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8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Since 1993 I have escorted golfers and non-golfers on golf trips to Scotland, Ireland, and South Africa.

There has been plenty to offer for the non-golfers in the way of culture, dining, shopping, and incredible scenery in each country.

Thanks to an article written by Nick Mafi in October ’14 for Conde Nast Traveler, we now know several other outstanding destinations that will make both golfer and non-golfer happy.

I can personally attest to the beauty of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland, which is a fishing village that sits at the mouth of the River Bandon on Ireland’s southern coast. The harbor, full of bobbing boats, features cruises, whale & dolphin watching, and deep-sea fishing. Shoppers will enjoy the narrow streets of Kinsale with its artsy shops and lively bars & restaurants. Walk along the river and try a pint at the Kinsale Brewing Company. You will enjoy this quaint village while the golfers take on the famous Old Head Golf Links nearby.

Another destination I have traveled to, many times, with players and non-players, is my home country of South Africa.

George, South Africa, is located on the southeast coast of South Africa, between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean.

There is a great variety of sightseeing in this area, which includes the Cango Caves (best caves I’ve ever seen!), an Ostrich Farm Tour, and lion & crocodile viewing in a huge natural ‘zoo.’ Ride a mountain bike, hike, or drive one hour to wine country and sample South Africa’s fantastic wines. In George’s town, feast on slow-roasted springbok shanks (South African game) at the Old Townhouse and nosh on gourmet burgers at the Rose Restaurant while the golfers play the 3 courses at the famous Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate.

Read on to see pictures and details of Nick Mafi’s other breathtaking sites that will wow and please anyone not hitting the links.

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

1. Cape Kidnappers

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 7,119 yards (6,510 meters) and will challenge golfers of all skill levels.

Completed in 2004, our spectacular New Zealand golf course has been hailed as a great modern marvel in golf.

Our well equipped Pro Shop is located within our rustic Clubhouse and features an attractive selection of golf and casual wear. You’ll also find premium ladies’ and men’s clubs, as well as golf shoes, available for rent.

The women’s and men’s locker rooms are fully appointed with day lockers, showers, towels, and sunscreen. Should you wish to have lunch between the nines, an order can be placed with the Pro Shop before teeing off. Additionally, a full lunch menu is available after the round in the Clubhouse dining room.

In 2008 and 2009, Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs hosted the Kiwi Challenge, our PGA TOUR Challenge event featuring four of the top PGA TOUR players under 30. Hunter Mahan won the 2008 event, beating Anthony Kim in a playoff. In 2009, Anthony Kim was victorious in a playoff over Sean O’Hair.

2. Old Head Golf Links

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

This course sits atop a headland in County Cork, jutting out into the water and offering dazzling views of the Celtic Sea. From the fourth hole, take in views of Old Head’s 19th-century lighthouse.

While you’re there: Kinsale is a fishing village that sits at the River Bandon’s mouth on Ireland’s southern coast, once a vital center for water transportation. Head over to the harbor, full of bobbing fishing boats, signing up for whale or dolphin watching, harbor cruises, or deep-sea fishing. Prefer to stay on land? Walk the narrow streets of Kinsale and stop into artsy shops, lively bars, and restaurants serving proper Irish fare. Beer lovers should walk north along the river to try a pint or three Kinsale Brewing Company.

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

3. Banff Springs Golf Course

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

Situated in Banff National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), this Stanley Thompson–designed course is set against the Canadian Rockies’ dramatic backdrop. The course’s 18 holes follow the Bow River, with Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle towering overhead.

While you’re there: There’s a wealth of food and leisure options to choose from at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and Resort, adjacent to the course. Get a soaring view of the mountains and surrounding pine forests from the Banff Gondola, or trek up to Banff Upper Hot Springs, which have been in use for centuries. For dinner at the Fairmont, choose from restaurants including Stanley’s Smokehouse, which serves local barbecue seasonally, and the Waldhaus Restaurant, where you can order Swiss-style Alpine cuisine. Off-premises, the best options for food are on nearby Banff Avenue.

4. Dundarave Golf Course

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

Situated just north of Nova Scotia, this course leaves little to be desired. Golfers will take in the crisp air rolling off the North Atlantic while looking out on jaw-dropping views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

While you’re there: Prince Edward Island, the smallest of Canada’s provinces, is known for its shellfish: fresh oysters, shrimp, lobster, mussels, and crab are on offer at restaurants across the island. Try your hand at deep-sea fishing, or experience as much of PEI as your legs can handle on the 250-mile Confederation Trail, which runs through the heart of the province. P.E.I. National Park is a beautiful place to wander the spectacular white sand beaches, go hiking, or pitch a tent.

5. Mauna Kea Golf Course

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

Depending on the day, the Pacific’s winds could make the third hole at Mauna Kea Golf Course the one that ruins your scorecard. But it’s worth it for the dramatic ocean views.

While you’re there: From lush tropical rainforests, waterfalls, and seaside views on the northeastern side of the island to the snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay’s calm waters in the southwest, Big Island has much to offer nature buffs. Check out the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and World Botanical Gardens to ogle exotic native plants, or pay a visit to a coffee farm to see Kona beans processed in the flesh. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to slow-moving lava flows, secluded beaches, and miles of hiking trails.

8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!


Located between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, this course as remote as it is riveting. Although golfers have to stay in the hotel (or be the guest of a member) to play on the Fancourt’s three Gary Player–designed courses, it’s a small price to pay for the beauty you’ll experience.

While you’re there: Don’t miss out on world-class culinary offerings while you’re on the Western Cape. The slow-roasted springbok (a type of antelope) shanks at the Old Townhouse Restaurant and gourmet burgers at the Rose Restaurant are close to the resort. If your idea of relaxation involves fresh air, ride a mountain bike or go on a hike along the trails surrounding the estate. This South Africa region is also wine country; drive an hour north to the Karusa Vineyards and Orchards to sample local vino.

7. The Oakcreek Country Club

This putting green is Sedona’s first golf course, and it’s surrounded by the natural beauty of the city’s famed red rocks. The forgiving greens and fairways can make amateur golfers feel as though they can swing with the pros.

While you’re there: Hike up one of the area’s many sandstone formations, including the oft-photographed Cathedral Rock; take a hot-air balloon or helicopter ride; go fishing in Oak Creek Canyon, or soak up culture at the Sedona Arts Center and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Chapel of the Holy Cross. If you’re up for a day trip, drive a few hours north to the Grand Canyon’s south rim.

8. St. Vigil Seis Golf Club

Surrounded by the Northern Italian Alps, St. Vigil Seis is all we’d ever want in a course. The immaculately kept greens and fairways, backed by the rugged Dolomites, provide some of the most striking aesthetics in golf the world over.

While you’re there: Bolzano, the capital city of South Tyrol, is home to restaurants serving incredible German-Italian cuisine. Be sure to stop by the Ristorante Castel Flavon for savory polenta and lamb, along with unbelievably beautiful views. The surrounding hills and mountains of this region are also famous for their Pinot Grigio–producing vineyards.

Source: Conde Nast Traveler   Nick Mafi

Pictures:   David Cannon/Getty Images Europe  Brian Morgan / Alamy    Dana Edmunds/Getty  All Canada Photos / Alamy   Chad Ehlers / Alamy   MARKA / Alamy     Tiare Scott

Thanks for reading – 8 Golf Trips golfers and even non-golfers will enjoy!

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