European Golf Guide
The United Kingdom is blessed with many of the finest golf courses in the world and St Andrews in Scotland is considered the ancestral home of the game itself. Variety, however, is the spice of life and many golfers are now seizing the opportunity to take their clubs overseas as often as possible.
In this era of budget airlines and low-cost flights, getting to Europe has never been cheaper or easier and this has been a particular boon for golfers who now have easy access to a wide range of exciting and challenging courses, virtually on their doorsteps.
Many of Europe`s best courses are only a short distance from stunning cities that are worth visiting in their own right. Combining a few rounds with a stopover in a city such as Paris, Berlin or Florence is the perfect way to make your holiday truly complete.
With fantastic food, amazing scenery and superb standards of accommodation, Italy is one of the best places in Europe for a golfing holiday. There are in all 270 courses to choose from, many of them designed by international golfing legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Robert Trent Jones. This means you can be sure that each round you play will test your skills to the absolute limit but still be enormous fun.
If you`re looking for the ultimate challenge, the course at the Sporting Club Berlin is said to be one of the toughest around. Designed by Nick Faldo, it features deep bunkers and fiendishly twisty fairways. The resort also features a second course designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer.
Twenty miles from Paris you can find the Golf National which, with its inland-links style course, is home to the French Open and will be the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup. The Royal Zoute in neighbouring Belgium has been described by leading golfers as a `hidden gem`.
A golf holiday in Europe is also a way to take a relaxing break in the sun for those who don`t want to spend all their time lounging on a beach, but still want to return with something of a tan. If this is your plan then travelling to the southern coast of both Spain and Portugal or the island of Cyprus may be to your liking. Many of the courses in these destinations overlook sandy beaches and beautiful bays. The weather is magnificent all-year-round and there is often enough light to allow you to play late into the evening.
Although you will be playing on fabulous courses and enjoying high standards of accommodation, your golfing holiday to Europe need not cost the earth. As the popularity of golf increases so do the number of great deals available. Depending on the package you book, you may be able to have your golf bag carried for free, get huge reductions on car hire or, depending on how many there are in your party, get a group discount. 2 fore one vouchers which cut the cost of a round of golf in half are widely accepted at courses across Europe, allowing you to save even more money while still making the most of your time abroad.
Car Hire Tips - Golf Holiday
Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations for keen golfers. There is an abundance of top-quality golf courses which are playable all year round because of the warm climate.
While there is such a lot of choice for golfers in Spain, many people choose the south of the country in the Costa del Sol region because it is home to numerous beautiful and challenging golf courses.
Having chosen your location for your golf holiday and booked your hotel and flights, you now need to decide how you are going to get around while on the Costa del Sol. You could use taxis but this is likely to prove very expensive. Public transport is not very practical, bearing in mind you will be transporting a set of golf clubs most of the time.
Another alternative is to hire a car when you arrive at the airport. However, it is perhaps a better idea to book the hire car before leaving for your holiday, as this will save time when you arrive at the Spanish airport.
You need a car with a large enough boot to hold at least one set of golf clubs. If your partner is a keen golfer, he or she will also probably bring their own set of golf clubs. If this is the case, then you might find it is better to hire an estate car that has a larger luggage capacity than that of either a hatchback or saloon car.
A hire car with air conditioning as standard is essential in southern Spain, as without it the heat will cause you great discomfort. Something of a luxury in this country, in this part of Spain it is an absolute necessity.
When you arrive at the airport, it can take quite some time to collect your baggage, get through passport control and then join the others waiting to hire a car. If there are two of you, have one person wait for the luggage while the other person joins the queue at the car-hire desk to complete all the paperwork.
Before driving away in the hire car, check the bodywork for dents and scratches. If these are not documented and ideally photographed, you could be held liable for the damage when you return the car.
When you return the car at the end of your holiday, make sure that you have filled up the fuel tank if that is one of the terms and conditions. If you do not, the car-hire company will charge you a much higher rate per litre for having to fill the car up themselves.
Make sure that you include breakdown cover when arranging the hire car, as you never know when you might need them.
There are many different car rental companies to choose from, so research the market for the best-value deal. Don`t be frightened to ask if they can provide a free upgrade to a better car. The worst they can say is no, but you may be pleasantly surprised.
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