Putting Around the Globe, The Appeal of Golf Tourism

Published - 20 February 2024, Tuesday
  • Putting Around the Globe, The Appeal of Golf Tourism

Golf, once perceived as an exclusive sport for a niche demographic, has witnessed a surge in popularity, particularly among the younger generation. The reasons behind this surge could be attributed to its recognition as a socially distanced outdoor activity, the influence of Netflix's Full Swing series, or the growing trendiness of golf fashion.

With an estimated reach of 119 million enthusiasts, golf has become a mainstream activity, with over one-third of the U.S. population older than five having played the game in 2022.

Surprisingly, golf is not just about the game itself; it has now become intertwined with travel, giving rise to the concept of golf tourism. As the sport gains more traction, travellers are increasingly drawn to destinations that offer both the thrill of exploring new locations and the chance to practice their swing while keeping fit.

The Benefits of Golfing

For those unfamiliar with golf, the appeal may seem elusive – hitting a ball with a stick to get it into a hole may not sound particularly exhilarating. However, beyond the apparent simplicity lies a sport that is not only addictive and exciting but also boasts significant health benefits. Research indicates that golfers enjoy a 40% lower mortality rate compared to non-golfers, attributed to the physical activity, walking, and time spent outdoors.

Beyond the physical benefits, golf also contributes to mental well-being, offering a means to decrease anxiety and enhance focus. The social aspect of the game, coupled with the engagement of various muscle groups, positions golf as an excellent alternative or supplement to traditional gym sessions.

Top Golf Tourism Destinations

For those considering golf tourism, exploring the top destinations is a crucial step. Scotland, with its rich architectural and natural treasures, is a prime choice. The Old Course at St Andrews, dating back to the 15th century, is among the world's oldest courses. Alternatively, Portugal offers an affordable blend of history, cuisine, culture, and stunning beaches for a well-rounded golfing vacation.

St Andrews (Old Course)

However, golf tourism isn't confined to overseas travel. The U.S. and Canada boast numerous outstanding courses, ensuring diverse options for golf enthusiasts, even on a budget. Local driving ranges provide an accessible and cost-effective option for those looking to enjoy the game without extensive travel. Image Credit: St Andrews (Old Course)​​​​​​​

Prepare for Your Golfing Vacation

Planning a golf-centric trip requires meticulous preparation. Researching destination courses is vital, ensuring they offer both scenic views and essential amenities while providing the right level of challenge. Equipment, whether personal or rented, must be in top condition, including any necessary maintenance for golf carts.

For those new to the game or less experienced, practicing at home or taking lessons is advisable, especially considering some European courses' license requirements. Being physically prepared ensures a vacation filled with enjoyment rather than stress.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, if you're seeking a novel and active way to travel, golf tourism presents an enticing option. However, for those not inclined towards the green, alternative activities like watersports, hiking, skiing, or cultural experiences offer exciting and physically engaging options. Whether teeing off or exploring other avenues, the world of travel continues to evolve, catering to diverse interests and preferences in 2024 and beyond.


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