In recent years, the creation of new golf courses has accelerated across Europe. There are an estimated 2 million regular golfers in the UK alone, many of whom like to play a game while on holiday or take a golfing weekend away.
Golf is one of the world’s most popular sports and many campsites aim to appeal to golfers – whether they be groups of players on a long weekend, casual golfers fancying a round or two during their family holiday, or just someone for whom the option of a few holes without having to travel far is attractive.
Some campsites have developed their own on-site courses, some as fully-fledged clubs with a clubhouse, restaurant facilities and the like; others with more informal holidaymakers in mind, perhaps offering a 9-hole course or driving range. In addition you’ll discover campsites positioned close to some of Europe’s finest courses, often with specially arranged green fees.
You might be a low handicap player who fancies the challenge of some new courses; perhaps you’ve been tasked with the job of putting together a mates’ golfing weekend; or you might be planning the family camping holiday and fancy packing the clubs, just in case.
It’s about impressive accommodation too: ‘traditional’ campers with caravans, motorhomes and tents bring their clubs along of course. But campsites also offer a range of accommodation, from mobile homes and chalets to lodges, gîtes and even hotels in their grounds
Campsite holidays and golf go well together. Regardless of the accommodation type, you can find a golfing experience to suit all needs. Some campsites have superb 18-hole courses on site. For example, Domaine des Ormes in Brittany has its own course in the grounds of its 17th-century château, complete with private clubhouse, bar and shop.
Others, including Orangerie de Lanniron, offer very attractive, landscaped 9-hole courses, ideal for an impromptu game or two during the family holiday. Relaxed, fun and so convenient.
A number of campsites, such as Pra’ delle Torri (IT60030) near Venice, set out to cater for keen golfers wanting to enjoy excellent courses in the vicinity. They may offer their own club hire, specially arranged discounts or special weekend rates for golfing groups.
The joys of golf
Golf has so much to commend it: a not-too-energetic game, with a variable degree of competitiveness (depending on who you’re playing), played over a period of a few hours peppered with plenty of banter, hopefully some flashes of glory, no doubt some quickly forgotten disasters, and ideally a cool drink at the end over which to reflect, rib and savour the prospect of the next game.
Mix this with the benefits of fresh air, gentle exercise over perhaps several miles, a little mental stimulation,and pleasant surroundings, and it’s a great combination for your overall wellbeing. And of course it can be played by players of all ages and abilities, socially or competitively.
Be sure to warm up properly – you do not want a painful back injury while on holiday
Drink water as you play – dehydration is fast in hot conditions
Take suncream and a hat – sunburn will quickly ruin a holiday
Green fees are generally the norm but it’s worth enquiring at campsite reception or calling a local course before setting out for the day
Continental courses can be relaxed in terms of dress code but it’s not worth risking it – assume the same as at home and you won’t go far wrong