Ideal January Golf destination/trip?? (Global)

Hi all! First time, long time here

I’m wrapping up my Masters degree here in Melbourne, Australia and am looking to have an epic golf trip as a last hurrah before starting up full-time work in March next year. Wondering what the best destination worldwide would be for a golf trip in January??

Obviously its summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so NZ is very doable weather wise, as is King Island, but those are close enough for weekend jaunts. Given the free time I’m unlikely to have again, a trip somewhere further afield appeals more, as is a place I can take my time to discover and do things outside of golf.

One of Bandon/Ireland/Scotland appeal, but not sure how pleasant or doable that will be in winter. California as per Tourist Sauce season 3 looks mint so far and is under consideration.

Welcoming all suggestions, tips and ideas!

I was going to suggest Australia when first reading the title, but since you’re already there, this is a bit tougher. Scotland, Bandon, and even North/Central California can be very hit or miss weather-wise. There’s a chance you get lucky and it’s in the 50s (F) and sunny, but it could also be barely above freezing and raining sideways. If you’re going on a month-long trip, you’ll likely get a bit of both.

Hawaii would be a good choice if you want to guarantee good weather. The accommodations can be pricey, but there’s quite a bit of good golf and loads of other activities on the islands. January would also align with the Euro Tour’s Middle East swing. You could likely set up a trip watching some of the pro events if that’s of interest, and play a bit yourself.


Hey Man - very jealous of your situation, enjoy the trip!

If you’re going to hit NZ, I did a self-driven tour of the south island years back, and just about every town I stopped in had a course. I only played in 1 of the locations, but there seemed to be very accessible golf. Absolutely loved the track at Wanaka; Queenstown has some sick (but expensive) courses. There were courses along the east coast in Kaikoura, Nelson/Picton, Motueca, Christchurch.

Wanaka Golf Club was the most beautifully surrounded course I’ve ever played, mountains, lakes and glaciers. And cheap, got a nice rental set and walked, was the only one out. Pro there was a beauty.

Tons of hiking and activity outside of golf as well, so you can check all the boxes. I’ve been tossing the idea of a return trip going campervan style, get my own Tourist Sauce going.

I’d imagine the North island has much more accessible golf, but if you’re gonna do NZ, gotta do the lower half.

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For a mix of golf and a different culture then Portugal & Spain would work. There aren’t many courses which are household names but the standard is still high. You could check out Italy before or afterwards too, not for golf but sightseeing and half-decent weather. The UK and Ireland would be a waste at that time of year.

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Mexico - Punta Mita or Riviera Maya

Dominican Republic - Casa de Campo

All super pricey for January, but can’t miss weather wise + great golf and other stuff to do

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I think the options are:

  1. Go on a long road trip along the east coast of Australia playing as many courses as you can. Fly up to Coffs Harbour and make your way down the coast back to Melbourne and finish with a flourish at Barnbougle or King Island. If you haven’t already played the Sandbelt courses, beg borrow and steal to get on as many as you can before you leave. Same goes for the great public courses around Melbourne, the Bellarine Peninsula (13th Beach, Barwon Heads (stay and play)) and the Mornington Pensinsula (St Andrews Beach, The Dunes).

  2. Mexico/The Caribbean
    As above, The Dominican Republic has the Casa De Campo resort; Bermuda has the Mid-Ocean Club; Mexico has Cabo del Sol and The Diamante GC in Cabo San Lucas.

  3. New Zealand

Tour the whole country, North and South Islands. The best golf is in the North, but the South is, just, insanely beautiful.

  1. Spain/Portugal as above.


One thing not disclosed is whether you will be travelling solo, or with any others (golfers and/ or non golfers)?

As per the other thoughts, my first response would have been Australia (I also live in Melbourne and am a member at Metro, so am happy to host you for a game). The suggestion of an extended trip up/down the East cost is also a cracker.

I have travelled to Cabo, Mexico multiple times and can highly recommend it (although the golf and accom is expensive - even more so now with the low AUD).

One option to consider might be South Africa. Great weather, ridiculous value and some cool non golf activities as well.

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What??? Gotta go to scottsdale! So many architecturally sound courses in that area. I mean TPC Scottsdale? Troon north?

Just kidding. What about pinehurst? The weather should be solid and the courses play great that time of year.

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Melbourne, that’s my ideal trip.

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Maybe this is a little bland but the southern US could be an option. Depending on how much you wanted to travel you could get warm(ish) weather in Florida, Louisiana (hit up New Orleans), Texas, and Southern California (Arizona will definitely be warm, but I’d go to these other states before AZ). I think you could get a good taste of American culture visiting any of those states. Also if you’re traveling alone an Australian accent should help you meet people. Outside of the major cities you don’t hear Australian accents that often so it should serve as a good ice breaker.

I don’t know what kind of budget you have in mind, but the southern US would offer a decent amount of variety in culture and golf. You could also hop to places like San Francisco orncolorado if you’re so inclined


Singapore has some great tracks if you do not mind heat and humidity and tropical grass types.

From there it is easy to go see Dubai & Abu Dhabi and play there.

Or Hong Kong & Shenzen.

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Melbourne would be so ideal! Have played In Oahu but definitely the Middle East is intriguing!!

Thanks mate! NZ always appeals as a destination, absolutely love the place and have visited most of it but not played much golf there yet. Will definitely keep that in mind.

The East Coast trip suggestion is awesome! Have played most of the Sandbelt and peninsula courses though and would rather get out of Aus. Mexico is one I hadn’t considered, will have to look into it.

I unfortunately misremember what cloud most of my pics are in, but yea…

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Have played a lot of golf in Singapore already, but Middle east/Hong Kong would be lovely that time of year.

I was in Hong Kong for an internship last December, and all the top clubs allow guest play on weekdays which was tough to do then but not now certainly. Not sure how worthwhile Shenzen and Mission Hills would be, thoughts?

Weather dependent but could take great advantage of an southeastern US trip hitting Pinehurst, Tobacco Road, TPC Myrtle/TheDunes, Caledonia/True Blue, Ocean Course and Kiawah, Harbour Town and Atlantic Dunes, then Sea Island

Excellent options all and definitely food for thought!

As a bit more general info, I would most probably be travelling alone, unless I can get my fellow university golfers to come with/ family golfers who live in the US/ Asia to come along too. Pretty flexible with budget too and seeking good golf, although in saying that I don’t think I can suppress my inner Bag-Tag Barry so would love to tick off a couple of big courses.

@Lemurs and @Thinbullet - Portugal and Spain would certainly fit the bill for non-golf activities, weather and good golf, if not spectacular/big ticket courses.

@DonCal - Probably solo as above! A Metro game would be awesome, have played it multiple times and love the place. South Africa a great option too, hadn’t considered that and have always wanted to go.

@Bandonman91 @DingleJones @FringeLife The Southern US trip hitting up some combination of Streamsong, Pinehurst, Kiawah, etc is currently in the lead. I’m a big foodie and would love to explore the cuisine and culture of the South, but with excellent golf options sprinkled in that’s a pretty enticing option. The issue with American golf (vs what we have in Aus) is the accessibility of top courses - Was up in Chicago last summer and was fortunate enough to have contacts to play some big courses up there. Won’t have that for the South so will stick to those public ones as above!

Has anyone been to the Dominican Republic and played anywhere besides Teeth of the Dog? I know that is a must play while down there but are there any other must plays for someone who can’t sit still when there is other great golf around? Asking for a friend…

I mean…you could play caso de campo a couple times.

Also I was looking at picture of that course today and I’m so jealous of anyone playing it. I swear big waves would actually spray you on some of those tees. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a course that’s so ON the ocean

Edit: also don’t totally write this idea off. I feel like I hear people come back from great courses abroad and say “I wish I could play it multiple times and see all the nuances”, so this could be an opportunity to do just that