Top Golf Resorts and Destinations in Europe

General Golf at Celtic Manor, Newport, Gwent, Wales
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    More than Just Golf Courses – The Top Golf Resorts in Europe

    There has always been a great deal of discussion as to exactly which are the Top Golf Resorts and Destinations in Europe. This is the list according to Nigel and Suzanne Butler. I have studied it and can find no real argument with their inclusions. Maybe I would rank one or two higher than others, but their inclusions make a great deal of sense. True, there are a great many other fine golf courses, resorts and destinations that could be included, but we have to start somewhere. My list, your list, this list: the inclusions to any list are, of course, subjective. Your comments would be welcome.

    Blair Howard, Golf Travel at TripSavvy

    You'll also need this guide to the great and famous Scottish golf courses and resorts. It will come as no surprise that there are many hundreds of Scotland's golf courses, wonderful courses from one end of the country to the other. It is, after all, the "home of golf." Most of the old and famous courses are scattered across three regions: the Heartlands, the Southwest and the Highlands. These three regions alone boast of more than 300 golf courses including St. Andrews, Gleneagles, Troon, Turnberry and Prestwick. Just follow the links below to find reviews of famous golf courses, helpful information and tips that will help you plan the golf trip of a lifetime.

    This review of the Top Five Golf Hotels in Dublin, Ireland will also come in handy. I don’t know about you, but I have to tell you: both of those names bring to my mind all of the “Forty Shades of Green” made so famous in the song. Ireland is a land of rocky coasts, misty mountains, secluded vales and, of course, gorgeous, rolling parkland golf courses. Dublin is a city with a history like none other in Europe – the sights and attractions alone make Dublin worth a visit.

    All of the above, and those on the pages you are about to click through, are considered the best of the best as far as golf vacations and places to play in Europe are concerned, but sometimes we need to look even farther afield, to new horizons, like these: Scotland, Florida, the American SouthwestBermuda, the Bahamas, all over the Caribbean and Mexico and many more. For up-to-date golf travel news and information, be sure to subscribe to my weekly Newsletter.

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    Now, if you'd like to click on the through the next few pages, you'll be taken to nine more of the best golf courses and resorts in Europe. The list has been put together by two dedicated English traveler writers: Nigel and Suzanne Butler. Enjoy.

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  • 02 of 10

    Scotland – St. Andrews

    Swilken Bridge, Old Course St Andrews, Scotland
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    There is nowhere in the golfing world quite like it - and nowhere quite as old. This, without doubt, is the home of golf. If you don't get to play on the revered Old Course, there are six other wonderful links courses within a few minutes' walk, and the likes of Kingsbarns, Ladybank and even Gleneagles are not so far away.

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    Spain – San Roque

    Golf flag in a golf course, Valderrama Golf Club, San Roque, Spain
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    The San Roque Resort boasts two excellent and very testing championship layouts, just ask the budding professionals who have attended the home of the European Tour's qualifying school. Also on the premises is an excellent Japanese restaurant, "Kamakura" and top-quality villa-style accommodations. Stay at San Roque and benefit from preferential rates at other fabulous golf courses on the western Costa del Sol, not least Valderrama and Sotogrande.

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    Scotland - Turnberry

    Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland
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    Scotland is full of legends, and in golfing terms they come no bigger than Turnberry. From the stunning and immensely scenic Ailsa course, you will enjoy many fine views of the mighty Atlantic and across to the Ailsa Craig rock. Famous for its lighthouse and for Nicklaus and Watson's "duel in the sun" in the 1977 British Open, the Ailsa course has an equally scenic companion in the Kintyre course. With its Colin Montgomerie Golf Academy, top-quality spa facilities and the best view from any restaurant in Scotland, Turnberry's glowing reputation is known the world over.

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    Portugal – San Lorenzo

    Vale Do Lobo, Portugal
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    San Lorenzo, is arguably the best golf course in Portugal, and superbly located to allow you to delve into the other golfing treasures in Quinta do Lago, neighboring Vale do Lobo and further along the Algarve coast. With beautiful views across the Ria Formosa lagoon and out onto the Atlantic, San Lorenzo will test and probe your game in a wonderful scenic environment. Along the way you will glimpse some impressive real estate - home to some of Europe's leading stars of stage and screen (and football field and Formula 1 race track).

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  • 06 of 10

    England - Wentworth Golf Club, England

    Wentworth Golf Course Aerial Shoot
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    Wentworth, located just a short drive from London, Wentworth epitomizes the very best of heathland golf in England. With accommodations available in its famous crenellated clubhouse, you can explore not only Wentworth's three championship layouts, but also many other wonderful heathland courses in the area - Sunningdale, Swinley Forest, St George's Hill and The Berkshire to name just a few. Perhaps the mightiest and most famous of them all is the West Course at Wentworth, known to many as Burma Road, and the scene of many professional golfing dramas - Ryder Cups included.

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  • 07 of 10

    Italy – Poggio Dei Medici

    Poggio dei Medici
    ••• Poggio dei Medici

    Poggio Dei Medici is home to arguably the best food in Europe. Italy also has a wonderful array of top-quality stay and play golf resorts. Perhaps best of them all is Poggio dei Medici ("The Hill of the Medici"). Excellent food, accommodation and spa facilities are complemented by a terrific golf course, designed by one of Italy's golfing greats, Baldovino Dassu. The Tuscan countryside elegantly wraps itself around the course, with castles and villages, pine trees and cypresses all in view. If you can tear yourself away from the golf, one of Italy's most stunning cities - Florence (Firenze) - is just a thirty-minute drive away to the south.

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  • 08 of 10

    The K Club, Dublin

    The K Club, Dublin
    ••• The K Club

    Although the Ring of Kerry often wins Ireland's golfing accolades, the recent growth of golf around the nation's capital, Dublin, has been spectacular. Nowhere characterizes this phenomenon more than the K Club. In the grounds of the former stately home of Straffan House, Dr Michael Smurfit has created a world-class stay and play golfing venue, a venue that carved its name into the golfing annals with the 2006 Ryder Cup. Two terrific championship courses, both designed by Arnold Palmer, are the cornerstone of the K Club. which also offers luxury accommodation, spa facilities, riding, fishing, shooting and a myriad of other activities.

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  • 09 of 10

    France – Terre Blanche

    General Views of Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort
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    Provence and the Cote D'Azur have always been an essential part of any grand tour of Europe. Straddling these two great regions of France, Terre Blanche Golf Club is now an essential part of any golfer's grand tour. The Chateau and Rioux championship courses are classic undulating woodland layouts, guaranteed to test and probe every department of your game. After the golf, the onsite Four Seasons Resort Provence provides a full range of luxury facilities to soothe the body and satisfy the appetite. Just a short drive from Terre Blanche and the Four Seasons resort are the cities of Cannes and Nice, and a host of other top-quality golf courses.

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  • 10 of 10

    Wales – Celtic Manor

    General Golf at Celtic Manor, Newport, Gwent, Wales
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    Host of the Ryder Cup in 2010, Celtic Manor is the top stay and play golf location in Wales, and now home to three great championship courses. The aptly named Twenty Ten course sits in the picturesque Usk River valley, a course designed to test many of the world's best golfers, as well as to provide the amateur golfer with a challenging and thoroughly enjoyable round. Celtic Manor's Roman Road and Montgomerie layouts also give wonderful views onto the surrounding Welsh hills, down into the valley and away across the Severn estuary to England in the distance beyond. Other notable South Wales courses such as Royal Porthcawl , Southerndown and St Pierre are also close at hand, while a short drive will take you further along the South Wales coast to the delights of Pennard, Machynys Peninsula and Tenby.