, Italy
Verdura Resort presents a golf experience unlike any other. The three links-style golf courses, all designed by Kyle Phillips, use the natural green contours of the landscape and are lined with orange and olive groves. Warmed by the Mediterranean sun and refreshed by the sea breeze, the courses are free from any buildings, offering uninterrupted views of the azure waters from the undulating greens.
Host venue of the European Tour Rocco Forte Open – Verdura in 2017 and 2018, Verdura provides golf on a grand scale, with the personal service and attention to detail more usually associated with a private club. Designed to challenge golfers of all levels, the courses are built on spectacular golf-playing surfaces of the finest grasses and are maintained to the highest agronomic level.
12. Costa Navarino, Greece
Costa Navarino is the leading sustainable destination in the Mediterranean. The country’s first signature golf courses can be found in the Greek region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese.
The 18-hole The Dunes Course has been designed by former US Masters Champion and Ryder Cup Captain Bernhard Langer, in association with European Golf Design. Set in diverse topography with spectacular sea and river views, tall dunes divide some of the holes adjacent to the golden beach. Inspired by the character of the natural landscape, much of the contouring mirrors the rugged outlines of the distant mountains.
The second signature-designed course The Bay Course sets Costa Navarino on its path to becoming a golf destination. Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course places a slightly greater emphasis on strategic play and positional golf. The course is currently developing the new earth-sheltered clubhouse. Costa Navarino is also creating two new 18-hole golf courses in Navarino Hills!
11. Fancourt, South Africa
Positioned on 613 hectares in the magnificent Garden Route, 7km from George, Fancourt embodies a flawless fusion of leisure and world-class golfing. With all three of its Gary Player designed golf courses ranked among Golf Digest’s top 20 courses in the country, it boasts a proud legacy of sporting excellence. The Links, a privately owned club, is currently No. 1 in South Africa (Golf Digest Rankings 2018) and was ranked 38th in the world in 2018 by Golf Digest USA. The Montagu and Outeniqua golf courses are both ranked in the Top 15 in South Africa.
10. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grand Cayman
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the top luxury resort in the Cayman Islands, is an oasis of infinite luxuries. With amenities including classic and elegant accommodations, outdoor activities like Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment; a Greg Norman-designed golf course and a La Prairie Spa, it provides an unmatched collection of experiences for guests.
The resort offers a unique, Grand Cayman golf experience that embraces the island’s beautiful natural elements: water, mangroves, and refreshing albeit challenging trade winds. Designed by Greg Norman, the nine-hole course at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grand Cayman offers challenging play amid breathtaking natural beauty.
9. Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort comprises spectacular seafront location and preserved wild beauty of the Kaliakra National Park ecosystem. The resort is also home to an 18-hole Gary Player designed golf course that offers dramatic views over the sea from every hole. With a variety of dining venues focused on fresh local ingredients and produce, the beach resort highlights the importance of wellbeing. The stunning spa offers signature treatments and rituals merging ancient healing philosophies with modern techniques.
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort is an integral part of Cape Kaliakra Signature Golf Coast, located on the beautiful and dramatic Black Sea Coast in Northern Bulgaria. The region is abundant in amazing historical, cultural and natural sights, where the traditions of the Thracian civilization can be traced back to the 4th century BC.
8. Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand
Sophisticated and elegant, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs glows in the morning light as the sun rises to reveal panoramic views across the Pacific. Named the number one resort in Australia and New Zealand by Travel + Leisure, Kauri Cliffs is a traveler’s dream. Activities abound with the David Harman-designed golf course, immersive local heritage tours, bountiful fishing, and spa sanctuary hidden within the native forest.
Accommodation is offered in 22 suites set in outlying cottages separate to the main lodge, as well as a two-bedroom Owner’s Cottage. The cottages are nestled in the native forest overlooking the golf course and the Pacific Ocean. The par 72 championship course offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level.
7. Trump Turnberry, Scotland
Home of four Open Championships, the legendary Ailsa course has hosted some of the most iconic names in golf. Reborn in June 2016 at the hands of the renowned architect, Martin Ebert, the transformation makes the Ailsa the number one ranked golf course in the UK & Ireland. Set alongside the glorious Ayrshire coastline, with Arran and Ailsa Craig as a stunning backdrop, it is one of the finest golfing destinations in the world.
Named after the third Marquess of Ailsa, who owned the land on which it was built, this par-71, 6,474-yard Championship course is one of golf’s storied places. Ailsa has shaped some of the most remarkable moments in the Open Championship’s history.
6. Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, Italy
In the heart of Tuscany, in the Municipality of Montaione between Florence and Volterra, the Castelfalfi Estate has always been a natural paradise, rich in tradition. Toscana Resort Castelfalfi is a medieval village – that has not forgotten its Etruscan origins – carefully restored to maintain its original character and to welcome guests looking for an authentic Tuscan experience.
Tuscany is a secret paradise for golfers. Many courses in the region were developed in the nineties, taking advantage of the natural landscape, and Castelfalfi is home to one of the most spectacular in Italy and the biggest in Tuscany, the Golf Club Castelfalfi. Nature, beauty, wellness, and sport: all this in more than 9,400 square meters of hillsides and meadow set amongst olive groves that characterize the 27 spectacular holes, which compose the 18-hole Mountain Course and the 9-hole Lake Course.
5. Terre-Blanche, France
Terre Blanche’s unrivaled location enables guests to experience the charm and character of Provence along with the chic ambiance of the Côte d’Azur. Terre Blanche, a European Tour Destination, was awarded ‘Best Golf Hotel of the Year 2016’ by Luxury Travel Guide and ranked as the number one golf resort in continental Europe 2016-2017 by Golf World UK. These awards pay homage to the resorts two 18-hole championship golf courses ‘Le Châ- teau’ and ‘Le Riou’, designed by Dave Thomas. The resorts’ state of the art courses and golf facilities are considered by many to be Terre Blanche’s pièce de résistance.
4. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa is the only golf resort in Sri Lanka. Spread across a vast coconut palm plantation, the par-70, 18 hole golf course offers spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, with distinctive challenges for both beginners and seasoned players. Designed by Rodney Wright, the globally celebrated designer, the course offers lush fairways and challenging bunkers, with the Dune Area featuring subtle elevation changes and the Sapphire Mine showcasing generous greens with an abundance of water features.
3. The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg
The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg’s first luxury resort, located at an elevation of 8,825 ft. in the Pir Panjal range of the majestic Himalayas is spread over seven acres in a pristine pine valley. This international class, 85-key resort, offers breathtaking views of snowcapped Affarwat peaks. The resort is just a 10-minute walk from the world’s highest Golf Course and a stone’s throw from Gulmarg’s famed Gondola, the highest ski lift in the world.
The Gulmarg Golf Club is an 18 hole challenging course complete with elevated tees and both up and down fairways. With the title of the highest golf course in the world and a grand mountainous backdrop, the golf club offers a spectacular golfing experience.
2. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii
Hualalai’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, one of two incomparable golf experiences at the resort, is Nicklaus’ first Hawai‘i design. The par-72 layout weaves through the Big Island’s challenging lavascape, taking full advantage of spectacular ocean views and dramatic shoreline vistas. The Hualalai Golf Club has been host to the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai since 1997 which features tournament champions for the past two seasons and senior major championship winners from the past five years. The nine-acre driving range includes a chipping and short game practice area, two sand bunkers, and a putting green. The 7th hole on the golf course you tee off from the highest point of the course and play down towards the ocean through a collapsed lava tube.
1. Adare Manor, Ireland
Masterfully designed, magnificently maintained, and perfectly set within the glorious estate of one of Europe’s most spectacular manor house hotels, The Golf Course at Adare Manor is ready to take its place among the best championship courses in the world. The recent reconstruction, designed by celebrated golf architect, Tom Fazio, has taken what was already an award-winning course and transformed it into a parkland paradise befitting a country in the top tier of global golfing destinations. The new course has been created in harmony with the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings: lush, softly rolling terrain, mature tree scaping, and the sweeping banks of the River Maigue. Despite only opening for play following its reconstruction in April 2018, The Golf Course at Adare Manor has the quality and infrastructure in place to host the world’s largest golf tournaments.