Unlike many of the world’s professional tour courses, Le Golf National, on the outskirts of Paris, “offers the game without prestige and privilege”, says Jonathan Reilly in The Sun. Next year Le Golf National’s L’Albatros course will host the Ryder Cup, but despite sitting on land that once formed part of the Palace of Versailles, it “couldn’t be further from the gold-plated pomp of a Donald Trump-branded golf course”. You don’t have to be a member, and the fees are affordable, so amateurs can test themselves on a course that is designed to challenge pros. Two sister courses – the 18-hole L’Aigle and nine-hole L’Oiselet – are easier and less expensive.
• Rooms at the Novotel Saint Quentin Golf National cost from £76 per night. See Novotel.com
A luxury resort in Spain
At Finca Cortesin, a lavish resort near Estepona on the Costa del Sol, you’ll be spoilt for choice, says Mark Palmer in the Daily Mail. There’s a championship golf course including a Jack Nicklaus academy, swimming pools, restaurants (including one with a Michelin star) and 67 suites. It looks as if it was built in the 17th century, but it’s only eight years old and was “one of the last projects of the revered interior designer Duarte Pinto Coelho”. The closest inland village is Casares, one of Andalucía’s famous white clusters built among jagged mountain ledges. It comes alive at night and is a perfect spot for fine wine and Andalucían food.
• ElegantResorts.co.uk has three nights’ B&B at Finca Cortesin from £1,035 per person, including flights
A warm welcome in Northern Ireland
For such a tiny country, it seems greedy of Northern Ireland to be home to so many world-class golf courses, says Chris Cutmore in the Daily Mail. Royal Portrush, in Antrim, and Royal County Down, on the Irish Sea at Newcastle, are hailed across the globe, “but the game’s spiritual home on the Emerald Isle might still be the famous 19th hole”. Golfers are welcomed with open arms by locals keen to share in the delights of the game. “It is a game of the people” in Northern Ireland, so your barman is as likely to have played a round that day as serve one. A short drive from Portrush is Portstewart, with an elevated first tee that is worth the green fee alone for its view of the “mountainous dunes, smatterings of fairway and long white sands of the Strand beach”.
A slice of history in Mauritius
Mauritius conjures up visions of sprawling, newly built luxury resorts, says Today’s Golfer, but the island is home to Gymkhana Club – a nine-hole course laid out by the Royal Navy in 1844. The Gymkhana Club is the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere and the fourth oldest in the world – and it is yours to play for only about £35. The resorts on the island have numerous 18-holers, making Mauritius “a heavenly scene” for golfers. The most famous destination is Le Touessrok hotel, a luxury five-star resort on the east coast of the island, with private white beaches. Le Touessrok was voted the best hotel in Africa and the Indian Ocean by The Daily Telegraph for three years running.
• Rooms from about £300 a night. See Shangri-la.com/mauritius/shangrila
A hair-raising ride
“Interested in flying through the air like a superhero? Make a note in your calendar for December 2017,” says Kate Lough in the Evening Standard. Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate of the UAE, is launching the world’s longest zip line from the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais. Those “brave enough to tackle the hair-raising ride” will travel at predicted speeds of 55mph to 80mph along a length of 28 football pitches – or three times the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s mega skyscraper and the world’s tallest building.