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Follow the great golf to some of the world’s great hotels

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by  lisapeck224  Caption: The beauty of Augusta in the morning

Great golf and great hotels go together like hand in glove.

And if you’ve retired or you’re taking a year out, or you’re simply wealthy enough to be able to tour around the world for a while – and you love the game of golf, then it’s easy enough to combine the two things; great golf and wonderful hotels.

So first off – let’s have a look at the four Major Golf Championships for the year ahead and where you might stay.

Well, the only one of the four Majors that’s always at the same location is also the first – and that’s the Masters at Augusta.

The Masters needs no introduction for golf fans and just briefly for non-golf fans, this is the one which is technically by invitation only (which is why it doesn’t carry the title of “open”) but which is open to all the game’s top players. It’s probably the hardest of the four to win in that all the top players know every inch of the course. The usually perfect weather in spring in Georgia and the famously perfect surface means this course and tournament suit those players who excel most at target golf. In other words, this is less about letting the ball run or playing into the wind, etc., than it is about getting the ball as close to the pin as possible.

In some ways, then, the Masters finds the best golfers. And this is interesting because it’s the only one that reigning Open Champion and PGA Champion Rory McIlroy hasn’t yet managed to win. There are only five golfers in the history of the game who have managed a career Grand Slam (winning all four Majors at least once each) so if he can ever win this one, he will go down in history as one of the all-time greats of golf. And the Northern Irishman is still only 25 years of age.

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by  Ed (supergolfdude)  Caption: Can Rory McIlroy win the Masters?

As things stand, he’s the favourite with the betting exchange Betfair at around 6-1. But McIlroy’s record in the tournament isn’t great so far – so it may well be wiser to have a bet on golf in The Masters at a player at far longer odds.

As for where to stay in Augusta – well there are endless places to choose from. But you really have to book early because, as you may be able to imagine, the place is highly popular at this time of year.

For the shrewder traveller, this can be a blessing. That’s because Augusta provides a lot of excellent hotel accommodation, which is easier to book during the other 51 weeks of the year when The Masters tournament isn’t on.

For example, the Partridge Inn was the first hotel in the state to be included on the list of Historic Hotels of America – and is well known for its traditional Southern charms.

A couple more to choose from include the Sheraton Augusta close to Interstate 20 and Washington Road. The Sheraton offers elegance coupled with excellent value and is just a couple of minutes from the downtown Augusta shopping mall.

Similarly, the DoubleTree Hilton is well placed for access via the Interstate 20 and the I-520, and is just two miles from the Augusta Mall.

The Augusta Marriott, meanwhile, can be found at the Convention Center in the two and is another good value chain hotel to go for if you’re here and looking for good accommodation at an affordable price.

Anyway, the second Major Golf tournament of the season to go for is the US Open. This will take place at the Chambers Bay resort between June 15th and 21st. And of all the places in the 2015 calendar this has to be the most spectacular of all. Chambers Bay is located on the Pacific North West coast – the first time the event has ever been held here.

The course has enormous rolling and open fairways, which are ideal for today’s big-shooting power golfers. There are also some pretty enormous sand dunes at Chambers Bay, too, with hugely undulating greens. So when you put this together with the notoriously unpredictable winds of the Pacific North West coast then you have the makings of a fascinating Major tournament.

Interestingly, the Chambers Bay course is just seven-years-old and was designed to replicate the look and feel of the Scottish links courses where it all began hundreds of years ago.

The location is an ideal place to start off from in exploring Washington State and the surrounding Pacific Northwest. The US Open will also be held in June – from June 18th-21st to be precise – so there’s no finer time of year to visit.

Of course, it more or less goes without saying that there are plenty of places to stay and play golf in and around the course and each is as spectacular as the next. So if you love your golf, and you love your luxurious hotels coupled with spectacular scenery – you really will be spoilt for choice here next summer around the time of the summer solstice.

For the next major, though, it’s back to where it all began centuries ago at what many people consider to be the true home of golf; St Andrews in Scotland. Next year’s Open Championship will be held here between 12th and 19th July. The actual tournament will commence on Thursday 16th July – culminating on Sunday 19th.

Simply put, the old course itself and the whole of the surrounding area is beautiful. The majestic countryside looks like it was made for golf in many ways and there are few corners of Britain quite so perfect for walking and hill climbing.

St Andrews is well used to hosting major international golf events, of course, and as such – boasts some simply wonderful hotels. It’s well worth having a look at the official tourist guide to the area before deciding which particular place to book. But as with the other venues on this list – it goes without saying that you’ll pay through the nose during mid-July next year anyway. So it’s wiser to book a place before or after the Major tournament and enjoy some golf yourself – whilst watching the event itself on TV where you’ll never miss an important shot.

The fourth and final Major of 2015 will be the US PGA Championship. This will be staged at the Whistling Straits course at Kohler, in Wisconsin state from 10-16th August.

This is a wonderful time of year to visit the state. Wisconsin gets very cold in the winter but has beautiful summers – so August is a perfect time to visit this majestically beautiful state.

Again – take a look at the official Wisconsin tourist site and pick where to stay carefully – and you won’t be disappointed by the last Major of the season.

So there you have it – a golfer’s paradise if you can make it – with some of the world’s most interesting and old-world hotels along the way.

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