Of course playing golf in Iceland is a little bit different on its 65 courses - where else are you going to play on lava fields near live volcanoes? Grafarholt golf course near Reykjavik is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Iceland and probably the toughest – so plan on relaxing in a thermal pool after your game. As with all the Scandinavian countries of Europe, during the summer you can play all night loing if you want to, thanks to the midnight sun. In fact, an open international match held at the Akureyri Golf Club tees off just before midnight! Just be sure to wear your thermal golf clothing!
Ireland is a leading destination for golf, with over 400 golf clubs including a third of the world’s natural links courses. Hundreds of thousands of golf lovers come here each year to revel in the emerald green courses and a host of tournaments, not to mention the lovely scenery and cozy evenings to recount every stroke over a pint at a music-filled pub.
Spain is a premier location in Europe for golf, with 313 courses in a range of settings from seaside to mountainside, and marvelous weather almost year round to lure you out for a round. Or several. Andalusia is known as the “Costa del Golf” thanks to its many courses, and the Balearic Islands also feature beautiful seaside courses. The rugged Pyrenees provide the backdrop for courses at Golf Fontanals de Cerdanya or the Benasque Club, near the Posets-Maladeta Nature Reserve.
If you prefer city life and its cultural richness, rejoice! Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Zaragoza, Valencia and Bilbao all have terrific courses both in and just outside the city so you can mix up your own blend of golf and urban pleasures.
Boredom is banned in Spain; if you tire of swinging your clubs, sink your aching muscles in a thermal bath, stroll through a Moorish palace, listen to Flamenco music, conduct a comparative study of tapas bars….there’s no end to the fun in Spain, on or off the greens!
Playing golf in Portugal can be very challenging thanks to beautiful views of the Atlantic, whether from the sunny Algarve or the floating island of Madeira. Besides the sparkling seascape you may have ocean breezes to contend with or the distracting sight of a whale spouting offshore. Be brave and stay focused. Golfers love Portugal because of the clement weather that lasts for months, the variety of terrain and the quality of the courses. Designers such as Rocky Roquemore, Frank Pennink and Robert Trent Jones have all designed courses here. Even if you play one of Portugal’s truly demanding courses, it’s impossible to feel any stress in the idyllic surroundings and easy-going pace you’ll find here.