If you recall our tip from last week, we provided some ideas for heat-beating summer golf travel options in the United States.
We based these picks on a couple general strategies. The first: to Go Uphill - head for higher elevations to level off the oppressive heat and humidity.
The second: Go North - use the latitudes to get yourself into more pleasant climates for summer golf.
This week, we're adding a third strategy: Go South...Way South - if you're sick of summer and have a yen for long-distance travel, flipping hemispheres might do the trick.
So without further ado, let's talk about some cooler-weather international summer golf destinations...
The Canadian Rockies - Some of the best alpine views in the Americas can be found in the mountainous regions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. In Alberta, two classic courses at old-time resorts take center-stage: Banff Springs and Jasper Park. Banff lies within a national park of the same name, about 90 minutes west of - and about a thousand feet higher than - the Albertan city of Calgary. Jasper Park is about 180 miles farther north and west, in a national park of its own. Both courses were designed by famed Canadian architect Stanley Thompson, and rank among the best courses in the country.
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler and Nicklaus North Golf Clubs - Whistler, B.C.
- Silvertip Golf Course/Canmore Golf & Curling Club/Stewart Creek Golf Club - Canmore, Alb.
- Big Sky Golf Club - Pemberton, B.C.
- Westin Bear Mountain Resort - Victoria, B.C.
Quebec Mountains - With some of eastern North America's best skiing at Mont Tremblant, this area is beloved by winter travelers as well as golfers looking to flee the summer swelter at lower elevations. Five courses - Le Maître, Le Géant, Le Diable, La Bête and Golf Manitou - weave through mountain forests.
Scottish Highlands - Scotland's coastline has been well-documented by us and others as a hotbed of summer golf possibilities, but what about its inland, upland regions? If you're keen to take the road less traveled and head inland in Scotland, here are some courses to take note of:
- Newtonmore Golf Club - Newtonmore
- Spey Valley Golf Club - Aviemore
- Ballater Golf Club - Ballater
- Boat of Garten Golf and Tennis Club - Boat of Garten
- Thornhill Golf Club - Thornhill
The Alps - Encompassing parts of Switzerland, France, Austria and northern Italy, this region is world-renowned for its skiing, but for Europeans seeking relief from their own hot summers, it has become a sneaky-strong region for golf, as well. If you're looking for some mountain golf in Europe, check out these places:
- Golf Club Crans-sur-Sierre - Crans-Montana, Switzerland
- Evian Resort Golf Club - Evian-les-Bains, France
- Golf Club Chamonix - Chamonix, France
- Golf Eichenheim - Kitzbühel, Austria
- Golf Club Achensee - Pertisau, Austria
- Asolo Golf Club - Cavaso del Tomba, Italy
Canadian Shield - North of Toronto, Canada's biggest city, lies the Canadian Shield, a massive complex of rock outcroppings (some of the oldest on Earth). This area used to be home to some of the planet's highest mountains, but millions upon millions of years of weathering have worn them down to mere hills. Still, this region provides a great refuge from the summer heat, especially for Torontonians. Here's where you should look to play in and around this area:
- Muskoka Bay Resort - Gravenhurst
- Taboo Resort - Gravenhurst
- The Rock Golf Course - Minett
- Rocky Crest Resort - MacTier
- Bigwin Island Golf Club - Baysville
- Deerhurst Resort - Huntsville
Okanagan Valley - Central British Columbia has gained in reputation in recent years, not just as a golf destination but as a winemaking region as well. Think of it as Canada's answer to Napa and Sonoma Counties in California. Here are the golf courses to be aware of in this region:
- Fairview Mountain Golf Club - Oliver
- Tobiano Golf Course - Kamloops
- Quaaout Lodge/Talking Rock Golf Club - Chase
- Predator Ridge Resort - Vernon
The Maritimes - Eastern Canada's smaller provinces may be a fraction of the size of the others, but they punch above their weight in terms of great summertime golf experiences. The best of them all, in our opinion, is at Cabot Links up on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. Between the original Rod Whitman Course and the off-the-charts-awesome Cabot Cliffs course by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, this is a bucket-list golf destination.
Here are some other great ones in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and New Brunswick:
- Cape Breton Highlands Links - Ingonish, Nova Scotia
- Fox Harb'r Resort - Wallace, Nova Scotia
- The Links at Crowbush Cove - Morell, P.E.I.
- Green Gables Golf Course - Hunter River, P.E.I.
- Humber Valley Resort - Humber Valley, Newfoundland
- The Algonquin Resort - St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, N.B.
- Kingswood Lodge - Fredericton, N.B.
Coastal Scotland's excellence as a summer golf destination has been well documented. It's already at considerably north latitude, but if you're looking for a virtual guarantee of cooler summer temperatures (we're talking sweater weather), head for Aberdeen, Dornoch and points north on the Auld Sod. Such as...
- Nairn Golf Club - Nairn
- Castle Stuart Golf Links - Inverness
- Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club - Fortrose
- Royal Dornoch Golf Club - Dornoch
- Brora Golf Club - Brora
- Wick Golf Club - Wick
- Durness Golf Club - Durness
Scandinavia doesn't come to mind as a golf destination, but with players like Henrik Stenson and Thomas Bjorn on the men's side and Annika Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen on the women's side, it is clear there is a strong golf culture in far northern Continental Europe. Plus, it's one of the only places on Earth where you can play round-the-clock golf in the summertime, especially in surprisingly golf-mad Iceland. Here's a quick list of Scandinavian courses to pique your curiosity:
- Royal Copenhagen Golf Club - Copenhagen, Denmark
- The Scandinavian Golf Club - Farum, Denmark
- Fano Golf Links - Fano, Denmark
- Falsterbo Golf Club - Falsterbo, Sweden
- Barsebäck Resort - Barsebäck, Sweden
- PGA National of Sweden - Bara, Sweden
- Bjaavann Golfclub - Kristiansand, Norway
- Lofoten Links - Gimsøysand, Norway
- Linna Golf - Harviala Hämeenlinna, Finland
- Paltamo Golf - Paltamo, Finland
- Kytäjä Golf - Hyvinkää, Finland
- Akureyri Golf Club - Akureyri, Iceland
- Reykjavik Golf Club - Grafarholt and Korpa, Iceland
Go South...Way South
Not to state the obvious, but summer in the Northern Hemisphere means "winter" in the Southern Hemisphere. But due to the geography of a lot of that other side of the world, "winter" there is quite mild, and even potentially ideal for a golf trip. Here are a few places I mean:
Australia - The "winter" weather Down Under is, broadly speaking, pretty darn good. Melbourne, home to Australia's very best collection of courses, boasts average July and August highs of 56 and 59 degrees, respectively. Perfect "sweater weather," as we see it. Other golf hotbeds, like Adelaide (60 and 62 degrees), Sydney (63 and 66), Perth (65 and 66) and Brisbane (71 and 74) tend to be a little warmer. Here are some golf suggestions in these areas:
- Royal Melbourne Golf Club - Melbourne, Victoria
- St. Andrews Beach - Fingal, Victoria
- Royal Adelaide Golf Club - Adelaide, South Australia
- The Grange Golf Club - Adelaide, South Australia
- New South Wales Golf Club - Sydney, New South Wales
- The Lakes Golf Club - Sydney, New South Wales
- Joondalup Resort - Joondalup (near Perth), Western Australia
- The Links Kennedy Bay - Port Kennedy (near Perth), Western Australia
- Royal Queensland Golf Club - Brisbane, Queensland
- Indooroopilly Golf Club - Brisbane, Queensland
- Hope Island Resort - Hope Island (Gold Coast), Queensland
South Africa - Though many adventurous golfers will visit South Africa during Northern Hemisphere winters - golf-and-safari trips are becoming ever more popular - mid-year may not be a bad time to visit, either, as you're likely to get milder weather in places like George, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Here are some golf options in these areas:
- Fancourt Estate - George
- Oubaai Golf Resort & Spa - George
- Pinnacle Point Golf Club - Mossel Bay (near George)
- Steenberg Estate - Cape Town
- Royal Cape Golf Club - Cape Town
- Copperleaf, The Els Club - Johannesburg
- Blue Valley Golf Estate - Johannesburg
South America - Some of the coldest Southern Hemisphere winter weather can be found here, as well as some of the warmest, given South America's massive north-south expanse from Argentina's Patagonia region up to the southern end of the Caribbean Sea and Columbia. But there are golf opportunities on the continent, too - even during the cooler times of the year:
- Carmelo Golf Club - Carmelo, Uruguay
- Belém Novo Golf Club - Porto Alegre, Brazil
- Olympic Golf Course - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Gavea Golf Club - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Hacienda Santa Martina - Santiago, Chile
- Club de Golf Valle Escondido - Santiago, Chile
Where might you be heading off to this summer? Tell us in the comments below!