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Golf holidays are he he best aren’t they? Waking up in the morning, grabbing breakfast and stepping out onto a new course is the life. What if, however, you fancy a day off or you’re on holiday with someone who isn’t as obsessed with golf as you are? In that case you need to go to a golf and beach resort, everyone is a winner! Where are the best though?
The Destin area of Florida is a true American paradise and, better still, isn’t as busy as many of Florida’s top destinations. Sitting at the very Northern edge of the state and on the Gulf coast it is a haven for golfers and beachgoers alike. The Hilton Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort is the epitome of a place golfers can holiday with non-golfers and ensure everyone is happy. Guests at this hotel have access to four championship courses including Raven Golf Club which is a Robert Trent Jones Jr design that has played host to the Champions Tour twice. Nearby there is also the wonderful Kelly Plantation which was designed by Freddie Couples and is a fantastic course offering a great challenge to any golfer. When the golf is done for the day and you’ve taken the money it’s time to relax and there are fewer beaches more pretty than the beach in the Destin area. We’re talking quartz-white sand and the beautiful crystal blue-green water that the Gulf of Mexico is famed for. Oh and by the way, if you like seafood prepare for some of the best and freshest you’ve had! This is living and if you go you’ll definitely be back.
If you’re looking for a more tropical twist to your beach/golf holiday then Bali is a must! This is, without doubt, a holiday destination that you will not want to leave. With stunning vistas of nearby tropical islands southern Bali is nothing short of idyllic. This region is a wonderful slice of escapism from the stresses of modern life and has a rich cultural background to add to the stunning surroundings. The Bali National Golf Club is widely-regarded as one of the best in Asia and plays host to the Asia Development Tour. The 7166-yard course (if you play from the tips) will give you all the challenge you need, whilst it also offers great practice facilities if you fancy a day at the range rather than on the course. Other courses on offer in the area include the Greg Norman-designed Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort and the New Kuta Golf Club which dishes up challenging golf with equal measures of breathtaking views of white cliffs and blue horizons as you look out to the Indian Ocean. This certainly is a region to show up and forget about the troubles of daily life even if you go out and can’t break 100 you’ll quickly forget about it as you sip cocktails on the white sand beach. If you fancy a day away from golfing, for some strange reason, then the coral reef that surrounds the coast is a perfect place to go snorkeling and discover the local sea-life. Bliss!
In less than a handful of decades the United Arab Emirates has become one of the world’s most impressive golfing nations. Dubai has a clutch of world-class golfing facilities with the most impressive city skyline as a backdrop but for this post we are going to focus on Abu Dhabi. This region is featured on the European Tour early each year in the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championships which is played out on the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. This impressive course designed by Peter Harradine was constructed out of bare desert but its design is clearly rooted in its Arab culture. The Yas Links sits on the Yas Island region of Abu Dhabi and is one of the most wonderful golfing facilities that the world has to offer. From a fantastic course, which has also featured on the European Tour calendar, to unsurpassed practice facilities you will just be in heaven with a trip here. The Yas Beach Club, nearby, is a great escape from your golfing exploits too and will keep any non-golfers in your party entertained whilst you’re out loving life on one of the great courses nearby. Finally, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, designed by none other than Gary Player is the Gulf’s first ocean course and features several beach-front holes. This course has been meticulously designed to provide you with a sumptuous backdrop to your golf.
Now for the European entry to today’s blog. Whilst St Andrews beach is a great beach and, of course, backs onto a fantastic golf course. The Scottish weather doesn’t provide the best environment for a beach trip. When it’s good it’s good but you can’t rely on it. As a result the French have it and this is a cracker! Sitting between the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean, the Basque region of Southwest France, and in particular Biarritz, provides a largely undiscovered paradise for golfers. The Hotel du Palais was the summer mansion of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenia and makes a wonderful destination for beach and golf fun! Many big name celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Ernest Hemingway have holidayed here and it’s no wonder with the stunning views of the Atlantic that this place affords. Golf Club Biarritz Le Phare is a wonderful course originally designed by British ex-pats that were living near by. Since this was built many new courses have cropped up in the area including one designed by Robert Trent Jones. The RTJ offering is the Golf de Moliets and is a true coastal golfing challenge. With a more American look than most courses in the region Moliets will be a draw to any visitors from North America, but this is a must for any fans of the world-renowned course architect’s work. Golf De Seignosse is another course in the area that is highly regarded and consistently voted as one of the best tracks in Europe. Seignosse is a course that has its challenges but remains playable and enjoyable for all levels of golfer. This is a little slice of heaven in the Basque region and an area in which golfers are spoiled for choice.
Our Oceanic representative allows us to really finish on a high with this one. Looking at the image gallery of the course at Paradise Palms you would be easily forgiven for mistaking it for Augusta National, it looks truly magnificent! The course is consistently ranked as one of the best in Australia and the resort sits between a World Heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. It may not be right beside the beach but it’s not far away and it is absolutely stunning! The course actually touches the edge of the spectacular Queensland rainforest and really is a golfer’s dream! The beaches around Cairns are some of the most spectacular in all of Australia and they are so close to this place. Trinity Beach is one of the standouts in the area with some of the best views of the Tropical North Queensland area, the seas here are calmer and is has a relaxed sea-side village feel. Half Moon Bay Golf Club offers a gentle round with undulating fairways and spectacular coral sea views. With plenty of water hazards on the course this is by no means an easy place to play but it certainly makes the most of the spectacular surrounding scenery. Finally, the Sheraton Mirage Country Club is one that oozes pedigree. It was designed by Peter Thomson and sits in close proximity to Four Mile Beach. It has played host to big names such as Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus and is regarded as one of the best resort courses on the planet. This is an area of pure unadulterated holiday joy. It’s a crowd pleaser and will have everyone in your party building huge to-do lists, especially you given all of the golf nearby.
So there it is. No matter what continent you’re in you now have at least one option. You can ensure you’ll have guilt and interruption-free golf as your non-golfing fellow holidaymakers are going to be more than happy being left at these wonderful beaches. You may, however, be tempted to miss golf for some of these beaches though…I doubt it.