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If you’re a keen traveler, Europe is a vibrant, diverse place to visit. It’s truly got something for everyone, so no matter if you’re after art, culture, food, or exciting experiences, there’s something to capture your attention on this little continent. 

And if you’re an avid golfer, you’re in luck because there’s a huge array of bucket-list golf courses to visit. The beauty of travel in Europe is that nothing is out of reach—with easy-access public transport, you can go from country to country quite easily, ticking golf courses off your list. 

The rise of golf tourism in Europe means that it’s a world-class destination for the sport, with a side of pretty much anything else you want while you’re there. 

Rise of Golf Tourism in Europe
Rise of Golf Tourism in Europe

Why Europe Is a Great Place to Golf 

Europe should be on every travel enthusiast’s list. But if you’re more of a golfer than a traveler, it’s just as much of a paradise. Here’s why: 

Beautiful, Historic Golf Courses 

Europe has a rich golfing history! The sport itself began in Scotland, and they boast some of the most historic courses in the world. Aside from literally walking in the footsteps of the greats, you can enjoy the scenic beauty on just about every course you visit. 

Championship-Level Gameplay 

A large number of European golf courses have hosted major tournaments. When you play there, you’re playing on a championship-level course—something that experienced, advanced-level golfers will get excited about. 

Not only do they offer immaculate conditions (and often excellent service), but they also usually have challenging layouts that will test your game to its max. 

Golf Course Variety 

That doesn’t mean the new golfers should be intimidated, though. No matter what your skill level is, you can find an appropriate course nearby that’ll thrill your golfing soul. Aside from your golfing skill level, you’ll also find a wide range of different types of courses. 

Thanks to the hugely diverse countryside in Europe, you can play a spectacular round on a links course, a parklands course, a resort-style course, or even a mountain course. Any style, any preference, any budget, any skill level! 

Excellent Golf Tourism 

The golf courses of Europe attract golfers from all over the world, so it’s a vibrant, exciting world for both new and experienced golfers. Many luxury hotels offer built-in stay-and-play golf packages (with nearby golf courses or their own on-site course). 

Even if you choose to build your own golfing getaway, you can pair your golf with local cultural experiences, dining experiences, and other activities, making it a robust trip that creates excellent memories. 

Easily Accessible 

Traveling through Europe is incredibly easy. Their public transportation is excellent, so it’s a breeze to hop from one country to the next to play a new golf course practically every day. Golfing in Europe truly allows you to minimize travel time between courses and maximize your playing time! 

Golf-Friendly Climate 

Europe has a diverse climate, which means many countries have year-round golf. If you live somewhere cold or snowy, hop over to Europe in your winter for the chance to keep playing! Plus, extended daylight hours in their summer months give you even more hours in the day to play. 

Hidden Gem Golf Courses in Europe 

Planning on visiting Europe soon? Here are some of the golf courses you should put on your list. If you’re there for golf specifically, we highly recommend traveling through some of the countries and visiting more than one of these courses! 

Scotland 

Of course, when you’re a golfer, and you’re in Europe, you HAVE to visit the place where the sport originated. Scotland is rich in golfing history, and playing a round at St Andrew’s Links is on most golfers’ bucket lists. But there are a couple of hidden gems that you might want to stop by if you’re in the area. 

Shiskine Golf (and Tennis) Club is worth a play, featuring a 12-hole links course with a seaside view. It’s a rare gem, having been described as a topographical rollercoaster with sloping greens and blind shots on almost every hole. Be careful, but don’t miss this one! 

Balcomie Links is just 12 miles away from St Andrews, so give it a shot if you’re close by. The course remains pretty much the same as it was when built in 1895, and each hole has unique features (like railway sleepers) that give it an interesting feel as well as make for exciting golf. 

Spain 

Spain might not be your first thought when it comes to golf, but it’s a fantastic cultural location that also happens to have some great golfing experiences. 

The course at the TorreMirona Golf Resort is worth a visit. 18 holes of championship-grade golfing goodness, plus you have spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. 

Another one worth a round is Club de Golf Son Servera, a parkland course with gentle undulations and a lovely view over Cala Millor Bay. Holes 3 to 7 are known as the “Pine Trap”; cut out of the forest, narrow, and challenging for any golfer! 

Portugal 

Portugal is home to some superb golf courses. Aside from the obvious plays, we recommend the Alferini golf course at Villa Padierna, which has held a few professional tournaments and won a few awards in the past few years. 

Another option is the Monte Rei resort’s North Course, a Jack Nicklaus signature course with the Serra do Caldeirão mountains on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The fairways are forgiving, but don’t get complacent—it’s a challenge! 

Bulgaria 

One course stands out above the rest in Bulgaria—Thracian Cliffs. If the Harry Potter books had a golf course, this would be it! Expertly molded into the natural landscape atop a set of cliffs, you have postcard-worthy views from every hole. But don’t get distracted—the course itself is tricky, featuring elevation changes and some advanced-level hazards! 

We also like the course at the Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort. It’s located about 10 miles from Thracian Cliffs, and it features similar stunning views and enough challenge for experienced golfers without the intimidation of Thracian Cliffs. 

Turkey

Turkey might not seem like a golfing destination, but there are a few superb courses that you can swing your clubs at while you’re in the country. Antalya Golf Club features two golf courses, the Pasha and the Sultan, so you can get in two distinctly different rounds here. 

Lykia Links Golf Club is another we recommend. This links-style course is an excellent experience, with both sea views and a glimpse of the mountains. 

Conclusion : Rise of Golf Tourism in Europe

Ready to take your own European golfing trip? You won’t be short on beautiful, challenging golf courses to play… But you’ll definitely have to come back to get them all checked off your bucket list! 

Guest Post by Jordan Fuller:

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence

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