Global golf tourism is a big industry. According to Peter Walton, Chief Executive of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), golf tourism expanded by 9.3% in 2012 and 'reported further growth in 2013.' 2014 is set to be the third consecutive year of growth, as keen players travel the world to indulge their habit.

Many players who find a course that they particularly love, or an area with several courses in the vicinity, are tempted to take the next step, as Chris White of Ideal Homes Portugal, which offers a selection of exclusive Algarve golf properties to the market, explains,

'Owning a golf resort property combines the traditional benefits of a holiday home with indulgence of a sport that for many is a lifelong passion. Many golfers dream of owning a second home on a golf resort and we tend to notice an upsurge in interest following the main tournaments each year.'

While the Algarve's obvious choices of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo may be beyond the budgets of many - a four bedroom villa with sea and golf views at Vale do Lobo costs a cool EU 11m - those looking past the obvious choices can pick up good value properties for far less. A three bedroom semi-detached villa at Carvoerio's delightful Vale da Pinta golf resort, for example, costs just Eu 465,000.

Golf is a fantastic way to keep in shape. Though viewed by many as a leisurely sport, research compiled by JC Golf has shown that playing 18 holes and carrying your own clubs burns 2,000 calories, equivalent to going for a 3.5 mile run. It also aids balance and control, boosts brain power by stimulating blood flow and improving neural pathway connections and increases life expectancy by the equivalent of five years.

It's also a great way to enjoy the sunshine of some of the world's most tempting holiday destinations, as Marc Pritchard of leading homebuilder Taylor Wimpey Espana observes,

'Many of those buying Costa del Sol apartments and penthouses at our popular Avalon golf resort have mixed motives for their purchase. They want the resort's swimming pool for the children to enjoy, proximity to Marbella for dining, shopping and people-watching and spacious terraces on which to relax and appreciate the stunning sea views. The golfing element is of course a huge draw as well, with keen players loving the views across the whole golf valley, inspiring them daily to get out on the course and hone their skills.'

Taylor Wimpey Espana's luxury Avalon properties can be picked up from as little as Eu 265,000 for a two bedroom apartment. Their location is an attractive one for young adults who aren't prepared to wait until their golden years to own a golf resort property, as the popularity of 'Marbs' with that generation continues to increase.

Young adults are being courted particularly hard by the global golfing industry at present, in the face of research by D.K Shifflet and Associates that has shown that only 22% of travellers under the age of 33 played golf in 2013. Keen to ensure that a new generation takes to the courses, many resorts are looking to attract younger players. Certainly the luxurious modernity of the Avalon apartments does just that.

Of course, it's not just those looking to buy overseas who can enjoy the advantages of owning a golf resort property. Those buying in the UK have a fantastic choice of courses in the Surrey area, many of which have the added advantage of offering great deals for youngsters, as well as plentiful coaching and matches. James Wyatt, Partner of award-winning UK estate agency Barton Wyatt, comments,

'Courses at locations such as the Wentworth Club and Sunningdale in Surrey offer some fabulous golf for UK players and many are working hard to attract a new generation of players to the sport. I've even just signed my 10 year old son up to be a member! While we find that it's the baby boomers rather than their children who are purchasing resort properties in the area, many families are certainly doing so with a view to encouraging their children to play.'

Properties in the area include the wonderful, seven bedroom Roundbarrow House, which benefits from its own swimming pool, landscaped gardens and one bedroom staff flat and the equally attractive five bedroom Longbourn, with swimming pool and tennis/sports court, valued at £ 3.95m and £ 5.95m respectively. Roundbarrow is situated just minutes from both Sunningdale Golf Club and Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club, making it the perfect choice for golfing couples who love the sport but don't want to let competition on the fairway ruin their otherwise harmonious relationship!

Whether overseas or abroad, it seems that the enduring allure of golf resort properties is not to be underestimated.

For more information on the properties detailed above, please contact:

Ideal Homes Portugal: on +44 (0) 800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434, enquiries@idealhomesportugal.com or www.idealhomesportugal.com.

Taylor Wimpey Espana: +44 (0) 8000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Barton Wyatt: +44 (0) 1344 843 000 or www.bartonwyatt.co.uk.