The top 5 golf resorts

We count down the top golf destinations in Europe, and the world, for business and pleasure

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Brian Evans, a veteran of four Open Championships and 30 years' teaching golf on the Algarve, plays at Quinta do Lago in Portugal

Golf continues to be an enormously popular sport, with an estimated four million players in the UK alone. Whether you’re after relaxation, on a business trip or just trying to improve your handicap, there are a host of stunning locations around the world where you can indulge in this fantastic activity.

But with so many options available, deciding where to head next can be a difficult proposition. So, without further ado, European CEO outlines five of the best golf resorts Europe has to offer.

Quinta do Lago
Tucked away in the Ria Formosa nature reserve in Portugal, Quinta do Lago boasts three major golf courses – the North, South and Laranjal – all designed with the greatest care and architectural expertise.

While staying at the resort, travellers can refine their technique at the Paul McGinley Academy, which caters to golfers of all abilities. Quinta do Lago has also hosted The Telegraph Junior Gold Championship for the last four years, and enjoys worldwide attention for its excellent facilities.

PGA Catalunya Resort
Located near the beautiful Spanish city of Girona, the PGA Catalunya Resort is home to two world-class golf courses, with the harder of the two, the Stadium Course, consistently ranking among the best in Europe.

Owned by Irish entrepreneur Dennis O’Brien, the resort is fully equipped with a private lounge and restaurant, while the Residents’ Club boasts a number of swimming pools and tennis courts.

For those hoping to enjoy the resort’s facilities on a more regular basis, the club also has a range of luxury properties for sale.

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is perhaps best known for being the only resort in Switzerland to have two golf courses: the 18-hole PGA Championship Course and the nine-hole Executive Course. Held in high esteem for their picturesque landscapes, the courses benefit from the resort’s proximity to the surrounding mountains.

When golfers aren’t teeing off and enjoying the views, they can enjoy the destination’s wide range of events – which include concerts, exhibitions and talks – or pay a visit the Casino Bad Ragaz to indulge in a hand or two of poker.

Terre Blanche
Only a 35-minute drive from Cannes and 45 minutes from Nice International Airport, Terre Blanche has become a popular resort among travellers of all kinds. It boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by the legendary Dave Thomas to fit the resort’s natural surroundings.

But don’t let the beauty of the French countryside fool you, the course is riddled with bunkers and water traps, making for a particularly tricky round. In the evenings, guests can enjoy some of the finest French gastronomy at Terre Blanche’s Michelin Star restaurant, Le Faventia.

Verdura Resort
The Verdura Resort is nestled in Sicily, with a private beach and spa, as well as a host of restaurants and bars to give travellers a truly relaxing stay. The resort boasts three world-class golf courses, which are all adorned by the magnificent Mediterranean landscape.

For those hoping to improve their handicap, the resort also offers lessons with PGA-qualified professionals, while younger participants can hone their skills at the Verdura Golf Academy.