Yes, there are a lot of great, scenic and beautiful golf courses in the world. Some have an impressive history, some have great layouts, some are very private and others are located in a unique spot. But some golf courses have something extra, something special that you will remember forever. So, having a great course alone is not enough to make the list.
According to us these 10 golf courses should absolutely be listed on your bucketlist. Just because they are amazing and provide an experience to remember!
1St. Andrews Links: The Old Course (United Kingdom)
No question about this one. The Old Course at St. Andrews Links is the most iconic golf course in the world. Golfers across the globe recognise the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker, yet the greatest feature of the Old Course is that despite its grand status it remains a public golf course, open to all. Show up and join the ballot and have a pint in the Jigger Inn while you are waiting.
Why is it special? Well, it’s the Old Course, the home of golf… Need we say more?
2Lofoten Links (Norway)
Probably a bit surprising. A new golf course in Norway, but go there while you still can. It’s one of the coolest golf courses in the world. Lofoten Links is one of the few courses in the world where you can play for 24 hours, including up to 6 hours in the midnight sun! And from the end of August until mid October you can play golf at daytime and experience the Northern Lights in the evening. Stay at the Lofoten Links Lodges to experience this unique phenomenom. You almost have a 100% guarantee due to the location of Lofoten Links – facing North while overlooking the sea (so no light polution or things blocking your view).
Why is it special? Golf in such a special place while experiencing the Northern Lights and midnight sun? That’s pretty special. And the Northern Lights are bucket list material all by its own.
3Legend Golf & Safari Resort: Extreme 19th (South Africa)
The Legend Golf & Safari Resort is home to the Tribute Course, a ten-hole Par-3 course, with each hole modelled after the best Par-3 holes in the world and the Signature Course. The Signature Course is the longest golf course in Africa, while each hole is designed by a world golfing legend. But, these courses are not why you should go here. The reason is the Extreme 19th. The Extreme 19th is the world’s longest and highest Par 3, providing every golfer with an unforgettable golfing experience. Accessible only by helicopter, the tee is situated atop Hanglip Mountain with a 361 metres shot to the green, located 400 breath-taking metres below the tee.
Why is it special? There is nothing like the Extreme 19th anywhere else on the planet. Hitting one great shot here will give you goose bumps (and you have 6). Playing only this hole is worth the trip!
4Augusta National Golf Club (United States)
Each spring, Augusta National becomes the venue of the Masters, maybe the most revered tournament in the United States and the only mayor played on the same course. Formerly a plant nursery, so each hole is named after the tree or shrub with which it has become associated. Augusta National Golf Club has about 300 members at any given time. Membership is strictly by invitation; there is no application process. Every member of Augusta National receives a green jacket with the club’s logo on the left breast. Augusta’s caddy staff continues to wear its trademark white jumpsuits year-round. In brief: very exclusive, blooming pink azaleas, the green jacket and the Amen Corner (the toughest holes, the 11th, 12th, and 13th).
Why is it special? It’s simply every golfers’ dream to play at Augusta. But as we all know, our only shot at playing Augusta is probably on a simulator 😉.
5Cape Kidnappers (New Zealand)
It’s an overwhelming experience to stand up on the cliffs at Cape Kidnappers, 140 meters above sea level, and look out across the waves far below in Hawke’s Bay. You’ll hit shots over the tops of the tea trees, and play along the edges of deep ravines. On the 6th and 15th holes it’s possible to pull your approach off the very end of the earth, though it will take nearly ten seconds for your ball to reach the ocean below.
Why is it special? Cape Kidnappers just has to be on your list, because Tom Doak has made a great course in an awesome spot. A place to remember.
6Cypress Point Club (United States)
Playing the course at Cypress Point Club is a challenge. It’s a real private club, so you need an invite of one of the 275 members. It’s well known for three dramatic holes that play along the Pacific Ocean: the 15th, 16th and 17th, regularly rated among the best golf holes in the world. The course is set in coastal dunes and enters the Del Monte forest during the front nine and reemerges to the rocky coastline for the finishing holes. Hole 16 is the signature hole, which requires a 231-yard tee shot over the Pacific to a well-guared mid-sized green.
Why is it special? Every true golfer would love to play at Cypress Point. It’s a great course – perhaps one of the best in the world – with wind-swept trees and it’s very private. Story goes that even J.F. Kennedy was refused entry in the restaurant.
7Coeur d’Alene Golf Resort (United States)
The Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course provides an unmatched waterfront golf experience. The course is designed along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene and ranks high for personal service and maintenance. But the nicest challenge is the famous floating 14th hole, with a man-made island that can change location.
Why is it special? It’s something different. The course itself is great, but the 14th is an experience. Land on the island and you’re a hero. Otherwise, your ball will join the other thousands of balls. Either way, the trip with the wooden boat is nice.
8Skukuza Golf Course (South Africa)
Don’t get disctracted here by hippo’s, impalas, baboons and warthogs crossing the fairway. The rich wildlife sanctuary surrounding the Skukuza Golf Course is home to the Big Five, a huge variety of birds and countless animals. Since the course is not fenced-in, uninvited spectators are a common sight, so you’ll be on a proper safari while playing golf. The golf course was built as a recreational facility for the Skukuza personnel, but is now available to visitors to the Kruger National Park.
Why is it special? Golf and a safari sounds like a great combination. And, you’ll have something to look at while searching for your ball. And you will have a great excuse to hit another shot: the hippo was standing on my ball…
9The Himalayan Golf Course (Nepal)
The Himalayan Golf Course lies for the most part inside a sweeping canyon created by the Himalayan snowed waters of the Bijayapur river. The course is framed by the towering Annapurna range, while cattle and buffalo roam freely around the course. It wanders through aerial cliff drops of hundreds of feet down to the signature island hole within the Bijayapur river.
Why is it special? Don’t go here for fast greens, but this is adventure golf at its truest. The course’s includes some of the most visually attractive holes known to golf. After playing the course, hike the Annapurna Circuit!
10Laucala Island (Fiji)
The trip to Laucala Island is already an adventure. Private aircrafts are permitted to land on Laucala. But you can also fly to Nadi International Airport, then head to the private Laucala Nadi Lounge. The resort’s King Air B200 will then bring you in 50 minutes to the island. The resort is stunning, just as Laucala’s championship golf course – designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd. The 18-hole layout is backdropped by volcanic mountains and clinging to a sheer cliff dropping into the Pacific Ocean.
Why is it special? Laucala unites dramatic rainforest-laced landscapes and white sandy beaches with unparalleled levels of luxury and privacy. And, combines it with a great golf course. The signature hole is the par-five 12th with a green extending to the beach, which means wet feet at high tide.