St. Andrews The Old Course (courtesy of Taylor Dundee)

The beauty of golf is that it allows the amateur to play on some of the world’s greatest venues in a way that no other sport can offer. With a degree of ability, the weekend golfer can take golf breaks and play on professional courses all over the world. Naturally, every opinion will differ as to what the greatest locations are, but here are ten that are generally recognised as being among the best.

1. St Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews has held more British Open tournaments than anywhere else and there are world famous views on every hole. Visitors have even been known to deliberately hit their ball into the infamous road hole bunker at the 17th, just for the ‘photo opportunity’.

2. Shinnecock Hills, USA

Home to the US Open in 2004, Shinnecock Hills was one of Ben Hogan’s favourite courses and there can be few better endorsements. Hogan enjoyed the fact that each hole was different and presented a unique set of challenges.

3. Royal Melbourne West Course, Australia

For many, the West Course at the Royal Melbourne is simply the finest golfing location in the whole of Australia. Completed in 1931 this is the course you just have to play if you come to this great golfing country for your golf breaks.

Royal Portrush (courtesy of ungaio)

4. Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland

The only course outside of mainland Britain to have held the British Open, Royal Portrush is typical of everything that is good about links courses in the country. With Northern Ireland firmly back on the map as one of the leading places for UK golf breaks, it is hoped by many that The Open will return here soon.

The Green Monkey at Sandy Lane (courtesy of pneedham)

5. Sandy Lane, Barbados

Expect to rub shoulders with Sir Garry Sobers and other great names in West Indian sport if you decide to play here. Sandy Lane is one of the best golf resorts around and the course here has matured into a top location.

6. Winged Foot West Course, USA

Renowned as one of the most testing courses in the US, this is a long and heavily wooded location which will see you use every single club in your bag. You will need an invitation to play here but if you can arrange one, it is more than worth it.

7. Fishers Island, USA

Arguably one of the most beautiful locations for a golf course anywhere in the world, this tiny island is host to a spectacular course which is known for its monstrous bunkers. If you take your golf breaks around the New York area then you must come here.

Valderrama (courtesy of Pablo Herrero)

8. Hirono, Japan

Without question the finest of the golf resorts in Japan, the Hirono is a relatively short but very testing course. This is undoubtedly the best course in the country.

9. Valderrama, Spain

Spain’s finest course was home to a Ryder Cup as well as countless major domestic tournaments. Considering it is such a recent addition to the list of fine locations, it is remarkable for its beauty and its challenging round.

10. Leopard Creek, South Africa

Golf meets safari at this most stunning of golf resorts where Gary Player’s finest design is open to the world once again. South Africa has made a welcome return to the golfing map for professionals and amateurs everywhere.

Note: this post is brought to you by Your Golf Travel.

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