Each year list upon list of great golf courses emerge. Golfers and golf pros and even travel writers contribute their experiences and opinions to these lists, but it’s hard to know where to begin in planning a golf trip. Europe, in addition to the beauty and history, has a golf culture like no other and there are many courses to explore. We’ve combed several of the most popular lists of the best golf course in Europe and have chosen our favorites which we think you should try.
As part of the 400-acre Abama Resort, Abama Golf was created by Dave Thomas who designed both the European Tour and Ryder Cup venues. Described as golfing on top of the world, nearly every hole of this 18-hole course has a view of the ocean as well as the Canary Islands. The course is one of the best in Spain as well as in all of Europe. It features a Golf Academy, plays host to several tournaments each year, and has a full-service clubhouse on site. All this and it is part of the world-class Abama Resort.
Bro Hof Slott Golf Club
Bro Hof Slott is known for being big – long holes, large greens, and massive hazards. This Swedish sensation was designed by noted golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. It features the renovated Bro Hof Castle and it sits on Lake Mälaren. The majestic and beautiful setting with mature landscaping, adds one extra challenge to golfers, the wind. They say that the wind is always part of the game.
Penati Golf Resort
With two 18-hole golf courses, Penati Golf Resort is a golf haven in Slovenia. Penati’s Legend Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus’ Nicklaus Design and it complies with USGA standards at the world PGA level. It’s most famous feature is its 15th hole. It is the longest hole in Europe at 716 meters (more than 783 yards). The Heritage Course was designed with a focus on the roots and traditions of island design courses by Jonathan Davison with the help of Mick McShane who was charged with the task of shaping the holes.
Royal County Down
Set in the Murlough Nature Reserve in Northern Ireland, Royal County Down’s Championship Links is molded out of one of the most naturally beautiful course settings. Its setting is picturesque at every turn winding back and forth from the shores of Dundrum Bay to the edge of the Mountains of Mourne. Royal County Down’s shorter Annesley Links is equally as beautiful with views of the mountains, sea, and duneland. Golfers love the pro shop, a full bar, and restaurant. There are also many accommodation options in the Newcastle area.
Located on the south coast of Sicily, Verdura Resort is a sprawling resort with more than a mile of private coastline, but with only 203 rooms, visitors to the resort feel a sense of space and privacy. Nowhere on site is this truer than on any one of their three golf courses, each designed by Kyle Phillips. Two of the courses are 18-hole championship golf courses, while the third is a nine-hole, par three course. Home to the annual Rocco Forte Open, Verdura is more than just a resort with golf, it is a golf destination on the Mediterranean Sea.
These five resorts or courses top our list of favorites in Europe, and we’re quite certain you’ll agree. If you’re not quite ready for that golf trip in Europe, you may want to start a little closer to home with our pics for the best golf courses in the United States.