Just outside Banff National Park in British Columbia, two and a half hours west of Calgary, the Radium and Spring golf courses offer some of the most picturesque golf in the country, surrounded by the Purcell and Rocky Mountains and embellished by abundant pine forests. Frequent elevation changes frame landscapes that provide not just memorable golf, but great terrain for mountain biking, hiking and a range of activities to cleanse bodies and minds breaking out from the city.
Don’t miss the soothing, restorative waters of the Radium Hot Springs, where the pools are naturally carved out of the mountainside, and we recommend the self-catering accommodation at Big Meadows for couples, groups and families alike.
Royal County Down
Nestled in a nature reserve and running along the shoreline of Dundrum Bay, Royal County Down is among the world’s finest links. Driveable from both Belfast and Dublin and with the Mountains of Mourne one way and the Irish Sea the other, the course lies in a spectacular and totally unspoilt setting.
The original layout was by Old Tom Morris in 1889, and walking those storied fairways lined by pastel purples of heather and bright yellows of gorse today is a truly timeless experience. The excellent Slieve Donard Resort is at the southern end of the links, and with the British Pound being at a record low there is no better way—or time—to experience Northern Irish hospitality and golf.
Who doesn’t dream of ocean-side golf courses and the sound of warm Pacific breezes rustling through palm trees between the fairways and the beach? The funny thing is that probably the finest golf course on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is inland from the beach, up in the foothills of the majestic Ko’olau Mountain Range. As a golfing backdrop, these towering mountainsides are hard to beat.
Overlooking Kanoehe Bay in the distance, Ko’olau GC brings players as close to golf in the jungle as any course in America.
Early morning mist frequently hovers over the verdant course, before evaporating to allow Hawaiian sunshine to enliven a stunning 50 shades of green, and counting.
Sandals Golf & Country Club
Home to some of the Caribbean’s finest beaches, the reggae capital of the world, a tremendous climate, distiller of rum to die to for and replete with legendary nightlife, Jamaica has long had pretty much every ingredient you want to make a perfect island vacation.
These days it also has great golf and one of the sweetest courses on the sugarcane island is Sandals Golf & Country Club in Ocho Rios. Sweeter still is to stay at any of the excellent Sandals resorts, where an all-inclusive ethos means green fees are entirely complimentary.