5 of the world's best golfing holidays
We set expert golf writer Henry Peters the task of hunting down the ultimate holidays for golfers. Here’s his list of five.
By Henry Peters | Published #69, Autumn 2017
Premier Golf Tours’ King Island Package, Tasmania
Premier Golf Tours is known for its high-end trips to Japan but it’s now offering tours to one of the world’s hottest golf destinations – Tasmania’s King Island – hosted by professional golfer and eight-time winner in Australia and Japan, Paul Sheehan.
Cape Wickham Golf Course, on King Island’s north coast, opened in late 2015 and within three months was voted by Golf Digest as the world’s 24th greatest course.
Set against the backdrop of the Bass Strait as well as Australia’s tallest lighthouse, Cape Wickham features 11 holes right by the ocean.
On the island’s southwest coast, beside the main township of Currie, Ocean Dunes hasn’t enjoyed the same fanfare but its superb series of seaside holes has prompted some golf pundits to rate it an equal of Cape Wickham.
Tour guests who join Premier Golf Tours’ King Island trip from March 23 to 25 will have the chance to play with Sheehan, enjoy complimentary lessons from Sheehan and one other PGA professional, and experience a free Callaway fitting session.
Rates from A$1655 per person. premiergolftours.com
Signature Golf’s St Andrews ‘Home of Golf’ Scotland Experience
No place is more synonymous with golf than the small Scottish seaside town of St Andrews. Its famed Old Course, nearby Carnoustie Golf Links and Kingsbarns Golf Links have joined forces to offer fanatics the golf tour-of-a-lifetime.
St Andrews stages golf’s oldest major championship – The Open – every five years while Carnoustie will host its eighth Open next year. And together with Kingsbarns – less than 15 minutes’ drive from St Andrews – the courses host the annual European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Signature Golf’s St Andrews ‘Home of Golf’ Scotland Experience not only takes you to this treasured trio of courses but features six nights at The Fairmont Resort in St Andrews Bay as well as guaranteed rounds at St Andrews’ Duke’s and Castle courses and The Fairmont Resort’s Torrance Course.
Airport and golf course chauffeur transfers in a luxury Mercedes minibus ensure comfort, but if that’s not enough, you can upgrade to daily helicopter transfers.
Rates start from US$4695 (about A$6202) per person. signaturegolfuk.com
Premier Golf Tours’ Augusta Golf Experience, USA
There isn’t a hotter golf ticket around than guaranteed entry to weekend play at the US Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
Getting past security at the year’s first men’s major, to be held in April 2017, will cost you a proverbial arm and leg but Premier Golf Tours’ 'Augusta Golfing Experience’ has so many add-ons that the expense is no deterrent.
Tour participants gain entry to the Masters’ annual Par-3 Tournament and the third and fourth rounds of the tournament. Tee times at three leading private golf clubs in the Augusta area accompanied by a pro golfer are also included.
Guests have the choice of staying eight nights in private housing or seven nights at a choice of two Augusta hotels, while the tour itself can be tailored for each individual.
Private guests have access to a personal chef and maid while all tour members are invited to catered events with guest speakers at Elite Host House, 200 metres from Augusta National.
Rates start from US$10,000 (about A$13,213) per person, twin share. premiergolftours.com
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii, USA
If playing a world-class golf course built on volcanic lava and experiencing all the luxuries of a five-star oceanfront resort sounds like a relaxing getaway, don’t look past Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
The 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed Hualalai Golf Course offers spectacular panoramic Pacific Ocean views and its wide fairways and massive greens make it fun for beginners right through to professionals.
And golf is only a fraction of the excitement at Hualalai, which has its own health spa, three restaurants, two lounges and a seemingly endless list of children’s activities.
Hotel guests can savour oceanview suites and villas or guest rooms featuring outdoor lava-rock garden showers.
The resort has seven swimming pools including the Kings’ Pond and Ocean Pool, which have each been carved out of lava rock.
Rates start from US$735 (about A$971) per night for two adults. The 18-hole green fee during peak times is US$295 (about A$385). fourseasons.com/hualalai/
Thracian Cliffs, Bulgaria
Perched hundreds of feet above Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastline, Thracian Cliffs’ Gary Player-designed Signature Course could be the most spectacular golf layout in the world.
Sea views dominate every single hole, a claim many of the other great coastal courses, including California’s Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, can’t make.
Thracian Cliffs opened in 2011 and quickly earned critical acclaim, hosting the European Tour’s World Match Play Championship in 2014.
The 210-metre, par-three sixth hole is unforgettable, with a 40-metre drop to a green on a cliff’s edge.
Away from the course, the ultimate non-golf perk is access to Thracian Cliffs’ very own Argata Beach, open only to local homeowners and resort guests.
Room rates start from €103 (about A$146) per night for two adults. The 18-hole green fee is €99 (about A$139) for hotel guests and €129 (about $181) for non-guests. thraciancliffs.com