Are Overseas Golf Holidays Better Than Those In The UK?

Where will you take your next golfing trip after Coronavirus?

Are Overseas Golf Holidays Better Than Those At Home?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jeremy Ellwood and Fergus Bisset consider where your next golfing break should be when the Coronavirus restrictions finally end.

Are Overseas Golf Holidays Better Than Those In The UK?

Yes says Jeremy Ellwood

Are Overseas Golf Holidays Better Than Those At Home?

PGA Catalunya

It would be churlish to suggest that golf holidays at home aren’t enjoyable, for we are blessed with many lovely courses inland and on the coast.

But you simply can’t come close to guaranteeing the weather, and that is the key consideration for me when choosing a golfing holiday.

Yes, you can occasionally get caught out in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Florida or any other sunny golfing oasis, but the chances are slim in comparison.

Even if you do, you know that the sun’s warming rays will soon be back out to dry you off and have you bouncing jauntily along the fairways once more in a “this is the life” manner.

A couple of days’ golf in the sun gives your skin the kind of healthy glow that prompts others to tell you how well you’re looking.

And of course, those weather conditions also mean the courses, and particularly the greens, are usually in far better year-round condition.

Golf in the sun somehow has a more unrushed feel about it too.

A slightly slower pace seems to matter less when the sun is on your back and time is your own.

And if the weather doesn’t matter to you, what about variety?

Yes, we have that here with our links, heathland, parkland, clifftop and hilltop layouts, but we can have that 50 weeks of the year.

So why not use the other two to try, for example, golf among the dark volcanic rocks of Iceland; up in the pure clear Alpine air in Switzerland or Austria; or further afield in one of the Far East’s rapidly emerging golf destinations.

In other words, why not use your precious holiday time to try something very different?

Are Overseas Golf Holidays Better Than Those In The UK?

No says Fergus Bisset

Are Overseas Golf Holidays Better Than Those At Home?

Spectacular views at Royal Dornoch

Why go out for a burger when you can eat steak at home?

Britain is home to the world’s best golf courses.

From our magnificent and much imitated links, to our glorious heathland and pristine parkland, the variety and quality of courses available to golfers in this country is quite astounding.

The UK offers tremendous destinations for golfing holidays, from one end of the country to the other.

There’s an abundance of opportunity to base a trip in diverse, vibrant and fascinating locations within striking distance of exceptional golf courses.

Take the Caledonian Sleeper and head north to stay in historic and lively Inverness and play the majestic links at Dornoch, Nairn and Castle Stuart.

Stay in a fashionable city like Leeds and play the fabulous MacKenzie tracks at Alwoodley and Moortown.

Then, Norfolk, Suffolk, Devon, Cornwall, East Lothian, Pembrokeshire, Ayrshire, Hampshire and so on… All are holiday destinations in their own right that just happen to be home to some breathtakingly brilliant golf courses.

A great thing about golf holidays at home is the convenience.

Throw your kit in the boot of the car or step on a train and away you go.

No customs, no currency conversion, no need to suffer the horrors of the modern airport.

Play courses in the UK where the golfing mentality is familiar – where five-hour rounds are frowned upon rather than expected, where you don’t have to take a buggy, where you won’t die of heatstroke after 13 holes.

Next time you’re considering a golfing trip, think hard: travel within our country saving time and hassle to play the world’s best courses, or waste hours in planes and airports to go play courses that are desperately trying to replicate what’s already on offer in the UK.

There’s no contest.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?