Top 10 most iconic golf destinations
Pebble Beach, St Andrews & plenty more, we explore the top 10 most iconic golf destinations from around the world, perfect for your next golf trip.
The world is full of golf courses and destinations that capture one’s imagination.
Whether these destinations are critically acclaimed, Golfbreaks favourites, or bucket-list places which cannot be overlooked, we put together our list of the most iconic and awe-inspiring golf destinations around the world!
One of the most stunning coastlines on the planet for any golfer, the Monterey Peninsula is home to some of the world’s best courses. The jewel in the crown of this idyllic region is Pebble Beach Golf Links, amongst the most well-known courses in North America. How brave would you get with your tee shot on its famous finishing hole? How would you play the tiny but frightening 7th hole? It’s a course that simply must be near the top of every bucket list!
No list of iconic destinations could be complete without the inclusion of St Andrews. The town and surrounding areas are home to more than a dozen courses, with seven layouts making up the St Andrews Links Trust. Whilst many other courses in the area also grace the upper portions of ‘Top 100’ lists, The Old Course is still home to arguably the most famed backdrop in the game – starting and finishing in the centre of town.
Whilst securing an Old Course tee time can often be a daunting prospect, our experts are here to guide you through the process. However, do make sure to add sufficient time to your trip to play some of the other courses in the region, including the two courses at Fairmont St Andrews – Kittocks and Torrance – as well as Old Tom’s “New Course” … opened as recently as 1895!
The work carried out at Turnberry over recent years has been nothing short of spectacular. Restoring the grandeur of the old lighthouse to create the world’s most famous Halfway Hut was no small feat, however, this was matched (if not surpassed) by the work to renovate each bedroom in the main hotel. On the course, some rerouting through the middle of the Ailsa Course has made the most of the course’s breathtaking location, with the finishing hole also amended to allow players to hit back directly towards the hotel.
Whilst the Ailsa draws in many of the crowds, the Robert the Bruce layout on-site is one of the best ‘second’ courses at any venue in our portfolio with an ever-increasing reputation (and ranking) as more golfers chose Turnberry for their golfing getaways.
To make your golf break extra special, add some of the other critically acclaimed courses in the area to your itinerary. Take on the postage stamp at Royal Troon, feel the history at Prestwick, the former home of the Open Championship, and play two other exceptional links courses in Dundonald and Western Gailes. This is one of the most special corners in the world to play!
Over the past 30 years, the skyline of Dubai has changed immeasurably. When the European Tour first started to visit the Middle East, the courses of the United Arab Emirates were surrounded, almost as far as the eye could see! Golf has been a major part of the developments here, with Dubai alone having a plethora of fantastic golfing options, all now within easy reach of some of the planet’s best shopping, bars, and restaurants.
Follow in the footsteps of the world’s leading golfers with a trip to Jumierah Golf Estates or the Emirates Golf Club. Make sure to check out footage of previous European Tour events here to compare your starting lines off the tee with those of the pros! An incredible golfing destination with an abundance of activities off the course, as well as a perfect golfing climate throughout the majority of the year; we can’t recommend Dubai high enough for your next break.
Between Ballybunion, Tralee, Waterville, Doonbeg and Old Head, you’ll struggle to find an area with as much natural beauty as the West Coast of Ireland. It’s often referred to as the Wild Atlantic Way, with the elements a key part of any golf trip down here. However, you’ll never be far from a warm fire and an even warmer welcome at one of the regions world-famous pubs and bars.
The golf here is spectacular, with thousands of golfers coming from across the globe, making Ballybunion and Old Head in particular a core part of their trip. For something truly special on your next visit, why not start or end your trip at Adare Manor – the host of the 2027 Ryder Cup, and one of the highest quality golf hotels in the world.
Does it get much more iconic than The Masters? Jack in ’86, Tiger in ’97, Tiger again in ’19 – the tournament is steeped in history, and personal memories for us all. We’re delighted to be able to offer fans the chance to walk the hallowed turf of Augusta National each year, with day and hospitality tickets available for each Masters tournament. What’s more, if you’re feeling inspired by the pros, we can even sort out rounds of golf before or after the tournament at some of our nearby venues, helping to truly create the trip of a lifetime.
Recent Ryder Cup hosts
Speaking of tournament golf, how about emulating the pros at an iconic Ryder Cup destination?! A large part of Golfbreaks’ early history was helping groups to arrange their own Ryder Cup-style matches, and more than 20 years later, we’re still thrilled to be helping golfers recreate the most famous three days in golf.
We’ve got you covered for all of the recent European host venues, including The Belfry, Celtic Manor, Gleneagles, Valderrama, The K Club and Le Golf National, as well as several of those played on enemy soil, including Kiawah Island and Whistling Straits. Why not create your own history on your next break!
We’re slightly cheating with this one, as part of the reason Mauritius is so iconic for us is the amount we use imagery from this incredible island across our website, emails, and social media! Mauritius has become an ever-growing part of our portfolio, with an ideal golfing climate and the most relaxing off course experience of any golfing destination on Earth. Over recent years, professional golf has been making an annual stop on the island, with the European Tour, Challenge Tour and Sunshine Tour all hosting events here.
Our top tip, if you’re considering Mauritius for your next break, is to take advantage of the off-season rates in a month like May - temperatures will hover between 22-25 degrees at this time of year. We’d also recommend taking advantage of the all-inclusive options here, ensuring that you can really kick back and enjoy your break with minimal thoughts or distractions throughout your stay!
The 2019 Open at Royal Portrush helped open the wider world’s eyes to Northern Ireland as a golfing destination, but our golfers have been flocking here for some time. From the iconic Giant’s Causeway in the North, down through the buzzing city of Belfast to the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland is one of the most picturesque countries on the planet.
The golf here mirrors this perfectly with the three ‘trophy’ courses of Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Portstewart attracting keen golfers the world over. However, dig a little further and you’ll find an extremely high level of golf at many of Northern Ireland’s other courses, including Galgorm, Loch Erne, Castlerock, and Ardglass – home to the world’s oldest clubhouse!
With the likes of Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach are all just a matter of hours from each other, you’ll find some of the world’s best golf in South Carolina. This iconic golfing coastline has been the backdrop to some of the sport’s most famous events, including the 1991 Ryder ‘War on the Shore’, as well as Phil Mickelson’s memorable PGA Championship victory three decades later. Easy and regular flights from the UK serve this stunning strip of the East Coast, making it one of our most popular North American destinations.