Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top five year-round golf courses in the world

There's a reason why so many professional golfers live in Florida. It's warm there year-round and they can practice their craft any day of the year. If golfers could have a choice, they would live in a place where it's warm all the time so they can live on the golf course.

Here's my picks for five public courses I would want to play golf year-round, if money were no object and I lived nearby:

Despite the occasional hurricane and afternoon thunderstorm, Florida is a fantastic place for golf. Florida has over 1,000 golf courses from which to choose. Florida has an entire golf culture in the state and you can find courses just about anywhere. Get tee times early in the morning before it gets too hot to play. Golfers would have trouble playing every course in a single year. TPC Sawgrass hosts the PGA's Players Championship in mid-May and is one of the premier public courses in the state. TPC Sawgrass is in Ponte Verde Beach.

Ironwood Hills, Hawaii

Hawaii has some of the most unique golf holes on the planet due to its unique geography. Some holes drop a few hundred feet from the tee box to green. Others are right near the ocean with the surf in the background. With over 50 courses on six islands, living in Hawaii is a golfer's paradise. The lone course on Molokai is Ironwood Hills. It has only nine holes and doesn't even have a pro shop for one of the most remote golf courses in the world. It's a public course and costs $36 to play.

Cable Beach, Bahamas

The Bahamas are a vacation paradise with some resort elements. Even though there aren't many golf courses from which to choose, you'll soon forget your troubles as you play near the ocean and among the palm trees. Cable Beach Golf Club is the oldest golf course in the Bahamas and is a par-71. It was just renovated to become a nine-hole course among the palm trees.

Denaru Golf Club, Fiji

If you can make it to the South Pacific, Fiji has over 300 islands and a dozen golf courses. Pro tournaments are played on the islands every year with good reason. This tropical destination has some of the best golf in the world. Denaru Golf Club was designed by Japanese golf pros and is one of the three championship courses on Viti Levu Island. If you want to play right next to the ocean with some palm trees swaying in a warm ocean breeze, this is your place.

Innisfail Golf Club, Australia

North Queensland in Australia has a tropical climate and is warm year-round. Although the area is known for its surfing and nature preserves, there are over 50 courses to play in the sun. Turtle Point Golf Course at Laguna Whitsundays is considered one of the best courses in Australia. There's a reason Greg Norman learned how to play golf down under because there are great courses to play all the time. Innisfail is a public course in the middle of lush tropical surroundings. Like other courses in the middle of nature, it has nine holes that can be stretched into 18.


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