When you think of a golf holiday to Europe, you likely picture images of picture-perfect fairways against spectacular views and historical backdrops. From the beautiful coastlines of Ireland to the sunny terrains of Spain, Europe is a haven for golf enthusiasts seeking challenging courses, stunning landscapes, and the best golf courses.
As golf enthusiasts, our team at ROKFORM has compiled this ultimate guide to planning your golf trip in Europe. From budget-friendly options to top destinations in the best golf resorts, we have got you covered! Grab your clubs and let's dive into all you need to know when planning your European golf break!
Top Destinations for European Golf Courses
Setting off on a European golf adventure means diving into the best courses and golf destinations that are not just prestigious but also boast some amazing views. Picture yourself teeing off at legendary spots like St Andrews in Scotland or enjoying the sunny vibes at world-class courses like Valderrama in Spain. It’s a golfer’s dream come true!
So where's the best place to play golf in Europe? European golf courses each carry their own charm and there is something for every type of golfer. If you are a history buff, tee off at the Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. Prefer a warmer climate in one of the finest golf resorts? Spain's luxurious golf resorts, such as the La Cala Golf Resort in Malaga, are a great option for you.
While you are out on your great European golf vacation, don’t forget to take your ROKFORM Eagle 3 golf phone case with you. Available for Samsung S23 and iPhone users, the Eagle 3 is not just any other phone case. It's tailor-made specifically for golfers and is the perfect addition to your golf equipment. MagSafe® compatible, the Eagle 3 effortlessly attaches to your golf cart and protects against golf cart drops up to 6 feet. If you need to check your yardage on the fly or take a video of your golf swing, The Eagle 3 allows for easy, hands-free access to your GPS yardage apps and camera.
Iconic Golf Destinations: From Scotland to Spain
The legendary quality and impeccable conditions of the best golf courses in Europe draw players from across the globe to its most iconic spots. The diverse landscape throughout the continent means there’s a perfect course out there for everyone and plenty of new destinations to explore. Below are a few of our favorite courses that are well worth a visit (or two!).
Golf du Médoc in Bordeaux, France
The only thing better than this Bordeaux golf resort is perhaps the world-renowned wine of the region. If you’re coming to this area of France, odds are that you are also passionate about gastronomy and the Golf du Médoc amenities and dining options are sure to impress. There are two championship golf courses and a famous on-property restaurant led by chef Benoit Gourgues who cooks up some of the tastiest meals in all of golf.
Real Club Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain
Further south, there’s the Real Club Valderrama golf course located in Sotogrande in Andalucía, Spain. This iconic club has hosted its share of legendary tournaments, including the now-defunct Volvo Masters for 20 years— it also held the 1997 Ryder Cup which was the first time the event ever took place outside either the US or the United Kingdom. Gorgeous weather, rich history, and a creative signature 4th hole “La Cascada” make this southern Spanish destination a perfect place to play if you’re traveling within the Iberian peninsula.
Costa Navarino in Messinia, Greece
Away from the traditional meccas of golf, the Costa Navarino course is a true gem located along the Mediterranean coast. While Greece may not be the first destination you think of when thinking up a European golf itinerary, this relatively new resort designed by architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. is one of the continent’s most elegant golf courses. There are four world-class courses as well as four luxurious hotels so you can enjoy the idyllic location to its fullest potential.
Costa Navarino is a relatively new resort that opened in October 2011 and has already ranked as Continental Europe’s finest golf course a handful of times. Between beautiful beaches, teeing off amid olive trees, and soaking in the Greek sun, this Peloponnese destination is a must-visit.
The Legendary Links of Scotland
As the story goes, the game of golf originated on the “links” along Scotland’s coastline. Links courses are the oldest type of golf course tracing back to the landscapes where the sport was first played, typically featuring sandy soil, seaside dunes, few water hazards, and minimal trees.
For the history buffs wanting to experience these legendary links or golfers who simply enjoy this style of play, Scotland is home to many of the best golf courses in Europe. The courses share common elements such as small deep bunkers known as “pot bunkers” and uneven fairways.
Some of the best links courses in Scotland include:
- St. Andrews
- Royal Dornoch
- North Berwick
The coastal location of many links courses also means players will have to adapt to the windy conditions.
Luxury Golf Resorts Worth the Visit
Providing an unparalleled golf experience is a specialty of the best resorts in Europe, serving up opulence and luxury in spectacular fashion. For American golf enthusiasts making the long trip across the pond, choosing a luxury golf resort can be a way to make the extended journey truly worth the extra travel time— after all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a round of golf in between spa sessions and immaculate dining?
Finca Cortesin in Casares, Spain
The five-star Finca Cortesin Golf Resort simply oozes luxury, located along the famously sun-kissed Costa del Sol in southern Spain. First things first, the world-class golfing alone makes this stunning destination worth the visit, featuring a characteristic design of Cabell B. Robinson that stretches from Andalucian hills to the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea.
The 2023 Solheim Cup was played here recently as well as several DP World Tour’s Match Play Championships in past years. However, making it out for a round of golf may be difficult due to the numerous opulent amenities surrounding the course that can distract even the most avid golfer, including one of the world’s top hotels, its private beach club, lush gardens, and four swimming pools.
Monte Rei Villas in Tavira, Portugal
The Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is many golfers’ favorite luxury resort in Portugal, straddling the beautiful region between the Serra do Caldeirão mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The rustic location along the southeast Portugal/Spanish border makes this one of the best places for golfers exploring the Iberian Peninsula, encouraging day trips to the Lisbon coast or nearby Sevilla, Spain. But golfers will be hard-pressed to leave the dazzling top-tier resort, complete with apartment-style accommodations, plenty of pools, and dining options. This resort is gaining in popularity so we recommend you put it on your shortlist soon!
For an even more enjoyable experience on the course and around the resort, play your favorite music with the ROKFORM G-ROK Wireless Speaker! This portable Bluetooth golf speaker instantly sticks to any golf cart and other metal surfaces so you can take tunes on the go, whether you’re chilling poolside or on the back nine. The rugged, waterproof design is made specifically for outdoor use on the golf course. The compact speaker comes with a built-in carabiner to hook onto your golf bag if you’re walking. The high-quality sound has a wireless range of up to 30 feet— just make sure to check your course’s rules to make sure music is allowed.
Watch this video to learn about the Top 10 FAQs about the G-ROK Wireless Golf Speaker!
Unmatched Elegance and Service at Top-Tier Resorts
The very best resorts in Europe stand out because of their luxurious, top-notch amenities. Beyond the standard resort packages that cover green fees, range balls, accommodations, and meals, luxury resorts provide these services and more with world-class quality. Visitors can expect stunning architecture and landscaping the minute they enter the property and continue enjoying other privileges, such as restaurants led by renowned chefs or PGA-staffed learning academies.
Budget-Friendly Golfing Options for Every Traveler
Getting the best value for money on your next golf trip in Europe lets you think less about spending and enjoy more of the greens. If you’re planning an upcoming European golf vacation, rest assured that it’s possible to stay within budget and find excellent golfing options that are friendlier for your wallet.
One recommendation for a budget-friendly destination is to visit the best golf resorts in Portugal, a country with more affordable prices and amazing golf courses. Two great Portuguese options are the Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort and the Vale do Lobo Resort. The Praia D’El Rey is an 18-hole course designed by legend Cabell B. Robinson and is surrounded by a tennis center, oceanside, and seven restaurants. For an even better value, check out the golf resorts in Bulgaria that are quickly climbing in popularity among golf fans!
How to Maximize Value on Your European Golf Adventure
Picking the right spot to play and spend your holiday will make the biggest difference to the overall cost of the trip, but there are still several cost-saving habits that can maximize the value of the golf getaway.
After booking at one of the best golf resorts in Portugal with more competitive rates than the ultra-luxurious resorts elsewhere, it’s time to tee up— check out the tips below that can help you save money on your next golf trip.
- Golf in a group: Going with a large group can be a bargaining chip for lower prices or package deals
- Pack smart: Forgetting essentials or buying new gear at the resort’s pro shop can come with a high price markup compared to your local golf store
- Budget ahead: Estimate how much you’ll be spending on the trip and avoid letting a big spender in your group dictate the activities
- Bet for chores instead of money: Spending on a golf trip can take a turn for the worst if bets don’t go your way. A fun and cost-saving twist on betting on the course for cash is dishing out chores like who has to keep track of scores, be the designated driver, or cook a meal for the group.
The ROKFORM Eagle 3 case protects your phone while out on the course, ensuring your European golf vacation goes off without a hitch. Having a phone screen smash on the cart path is the last thing you want while enjoying an international trip, so defend against drops with our Eagle 3 phone case. The all-new design for the latest iPhone 15 represents more than 10 years of smartphone case design experience and thousands of rounds of golf. The slim profile reduces bulk while the integrated magnets let you attach your phone instantly to the cart, providing hands-free access to GPS yardage apps or video recording your swing.
“I love the way it feels in my hand. Not slippery, feels solid, and I’m confident this case will protect my iPhone.”
Planning Your Ultimate Golf Trip UK
Golf trips to the British Isles are unforgettable experiences steeped in rich sporting history and spectacular courses that you’ll love to play. Scotland, Ireland, and England are home to some of the best golf resorts in Europe. Planning your golf adventure far in advance will pay off big time so when it's time for the trip, you can sit back and take a relaxed swing on each hole.
Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing Your Golf Holiday in Europe
Preparing your golf holiday in a pre-planned and structured way will increase the chances of the trip being an adventure of a lifetime and one that goes as smoothly as possible. Before you tee off, learn how to organize your vacation to some of the best golf resorts in Europe.
Booking Your Tee Times Efficiently
It’s crucial to book your tee-off slots ahead of time to guarantee staying on schedule. The last thing you want is to miss out on an entire round of golf because of a lack of availability on the course, especially since you’ve traveled halfway across the globe for golf. Simply put, always book your tee times.
But when exactly should you plan to tee off? This will depend on how ambitious of an itinerary you are chasing while on the trip, but we recommend avoiding exhausting 36-hole days that will end up tiring you out. Leave room for breaks as well as spontaneous second tries on a course you were itching to get another swing at. Booking at off-peak hours is a smart way to save a few bucks, or British pounds for that matter.
Old Course at St. Andrews Tee Times
For golfers planning on visiting the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, booking a tee time is a whole process in and of itself. A historical gem of the best golf resorts in Europe, St. Andrews remains a truly public course so anyone can play, but there are some complex hoops to jump when booking a slot.
Players can submit a direct application a year in advance or participate in the Old Course St. Andrews Ballot that takes place 48 hours before the date of play— there’s also a daily singles queue. Peak months at St. Andrews are June through August and groups may have more success booking a time during the off-peak season in April, May, or October.
Selecting the Right Golf Package for You
There’s a lot to think about when selecting a golf package at any of the best golf resorts in Europe, including courses, accommodations, and additional amenities. All-inclusive packages are becoming more popular as a simple way to enjoy everything a luxury resort has to offer.
The most opulent packages include access to a five-star luxury hotel and extra perks beyond the clubhouse, like fine dining and spas. More modest accommodation lets you spend more on golf itself and doesn’t keep you tethered to a specific course. For a more flexible itinerary, some golfers explore the British Isles’ diverse golf courses by car.
Planning an international golf trip means you’ll need to plan to bring the right golf equipment, too. Having everything ready before you go is key to being able to hit the course straight away and avoiding price hikes at the golf pro shop in the resort. One of our favorite accessories for golfers is the ROKFORM Magnetic Sport Ring with Stand constructed from premium aluminum and stainless steel. This phone case add-on instantly sticks to the back of your phone with strong magnets, letting you securely mount your phone to any magnetic surface. The built-in adjustable stand enables convenient portrait and landscape viewing.
Tailoring Your Package to Your Golfing Preferences
Matching the golf destination to the standard of the group is an underrated method to boost the experience out on the course. Let’s face it— not all of us are ready to take on championship-length courses with high levels of difficulty and fully enjoy them. In the UK, links golf can be notoriously difficult due to high winds and deep-pocketed bunkers. Being realistic and opting for more appropriate courses or a few sub-6,500-yard layouts can keep the momentum of the group high, including the possibility of a great score, and time to relax on the golf course.
Exploring the Rich Landscape of Golf Courses in Europe
Europe is home to a myriad of golf courses bursting with history, lush landscapes, and creative course architecture. But how many golf courses does Europe have? The latest report from the European Golf Association states there are 8,991 golf courses in Europe, with around 60% located in England, Germany, France, Sweden, and Scotland.
Diverse Golfing Landscapes Across the Continent
The distinct golfing landscape in Europe compared to US golf courses is a major draw for players looking for new experiences. While there are a handful of courses stateside that are designed to imitate the natural links courses or parkland layouts that originated in the UK, playing on actual European soil offers a truly memorable round.
Perhaps the most famous golfing landscape is the links course, originating from the Old English word hlinc, which refers to a ridge typically found in sandy areas along the coastline. Links courses are mainly located in Scotland, Ireland, and England on the coast with sandy soil that’s perfect for golf since it drains well. Players need to watch out for the characteristic pot punkers and strong winds that can make or break their score.
Another British golf landscape is the heathland course, characterized by the presence of endemic vegetation such as heather, gorse, and coarse grasses. Good examples of heathland courses are Woking Golf Club, Sunningdale Golf Club, and Alwoodley Golf Club located in Britain.
The Charm of Parkland Golf Courses
Parkland courses are located inland farther from the coast and typically feature picturesque man-made elements and immaculately manicured landscaping. Logically, these more curated environments feel more like playing golf in a park, including plenty of trees and lush grass. The parkland courses in Europe appeal to golfers not because of their authentic natural environment like links courses per se but because of the creative architecture and greenery on the course. Some stand-out parkland courses in Europe include Golf de Mortontaine in Paris, The Brabazon Course at The Belfry, Forest Pines Hotel, and The Melbourne Club.
Links Courses vs. Parklands Courses
Links and parklands courses are both popular golfing landscapes in Europe, but each has its own characteristics. Check out the table below to learn more about the specific features of each style!
Difference Between Golf Course Styles
|Natural, undulating terrain
|Sand dunes, pot bunkers, tall grass
|Water features, trees, wide bunkers
|Coastal, wind exposure
|Inland, reduced wind
|Fairways and greens
|Soft and lush texture
Emerging Golf Destinations: Discover Hidden Gems
For golfers interested in playing courses off the beaten cart path, there are several hidden gem golf courses in Europe. These lesser-known courses come with advantages such as fewer crowds and lower fees compared to the famous courses with legendary status.
Some of our favorite resorts that can be easily overlooked include:
- Costa Navarino Resort, Greece
- Terre Blanche Hotel and Spa, France
- Quinta do Lago Resort, Portugal
- Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria
Exploring the Golf Scene in Bulgaria
Trend-conscious golfers ahead of the curve may already know about the up-and-coming golf scene in Bulgaria. For the uninitiated, Bulgaria and its new world-class courses are drawing serious attention from European golfers who recognize its advantageous location along the dazzling Black Sea coast.
The Balkan country is a less expensive alternative to heavy-hitting destinations like Portugal and Spain, including great food and cultural history. Some of the most idyllic golf courses in Europe are here in Bulgaria, such as St. Sofia, Pirin Golf and Country Club, and Pravets Golf and Spa Resort. The hands-down favorite is the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort designed by Gary Player featuring impressive seaside cliffs for a truly unique day out on the course.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Scottish-style golf?
Links courses originated in Scotland and are the oldest style of golf course, having their roots in the Old English word for the area near coastal sand dunes. The landscape is made from sandy soil with few trees, pot bunkers, and undulating terrain, with seaside wind often playing a large factor.
Where is the best place to play golf in Europe?
There are several best places to play golf in Europe, including the Terre Blanche Golf Club in France, the Bay Course Costa Navarino in Greece, and The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club in Portugal. Use these luxury resorts as a jumping-off point when researching your next European golf destination!
What is the best phone case for golf?
When it comes to finding the best phone case for golf, there are a few things to consider. First, you want a case that will protect your phone from drops and other potential damage on the course. Second, you want a case that won't be too bulky or cumbersome to carry in your pocket or bag. Finally, you may want a case that has additional features, such as a built-in magnetic mounting system to easily attach it to the golf cart.
ROKFORM: The Golfers’ Go-To Choice for Accessories
ROKFORM products are designed to perform in all golf environments, whether you enjoy links courses in Scotland or luxury resorts in southern Spain. Our golf phone cases and portable golf speakers are the favorites of pro golfers and weekend amateurs alike. From clubhouse to green, protect your smartphone with the Eagle 3 case designed for dedicated players.
Have questions about our products or which golf accessories are right for you? We are available for online chat or in-person at our Irvine, California showroom. Call us toll-free at 855-765-3676, email us at email@example.com, or visit us at www.rokform.com