Best Overseas Buddies Golf Destinations

Best Overseas Buddies Golf Destinations

By Jonathan Alden

Putting together a buddies golf trip can be a difficult proposition, especially if you are swinging for the fences and thinking about one of the world’s great international golfing destinations. The difficulties of trying to coordinate a variety of budgets, schedules, and interests can often be a deterrent to turning the dream into a reality. My best advice is to think about think about what is most important to your group and then plan a trip that will best fit those parameters. I typically recommend three keys to picking the best buddies golf destination:

  1. It is important to have plenty of time outside of travel and golf to stop into a local pub or sleep in after a night on the town, so pick a destination that has a concentrated collection of golf courses in order to minimize drive times.

  2. No golf trip will be cheap. However, rather than picking a spot with most renowned and expensive courses (think central Scotland), save the poorest of your friends a few bucks and choose a path slightly less traveled. I can assure you: this doesn’t have to compromise the quality of golf in any way.

  3. Choose a destination that best incorporates the non-golfing activities that you and your friends enjoy doing together the most, whether that be partying at the night club, pubbing and singing with the locals, or anything else.

When all is said and done, a buddies trip is as much about the comradery and inclusivity of the entire group as it is about the golf. If your friends are anything like mine, then a late night chewing the fat with some friendly locals with be just a memorable as any round of golf. With that being said, here are three international destinations for a buddies golf trip that I think you should consider:

Inverness, Scotland:

There is something about the combination of whisky and golf that just works, and nowhere can you find the two more perfectly blended than in the Scottish Highlands. With courses like Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart situated close to the region’s hub of Inverness, there is no shortage of world-class golf to be played. Just as importantly, the city of Inverness is at the heart of the most concentrated collection of Scotch distilleries in the world, so look no further than the Highlands if eighteen holes of golf and a few post-round drams sounds like a perfect day.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic:

The combination of championship golf and lively nightlife helps set Punta Cana apart as a top buddies golf destination. With three of the Caribbean’s best golf courses and an inviting lineup of bars, clubs, and casinos for your after-hours entertainment, it is best that you and your friends better show up to the Dominican Republic’s southeast coast well rested and ready to party. Luckily, the airport at Punta Cana is a short flight from several major US airline hubs and the area’s best courses are all in close proximity to one another, so you shouldn’t be too fatigued from your time in transit.

Dublin, Ireland:

I would venture to claim that no place in the world has a better assortment of closely situated championship golf courses and entertaining local pubs than the city of Dublin. The world’s best golf course at Royal County Down (at least according to Golf Digest and me), is two hours away, but plenty of other gems, including the European Club and the K Club, call the Dublin area home. Your best memories of your stay in Dublin, though, will be made (and probably forgotten) with the aid of a few pints of Guinness in the city’s Temple Bar district.