It might surprise some to know that France and Germany has more golf clubs than Spain and Portugal. It has been said that golf is not popular with the populace at large and is considered elitist. Nevertheless, both countries offer a wide variety of golf clubs thanks in part of the varied topology of these large countries.
The times of year at which the best golfing deals in Europe may be secured are determined by the laws of supply and demand. In the peak season, which generally coincides with the period of most suitable golfing weather, demand is high, with many golf tourists wishing to visit and prices for flights, accommodation and golf green fees inflated as a result. Conversely, the "low" or off-peak season generally falls during the worst weather months. Prices are substantially lower, but few golfers will be keen to play in the cold, wind, rain and / or snow.
"Shoulder season" is a term used within the travel industry to denote the periods between peak and off-peak seasons. In Europe, many golfing destinations have such periods in the spring and autumn months, but dates can vary from destination to destination.
As a rule, the dates are dependent on popular public holidays and special events taking place at any given location. Many outstanding golf deals are available, the shoulder season offering advantageous prices combined with good golfing weather. There are fewer hours of daylight, limiting the time in which golf can be played, but this is more than compensated for by the exceptional golfing value on offer. In addition to lower prices, there are several further benefits, including golf course that are very quiet, especially in midweek, along with increased availability of accommodation. Additionally, the local population, who may grow tired of the unrelenting crowds of tourists in the high season, have more opportunities to relax. As a result, visiting golfers are likely to receive a warmer welcome than they would in the peak season. It is well worth remembering that golf prices can still vary substantially between weekdays and the weekend. However, many golf resorts offer lower-priced packages and special offers designed to encourage visitors during these "slower" months.
In Europe, some of the best golf deals may be obtained in the spring months of April / May and the autumn months of September / October. This applies to the very popular golfing holiday destinations of Spain and Portugal, although the Silver Coast region of the latter (near Lisbon) offers a spring shoulder season that runs into June, with inexpensive prices for golf on quiet courses, in often ideal weather.
Generally, the best times to pick up the best golfing deals near many European cities are April, May and September. For destinations near the Mediterranean, April and October tend to be the times to land the best deals, with good prices and pleasant golfing weather. It is certainly worth taking a calculated risk on the weather, in order to avoid the summer, peak-season months of July / August. At this time, it appears that most of Europe is on holiday, courses tend to become uncomfortably overcrowded and much of the "fun" element of golf disappears.
The United Kingdom should perhaps be treated as a special case amongst European golfing destinations. The peak months for golf tend to be from May to September, although even peak-season visitors cannot be guaranteed good weather, given the moods of the British summer.