In the run up to The Masters tournament this week (April 10 – 13), Justin Rose has compiled his favourite golf clubs around the world for frequent fliers like himself. Rose, who is sponsored by British Airways, includes England, Scotland, USA, Spain, Australia and South Africa among his favourite destinations for the sport.
Currently ranked sixth in the world, Rose said: “It’s one of the perks of the job, that I get to travel. It has taken me to the best golf courses around the world, from Merion to Melbourne. Call me sentimental, but some of the best clubs are in England – and I always look forward to seeing the British Airways tailfin, reminding me that I’m coming home!”
Exclusively for British Airways, Justin has handpicked his favourite golf courses around the world, in no particular order:
St. Andrews, Scotland
Known to many as the home of golf, St. Andrews in Scotland is one of the oldest courses, established in 1552. Rose said: “The grandeur of St Andrews and the significance it holds in golfing history make it one of the finest places to play. All the greats have played and won here. It’s my dream to one day be part of this list.”
Flights to Edinburgh from Gatwick start from £80 return on ba.com
This is where it all happened for Rose in 2013 when he won the US Open. Justin said “Merion will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve always had a special connection with Philadelphia having won there in 2010. It’s even more special to me now.
Flights to Philadelphia from Heathrow start at £534 return on ba.com
Royal Birkdale, England
Justin first came to prominence at Royal Birkdale aged 17, competing in the 1988 British Open. He describes it as “An all-round exceptional course with dunes overlooking the Mersey”. The Southport course can also be unforgiving in the technical prowess it demands. It has played host to two Ryder Cups, famously in 1969 with Jack Nicklaus conceded a short putt to Tony Jacklin, halving the game.
Flights to Manchester from Heathrow start from £90 return on ba.com
Located on the eastern end of Long Island in New York, this links-style club has outstanding features, as Justin comments: “Shinnecock is one of the truly great clubs, and there is no wonder why it has played host to a number of major championships. It tests every shot in the game.”
Flights to New York JFK from Heathrow start at £444 return on ba.com
Royal Melbourne, Australia
This stunning course has its challenges and is best suited to the adept player. It has hosted prestigious events from the Presidents Cup to the Women’s Australia Open and Australian Masters.
British Airways operates flights to Sydney, with connecting transfers with Qantas to Melbourne, from £1,238 return on ba.com
Nestled in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, this is one of Europe’s most famous clubs. History has been made here, the Ryder Cup has been played here, and the greats including Seve Ballesteros have graced its fairways. Justin said “If there is such thing as a golfers club, this is it”
Flights to Malaga from Gatwick start at £78 return on ba.com
Riviera Country Club, USA
One of the greatest American clubs and home to the Hollywood jet set, this elite and elegant Californian club counts Adam Sandler, Larry David, Gregory Peck and Dean Martin amongst its current and former members. It has been described as a course with no weakness, and is credited for its clubhouse with incredible facilities. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a famous star if granted the opportunity to play here.
Flights to Los Angeles from Heathrow start from £546 return on ba.com
Links at Fancourt, South Africa
Set in parkland overlooking the Outeniqua Mountains, this expansive course boasts world-class facilities, including a Golf Academy with full-time tuition. Rose comments: “I was born in South Africa and always make it a priority to play here when visiting. It’s one of the most unique terrains to play in, with subtle winds and dune-style landscapes. Every hole has been planned to precision to optimise the surrounding parkland.”
Flights to Cape Town from Heathrow start from £949 return on ba.com
Augusta National, USA
One of the most famous clubs in the world, Augusta opened for play in 1933 and is most recognised from The Masters Tournament. It features an 18-hole course and nine-hole par-three course. Its prestigious ‘invite-only’ membership includes high profile names such as Condoleezza Rice and Bill Gates among members. Rose will play here during The Masters this week.
Flights to Atlanta* from Heathrow start at £554 return on ba.com
Swinley Forest, England
With its rolling fairways and beautiful countryside, Swinley Forest is one of the most charming settings for a round. Justin comments: “This is where it all began for me. I was lucky to have Swinley Forest growing up, and what a place to learn. It’s considered to have one of the best par-three holes anywhere and holds a special place in my heart.”
*Augusta is a two hours drive from Atlanta
Rose has won on the PGA Tour five times, including the 2012 WGC – Cadillac Championship Justin also has six career titles on The European Tour, where he was leading money winner in 2007.
British Airways has supported Justin since April 2013, helping him to compete and train around the world. The airline offers golf breaks in some 80 golf resorts and 500 golf hotels around the world, available at ba.com/golf
Customers can also take golf clubs as part of their normal checked baggage allowance.