What are the best golf resorts in the world? The Golf World Top 100 panel ranks and rates the best golfing getaways on planet earth in our inaugural list.
You can find out who is on the panel that ranks the courses and the criteria we use to mark them, along with answers to the FAQs we receive around the Golf World Top 100s and the courses that were in the running for the continental Europe list by clicking here.
Of course, if you’re not much of a traveller (and who has been for the last two years), we’ve also got your covered with rankings of the best courses in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, along with the best links, most fun courses, best courses you can play £60 and less and the best golf resorts in Great Britain and Ireland.
But for now, let’s begin our countdown of the world’s best golf resorts.
Golf World Top 100: Best Golf Resorts in the World – 100-76
100. Penha Longa
Courses 28 Accommodation 18 Amenities 14 Setting 15 Total 75
The Kyle Phillips course travels over adventurous terrain with lots of elevation change. It is a continental Top 100 fixture. There is a second nine too, but arguably the biggest allure is a wonderful hotel. That this is at 100 shows this list’s quality.
99. Druids Glen
Newtown Mount Kennedy, Ireland
Courses 28 Accommodation 17 Amenities 15 Setting 15 Total 75
Two courses, the premier Druids Glen and its No.2, Druids Heath, that are always in the middle of our Irish Top 100 and are two of the country’s finest inland courses. The hotel does not let the side down; a terrific all-rounder, 40km south of Dublin.
98. Villa Padierna
Courses 25 Accommodation 19 Amenities 16 Setting 15 Total 75
Three courses to enjoy – Flamingos, Alferini and the short and fun Tramores – amid a palazzo-style resort plotted amid Tuscan-style gardens. The Anantara hotel is just exquisite, with lots of luxury leisure and wellness facilities on hand.
97. Golf National
Courses 30 Accommodation 16 Amenities 14 Setting 15 Total 75
The main course needs little introduction, being the host of the 2018 Ryder Cup and many Tour events. The Albatros is a thrill-a-minute, water-based parkland and is backed up by the Aigle. The Novotel hotel on site overlooks the golf.
96. Taghazout Bay
Course 26 Accommodation 18 Amenities 15 Setting 16 Total 75
Situated on the outskirts of Agadir on bluffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel has 152 stylish rooms and there is a spa, pools and fitness centre. But the main lure is a Kyle Phillips clifftop course that is aesthetically pleasing and fun.
95. Trump Aberdeen
Course 33 Accommodation 19 Amenities 5 Setting 18 Total 75
Limited in quantity, endless in quality. Just one course, but it is a breathtaking high-dune links of GB&I top-10 level. Only a handful of rooms in MacLeod House, but the luxury is epic. Only dining as amenities, but this is bucket-list stuff and a good base from which to play many of Scotland’s other Top 100 stars.
94. Katameya Heights
Courses 26 Accommodation 18 Amenities 16 Setting 15 Total 75
A 27-hole course designed by Sir Nick Faldo and Brian Curley that’s in terrific condition is the centrepiece for this upscale Cairo resort. The hotel is equally impressive, with delightful modern rooms and a 9,000sq ft spa heading the facilities.
Courses 31 Accommodation 18 Amenities 11 Setting 15 Total 75
Falls close to the ‘courses with rooms’ category, to be honest, but the two courses are both fixtures in the middle of our Scottish Top 100 and the accommodation is absolutely out of this world. Limited facilities outside of the spa. But… wow.
92. Royal Palm Marrakesh
Course 25 Accommodation 18 Amenities 16 Setting 16 Total 75
A resort course of real character that was designed with skill and real effort by Cabell Robinson. It is complemented by a hotel whose rooms are laid out in a series of well-appointed low-lying apartments. Excellent spa, pools and restaurants.
91. Magdalena Grand
Course 23 Accommodation 19 Amenities 16 Setting 18 Total 76
Just one course here but a rather nice one, which winds between typical Caribbean vegetation before getting some wonderful beachside and infinity green views. The hotel is a delight, exuding colonial elegance and charm.
90. Oitavos Dunes
Course 28 Accommodation 17 Amenities 13 Setting 18 Total 76
The golf and hotel both benefit from an invigorating Atlantic Ocean setting. The course, by Arthur Hills, is a continental Top 100 fixture and has several memorable moments. The hotel is uber-chic and minimalist.
89. Big Cedar Lodge
Courses 30 Accommodation 15 Amenities 13 Setting 18 Total 76
There are 302 rooms, five courses (three 18-holers, one 13-holer and a nine-holer) designed by Woods, Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson, Player, Fazio, Coore-Crenshaw, plus 12 restaurants, a pool, spa, fishing and shooting. All in the gorgeous Ozarks.
88. Banyan Tree Lang Co
Da Nang City, Vietnam
Course 26 Accommodation 17 Amenities 16 Setting 17 Total 76
Luxurious all-pool villas between the azure waters of Vietnam’s East Sea and the Truong Son mountains. All very chic. The course at Laguna Lang Co is a Sir Nick Faldo design with stunning views. A gym and yoga head the amenities.
87. El Saler
Course 31 Accommodation 15 Amenities 13 Setting 17 Total 76
Arguaby the best-designed course in Spain and one of the best on the whole continent. The Javier Arana masterpiece has an exhilarating seaside setting and
is backed up by a pleasant hotel with views of the course and Mediterranean.
86. Boyne Highlands
Harbor Springs, Usa
Courses 30 Accommodation 16 Amenities 15 Setting 15 Total 76
Boyne has three resorts close to each other, but too far apart for us to deem it one entry. Mountain and Inn Harbour are terrific but Highlands is the No.1, with four 18-holers and lots of accommodation intended to feel like an English country estate.
85. Montgomerie Maxx
Course 25 Accommodation 19 Amenities 17 Setting 15 Total 76
When we say the hotel is probably the most glitzy and opulent in Belek, you know it’s pretty flashy – it rivals the UAE for sparkle! Lots of amenities (standard Belek) and a course that has been in our continental Europe Top 100.
84. Dove Mountain
Courses 28 Accommodation 17 Amenities 15 Setting 16 Total 76
Surrounded by the canyons of the Tortolita Mountains, this Ritz-Carlton desert retreat has 253 rooms, five restaurants, high-class spa, tennis, pool and fitness. Two of the three Jack Nicklaus nines are the host of the WGC Match Play.
83. Le Touquet
Le Touquet, France
Courses 31 Accommodation 16 Amenities 12 Setting 17 Total 76
A tale of refurbishment on and off the course. La Mer has been renovated by Frank Pont and is just brilliant. There are two more courses, too. The hotel, which used to feel a little tired, is now fresh, characterful and an ideal base for a break.
Course 29 Accommodation 16 Amenities 15 Setting 17 Total 77
A course by Robert Trent Jones Snr that has an enviable seaside location just south of Portugal’s capital, plus a few hotel options to choose from that offer non-golf entertainment too. The course is continental top-10 standard.
81. La Manga Club
Courses 29 Accommodation 14 Amenities 19 Setting 15 Total 77
Don’t dismiss La Manga Club. It has echoes of tabloid tales of football teams in the ’90s, but the courses are all good – the West the pick – and the facilities are so comprehensive. The hotel lets it down a little, but the townhouses are excellent.
80. The Machrie
Course 31 Accommodation 16 Amenities 13 Setting 17 Total 77
Probably the oldest resort in the ranking, but it’s had the most wonderful and comprehensive makeover in every sense. DJ Russell has made the links playable yet still super fun and the hotel is high end. For the links lover, absolute perfection.
79. Address Montgomerie
Course 25 Accommodation 19 Amenities 16 Setting 17 Total 77
Sits very close to the centre of Dubai’s buzz, yet in its own little tranquil, green setting. The course is very playable and has the famous skyline to line up against. Limited rooms but they are wonderful. Pool and gym head the facilities.
RELATED: Best Golf Courses in the Middle East
78. Old Course Hotel
St Andrews, Scotland
Course 25 Accommodation 19 Amenities 17 Setting 16 Total 77
A five-star hotel with opulent rooms and a wealth of facilities that has a mystical setting, given it overlooks 17 and 18 of the Old Course. The golf is the heathland Duke’s, however, a short drive away (which loses it a point). Otherwise majestic.
77. Four Seasons Troon North
Courses 29 Accommodation 15 Amenities 16 Setting 17 Total 77
This Scottsdale resort has more than 200 rooms, four restaurants, a spa, tennis, hiking and biking, all in an exhilarating desert setting. The golf is a short transfer away at the celebrated Pinnacle and Monument courses, the latter by Weiskopf and Morrish.
76. The Grove
Course 27 Accommodation 17 Amenities 18 Setting 16 Total 78
A country estate on the outskirts of London, The Grove is a true all-rounder. The Kyle Phillips course has been a GB&I Top 100 entry and is in sensational nick all year round. The hotel hosts the England football team, as an indication of its quality. Loads of amenities for all the family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bertram is the Golf World Top 100 Editor.
He was born and brought up in Dumfriesshire and has been a sports journalist since 1996, initially as a junior writer with National Club Golfer magazine.
Chris then spent four years writing about football and rugby union for the Press Association but returned to be Editor and then Publisher of NCG before joining Golf World and Today’s Golfer as Senior Production Editor.
He has been freelance since 2010 and when he is not playing and writing about the world’s finest golf courses, he works for BBC Sport.
A keen all-round sportsman, Chris plays off 11 – which could be a little better if it wasn’t for hilariously poor lag putting which has to be seen to be believed.