Signature Hole Series with Your Golf Travel
The Best Golf Holes to Play on Your Golf Holidays!
11th Hole - Par 3 - 175 yards - Stroke Index 18
The Ailsa Course at Turnberry is part of the Open Championship rota, with Stewart Cink winning the most recent edition in 2009.
The par 3 11th is part of a thrilling stretch of holes which weave their way along the coastline, offering breathtaking views over craggy rocks and the ocean beneath. Wind generally plays a part on this stunning hole, with the everpresent threat of water.
You can follow in the footsteps of the game's greats on one of the most iconic links courses in the world.
10th Hole - Par 4 - 417 yards - Stroke Index 7
The West Course is generally considered the more scenic of the two courses at East Sussex National, with a brilliant assortment of holes that will test all standards of golfers.
The 10th is a superbly designed par 4 that doglegs right with a lake guarding the approach on the second shot. You need to keep the ball in play off the tee and then choose your second club wisely, as the multi-tiered green can leave a tricky couple of putts.
Both courses at East Sussex National are immaculately conditioned and come highly recommended from all who have been lucky enough to play them.
12th Hole - Par 3 - 150 yards - Stroke Index 13
Set on the picturesque Côte Picardie, Belle Dune is one of the leading links courses in France.
We show you the spectacular par 3 12th, which is flanked by the towering sand dunes so typical of the local landscape. With the coastal winds whipping up and down the coast, Belle Dune is a formidable and enjoyable test for any standard of golfer.
Belle Dune is easily accessed from Fort Mahon and the popular resort of Le Touquet, and comes highly recommended by regular golfing visitors to the coastline South of Calais.
4th Hole - Par 4 - 427 yards - Stroke Index 4
The par-4 4th hole at Old Head is possibly one of the most picturesque you'll find anywhere in the world.
This demanding driving hole leaves little room for error, with cliffs lining every inch of the left hand side of the hole. Golfers are encouraged to take a line up the right towards the stone marker in order to find the fairway, those taking a more direct or straighter line will bring the fairway bunkers and sea into play.
To find the elevated putting surface, we advise that you take a little extra club with the right hand side favourable as anything left will be in the sea - a common theme throughout!
West Midlands, England
10th Hole - Par 4 - 311 yards - Stroke Index 8
We tackle the iconic 10th hole on the Brabazon Course at The Belfry, which has hosted an unprecedented four Ryder Cups.
Depending on the wind, the longer hitters can have a go at the green - but be warned, as only a perfect fade with make it past the high trees guarding the right and avoiding the water to the left. Many opt to play it safe by laying up down the right hand side of the fairway to leave a short approach to the green.
This is one of those rare but amazing opportunities to recreate one of your favourite golfing moments seen in the flesh or on television, ala Seve Ballesteros at the 1985 Ryder Cup.
12th Hole - Par 4 - 390 yards - Stroke Index 6
Overlooking the wild dunes on the north west coast of France, La Mer is an outstanding links course that holds its own against many of the great coastal layouts in Scotland and France.
The par 4 12th is indicative of the test presented, with wind a likely factor as you plot your way between the dunes towards an enormous, sloping green. The putting surfaces are terrific, the course is presented in immaculate condition and a great variety of holes ensures an exciting round of golf.
La Mer is without doubt one of France's most prestigious destinations - as Mark Crossfield says, "If you love links golf, you will absolutely love La Mer".
5th Hole - Par 3 - 144 yards - Stroke Index 18
Vale da Pinta is a fantastic parkland course which has established a strong reputation, backed by it being awarded a European Seniors Tour event in 2007. It's par-3 5th is a gorgeous hole that is beautifully framed by a dramatic elevation change. The swirling wind makes club selection vital, with a lake at the back of the green swallowing anything overhit. Even if you do hit the green, the contoured putting surface, while superb and true, makes capturing a birdie no easy feat.
The Vale da Pinta one of the three championship courses which make up the Pestana Carvoeiro resort, one of the most comprehensive holiday destinations in the Algarve.
8th Hole - Par 4 - 292 yards - Stroke Index 9
Set amongst beautiful trees and flanked by stylish villas, the Alto was the last course to be designed by the legendary Sir Henry Cotton.
The risk/reward 8th encapsulates many of the features typical of this course, with a tight fairway, elevation changes and severe undulations around the green. It's also bathed in sunshine throughout the year - perfect for a winter escape!
The Alto Golf & Country Club is situated in a stunning private community in the Western Algarve with beautiful views of the Lagos Bay.
7th Hole - Par 3 - 161 yards - Stroke Index 13
As the name suggests, Les Pins is carved through Hardelot's magnificent pine forest and is reminiscent of the type of courses scattered along the famous Surrey and Berkshire sandbelt.
The 7th is a gorgeous little hole spectacularly framed by the surrounding trees. The green is almost completely enclosed by a surrounding bunker, placing an emphasis on club selection. Even if you do find the huge green in one, severe undulations ensure your putting must be up to scratch.
Situated less than 30 minutes from Calais, Golf D'Hardelot is both a popular and convenient choice for golfers traveling from the UK.
West Algarve, Portugal
13th Hole - Par 5 - 542 yards - Stroke Index 15
Since opening in 2002, Boavista has proved to be an exciting addition to the golfing landscape in Western Algarve.
Designed by the renowned Howard Swan, the course at Boavista features numerous water hazards and is dotted with palm trees. This is certainly the case on the par-5 13th, which is a thrill to play as you gaze from the tee out over the Praia de Luz to the ocean. Good shots are rewarded while those who stray aren't harshly punished, creating a test of golf fit for golfers of all abilties.
5th Hole - Par 5 - 504 yards - Stroke Index 9
Silves is a picturesque and imaginative layout that will test even the most accomplished golfers. We show you the par-5 5th, with a thrilling opening shot that Mark describes as "one of the best framed tee shots I've ever played".
You'll need to have your head switched on to shoot a low score on the immaculately conditioned Silves, however be sure to step back occasionally and take in the gorgeous scenery and views.
13th Hole - Par 4 - 330 yards - Stroke Index 8
Situated in the west of Portugal's iconic Algarve coastline, Herdade dos Salgados combines delightful views with a golf course to match.
The course is guarded by an intricate network of lakes and streams which come into play on the majority of holes. This is certainly the case on the picturesque par-4 13th, which tests golfers' nerves with water on both sides of the fairway.
Easily accessed from Albufeira, Vilamoura or the Western Algarve, Salgados can fit into just about any holiday itinerary for a golf holiday along the famous coastline.
7th Hole - Par 3 - 196 yards - Stroke Index 13
Vila Sol's three nine-hole loops present an exciting test for golfers of all abilities. The gorgeous par-3 7th is lined by trees, with a carry over water to reach the green. But that is only half the battle, as anything past the hole will leave a slippery putt back down the slope.
The resort is set in an area of immense natural beauty, with an abundance of animal and plant life making for a visually striking round.
5th Hole - Par 4 - 400 yards - Stroke Index 2
Considered by many to be a bit of a hidden gem, the Gramacho course features a peculiar design that allows 27 greens to service 18 sets of tees and fairways. As a result, players can enjoy the same course time and again with different challenges.
But that's not to say the course is a mere novelty. Gramacho's undulating fairways and slick greens have played host to a number of tournaments, including the Portugal Ladies Open and European Senior Tour qualifying.
West Algarve, Portugal
9th Hole - Par 3 - 187 yards - Stroke Index 11
Opened for play in 2006, the course at Alamos Golf Club is one of the newest editions to the Algarve. The par-3 9th hole is indicative of the challenge, with a small but undulating green surrounded by tricky mounding and hazards. Each hole is beautifully framed by the lush surrounding hills, making this a both gorgeous and challenging golf venue.
Together with the Morgado and Salgados, Alamos is part of the delightful triumvirate of golf courses that make a great tour around the town of Portimao.
7th Hole - Par 4 - 310 yards - Stroke Index 16
The Championship course at Penina Resort was the first course built in the Algarve. It had hosted the Portuguese Open on 11 occasions and is a regular stop on the European Seniors Tour.
The par-4 7th is a terrific risk vs reward hole. Many players opt for an iron off the tee to avoid the water which cuts across the fairway, leaving themselves a long iron to an undulating green. Those who pull driver can leave themselves with a shorter approach, but risk losing a ball to the hazard.
Penina is home to three excellent courses and remains a firm favourite among golfers seeking 5* luxury in the Algarve.
14th Hole - Par 4 - 397 yards - Stroke Index 2
The Roman Road was the original resort course at Celtic Manor and is probably the most friendly of the trio for the mid to higher handicappers.
The course offers an assortment of great holes which undulate across the Usk Valley, with the par-4 16th among the best of them. An accurate drive is required here to set up for a second shot over water to a large, undulating green. Accuracy and course management are necessary across the course.
Bearing the markings of the great Robert Trent Jones Senior and having hosted the Wales Open from 2005-2007, the Roman Road offers a great test of golf for all abilities.
3rd Hole - Par 5 - 609 yards - Stroke Index 5
The Colin Montgomerie designed course at Celtic Manor mixes tree lined fairways with undulating parkland to form a course that is truly a joy to play.
The stunning par-5 6th hole, which featured on our list of "Five holes you must play in 2014", is regarded as the best on the entire resort. The fairway drops sharply downhill for your second shot, setting up the opportunity for eagle while providing spectacular views over the Usk Valley.
The Montgomerie, which has previously hosted the Welsh Open, is a perfect compliment to the Twenty Ten Course.
14th Hole - Par 4 - 413 yards - Stroke Index 2
As the host course of the 2010 Ryder Cup, the Twenty Ten is a layout which creates some fantastic matchplay moments.
The tricky par-4 14th features two separate water hazards which players must avoid, firstly off the tee, then when approaching the green. You can either opt for a driver or long iron, but at some stage your nerve will be tested on this challenging yet beautiful hole.
Celtic Manor's three championship courses, four and five star hotels and array of leisure activities make it a hugely popular venue for a golf break.
3rd Hole - Par 3 - 178 yards - Stroke 15
Set in the rich valleys of the Algarve, the O'Connor Course is the perfect complement to the more hilly Faldo layout.
The 3rd Hole is a gorgeous Par 3 where players must avoid a waterway which encroaches upon the fairway from the right. With natural wildlife stirring in the background, you must navigate across an undulating green, albeit on a true putting surface so typical of the course's greens throughout the year.
Incorporating many of the region's indigenous features and stunning natural surrounds, the O'Connor is one of the draw cards for visiting golfers to the Algarve.
15th Hole - Par 4 - 412 yards - Stroke Index 1
Located in the popular golfing hub of Murcia, Saurines de la Torre is a spectacular desert course bearing the fingerprints of the great Jack Nicklaus.
It's signature 15th hole is officially the hardest test on the scorecard. This classic risk/reward par 4 asks you to bite as much off the gigantic lake to your left as possible with the drive, presenting a more manageable second shot to a multi-tiered green. Water comes into play on the approach, and as with so many Nicklaus-designed greens, you must choose the precise club or find yourself in three-putt territory.
Situated just a short drive from the Mar Menor Resort, this is a must-include stop on the region's Nicklaus Golf Trail.
17th Hole - Par 4 - 478 yards - Stroke Index 2
CordeValle offers a stunning golfing experience. Set in lush Californian countryside, this resort has hosted the very best from the PGA Tour as the venue for the Frys.com Open.
The par-4 17th hole is one of the toughest holes on the course, requiring an accurate tee shot with the approach into the green guarded by bunkers. The putting surface slopes away from you meaning having as short an iron in as possible will give you the best chance of stopping it near the hole.
CordeValle is a fantastic resort located around an hour south of San Francisco, accommodation on site is fantastic and facilities such as a winery located within this a unique golfing destination.
14th Hole - Par 3 - 195 yards - Stroke Index 12
Mar Menor is just one of the amazing golf courses on The Nicklaus Golf Trail in Murcia; one of the best golf break destinations in Spain.
Measuring 195 yards from the back tees, this testing par 3 features water down almost the entire right side of the hole and with bunkers waiting for anything landing short of the green, as with all the par-3's on this course, a well struck tee shot is required.
Located just moments from the InterContinental hotel and popular apartment accommodation at Mar Menor, this is a hugely popular resort for couples and groups alike. If this hole has given you.
11th Hole - Par 3 - 230 yards - Stroke Index 12
The Laranjal is the most recent of the three championship courses at Quinta do Lago; one of the premier golf resorts in the Algarve.
Measuring 230 yards from the championship markers, the par-3 11th hole asks for a long iron over one of the course's five lakes. A back-to-front sloping green is well served by a beach-like bunker running along its right edge. The putting surface is fast and true; giving those who can nail their tee shot a great look at birdie. But don't be deceived by the hole's beauty, as a timid opening shot can quickly lead to an ugly blot on your scorecard!
Quinta do Lago's three courses are among the finest in the Algarve, and are the perfect complement to the excellent hotel and its scenic surrounds.
9th Hole - Par 3 - 205 yards - Stroke Index 9
El Valle, one of the highlights of Jack Nicklaus' legacy in Murcia, and an essential part of a good golf tour in the region.
The par-3 ninth hole is a tough end to the opening half at El Valle and is typical of the stadium style that the Golden Bear is best known for. Set against a stunning mountain backdrop, the hole is more than 200 yards from the back tees and calls for a solid long iron or hybrid into a large green that slopes sharply from the back left. Learn from Rory and keep your ball below the hole!
18th Hole - Par 4 - 462 yards - Stroke Index 4
The Victoria Course bears the markings of Arnold Palmer and boasts tournament pedigree, having hosted the World Cup of Golf and the Portugal Masters.
Without doubt the hardest par 4 on the course is the lengthy 18th hole, which is bordered by a water hazard to the left and several bunkers on the right. The tee shot must be long and accurate to have any hope of making birdie. The degree of difficulty is turned up a notch by a challenging approach (usually into the wind) to a well-protected pin. This stands as one of golf's great finishing holes and is a true work of art from 'The King'.
The Oceanico Resort presents a formidable test than can humble even the most skilled player and is a 'must-include' for any golf lover venturing to Vilamoura.
3rd Hole - Par 3 - 222 yards - Stroke Index 18
This scenically appealing par-3 was chosen to feature in the 2013 Jack Nicklaus golf calendar. It is characterised by an army of deep, white-sanded bunkers guarding one of the Golden Bear's signature lightning-fast greens, all superbly contrasted against the earthy tones of the natural desert landscape.
Measuring more than 220 yards from the back markers, the hole requires a crisply struck long iron to carry the bunkers to an elevated green. The putting surface is large and undulating, with most golfers happy to walk away with a three.
As the only "Signature Course" in the region and one of the best desert layouts in Spain, Alhama is an absolute must for golfers visiting Murcia.
6th Hole - Par 4 - 425 yards - Stroke Index 1
Considered by many to be one of the best in the Algarve, San Lorenzo is a unique mix of tree-lined fairways and stunning views across the Ria Formosa.
The par-4 Sixth hole is one which tests off both the drive and the approach with water meeting anyone straying right of the short stuff. The putting surface is fast and slopes away towards the estuary which makes the second shot into this challenging par-4 something which will test anyone playing here on their holidays.
In this video Rory from Your Golf Travel and Mark Crossfield talk you through the hole and how they approach playing this great hole to play in the Algarve.
16th Hole - Par 3 - 237 yards - Stroke Index 14
Possibly Europe's most photographed hole in golf. This stunning par-3 provides one of the best tee-shots you'll ever see. With dramatic red cliffs lining the left of the hole which contrast against the white sands and blue seas below it is a truly memorable golfing experience.
At over 230 yards from the championship markers, the hole is a real test for all that play it. For some a long iron might just get them onto the putting surface but for most it is a fairway wood to reach the undulating green.
Anyone visiting this area of the Algarve must play this course which has an equally challenging and picturesque sister course named the Ocean.