6 World-class Golf Resorts with Designer Courses

14 August 2019

Does your dream vacation involve waking up from a restful slumber amidst luxurious surroundings and spending the day hitting the links at one of the world’s top golf courses?

We’ve got the answer to making your dream come true – from lush, challenging fairways to spectacular natural scenery, take your pick from any one of these world-class stay-and-play golf resorts for your next holiday.

The Datai Langkawi | Malaysia

An aerial view of a golf course
Can you score an Eagle on this course? Photo from The Els Club Malaysia

Imagine playing golf surrounded by the turquoise blue waters of the Andaman Sea on one side, and ancient rainforests on the other.

At Els Club Teluk Datai, the golf club connected to The Datai, you can make it a reality. The award-winning 18-hole Rainforest Course, which features natural obstacles like trees and streams rather than bunkers, was designed by four-time major championship winner Ernie Els.

Featuring 121 rooms, suites and villas, guests at The Datai are enveloped by nature’s embrace. With villas located in the dense rainforest and on the resort’s white-sand beach, you can choose whether you’d rather be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the forest or the gentle lapping of the waves against the surf.

Love travelling around Asia? These unforgettable experiences can’t be replicated anywhere else.

Terre Blanche | France

a lake in the middle of a golf course
Try to get past one of Thomas’ trademark jagged-edged bunkers on the Le Château course. Photo from Terre Blanche

Set in the heart of scenic Provence, Terre Blanche is home to not one, but two championship golf courses. Skillfully designed by architect Dave Thomas, the two 18-hole courses – Le Château and Le Riou – are considered among the best in continental Europe.

Terre Blanche is also the perfect base to discover Provence’s quaint charm, from its hilltop villages and vineyards to the gorgeous coastline of the Côte d’Azur. The 5-star resort offers spacious suites and villas that are inspired by the beauty of the Mediterranean.

For those bringing kids, the resort has a kids’ club offering hands-on activities to keep them busy.

Mission Hills Resort Shenzhen/Dongguan | China

a flowing river stream across a golf course
The Olazabal course, designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, is one of Mission Hill’s toughest, with deep bunkers and undulating fairways. Photo from Mission Hills

Want to go big? Then you can’t go wrong with Mission Hills – home to a staggering 12 courses, it is the largest golfing mecca in the world, as accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Nestled in China’s vast, rolling countryside, each 18-hole course was designed by a different leading course designer, including Greg Norman, Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus.

You’re not likely to experience a moment of boredom, as the resort is packed with exciting activities for guests of all ages. Guests can enjoy the two outdoor swimming pools, the fun-filled obstacle water park and the contemporary spa and wellness centre.

Priding itself as an eco-friendly destination, the resort also offers ecology trails that allow you to explore the sprawling grounds and learn about the local flora and fauna.

Adare Manor | Ireland

a golf course next to a castle
Golf in grandeur at Adare Manor. Photo from Adare Manor

Located in County Limerick, the grounds of Adare Manor certainly display the enchanting green hue that gives the Emerald Isle its name.

Renowned course architect Tom Fazio used state-of-the-art technology to design a course that would highlight the natural beauty and existing topography of the parkland estate. Each hole has its own unique character and playability, providing a satisfying experience for golfers of any level.

At the historic Manor House, you’ll get a taste of true Irish hospitality as you stay in the beautifully restored staterooms and suites. If you’re the sporty, outdoorsy sort, you can try your hand at traditional activities, such as falconry, archery and horse riding.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, reserve a table at The Oak Room for a romantic meal by candlelight prepared by Head Chef Michael Tweedie using the finest local ingredients.

Velaa Private Island | Maldives

a person teaching another person to golf
Perfect your technique with the help of Velaa’s trained professionals. Photo from Velaa Private Island

Does your swing need a bit of practice?

Check out the golf academy at the exclusive Velaa Private Island in the Maldives. PGA-certified trainers are on hand to tailor golf lessons based on individual needs, focusing on the areas required for improvement. The 9-hole course boasts 6 greens, 7 bunkers, and a scenic lake.

Sitting on the Noonu Atoll, Velaa offers a luxurious hideaway, complete with rustic thatched roofs and Instagram-worthy private pools. There’s plenty to do on the island, such as water sports, diving and yoga classes.

At Tavaru restaurant, tuck in to the delicious Teppanyaki cuisine and be wowed as nimble-fingered chefs slice and dice, preparing your meal right in front of you.

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa | India

a golf course
If you’re looking to check ‘Golfed at the world’s highest golf course’ off your bucket list, Khyber is the place to go. Photo from The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa

Take your golfing game up to new heights at The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, situated at an altitude of 2,650 metres in the Himalayas’ Pir Panjal range.

Home to the world’s highest golf course, the 9-hole course challenges even the most seasoned golfers, thanks to the unpredictable weather, rolling fairways and distracting panoramas of the snow-capped Affarwat peaks.

Gulmarg is better known as a popular skiing destination, but in the warm summer months, the snow melts away to reveal carpets of green grass and blooming meadows.

Besides golfing, you can hitch a ride up Kongdoori Mountain on the world’s highest gondola ride, go mountain biking or try rock climbing. The 85-key resort’s design was inspired by the heritage of Kashmir in its decor and architecture.

If you’re travelling with family, make sure the resort you choose has something for everyone. Check out our recommendations.

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