The weather might be on the turn in the UK now, but head a bit further south and summer is still going strong – with slightly cooler daytime temperatures making it an ideal time of year for a golfing holiday. Combine the fine weather with cheaper airfares and accommodation because the school holidays are over and you'll feel like you've scored a hole-in-one. Here are some of the most-popular destinations for golfers chasing the sun...
Britain's favourite holiday destination is just as popular among golfers as it is sun-seekers, with thousands of Brits flying out each year to hit the fairways. The biggest concentration is on the Costa Del Sol in Andalucia in the south of mainland Spain – meaning that many golfers choose to fly into Malaga and hire a car in order to sample a variety of courses. There are more clusters of courses in tourist hotspots in Murcia and on the Costa Blanca further north. If you want to follow in the footsteps of the sport's stars – try to book a round at Real Valderrama near Gibraltar or the PGA Catalunya course near Girona. Good luck getting in!
Spain's thinner neighbour to the west is another popular destination for late-summer golfers – and again most of the action is on the south coast, in the popular Algarve region. There is another bunch of courses dotted around the capital Lisbon – a popular city break destination if you prefer urban exploration to laying on the beach – and a further smattering of facilities further north near the second city of Porto. Oitavos Dunes near Lisbon and Monte Rei on the Algarve are both recommended.
Britain's closest continental neighbour offers an interesting alternative to the more predictable golfing destinations. There are a cluster of courses around Paris and more on the northern coast – but you'll probably be more interested in heading down to the French Riviera or to the Basque coast in the south west to take advantage of the more reliable climate. Hire a car (or drive down) and you'll even be able to hop across the border into Italy or Spain respectively for some top-notch sight-seeing, or even more golf should you wish.
Tenerife and Gran Canaria – the two main islands – are where most of the golf course are located – and as you'd expect the courses tend to be close to holiday resorts. On both islands they are dotted around without a clear centre – so hiring a car to check out a few makes a lot of sense. Courses of note include Abama and Golf Del Sur on Tenerife and El Cortijo and Anfi Tauro on Gran Canaria.
It's not the first place you might think of for golf – and Greece actually has very few courses compared to its Mediterranean rivals – however its saving grace is that some of the best ones are quite close together. The Costa Navarino (or Dunes) course on the western edge of the Peloponnese peninsula was designed by Bernhard Langer and inhabits a stunning location beside the ocean and a huge lagoon. And it's only six miles from there to the Bay course – which offers a similarly high standard of golf.
Florida in the south of the United States offers a vast array of golfing options – reflecting its status as a retirement destination for many Americans and a popular holiday option domestically. There are a stunning 1,200-plus courses in the state – many of which are open to paying visitors, with the volume of competition keeping prices reasonable in many instances. Naples on the west coast is a popular base, with more than 100 courses within easy reach – many of a high standard. And it's only a short trip to the famous Everglades National Park, should you fancy a bit of alligator spotting.
Have you enjoyed a golfing holiday abroad? Leave a comment below...