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Luxury Travel’s great European golf adventure

NORWAY

OSLO GOLF CLUB  

Established in 1924, Oslo Golf Club is the oldest in Norway. Between 2007 and 2009, the course underwent a total revamp by Steve Forrest, including the construction of greens, tees, fairway surfaces and drainage systems according to USGA specifications. The result is a championship-quality, par-71 design of 6,340 metres, which features plenty of elevation changes with water coming into play on several holes. oslogk.no

SCOTLAND

TRUMP INTERNATIONAL GOLF LINKS

As you turn off the A90 north of Aberdeen, glimpses of shaggy-topped dunes provide a tantalising appetiser for these traditional Scottish links on a modern scale. Right from the par-5 opening hole, you are thrust into an imposing landscape of the world’s largest dunes. One of the highlights is the par-4 14th and the unforgettable sight of a rumpled fairway twisting its way through towering dunes alongside the crashing waves of the North Sea. trumpgolfscotland.com

Aerial view of Trump International Golf Links | Brian Morgan

BULGARIA

THRACIAN CLIFFS

“You will not find a golf course like this anywhere else on the planet,” says course designer Gary Player about his stunning layout framed by rugged coastal cliffs and the vast blue of the Black Sea. The 302-metre par-4 7th sums up what Thracian Cliffs is all about. The men’s regular tee is a small island in the Black Sea, and a carry of nearly 170 metres is required to reach the fairway. The best approach is to aim at the bunker on the left-hand side of the fairway. Once safely there, a precise short iron second is required to the elevated green. thraciancliffs.com

GERMANY

GOLFCLUB BUNDERSAND 

With its undulating fairways, impressive dunes and a multitude of heath areas, Germany’s only authentic 18-hole links course is a captivating experience. A classic hole is the 391-metre, par-4 14th, with pot bunkers left and right. Be bold and you’ll be rewarded with a short iron second shot to a green that nestles in the dunes with picturesque views over the Wattenmeer and neighbouring islands of Föhr and Amrum. Wattenmeer and neighbouring islands of Föhr and Amrum. gcbudersand.de

SWEDEN

BRO HOF SLOTT

From the moment you drive through the gates of Bro Hof Slott and glimpse the white castle, manicured fairways and glistening Lake Mälaren, you know you’re in a special place. “Everything is big at Bro Hof. The holes are longer, the greens are bigger, the course has more water and the bunkers are larger and well-placed,” says Robert Trent Jones Jr, who designed this superb lakeside layout with state-of-the-art facilities. Only open for play since 2007, Bro Hof Slott’s Stadium Course is now a world top 100 golf course and hosts the Nordea Masters European Tour event. brohofslott.se

AUSTRIA

GOLFPLATZ EICHENHEIM

Designed by Kyle Phillips of Kingsbarns and The Grove fame, this 6,092m track presents a stern test with superbly manicured greens, roller-coaster fairways, meandering water hazards and regular elevation changes, producing a truly memorable golf experience. After playing your approach shot through a cut in the rocks, at the par-5 1st, take a few moments to appreciate the setting. The emerald green is on the same level as a snow-capped mountain range in the distance creating one of the most spectacular vistas in Austrian golf. eichenheim.at

IRELAND

COUNTY SLIGO (ROSSES POINT)

Established in 1894, the present links were redesigned by Harry Colt in 1927, and continuous improvements have been made over the years to make the layout, in the words of BBC golf commentator Peter Alliss: “a tremendous test for the highest-quality player and great fun for the modest competitor.” The signature hole is the par-4 17th, a long dog-leg left where the second shot must be hit up a hill to a difficult green that slopes severely from the back. A par here is as rare as an unfriendly Irishman. countysligogolfclub.ie

PORTUGAL

PRAIA D’ EL REY

This Cabell B. Robinson-designed golf course is arguably one of the most spectacular in Europe. After the tighter, pine-lined fairways of the opening nine, the layout opens up and heads towards the pummelling Atlantic, offering all the elements of a Scottish or Irish links, but with warmer weather. Bold, deep bunkers, undulating greens, and natural sand areas contrast sharply with lush green fairways, making it a complete golfing challenge. praia-del-rey.com

Praia D’El Rey is one of the most spectacular courses in Europe | Paul Marshall

ITALY

DONNAFUGATA GOLF RESORT & SPA

Sited in the south of Sicily, Donnafugata is aimed at the established golfer looking to play two different styles of course at one luxury resort. The first is a Franco Piras-designed links course routed around a couple of lakes in open rolling terrain near the Mediterranean; and the second 18 is a Gary Player-designed parkland course winding through a landscape dotted with olive, pine and carob trees. donnafugatagolfresort.com

SPAIN

ANFI TAURO

Designed by Robert Von Hagge, Gran Canaria’s impeccably maintained, desert-style PGA championship course, set amid rocky canyons and teeming waterfalls, offers a perfect contrast to the surrounding volcanic mountains. Anfi Tauro is one of those rare courses that generate a genuine sense of awe from one hole to the next. One of the most photogenic holes is the classic 209-metre, par-3 6th, framed on either side with swaying palms and a pyramid-shaped rock, with the crystalline Atlantic as a backdrop. anfi.com

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