Golf and travel go together like wedges and bunkers. Whether you are looking to stay in Canada, head down south to the US, or hop on a plane and explore what the courses have to offer across the pond, you are bound to meet some fellow globetrotting golfers and play an exciting and challenging couple of rounds.
For golfers willing to make the trip (and pay the green fees), these bucket list golf courses offer an unparalleled playing experience.
Cabot Links - Inverness, Nova Scotia
Perched on the rugged coastline of Cape Breton, Cabot Links attracts golfers from across the world looking to play a traditional links course with incredible views and luxury accommodations to match. Nearly every hole has showstopping views (which are especially spectacular at sunset), and a mix of wide fairways and tricky bunkers make it a suitable course for a variety of skill levels. An additional course opened at the resort in 2016; called Cabot Cliffs, and it has quickly earned a reputation as one of North America’s must-play courses.
Pebble Beach Golf Links - Pebble Beach, California
All golfers dream of playing Pebble Beach. And once they do play, they dream of coming back. “This is golf heaven,” they say. “Hallowed ground,” they call it. “Do what you have to do to play here at least once in your life,” they advise. Regarding the latter: while the storied course is open to the public, the high green fees place it in bucket-list territory for most golf enthusiasts. The expense will be a distant memory, however, by the time you’re driving the ball down the fairway with Pacific Ocean views all around.
Royal County Down Golf Club - Newcastle, Ireland
The championship course at Royal County Down, one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland, is the stuff of lore for golfers with a love for the sport’s history. The original course on the property was built by Old Tom Morris—a Scottish golfer who also had stints as a club and ball maker, instructor, greenkeeper and course designer—and opened on March 23, 1889. Some 130 years later, the challenging course retains an aura of mystery and majesty that has golfers like Rory McIlroy counting it amongst their favourite places to play.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort - Maui, Hawaii
It’s hard to beat Hawaii as a golf adventure destination. The scenery is spectacular and volcano trekking, beach hopping, and mai tai drinking await between rounds. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, play those rounds at the Plantation Course at Maui’s Kapalua Resort. As you amble along the same 7,411 yards that have been walked by the likes of Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, you’ll be rewarded with non-stop views of the eastern Molokai mountains and the glistening Pacific Ocean—and, if you’re visiting in February or March, perhaps the sight of breaching whales.
Leopard Creek Country Club - Malelane, South Africa
As a next-door neighbour of Kruger Park, South Africa’s foremost game reserve, Leopard Creek is a safari-meets-golf experience. Amongst the course hazards are grazing hippos and sun-bathing crocodiles. Wildlife aside, Leopard Creek boasts an incredible course; the greens are fast, the setting is stunning, and the conditions have a reputation for being consistently immaculate.
The New South Wales Golf Course - La Perouse, Australia
Hugged by the rugged coastline of the Tasman Sea, the New South Wales Golf Course near Sydney is as well known for its high-flying views as it is for its high winds—for serious golfers looking to put their handicaps to the test, a round on these scenic links are worth the mileage.
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