It's The One Question That I'm Always Asked... 'Where's The Best Place To Go For A Golf Holiday?'

Planning a golfing break? Here are some suggestions of resorts and destinations to visit and the things you need to consider for a smooth trip

Female golfer looking up to the sun
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Planning a golf holiday can be exciting, whether you are a solo traveller, a group of friends looking to go away for a few days fun or a couple searching for relaxation and golf in a t-shirt. 

It's the one question that I'm always asked, 'Where is the best place to go for a golf holiday?' It's a hot topic, especially for women nowadays, but with so many choices it can be difficult to know where to start. Do you book a stay-cation, or do you splash out and book an overseas adventure? It’s certainly a question I’m asked frequently. Naturally, a lot will depend on your budget and time constraints, along with the number of golfers in the booking, as groups often get discounts.

As a well-travelled golf journalist I have been fortunate to have played some fabulous courses all around the world and stayed in everything from budget B&Bs to fancy resorts. I have a few favourites to share from my personal experiences. I also asked the Ladies (Women’s) Golf Lounge community to recommend their favourite places. Hopefully some of the destinations we’ve recommended provide food for thought and whet your appetite for booking your next golf break.

PGA National Golf Resort

PGA National Golf Resort, Florida

(Image credit: Pga National)

Favourite Destinations

Things to consider when planning a long-haul golfing trip include the flight price and time. Although it’s a long flight to South Africa (from the UK), when you arrive there’s virtually no time-difference so you won’t suffer jet-lag. 

I’d highly recommend the Garden Route from Knysna to Cape Town, where you can stay and play at some exceptional golf resorts or book a house on a golf course or a condo on the beach, stopping to take in the scenery, sip wine or whale watch. 

The Jack Nicklaus-designed Simola Golf & Country Estate is really special, but you’ll need a buggy to manage the hilly terrain. I would put Fancourt at the top of my list for the sheer variety and quality of its courses. 

My personal favorite along the Garden Route is the Darren Clarke-designed Pinnacle Point Estate, but there are plenty of other less testing courses tucked in the wine-lands, with the mountains as your backdrop and the grapes on tap!

If money is no object then I would jump on a flight to the Dominican Republic every winter. The Punta Cana Golf Resort is a little piece of paradise with its selection of courses carved out of the rugged coastline. Several dramatic tee shots are played over turquoise blue waters along the shorelines of white sandy beaches. 


Fancourt, South Africa

The other big contender for golfing heaven goes to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius where resorts like Le Shangri-La Touessrok and Constance Belle Mare Plage are lavish and luxurious.

I’ve visited Dubai a dozen times in the last decade and on every visit the city skyscrapers have soared a little higher. It’s a modern marvel with unique desert courses and guaranteed great winter weather.

Take the short straight drive across the border to the neighbouring Yas Links in Abu Dhabi to discover desert golf with a twist, or should I say twister, as the rollercoaster from the Ferrari world theme park is your backdrop. Just over the road is the Warner Bros Studios.

In my opinion, the USA offers the greatest choice of golf courses in the world. A flight to LA or San Diego lands you in golfing heaven with the world-class courses like Torrey Pines to play. 

For a special occasion book a stay in the opulent Grande Del Mar Resort in Carlsbad - Phil Mickelson’s home course. The hotel is nothing short of palatial. You can turn your golf break into a road trip and drive up the highway Route 101, with its spectacular scenery from San Diego to San Francisco, making pit-stops all the way, including at the Monterey peninsula, home to the famous Pebble Beach links. Expect eye-wateringly high green fee prices to play here, but if money is no object you’re guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Over on the East Coast of the USA a lot of Canadian ‘snow-birds’ head down south to the Carolinas to destinations such as Hilton Head and Sea Island in Georgia. 

In the Orange County, Florida is bathed in sunshine all-year round and has more courses than I care to count! What that does mean is you can find a nice condo to share on a course with reasonably-priced green fees. On the opposite coast, the Tampa region of Florida also boasts some exceptional courses. 

Last, but not least, I would recommend a trip to Thailand for the sheer beauty of this destination and the hospitality of its people.

Yas Links

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

European Sun Spots

Spain, Portugal, France, Italy…the list of great European golf destinations is long .In the summer time the northern shores of France is a great option for UK groups who are willing to hop on the ferry or take the short-trip through the EuroTunnel Dover to Calais. There are a wide variety of courses to play here. 

The Emilia Romagna region of Italy has a fine mix of quiet golf courses and culture. For more breath-taking scenery head to the French or Swiss Alps and book a chalet with a hot tub, perfect for a group.

I could write a book on the many, many courses I’ve played in Spain and Portugal. Destinations that are great for golf include La Manga and the Camiral Golf & Wellness Resort (PGA Catalunya), just outside Barcelona in Spain. There are so many low-cost flight options into Barcelona and while in this vibrant city you can soak up the sights and culture as well as play the nearby courses.

Driving range Camiral

Driving range at PGA Catalunya 

(Image credit: Landmark Media)

Awesome All-Inclusive Deals

I’ve done several golf instruction shoots in the Belek region of Antalya, Turkey and there are dozens of golf courses littering this coastline. Virtually all the hotels are on an all-inclusive board basis, which makes them really great value for women's groups.

My favourite Turkish track is the Lykia Links in Belek. I also highly recommend the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa in Antalya. The latter is a great option if you want to combine golf with other activities like the water park, bowling alley and evening entertainment. The all-inclusive option means no hidden extras and no arguments over who buys the drinks if you’re away with a group.

A destination rapidly growing in popularity for winter sunshine is Morocco that comes with more guaranteed sunshine. The Agadir coastline has some really nice courses to play and if you travel to Marrakech, you will find championship golf with a bit of culture to accompany it.

For a group golf and spa trip, my favourite golf and spa retreat is Foxhills Country Club & Resort in Surrey. The spa is sensational. The courses are fantastic too and there’s even a testing little 9-hole par 3 course that’s ideal for beginners. There’s also a wonderful new yoga studio if you want to combine a golf and yoga retreat.

Things To Consider

  • Security - is it a destination where women will will safe - “We went to Morocco as a group for the first time in March and absolutely loved it. We even went off exploring the souks in Marrakech. We felt perfectly safe and found the people so hospitable and welcoming.” 
  • Travel Insurance - “This is an absolute must. My husband unfortunately had a minor heart attack on our golfing trip to the USA. Thank goodness we had comprehensive travel insurance because the cost of health care in the US is so expensive. We would have faced medical bills of tens of thousands of dollars.”
  • Car hire - “We had a nightmare trying to collect our hire car at Alicante airport as the company wouldn’t accept the old paper style licence. Neither of us had the plastic cards. Several attempts (and costly taxi trips) later we found a firm downtown in the city centre that would. It ended up being a very costly mistake.”
  • Buggy Hire - “We accidentally damaged a buggy when it came off a steep, twisting path playing holiday golf in Spain last year. We ended up being charged thousands of Euros in damages by the club. Apparently there was no buggy insurance in place and no waiver to sign. A warning to anyone. Please, please check this at the club you are playing before taking a buggy out.”
  • Package deals definitely offer the best value for money as the green fees are included. If you look at the individual green fee prices of courses, especially those in Spain and Portugal, the tee times are hundreds of pounds. The travel operators like YourGolfTravel and GolfBreaks get preferential pricing and can pass on these discounts to customers. That said, in the USA GolfNow does offer excellent 'on the day deals' especially if you are happy to play later in the day.

Favourite Golf Destinations - From The Ladies (Women’s) Golf Lounge Community

Carol Slinger: “Alvor in Portugal arranged and booked through Golf Tours International (GTI). Every detail was covered and all perfectly on time. Flights, hotels, transfers and courses all excellent.”

Karen Whitby: “Cape Town in South Africa was amazing. We went with Golf Planet after hearing about the trip from someone on the LGL forum. The courses were great and the food was amazing. Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate so is
perfect in our winter/spring. My favourite course was Erinvale.”

Donna Hunt: “I recently took a break to the Belfry, including playing in a competition, organised by Golf to a Tee. We went as a couple and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new folks. No coaching on this one, but they have several coaching trips.”

Stephanie Joseph: “Ombria Golf near Vilamoura is amazing. New course has such a challenging front 9.  Spectacular views but take extra balls. Well worth a visit.”

The Bay Course Costa Navarino

The Bay Course, Costa Navarino, Greece

(Image credit: Costa Navarino)

Amy Foster: “The stunning La Cala Golf Resort in the Costa Del Sol is worth a trip.”

Debbie Watts: “Golf South Ayrshire is a good budget Scottish trip, 8 golf courses to play and a variety of ticket options. A 3-day unlimited ticket costs just £100. There are James braid tickets too. Loads of accommodation in Ayr, Troon & Prestwick. You can also treat yourself if you fancy an upgrade of multiple championship courses including Royal Troon, Turnberry & Prestwick.”

Angie Harrison: "Costa Navarino in Greece is my number one choice for multiple reasons - the views, the accommodation, the golf courses (The Bay, Dunes, The Hills and The Olympic Fairways.) I will never tire of going there - it is paradise. Along with awesome courses there’s also a fun Mixed Pairs competition played annually."

Julie King: "The Cotswolds Club had lovely new apartments and an interesting course when we visited a couple of years ago. St Pierre at Chepstow is also a favourite of mine."

Beverly Kennedy: "Cumberwell Park has fabulous courses and self-catering cottages and barns. 18 of us just returned. Fabulous breakfasts and evening meals in the clubhouse . Top-class courses. I would highly recommend."

Regan Bush: "The St. Mellion Estate, just outside of Plymouth. A 36-hole resort with the choice of hotel or cottage accommodation."

Carly Frost
Golf Monthly Contributor

Carly Frost is one of the golf industry’s best-known female writers, having worked for golf magazines for over 20 years. As a consistent three-handicapper who plays competitive club golf at Parkstone and the Isle of Purbeck courses in Dorset every week, Carly is well-versed in what lady golfers love. Her passion for golf and skill at writing combine to give her an unbeatable insight into the ladies game.  

Carly’s role at Golf Monthly is to help deliver thorough and accurate ladies equipment reviews, buying advice and comparisons to help you find exactly what you are looking for. So whether it’s the latest driver, set of irons, golf ball, pair of shoes or even an outfit, Carly will help you decide what to buy. Over the years Carly has been fortunate to play some of the greatest courses in the world. Her view ‘from the ladies tee’ is invaluable. She ranks Sea Island, Georgia, USA, where she met her husband, world-renowned golf coach Dan Frost, among her favourite golf resorts. Their aptly-named eight-year-old son Hogan is already hitting the ball as far as Mum and will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for in the future. Carly is a keen competitor and her list of golfing achievements are vast. She is a former winner of the South West of England Ladies Intermediate Championship, a three-time winner of the European Media Masters and she once beat an entire start-sheet of men to the title of Times Corporate World Golf Champion. She has played for both the Dorset and Surrey County Ladies first teams and is known for her excellent track record at matchplay.

Carly holds the ladies course record (68) at her home club Parkstone and her lowest competition round (seven-under-par 65) was carded in the pro-am of the Irish Ladies Open at Killeen Castle, playing alongside Solheim Cup superstar Anna Nordqvist. Although her current handicap index has crept up to 3.7 since Covid she has her sights firmly set on achieving that elusive scratch handicap and hopefully playing for her country when she’s 50.

Carly’s current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Callaway Epic Max, 10.5° 

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15° 

Hybrids: Titleist TS2, 19°, 21°, 24° 

Irons: Mizuno JPX900, 5-PW 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX, 52°, 56° and 58° 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5

Ball: 2021 Callaway Ladies SuperSoft