My taste in 19th holes is quite eclectic– ranging from sipping a single malt in Wales overlooking the ocean at a top 100 course to chugging a frosty can of beer in Florida under an oak tree at a city-owned golf course.
No, this is not a definitive list, rather a compilation of some of my all-time favorites where I either hoisted a few frosty ones or had a couple of whiskies (neat, of course).
Let’s just say all of them have The Golf Travel Guru seal of approval.
1. Royal Porthcawl (Porthcawl, Wales, England)
2. Chambers Bay Grill (Tacoma, Washington)
The golf is phenomenal at Chambers Bay and toasting to your good fortune is just as good at The Grill. The spacious veranda offers views of the picturesque links style course and panoramas of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. You might even see a train chug by in the distance with tracks bordering several holes. My drink choice was a Widmer Hefeweizen on draught, but they have some excellent micro brews, too. Don’t miss the Wagyu burger, it’s freakin’ amazing.
3. Golfers Corner Lounge at The Dunvegan (St Andrews, Scotland)
Yeah, Yeah, I know it’s always packed with Americans and a bit touristy, but I just can’t visit St Andrews, play golf and not drain a few at “The Dunny”. I love to gaze at the historic pictures adorning the wall and chat it up with Old Course caddies.
4. McDonnells (Bellmullet, Northern Ireland)
If you’re lucky enough to play Carne Golf Links in Northern Ireland, I suggest you have a few cold ones at the bar/restaurant overlooking the stunning, naturally beautiful courses. After that, continue your celebration at McDonells a few minutes away. The nickname for this cozy pub teeming with locals is “The Lobster Pot” (because once you go in, you never come out). Suggested to me by Carne Golf Links G.M. Jerry MacGuire, I sauntered into McDonnell’s one night and, yes, I did make it out, but just barely. The locals are a friendly bunch and there’s a great selection of beers and ales.
5. The Jigger Inn (St Andrews, Scotland)
It’s one of golf’s most famous 19thholes in the world. Set adjacent to the Old Course Hotel in an historic building that dates back to the 1850s, this traditional Scottish pub is brimming with golf memorabilia. It’s a great place to grab a pint and sit near an open-hearth fire and listen to golf stories from other patrons or spin a few yourself. When it’s time to dine, my go-to is the Jigger Burger with Mull Cheddar, Ayshire Bacon and Fries.
6. Lounge and Spike Bar at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake, England)
7. Flora-Bama Lounge (Perdido Key, Florida)
8. Winter Park 9 (Winter Park, Florida)
Absolutely no frills here. You sit under massive, shady oak trees at tables with umbrellas and enjoy a $2 Budweiser or Coors Light (yeah, only 2 freaking bucks a can) as you celebrate your 2-hour round at one of the world’s best short courses. Owned by the city of Winter Park, WP9 is a fabulous short course golf experience.
9. Sun Valley Resort (Sun Valley, Idaho)
10. Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club (Orlando, Florida)
Arnie drank here. Enough said. Kettel One on the rocks, the bartender told me was his drink of choice. The Members Bar is a