The recent pandemic has put a stopper on all kinds of holidays in 2020 and, golf included, after the countless cancellations, the general consensus seems to be – ‘’clubs down, stay put, and twiddle your thumbs for entertainment’’.
However, there is hope on the horizon as the UK government has stated that holidaymakers are free to travel to 59 destinations and be absolved from quarantine on returning back home from the countries on the list.
If you’re looking for a golf break in the next year – and quite frankly, we all could do with a break you will have the choice of dozens of European locations. Of course, every country is different right now, and while many golfers would have previously flocked to the Costa Del Sol in Spain once upon a time, Spain has been among the hardest hit in this pandemic. As socially distanced as golf is, many of us would likely prefer to go to a country with far fewer confirmed cases than the likes of Spain, Italy, and France.
There’s so much to explore in this beautiful continent of ours’ and many ‘safer’ golf destinations for 2021 that are on par with some of the very best.
Although not considered to be among the golfing giants of Europe: Spain, France, and Italy, Portugal is rising up the ranks at an expeditious rate.
Year after year, thousands and thousands of golfers visit Portugal to play on incredible courses due to its unmatched caliber and frequency of championship golf tournaments.
Whilst the Algarve is the definite favorite due to its tremendous scenery, the landscape for golf breaks is the most diverse than it has ever been. Places from Lisbon ( a rising star in European golf) offer a luxurious culture and premium courses; these resorts are situated close to the heart of the nation of the Azores and Madeira for those willing to go the extra mile (quite literally) and adventure the rolling countryside and bays. Portugal seems to have all bases covered when it comes to a getaway you won’t forget.
Portugal has consistently ranked among one of the lowest rates of Coronavirus infection in Europe.
Year-round sunshine, Long stretches of beach, championship golf courses. This is the unsung hero of European golf getaways – Turkey.
This sprawling country is packed with incredible ancient ruins, hidden caves, and picture-postcard landscapes and if you somehow get tired of enjoying the sun on the beach you can just turn around to see the breath-taking display of the Taurus mountains. The main attraction although is most definitely Belek which lies just 35 minutes away from Antalya airport where you will find the largest concentration of high-quality courses and world-class hotels in the country.
Arguably what might hold some people back is the heat, which can become too intense for most in August and July. Turkey however makes for an ideal golf getaway in the autumn or winter months when things are not only cooler, but cheaper and still – far warmer than the rest of Europe.
Cyprus is not as frequently touted as a European golf destination of choice, but it’s fast becoming one – you don’t want to overlook this gem of the Mediterranean.
Apart from being one of the countries with the lowest coronavirus rates in Europe, Cyprus boasts terrific beaches and an average yearly temperature of 24° Celsius; Cyprus is yet another destination where summer never seems to end. Providing a great blend of history and hospitality, the island boasts a unique charm. Furthermore, with a fantastic selection of restaurants and bars scattered in the City of Pathos, the nightlife is a top feature that Cyprus has to offer.
Cyprus has 4 top-class golf courses, and many choose the championship course Aphrodite Hills, a challenging and award-winning course on the South coast. From premium golf to incredible spa treatments, a fully-catered resort, and stunning Cypriot villas it really does offer everything you’d want from a perfect golf getaway. Aphrodite Hills also hosted the first and only PGA National in Cyprus.
Home to some of the continent’s best courses, Belgium is a well-connected golf destination perfect for all serious golfers. Home to many private clubs however you will have to make reservations in advance. Nevertheless, the range of courses is quite spectacular in that each course is special in its own way which provides a great variety day to day and within just a two-hour drive from the capital, you can locate to 30+ courses due to the strong golfing heritage of the area.
Bruges, the most popular region for golf in Belgium has a multitude of accommodation options and a great selection of restaurants and bars to visit. The affordable European city’s most prominent courses would be the Damme Golf course and the Oostburg golf course.
If the home of Henrik Stenson & legendary Annika Sörenstam is enough to get your goosebumps tingling, then courses such as Barsebäck and Ljunghusens which hold a place in Europe’s top fifty are sure to get you on board with a trip to the country with the highest percentage of golfers per capita in Europe.
Sweden caters also for the people who are less bothered about the highest possible quality championship courses with courses such as falsterbo which give more of a ‘retro feel’ due to the fact it is over 100 years old. Falsterbo is also famous for its wildlife with significant migratory bird patterns due to the fact it is located in a renowned nature reserve called Flommen.
Of course, Sweden is less consistent than many of the other countries on this list. So you may want to consider visiting in the summer months to harness the true potential of the conditions and landscape.