Explore the World’s Most Picturesque Golf Courses
There are more than 30,000 golf courses in the world, so choosing the best is difficult to narrow down. Is it Augusta National in Georgia, home of the Masters? Le Golf National outside Paris, the location of this year’s Ryder Cup in September? Bellerive Country Club in Missouri, which hosts the 100th PGA Championship in August? Or somewhere else entirely? Find your favorite on our list.
1. Bay Harbor Golf Club
Bay Harbor overlooks Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, offering three nine-hole courses—Links, Quarry, and Preserve—carved out of a former shale quarry. Beware the hardwood trees, which have been known to cause unwanted ricochets as you make your way down the fairway, and instead savor the immaculate greens, dramatic gorges, and luxurious lakefront.
“What makes Bay Harbor special is its setup; the course is split into three nine-hole courses, and each one is totally unique,” says Jeff Wellman, owner of North Harbor Real Estate, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the area.
North Carolina, USA
Arnold Palmer’s “golf capital of the world” was among the first US golf resorts. It now boasts nine courses including No. 2, which was designed by Donald Ross, opened in 1907, and has hosted the U.S. Open several times. The infamous Maniac Hill practice ground at Pinehurst sees an estimated 18,432 balls in play at any one time.
“Course 2 at Pinehurst is considered one of America’s great golf courses,” says Reed Jackson, managing partner at Ivester Jackson, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in North Carolina.
3. Kiawah Island Golf Resort
South Carolina, USA
Pete and Alice Dye’s Ocean Course played host to the dramatic 1991 Ryder Cup and will stage the 2021 PGA Championship. There are five courses, but its the Ocean—with its seaside setting, natural flora, daunting sand traps, and shifting winds—that builds up an appetite for a post-round crispy shrimp in chili sauce in the salubrious Atlantic Room.
“Kiawah Island Golf Resort is number one in South Carolina—and with good reason,” says Drew Grossklaus, sales director at William Means Real Estate, LLC, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the region.
4. St Andrews
The Old Course at St Andrews is often called the Home of Golf. The Valley of Sin, Granny Clark’s Wynd, and the Swilcan Bridge are unforgettable golfing experiences on this course, which also offers breathtaking views towards the iconic 1853 Royal & Ancient clubhouse and the North Sea.
“St Andrews is the quintessential home of golf, and the Old Course is seen as iconic to anyone who plays golf, regardless of their abilities or handicap,” says Kevin Maley, director of Strutt & Parker, Inverness, the UK’s exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.
5. Liberty National Golf Club
New Jersey, USA
As urban golf courses go, Liberty National has to be one of the best: $250 million was invested in its creation. Located in New Jersey, just 3 miles (4.8 km) from New York City across the Hudson River, the club is so well located that golfers can arrive by helicopter or private speedboat from Manhattan.
6. Old Head Golf Links
Old Head is often likened to Pebble Beach, but with less sunshine. Green fees include a spectacular 220-acre (89 ha) diamond-shaped headland and the country’s most select course right on the Atlantic Ocean.
“The setting of Old Head is truly spectacular, even by Irish golf course standards. It occupies an elevated peninsula and, as a result, enjoys 270-degree uninterrupted sea views,” says Simon Ensor, chairman at Sherry FitzGerald, Christie’s International Real Estate’s exclusive affiliate in Ireland.
7. Oitavos Dunes
Although the well-known Praia del Rey in Portugal is a great course with top-class facilities, the Silver Coast’s Oitavos Dunes is less busy and provides the same exclusive experience.
Under an hour from Lisbon, near the Sintra Mountains, the challenging par 71 course skirts the Atlantic and is close to Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s most westerly point. Situated at what was once believed by Europeans to be the end of the world, its situation is undeniably awe-inspiring.
8. Pebble Beach Golf Links
Many would argue that you can’t call yourself a true golfer until you’ve felt the Pacific spray at Stillwater Cove and negotiated Arrowhead Point on California’s Monterey Peninsula. The course is home to events such as the prestigious Concours d’Elegance, of which Christie’s International Real Estate is a sponsor [and Oliver Luxury Real Estate will be attending]. The annual event, set this year for August 26, is a magnet for car collectors from around the world, who gather to demonstrate their classic vehicles’ style and elegance in a now-legendary competition.