La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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La Cala Golf Resort, Costa del Sol
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Set in a glacial valley in the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, The Hills Golf Resort is blessed with some of the best scenery for a golf club imaginable. To go along with the championship course here, the par-3 course named ‘The Farm’ is among the best short courses in the world.
It features an incredible array of flora with nine bunker-less holes routed around an irrigation channel, while several tees are elevated requiring risky carries over water. Some shots are around 300 yards, but tee shots typically range up to 180 yards. It has a unique flexible design where golfers can choose from multiple tees, distances and angles of approach.
This course is a part of the famed Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon. It delivers a level of enjoyment only matched by the spectacular views. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this unique 13-hole layout begins high atop a sand dune and rolls down towards the beach and the Pacific Ocean. No hole is longer than 180 yards, but the course is still a challenge with its British-like links landscape filled with mounds, dunes, tall grasses and tricky steep bunkers protecting immaculate undulating greens.
Set on a limestone cliff overlooking the surf breaks of Bukit Peninsula, this beautiful venue offers 18 championship-level par-3 holes with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. There’s dramatic rocky outcrops, terraced paddy fields and it weaves its way from elevated ridges to ocean cliff edges. There’s a plethora of bunkers and strategic waterfalls too. This par-54 course plays just over 3000 yards and it’s as far from a humdrum ‘pitch & putt’ course as you can get.
In addition to the exclusive Old and New Courses here at Les Bordes Golf International, Wild Piglet was designed by Gil Hanse, a 10-hole par-3 course where yardages range from 131 yards to 198. This par-30 gem has plenty of trees, undulations, bunkers and water hazards and is played across 1,550 yards of gorgeous French heathland countryside. Hanse designed the holes as tributes to some of the world’s most iconic par-3 holes.
This is a great 9-hole par-3 course for less experienced players to master their skills before tackling the main 18-hole course, or for better players to hone their game. It has great views of the main course and has rolling fairways, plenty of water hazards and six tee boxes. Academy Course is also floodlit so you can play late into the night, making golf more than just daytime entertainment, and it stays open until past 10pm. The course is spectacularly set against the backdrop of the Dubai Marina skyline.
This 670-yard short course overlooks Pebble Beach Golf Links along California‘s Pacific Coast. The Hay has been a part of this club since 1957 when head pro Peter Hay created the original short course here. In 2021, Tiger Woods redesigned it. There’s eight holes able to be played with any club in the bag and one that is an exact replica of the famed 106-yard No. 7 at Pebble Beach. The holes range from 47 to 106 yards and descend and climb over 70 feet in elevation.
Great views abound with some holes nestled cozily among historic oaks, while others shoot straight at the sparking Stillwater Cove. Variety comes in the form of undulating greens, biarritz gullies, swales and swirling bowls, as well as false fronts and feeding slopes. The 15-times major winner has also paired the yardage of each hole with a significant year in Pebble Beach history, with nods to victories by Jack Nicklaus among others, with plaques on each tee telling the story.
The Els Performance Golf Academy is located in the beautiful Ecopark residential community close to Hanoi. Designed by Ernie Els, it’s an enjoyable 9-hole, par-27 par-3 course that caters for all levels of golfer and is a nice test of short game skills. Stunning views of the lush green landscapes around the giant lake make this course a lot of fun to play and the conditioning is perfect.
A Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, Top of the Rock is the first ever par-3 course to be included in a professional championship. The Champions Tour’s Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf was a two-man team competition conducted over 54 holes and was played in 2014 at Jack’s 9-hole design. It’s gorgeous with plenty of water and elevation changes. It’s not all wedges either, with the back tees requiring shots from between 120-200 yards. There’s peaceful waterfalls, wandering creeks, bass filled ponds and pristine lakes.
It was later joined Gary Player’s 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 layout to give this resort two very high quality short courses for golfers to enjoy. Both are part of Big Cedar Lodge, a haven of natural beauty and rustic luxury set in the rugged landscape of the Ozark Mountains, overlooking Table Rock Lake.