American author Mark Twain once described golf as “a good walk spoiled”. No doubt the US Ryder Cup team would agree, after their recent loss to the Europe in the 39th edition of the competition, when Jose Maria Olazabal’s men overcame the most improbable odds to pull off one of the biggest sporting shocks in recent years. The good news is, with roughly 23 months to go until the next match-up, there’s plenty of time to play your way into contention for a spot in the team. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a selection of top offers, and ideas for golfing getaways both near and far.
Autumn is one of the finer times to be out and about on the fairways. The combination of crisp, bright mornings and thinning crowds makes for ideal golfing conditions -- even if you spend most of your round peppering the trees with errant tee shots and hunting in the undergrowth for misplaced balls, you can at least try to see it as an opportunity to admire the rich autumnal hues. Staverton Park Golf Club in Daventry is just the place for such an adventure; a round of golf for two at this Northamptonshire course would usually set you back £88, but with this Travelzoo deal, you and a friend get 18 holes – plus 45 range balls and complementary tea or coffee – for £29.
If that still sounds expensive, how about a round for the equivalent of £8 a head? The Three Locks Golf Course in Buckinghamshire has put together a 60%-off package for Travelzoo subscribers (valid Monday-Thursday until 20 December) for £16 for two. Alternatively, four people can take up the above offer for £30, which equates to £7.50 a head. This par-70 course in the Vale of Aylesbury measures 6,036 yards and has won praise from the AA Golf Course Guide 2012 for its "magnificent" views.
Of course, the thought of relying on the British weather might strike you as a rather risky venture. You could always turn your attention to destinations further afield. With more than 30 courses and mild temperatures throughout the year, the Algarve in Portugal has long been a favourite destination for jet-setting golfers. OK, you might have to shell out a little more than the £8 a head in our previous deal, but we’ve found a range of discounted hotel offers with availability until March, 2013.
While 30 courses might seem more than enough, winter-sun favourite, Florida, is on another level entirely. The Sunshine State is home to more than 1250 courses (more than any other state in the US), and with its plethora of theme parks, beaches and resorts, there’s more than enough to keep the whole family entertained in between rounds of golf. The good news is that lots of Florida deals include car hire -- a must if you’re going make a dent in all those fairways.
Click here to see a complete list of golf deals