10 best golf resorts for non-golfers

Sunday, January 01, 2012

10 best golf resorts for non-golfers

1. With two world-class courses,PGA Catalunyais 15 minutes from Girona airport in north-east Spain. The beaches of the Costa Brava, skiing in the Pyrenees, and the superb art galleries and eateries of Barcelona are all less than an hour away. The new La Selva apartments are priced from €255,000 (£214,500)

2. Tiger Woods' last Major win was the US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, southern California. As well as spectacular golf, the area has fabulous sailing and surfing, a great zoo, and a vibrant nightlife in the city's Gaslamp Quarter. Condos start at about $225,000 (£145,000)

3. Madeira is as well known for its gorgeous flora, the hilly Levada walks, old-school charm and marlin fishing as for the golf. It's now drawing a younger crowd, with chic spa hotels and adventure breaks. High above Funchal Bay, next to the heavily wooded 18 holes at Palheiro, houses and apartments start at €295,000 (£248,200)

4. Castelfalfi is a stunning medieval borgo (hilltop village) in Tuscany, an easy drive from Florence, Siena and Pisa – so, historical and gastronomic heaven. Travel giant TUI has created 27 holes of golf, revived the vineyards and olive groves, and is refurbishing 40 period apartments, starting at €230,000 (£193,500),

5. Orlando is one of the most visited destinations on the planet. Many theme parks, shopping and the great winter weather complement 100 or so golf courses, including five at Disney World, and the Arnold Palmer-designed masterpiece, Bay Hill. Off-resort, good two-bed condos at Champions Gate start at about $125,000 (£80,600)

6. Arcos Gardens near Jerez in south-west Spain appeals to the likes of ex-Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher. The fabled Pueblos Blancos start just above the estate, and sherry is produced nearby. In Jerez, the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art is one of many attractions. Townhouses start at €301,000 (£253,100) through

7. Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic has 13 tennis courts, an equestrian centre, polo fields, fully equipped 314-slip marina, a pristine private beach, ritzy hotel and many restaurants, as well as three exquisite Pete Dye golf courses. Close to Romana Airport, apartments start at about $390,000 (£251,600)

8. The Estonian Golf and Country Club is off our usual radar, but is rather special. Built through virgin forest on the Baltic coast, the clubhouse doubles as an archaeological museum; nearby Tallinn is a historical gem with friendly and inexpensive hospitality. Plots start at €100,000 (£84,100), finished houses from €400,000 (£336,200)

9. The Ca'Amata course and development at Castelfranco, near Treviso, is only 26 miles north of Venice, so non golfers can explore the astonishing cultural, artistic and culinary heritage – not to mention the shopping – of La Serenissima. Skiing at Asiago is just 24 miles away. Villas start at €250,000 (£210,200)

10. In the central Algarve, Vale do Lobo has a 14-court tennis centre to go with two excellent golf courses. Shopping and 15 restaurants in the central Praça, plus the Royal Spa, two kilometres of beach and great children's clubs make this a very family-friendly resort. Apartments start at €685,000 (£575,800)


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