It’s estimated that golf courses take up nearly 5.5 million acres of the world’s total land surface area. And this is for good reason — the sport is a massively popular pastime and social event all around the globe. As we know, it’s especially well-liked among retirees, as many choose to take up the hobby and fill their golden years with picturesque pastures and plenty of putting.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best spots you can visit or even retire in to spend more time on your swing. Come with us and let’s take a trip to three of the best golf destinations around the world — rest assured, we’ll stay out of the bunkers.
1. St. Kitts & Nevis
This tropical nation is a gem of the eastern Caribbean sea, and is known for its idyllic surroundings and lush scenery, with palm-lined expanses of green looking out to the dormant Nevis Peak volcano. St Kitts & Nevis is also home to a small but delightful set of golf courses strung between its sunny resorts. One popular course is found at the Four Seasons on Pinney’s beach, boasting an 18-hole route designed by prolific architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., responsible for many of the breathtaking courses found throughout the tropics.
While St. Kitts & Nevis is a smaller Caribbean destination, the country has a lively community of seasonal visitors and expats. Those looking to visit can enjoy hiking trails and national parks with their golf, and there is even scope to relocate there permanently. Many retirees opt to apply for citizenship through the country’s Citizenship by Investment program, donating to a fund for infrastructure improvement or purchasing real estate. In exchange, benefactors receive “citizenship for life, with the right to live and work in the country” as well as “a fair tax regime, with no worldwide income, inheritance and gift tax for tax residents”, according to the experts at CS Global Partners.
If you’re looking for an exotic destination to hit your birdies, it doesn’t get much better than Hawaii. The vacation hotspot offers stunning natural topography that designers have skillfully weaved their fairways between, decorated with volcanic ash rough and deep water hazards. Whatever island you find yourself on, you’ll join a bustling community of golfers. Oahu is home to a number of famous clubs that have hosted PGA tours, such as the Turtle Bay Resort and Ko Olina Golf Club.
It’s fair to say that the Hawaii we see on the screen is a romantic affair: conjuring up images of white sand shores and beach-blonde surfers. As a result, moving to the island is a dream shared by many all over the world. Relocation is a fairly standard procedure for those with existing rights to live in the US, as Hawaii is the 50th state and so demands no special permits to gain entry and settle. On the other hand, international guests will need to apply for a residence visa dependent on their plans, skills and credentials in order to move to the islands and find their Ohana.
3. New Zealand
Last on our list is yet another scenic island spot. New Zealand offers endless stretches of coastline and dramatic cliffside backdrops to make long caddie walks that little bit more enjoyable — and there’s certainly plenty to enjoy, with approximately 400 courses dotted around the country. Millbrook Golf Club under the Remarkables mountain range has been repeatedly voted as Oceania’s best golf resort by the World Travel Awards, while up on the North island, the Cape Kidnappers course offers astounding views of Hawke’s Bay.
Tourists travel from all over to visit New Zealand’s notoriously luxurious resorts. However, if you were looking to retire there and explore all the country has to offer, relocation can be somewhat challenging. Work-related visas are the most straightforward route of entry, but retirees would likely need to qualify for temporary retirement access or another appropriate visa. In any case, with the splendor offered by its courses, the avid golf players among you would be remiss not to pay a visit to the land of the Kiwi for a round or two.