The DEPARTURES Guide to Golf for the Globetrotter

Courtesy Timbers Resorts

The ultimate handbook to the best golf courses to play, gear to get, and names to know around the world.

True aficionados know that a round of golf is more than just a game; it's an excuse to travel the world. Taking on a new course is as much about testing your skills on unknown terrain as it is about appreciating extraordinary design and witnessing unique flora and fauna. From envelope-pushing courses in the emerging golf mecca of South Korea to the top, most historic courses in the sport's Scottish motherland to much manicured 18s in California's wine country, there just might be no other pastime so tied to its terroir as golf—and no other game that offers such endless opportunity for wanderlust worldwide. Here within, our comprehensive guide to teeing off around the globe.

Course Collections

The World's Best Golf Destinations
A wide-ranging list of the 18 very best places to play the game. See the slideshow »

Not for the Faint of Heart: Extreme Golf Courses
From the Australian outback to Canadian glaciers, unexpected adventures await in these eight destinations, where a bogey is the least of your concerns. See the slideshow »

Design-Forward Golf Retreats
The architecture and design of these resorts and clubs are as much a reason to play as their challenging holes. See the slideshow »

Warm-Climate Golf Courses for the Winter
Because there's no such thing as the off season in this sport. See the slideshow »

Golfing the USA

The Greens of Martha's Vineyard
There's a reason so many U.S. presidents love golfing in this storied New England vacation spot. Read the story »

Georgia's Golden Isles
At the Atlantic Ocean–hugging golf course at the Sea Island Resort near Savannah, a new chapter begins with better holes, a superb Performance Therapy Center, and plenty of other plush diversions to enjoy. Read the story »

Golfing in Bend, Oregon
Our golf correspondent Thomas Dunne explores the best courses in this haven in the Pacific Northwest. See the slideshow »

The Top Golf Course Near Miami
How Miami's Doral, better known as Donald Trump's Blue Monster, makes the city a destination for golfers—whether you like it or not. Read the story »

Where to Golf in California Wine Country
Sampling pinot noir isn't the only thing to do in Napa and Sonoma, and these excellent golf courses in the area prove it. Read the story »

The Charm of Cape Cod's Courses
The best holes to play in Massachusetts's popular summer destination. Read the story »

And in Mexico: Golfing in Los Cabos
Between the Tiger Woods–designed El Cardonal  to Auberge Resort's Esperanza, the Baja peninsula has no shortage of destination courses. Read the story »

Golfing Europe & Africa

London's Golf-Rich Suburbia
The British capital has one of the world's densest concentrations of golf courses, and these nine are the most important of the bunch. See the slideshow »

Golfing in Surrey
Memorable moments from golfing in London's gorgeous, landlocked Heathlands. See the slideshow »

Playing Golf in the Scottish Coast
Exploring the best oceanside courses in the world's most celebrated golfing destinations. Read the story »

Where To Tee Off in Paris
France is experiencing something of a golfing golden age; here's where to get in on the action. Read the story »

The Best Golf Courses in Morocco
The destination's golf scene is not just unexpected, but thriving, too. See the slideshow »

Golfing Asia & The South Pacific

The Extraordinary Clubhouses of South Korea
Local enthusiasm for the sport is encouraging aficionados from around the globe to flock to a handful of high-design courses. Read the story »

The Private Golf Club Far, Far Away
New Zealand's Tara Iti Golf Club has fantastic turf, great views, and an exquisite atmosphere—all for which it's well worth going the distance. Read the story »

Essential Gear

The Coffee Table Book Every Golfer Should Own
An updated version of course architect Tom Doak's classic The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses is an essential piece of golf paraphernalia. Read the story »

The Space-Age Golf Cart
Invest in a golf cart that hovers nine inches above the ground and leaves no trace. Read the story »

From the Archives: Where to Get Custom Golf Shoes
For the best of the best, look no further than E. Vogel Custom Boots and Shoes, now in its fouth generation. Read the story » 

From the Archives: High-Performance Golf Balls
A no-nonsense guide to shopping for the best balls out there. Read the story »

In Profile: The Names to Know

Golf's Most Controversial Teacher
The story of Jimmy Ballad's success, along with a few tips and tricks from the legend himself. Read the story »

The Renegade Success of Rees Jones
The course designer that broke from tradition and quite literally changed the golfing landscape. Read the story »

The Golf Pro-Turned-Designer
Tom Weiskopf's insider perspective of the game make his courses some of the world's most enjoyable. Read the story »

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Teeing Off in Japan