10 Bucket List Golf Courses You Have To Play Before You Die

Throughout continental Europe are a number of the world’s best golf courses ranging from the golfing haven of the Algarve in Portugal to the jaw dropping Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria. It isn’t often (or in fact ever) that you will have the time or money to travel from country to country to play the following 10 ten courses all in one stint. But that is not the point… Europe is a golfing hotspot with Ryder Cup courses and European Tour hosts littered throughout and with most of the continent seeing incredible sunshine throughout the year there is not better place to get your winter sunshine than on a championship golf course.

Some of the games greatest players have left their mark on Europe by designing incredible golfing venues that make the most of both the location’s natural landscape and their own unparalleled golfing knowledge. With most of the courses featuring on any golfing fanatics bucket list, be sure to start ticking them off with EGS.

PGA Catalunya – Stadium Course
Located just north of the buzzing city of Barcelona, in its relatively short lifetime the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya has already cemented its place inside Europe’s top 10 golf courses. Having taken more than a decade of planning to design, there was a great deal of anticipation surrounding the opening of the Stadium Course and boy did it deliver.

The course meanders through the foothills of Pyrenees and has combined beautifully with the landscape to have the natural lakes feature at that awkward yardage. The course measures in at 7,200 yards from the tips and despite requiring a fair amount of power from the back, it also features a number of different tee boxes which makes it accessible to players of all abilities. Giving everyone the chance to enjoy this European Tour beauty.

Fontainebleau Golf Course
The phrase ‘with age comes beauty’ certainly comes to mind when describing the Fontainebleau Course. Set in the heart of France’s largest forest and renowned for being one of the country’s oldest, the course has a certain majesty about it as it winds its way through the towering trees.

The course echoes the great heathland course of South-east England and like Sunningdale, Swinley Forest etc. the course is by no means long compared to modern norms. Instead it employs a number of strategically placed bunkers to guard its slick greens meaning accuracy and club selection is key when it comes to approach play.

Monte Rei (North Course)
Bursting onto the Algarve’s golfing scene in 2007, the North Course at the magnificent Monte Rei Resort is designed by 18 time major champion Jack Nicklaus. Employing every bit of his golfing knowledge, Nicklaus has sympathetically merged incredible course design with the region’s stunning natural landscape.

The course winds its way through the dramatic valleys creating multiple mini amphitheatres which add to the sense of drama with any drive or approach shot.

West Cliffs Golf Course
Having only opened in June 2017, West Cliffs Golf Course is a one of the hottest new courses that have been added to Portugal’s golfing portfolio. As you may have guessed the course skirts the Silver Cliffs of the country’s spectacular coastline and gifts golfers with superb views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Each hole on this glorious golf course is unique from the other with one featuring the dramatic sand dunes of the coast to another being lined by pines before you emerge out to a strong Atlantic breeze. In true links fashion the course has a rather rugged feel to it and is reminiscent of some of the world renowned Open Championship setups.

Carya Golf Club
Situated in the heart of Turkey’s tourism hotspot lies one of Europe’s top ranked golf courses. Carya Golf Course winds its way through the indigenous trees of the region and is one of the only courses in the area to feature heather.

Created by Thomson, Perrett & Lobb, the design firm of five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thompson it is no wonder it is one of the most desirable courses to play in Belek. With year round sun and perfectly manicured fairways make Turkey your next golfing destination.

Golf de Chantilly
Located in the stunning countryside that surrounds Paris is one of the country’s finest golfing experiences. The Vinieuil Course has a reputation for being one of the best in continental Europe and its classic woodland design echoes some of the games most famous courses in South East England.

Often viewed as quite a demanding course, the 7,200 yard layout is a fantastic test for any serious golfer looking to travel to Northern France.

Valderrama Golf Club
The are very few courses in Europe with a golfing portfolio like that of Valderama. The course itself was designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr. who is arguably one of the best golf course architects there has ever been and as a result of his genius it has been a host of both the prestigious Spanish Masters and the 1997 Ryder Cup.

Set in land from the coast, the course winds its way through trees and lakes to test both a golfer’s physical capabilities but also their tactical nouse.

Despite being one of the more difficult courses in the Costa Del Sol, there are a variety of different tees which make the course accessible for golfers of all skill levels.

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
Renowned for being one of the regions earliest golfing venues, Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is still regarded as one of the best in the Costa Del Sol. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr. the course itself is one of the most impressive in the region as it winds its way through the indigenous trees of the area.

Trent has created a layout that requires imagination and guille in order to navigate the course whilst still remaining accessible for all abilities of golfer. Its constant rank inside Europe’s top 100 golf courses is testament to the quality of the course and the impeccable condition it is in throughout the year.

Oitavos Dunes
Away from Portugal’s golfing paradise of the Algarve lies one of the Europe’s top ranked courses. Oitavos Dunes is located outside the capital city of Lisbon and is the perfect blend of masterful golf course design with the already beautiful natural landscape of the Portuguese coastline.

Renowned mainly for his work in America, Arthur Hills has created a beautiful golfing set up which is reminiscent of some of Scotland’s most famous golf courses. Though not strictly a links course, the fairways are often bordered by woodland but the sandy turf and spectacular sea views still gives golfers the feel of a links set up. This unique golf course sees over 300 days of sunshine a year and is a great place to get some winter sun.

Thracian Cliffs
Arguably the world’s most dramatic golf course, Thracian Cliffs quite literally leaves you living life on the edge. The course skirts the stunning coastline with its’ fairways running parallel to breathtaking drops, players are simply left in ore at the completely unique and unforgettable views that they are treated to upon a round at Thracian Cliffs.

It is not just the views that make this place so special but the course isn’t half bad either – designed by Gary Player the course reached its pinnacle in 2013 when it hosted the Volvo World Matchplay. With Thracian Cliffs receiving critical acclaim for its design and layout it is quickly becoming a must play destination for golfers.

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