Superyachts and golf are a match made in heaven. Most yachting playgrounds are blessed with high-end golf courses by the sea. There are often multiple championship courses to play as you spend a week-long charter floating through paradise, indulging in all the fine food, wine and water sports you can fit in between rounds.
It’s also incredibly convenient. Travelling between golf courses by superyacht dispenses with all the bother of moving between hotels or taking flights between islands: you just sit back on the deck of your charter superyacht and let the captain chart the course to your next course.
So get your clubs ready and start whittling down your yacht charter guest list; we’re going golfing! Want to scale up the experience even further and really improve your handicap? If space allows, bring a pro-golfer on the charter with you.
Here are a few of the world’s best destinations for golfing yacht charters, in no particular order. These golf charter locations are superb yachting destinations in their own right, offering spectacular scenery, a range of quality courses, and a rich menu of non-golfing activities.
The Spanish island of Palma de Majorca has long been known as a top golf destination, thanks to the manicured, Augustan-style beauty of Golf Son Gaul, located at a grand estate in a rural Spanish landscape of rolling hills of vineyards and olive groves. Golf Son Gaul is a Top 100 course in Europe but has a challenger in the Club de Golf Alcanada, a spectacular Trent St Jones Jr course where any novices will be bamboozled by strong sea breezes and a devilish first hole. Majorca also offers several other quality courses, including the firm and fast Nicklaus-designed course at Golf Park Puntiro and the three outstanding courses at Arabella Golf Trifecta. The islands of Menorca and Ibiza also offer a golf course with beautiful scenery, although neither course is of championship quality.
Top tip: By commencing or ending your Balearics superyacht charter in Marina Port Vell Barcelona, you can also enjoy the nine excellent courses around Barcelona, a rapidly growing golfing destination in its own right.
New Zealand is home to almost 400 golf courses, meaning this small South Pacific nation has the world’s highest number of golf courses per capita. This green, mountainous country is littered with courses by famous designers and architects, including Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr, David Harman and Tom Doak. And all courses are visually spectacular, making the most of the country’s extraordinary volcanic topography, from courses on clifftop peninsulas to alpine courses framed by snow-capped mountain ranges.
Of the 14 marquee standard courses in New Zealand, three in the North Island must be seen to be believed on your golfing yacht charter. Tara Iti is a challenging Tom Doak course one hour north of Auckland that shot straight to the top of golfers’ bucket lists when it opened in 2015, while for sheer, breathtaking grandeur, David Harman’s 72-par course on the Kauri Cliffs can only be rivalled by the clifftop splendour of Doake’s other course at Cape Kidnappers. This is golf that you’ll remember until your dying day.
Top tip: Wait to go home when your yacht charter finishes. Take a two-hour plane ride from Auckland down to Queenstown for some gob-smackingly good golf in the shadow of the Remarkables at Jack’s Point or The Hills.
The hardest thing about a golfing yacht charter in Hawaii is deciding which courses, on which islands, to play. There are 74 courses spread across five islands, and the standard is generally very high. One thing is guaranteed in a landscape as spectacular as Hawaii: your rounds will be accompanied by breathtaking scenery — as you play beside lava fields and volcanoes, waving palms and turquoise breakers.
On the Big Island, Nanea was designed by David McLay Kidd and is Hawaii’s undisputed best golf course — although one may have to pull some strings to get to play at this famously exclusive, publicity-shy course. On Maui, the famous Plantation Course is home to the PGA Tournament of Champions with magnificent ocean and mountain views. Get back on your yacht to cruise to Lanai, where Four Seasons Resort Lanai is home to the excellent and visually stunning Nicklaus Signature course, the Manele Golf Course, while on Kauai, Kukui’ula Golf Course and Poipu Bay Golf Course are the standouts.
The French Riviera, extending up into the alpine foothills and across into the rolling landscapes of sunny Provence, has some of the finest golf courses of any yachting destination on the planet. The French Riviera is where ’yachting playground’ and ’golfing playground’ combine.
The most celebrated course is the Chateau course at Terre Blanche, one of the top 100 golf courses in the world. Styled as a Provencal village perched across rolling hills, the Dave Thomas designed course winds between stands of shady Aleppo pines and wildflower meadows. Other outstanding courses include Chateau de Taulane, sitting in the forest at 1,000 metres altitude, the Golf Country Club de Cannes Mougins, designed by Peter Allis and Dave Thomas, and the Royal Mougins Golf Resort, featuring a fiendishly tricky course along a river connecting eight lakes.
Other spectacular French Riviera courses include the Monte Carlo Golf Club — an eagle’s eyrie of a course where you can spy Italy, Monaco and France from the fifth hole on a clear day. There’s also something quite special about playing the historic Old Course near Cannes, where you board a little ferry across the river to play your next hole.
Top tip: There’s no beating the Golf Club de St Tropez for celebrity spotting on the green. And if you’ve got time, keep heading down into Provence to open up even more incredible courses.
Florida boasts one of the world’s greatest concentrations of golf courses, with a staggering 1250 courses across the state. Many of these courses dot the coastline from Jacksonville past Palm Beach and Miami and down to Fort Lauderdale, creating a jigsaw of bright green fairways under waving palms.
It’s fair to say the Florida locals are keen on golfing. They’re joined by enthusiasts on holiday from all over America and worldwide, wanting to get their fix of balmy weather, lush greens, and possibly an alligator sighting or two. of the thousand-plus courses, there are some sensational highlights to visit on a Florida golf yacht charter, including the ultra-prestigious Seminole Golf Club near Palm Beach, considered the clear leader by some margin. TPC Sawgrass comes an excellent second (you won’t forget this dangerously watery course, with its legendary island 17th hole), as well as other top courses, including PGA National Resort, Hammock Beach and Trump National Doral Miami. You could spend a happy lifetime cruising along the Florida coastline on a yacht playing golf!
There’s nothing like a golfing holiday with old friends. But it’s even better when a superyacht is your floating hotel, equipped with a private chef, water toys, and all the luxuries you can imagine. Some charter yachts even come with a golfing tee and dissolvable balls for practising your swing on the sundeck! Don’t hesitate to contact our charter team to plan the golfing yacht charter of a lifetime.