Football enthusiasts would go to the ends of the earth to see their favourite team play. Likewise, golfers would go to any length to find the most exotic, luxurious, and exclusive courses on the planet. Golf is one of the favorite activities among the rich and famous. And let's face it - it gets in the blood, it becomes an addiction, and the most dedicated golfers simply can't find peace until they've tried some of the best courses in the world.
If you're passionate about golf, you know the importance of playing on a well designed and challenging field. In fact, many keen golfer hold that therein like the beauty of the game. No golf course is like the other. Throughout the world, there are resorts with a long history and great reputation behind them, from the US to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. These are the places to which any keen golfer would like to carry their clubs. But they are, of course, expensive and exclusive - each of them with their own unique, breathtaking landscape and holes that require the best of skills to succeed. We've selected the ten absolute most-see, most luxurious golf courses in the world for the curious golfing tourist.
10 Royal Portrush Golf Club, Northern Ireland
One of the most exclusive golf resorts in the world is a private golf club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland - a club which holds the title as the only golf club in the country to host the Open Championship. No less than 36 holes of links span two 18-hole courses all beautifully located near a historical castle which only brings more personality and Celtic romance to the area. Dunluce Links Course has been ranked 12th in the world by Golf Magazine, while the Valley Links Course is literally a hidden gem, located on the Atlantic Shore, enclosed by huge sandy hills that offer a unique golfing experience. Expect to pay $290 per person, per round on one of the most challenging golf courses in the world.
9 Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland
The most expensive golf resorton the UK mainland, Kingsbarns Golf Links is located near the eastern coast of Fife, only 7 miles southeast of the Home of Golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews. In 1793, the Kingsbarns Golfing Society was founded. From then on, the small village of Kingsbarns has always been associated with golf. Considered one of the finest courses in the world, the Kingsbarns Golf Links is literally linked to the sea: Expect to drop $300 per person, per round to tee off on this American-owned British links course.
8 Royal Melbourne Golf Resort, Australia
Penguins, kangaroos, and koalas are no longer the only symbols of Australia. Royal Melbourne Golf Resort has become the pinnacle of golfing in Australia and sports people from all over the world come here for a unique golfing experience. For $300 per person, per round, you can tee off at the two 18-hole courses and a Composite course that combines the two. In fact, Royal Melbourne's Composite course is the most famous course of its kind in the world. The front 9 holes offer a wetland feel, while the back 9 holes are set through a thick forest. Founded in 1891, the Royal Melbourne Golf Resort is one of the oldest on the continent and its West Course is ranked number 1 in Australia.
7 Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
Are you looking for something a little more spectacular? Say no more. Cape Kidnappers promises to take your breath away and challenge your skills on one of the toughest golf courses in the world. One wrong move will send your ball directly into the pacific Ocean. This is the picture perfect spot, the place where all those golfing postcard pictures are taken. For $350 per person, per round, you can tee off on the 4 miles of holes that stretch along the verdant coast enclosing Hawkes Harbor on the eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
6 St Andrew, Scotland
Do you want to see where it all began? Then tee off on the Old Course at St. Andrew, the place where the history of golf was written. Also known as the Home of Golf, it has seen more Open Championships than any other course in the country. One of the oldest golf clubs in the world as well as the largest public golf course in Europe, St. Andrew is mainly known for its Old Course, a field on which the game has been played ever since the 15th century. Besides the Old Course, the public country club at St. Andrew is home to an 18-hole and a 9-hole course. The 18th hole awaits golfers near The Royal and Ancient Headquarters, the institution that supervises the game throughout Europe. Expect to pay $350 per person, per round for the luxury of teeing off at St. Andrew.
5 Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia
The very definition of exclusive, but not always in a good way, Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia didn't allow black members until 1990 and women until 2012... The first two women to be allowed to play on the course at Augusta were Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore. This private club is one of the most famous in the world. Designed by Jones and Alister Mackenzie, the course opened n 1933. In 2009, it was ranked number one in America's 100 Golf Courses by Golf Digest. There are currently about 300 members and membership is only granted by invitation. Membership costs between $10,000 and $30,00 and annual fees cost around $10,000.
4 Old Head Golf Links, Ireland
Located in southern Ireland, close to Cork, this spectacular golf course shoots straight out into the Atlantic. For $400 per person, per round, you can tee off on this 18-hole golf course which offers something more than just a game of golf. The spectacular view, the rugged terrain, and the Lusitania Bar - a five-star restaurant that offers Irish hospitality in abundance - make Old Heads Golf Links one of the most luxurious and expensive golf destinations in the world. There's also something for the history lovers: The name of the resort is owed to the course's proximity to Old Head - the place where the RMS Lusitania sank in 1916, determining the United States' entry into World War 1.
3 Pinehurst No. 2, North Carolina
The proud host of numerous PGA Tournaments throughout its existence, Pinehurst Resort in California is the place where Payne Stewart won the US Open back in 1999. Also known as the Cradle of American Golf, there are no less than eight golf courses, making Pinehurst Resort home to the highest number of holes in the world. But of all these, Pinehurst's Number 2 Course is the most famous. Founded in 1907, it will be the venue for the 2014 US Open. Expect to drop $420 per person, per round for the chance to play at this exclusive golf resort.
2 Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
Why is Pebble Beach Golf Links the most famous golf course in America? The fact that five US Opens have been held here, and its selection as the venue for the annual PGA Tour and the Ryder Cups might have something to do with it. But you still have to drop $495 for the honour of playing on the public golf course, so luxurious that it was ranked as the 6th best course in America by Golf Digest. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, there are no less than 9 ocean side holes - making for quite a demanding game. The rugged coastline creates a challenging field, and the terrain and wind will put your skills to the test.
1 Shadow Creek Golf Course, Las Vegas
Attracting only the crème de la crème - famous movie stars, celebrities, athletes, and the filthy rich - Shadow Creek Golf Course near Las Vegas was once no more than a flat desert wasteland. Now there are streams and even a waterfall, as well as more than 21,000 fully mature trees that make it hard to see one hole from the other. The course costed an estimated $100 million to build, and when it opened back in 1989 a player had to drop $1,000 for a round on the field. Nowadays, a player can expect to drop $500 per person, per round. Of course, the luxury of this course extends to limousine transport to and from the course and your very own personal caddy around the lovely desert oasis. Ranking at 72 on Golf Digest's list of best courses in America, Shadow Creek is the ultimate man-made golf course and the top course for lovers of luxury.
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