Europe boasts some of the most picturesque and challenging golf courses in the world.
Whether you choose to take off abroad to Spain, France or Turkey, or stay within the UK, there are plenty of destinations to choose from, so you can enjoy teeing off in style while getting the benefits of a mini holiday.
In this guide, we explore some of the best short golf breaks in Europe.
St. Andrews Links – Old Course, Scotland
Short golf breaks to Scotland are epitomised by St. Andrews, northeast of Edinburgh. This venue is the birthplace of golf, and the Old Course is its iconic gem. The course has hosted The Open Championship more times than any other venue, and its rich history and challenging layout make it a must-play for any golf enthusiast.
Beyond the Old Course, St. Andrews offers a cluster of other world-class courses. The town of St. Andrews itself is a golf pilgrimage if you want to see the sport’s roots for yourself. Its ambience, rich with historic charm, complements the golf experience. The captivating Scottish landscape, dotted with seaside links, gives the place even more allure. Whether for its hallowed grounds or the sheer joy of playing, a golf trip to St. Andrews is a worthwhile journey for any fan of the sport.
Cost: Green fees can vary, but expect to pay around £180-£250 for a round.
Real Club Valderrama, Spain
Real Club Valderrama, in Sotogrande, is consistently ranked among the top courses in continental Europe. Known for its pristine condition and challenging design, it has hosted numerous high-profile events, including the 1997 Ryder Cup. The course is set in a beautiful cork oak forest.
Sotogrande itself is beautiful, so you can enjoy exploring this Mediterranean paradise in between games. The region boasts challenging layouts amidst stunning coastal and mountainous landscapes and the climate is perfect for year-round play, enhancing the allure of its championship courses. Sotogrande’s luxurious amenities and vibrant atmosphere off the fairways make it an ideal destination, with its fusion of top-tier golf, upscale resorts, and Andalusian charm in a picturesque setting.
Cost: Green fees range from €200 to €400, depending on the season.
Royal County Down Golf Club, Northern Ireland
Nestled at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne, Royal County Down has stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and Irish Sea, with a challenging layout. The links-style layout, ranked among the world’s best, gives an exhilarating test to players of all levels.
Golfers can have highly enjoyable short golf breaks in Ireland in the charming seaside town of Newcastle, which offers you a welcoming atmosphere and vibrant local culture. With a backdrop of rugged landscapes and warm hospitality, a golf trip here promises a holistic experience immersed in Ireland’s scenic allure.
Cost: Green fees range from £100 to £200, depending on the time of year.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club, England
Located in Southport, Royal Birkdale is a classic links course with deep bunkers and undulating fairways. Not many of the best UK golf breaks can claim to have hosted multiple Open Championships and this course is known for its thrilling conditions.
Golf in Southport is set against a backdrop of stunning dunes and coastal landscapes. The town itself is rich in Victorian charm, featuring lively promenades and cultural attractions. With excellent golf infrastructure, including other renowned courses like Hillside and Formby, Southport gives you a golf trip experience that seamlessly blends challenging play, scenic beauty, and a welcoming seaside atmosphere.
Cost: Green fees vary but are typically around £195-£250.
K Club – Palmer Course, Ireland
The Palmer North Course at K Club has hosted the Ryder Cup and sits in a parkland setting along the River Liffey. The layout is challenging, with water hazards and strategic bunkering, making it a golfing aficionado’s favourite.
The region’s gently rolling hills and rich countryside create a picturesque backdrop for golf. Beyond the fairways, Kildare’s fascinating history, including ancient castles and the Curragh Plains, will add cultural depth to your trip, along with luxurious accommodations and a warm Irish welcome.
Cost: Green fees range from €125 to €250.
Les Bordes Golf International, France
Designed by Robert von Hagge, Les Bordes is set in the heart of the Sologne forest. The course is known for its challenging layout, featuring water hazards and large bunkers.
The region is famed for its exquisite châteaux, vineyards, and charming villages, adding cultural richness to the trip. Saint-Laurent-Nouan has a unique blend of golf, gastronomy, and historical exploration, making it an idyllic destination if you want a relaxing and culturally enriching golfing retreat.
Cost: Green fees can be around €200-€300.
Vale do Lobo Royal Course, Portugal
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo is a cliff-top course with stunning vistas. The fairways wind through pine forests, presenting panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the layout is challenging, especially on the back nine with its oceanfront holes.
The resort itself, on the Algarve coast, is an excellent choice for short golf breaks to Portugal. It features luxurious accommodations, renowned dining, vibrant nightlife, and stunning golden beaches, for a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. The resort’s wellness facilities, including a world-class spa and fitness centre, allow you to indulge in rejuvenation, while the captivating architecture, including Moorish influences, complements the natural surroundings.
Cost: Green fees range from €100 to €200.
Where is the best place to play golf in April?
Choosing the best place to play golf in April depends on various factors, including climate, course conditions, and personal preferences. Here are a few recommendations for excellent golf destinations at this time of year.
Costa del Sol, Spain
Costa del Sol, also known as the Costa del Golf, has a wealth of golf courses, and April offers comfortable temperatures for golfing. The region is known for its diverse courses, from seaside links to mountainous layouts.
Beloved for its stunning beaches, the region beckons sun-seekers. Charming coastal towns like Marbella and Estepona are the pinnacle of Andalusian culture, blending historic charm with modern amenities.
Portugal’s Algarve region boasts pleasant weather in April, making it an ideal time for golf. The temperatures are mild, and the courses are typically in good condition after the winter. Rainfall is generally low, with this month usually marking the beginning of drier conditions. You can enjoy beautiful coastal courses with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Picturesque towns like Lagos and Albufeira offer a blend of history, culture, and vibrant nightlife. Traditional markets, delicious seafood, and the warmth of the Portuguese people add to the allure.
Mallorca offers a variety of excellent golf courses, such as Son Gual and Alcanada Golf Club, and April usually sees good weather conditions for playing. You can experience the island’s scenic courses and enjoy the cultural and natural attractions during your visit. Post-round activities include exploring charming villages, sampling local cuisine, and unwinding on pristine beaches.
Vilamoura is a golfing haven in the Algarve, Portugal, known for its renowned courses such as Laguna and Millennium. The weather in April is typically mild, and you can experience the well-maintained fairways and challenging designs. Beyond fairways, the marina offers exquisite dining and entertainment. The area’s appeal is also heightened by its proximity to pristine beaches for post-round relaxation.
Belek is a popular golf destination with numerous world-class courses along the Turkish Riviera. April offers temperatures of around 21 to 24 degrees Celsius, and you can explore plenty of golfing locations in this beautiful region, which is renowned for pristine venues such as the acclaimed Antalya Golf Club and Carya Golf Club. The area offers a perfect blend of challenging layouts, stunning coastal landscapes, and luxurious accommodations.
Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, features excellent golf courses from Costa Brava to Barcelona, like PGA Catalunya and Empordà. April provides comfortable temperatures, allowing golfers to enjoy their rounds and explore the rich cultural heritage of the region. After rounds, immerse yourself in Catalonia’s festivals, art, and cuisine for a holistic and enriching trip.
Costa Brava, Spain
The Costa Brava, located in the northeast of Catalonia, is a picturesque setting for golf enthusiasts, with courses like PGA Catalunya and Golf d’Aro. April brings mild weather, and you can play on courses surrounded by stunning coastal and mountain views. The region is also renowned for Michelin-starred dining.
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