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Top International Golf Resort Communities Revealed

Next to soccer, or football as it is known worldwide, no other sport is truly more global than golf. Indeed, a newly published report by the prestigious Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews shows there are 34,011 golf facilities in 206 countries. The R&A study, conducted by Florida-based National Golf Foundation, reports 79 percent of these facilities are located in ten countries: the United States, Japan, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, France, Scotland, South Africa and Sweden. Although the U.S. is home to nearly half of the world's golf facilities (49 percent), and Europe accounts for 22 percent of the world's supply, the report also states there are 50 countries with only one golf facility compared to 30 countries with more than 100 facilities and eight with more than five golf courses (not including the U.S.). The report tracks the development of golf worldwide and finds 696 golf courses are under construction or in advance planning. While 80 percent of these new projects are in Asia, Europe and North America, there are clear signs the sport is spreading with countries such as Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia opening their first golf courses in the last two years and initial courses under construction in countries as diverse as Macedonia and Sao Tome and Principe (see new projects below in Montenegro and Tenerife). Of course, one of the newest high-profile courses under construction is the Gil Hanse-designed Olympic Course cut out of a nature reserve in western Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. Until then, here's a collection of some other medal-contending courses outside of the United States.

Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Jumeirah Golf Estates, Fire Course No. 6

Jumeirah Golf Estates, located in the heart of New Dubai, is one of the world's most prestigious residential golf developments. A collection of individually designed homes set amidst a truly breathtaking landscape and enclosed within a secure gated community, Jumeirah Golf Estates blend the best in modern living with the wonders of nature. It's also part of the prestigious European Tour Properties network, a partnership between a select handful of high-end golf resort and residential developments and the PGA European Tour. Currently offering 1,050 townhouses, villas and apartments on the edges of its world-renowned Fire and Earth golf courses, Jumeirah Golf Estates has quickly established itself among the world's most prestigious residential golf communities. According to a spokesperson, buyers primarily originate from the United Kingdom, Northern Europe, and India, with a majority of these being Dubai-based expatriates. Jumeirah's Earth Course has the distinction of being the venue for the DP World Tour and Race to Dubai Championships. The latter is the season-ending tournament on the PGA European Tour. Jumeirah Golf Estates has a range of properties for sale with prices ranging from approximately $1.2 million to $1.94 million for the recently launched Redwood Park townhouses and $4.2 million to $11.9 million for luxurious detached villas in Redwood Avenue. Jumeirah Golf Estates will also be launching apartments for sale at the end of the month. (Prices will not be decided until the end of the month).

Jumeirah Redwood Avenue

"All the communities at JGE are surreal, you have to see it to believe it," Muna Al Haddad, Commercial Director at Jumeirah Golf Estates, was quoted as saying after the developers handed over the first set of homes in the luxury Whispering Pines community less than two years ago. "The Mediterranean-themed villas in the one-of-a-kind Whispering Pines community come ready with landscaped gardens, swimming pools and a garage. The community is surrounded with lush green landscaping and water features, establishing Whispering Pines as a true haven of peace and serenity. Inside, each home features premium quality kitchens and appliances, smart home solutions, and top-of-the-line audio-video equipment." Jumeirah Golf Estates is located in the Jebel Ali district on the south side of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Highway, opposite Jumeirah Village. The Estate lies approximately 22 kilometers southwest of Dubai City Center within a half-hour's drive of Dubai International Airport and a few minutes drive from Dubai Marina and major business districts of Dubai Internet and Media City.

PGA Catalunya Resort, Near Barcelona, Spain

PGA Catalunya Resort - Stadium-Course - Hole 11

PGA Catalunya Resort is one of the most luxurious golf and resort communities in Europe, and recently announced it was placing a bid to host golf's prestigious Ryder Cup tournament in 2022. The upmarket development includes large golf-front home plots, luxurious family villas, a private enclave of semi-detached villas with extensive private gardens and a neighborhood swimming pool, as well as exclusive apartments adjacent to the clubhouse. Prices of real estate at PGA Catalunya Resort start from approximately $428,000 for apartments and rise to $1.33 million for plots. The most expensive property currently for sale is a spectacular $2.46 million villa overlooking the resort's Tour Course. Being part of European Tour Properties in close association with The European Tour only adds to the real estate value, according to David MacLaren, the European Tour's director of property and venue development.

La Balca Show Villa - PGA Catalunya Resort

"The network features some of the most prestigious golf and lifestyle resorts in Europe, the Middle East and south-east Asia, including PGA Catalunya Resort near Barcelona, Terre Blanche in France, St Leon-Rot in Germany, venue of The 2015 Solheim Cup, and Jumeirah Golf Estates, which hosts the DP World Tour Championship, the season-ending finale to the European Tour's Race to Dubai. The network's recent expansion into Asia saw the stunning resort of Black Mountain in Hua Hin, Thailand, which became the 14th member venue in February 2015. "Being associated with the premier global golf venue brand offers obvious advantages from a positioning and profile perspective, particularly as the essence of The European Tour is to bring elite golf to a world stage," added MacLaren, whose European Tour Properties now numbers 14 developments worldwide after expanding to Asia for the first time at Black Mountain in Hua Hin, Thailand. "So customers playing, staying or buying property at a European Tour Properties venue know that their experience comes with a stamp of tournament quality. "The association also delivers significant practical benefits including strategic and operational support, sales and marketing activities linked to golf travel and real estate, and access to tournament opportunities. Eight of our 14 venues have hosted European Tour sanctioned events in the past year and we are supporting other venues in their plans to host tournaments. For example, we are working closely with The Dutch, which will host the KLM Open from 2016-18. In terms of sales and marketing, our strategic partnership with Fine & Country has created a unique approach to real estate marketing, which is benefiting all European Tour Properties with residential developments." -

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