Golf is a long-loved competitive sport with many purported benefits including exercise, spending time outdoors, fostering social connectedness, and more. Beyond all of these benefits, golf courses are often located in spectacular locations around the world, from beautiful island nations to the beating heart of America and everywhere in between. Whether you’re planning a golf weekend with friends, taking an international vacation and want to golf while you’re abroad, or trying to discover a new golf course near you , We have what you need. Here are 15 of the world’s most beautiful golf courses to add to your travel bucket list.
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Whistling Sound: Kohler, Wisconsin
Home of the 43rd Annual Ryder Cup and 2015 PGA Championship, the Straits Course at hissing strait is a showstopper located along two windswept miles of the shores of Lake Michigan. Its sister course, the Irish Course, is also stunning, but it’s hard to beat the stunning beauty of the strait. Golfers can enjoy a challenging 7,790 yards in this 18-hole masterpiece designed by Pete Dye.
Adare Manor Golf Course: Adare, County Limerick, Ireland
Renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio designed this indoor course to perfectly encapsulate the searing beauty the aptly named Emerald Isle is known for. Featuring rolling hills and breathtaking views of the Maigue River, this park-style golf course is set to host the 2027 Ryder Cup. Adare Manor is a 7,509 yard, 18 hole, par 72 course.
Augusta National: Augusta, Georgia
Known for being the annual home of The Masters, this southern beauty is a well maintained and beautifully landscaped course, with perhaps the greenest fairways and tees. The ever-blooming azaleas, over a thousand on hole 13 alone, add floral interest to this pristine offering.
Mandarin Oriental, Canouan Golf: Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The Grenadines’ only 18-hole championship golf course, the Jim Fazio-designed course at Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, features 150 acres of spectacular slopes adjoining the azure Caribbean Sea. It offers one of the longest par 3s in the world, playing 305 yards on hole 16. Golfers can also take in the panoramic ocean views from the top of the ridge on holes 12, 13, 14 and 15.
St. Andrews Golf Club: St. Andrews in Scotland
The Old Course (shown here with the iconic Swilcan Bridge) is perhaps the most classic offering, but the Castle Course in St. Andrews is hard to beat in terms of beauty. Home of Golf’s brand new option (a 6,759 yard, par 71 course) welcomes golfers to Europe’s largest public golf resort. Situated on a cliff along the North Sea, the Castle Course offers rugged landscapes combined with a strong sense of place and history.
Oak Hill Country Club (East Course): Rochester, New York
Designed by Donald Ross Oak Hill Country Club has hosted premier golf events such as the US Open, PGA Championship, US Amateur, US Senior Open, Ryder Cup, to name a few. Although the course is in perfect condition, it is certainly not a breeze. In fact, Ben Hogan called the aptly named first hole Oak Hill The challenge“the toughest tee hole in golf” due to its incredibly tight fairway.
In 2019, the course underwent an extensive restoration project led by Andrew Green. In May 2020, the project was completed (just in time for the 2023 PGA Championship to return to the club). Pictured is the course’s most iconic hole, number 13 hill of fame. Along with lush green views and rows of downy oak trees, this hole also commemorates the accomplishments of 42 individuals who have contributed to the game of golf and pushed the boundaries in their respective fields. Near the hole you will find beautiful bronze plaques on oak trees honoring people like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ben Hogan, Robert Trent Jones, Bob Hope, Annika Sorenstam and many more.
Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course: Banff, Alberta, Canada
No list of the most beautiful golf courses in the world could be complete without a majestic option with mountain views; step into the stunning natural beauty of the Fairmont Banff Springs Course, located in Banff National Park in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. Designed by country son Stanley Thompson, the 18-hole, par-71 course makes the most of its dramatic alpine surroundings at 6,938 yards.
Pebble Beach Golf Links: Pebble Beach, California
central california Pebble Beach Golf Links is often considered the best public golf course in the United States and regularly hosts the US Open. Apart from accolades of this nature, the course is renowned for its stunning views of the rocky shoreline from the fairways and the iconic 18th hole being one of the most famous finishing holes in golf. Jack Neville and Douglas Grant were the original designers in 1919, although Arnold Palmer and Thad Layton brought a refresh in 2016 to the outstanding 7,075-yard course.
Ocean Club Golf Course: Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Ocean Club at Atlantis takes advantage of its tropical island setting with a magnificent 18-hole course over 7,100 yards designed by Tom Weiskopf. Winding along the sparkling waters of the Caribbean, the Ocean Club is one of the most well-known courses in the region (and the world).
Bluffs Grand Ho Tram Strip: Phuoc Thuan, Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Vietnam
This course designed by Greg Norman offers a traditional Southeast Asian ties style option. As with many of the better-known courses, the spectacular ocean views make for a visually stunning sight, especially when combined with the region’s towering sand dunes. This par 71 course is played 7,007 meters from the tips, which gives it a difficult slope index of 74.4. The course debuted in 2014 and has since increased golf tourism in Vietnam.
Bandon Dunes: Bandon, Oregon, USA
This Pacific Northwest destination has been welcoming golfers to the winding Oregon Coast since 1999. Bandon Dunes is an all-natural course that embraces the windswept dunes and native vegetation of the area to create a golfer’s dream paradise. Scotsman David McLay Kidd created a 7,327-yard par 73 gem on the Pacific Coast of southern Oregon.
Kiawah Island (ocean course): Kiawah, South Carolina, USA
Boasting the largest number of ocean holes in the Northern Hemisphere, the famed Dye-designed Ocean Course on Kiawah Island in South Carolina offers a lesson in low country charm. Kiawah itself is remarkably unspoilt in terms of natural beauty, and this 7,876-yard course makes the most of it. It’s easy to see why it’s a favored tournament host, with the Ryder Cup, PGA Championship and World Cup all having chosen the Ocean Course over the years.
Old Head Golf Links: Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland
Ireland’s County Cork is a favorite destination along the Wild Atlantic Way, and arguably the finest route on the Emerald Isle is Old Head Golf Links. A par 72 course, Old Head occupies a magnificent 220-acre diamond-shaped peninsula that juts out into the crashing Atlantic Ocean, offering some of the most spectacular golf views on the planet. The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse is a magnificent man-made addition to the already overwhelming natural beauty of the area.
The Golf Course at Coeur d’Alene Resort: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
This beautiful course is located along the shores of pristine Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho and is home to the world’s only floating green! (Pro tip: Golfers heading to the island’s famous green at hole 14 can complete the hole by accessing it with a small boat). Complete with evergreen trees, the par-71 course plays to 6,803 yards. Designer Scott Miller has included lake views on every hole for maximum visual impact.
Grand Hotel Jewel: Mackinac Island, Michigan
With more miles of coastline than any state in the continental United States, Michigan offers breathtaking views of the water from its upper and lower peninsulas. But this course is perhaps the most unique offering in Wolverine State, The jewel of the Grand Hotel. It’s the only course in the country with a horse-drawn carriage ride between nine, which is part of Mackinac Island’s car-free charm.
The Jerry Matthews-designed Grand Nine and Woods Nine combine for an epic fairway experience; the Grand Nine stuns with views of the Straits of Mackinac that date back to its founding in 1901. The Woods Nine is an indoor course that features scenic snippets of the iconic Mackinac Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
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