Five of the Best Places to Play Golf in Winter

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by Adam Ruck and Travel writer, The Daily Telegraph, December 2, 2016

The Costa del Sol and the Algarve obviously offer a plethora of courses, but temperatures during the winter are merely mild rather than offering true winter sun. Here are some ideas if you are looking for warmer weather.


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Wintertime, and the living is easy. Everything about Barbados is friendly: smiling people, balmy sea and air temperature, rum sundowners… even the journey, which is one long hop from Gatwick.   

Only golf remains its fiendish self, with the added difficulties of ball-snatching monkeys, and putts that bend uphill (it’s the way the grass grows).

Sandy Lane, Barbados

Two trophy courses, Sandy Lane’s Green Monkey and Royal Westmoreland, are reserved almost exclusively for those staying on the properties concerned. At a less exalted price level, Apes Hill and Barbados GC also offer great sport.


In America’s sunshine state, the problem is too much choice. Will it be Disney World’s four courses or the presidential suite at Trump National and a shot at the Blue Monster?

This winter, Naples Beach has had a Jack Nicklaus makeover, and the famous Stadium course at Sawgrass is back in business after a six-month overhaul has left the island 17th as scary as ever.

Naples Beach, Florida

Seasoned Florida-watcher Michael Robinson, of Destination Golf, points ditherers towards the all-round appeal of Saddlebrook, a more understated resort, for tennis, good living and two excellent courses, with Tampa and the soft sand of Florida ’s Gulf Coast not far away.


A luxury beach resort by Banyan Tree and a cluster of excellent courses by Faldo, Norman and Montgomerie on the coast near Danang add up to a satisfying golf holiday in an unfamiliar destination of great interest, with sightseeing at the old river port of Hoi An and many evocative locations from the “American War”.

This hub will soon be rivalled by the alluring island of Phu Quoc in the Gulf of Thailand, a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City . It has 27 holes of championship spec at Vinpearl resort and is earmarked for still more to be built.

South Africa

For a scenic coastal tour in warm summer weather, and no jet lag to contend with, South Africa ’s Western Cape is hard to beat.

A touring holiday from Cape Town along the Garden Route takes in wine country and a string of fine courses, from Arabella to Simola via Fancourt, whose 56 holes include Gary Player’s remarkable inland links, often rated the country’s number one track.


If tempted to add a visit to the same architect’s works at Sun City and Leopard Creek, at the gates of Kruger National Park, it can be done – but there are better times of the year for golf and safari.

Morocco has its previous king’s passion for golf to thank for a scattering of good courses around the country. The colourful city of Marrakesh has more than half a dozen of the best and is the obvious choice for a winter holiday, combining warm golf with bargaining in the souks and visits to the mosques and tanneries.

Amelkis Golf CLub

Stay in the medina or, for less hassle, at one of the out-of-town golf resorts. The scenery is better to the south and the golf more varied, with a nice contrast between the old-fashioned charm of the pre-war Royal Golf Club and desert golf trickery of neighbouring Amelkis, where the snowy Atlas Mountains are a gorgeous backdrop.


This article was written by Adam Ruck and Travel writer from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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