If you can’t face pulling on mittens, base layers, woolly hats and a full-set of waterproofs to play winter golf on temporary greens and frosty fairways, then you need Global Golfer’s handy guide to Winter Warmer Golf Breaks.
This volcanic Spanish isle is one of the Canary Islands and is popular holiday destination because of its year-round spring like climate, averaging around 28 degrees with bright blue skies.
Just over three hours flying time from the UK and mainland Europe, Tenerife has nine quality golf courses, with the majority situated in the South of the Island near the busy tourist resorts of Playa de Los Americas and Los Cristianos.
Abama Golf is the newest course on the island attached to a luxury hotel and Tecina Golf on the picturesque island of La Gomera is well worth the ferry ride from the Los Cristianos port. It is set on cliff tops with ocean views and the backdrop of the Mount Teide Volcano.
The heavily salted Canarian potatoes and zingy green tomato salsa are a must.
This North African nation is a big hit with French, Italian and German golfers, along with Morocco. It has made our winter warmer list because of its sunny climate and variety of golf facilities – 12 courses – and accessibility with flight times of between three and four hours from mainland Europe.
The best places to play golf in Tunisia are in the popular resorts of Yasmine Hammamet and Port El Kantaoui and Monastir, which sit on the coastline of the Mediterranean sea.
Prices are reasonable, the courses are good if not exceptional, and at some hotels it is possible to experience five-star luxury at four star prices.
In Tunisia, you can experience the novelty of playing golf against a backdrop of camels and pink flamingo’s. Off-course, it’s fun to haggle in the souks and try the Arabic smoking pipes, devilishly strong coffee and aromatic teas.
While it may not be red hot in Spain in winter, temperatures are usually mild and playing in shorts and t-shirts not uncommon even in November or January. The European golf powerhouse has made the list for this reason and because of its wealth of high quality resorts and courses and the number of convenient inbound air routes, from budget airlines to national carriers.
You are spoilt for choice as to where to play, but the Andalucian region is a good bet because of its Southern location, warmer climate, and the excellent courses at Jerez and Cadiz. Montecastillo is a first class resort near the Jerez Formula One circuit and not far away there are some excellent coastal courses at Costa Ballena and Novo Sancti Petri.
You might even see Miguel Angel Jimenez driving around in his Ferrari.
Turkey is a golf destination on the rise and has fast become a popular winter golf break for British, German and Scandinavian travellers. Over the past decade some of the biggest names in golf have built courses on the Belek coast of Antalya Province, known as the “Turkish Riviera.”
Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie have both built courses there. The weather in Turkey during the winter is highly changeable, especially in the North where it rains a lot and in the mountainous West where it often snows. The best locations for winter golfers are the Mediterranean and Aegean regions in the East of Turkey where the climate is warm, dry and mild.
Belek has more than 35 four and five star hotels and is our recommendation for a winter warmer golf break.
#5 on Global Golfer’s Winter Warmer list is a tee-time with a difference. When you think long haul sunshine golf holidays, Sri Lanka probably doesn’t come to mind.
This Indian Ocean isle is a refreshing change if you are prepared to fly 11-hours from the UK and mainland Europe and is more suited to the adventurous traveller who wants to discover golf in humid jungle valleys and the hills where Ceylon tea is farmed.
It’s best to fly into the capital Colombo and play at the exclusive but affordable Royal Colombo Golf Club. From there it’s a good long drive to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second city and the impressive Victoria Club at Digana. Our favourite, however, is the course at Nuwara Eliya, which hasn’t changed much since it was built by the British Army in the 1900’s.
One big positive is the low cost of food, hotels, green fees and drinks and of the intoxicating bustle of the streets and cities in Sri Lanka.