We are teed up to take you around the globe this holiday season. While we typically focus on courses here in the US, over the next twelve days, we will take you on a journey through some of the most exotic and breathtaking golf destinations, where you can tee off in paradise.
New Kuta Golf – Bali, Indonesia
Landscaped with native desert vegetation, this gorgeous course is situated on a limestone cliff overlooking Balangan Beach. No matter what your handicap, this course has a tee option for you, from the closer eagle tees (4917 M) to the Monkey tees (6713M) and the three tee levels in between. After your round, you can then immerse yourself in the island’s vibrant culture, enjoying Balinese cuisine and relaxation at the neighboring Pecatu Indah Resort.
The South Cape Owners Club – Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
Located on the island of Namhae, this 18 hole course has a picturesque view of the sea from every green. Although relatively short, the course offers plenty of challenges with its obstacles and changes in topography. They even have a hole-in-one prize on offer for a roundtrip between Seoul and Hawaii. Then, after the round, you can enjoy the resort’s spa, music library, and seriously delicious Japanese cuisine at the club house.
Santapazienza – Sao Paulo, Brazil
The course design that you see today took six years and a whole lot of convincing to make a reality. This course is family owned, and when they couldn’t initially convince Tom Fazio to redesign it for them, they ended up convincing his family instead. Those years Fazio and his son, Logan Fazio spent on the design really paid off. The course has beautiful water features and is even bordered by dense rainforest foliage at times making for a visual delight as you play your round.
Casa de Campo – La Romana, Dominican Republic
The creator of this course, Pete Dye, insists that the true designer was “The Man Upstairs”, and he may be right, given that this course utilizes the natural terrain to up the ante and make the course significantly more challenging. The biggest obstacle of this course is the ocean breeze, particularly on the waterfront holes. After your tee time, you can relax at the well-accommodated resort or go right back out for a round of night golf.
Koninklijke Haagsche – Wassenaar, Zuid-Holland
While this course was initially designed in 1893, its most recent update to the layout was in 2008. The challenging topography of this course is no small feat given the relatively flat terrain of the Netherlands, but nevertheless, that is exactly what this course manages. Coupled with the breathtaking views and short drive to Den Haag, this course is more than worth a visit.
The Royal Melbourne Golf Club – Victoria, Australia
This course is arguably the best in Australia and Alister McKenzie’s (the course’s original Melbourne designer) greatest work. Interestingly enough, McAlister never saw the completed course. Instead, Australian Golfer Alex Russell saw McKenzie’s plans carried out in 1931. While the hole lengths on this course are shorter than you usually see, they have sharp bends and tall bunkering that make this course plenty challenging. Best of all, the course uses native plants to create stunning scenery throughout.
Hirono – Miki Hyogo, Japan
This course was created when four members of Maiko Country Club, a 9-hole course, found a stunning location that could fit a full 18 holes. The club is surrounded by a magnificent crop of pine trees and deep valleys. With holes ranging in length from 155 yards to 598 yards, each one must be approached differently, presenting a very strategic round of golf.
Morfontaine – Morfontaine, Hauts-de-Franc
For those lucky enough to call themselves members of this club, the Grand Parcours offers rocky terrain and holes surrounded by dense foliage, providing ample seclusion. This course was built by the Duke of Guiche in 1913 on what was once a polo field. Even after the Duke turned Morfontaine into a member course (rather than one just for his personal guests), it remains incredibly exclusive with just 450 members.
Cabot Cliffs – Nova Scotia, Canada
This course has no shortage of variety, from the ocean views and dunes to forests and high elevations. The same goes for the hole difficulty. Designers Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw swapped out a few par 4s in favor of both par 5 and par 3 holes (of which there are 6 a piece). The terrain itself provides the real challenge here and is also responsible for the breathtaking views along the way. Holes 1 and 16, in particular, are some of the most photographed hotels in golf.
Tara Iti – Mangawhai, Auckland, New Zealand
Every hole has a view of the New Zealand coast overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and its islands. As for the course itself, it’s nothing but neatly trimmed greens, native shrubs, and sand. There aren’t any trees or water hazards to get in your way. Instead, the difficulty of this course resides in its speedy greens, elevation, and length. If you are looking for a New Zealand-style links course, this one is more than worth checking out.
Ballybunion Golf Club – Kerry County, Ireland
If you are expecting a rocky Irish cliffside and exacting dunes, this course will not disappoint. What’s less expected is that this course starts next to a graveyard. This course starts off with ocean gales along the cliffs and ends with you on the dunes by Kilkenny Bay Beach. This climactic finish has only been possible since 1971 when the clubhouse was moved, and the holes renumbered. You can expect unpredictable weather but unforgettable golfing experiences in this “Emerald Isle” course.
St. Andrews Links – St. Andrews, Scotland
St. Andrews, often referred to as the birthplace of golf, is a can’t miss destination for any golf enthusiast. With its iconic Old Course and a history dating back over six centuries, playing a round here is like stepping into the annals of golf history. The stunning Scottish landscape, with its rolling dunes and the North Sea in the backdrop, only adds to the allure. A round at St. Andrews is more than just a game; it’s a pilgrimage.
We hope you have enjoyed our global golf tour and it has left you inspired to start planning a golf vacation. Explore beyond your local course and embark on a golf adventure. Once you’ve experienced these beautiful courses and the countries they reside in, leave us a comment!
Happy Holidays from US Hole In One!