Teeing off on a golfing holiday

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Teeing off on a golfing holiday

Golf holidays are a mixture of competition, exercise and relaxation with a large dose of fresh air. Whether you prefer rugged landscapes and centuries of golfing history, or sunshine and 21st century course design, there’s a golf resort for you within a couple of hours of Southampton Airport.

Toulon-Hyeres

The French RIviera is home to several elite golf courses, such as the lushly wooded Royal Mougins Golf Club and Resort, designed by the American architect Robert von Hagge in 1993. Just 10 minutes from bustling Cannes, surrounded by olive trees and ancient terraces, the unforgiving par-71 course rewards precision play and penalises every poor shot.

West of Toulon-Hyeres airport is the coastal resort of Fregate, with its two courses and driving range, luxury spa and two restaurants. With unsurpassed Mediterranean views, the club hosts competitions for all abilities and is also a popular wedding venue.

Even closer to the airport, you’ll find the highly-rated Golf de Valcros La Londe, and the par-68 Valgarde club, both welcoming to visitors

Aberdeen

Scotland attracts golfers from the world over, keen to experience a round or three at the home of the sport.

Fly into Aberdeen and you’ll be on the doorstep of dozens of courses, from the ancient Royal Aberdeen Golf Club (founded 1780) to 21st Century opulence of Donald Trump’s estate.

Just a 90-minute drive away is Carnoustie, venue for the 147th British Open in 2018 and another iconic golfing destination. Across the Tay, you’ll find the golfing Mecca of St Andrews, where golf was invented 600 years ago.

Faro

Golfing in the Algarve means year-round sunshine, world-class resorts and abundant fresh food and wine.

Flying into Faro in just two and a half hours from Southampton, you’ll feel the pressure melt away as you get caught up in the local beach vibe.

A short drive from the airport, the Oceanico Victoria course in Vilamoura is home to the Portugal Masters and rounds are available to book.

Some of the area’s courses restrict accessibility to those lucky enough to stay in the resort’s hotel, but others, such as the San Lorenzo Golf Course are open to visitors. For guaranteed great weather and plenty of alternative holiday attractions, Faro is the ultimate destination.

Belfast

For a small country, Northern Ireland has more than its share of golfing legends, including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell. It’s little wonder that the area is a growing golf tourism destination, with its courses rivalling Scotland for stunning settings.

Just two miles from the centre of Belfast is Balmoral Golf Club, which has had four Ryder Cup players among its members, including the great Fred Daly. The Royal Belfast Club is the oldest in Ireland, is easily reached to the east of the city.

Further afield, the 5* Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen is nestled on a 600 acre peninsula with spectacular views of the Fermanagh Lakelands. Its course, designed by six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo provides superb conditions year-round.

Majorca

The island of Majorca has 15 golf courses, all easily accessible to holidaymakers. Some have stunning sea views, like the Robert Trent Jones-designed Alcanada Golf in the bay of Alcudia, with most holes overlooking the lighthouse the course is named for.

Others, such as the Golf de Andratx are inland but no less beautiful. Set amongst age old olive groves, almond trees and ancient Mallorca stone walls, the course has a charming halfway house at the eighth hole, where golfers can relax and revive with tapas and cool drinks before tackling the last 10 holes.

Malaga

With 300 days of sunshine each year, the winterless Costa del Sol is a golfer’s dream location.

Part of Andalucia, which won the 2017 IAGTO Award for Best Golf Destination in Europe, the whole region is geared up for golf, with more than 60 courses within easy reach of Malaga airport. You can even hire golf clubs on arrival at the airport and save on baggage costs.

One of the finest resorts in the area is La Cala, just half an hour from the airport. Set within the magnificent rolling hills of Mijas, La Cala has three superb 18-hole championship golf courses, plus an executive 6 hole par-3 course.