If you've been toying a round for a while with the idea of a golf break, then don't putt it off any longer! You'll go a fairway to match a golf weekend - as it's likely to be tee-rific. Even if you're a bit green at the game, this won't handicap the enjoyment you'll get if you pitch in and have a go.
Enough of the corny jokes! If you're a life-long fan of the sport or a newcomer, here's our choice of top five hotels where you'll really have an ace time. Plus we've given tips for golfing widows and widowers who might like to know what else is on offer at the golf hotel!
1 Budock Vean Hotel
On the course: On a quiet bend of the tranquil Helford River, the Budock Vean has its own course so you won't have to travel far to tee off - the first tee is a just a few steps from the hotel's golf bag room! Playable throughout the year due to Cornwall's mild climate, the course was originally designed by five times Open Winner, James Braid. The challenging course includes the ninth green, called the Flower Bowl, which is one of the finest short holes in Cornwall. Hotel guests can enjoy golf at no additional cost.
Off the course: Relax in the indoor pool with open log fire, sauna and outdoor hot tub or explore the spa. Work up an appetite on two all-weather tennis courts. Make the most of the hotel's riverside location - simply by sitting and enjoying the view, or going fishing or taking the ferry to a waterside pub.
Budock Vean, Cornwall www.budockvean.co.uk
2 Trefeddian Hotel
On the course: You'll be spoilt for choice at Trefeddian with six golf courses close by - one for every day of the week and then a day off! Choose from Aberdovey Golf Club, one of the finest seaside courses in Wales, ranked 58 in Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK and Ireland Golf Courses 2012. further afield is Machynlleth Golf Club, with a quintessential short 9-hole heathland course, and Borth & Ynyslas Golf Club - one of the oldest courses in Wales with a wind factor to contend with! Head to Aberystwyth Golf Club for a game with lovely views of Cardigan Bay or take a trip to the internationally-acclaimed Royal St David's course for a challenging round in a breathtaking setting.
Off the course:If you want to stay inside, then enjoy the hotel's newly-refurbished indoor swimming pool with spa bath or pamper yourself at the on-site beauty and natural therapy centre. Head outdoors for magnificent bird-watching and walks galore. Water sport fans have lots to choose from: sailing, canoeing, sailboarding and water-skiing .
Trefeddian Hotel, Gwynedd www.trefwales.com
3 Rathsallagh Hotel
On the course: Lakes and streams meander their way across the fairway at Rathsallagh Hotel's own golf course, creating a USPGA feel about it. Officially listed in the top 30 of 415 in Ireland, the golf course was designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr and Peter McEvoy and is set in 250 acres of parkland. And if that's not enough, the hotel's Clubhouse overlooks the 9th, 10th and 18th holes so you can watch your partners finish their round. Nearby courses include the K Club, Mount Juliet, Druids Glen, The Heritage and Carton.
Off the course: Get away from the golf with a countryside trek. Rathsallagh is central to some of the most beautiful countryside in eastern Ireland - Wicklow National Park, Powerscourt and Blessington Lakes. Then indulge until you bulge - the hotel also has a reputation for fine dining with splendid dining rooms, a commitment to local produce and a zest for new kitchen technology! The hotel's breakfast has won National Breakfast Awards three times. Plus if you want to bring your four-legged friend, the hotel also won a Good Hotel Guide Editor's Choice award for being dog-friendly.
Rathsallagh Hotel, Co Wicklow www.rathsallagh.com
4 Glenapp Castle Hotel
On the course: You'll have a champion time playing golf when you stay at Glenapp Castle Hotel - there are four championship courses within an hour of the castle: Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes and Turnberry. And if that's not enough for a true gold devotee, there are more local courses with their bunkers waiting for your ball: Brunston Castle, Girvan, Creachmore, Dunskey and Glenluce. Hotel guests also have access to the private Cally Course and Southerness Golf Club. That should keep you busy!
Off the course: Although set in a beautiful part of West Scotland, many visitors to Glenapp don't ever feel the need to venture out of the castle grounds! Walks through the 36-acres of gardens and woodlands for a relaxing time plus there's tennis and croquet to play. Fine dining at Glenapp Castle's award winning restaurant is a truly unique experience - you can watch the sun set over Ailsa Craig, the Mull of Kintyre and across the beautiful Ayrshire coastline
Glenapp Castle Hotel, South Ayrshire www.glenappcastle.com
5 St Enodoc Hotel
On the course: This hotel is next to St Enodoc Golf Club with a course with some stats to show its appeal. It is ranked 99th in the world by Golf Digest for 2014 and currently placed 39th in Great Britain & Ireland by Golf World which also ranked it 4th for courses which put a smile on your face! Designed by James Braid, the course features undulating fairways, firm greens, some blind shots and all set in gorgeous scenery. Short but needing accuracy, the course is a challenge which players say is well worth it.
Off the course: Of course there's surfing and the hotel boasts a lovely spa centre, but a real draw to non-golfers - and golfers too - are the two restaurants, run by Nathan Outlaw and his team. Outlaw's Restaurant is open all day and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw was awarded 2 Michelin Stars in 2011, has been named as the Best Seafood Restaurant in the UK by The Good Food Guide and has a delicious seven-course seafood tasting menu.
St Enodoch, Cornwall www.enodoc-hotel.co.uk
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