UK golf breaks experienced a huge rise this summer. Here at Your Golf Travel, we saw a UK Staycation Boom with a huge increase in enquiries compared to 2019. The sport saw a huge rise in popularity during lockdown thanks to golf being one of the best outdoor activities for social distancing.
Many golfers who were due to go abroad for their golf holiday have also opted to stay closer to home this year due to the ever changing travel restrictions. A huge number of our customers who were due to play golf in Europe or travel further afield rearranged their holiday for 2021 and have enjoyed a UK Staycation this year to fill the gap.
As a whole, the UK and Ireland saw a 150% increase in Enquiries between June 2020 and September 2020. England just pips Wales to the post in seeing the greatest interest with 184% vs 179% increase.
Overall, the UK and Ireland saw a 74% rise in Staycation bookings, with both England and Scotland benefitting the most, up 87% each. It is likely that due to the continued quarantine restrictions, Ireland has seen the lowest increase of both enquiries and bookings, but is still up year on year.
The UK Staycation Boom has the biggest growth with the age group 18-25 which saw an increase of over 800% vs 2019 while 26-34 year olds were over 180% up vs 2019.
Are you thinking about experiencing a new destination for your next golf holiday? Marrakech in Morocco offers an array of fantastic golf courses as well as culture, history and hot sunshine – read our Marrakech Quick Guide.
Location: Morocco is located on the northwest coast of Africa, and Marrakech is at Capital City in the mid-south-west region.
Average Temperatures: July & August (summer) can reach 40°C / Spring average is 25°C
Flight Time: 3hrs 30 mins from the UK To Marrakech
Time Difference: GMT – same as UK!
Assoufid Golf Club Marrakech is rated 9.2/10 by YGT Travellers. Here’s a testimonial from a YourGolfTravel customer earlier this year.
“A wonderful course, I’d definitely play there again. The course was beautifully presented and is in great condition. The facilities are excellent.” Margaret – Reviewed 8 Mar 2020
Marrakech is often described as having 3 areas to visit. There’s the Medina which is the old town, outside of the city walls lies the new town which is very residential, and then there’s the luxury tourist spots with stunning hotels and golf courses.
To maximise your trip, we recommend trying to get a dose of it all. 3 to 5 night stays are typical of a holiday here, giving you enough time to explore the local area in between your rounds of golf.
You can wander around the Medieval walled city, check out local market stalls, visit the Bahia palace or Menara Park with a beautiful mountain backdrop. There are plenty of cultural reasons to visit the city, but the golf courses on offer are superb. All in all, it’s a very well rounded holiday.
Morocco in general ticks a lot of boxes for golfers, with almost guaranteed sunshine, plenty of quality courses and accommodation options to suit any budget covering the basics of any good golf holiday. Marrakech in particular though offers the opportunity to experience plenty of things that are unique to this part of North Africa. The food is spectacular, beaches are incredible and you can also get a proper taste of authentic North African culture with a visit to the Medina.
If I had to choose just one golf course from the region, it would have to be Assoufid. Voted Africa’s Best Golf Course 2016 at the World Golf Awards, this is everything you’d expect from a Morocco golf course, where pristine fairways lined with palm trees cut their way through rugged desert wasteland, all with the Atlas Mountains serving as a pretty breathtaking backdrop. Magic. YGT Rory
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What does the Rule Of Six And Golf Trips mean for you? From Monday ‘The rule of six’ came into effect in England which stipulated that no more than six people can meet in a group indoors or outdoors. For many of you who are part of a golf group, this has caused a little confusion on whether your trip can still go ahead or whether you can still book Autumn and Winter.
Below, we answer your FAQs on the new Rule of Six And Golf Trips.
Yes, according to EnglandGolf.org golf can continue to be played as long as safety guidelines are adhered to and on-course groups sizes do not exceed the new legal limit of six people. 4-Balls are therefore allowed on course.
If your group/society is bigger than 6 people, you need to think about how you will arrive at your golf break. Your travel arrangements to and from the golf course/resort needs to fit with this new government regulation.
You may be asked to nominate a ‘bubble of 6’ on arrival for bigger groups who will need to sit together at breakfast and dinner at all times.
Before, during and after your round, you also need to take care not to mix and form larger groups.
Two people can still share a room, meaning twin rooms are permitted.
The clubhouse and restaurant can continue to accommodate many social groups as long as each individual group is no larger than six people. Everyone must continue to social distance.
Groups of 7+ should split into smaller groupings, based on the smaller bubble of people you have been with throughout your trip including on the course.
|Outdoors||6 people – multiple households||No more than 6 people (age 12+) from 2 households||Up to 30 people||Up to 15 people|
|Indoor||6 people – multiple households||No more than 6 people (age 12+) from 2 households||Up to 6 people (age 11+) – Extended households||6 people from 2 households|
Many bookings to UK venues are not disrupted but our Travel Experts will be in touch with you if there are any restrictions that may make your trip unable to go ahead.
We are also offering a Flexibility Guarantee. Click here to find out more >>
We must also remind you to always check your latest local COVID19 guidelines before you travel or make final arrangements due to potential local restrictions/lockdowns. Golf Safe everyone.
Check out YGT Rory’s latest course vlogs:
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I was recently asked by someone what the 18 best golf holes I have ever played are. I have been lucky to play golf in 24 countries around the world since joining YGT 10 years ago. So this list wasn’t easy list to make! 😂
Honestly, I could spend hours thinking about this and my list would probably change every 5 minutes if I did. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the 18 best golf holes below as quickly as I could. I’ve ignored any notion of a par for this “18 hole course” too and quite simply have picked my 18 best golf holes in the world. I haven’t ordered them either…these are just 18 banging golf holes off the top of my head.
It seems only right to kick this list off with the best playing experience I’ve ever had in golf. Going to The Masters with my dad probably tops that but as far as actually playing goes, how do you beat a par 3 where you have to take a helicopter to and from the tee?!
400 meters up, and 400 meters out to a giant green and shaped like the continent of Africa. The Extreme 19th is not for the faint hearted. My poor dad who isn’t a massive fan of heights was hitting his tee shots (you get 6 balls per player to play from the tee) and then immediately running back from away the edge.
$1,000,000 for a hole in one adds to the excitement. Needless to say, I didn’t quite get one. Still, my quintuple bogey 8 is the most enjoyable 8 I’ve ever made on a golf course and probably always will be.
Staying in South Africa, we’ll head to Pinnacle Point for another incredible par 3. It’s basically impossible to pick a signature hole at Pinnacle Point, my favourite golf course in the world, but the par 3 9th is definitely a candidate.
The course at Pinnacle Point runs along the cliffs of Mossell Bay and there are forced carries a-plenty. Many tee shots having to be launched over gaping chasms to greens perched on the edge of a bluff, with the waves rolling in far below. The 9th is the most dramatic of the bunch, and with the halfway house waiting at the end you can grab a quick beer to steady the nerves before heading into the back nine for more clifftop thrills!
Formely a fairly bland par 4 with an epic backdrop, the 9th on the Ailsa Course is now a dramatic par 3 that, depending on which tees you play from, plays along or over a beautiful rocky bay to a green perched on the water’s edge. I wouldn’t recommend playing from the back tee, I had to hit a 2 iron and still didn’t make the carry despite catching it pure. Even if your tee shot finds a watery grave, this hole is now one of golf’s greatest par 3s! The hole provide one of the game’s most iconic photo opportunities.
When creating my list of 18 Best Golf Holes, I did try to keep it to just one hole per course, but 9 & 10 on the Ailsa Course just can’t be left out. In fact, the par 5 10th is my favourite golf hole in the world…well…favourite golf hole that doesn’t require a helicopter anyway!
TODAY’S FLASHBACK: Playing my favourite hole in the world. Par 5 10th at Turnberry! QUESTION: What is YOUR favourite hole in golf?? PS – Keep an eye out for the back tee we played from (wouldn’t recommend 😂) in the drone shot at the end. Terrifying. 😱 @yourgolftravel pic.twitter.com/q7WSzH2yL7
— Rory Anderson (@YGTRory) May 17, 2020
The 10th at Turnberry was always a cracking hole, but the subtle changes they made to it a few years back have definitely made it better. From the back tee the drive is semi blind and requires a massive carry to find the fairway. So again, teeing it forward is definitely the way to go. But with a driver safely in play, the rest of the hole is played along the rocky coastline that gently sweeps from right to left, to a green again perched right on the water’s edge.
Walking off the green, hopefully with a par on the card, and having a look back down the hole towards the lighthouse is another classic photo opportunity and yet another reminder just how special a place Turnberry is to play golf.
Tralee Golf Club is my favourite course in Ireland so it was always going to make an appearance on this list, it’s pretty difficult to pick a signature hole because there are just so many!
The par 3 16th, aptly named “Shipwreck”, is definitely one of many highlights of a round at Tralee. With the Atlantic Ocean just a stone’s throw to the right all the way down this testing par 3, where the green is nestled among the massive dunes that South West Ireland is so famous for, this hole is as spectacular as it is testing.
Last time I was there we played from the tips and luckily I hit one of the purest 2 irons of my life to leave an easy 2-putt for par. If you have the time, once you’ve putted out, just stand on the edge of the green and have a little moment, taking in your surroundings. Tralee is an epic place to play golf.
I played Bay Hill on a filming tour with Mark Crossfield, Coach Lockey and my colleague Gareth (A.K.A Mr Llewellyn) and it was unanimously voted as our favourite course of the tour. Unfortunately we ran out of time and couldn’t quite finish the whole course but with the sun going down, we made our way up the Par 5 6th (we tee off on 10 so only missed our last 3 holes) which is a very cool par 5.
Sweeping from right to left around a massive lake, the rest vs reward element on this hole is super fun… and kind of never wracking too! Longer hitters will be able to cut off a decent chunk of the corner and try and get home in two, while others will have to be ever mindful of the water lurking on the left.
The Ocean Course is my favourite course in the USA and even though I’ve played the likes of Bay Hill, PGA National and Pinehurst, I have no hesitation in saying that. It’s visually quite unique too, which makes it extra special.
Famed as being one of the hardest golf courses in the world, you can expect a bit of a beating from the Ocean Course. I’ll be honest, I was lucky with the weather. I’ve somehow managed to play 2 rounds here, both days with perfect blue skies and barely a breath of wind. The course will probably give you a wedgie and steal your lunch money too, but don’t let that put you off.
The 13th is probably the best example of why the course can be so tough on the wrong day. DO NOT PLAY OFF THE BACK TEES HERE! I do recommend a walk back to the black tee and have a look at the hole from there. Imagine a 20mph wind blowing from left to right, look at the size of the target you’re aiming into and you’ll have some idea as to how this can be potentially the world’s hardest golf course.
The Brabazon Course at The Belfry has hosted The Ryder Cup four times…more than any other course in world golf. So it’s hardly surprising that what is arguably the signature hole on the course (the 18th might lay claim to that too) is one of the most iconic holes in the game of golf.
The par 4 10th is brilliant for lots of reasons. It’s famous. It’s beautiful. But best of all, it’s brilliant. A short par 4 that will tempt everyone and anyone into having a crack at the green from the tee. Probably even those who know they definitely won’t reach just so they can say they’ve done it!
Either way you choose to play the hole, whether it’s laying up into the fairway leaving wedge into the tree, or taking it on from the tee, the water hazard and overhanging trees that surround the green must be safely navigated. Do that and a birdie is definitely on the cards. Don’t, and a big number is never too far away. Risk vs reward in a nutshell.
Oh…and the halfway house is on the tee too. Did someone say beer o’clock?
I have only played one hole on the Laranjal Course at Quinta do Lago. As far as I can tell, I picked the right one.
The par 3 11th here is played over a lake to a green protected by…well…I guess it’s half bunker, half beach. The gleaming white sand protects the front of the green and sweeps around the right side too, disappearing under the water as it makes its way back towards the tee.
I’ll always have fond memories of this hole as it was the very first hole I ever filmed for Youtube on a YGT filming trip. Oh…and fresh off the plane with no warmup I flushed a 3 iron to about 12 feet and holed the putt for a 2. Don’t like to talk about that though.
The 11th at Quinta do Lago and the 17th at Bay Hill because they are incredibly similar holes. As you can see I ended up going for both of them.
I just love the look of the bunkers on these holes that merge with the water hazards. Apart from these 2 holes I can’t think of another with a hazard like this and both holes are superb tests too. Long irons required from the back tees, with the option to move forward should you want an easier crack at the greens, they can be firm and fair.
It wasn’t my turn to bag a birdie when we played here. It was Coach Lockey’s day, but I would settle for an up and down for par from the front bunker any day of the week.
The Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya is one of the best in mainland Europe. The Tour Course at this amazing resort is pretty tidy too so anyone looking for a golf trip to Spain, this resort is definitely worth a look.
The Stadium Course is the main attraction though, and the par 4 5th is a great example of why this course is so highly admired.
The view from the tee is crazy good. Definitely a “selfie moment”. And from a slightly elevated tee you play towards a dramatic peninsula green with water short, right and long. A potential card wrecker but a beauty nonetheless.
Another par 3 and I’m starting to see a pattern emerging here. Apparently I have a thing for forced carries!
The 5th hole on the Teeth of The Dog course is arguably the most beautiful in my list of 18 Best Golf Holes. It’s great fun to play as well. This is the top ranked course in the entire Caribbean. Once you get to the 5th tee, you start a stretch of holes down the coastline which are simply out of this world.
There are 5 sets of tees dotted along the coastline here. You play towards a scarily small green, perched on a little shelf that juts out into the water. It is protected by a small copse of trees on the right. I went from the back tee last time I was there and it’s only a 7 iron from there, but it’s still a fairly scary shot!
Another par 3…sorry folks!
Anyone who’s played Druids Glen will forgive me for including this one though. This course is often referred to as “The Augusta of Ireland” and the 12th is arguably the most spectacular hole on the course.
Played from a massively elevated tee, it’s not overly long so depending on how far you hit it, golfers will have something like a mid to short iron to a green. The green is protected by a water hazard that cuts diagonally across the front from left to right.
When you get to the green keep an eye out for the statue of a Druid in the trees to the right and make sure you take a look back towards the tee as well. You’ll see the giant Celtic Cross pattern in the flowerbed just beneath the tee. Druids Glen has arguably the best set of par 3s of any course I’ve ever played and this is the pick of the bunch.
This is the last course that features more than one hole on this list but just as you think you’ve played the best hole at Druids Glen on the 12th, up pops the par 4 13th. It is also an absolute banger!
Probably the toughest hole on the golf course, the 13th plays from an elevated tee, sweeps from left to right around a corner and over a pretty sizeable water hazard to a green circled by towering trees.
The drive is tough. The approach is tougher. Walk to the 14th with a par on the card and give yourself a big pat on the back from me.
Monte Rei is by far the best course I’ve played in mainland Europe and every single hole is special in its own way.
I do have a soft spot for short par 4s and I also love course that feature dramatic changes in elevation. Oh and views…when it’s views o’clock on a golf course I’m in heaven… The 13th at Monte Rei tick all 3 boxes.
Despite the dramatically elevated tee, it’s still definitely not drivable. Hit a good tee shot and you won’t have much more than a flick with a wedge in. The green is perched on the edge of a water hazard, all framed by the beautiful East Algarve countryside. A bad strike here or too much focus on your beautiful surroundings could still lead to trouble.
Anyone who loves golf in Portugal and hasn’t done Monte Rei yet, if you have the budget, do it. You won’t regret it.
This is more like a par 3 and a half, but I couldn’t not include the most photographed hole in Europe of this list could I?
The 16th on the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo is set on the cliff tops, with the beach and the sea all the way up the left of the hole. It is simply stunning. Head to the back tee for a photo and then promptly back to the yellow or red tees to play the hole. Unless you want to be hitting driver on a par 3 of course.
Regardless of your choice of tee location, only a well struck tee shot will do, as yep…you guessed it…I’ve picked another hole with some forced carries.
Northern Ireland. Royal Portrush Golf Club. Aptly named “Calamity Corner”. A long par 3 with death all the way up the right of the hole. I’ve only played Royal Portrush a couple of times but my impression is that the prevailing wind is off the left here, and with a giant chasm on the right of the hole. It’s really quite simple: hit one of your Sunday best or prepare to write a pretty big number on your scorecard!
HOLE 18 – PAR 5 13TH – LEOPARD CREEK – SOUTH AFRICA
The 13th at Leopard Creek Country Club is great hole with a fairway that gently cambers from right to left and a water hazard that runs up the left towards the green. It has a bunker protecting the green to the right, as well as links style run off areas around the green too. Course designer Gary Player describes it as “Leopard Creek is surrounded by bush veld. The fact that you could be playing while hearing a hippopotamus snort or seeing a lion near the fence is unique, as is the pitch shot you might hit over lake full of crocodiles and hippos.”
We didn’t spot any lions, but after reaching the 13th green, you’re treated to an fantastic view out over the African bush veld. This is where we saw a family of elephants coming out of the water after an evening dip. There were plenty of hippos within a pitching wedge of the course’s boundary too.
That’s it! That’s my 18 best holes in golf list. These are the most memorable for me but I could certainly do many more lists and add more amazing golf holes that I’ve been lucky to play. For now, I hope you enjoyed having a little read about some of my golfing adventures.
Let us know in the comments section about the best golf holes that you’ve played too!
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Considered by many to be golf’s toughest Major championship, The US Open is an event that provides a unique challenge with The USGA providing a stern test against Old Man Par. So what US Open Golf Courses you can play? Well, I bet you are thinking…these courses look epic! They must all be super-private with only Presidents, Prime Ministers or Bajillionaires allowed through their gates? That is the case for some of the courses that have held the jewel in US golf’s crown. However, there are a select few that do allow visitors at restricted times.
So, whether it is Pebble Beach on the West Coast or the rather menacing Bethpage Black on the East Coast you’ll be sure to find the perfect companion for your next trip to experience all that a US Open golf course has to offer.
Considered by Golf Digest to be The #1 US Open Venue, this stunning stretch of land in Monterey combines incredible scenery with memories that are etched into golf’s rich history.
Ask yourself, what are the first things you think of when you think of Pebble Beach?
Is it Tom Watson’s incredible chip-in on the par-3 17th to claim the 1982 US Open or maybe Jack Nicklaus’ amazing 1-iron into the same hole 10 years earlier which clipped the flag and set up a 4-shot victory over Arnold Palmer…
Or maybe, just maybe it was something a little more recent than that triggers your Pebble Beach memories…
Perhaps the greatest scene of a Major victory…Tiger Woods in 2000 claimed the title by no less than 15 shots in what many considered to be his greatest feat until the 2019 Masters comeback. Perhaps most impressively he started the round with just a 10 shot lead and developed it into 15 courtesy of a 67.
• Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, both gifted amateur golfers who created a course that has had very few changes since their original design in 1919
• Hosted no less than 5 US Opens with winners including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell. 2019 sees the championship return to Pebble Beach for a 6th US Open
• It has hosted 4 US Amateur Championships with 1961 being the standout for it was the year that Jack Nicklaus claimed the title in what was recorded as -24 for the 136 holes he played in the event. His victory in the final 8&6 was just the start of a career which included a record 18 Major championships
• Properties with coastal / golf views are some of the most expensive in America, a quick search shows a property on the market for over $40,000,000!
The US Open is due to return to the South Course at Torrey Pines in 2021. Known for it’s incredible views and even better course conditions, we recommend adding this as a stop to any trip to California.
Pinehurst #2 is back on the rota and will be hosting the 2024 tournament. The last time the venue hosted was back in 2014 when Martin Kaymer took the trophy with an 8 shot lead.
It’s been a few years since the US Open was hosted at Erin Hills but the course’s reputation has been growing towards one of the best in Wisconsin. And whilst you’re there, why not combine this with a round at Whistling Straits, the 2021 Ryder Cup host.
Golf is a great sport to get into and a social game that you can enjoy with friends and family close to home or on holiday. If you’re new to the game and thinking about going on your first golf holiday, read this Beginner’s Guide To Golf In The Algarve – our recommendations of where’s best to start your journey in Europe’s golf Mecca.
The game saw a positive rise in the popularity following lockdown earlier this year thanks to it being a sport where you can easily social distance and is a great form of exercise. And one thing better than playing your local course, is playing on holiday in the sunshine with your pals.
Our first recommendation in the Beginner’s Guide To Golf In The Algarve is Penina. There are 3 courses here, the Championship course, the Resort course and the Academy course. The Academy is a 9-hole track which is perfect as a practice round before you start placing any bets with your friends. There are lakes and hazard to test your skills which should set you up nicely to play other courses in the region.
If your game needs a bit of tweaking before you tee off, The Penina Golf Academy offers a vast array of practice facilities including a driving range, chipping green, practise bunker, a putting green and PGA Professionals offering beginner lessons to learn the basics.
The Amendoeira resort has 3 fantastic courses, two designed by golfing greats Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo. The resort also has its very own 9 hole floodlit course, so you can play and practise in the evenings. The academy boasts great practise facilities including a driving range, putting greens and short game areas.
After a round here or a few dozen balls on the range, it’s time to play the Palmer or the Faldo. And if you still don’t quite manage to hit the ball where you’re aiming (we’ve all been there!), a cold refreshing beverage on the way round will certainly perk up your mood.
Three outstanding championship courses await you at Quinta Do Lago and it is also home to the Paul Mcginley Golf Academy, the winning 2014 Ryder Cup Captain. The resort has absolutely everything you need to practice your golf technique, as well as to relax afterwards.
If you’ve done enough practicing on the driving range of your own, you can sit back and relax with a drink, with a lovely view to watch watch fellow golfers tee it up and master their own game. There is even ‘mini-golf’ on-site too, for a bit more of a friendly competition!
You will find beautiful views of the Atlantic coastline and two championship golf courses at Vale do Lobo. The 16th Hole on the Royal Course is probably a hole you already recognise. It is known as being the ‘face of golf in the Algarve’. Before your round here, why not check out the incredible academy, with a specific netted area especially for beginner golfers.
The great thing about the Algarve as a golf destination, is that it really has everything you could wish for from both a golf and a holiday perspective. There is a such a choice of golf courses that no matter which course you choose, as long as you play from Tee’s that are suitable to your ability (Don’t go from the very back if you’re new to the sport) you’re going to have a great round.
With plenty of academies and practice facilities, we recommend spending a day or so working on your technique – perhaps even getting a lesson with a PGA Professional – before you step onto the fairways.