Backpackers who enjoy going on golf breaks can often find it difficult to combine the two together. Thankfully, help is now at hand as we’ve picked five popular tourist destinations from around the world and suggested a few courses that are well worth a visit if you’re passionate about playing golf in some far-flung countries.
Visiting the Dutch capital is a real must for backpackers travelling through Europe. It’s a cosmopolitan city unlike any other in the continent and it’s fair to say that golf is the last thing you’d ordinarily think of when Amsterdam crops up in a conversation. Yet there are several decent courses in close proximity to the city, including the Kennemer Golf and Country Club. Rated as one of the best golfing resorts in Europe, Kennemer has 27 holes and it was here where the late, great Seve Ballesteros won his first professional tournament.
When it comes to golf breaks, UK courses have some of the finest facilities within the sport. Backpacker-friendly London attracts roughly 14 million tourists a year and those people that want to escape the crowed city can do so by heading down the fairways on courses like Sunningdale and Stoke Park, which are only brief train journeys away. The latter is a country club of some distinction and has been ranked in the top 100 courses in the world in recent years. Film fans may also recognise Stoke Park for its cameo appearances in smash-hit movies like the James Bond blockbusters Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies, as well as Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Golf fans are spoilt for choice in Shanghai, which has over 20 courses a short trip away from the heart of the city. There’s something for players of all abilities and to cater for all budgets. The nine-hole golf club at Hongqiao is worthy of a mention simply because the course is floodlit to enable you to play all through the night if you wish. The Riviera, too, offers players the chance to work on their short game as it’s just 3,500 yards long.
The largest Australian city is renowned for its sun-kissed summers, making it a perfect setting for an unforgettable round of golf. If you can prise yourself away from Bondi or one of the other stunning beaches nearby for long enough then head to somewhere like Camden Lakeside, the par-72 course with plenty of water hazards to challenge your golfing prowess, or Bonnie Doon Golf Club, which is situated right on the magnificent coastline. The Coast is regarded as one of the most scenic courses in this part of the world, but beware of the tough weather that will great you at the sea.
The tried and tested New York-Washington combo is a common choice with sightseers that roam around the east coast of America. Washington boasts some of the most iconic tourist attractions on the planet and the golf facilities located in the US capital are not too bad either. Donald Trump’s course, the aptly named Trump National, is based here, but the prices are not exactly backpacker-friendly, so you might be better off visiting courses such as East Potomac, Langston and Rock Creek, which offer excellent value for money and nicely maintained links.