A 2015 survey indicated that there are more than 34,000 golf courses across the world, with the United States topping the list of countries with the most number of golf courses at 15, 372. The ball and club sport that had its beginnings in Scotland in the 15th century is now the 8th most popular sports in America, Asia, Europe and Canada.
Though there are tens of thousands of courses across the world, choosing the best and affordable course could still be a consideration.
Here are some tips on finding great but inexpensive courses all over the world.
Consider the Type of Golf Course Ownership
There are different types of golf courses based on ownership, length of course, and design/setting of the golf course.
A public golf course is open to the public, which means everyone is welcome to play there. Under this category are a municipal golf course and a daily fee course, where the former is run by the local council and the latter is privately owned and is therefore more upscale and more expensive.
A resort golf course is part of luxurious resort complete with a hotel, restaurants, spa, pool and other amenities. Resort golf courses are mostly open for guests only, but there are some resort courses that are open to the public for a fee, and where resort guests are given discounted green fees and tee time preference.
Private golf courses are for members only and their guests. This entails stiff membership fees to earn playing rights. Semi-private golf courses sell memberships, and also afford non-members to play for a fee.
Take into Account the length of the Golf Course
It is usual for a golfer to play on a standard, full-length, 18-hole golf course. However, for a golfer or junior golfer who only wish to play a short course, an executive course, whether 18 or 9 holes, is a good choice. Other options are par 3s, miniature and approach golf courses.
Choose the Type of Golf Course Based on Design and Setting
Link golf courses are dominant in Scotland as they are built on strips of sandy coastline with tall grasses but no or few trees, and open to the wind. The fairway is dominated by fast, firm and undulating fairway and expansive, slow greens, deep bunkers and sand dunes.
Lush and highly manicured golf courses are grouped as parkland course. They are usually situated inland, with plenty of trees, luxuriant fairways and fast greens. Most golf courses in the United States are parkland courses where PGA Tours are held.
Desert golf courses are mostly found in the Middle East and Southwest America. The golf course is most often flat, with the teeing ground, putting green and fairways the only grassy area. The landscape is mostly palm trees, cacti, and boulders.
Consider the Design of the Golf Course
Golf course designers and architects put in a lot of time and effort to design a golf course. There are easy, medium, hard and even impossible golf courses. A golf course architect considers the general terrain of the course to better position water hazards and bunkers to provide challenges for players. A fairway may be designed left posing or sloping to the right to challenge highly skilled players. A fairway may be designed with minimum challenges for less skilled players. The best idea is to choose a golf course that offers challenges, but still provides fun for the player.
Routing of the course is also a consideration as it is not appealing to play holes in the same direction. A good golf course must offer various holes for long, short and straight, giving players the change to play in various directions. A small golf course offers less area to offer variations.
Of course, the player’s personal skill level is an utmost consideration when choosing a golf course. Will his skill level afford him to make the shot? Will he be able to do the required low or high shots, draws, and fades? Note that there is nothing more irritating that waiting for your turn to putt because the group ahead of you is taking forever to finish theirs.
Affordable Golfing Holiday
Who says one can only play golf during the summer season? In the temperate zone, golfing peaks during the summer season. At this time of the year, most golf courses are solidly booked, which also means that rates are higher.
Off-season golfing has colder temperature, but it is easy enough to wear thermals, mittens and a hat to keep snug. And the fact that off-season golfing is more affordable, with the courses less packed with enthusiasts.
Another option is to go on a golfing holiday during the winter months somewhere in Southeast Asia. The region offers great golf courses designed by legends such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and the newer breed of course architects such as Schmidt Curley and Ronald M Garl.
The climate will be warm and comfortable. The rates will be affordable considering the conversion rates. The experience will be heartwarming considering the wonderful sceneries, food and culture SEA has to offer.
Read reviews of golf courses from credible sources such as golfing websites and magazines to learn about a particular golf course’s high and low points.