Golfing Holidays - where's best?

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Golfing Holidays - where's best?

Hi All

 I wonder if you can help me. I'm organising a corporate golf holiday and I don't know a great deal about golf. So starting with the basics: where in the world should I send them?!

Scotland, Ireland and Spain sprang to mind, but I was wondering if anybody could share any personal experiences. What makes golf in Ireland special, for example? And, courses aside, what do the countries have to offer? Any experiences/annecdotes that you can share would be greatly appreciated as I'm feeling a little out of my depth at the moment...

 Many thanks


Blimey Kimberely, can I come, please, please....Is there a limit to how much you can spend? By the sounds of it, it is quite high


do you have a budget? how many days etc? will it be couples going or just golfers?without more info you are unlikely to get better than general advice which you can probably figure yourself, i.e. scotland, spain and the usa. what time of year is this to be planned for? ireland is nice but in November, probaby better somewhere warmer. k

The trip is in it's very early stages of planning at the moment. We're looking at some time in 09 but when and how much very much depends on what research I come back with. What I was really hoping to find out was some personal experiences of these countries that I already know are renowned for their golf - price and time of year aside, why would I go back to my boss with a recommendation for, say, Portugal over Spain or Ireland over Scotland? Kimberly 

Sorry, we posted at the same time, but as I said budget is as yet undecided and it will be just golfers, not couples, for a week.  Kimberly

Starting off with a flight gives things a buzz! Not longer than 2 hrs duration though.
Ryanair and Easyjet cover plenty of golf destinations. Algarve and Ireland are good bets.
They have plenty of 'destination' courses where your clients would be thrilled to play.
Fly Tues, Wed, Thurs to save money.
Algarve good for Autumn, Winter, Spring. Nice people, good food and wine.
Ireland - great but dodgy weather. I've always had good weather except in summer.
If you are planning for more than 12, don't ask for their opinion's. Present them with a plan.
(otherwise you'll get a million opinions and no decisions).
If you are booking transport for ferrying peeps - remember clubs in carry bags take up a lot of space.
Find a place that has a pool and Gym. There are some strange people who won't play golf 8 hours a day. Strange I know!

Sorry! just read your 2nd post.


you can google many companies that organise just such events, there are around 20 companies in scotland alone that specialise in this sort of thing.i would google them and give them 3 budgets and see what they come back with.  Easiest way to go.k

Thanks for the tip - I'm looking into those companies now. I was hoping you guys would be able to give me a bit more of a flavour of these countries from your personal experiences. You clearly have a really active community here (I can't believe I've had so many responses already! Thank you!) so any fun stories you can share would be amazing.  Jimbow, your post has just opened up a whole new world of golf to me...! Kimberly

Personally I think the USA offers the best golfing holidays. Great golf courses, great service (usually), reasonable prices and you can find somewhere with perfect weather whatever time of year you choose. And of course there are no language barriers.Obviously there is the downside of travelling time. So if Europe is your preferred destination then, IMHO, France or Scotland would be my choice. France has some great golf courses, every bit as good as those in Spain and Portugal but at far more reasonable prices. Add to that the fact that for the most part the courses in France are uncrowded.Scotland can't be beaten for the best links courses and  you can take your group to any number of famous courses. No travelling or language issues must be in Scotland's favour too.


KDouglasYou could do worse than have a look at my article on Golf in Brittany. IMO Brittany and almost anywhere in France has some superb courses, great food and wine and-to confound many on GM and otherwise-give British golfers a great welcome. Tim's comment above is spot on!

This is so helpful, keep it coming guys! What do people think of Ireland? I had it quite high on my list but people don't seem to be mentioning it much...


KDIerland is terrific-particularly for any who like being immersed in water most of the way round on most days!

Is the weather really that bad?! To the extent that you don;t have a good time?  (or did you mean water hazards?)

Kimberly, since Ireland joined the Eurozone the prices for golf, car hire etc. have risen dramatically. Ireland has priced itself out of my list of golfing destinations - and the fact that you're almost certain to get rained on doesn't help. You might consider Northern Ireland instead.

How is Northern Ireland different? Apart from price, what's it like as a place? I've never been and didn't even think of it

Weather is always going to be the main thing against Northern Ireland. Aside from that it's a lovely place, I've not played golf there but have been over on business half a dozen times. I'm sure there are some GM members from NI - they're better placed to advise on the golf.


KDNorthern Ireland has two of the greatest links courses IN THE WORLD - Royal County Down and Royal Portrush and a superb inland course-one of many- called Clandeboye near Belfast. Unfortunately ALL the best courses are expensive. If I had not been a guest of a member of the two above ONE round on each would have cost me over £200!

Kimberly, in a past life I used to organise golf days for the NFU and also worked on the MasterCard Tour (now called the Europro Tour). In addition I have organised golf holidays for groups in England, France, Scotland, USA, Thailand and Bali.Please feel free to PM me if you think I can be of any assistance.

Boa, I have a home in Ireland and have played there North and Republic, for over 15 years, I have played countless rounds of Golf there in every Season and have only had a Handful of bad weather games. Trust me the weather is no worse in Ireland than it is in England!Kimberly, Check out ~ Seapoint (My Home course in Eire), Baltray (75) (Co Louth G/C), Ballybunion (6), Waterville (9), LaHinch (11), The European (15), Old Head (Kinsale) (21), Doonbeg (26), Portmarnock 29), Tralee 37), The K Club 39), Carton House (95) in the Republic of Ireland and Royal Co Down (4), Royal Portrush (16), Ballyliffin 72), Ardglass, Warren Point, and so on in the North.I have Played All of these Courses over the past 10 years and your Clients Would not be Dissapointed to spend the Day/Week Playing around some of these tracks in fact Many of them marked in Brackets are in the Top 20 of the Uk and Ireland Best courses List! I hope this Helps you choosing you Destination and If I can Blag an invite I'd be more than happy to Escort you round!  

Give us some clues on budget Kimberley.


1OverBeing half-Irish-very much the better half-my mother was a Kerry woman- I have played most of the great Irish courses both North and South including most of those you have mentioned.Personally, I really do believe that all the fine courses have either priced themselves out of the market except for the rich or very rich or are not good value for what they charge. IMO there are equally good courses now in Brittany, Normandy and other regions of France, designed by world-renowned architects like Robert von Hagge, Robert Trent Jones Snr, Pete Dye,Tom Simpson,Cabel Robinson and the great Harry Colt! Most are kept in magnificent condition and are very colourful, planted with rhododendrons and'or azaleas and an array of flowering shrubs. In addition French food, wine at its best and AMBIENCE are again IMO unbeatable and the prices are still way below comparable venues in GB and Eire.

I've not played either of those but Glasson is on my list of "TO DO" Maybe next year? iin the Spring when Im next Home, Portumna has a great rep also But I don't get over to Galway much as its a bit of a Schlep to get over!If you go to Kinsale or Ballybunion in the Winter months you can get some real good Bargains on Green Fees! I played RCD in the feb last year and got a round and Full Irish Brekkie for £55 all in. They even Valet parked the car and cleaned my clubs after the round! NOw thats Service!I think there are some real Bargains and Unsung Gems in Ireland! Greenore and Ardee are two of my Favs, they are only 30 odd mins drive from Home, Balbriggan, Just North of Dublin is only 27 Euros for an Early Bird special (before 11AM) with Full Dublin Fry!  

Boa, You are quite right about some of the courses pricing themselves out of General Green Fee Paying Golfers. But on the Whole I usually find they are quite accommodating when it comes to about Jan/Feb/Mar and the Paying Customers are a bit thin on the Ground! I usually go to the Local Tourist office and ask if the have a County Affiliate Scheme or any Package Deals, that seems to open some Quite Firmly shut Doors!I have never played in France so I cannot comment on the golf there, Although I have been there many times and find that it is a nice country spoiled by only one thing!    

1 Over makes a good point for Kimberley.
If you are taking a group of golfers anywhere you should be able to get a big reduction in the green fees. That RCD rate is a steal!
Glasson is a lovely course suitable for all skill levels. Nice and wide for hacks like me but very well guarded, hazardwise, for more accomplished players.
Alas I can only dream of playing the K club et al.

Jimbow are you in Ireland? or judging by your avatar Sagres beer Maybe Portugal?

Hi 1 Over - I have a lot of relatives in Galway and manage a few visits every year. They are all golf nuts. We tend to play around the central west region so I've played lots of gems but none of the greats. You sure have played the best; bang for buck, which one of the biggies really impressed you? I'll save my pennies. Once or twice a year we all meet up in Portugal (depends on flight prices). The eastern Algarve has some decent tracks; we play Quinta da Cima, Quinta da Ria, Castro Marim and Benamor. A cold Sagres beer at the 19th is one of life's small yet significant pleasures. Cheers for now.

Truly my favourite course in Ireland Isn't one of the Biggies, Its one that is always overlooked in favour of the Famous Royal County Down. That Being ~ Ardglass ~ 7 miles Further along the coast near Downpatrick, Co Down, Northern IrelandGreen Fees are around £40 which is very reasonable, The course is True Links track with Huge sand dunes, Gorse and Bracken, Narrow Fairways, Tricky Greens and a Howling wind coming straight off the Irish sea...Glorious...My Favouite type of Golf! Throw in Spectacular Scenery, Great welcome in the 19th hole and its a Grand Day out!In the Republic I am an oversea's member of Seapoint Golf club in the Village of Termonfeckin (Great name to ask the Cabbie when you've been out for a night on the Sauce!)  Its another Links Course designed by Des Smyth and at 7100yds off the Comp tees no mean feat to play anywhere near your handicap!Again Spectacular scenery and a great Club house and that ever present wind blowing in the 17th hole is a tricky par 3 of around 140yds to a totally blind green!Obviously a pint of the Dark stuff is my favoured tipple atfer a round in Ireland!   I love it!


1OverI am a complete Francophile and although half English I much prefer the French of today rather than the English of today. Indeed England would be a great country if so many of today's English would leave it!!

Boa, I love Ireland, I'm married to an Irish Woman and we have a Wonderful Property there, she's actually there now winterising it, they are a Welcoming, warm, friendly people despite all the history that has gone on between our nations. Unlike the Frogs Who Are Rude, Ignorant, Arrogant Surrender Monkeys! Who literally wont give you the time of day even if you ask for it in Fluent French! Thats Bloody Gratitude for Ya! After all we did for them During the War!    


1 OverPerhaps it's because I am charming to the French I meet, take the trouble to speak their beautiful language, absolutely love their culture-classical music composers, art, architecture, patriotism, food, wine etc,etc that they are SO pleasant and polite to me and the many friends I take to Brittany,Normandy, the South of France, Alsace etc. ALL the things you say about the French I find mainly in England along with the violence, knife crime, paedophilia, dirty streets and villages, rotten, crowded badly-surfaced roads, poor quality supermarket food- the list of minuses is almost endless.As for surrender monkeys. If the French dont like something that Brussels says they should do they just give a reversed Winston and do what they have always done whereas we merely gumble and do it!

Boa, I don't Disagree with you at all about what a pile of shite this country is becoming, I too find the Violence, Knife crime, Paedophilia, Dirty streets totally unacceptable.France has an Appaling record of Knife crime and the other Faults you mention all happen there too, Paris is the Dirtiest Capital city I have ever been too and some of the Villages are no better, Marseille is the most Dangerous city in western Europe! As for the Crowded roads? France covers over 2 times more area than the UK and with approx the same population they are not as compacted into it than here, and the Badly surfaced roads? If we had to pay Road tolls every 20 kms here on all our motorways we too would have Great Roads! (the M6 Toll road is surfaced like a billiard table!)I do not wish to get into an arguement on what is a golfing holiday help thread, I think we both have Valid points. You love France, I love Ireland Golf, Food and Culture is Great in both Countries.    

Go to France.

1over, you got houses all over the world mate ?

No mate Just England, Ireland And Spain

I would recommend Madeira. 3 great courses, including one on the island of Porto Santo designed a few years ago by Seve. The 13th, with the cliff drop next to you, is magnificent! They also play the Madeira Islands Open at Santo Da Serra.

Another vote for Northern Ireland. I spent a long time there working on a certain government inquiry (its been in the news lately) and I stone cold fell in love with the place and the people there. Derry and Letterkenny are terrific places, with some wonderful golf close by. Plus, if you like your grub (esp fish and seafood) you can eat like a king.

I think I may have mentioned this before but one of the best golf breaks Ive been on if not the best was to the Lake Bled Golf and Country Club ,Slovenia.A Superb course ,a tricky nine hole,First rate practice facilities, Top notch food,wine and accomadation on course.Splendid Beautifull mountians,Fresh air plenty to do apart from play golf if you can drag yourself away,Fishing ,Hiking.Off road Quads,Horse Riding ,The list is endless.The people cant do enough to make your a stay go smoothly.All in all a first class Golf Break.We stayed in the Lake House ,Highly recomendedwww.golfbled.comSleazy Jet to Lubiana, 45 min to course in hire car.Unlimited Golf during your stay,Food,Beers&Wine , 5 days worked out at under £500 (I drink a lot)

I used to organise trips for my mates, we went to Scotland 5 or 6 years on the trot and always had a great time. Kept to the East Coast and played some lovely courses, some you will have heard of, some not. Lots of golfing "gems" if you look around. We always used to travel up in late May, and I think during all the weeks we had there we only encountered rain on one or two days overall. We often thought of travelling to Ireland, particularly the Ring of Kerry to play some of the championship courses over there.. the only thing that kept putting us off was the possibility of bad weather. We didn't want to risk going to either get blown off the course, or drenched.We then started going to the Algarve, which we enjoyed immensely. Sun on your back, very good courses, but it is beginning to get very expensive over there now.  A couple of the lads got a little disappointed after a couple of years though because all of the courses over there tend to seem the same manufactured American type that they said "once you've played one, you've played them all" We visited Spain a couple of times after that, quite enjoyable but I didn't find the particular courses we played in as good a condition as those on the Algarve. I've had to miss out on the last couple of trips and the group of guys I used to play with went to Turkey a couple of years ago. They have gone back every year since and in fact have arranged a trip for next May which I intend to go on. They rate the courses very highly, as good as the courses in the Algarve but more of a "natural" feel. They have returned waxing lyrical about the standard of them, and the quality of the accommodation and the way they have been looked after with everything all inclusive. I'm looking forward to the trip.But I long to return to Scotland one year, playing the best courses I have played up there. Such a diversity, always in excellent conditon at the time of year we used to go, and if the weather is right, I can personally think of no better place to play.

S. Ireland - 25% dearer than UKScotland/Wales/N Ireland - weather could be a probSpain & Portugal - too expensive, commercial & too hot in summerFrance - OK but language constraints, need a translatorS. Belgium (Wallonia) - surprise, surprise. Probably the best combination of interesting towns & nightlife, fantastic cuisine, generally better summer weather than UK, excellent courses in stunning environments, friendly people who willingly speak English if they can, reasonable cost and only a few hours away.Belgium - Review 1Belgium - Review 2

  What???  A Brummie having language issues???  LOL! And finding it too hot in summer!  But Belgium could be a good shout if you want something "out of the ordinary!"

I've visitied Antwerp, Belgium a couple of times and the food is excellent !!Never played golf there(not yet) and people are very nice too.

  Hello K,  If you are still trying to decide on your Companys Golf trip, please EMail me, I have a 4 Star hotel on the Algarve Portugal, with a 9 hole Golf   course, I can offer you the best price on the Algarve with free golf.  have a look at the website what you see is what you get.  £25 per night with breakfast, it wont get better than this,  regards Robert.