It’s the most frustrating game in the world of sport: one millimetre too fine or too coarse and you’re three off the tee or fishing the ball out of the drink.
If there’s no greater remedy for a triple bogey than a holiday, or for anything else for that matter, then why not do both at the same time? Let’s get the ball into the fairway and give ourselves a good shot at the green.
Here are the 8 best golf courses in Europe.
The Home of Golf has over 600 years of hooks, slices, and shanks under its belt dating back to the sport’s 15th century origins with wooden balls.
Take your pick from seven courses – from the British Open hosting Old Course to the super scenic Castle Course there’s something for every budget and handicap.
Green fees: £15 – £175
Rating: 72.8 – 73.6
Take in the views of the Mountains of Mourne and the shores of Dundrum Bay on the course Golf Digest called the best course in the world for 2016. Here you’ll find number four and number nine of the 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes.
Green fees: £70 – £200
There are few better natural settings than Austria’s Alpine Foreland and the brilliant incorporation of the area’s streams and rock formations into the course is truly a work of magic.
Take a shot on either the Championship Course or the more forgiving nine hole Wallerbach Course.
Green fees: €65 – €95
This exclusive golf club in the Andalusia region of southern Spain is one of the few of its kind that welcomes visitors. The single 18-hole course was awarded the Audobon Environment Certificate for its environmentally conscious operation and its doubling as an animal sanctuary.
Green fees: €350 – €370
The constant host of the Dutch Open is a strategic and cerebral course that rewards brains over sheer power. Be prepared for doglegs through pine stands and a few terrain raises where tee shots and green approaches are played blind.
Green fees: €100
Located near the aptly named Knocke sur Mer on Belgium’s North Sea coast is this course known for its contrast of perfectly manicured fairways and wild nature. When the wind picks up the deceptively easy fairways turn into a place to make challenging tactical shots or risk ruin.
Green fees: €110
While Vanderrama offers prestige, Spain’s second entry to the list is all about value. There’s hardly anything better than driving the ball through old oak trees and heather fields in the Spanish sun – just don’t get too tempted to cool off in one of the many water hazards.
The five tee off positions also make this a great novice course.
Green fees: €72 – €150
The peaks and valleys in this slope happy course provide great views of the Southern Alps and the surrounding villages.
The training facilities here are so good that it’s the headquarters of the French Golf Union – throw in Michelin star quality cuisine and a 3000 m2 spa and this is about as holiday as golf gets.
Green fees: €170