Isn't it time for it to be all about you? For golfers who are looking to experience what the world of golf can offer, the following golf travel destinations come highly recommended:.
Citywest Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
Modern, trendy and hip describes this city on the move. With its impressive museums, legendary hospitality, and Guinness at its best, Dublin has quickly become a prime golf destination. For golfers who prefer Padraig Harrington to Tiger Woods, Citywest Hotel is the ticket. Two championship golf courses, astonishing scenery and renowned hospitality make Citywest Hotel the perfect choice for a golf getaway.
The serene, flawless landscape of the Championship Course designed by Christy O'Connor Jr. is home to one of the greatest finishing holes in Ireland, aptly named 'The O'Connor Pass.' After conquering the 18th hole by maneuvering through a narrow gap flanked by protective trees while avoiding a dip in the daunting lakes, celebrate your victory at one of the hotel's three exceptional restaurants. Then head to one of the hotel pubs and put their 'best pint of Guinness' claim to the test. boo.com reviewer Aisling provides this insiders tip: "Keep an eye out for the likes of the Irish football or rugby team when you are there, they tend to frequent!"
For its unbeatable courses, state-of-the-art facilities and some of the best "craic" and nightlife around, Citywest is a golfer's paradise.
Barceló Marbella, Guadalmina, Spain
The ultimate spot for golfing and water adventure junkies, Guadalmina, located in the heart of the Costa del Sol, is often called 'the paradise of golf.' Golf season here runs from late autumn to late spring as winters are mild and golfers can enjoy warm, sunny days and keep their swings smooth at a time when their home courses are unplayable.
The Barceló Marbella, host of the Guadalmina Golf Club, boasts a 45-hole course, one of the largest and best in Europe. The view from the clubhouse overlooks Guadalmina beach, where the hotel offers a variety of water sports and activities. While future boos try out windsurfing, jet skiing, speedboats and pedalos with a responsible non-golfing companion, golf addicts have 45 excuses to stay on solid land.
Hotel Le Vendome, Cape Town, South Africa
With luxurious accommodations, wild African safaris, beautiful beaches, towering mountains, lush forests, massive shopping centers, fine dining and two championship golf courses, Cape Town offers the best of all worlds.
For golfers, the Atlantic Beach Golf Course provides a challenging, five-star course, with picturesque ocean and mountain views. Still new, the course was given its five-star rating for its value, facilities, course condition and overall golfing experience. The multi-million Rand club house boasts a view of Cape Town's fabled landmarks such as Table Bay, Robben Island and Table Mountain.
Next, bring your clubs to Clovelly Golf Course. The natural sand dunes and water features, along with the roaming wild guinea fowl, pheasant and indigenous fynbos flora add to the tranquility of the golfing experience. Hotel Le Vendome, an elegant five-star boutique hotel, is easily accessible, yet manages to remain charmingly secluded and is within easy reach of both courses. With views of the mountains, the sea and the sand, relax at Hotel Le Vendome's fine dining restaurant, Rive Gauche, and indulge in their mouthwatering culinary masterpieces. Complement your meal with a tasting of their local wines, and your Cape Town experience will be complete.
Best Western Scores Hotel, Saint Andrews, Scotland
The 'Disney World for adults,' Saint Andrews golf course brings fairy tales to life. Edinburgh Castle, with its awe-inspiring size and mysterious Stone of Destiny, dominates the city, but wannabe Cinderellas and Prince Charmings should check out Glamis Castle (think Magic Kingdom without the oversized cartoon characters or long lines). Glamis, with its baronial turrets and breathtaking gardens, was the childhood home of the Queen Mother and the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth.
With names like Kingbarns, Jubilee, The Duke's and Eden Course, the numerous golf courses follow Saint Andrews royal tradition. For a family-friendly golfing experience, visit the Balgove Course, known for its beginners appeal. After a few rounds at Balgove, one is ready to compete in the Eden Tournament, one of Britain's oldest amateur golfing events, hosted by the Eden Course the second week of August. The smoke-free, three-story Best Western Scores Hotel offers an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness, which complements the Saint Andrews theme.
Vila Galé Ampalius, Vilamoura, Portugal
For those looking to be spoiled in Roman style, Vilamoura is the obvious choice. Built to replace a Roman fishing town, Vilamoura is a tourist's sanctuary in Portugal. Sandwiched between a casino, marina and beach is the newly renovated Hotel Vila Galé Ampalius, boo.com's pick for best-of-the-best. With service to the area's copious golf courses and close to all the activities the resort has to offer, Vila Galé Ampalius makes vacationing effortless.
To catch a glimpse of the area's history head to the preserved Roman Site and Museum of Cerro da Vila. But golfers beware! Choosing among the close to twenty courses could break into your meditative state. Golfers can't miss the legendary experience at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course, where the previous owners, determined to create one of the best golf complexes in Europe, hired Arnold Palmer to design the $18 million course.
In addition to being a golfer's haven, Vilamoura offers a casino, marina, Roman ruins, shopping centers, sports and aquatic parks, horse riding, and countless bars and restaurants. The only requirement - leave the stress behind.
Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Known for its pristine beaches and limitless activities, Myrtle Beach attracts more than 14 million vacationers per year. Golfers needn't worry about jam-packed courses cramping their style - Myrtle Beach's Golf Association provides a detailed list of the more than 120 courses in the area. boo.com took the advice of the pros and we weren't disappointed!
10 of Myrtle Beach's finest include Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Tidewater, Heritage Club, Barefoot Resort Love course, River's Edge, Tiger's Eye, King's North, Caledonia, True Blue and Barefoot Resort Fazio course. boo.com's top pick is Caledonia Gold & Fish Club. Built on a working southern rice plantation, Caledonia is well worth the 40 minute drive to Pawley Island.
While Myrtle Beach is one of the world's best golf vacation destinations, it has a variety of golf-free activities that shouldn't be missed. The Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort at Grande Dunes is the golfers' choice, not only for its accessibility to many Myrtle Beach attractions such as Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Myrtle Beach House of Blues and Tanger Outlet Mall, but also for its accommodating staff, who can set up your tee times at any course, giving you more time to perfect your swing.