If you ask most sportspeople, they would tell you that they would love to play golf skillfully. No other sport can compete with golf. It is humbling, challenging and has a strange fascination of its own. And the strangest thing about this sport is its rules. According to the governing body of golf known as the PGA, every player is responsible for reporting their own violations. If you break the rules, you turn yourself in and confess. Here the rationale is simple: if a golfer commits a foul, does not account for it and is allowed to continue playing or win a tournament, such acts are considered a mockery and travesty of the game. No wonder golf is a gentleman’s game.
If you love this sport and would like to try your skills at expansive fairways and stunning sites, here are top golfing destinations from around the world:
What: St. Andrews
Where: Fife, Scotland
When you stroll around the ancient cathedral town, you begin to appreciate why St. Andrews is considered the second hometown for golfers around the world. As pilgrims pay their respect at the graves of Young and Old Morris, 3-generation families play over the contours of the Himalaya Putting Course.
St. Andrews’ Old Course has been around since the 15 century and is the most famous golfing site in the world. Apart from the renowned Old Course, there are 4- excellent 18-hole courses, one 9-hole course and a practice area for golfers seeking to hone their skills.
St. Andrews Old Course is challenging even to the seasoned golfers since it is usually embedded in the stormy North Sea dunes. Unless you Tiger Woods, you are better off trying your skills at Strathtrum course.
What: Royal County Golf Club
Where: N. Ireland, UK
The Royal County Golf Club has been around for more than a 100 years and features two 18-hole courses: the less formidable Annesley and the Championship course. The club is located 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Belfast and 90 miles from Dublin. It is tucked between the Irish Sea and Mourne mountains. In spite of the serene settings, it is a challenging site to play due to the masses of native plants such as gorse and heather that line the fairways. In addition, wild tussocks cover the bunkers and the breeze from the sea adds to the challenge of golfing on the course.
What: The Ocean Course: Kiawah Island Resort
Where: South Carolina, US
For those who love golf served with a slice humble pie, this is the place to be. While it may not be the toughest place by the blunt measurements of the slope and course rating, you have to contend with one challenge: wind. The home of the 2012 PGA Championship was designed by Pete Dye and feature broad sweeps of sand and water hazards. Playing on a calm day is handful, but when the wind from the Atlantic breeze stirs up, the golfer is mercilessly exposed to the elements.