Out-of-season Golf Holidays United Arab Emirates December – March In the dark, cold winter golfing in the UK can be quite an ordeal. The UAE is one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world, boasting some of the world’s biggest hotels and finest golf courses. Golf facilities Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, and the largest city, but most foreign visitors head to Dubai, where a number of the world’s top hotels and resorts can be found. There are currently 21 golf clubs in the UAE, most of them being located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The best golf courses in Dubai are thought to be the Majlis course at The Emirates Club, and ‘Fire’ and ‘Earth’ courses at the Jumeirah Golf Estate, designed by Greg Norman. Resort recommendation The Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai opened in 1997 on an island which is particularly popular with Europeans thanks to its beach. The wave-shaped hotel gives guests access to 33,800 square metres of beach, as well as the impressive golf courses. Top attractions in the area include the beach the Wadi Water Park and the Jumeirah Mosque. Weather/climate Dubai can be uncomfortably hot and humid in the summer, so the best time to visit is between December and March when average daytime temperatures are around 24 degrees Celsius. Getting there London – Abu Dhabi International (UAE):  3,413 miles  Approximately 7 hours flight time  £400-£600 flights France June - September Not all summers in the UK are equal, and when the weather just isn’t up to scratch France can often offer a better proposition for golfers. There are over 550 golf courses in France, with the first one opening in 1856. Le Golf National’s golf club, opened in 1990, is considered to be one of the best in the country, and is so revered that it will be playing host to the 2018 Ryder Cup. The course is also open to non-pros and visitors. Resort recommendation Le Golf National club is located in Paris and features an 18 hole, 72 par championship course called L’Albatros (Albatross), as well as smaller Aigle (Eagle) course and short 9 hole Oiselet (Birdie) course. The club also has an on-site hotel offering 131 rooms to avoid golfers to allow them to “play and stay”. Such a central location means that the resort is accessible for those choosing to drive, use the Eurostar, or fly into Charles de Gaulle airport. Weather/climate Being located so close to the UK, this part of France experiences a similar climate. Warmer temperatures are experienced in the summer months of June-September and the wetter or colder months spanning through October-April. Getting there London – Paris (France)  204 miles  Approximately 1 hour flight time, 1-2 hours on a ferry or 1 hour on the Eurostar  £50 -£150 per person depending on mode of transport Italy September - October In Autumn, when the UK becomes cold and wet, and leaves begin to fall on the fairway, temperatures in Italy drop to a level which make it highly agreeable forgolfers. There are 225 golf courses across the country, with some 80,000 Italian golf club members. The Golf Club Biella is often regarded as the best location for golfers in Italy is the Golf Club Biella, which is also referred to as Le Betulle which is Italian for “The Birches” and refers to the trees in the surrounding area. Resort Recommendation Golf Club Biella features an 18 hole, 73 par course which is 6,427m in length and was designed by English architect John Morrison. The resort also has onsite accommodation in the form of Le Betulle hotel, which is open March to November, and a double room with breakfast can be booked from €67.50 per person. Weather Climate Section Temperatures can climb to uncomfortably high levels during the peak summer months in Italy, which can even make sleeping difficult, let alone swinging a golf club. Luckily, the Sirocco winds in the autumn carry cooler temperatures that are still pleasantly warm. Beware of visiting in Spring, as storms are more common. Getting there London – Milan Malpensa (Italy)  571 miles  Approximately 1-2 hours flight time  £100-£150 flights Spain June - November British summertime may be a beautiful thing, but it can be over in a flash. Spain enjoys a longer summer season and better golfing weather. There are 590 courses (inclusive of golf clubs) in Spain, and the highest concentration of golf courses is in the coastal region of Andalusia. Within Andalusia is the Arcos Gardens golf resort and country club, which offers great facilities for both golfers and non-golfers. Resort Recommendation Arcos Gardens hosts a sprawling 72 par golf course for you to try out your swing in Spain, and the Fain Country House located within the resort claims to offer the perfect facilities for golfers to come and go in between rounds. Those looking to travel in larger groups can also book private villas within Arcos Gardens. Weather Climate Section Temperatures reach 29C-31C throughout the typical summer months, and coastal areas such as Andalusia benefit from a sea breeze, making the blazing sun more bearable. Warmer temperatures continue even into November with typical temperatures hovering around 21C, making it ideal for an autumn golf getaway. Getting there London – Jerez (Spain)  1,067 miles  Approximately 2-3 hours flight time  £50-£150 flights United States May - April, September - October Florida is the golfing capital of the USA, offering over a thousand golf courses and some fine weather either side of the ultra-hot summer. There are 15,753 golf courses in the United States of America, which is the largest concentration of courses anywhere in the world. Florida is home to the most courses with over a thousand, followed by California. One of the most famous and revered courses in the world is Pine Valley, which is found in New Jersey. However this course is members-only and is shrouded in mystery as it is difficult to locate. Resort Recommendation For golfers wanting to immerse themselves in the hubbub of the American golfing world, they can visit the PGA Village in Port St Lucie in Florida. There is a “play and stay” package available where golfers can book in for a set amount of nights and play a round of golf each day. The price varies depending on when you visit; this ranges from $405 in September 2013 and $789 in March 2014. Weather Climate Section This area of Florida has a humid subtropical climate, meaning that summers are very hot and winters are milder. You may wish to travel there in spring or autumn to avoid the humid heat wave and also make the most of seasonal savings. Getting there London – West Palm Beach International (USA)  4,386 miles  Approximately 11 hours flight time  £400-£700 flights Caribbean December - April If winter time is getting you down what could be better than heading to a Caribbean island to enjoy fine weather, beautiful natural surroundings and some fine golf courses. The Caribbean islands stretch for 1,700 miles and are dotted with some fantastic golf courses. The course that was the most highly regarded for a long time was the “Teeth of the Dog” course in the Dominican Republic, named after the jagged rocks plunging into the ocean, but now this top spot is being challenged by other courses clustered on the collection of islands. Resort Recommendation Canouan is a small island, measuring only 3.5 by 1.35 miles, and is relatively unspoiled and wonderfully undiscovered, making it perfect for a tranquil getaway. This island is home to The Grenadine Estate Golf Club, a 1,200 acre estate home to a 300 acre, 18 hole course designed by Jim Fazio. Green fees start at $175, and golf carts and equipment are available to rent on site. The Green Monkey course designed by Tom Fazio is based on the Sandy Lanes resort in Barbados, and has also earned a reputation as a popular destination for golf holidaymakers thanks to its dramatic scenery sculpted out of an old limestone quarry, challenging holes and luxurious location. Weather Climate Section The Caribbean islands experience warm winters where temperatures can climb to 30C. The rainy season hits in May, and although it is not as bad as monsoon season in India, it is best to be avoided. Hurricanes can strike the islands during September-November, so it is recommended to consider this when booking a holiday. Getting there London – Bridgetown (Barbados)  4,220 miles  Approximately 7-8 hours flight time  £500-£800 flights The Canary Islands All year round The Canary Islands are a golfer’s dream; offering some great courses which can be played at almost any time of the year thanks to the islands’ constant summer season. The two areas in the Canary Islands most famed for their golf facilities are Tenerife and Gran Canaria, each boasting 7 course layouts of 18 holes or more. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote also have a modest 2 courses each, and there is an additional course located on La Gomera. Back on the famed golfing island of Tenerife stands the Abama Golf and Spa Resort, which is considered the best in the Canary Islands. Resort Recommendation The Abama Golf and Spar Resort was designed by Dave Thomas and opened in 2005 – the course is spread across 6,271 of ever-changing terrain and contains 22 lakes and 25,000 palm trees. The adaptable nature of the course means that it is suited to those with larger handicaps as well as the well-weathered golfer. The onsite golf academy also means that complete beginners can try their hand at the sport and wannabe-pros can polish their swing. Weather Climate Section The Canary Islands are fortunate enough to experience a warm climate almost all year round, which could make it perfect for those looking for a little winter sun. Even during the colder months the islands see temperatures of around 21C and on average 21 days out of each month are dry. Getting there London – Tenerife (Canary Islands)  1,823 miles  Approximately 4 hours flight time  £100-£200 flights South Africa December – January South Africa is an enticing prospect for golfers seeking a golfing destination around the Christmas period. There are over 450 affiliated golf clubs in South Africa which serve approximately 125,000 golfers. Despite this large number of courses and clubs, one is often regarded as head and shoulders above the rest; Leopard Creek Country Club. Resort Recommendation Leopard Creek Country Club is a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg and is based on the edge of the Kruger National Park which means that encounters with wildlife is not entirely uncommon. The par 72 course is 6,631m long and has received a rating of 74, and was designed by Gary Player. This course is exclusive, however non-members may be granted access to play on the course during the week only if they are also staying on the resort, and green fees start at $2,100. Weather Climate Section The warmest month to visit is in January when temperatures can reach 31C. The most rainfall for the year falls over the summer months of June-August, so it is advised to avoid these dates. Getting there London – Johannesburg (South Africa)  5,642 miles  Approximately 10-11 hours flight time  £500-£800 flights Australia All year round On the other side of the world golfers can enjoy the great game at almost any time of year. There are 1,800 golf courses in Australia, and it is estimated that a huge 10% of all of the Australian adult population play the sport. The 2013 golf World Cup will be played at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in November, but this club is strictly members only. Despite this, there is no shortage of courses available for visitors - the Bonville Resort offers fantastic facilities to holidaying golfers. Resort Recommendation The Bonville Golf Resort is located in New South Wales on the Coffs Coast, which is approximately 6 hours north of Sydney. For those travelling into the country, Coffs Coast can be reached by any of 7 direct flights from Sydney each day, making it extremely accessible. The golfing rates are cheaper during the Australian “winter months” of June-August, and lessons and equipment are also available onsite. Weather Climate Section In this area of New South Wales, cold weather is rare and brief, as the region benefits from warm temperatures most of the year round. However, during the summer months (our winter), temperatures can reach highs of 38C, so those sensitive to heat are advised to avoid this time. Getting there London – Sydney (Australia)  10,566  Approximately 20-22 hours flight time  £500-£1,000 flights -->