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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Play golf, will travel. Many golfers are known to spend their vacations heading to different courses around the globe for their fairway fix.
To help golfers plan their next trip, travel website Cheapflights.com (news.cheapflights.com) has come up with a list of top 10 golf destinations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
European golfers flock to Algarve, Portugal, and it is slowly becoming popular among Americans as well. Portugal has a lot to offer by way of golf - visit San Lorenzo, Vale de Lobo, Vilamoura, and Quinta do Lago for the ultimate resorts known for not only luxurious courses, but also their food and wine.
Known by some as Europe's version of Myrtle Beach, Costa del Sol is full of A-list visitors who come for the sunny courses and beautiful coastline. The 1997 Ryder Cup was held at nearby Sotogrande, which adds to the reputation of the area. Also be sure to check out Aloha, Las Brisas, and Torrequebrada.
Orlando boasts the most tour pros per square mile than any other city and has a huge variety of public-access golf, with Bay Hill, Grand Cypress, Orange County National and Disney, just to name a few. Ponte Vedra Beach is home of the PGA Tour, and is known for Players Championship Venue TPC at Sawgrass. Other greats include Amelia Island and the World Golf Village.
Golf's homeland, the sport has been played here since about the 15th century, and havens like St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and Gleneagles are ideal spots for anyone truly invested in golf. Some pros even joke that Carnoustie should be called "Car-nasty" because of its level in difficulty.
In Arizona, locations like Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson crank up the heat and offer premier golf courses in the desert, and with ultra-deluxe accommodations to boot. Take full advantage of the 30+ public access courses in each city.
6. South Carolina
Golf meccas like Hilton Head and Charleston beckon athletes to enjoy its resort layouts, Ryder Cup venues and PGA Tour stops. Check out Harbour Town or Palmetto Hall in Hilton Head, and Kiwah Island Resort in Charleston.
Rolling green hills extend far beyond golf courses here. Two of the best courses in Ireland are Royal Portrush and Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. In County Kerry, Dooks, Killarney, Tralee and Waterville are the VIPs, and in Dublin, Portamrnock, Druids Glen, and the European Club are prime go-tos.
California doesn't fall short when it comes to landscape and courses. For the serenity of nature, take a swing near Lake Tahoe, and for more luxurious amenities, head to Monterey-area locations like Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay. In Palm Springs, plenty of resorts do the trick for desert climate, and San Diego delivers for SoCal chill.
An ideal mountain location, Whistler is just 90 minutes north of Vancouver, and resorts like Big Sky and Chateau Whistler. In Prince Edward Islands, try the Brudnell River Resort, and (arguably) Canada's best, Links at Crowbush Cove.
Golfers flock to Hawaii's 54-hole complexes like Kapalua and Wailea. Other courses in Lanai and Kauai are renowned as well, and the Garden Isle boasts Pacific gems like the Princeville Resort, Kauai Lagoons, and Poipu Bay.
Editing by Elaine Lies