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2021-2022<br />











Royal Bled, Slovenia<br />


There is every chance this is the most If you want to head abroad, we have<br />

welcome edition of Golf Escapes we that covered too. There is an especially<br />

have ever produced.<br />

strong Continental European section,<br />

We have created it while none of us taking in traditional favourites such as<br />

are going on any golf breaks and many Portugal, Spain and Belek as well as<br />

of us can’t even play at our home club. emerging golf powerhouses like<br />

When it comes out, we will all be able Switzerland, Bulgaria and Hungary.<br />

to play somewhere, and the prospect of If you want to be a little more<br />

travelling vaguely normally again will be adventurous, we provide that too, with<br />

only weeks away.<br />

some outstanding winter sun options that<br />

So, with all our thoughts focussed on won’t break the bank and don’t take a<br />

taking what will for many be their first day’s travelling to get to.<br />

golf break in possibly two years, there There is also an overview of the Golf<br />

has never been a better time to publish World Top 100 rankings that are now<br />

a guide to a selection of the best options housed within Today’s Golfer, some<br />

around the world.<br />

travel tips and even a competition.<br />

After the year we have had, flicking Without further ado, let the<br />

through this magazine will surely have daydreaming begin, because after 12<br />

never felt more welcome.<br />

months we won’t be sad to see the back<br />

If you prefer staying in the UK and of, golf holidays are back again.<br />

Ireland this year, we have the most varied<br />

selection imaginable – whatever you fancy Chris Bertram<br />

for 2021, there will be something for you. Editor, Golf Escapes<br />


Golf Escapes is published by H Bauer Publishing, UK.<br />

Tel: 00 44 1733 468000<br />

Website: www.bauermedia.co.uk<br />

EDITOR Chris Bertram<br />

PRODUCTION Nick Harper<br />

ART EDITOR Philippa Swanborough<br />


00 44 7810 377146, ken.gill@bauermedia.co.uk<br />

PRINTERS PCP Printers, Telford, Shropshire<br />





Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria<br />



Call 01858 438884 or visit<br />

https://www.greatmagazines.<br />

co.uk/todays-golfer-magazine<br />



10 UK BREAKS<br />


27 THE TOP 100<br />


42 FRANCE<br />

46 SPAIN<br />

52 PORTUGAL<br />

54 TURKEY<br />

56 TRAVEL TIPS<br />







Ireland hardly has a dearth of epic links, but in 2021<br />

it’s going to get a new one that we think will<br />

challenge for a place in the very highest echelons.<br />

The Rosapenna resort in Donegal is about to<br />

unveil St Patrick’s Links, a course with a romantic<br />

backstory and enormous potential. It’s sited on what<br />

must be the most magnificent piece of linksland<br />

imaginable, with enough variety to present a real<br />

diversity of holes.<br />

Tom Doak has, predictably, made the most of it<br />

and the sneak previews we’ve had suggest his work<br />

here is up there with his very best.<br />

There are breathtaking views over Sheephaven<br />

Bay and holes among brawny sands dunes… and<br />

that’s just the front nine!<br />

With plenty of width to ensure it is playable for all,<br />

we can’t wait to get to north-west Ireland to check<br />

out the final links for ourselves – and take on the<br />

resort’s existing Top 100 courses, Sandy Hills and<br />

Old Tom Morris.<br />

www.rosapenna.ie<br />

4 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 5

6 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


EUROPE<br />



Italy is seriously under-rated as a golf destination –<br />

especially when it comes to play-and-stay resorts.<br />

Verdura on Sicily is well known and highly rated, but<br />

Italy’s strength is its quantity; the sheer number of<br />

world-class resorts it boasts is incredible.<br />

Bogogno, Palazzo Arzaga, Donnafugata, Il<br />

Picciolo, Argentario, San Domenico, Poggio dei<br />

Medici, Antognolla… to name but a few. The list is<br />

as long as it is impressive. And here is another name<br />

to add to the list: La Bagnaia.<br />

Nor far from Pisa, it boasts a superb Robert Trent<br />

Jones Jnr design spread over 130 hectares of<br />

undulating terrain punctuated by mature trees and<br />

native vegetation.<br />

Off the course there are nearly 100 rooms and<br />

suites in two characterful mansions plus a gorgeous<br />

spa and swimming pool, while you can dine in style<br />

on the terrace of its sophisticated restaurant.<br />

Part of the IMG Prestige stable, La Bagnaia is an<br />

intoxicating combination of luxury and pedigree.<br />

www.curiocollection3.hilton.com<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 7




As we explain later in this supplement, the UAE is<br />

arguably the British golfer’s best winter sun option.<br />

One thing it doesn’t have a lot of is play-and-stay golf<br />

resorts. There are so many world-class hotels and<br />

lots of high-calibre golf courses, but oddly very few<br />

on site together.<br />

Abu Dhabi GC and the Westin hotel is one,<br />

however, and a very, very good one at that.<br />

The course is Tour standard, illustrated by it<br />

hosting the world’s best every January. A clever<br />

design incorporating an impressive variety of holes,<br />

it is routinely in flawless condition.<br />

Just yards from the famous Falcon clubhouse sits<br />

the Westin hotel. It is five star and super-luxurious<br />

but the sort of place you feel very at home. Pools,<br />

a spa, restaurants and a range of bars head its<br />

numerous amenities. And yes, we really wish we<br />

were there right now…<br />

www.troonabudhabi.com<br />

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TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 9


A GB&I<br />

GOLF<br />

BREAK TO<br />

SUIT YOU<br />

If you’re set on staying on our islands this year, the<br />

choice is immense. We narrow down your choices by<br />

selecting a fabulous option in 10 distinct categories<br />

Perfect for connoisseurs<br />

1 Prince’s<br />

This Kent club has undergone a<br />

transformation in the past few years,<br />

adding wonderful accommodation<br />

on-site and restoring its 27-hole links<br />

course. A former Open venue, it had<br />

always had historic allure and that is<br />

enhanced by three loops that all fully<br />

punch their weight. The Shore and Dunes<br />

nines were regarded as the best but now<br />

Martin Ebert’s reworking of the Himalayas<br />

has give them a balanced trio. The Lodge<br />

accommodation is also first class, giving<br />

golfers exactly what they want. Run by<br />

golfers, for golfers, this is one for the<br />

discerning golfer, with Sandwich and<br />

Deal literally next door.<br />

Appeal for female groups<br />

2 The Grove<br />

OK, there is some generalisation here,<br />

just as there is for our ‘good for male<br />

groups’ selection, and it’s definitely true<br />

that The Grove appeals to everyone. But<br />

when we explain it has a tranquil course<br />

in immaculate condition, gorgeous rooms,<br />

fabulous food, a chic bar and a brilliant<br />

spa, you can see why we think women<br />

might like it here. Fantastic service and<br />

delightful grounds, plus some potential<br />

celeb-spotting, add to the attractions.<br />

Awesome value<br />

3 North Shore and Dorset G&CC<br />

Two selections here because we really<br />

rate both venues and they offer a good<br />

geographical choice. North Shore in<br />

Skegness has a classic course with a<br />

links-parkland split and its seaside holes<br />

are seriously good. The hotel is solid and<br />

welcoming and you won’t believe<br />

the packages they offer. Top 100-calibre<br />

Seacroft is next door too.<br />

In Dorset, the log cabin lodges and the<br />

modern woodland course are equally<br />

good value and a perfect base for the<br />

county’s under-rated riches. In Scotland,<br />

36-hole Murrayshall and Aberdovey in<br />

Wales (with its dormie house) do similar.<br />

Suits male groups<br />

4 St Mellion<br />

Again, St Mellion suits more than just a<br />

party of men playing a Ryder Cup-style<br />

tournament. For families, for example,<br />

there are a wealth of facilities to enjoy –<br />

a pool and tennis courts for a start. But<br />

it does tick a lot of boxes for the kind of<br />

party we describe, not least in the<br />

contrasting 18-hole courses. The Nicklaus<br />

is a stringent challenge where the greats<br />

of European golf have played in its Tourhosting<br />

days, while Kernow gives you a<br />

chance of a nice score. Off the course, the<br />

hotel has great food and bars. It’s very<br />

good value, too.<br />

Incredible setting<br />

5 Turnberry<br />

It’s hard to know what is the better view<br />

at this breathtaking Ayrshire resort; the<br />

panorama from your hotel, taking in a<br />

bird’s eye view of the Ailsa course and<br />

Prince’s<br />

St Mellion<br />

10 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

UK<br />

The Grove<br />

Turnberry<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 11

the sea beyond, or the awesome scenes<br />

around the turn of the World No.4-<br />

ranked course. This is one special place,<br />

with Insta-worthy images wherever you<br />

turn. The course (in fact the courses,<br />

because the Robert the Bruce has also<br />

been overhauled by Martin Ebert) and<br />

hotel are unrecognisable from what they<br />

were 10 years ago. A bucket-lister, and<br />

no mistake.<br />

Dreamy for couples<br />

6 Adare Manor<br />

Dreamy for couples but in all honesty,<br />

dreamy for anyone who is alive. This is<br />

arguably the greatest one-course golf<br />

resort in the world, with a soon-to-be<br />

Ryder Cup course complemented – in fact<br />

overshadowed – by a hotel of fairytale<br />

proportions. The course was always a nice<br />

enough parkland but after a Tom Fazio<br />

overhaul is now good enough to be<br />

ranked eighth in Ireland by Golf World.<br />

Immaculate doesn’t come close to<br />

describing how good its condition is. The<br />

hotel, in a beautiful manor house, is out of<br />

this world. It offers character and history<br />

money can’t buy with understated but<br />

opulent luxury in the rooms, facilities and<br />

food. Utterly brilliant.<br />

Heaven-sent for families<br />

7 Manor House & Ashbury<br />

There is not enough space to explain why<br />

we’ve chosen Devon’s Manor House &<br />

Ashbury for this slot – although that<br />

does rather indirectly explain why in fact.<br />

To get to the point, there are just so many<br />

facilities here that we don’t have room to<br />

list them. Genuinely, if you have kids and<br />

you want to keep them entertained no<br />

matter what the weather, it’s heaven-sent.<br />

Even without the bonus of golf. The fact<br />

there are also an incredible amount of<br />

holes on the property is just the cherry<br />

on top. Trust us, it won’t let you down.<br />

Best long weekend base<br />

8 St Andrews Bay<br />

It’s 10 minutes from the Home of Golf.<br />

That’s the first enormous attraction of this<br />

Fairmont resort. And with those seven<br />

courses plus Kingsbarns and now<br />

Dumbarnie – plus Crail, Leven, Lundin and<br />

Ladybank – so close, it is a very good<br />

start. Fairmont also has two Scottish Top<br />

100-ranked courses of its own though.<br />

They are spectacularly perched on the<br />

edge of the cliffs outside the town, and<br />

are more than complemented by one of<br />

the finest golf hotels in Britain and Ireland.<br />

Really, really, really good.<br />

For the adventurous<br />

9 Machrihanish Dunes & The Machrie<br />

If you don’t mind a bit of travelling and<br />

planning, this is for you. It rewards the<br />

determined traveller with memories to last<br />

a lifetime. If you don’t live in Scotland or<br />

the north of England it is probably a fight<br />

to Glasgow and then an epic drive<br />

round Loch Lomond and down the<br />

Mull of Kintyre to Machrihanish. Stay<br />

at The Ugadale Hotel and play at<br />

David McLay Kidd’s modern masterpiece<br />

Machrihanish Dunes, Old Tom Morris’<br />

classic Machrihanish and the super-fun<br />

Dunaverty. Then take a ferry to Islay<br />

to play DJ Russell’s reimagined links<br />

The Machrie and stay in the brand-new<br />

hotel. World Top 100 entry Ardfin is on<br />

the next island, Jura, but is extremely<br />

expensive. One of the great golf trips<br />

in the world. Fact.<br />

World’s No.1?<br />

10 Gleneagles<br />

At the end of this year, Golf World will<br />

release its first ever ranking of the<br />

World’s Top 100 Resorts and Gleneagles<br />

will be one of the top contenders for the<br />

No.1 slot. Bandon Dunes with five worldclass<br />

courses and Streamsong with three<br />

might have the edge over Gleneagles –<br />

despite its riches in terms of the King’s,<br />

Queen’s and PGA Centenary, but neither<br />

can come close to matching the<br />

Perthshire resort in terms of<br />

accommodation and amenities. The hotel<br />

in the glens is out of this world and you<br />

can do little more than relax in five-star<br />

luxury or busy yourself in anything from<br />

gundog training to horse riding and tennis<br />

to archery. Very possibly the World No.1 –<br />

very definitely the finest on these shores.<br />

Manor House & Ashbury<br />

12 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

UK<br />


Highlands<br />

Led by Dornoch, Nairn and Castle Stuart<br />

but backed by Golspie, Tain, Moray’s<br />

duo, Fortrose & Rosemarkie and co. –<br />

and Brora is an essential experience for<br />

anyone with golf in their soul.<br />

Atlantic Coast<br />

The A39 Atlantic Highway taking in north<br />

Cornwall, north Devon and Somerset<br />

includes Burnham & Berrow, Royal North<br />

Devon, St Enodoc and Saunton. Epic<br />

scenery, epic courses, epic trip.<br />

Ayrshire<br />

Headlined by Turnberry, Troon and<br />

under-appreciated Prestwick, backed up<br />

by gems such as West Kilbride and Troon’s<br />

second course, Portland. You’ll need a<br />

week of 36 holes a day to do it justice!<br />

Surrey<br />

Doesn’t seem like a place for a golf break<br />

for some reason, but Surrey’s strength in<br />

depth is absolutely insane. What’s more,<br />

we happen to think heathlands are as<br />

good as links…<br />

Donegal<br />

Ireland’s under-rated area. Ballyliffn,<br />

Rosapenna, Donegal, Portsalon, Narin &<br />

Portnoo and the awesome Cruit Island –<br />

plus Tom Doak’s St Patrick’s Links from<br />

this summer. So much cheaper than<br />

anywhere else in Ireland.<br />

East Lothian<br />

It’s not just that it has incredible depth to<br />

its links, it’s that it is all so neatly packed<br />

along the same road, the A198. Start at<br />

Open icon Musselburgh Old and end at<br />

Dunbar and you’ve had a links education.<br />

West Wales<br />

Royal St David’s and Aberdovey are the<br />

big names here, but then you also have<br />

mind-boggling Nefyn, plus hybrid<br />

Porthmadog and cute links Abersoch<br />

and Borth.<br />

Norfolk<br />

Royal West Norfolk and Hunstanton are<br />

awesome, contrasting Top 100 links, but<br />

then you throw in clifftop action at Cromer<br />

and Sheringham. A lovely part of the world.<br />

Leeds<br />

Heathland heaven in Alwoodley and, just<br />

across the A61, Moortown, both in<br />

fabulous nick all year round. Throw in<br />

Ganton near Scarborough on the way<br />

there/back and you have a high-class trip.<br />

Aberdeen<br />

Ridiculously under-rated, as its presence<br />

in Golf World’s Scottish Top 100 showed;<br />

Trump Aberdeen, Cruden Bay and Royal<br />

Aberdeen are the superstars but you have<br />

Fraserburgh, Murcar and Newmachar, plus<br />

Newburgh just outside the list.<br />

Southport<br />

Needs little introduction, with Birkdale,<br />

Hillside, Formby, West Lancs and S&A<br />

strung along the coast, almost side by side.<br />

Birmingham<br />

The Belfry is the ‘experience’ option to<br />

follow in the footsteps of the greats,<br />

and pair that with Sutton Coldfield,<br />

Blackwell and any combination of Little<br />

Aston, Beau Desert, Enville, Whittington<br />

Heath and South Staffs.<br />


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TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 13<br />


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the ability to test fitted clubs on one of our many courses,<br />

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For more information, please email<br />

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You can buy your very own Holiday Lodge, at the<br />

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Marchica<br />

Lagoon Resort<br />




●<br />



Prestige / MOROCCO / SLOVENIA<br />

Marchica Lagoon Resort<br />

On a glorious stretch of Mediterranean coastline, a true Moroccan jewel.<br />

Located on the Mediterranean coast,<br />

the luxurious Marchica Lagoon<br />

Resort is a high-end development<br />

located only a 15-minute drive from the<br />

historic city of Nador, and 25 minutes from<br />

the Spanish enclave of Melilla.<br />

The golf facilities include the stunning<br />

Marchica Golf Academy, which is managed<br />

by IMG and offers a state-of-the-art<br />

performance studio, driving range and<br />

short game area, alongside a challenging<br />

par 3 course which runs alongside the<br />

Lagoon. Marchica is the perfect destination<br />

for golfers looking for good weather during<br />

the European winter period.<br />

Whether you are a complete beginner<br />

or an elite player, the Academy offers the<br />

ultimate experience and the chance to<br />

sharpen your game while enjoying this<br />

undiscovered part of Morocco’s<br />

Mediterranean coastline. Featuring a<br />

collection of luxurious apartments, a new<br />

5-star hotel, spa and world-class marina,<br />

the resort offers panoramic views over the<br />

breath-taking Marchica Lagoon.<br />


Call +212 53 63 28300<br />

Email informations@marchicaresort.com<br />

Royal Bled<br />

Overlooked by the magnificent Slovenian Alps, a resort fit for royalty.<br />

Established in 1937, Royal Bled is<br />

one of Europe’s most iconic golf<br />

venues. Located only 30 minutes<br />

from the capital city of Ljubljana and set<br />

among beautiful Alpine valleys and<br />

mountains, Royal Bled features 27 holes<br />

of world-class golf, as well as a superb<br />

clubhouse with luxurious<br />

accommodation and dining. There is also<br />

a very well equipped gym on site, as well<br />

as a state-of-the-art golf academy.<br />

The scenery at Royal Bled is breathtaking<br />

and provides majestic views<br />

towards the Alps, making this a golf<br />

experience that is among the finest in<br />

Europe. The 18-hole King’s course and<br />

9-hole Lake course offer a very enjoyable,<br />

exciting and challenging test of golf, and<br />

course conditions and service levels are<br />

of the very highest standard.<br />


Call +386 1 200 99 01<br />

Email info@royalbled.com



200+ Courses | 36 Countries | 5 Continents<br />

Raevo Golf &<br />

Country Club,<br />

Russia<br />

Welcome to IMG Prestige,<br />

a collection of some of<br />

the world’s leading<br />

golf clubs and resorts.<br />

We are extremely<br />

pleased with the rapid expansion of our<br />

luxury golf network as we continue to<br />

add new and exciting destinations to the<br />

programme. We understand that<br />

international golf travel remains a major<br />

challenge, but as travel restrictions around<br />

the world slowly start to ease over the<br />

next few months, we are hopeful you will<br />

soon be able to explore one of the 200+<br />

golf courses which are part of the network.<br />

Each property has been carefully<br />

selected and invited to join IMG<br />

Prestige because of the quality of its golf<br />

course and facilities, and their<br />

commitment to excellence.<br />

Enjoy the read and we look forward<br />

to seeing you at an IMG Prestige club in<br />

the very near future.<br />

www.imgprestige.com<br />


The company manages some<br />

of the world’s greatest athletes<br />

and fashion icons; owns and<br />

operates hundreds of live<br />

events annually; and is a<br />

leading independent producer<br />

and distributor of sports<br />

and entertainment media.<br />

IMG founder Mark<br />

McCormack was the first to<br />

recognise the commercial<br />

potential of sport and that of<br />

its stars. With the promotion<br />

of IMG’s first clients – Arnold<br />

Palmer, Gary Player and Jack<br />

Nicklaus, the ‘Big Three’ – the<br />

sport marketing business was<br />

created and IMG considered the<br />

market leader in the industry<br />

of sport and golf.<br />

IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor,<br />

a global entertainment, sports<br />

and content company.

Prestige / AZERBAIJAN<br />

Dreamland<br />

Azeri flair and Pete Dye’s know-how combine in one of Europe’s most inspired resorts.<br />

After successfully entering<br />

Golf World’s Top 100 Golf<br />

Courses ranking in 2018,<br />

Dreamland also entered the<br />

Top 100 Golf Resorts<br />

ranking for the first time in 2020. Within<br />

the Resorts publication, Golf World<br />

launched new Top 10 rankings in which<br />

Dreamland was ranked number 1 in<br />

the Top 10 Resorts for City Breaks.<br />

Dreamland offers the perfect Stay &<br />

Play destination for golfers from all<br />

around the world, for those looking to<br />

experience not only superb golf but also<br />

the exciting and historic city of Baku,<br />

only 20 minutes’ drive away.<br />

Managed by IMG and its superb onground<br />

team, the golf course is always<br />

in majestic condition. Complimenting<br />

the course, the superb golf academy and<br />

driving range features two state-of-theart<br />

IMG Performance studios with the<br />

latest technology.<br />

The clubhouse and halfway house are<br />

as impressive as the golf course. Offering<br />

stylish and spacious surroundings<br />

where you will enjoy recounting your<br />

round with a delicious range of both<br />

international and local cuisine.<br />

Adding to the already spectacular<br />

Dye Design Championship golf course,<br />

which was offcially opened in 2015 by<br />

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan<br />

and Colin Montgomerie OBE, the new<br />

four- star Golf Hotel offers panoramic<br />

views over the whole resort and is<br />

conveniently located only a few yards<br />

from the clubhouse.<br />

The 42 carefully appointed rooms<br />

provide a mix of comfort, luxury and<br />

Azeri flair to ensure an unforgettable<br />

experience in one of the most<br />

contemporary cities in the region.<br />

Baku attracts tourists from all corners<br />

of the world and hosts the annual and<br />

hugely successful Formula 1 Grand<br />

Prix city race.<br />

Also within close proximity to<br />

Dreamland is the National Stadium<br />

which regularly stages UEFA football<br />

matches throughout the year.<br />

Rooms are available from $199 (single)<br />

and $150 (double occupancy) per night,<br />

with breakfast, 18 holes of golf, hire-set<br />

and buggy included.<br />


Call +994 12 404 7 404<br />

Email info@dreamlandgolfclub.com

Prestige / MOROCCO<br />

Michlifen Resort & Golf<br />

A Jack Nicklaus Signature course lies at the heart of this iconic resort.<br />

Offcially opened in<br />

September 2018 by HRH<br />

Prince Moulay Rachid,<br />

Michlifen Golf & Country<br />

Club is located in the unique<br />

mountain town of Ifrane, a 45-minute<br />

drive from the historic city of Fez.<br />

Ifrane is often referred to as ‘Little<br />

Switzerland’ due to its Alpine<br />

architecture – you will find lush forests,<br />

dramatic rocky outcrops, beautiful<br />

vistas and very agreeable golfing<br />

temperatures for most of the year.<br />

Set at an altitude of 1,650 metres, the 18-<br />

hole championship golf course is the first<br />

Jack Nicklaus Signature in North Africa<br />

and is set on a stunning natural site in the<br />

ecologically recognised Ifrane National<br />

Park, overlooking the Atlas Mountains<br />

and expansive forests of cedar and oak<br />

trees. The views are spectacular and the<br />

variety of holes make for an incredible<br />

golf experience.<br />

“The golf course at Michlifen plays at a<br />

high elevation—over 5,400 feet or almost<br />

1,650 meters—so it will be comfortably<br />

cool during the peak summer months,<br />

when much of the golf will be played,”<br />

said Jack Nicklaus. “I just think once<br />

you take this very special mountain<br />

setting at Ifrane, and combine it with<br />

what we believe we have accomplished<br />

at Michlifen from a design perspective,<br />

it makes for a very unique, exciting and<br />

fun golf course to play.”<br />

Guests are also able to enjoy a stunning<br />

clubhouse, offering panoramic views<br />

across the golf course and Atlas<br />

Mountains. The Michlifen Golf Academy<br />

features three world-class IMG<br />

performance studios with the latest in<br />

custom fitting and teaching technology.<br />

The Nicklaus Signature golf course<br />

forms part of the iconic Michlifen Resort<br />

& Golf, already recognised as one of the<br />

finest and most exclusive Spa and Alpine<br />

retreats in North Africa. The 71-room,<br />

five-star hotel features a luxury 3,500m 2<br />

spa, and with the addition of the golf<br />

course, is set to offer the ultimate golf<br />

and leisure getaway in one of Morocco’s<br />

most historic and upscale regions.<br />


Call +212 5 35 86 42 42<br />

Email golf@michlifen.com

Prestige / HUNGARY<br />

Zala Springs<br />

Golf Resort<br />

World-class golf meets next-level luxury at this Hungarian hotspot.<br />

A<br />

luxurious new Wellness<br />

Centre & Spa has recently<br />

opened at Zala Springs Golf<br />

Resort. The Hungarian resort<br />

is now be able to offer a<br />

holistic wellbeing experience to all<br />

residents, golf members and guests<br />

visiting Zala Springs.<br />

Designed by award-winning studio<br />

and Budapest-based Archikon Architects,<br />

the Wellness Centre includes an authentic<br />

Finnish sauna, outdoor and indoor pools,<br />

beauty centre and a health-conscious bar<br />

that offers the perfect setting for a relaxing<br />

break. The essence of the concept was<br />

focused on exclusivity, offering a private<br />

and premium experience to anyone<br />

visiting the property.<br />

Featuring a stunning Robert Trent<br />

Jones Jr. championship golf course and<br />

distinctive modern clubhouse, the resort<br />

enjoys an enviable location, lying within<br />

a two-hour drive of four iconic European<br />

cities – Budapest, Vienna, Zagreb &<br />

Ljubljana – and within 20 minutes of the<br />

beautiful Lake Balaton, Central Europe’s<br />

largest lake and a sunseeker’s and water<br />

sports paradise.<br />

Accommodation is provided in the form<br />

of 32 luxurious apartments and penthouse<br />

suites, offering at the same time a unique<br />

real estate and investment opportunity.<br />

Coming in 2021, the Luxury Villas<br />

will offer a beautiful fusion of classic<br />

and contemporary architecture. This<br />

part of the development has pushed<br />

boundaries in terms of size, technology<br />

and finishing quality.<br />

Zala Springs is Hungary’s first ever<br />

entry to either Golf World’s Resorts or<br />

Courses Top 100 rankings.<br />


Call +36 83 900 047<br />

Email info@zalasprings.hu

Prestige / BULGARIA<br />

OKOL Lake Park<br />

Glorious golf and luxury living on the banks of the stunning Iskar Lake.<br />

Managed by IMG and<br />

designed by European<br />

Golf Design, the golf<br />

course at OKOL Lake<br />

Park serves as the<br />

centerpiece of the resort and will be<br />

capable of hosting major international<br />

tournaments in the future. The golf<br />

facilities are further complemented by<br />

extensive practice facilities and a stateof-the-art<br />

golf academy featuring IMG<br />

Performance Studios that will offer the<br />

latest in swing analysis and custom-fit<br />

technology for all abilities.<br />

With its stunning views of Iskar Lake<br />

and situated just 30km south-east of<br />

Sofia, OKOL Lake Park is the largest<br />

Golf and Residential Community in<br />

Bulgaria. OKOL’s vision is to become<br />

an exclusive environment for active<br />

living and recreation, which brings<br />

together a golf course, a five-star hotel,<br />

family and holiday homes.<br />

Beyond the walls<br />

A home is more than just four walls –<br />

OKOL Lake Park is the proof of it. The<br />

combination of nature, modern urbanism<br />

and open spaces fills the spirit with a<br />

sense of freedom and belonging that goes<br />

far beyond the boundaries of your home.<br />

Ahead of its time<br />

The residences at OKOL Lake Park have<br />

a modern design and functional<br />

architecture that focuses on the living<br />

space and freedom.<br />

Quality and sustainability<br />

All elements of the OKOL Lake Park<br />

project are developed to the highest<br />

international quality standards. The<br />

project is being built with the use of<br />

state-of-the-art, high-tech and innovative<br />

construction solutions.<br />

Lake-view custom houses and custom<br />

houses on the golf course<br />

The plots for custom houses enjoy the<br />

most attractive and premium locations –<br />

either featuring spectacular panoramic<br />

views of the Iskar Lake or of the golf<br />

course. Each house is designed to the<br />

specific individual requirements of the<br />

investor and constructed by the OKOL<br />

team to complement the architectural<br />

concept of the project.<br />

Stand-alone minimalist houses<br />

A limited series of houses in modern<br />

minimalist design located near the village<br />

centre with wonderful views of Rila<br />

mountains and southern exposure. All of<br />

the houses feature a private yard.<br />

Terraced houses<br />

The terraced houses are located in the<br />

southern part of the golf course,<br />

overlooking the 14th hole. They are family<br />

houses with functional layouts, a front<br />

yard with a flower garden and a backyard<br />

that overflows into the golf course’s rough.<br />

Studios and lofts<br />

Overlooking the 15th and 16th holes, the<br />

studios and the lofts are one-bedroom<br />

holiday homes designed for moments of<br />

concentration and creativity. The studios<br />

and lofts are also the ideal solution for a<br />

romantic getaway, a short break away<br />

from the city and also for anyone looking<br />

to enjoy sports and outdoor activities.<br />


Visit www.okollakepark.bg<br />

Email info@okollakepark.bg

Prestige / SPAIN / FINLAND<br />

Real Club De Golf El Prat<br />

On the doorstep of the Catalan capital lie Greg Norman holes of rare pedigree.<br />

Located only 30 minutes from the<br />

vibrant Barcelona, and all the<br />

courses are Greg Norman’s design.<br />

Real Club de Golf El Prat is regarded as<br />

one of the finest golf clubs in Spain,<br />

having hosted more than 250 top-level<br />

national and international<br />

championships, including the Spanish<br />

Open on 10 occasions.<br />

El Prat makes clever use of its 36 Greg<br />

Norman-designed holes, over an exciting,<br />

varied mix of its two highly acclaimed<br />

courses: the Pink and Yellow. The<br />

prestigious club is home to a modern and<br />

lively clubhouse and top-quality practice<br />

facilities, as well as a 300m driving range<br />

and a host of specialist short-game areas.<br />

Real Club de Golf El Prat has carefully<br />

chosen a selection of hotel partners to<br />

create a variety of stay-and-play packages<br />

to suit everyone, and each option ensures<br />

visitors have the perfect base from which<br />

to experience its courses and the cultural<br />

sights Barcelona has to offer.<br />

Golfers can enjoy a complete resort<br />

experience booking the on-site Hotel La<br />

Mola, with the freedom afforded by close<br />

proximity to the courses, or stay in one of<br />

the other accommodation partners<br />

offering preferred rates.<br />


Call +34 937 281 000<br />

Email reservations@rcgep.com<br />

Kytäjä Golf<br />

On the banks of Lake Kytäjä lie two courses of rare beauty and calm.<br />

Have you ever played golf enjoying<br />

a beautiful sunset, in a place you can<br />

play until midnight?<br />

At Kytäjä you can enjoy golf in a<br />

unique and peaceful Finnish lake area,<br />

while staying in luxury villas right<br />

next to the clubhouse.<br />

Located only 30 minutes from<br />

Helsinki’s International Airport,<br />

Kytäjä Golf offers two award-winning<br />

courses in a natural lake and forest<br />

setting. The South East is ranked<br />

unanimously as the number one course<br />

in Finland and is also featured in many<br />

Top 100 rankings in continental Europe.<br />

But you cannot leave Kytäjä without<br />

also playing the North West course.<br />

Both Thomas McBroom-designed<br />

layouts include wide fairways, deep<br />

bunkers and challenging greens –<br />

they meander through a spacious<br />

forest landscape with fantastic<br />

elevation changes. Several holes<br />

run alongside Lake Kytäjä.<br />

Kytäjä’s clubhouse architecture is<br />

absolutely stunning and the building<br />

is one of the main features within the<br />

resort. The clubhouse restaurant<br />

offers unique views to the lake and<br />

the menu has been carefully created,<br />

taking good advantage of the delicious<br />

local ingredients.<br />


Call +358-300-870880<br />

Email caddiemaster@kytajagolf.fi

Prestige / NORWAY<br />

Miklagard Golf<br />

A spectacular Robert Trent Jones track in the land of the Vikings.<br />

Designed by Robert Trent<br />

Jones Jr, Miklagard was the<br />

first club in Norway to join<br />

the IMG Prestige network.<br />

Located only 20 minutes<br />

from Oslo and 10 minutes from the<br />

international airport, the club has been<br />

ranked Best Golf Course in Norway by<br />

Rolex Golf Guide and Top 100 Golf<br />

Courses since 2003. Its clubhouse was<br />

built in a traditional Norwegian style,<br />

offering an exciting and cultural<br />

experience to anyone visiting the club.<br />

Miklagard is located in Ullensaker –<br />

a beautiful region with strong historical<br />

traditions dating back to the Viking Age.<br />

The club has hosted multiple professional<br />

events and presents an extremely<br />

challenging layout, kept in pristine<br />

conditions throughout the season.<br />

GOLF<br />

Miklagard Golf features a stunning 18-<br />

hole championship course designed<br />

by the legendary Robert Trent Jones<br />

Jr. and Christian Lundin. In 2019, six<br />

holes of the course were completely<br />

renovated and the club has also built a<br />

new extensive practice area with multiple<br />

putting greens, a world-class driving<br />

range and fantastic short game area.<br />

Miklagard will host the Norwegian Golf<br />

Championship this August (5th-8th).<br />

HOTEL<br />

At the Lily Country Club you won’t have<br />

to think about anything other than<br />

relaxing and recharging your batteries.<br />

At the hotel you can treat yourself to<br />

the massage you have been dreaming<br />

of, enjoy delicious dishes prepared by<br />

skilled chefs and stay in beautifully<br />

decorated rooms.<br />

SPA<br />

At the Oriental-inspired spa, guests enjoy<br />

a unique and relaxing experience. The<br />

Spa features both indoor and outdoor<br />

pools, sauna, Turkish steam bath and<br />

unique relaxing areas. All treatments<br />

are given by experts using the most<br />

renowned and popular essential oils,<br />

salts, herbs and spices.<br />


Lily Country Club offers modern, flexible<br />

meeting and conference rooms for<br />

small and large groups. Groups attending<br />

meetings and conferences at the hotel<br />

can take full advantage of the resort’s<br />

other facilities and the team is on-hand<br />

to build bespoke packages for different<br />

companies and organisations from<br />

around the world.<br />


Call 004763943100<br />

Email www.miklagardgolf.no

Prestige / ITALY<br />



Here’s your chance to win a sensational<br />

two-night stay for two people at the<br />

exclusive Verdura Resort in Sicily, a Rocco<br />

Forte Hotel. Home of the European Tour’s<br />

Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, Verdura is the<br />

number one golf resort in Italy according<br />

to Golf World magazine’s Top 100 in<br />

Continental Europe and boasts two<br />

remarkable Kyle Phillips-designed<br />

championship courses, as well as a ninehole<br />

par-three executive course. To enter,<br />

simply sign up to Rocco Forte Friends – a<br />

unique recognition programme that’s free<br />

to join and entitles members to<br />

exceptional benefits at any of the 16<br />

Rocco Forte Hotels worldwide, from early<br />

check-ins and late check-outs to<br />

discounts on award-winning dining and<br />

wellness experiences.<br />

TO ENTER<br />

Visit roccofortehotels.com/account/rff-competitions/verdura-resort<br />

or follow the QR code on the right.<br />

La Bagnaia<br />

A Robert Trent Jones Jnr course lies at the heart of this true Tuscan escape.<br />

Nestled in the heart of the<br />

enchanting Tuscan countryside,<br />

and located just 12 km outside<br />

of Siena, the stunning La Bagnaia Golf<br />

& Spa Resort provides a world-class,<br />

five-star experience that is regarded<br />

as one of the finest in Italy. The resort, a<br />

converted authentic medieval hamlet,<br />

features 101 rooms and suites decorated<br />

in an authentic Tuscan style.<br />

Managed by IMG and designed by<br />

Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 18-hole<br />

championship course provides one<br />

of the best golf experiences in Europe.<br />

Golf facilities include an extensive<br />

practice area with grass driving range<br />

and well-appointed clubhouse.<br />

La Bagnaia has recently entered<br />

Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Resorts<br />

ranking for the first time, illustrating<br />

why it is recognised as a truly<br />

unforgettable destination.<br />


Call +39 366 6550031<br />

Email infogolf@labagnaiaresort.com

Prestige / GOLF ESTATES<br />

Prime Golf Estates<br />

The Finest Properties at World Class Golf Courses.<br />

Prime Golf Estates is<br />

delighted to announce our<br />

partnership with IMG<br />

Prestige, as the group’s<br />

exclusive real estate broker.<br />

PGE was set up to assist our<br />

clients with property purchases on<br />

or around leading golf courses anywhere<br />

in the world.<br />

Currently, we are offering exclusive<br />

developments and properties on more<br />

than 60 golf courses in the following<br />

countries: Spain, Portugal, Brazil,<br />

Morocco and Hungary. During 2021, our<br />

portfolio will expand with at least five<br />

new destinations on all continents.<br />

In these rapidly changing times, now<br />

is the perfect time to improve your<br />

quality of life and consider acquiring a<br />

property on a golf course and in the sun.<br />

Our personal local brokers will<br />

assist you during the complete<br />

process of finding and acquiring your<br />

ideal golf property in any of your<br />

favourite destinations.<br />

Let us know about your wishes to start<br />

enjoying the ultimate golf lifestyle, and<br />

PGE will make it happen.<br />


Call +34 629 89 28 94<br />

Email info@primegolfestates.com<br />



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Spain, Andalusia<br />

5 BED | 5 BATH<br />

€4,000,000<br />



3 Bedroom Villa<br />

Portugal, Lisbon<br />

3 BED | 3 BATH<br />

€1,998,400<br />


RESORT<br />

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The new home of<br />

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TOP<br />

VISIT US<br />

ONLINE<br />


UK<br />



YES AND NO<br />

Why Golf World’s Top 100 rankings are much bigger than ever.<br />

And why they can help you plan the perfect golf break<br />

Golf World’s revered Top 100<br />

rankings series is much bigger<br />

and better than ever.<br />

Now housed within Today’s Golfer<br />

magazine and with a hugely improved and<br />

growing online presence, the Top 100s –<br />

ranking the best golf courses and resorts<br />

across Britain, Europe and beyond – are<br />

going to the next level.<br />

Why? Well, there is a new ranking every<br />

four weeks and, working on a two-year<br />

cycle, that means there will be 26 different<br />

ranking lists between now and Spring 2023.<br />

Some are existing rankings – Golf World<br />

Top 100 Great Britain & Ireland Courses,<br />

Continental Europe Resorts and so on –<br />

but they’re going to be joined by a host<br />

of intriguing, insightful and frankly exciting<br />

lists, month in, month out. These include<br />

the Top 100 Courses in the World (You<br />

Can Play), Spain, Portugal, Italy, GB&I<br />

Under £60, GB&I Fun and World Resorts.<br />

If you’re thinking ‘You must scraping the<br />

barrel to come up with 26 different lists’, be<br />

assured that nothing could be further from<br />

the truth. We were fighting among<br />

ourselves about which ones to host in the<br />

magazine – because even more, totally<br />

different Top 100 Golf Courses rankings,<br />

will be hosted online.<br />

What are we trying to achieve by doing<br />

this? Well, we want to build on the stellar<br />

reputation Golf World’s rankings have,<br />

of course, but more than anything we<br />

want to provide an even better service<br />

for our readers.<br />

We want to become the essential<br />

reference for golfers all over Europe who<br />

are looking for the best places to play<br />

(and stay) on our continent and beyond.<br />

With the help of the best panels bar none,<br />

we are quietly confident we can do that.<br />

So no matter if you’re planning a golf<br />

break in the Algarve or the Highlands, in<br />

West Wales or the South of France, our<br />

knowledge and research will enable you<br />

to make the best possible choices about<br />

where to play.<br />

There is an element of escapism to the<br />

Golf World Top 100s, because who doesn’t<br />

enjoy looking at amazing courses and<br />

who doesn’t relish debating a ranking,<br />

but our motivation is founded in a desire<br />

to help you make smart selections for<br />

your golf trips.<br />

These trips are just too valuable – in<br />

terms of time, money and expectation –<br />

to waste on courses and resorts that<br />

disappoint or come up short.<br />

It’s why the answer to the question ‘Do<br />

we take golf course rankings too seriously?’<br />

is both ‘yes and no’. Yes because we’re<br />

essentially rating fields of grass, and there<br />

are many more important things in life.<br />

But no because where a course is ranked<br />

really matters to those inside and outside<br />

every list, and it helps golfers get the very<br />

most from their time and money.<br />

The schedule itself of Top 100s<br />

encapsulates that mix of escapism and<br />

information; we have a few rankings<br />

planned from which you might end up<br />

playing two or three out of the 100 in your<br />

life, but in others they’re the ultimate, nononsense<br />

guides to the most popular areas<br />

– which despite their popularity, have never<br />

been ranked properly before.<br />

We know everyone won’t all agree about<br />

inclusions, exclusions, and positions, but it<br />

should be fun along the way – and one<br />

thing is certain, we are trying really hard<br />

to make these the most authoritative,<br />

best researched and most credible<br />

rankings in Europe.<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 27

THE<br />

17 BEST<br />





From every corner of Continental Europe (and a little<br />

detour into Africa), here are some incredible destinations<br />

reachable in four hours at the most<br />

28<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


Thracian Cliffs, Bulgaria<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 29

Salobre, Gran Canaria<br />

Poland<br />

Yes, Poland. Trust us, the former Eastern<br />

Bloc country will surprise you. The courses<br />

will, the weather will, and so will the<br />

accommodation. It also offers incredible<br />

value for money. And while plenty of other<br />

destinations can offer cheap golf breaks,<br />

not many, if any, can match Poland on<br />

quality-to-cost ratio.<br />

Sand Valley is a Continental Europe<br />

Top 100 course, a fast-running heathland<br />

style course with funky greens. It is close<br />

to Gdansk and so is Sierra, a lush parkland.<br />

Both options feature chic on-site<br />

accommodation to extend your stay.<br />

Then there is Modry Las near Szczecin,<br />

another Continental Top 100 course and<br />

resort, this a Gary Player design laid out<br />

around a lake, plus cabins set in woodland.<br />

Gran Canaria<br />

OK, some of you might well have been<br />

here. But let us finish our point… Gran<br />

Canaria has long lived in the shadow of<br />

Majorca and Tenerife in a golf sense<br />

among Spain’s islands – but it really ought<br />

to be right up there. In fact, we think it’s<br />

the best of them, and it’s not even close.<br />

Salobre has two varied, Arizona-esque<br />

courses, one of which, the New, is a<br />

proper, mind-blowing test. There’s<br />

also Anfi Tauro, which is a Golf World<br />

Continental Top 100 entry, and mixes<br />

challenge with awesome views. The<br />

hits keep coming with clifftop Meloneras,<br />

Tour venue El Cortijo, and Real Las<br />

Palmas on the edge of a volcano, while<br />

Maspalomas is playable and fun.<br />

Factor in the year-round weather and<br />

the island’s many holidaymaker attractions<br />

and you have a very compelling case.<br />

Bulgaria<br />

The image on the cover of this supplement<br />

and at the start of this feature is all you<br />

need to know, to be honest. That’s<br />

Thracian Cliffs – and it’s every bit as jawdropping<br />

as it looks. Bucket-list material,<br />

and then some.<br />

It’s worth the trip to the edge of the<br />

Black Sea on its own, but the good news is<br />

that there are two others to play while you<br />

are there: BlackSeaRama and Lighthouse.<br />

They’re nowhere near as good as<br />

Thracian, but they are still really good.<br />

We are also excited to check out the<br />

new Okol Resort… it promises much.<br />

Munich<br />

There is so much golf here! We spent four<br />

days playing and visiting Munich’s courses<br />

and didn’t even get round them all. And it<br />

wasn’t because we had slow starts owing<br />

to spending too much time at night with<br />

a tall glass of amber liquid in hand.<br />

There is really good variety to the city’s<br />

courses, they’re in great nick and it is all<br />

so welcoming. Throw in the epic food, a<br />

game at Bayern and, yes, maybe a drop<br />

of beer, and this is a brilliant golf trip.<br />

Switzerland<br />

How could Switzerland NOT be an<br />

amazing destination for golf? Have you<br />

seen it? Crans-sur-Sierre gets the exposure<br />

every year and understandably so, but<br />

there is more than just that Seve favourite.<br />

The common theme is uncommon<br />

beauty. Setting down memorable golf<br />

courses among this mountainous<br />

splendour was not too hard.<br />

It’s not the cheapest golf break in this<br />

selection, but worth every euro.<br />

Azerbaijan<br />

No, seriously. Baku is as good as a city<br />

break gets and in Dreamland it has a firstrate<br />

golf course (and a fine hotel now too).<br />

Quba offers a second, stunning option two<br />

hours away. Go – you will not regret it.<br />

30 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


Crans-sur-Sierre,<br />

Switzerland<br />

Olching, Munich<br />

Falsterbo, Sweden<br />

Sweden<br />

To be exact, the extreme south-west of<br />

Sweden, where a spit of land is lapped by<br />

the Baltic and is home to three courses.<br />

Falsterbo is the superstar – as close to<br />

a GB&I links as you’ll find on Continental<br />

Europe, with an all-world back nine.<br />

Next, there are 27 holes at Ljunghusen<br />

– a seaside heathland that oozes quality.<br />

Then there’s Flommens, set on flat<br />

wetlands. Playable and fun.<br />

As your base, choose PGA National<br />

(Sweden), 20 minutes away. It has two<br />

Kyle Phillips courses (the Links is a Top<br />

100 entry), plus neat accommodation.<br />

Slovakia<br />

We’ve been banging the Penati drum for<br />

a few years to be fair – but you need to<br />

know about it, because in terms of value<br />

it is unbeatable. Two fine courses, with<br />

one by Jon Davison in our Top 100, and<br />

neat accommodation. What’s not to like?!<br />

Sicily<br />

Fun fact for you: Sicily has four courses<br />

that have been ranked by Golf World<br />

among Continental Europe’s Top 200.<br />

It has Verdura, which is a European<br />

Tour venue and a fairly famous resort,<br />

but we are including Sicily because as a<br />

destination it is vastly under-exposed.<br />

Yes, Verdura is the star, with its East<br />

and West courses plus a seriously<br />

luxurious hotel, but there is much more.<br />

We love Donnafugata and hope it gets<br />

back to full service after a troubled<br />

period – it has wonderful accommodation<br />

and two fine courses – as well as Il<br />

Picciolo, the island’s original course<br />

in 1989, Siracusa, which is part of the<br />

four-star I Monasteri Golf Resort, and<br />

Le Saie Golf, south of Catania.<br />

Plus the non-golf allure of peerless<br />

food including spectacular ice cream,<br />

wine, beaches, culture including UNESCO<br />

sites and exploring the cities of Palermo<br />

and Catania. Oh, and brilliant weather.<br />

Iceland<br />

Iceland’s golf is all about breathtaking<br />

beauty. Golf Escapes hasn’t visited yet<br />

but it is on the wishlist for 2021 and all<br />

those (OK, three golfers whose<br />

judgement we trust) who have been<br />

absolutely rave about it.<br />

It feels unlikely it will be a letdown<br />

and very likely to be a sensational<br />

experience. Check back in Golf Escapes<br />

2022 for the full picture.<br />

Czech Republic<br />

True, it has more pedigree in the game<br />

than most of our other selections in this<br />

article – but it still feels acceptable to<br />

place it in the ‘emerging’ category.<br />

The Czech Republic has recently added<br />

a Kyle Phillips design, The Oaks, that we’re<br />

excited to play, to augment its existing<br />

courses. There are plenty of good ones<br />

already, including Albatross, Panorama,<br />

Casa Serena, Royal Marianske, Karlstejn<br />

and Karlovy Vary. Then you can add in<br />

terrific value for money, fabulous food<br />

and, of course, the celebrated local brew.<br />

Bordeaux<br />

Just vineyards here, right? Wrong.<br />

Bordeaux is a serious golf destination<br />

now after the addition of Tom Doak’s Saint<br />

Emillionais. It is predictably good – and<br />

just 10 minutes from Chateau des Vigiers,<br />

which has three varied loops of nine and a<br />

delightful castle hotel. Then, on the coast<br />

to the west of Bordeaux is Golf du Medoc,<br />

home to two courses in the Continental<br />

Top 100 – as well as a terrific small hotel.<br />

Plus, yes, there is the wine.<br />

Oh, and further down are a handful<br />

of other Top 100 entrants: Seignosse,<br />

Moliets and Hossegor.<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 31

Estonia<br />

OK, so this is really only based around<br />

two courses… but one of them is world<br />

class. Parnu Bay lies on the edge of the<br />

Baltic Sea and is breathtaking,<br />

invigorating and pure. Expect firm,<br />

tightly-cropped, sandy fescue fairways<br />

that are a delight to hit irons off and a<br />

terrific design by Lassi Pekka Tilander<br />

that provides strategy to better players<br />

and playability to higher handicappers.<br />

And the greens are great fun!<br />

Parnu itself is a cool seaside destination<br />

and there is a second Top 100-calibre<br />

round at Estonian GCC near Tallinn. The<br />

adventurous can even take the ferry to<br />

Finland and play Kytaja and Linna too!<br />

Russia<br />

Do you know that you can be in<br />

St Petersburg in under four hours?<br />

Believe us, it’s a spellbinding city<br />

off the course. One of our favourites<br />

in Europe. Whatever you want,<br />

St Petersburg can cater for you and the<br />

Hermitage Museum alone is worth the<br />

trip – truly mesmerising.<br />

For golf, there are several options,<br />

but Gorki is the essential experience;<br />

Tilander – of Parnu Bay fame – has<br />

created another super course here,<br />

and with a lovely on-site hotel and<br />

vodka like you’ve never tasted before<br />

(de rigeur at the halfway house), it is<br />

one of our favourite ever trips. In fact,<br />

we’re going back for more at the<br />

earliest opportunity!<br />



Cairo<br />

Tim Lobb’s NewGiza is a modern<br />

masterpiece, with views of the<br />

pyramids and a wonderful selection<br />

of holes that only happens when an<br />

architect puts his heart, soul and mind<br />

into a project.<br />

There is a decent course at JW<br />

Marriott Mirage City but the best other<br />

course in the south-west of Cairo is<br />

Allegria, a Greg Norman design of<br />

expansive fairways and large,<br />

undulating greens.<br />

Katameya Dunes is in the east of<br />

Cairo but is worth the journey over<br />

there; a really good all-rounder that<br />

impresses on and off the course.<br />

Plus, obviously there’s the Pyramids<br />

– and definitely find time to fly down<br />

to Luxor for a day.<br />

Morocco<br />

Two options here: the vibrant city of<br />

Marrakesh or the string of courses on<br />

the country’s Atlantic Coast. All are just<br />

over three hours from the UK.<br />

Within Marrakesh’s 15 courses there<br />

is something for everyone: Morocco’s<br />

clear No.1 Assoufid, Palm Golf<br />

Assoufid<br />

Ourika, Samanah and Royal Palm<br />

are our favourites, with Noria,<br />

Palmeraie, Royal Marrakesh and Al<br />

Maaden also really good options.<br />

Or look west to the coast and<br />

Gary Player’s Mazagan Beach,<br />

nearby El Jadida by Cabell Robinson,<br />

another Player effort at Mogador<br />

near Essaouira, plus Tazegzout by<br />

Kyle Phillips.<br />

Tunisia<br />

Hammamet in Tunisia’s north-east has<br />

lots of options, including Yasmine,<br />

while the Forest course at Citrus is<br />

another favourite. Port El Kantaoui,<br />

south of Hammamet, boasts the Sea<br />

course at El Kantaoui.<br />

Gorki, Russia<br />

32 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

Book your stay in Crans-Montana<br />

in one of our luxury apartments,<br />

all located minutes away<br />

from the golf courses.<br />

More information on www.onecm.ch ï +41 27 775 50 50 ï info@onecm.ch

Crans-Montana<br />


Stretching from the Rhône Valley at<br />

500m in altitude to the Plaine Morte<br />

Glacier at 3,000m, Crans-Montana<br />

is a sunny region with exceptional air<br />

purity and breathtaking views over a<br />

chain of mountain peaks extending from<br />

the Matterhorn to the Mont-Blanc.<br />

It is in this majestic setting, at 1,500m in<br />

altitude that the first 18-hole golf course,<br />

now named after its renowned hero<br />

Severiano Ballesteros, was built in 1906.<br />

This legendary course, which demands<br />

high precision, is the venue of one of the<br />

most prestigious golf competitions on the<br />

European Tour: The Omega European<br />

Masters. This renowned tournament has<br />

been held every year in Crans-Montana<br />

since 1939, and will be played for the 74th<br />

time in 2021.<br />

The European Omega Masters has<br />

seen players such as Spain’s Ballesteros,<br />

José Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia,<br />

Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, South<br />

Africa’s Ernie Els, England’s Lee<br />

Westwood, and Sweden’s Sebastian<br />

Söderberg take the coveted trophy.<br />

Although Crans-sur-Sierre golf club’s<br />

global reputation has been built on over a<br />

century of tradition, it is above all its<br />

exceptional setting that remains etched<br />

in the memories of those who play on the<br />

famous Severiano Ballesteros course.<br />

It is diffcult to concentrate on the little<br />

white ball when one of the most beautiful<br />

mountains in the Alps appears on every<br />

tee! But in these surroundings, the<br />

mountains soothe and inspire golfers,<br />

and encourage unwavering precision and<br />

endless pleasure. The 7th hole is famous<br />

for its natural beauty and has now<br />

become synonymous with the course.<br />

It offers a 180-degree view of the Rhône<br />

Valley and of the surrounding summits,<br />

including the majestic Weisshorn.<br />

Crans-Montana truly is a choice<br />

destination for golf and not only because<br />

of the Omega European Masters.<br />

Besides the Severiano Ballesteros<br />

course, the region has three other 18-<br />

hole courses in less than 30 minutes<br />

from Crans-Montana: the golf courses<br />

of Sierre, Sion, and Leuk. These three<br />

courses are located near to the Rhône<br />

Valley and give the visitor the chance<br />

to play golf with a different backdrop,<br />

enjoying the wonderful view over the<br />

Valais vineyards.<br />

The altitude and the panorama are<br />

great strengths of Crans-Montana’s<br />

course, but its location on a 'Haut-<br />

Plateau' – on flat land – and in the centre<br />

of the resort are important assets as they<br />

are unusual for a mountain course.<br />

Therefore, the terraces and restaurants,<br />

the shops, the Beach Club, and the ski<br />

lifts that are open 365 days a year are<br />

easily accessible by foot.<br />

While the golfers perfect their game<br />

on the prestigious Crans-Montana’s<br />

course, their companions can enjoy<br />

the numerous and varied activities<br />

the destination offers.<br />

Its name translating as 'The Art of Living', our four-star<br />

Wellness and Spa hotel lies in a very quiet area, within<br />

easy walking distance of the golf course, the mountain<br />

lifts and the various other attractions. Its rooms offers a<br />

magnificent panorama of the Swiss Alps.<br />

After a round of golf, treat yourself to a little wellness<br />

in our 450m2 wellness area with swimming pool, jacuzzi,<br />

steam baths, sauna, fitness,and of course, massages!<br />

Start the day with a healthy breakfast buffet with the<br />

view over the Alps, and finish it in our lounge bar or at<br />

the south-facing terrace, tasting the beautiful local wines.<br />

Enquiries: art-vivre@bluewin.ch<br />


Three nights' B&B (double, sharing) with two rounds<br />

of golf on the Ballesteros course<br />

CHF 529 (approx £409) per person<br />



Crans Montana...<br />

Advertising Feature<br />

Golf is the main reason you will<br />

organise a trip to Crans Montana –<br />

but it is far from the only reason to<br />

start looking at flights to Geneva. Here<br />

are a few of the non-golf attractions of<br />

one of the most beautiful spots in Europe.<br />

Wine tourism<br />

With its 5,000 hectares of vineyards,<br />

the Valais is the largest vineyard in<br />

Switzerland. More than 50 varieties of<br />

grapes grow here, of which about 10 are<br />

native to the region and not to be found<br />

elsewhere in the world.<br />

The producers open their cellars for<br />

discovery tastings, often accompanied<br />

by a Valais aperitif.<br />

The wines on offer will enchant even<br />

the most discerning taster. From La Petite<br />

Arvine with its hint of wisteria and the<br />

sweetness of l’Amigne, to the characterful<br />

reds of Humagne, Diolinoir and the pride<br />

of our region, the colourful and<br />

beautifully fruity Cornalin.<br />

Hiking<br />

The Bisse du Ro and its spectacular<br />

suspension bridge offer an epic route<br />

for walkers. The “bisses” are man-made<br />

watercourses built on the mountainside<br />

to bring water for crops and which<br />

today offer enchanting routes for<br />

hikers in love with nature and<br />

extraordinary panoramas.<br />

The Bisse du Ro, takes you from Lake<br />

Tseuzier along towering rock faces,<br />

crossing a spectacular 120m-long hanging<br />

bridge. It offers a remarkable aerial<br />

perspective and amazing view halfway<br />

between the Rawyl Dam and the centre<br />

of Crans-Montana.<br />

The walkway of the Bisse du Ro allows<br />

walkers to discover this mythical hike<br />

in complete safety – it previously<br />

required intrepid explorers to walk along<br />

the wall!<br />

Beach Club<br />

The Beach Club, which is located right next<br />

to the golf course, will allow you a moment<br />

of relaxation by the lake Etang Long.<br />

Deckchairs, swimming, food, and bars<br />

on the sand will delight visitors searching<br />

for some rest, while the more active can<br />

challenge themselves with beach<br />

volleyball or cable wakeboarding.<br />

The lowdown<br />

■ GETTING THERE Fly direct to Geneva<br />

from numerous UK airport and Crans<br />

Montana is around 100 minutes away.<br />

■ CONTACT www,crans-montana.ch;<br />

information@crans-montana.ch<br />

Each of the spacious and elegantly furnished rooms and<br />

suites impresses with the perfect blend of discreet luxury<br />

and timeless design elements. The private terraces give<br />

guests a clear view of the impressive parade of peaks<br />

from the Weisshorn to the Mont Blanc.<br />

3 deligthful restaurants:<br />

La Muiia, the Peruvian and Japanese fusion restaurant,<br />

Bar Lounge for a brasserie style lunch or dinner and<br />

Le Carnotzet serving Swiss delights.<br />

Spa and fitness area of 1'300 m2 is the perfect place to<br />

relax aftera memorable round at the legendary Golf<br />

Course Crans-Montana<br />


FROM CH F 1490.-/ZPAX<br />

3 nights in an Alpina Deluxe room with breakfast buffet<br />

1 round of golf including a lunch box per person<br />

Special golfers' welcome in room, free access to spa and<br />

fitness In resort Shuttle service<br />



Thracian Cliffs<br />


The breathtaking Bulgarian clifftop course has been<br />

offering Insta-worthy moments for 10 years

Advertising Feature<br />

Thracian Cliffs is one of the<br />

most important projects in<br />

Gary Player’s design portfolio,<br />

a portfolio boasting nearly<br />

400 courses spanning<br />

around the globe.<br />

The signature design layout forms the<br />

core of Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach<br />

Resort, spread across a dramatic rocky<br />

terrain along the Bulgarian Black Sea.<br />

Offcially opened in 2011, Thracian Cliffs<br />

will mark its first decade on the world<br />

golf map this June with a massive party<br />

and tournament programme.<br />

The Resort will host the region’s<br />

biggest golf championships – Bulgarian<br />

Amateur Open and Cape Kaliakra Open,<br />

followed by a series of club tournaments<br />

and open-air beach events.<br />

Unlike most new courses, Thracian<br />

Cliffs gained wide popularity and headed<br />

golf rankings soon after its opening,<br />

prominently featured within the Top 100<br />

Continental Europe charts.<br />

Recognised as one of the world’s most<br />

visually outstanding layouts – the<br />

signature 18-hole course is sculptured to<br />

fit perfectly into the natural landscape as<br />

if it has been there forever.<br />

What makes the course unique is the<br />

striking sea views from every single hole.<br />

The multiple tee locations provide an<br />

exceptional experience for golfers of all<br />

levels and the black tees allows the course<br />

to be set up in championship mode,<br />

altering the length and the diffculty<br />

of each hole.<br />

It is easy to see why Thracian Cliffs<br />

hosted the Volvo World Match Play<br />

Championship in 2013 – won by Graeme<br />

McDowell – and grabbed the ‘Best Golf<br />

Resort – Europe 2014’ award by IAGTO.<br />

The unique location and open-air<br />

concept of the resort coupled with the<br />

favourable weather makes Thracian<br />

Cliffs the perfect choice not only for a golf<br />

trip with the pals but also for a relaxing<br />

family holiday.<br />

In such challenging times when social<br />

distance and open spaces redefine true<br />

comfort and luxury, Thracian Cliffs has<br />

lots to offer on and off the course. The<br />

overcrowded holiday spots are no longer<br />

an option, that is why the ‘hidden gem’<br />

status and authentic charm of the resort<br />

is proving so alluring, especially to those<br />

who seek a complete destination<br />

experience with all-around services.<br />

The lodging at Thracian Cliffs is spread<br />

across two charming villages – Marina<br />

and Hillside, inspired by the ancient<br />

Bulgarian seaside settlements. Suites are<br />

spacious, some exceeding 200 sq/m and<br />

offering from one to three bedrooms with<br />

en-suite bathrooms, elegant open-plan<br />

living room, big terraces with epic views.<br />

In contrast with the huge hotels with<br />

countless rooms per floor, the suites here<br />

are in separate buildings, only two to<br />

three units per level, providing true<br />

privacy and comfort to its guests.<br />

At Thracian Cliffs the views and nature<br />

play the leading role in your experience.<br />

Off the course guests enjoy a range of six<br />

fine dining venues and a night club, two<br />

sandy beaches, boutique spa, infinity<br />

pools, shopping zone and a full-service<br />

pro shop, all presented against a<br />

backdrop of breathtaking scenery.<br />

The beaches adjacent to the resort –<br />

Argata and Bendida – are left untouched<br />

only enhanced with comfy cabanas,<br />

lounge chairs and hammocks. The exotic<br />

beach restaurants offer cold drinks day<br />

and night just meters off the waves, and<br />

fresh seasonal food, fish and mussels<br />

harvested right in front of the golf course.<br />

And with 280 sunny days per year, you<br />

are likely to be enjoying your stay in the<br />

sunshine. So, smile and have fun!<br />

The lowdown<br />

■ DEALS Book your complete package<br />

with 7 nights and 5 green fees at Thracian<br />

Cliffs from €683 per person. Group offers<br />

(min. 8 golfers) from €599 per person are<br />

also available.<br />

■ GETTING THERE Fly direct to Varna,<br />

Bulgaria with Wizzair and EasyJet from<br />

London (Luton, Gatwick) and Liverpool.<br />

■ CONTACT +359 5709 2200 |<br />

reservations@thraciancliffs.com<br />

■ WEBSITE www.thraciancliffs.com<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 37


Czech Republic<br />

It has more pedigree in golf than you might imagine, and this vibrant<br />

country is poised to make an even bigger mark on the game<br />

The Czech Republic is an<br />

uncovered secret not only for<br />

a great golf experience but also<br />

for cities and places inscribed<br />

on the UNESCO world heritage list.<br />

Prague, the capital of the country, is just<br />

a two-hour flight or even less from the<br />

majority of European airports – a flight<br />

from London to Prague airport takes<br />

only 90 minutes.<br />

In the heart of Europe, this country is<br />

a safe and friendly destination, where<br />

visitors can admire many historical<br />

and cultural sights, enjoy the hospitality<br />

of local people and take advantage of a<br />

surprisingly high quality of golf options.<br />

This all makes the visit a quite<br />

unforgettable experience.<br />

Probably the most attractive place for<br />

tourists is Prague, the ‘City of 100 Spires’<br />

with more than 15 golf courses located<br />

within an hour’s drive of the city centre.<br />

Another famous Czech region is West<br />

Bohemia, where the first courses were<br />

established more than 100 years ago in<br />

the spa towns of Karlovy Vary (1904)<br />

and Marianske Lazne (1905).<br />

This provides the ideal chance to<br />

combine a Prague city break with<br />

relaxation in one of the famous spa towns.<br />

Other regions worth considering are<br />

North and South Moravia, well known<br />

for its wine production, local traditions<br />

and attractive golf products.<br />

Despite the fact the entire country has<br />

more than 100 golf courses, the number<br />

of Czech golfers is still low, which means<br />

the destination is a stress-free paradise<br />

for golf tourists!<br />

This all makes the Czech Republic a<br />

great destination for a long weekend<br />

or week’s holiday full of cultural,<br />

sightseeing, spa, golf and relaxing<br />

experience. So take the opportunity to<br />

enjoy great golf, including PGA courses,<br />

and have fun in Czechia!<br />

Prague – the gateway<br />

to great golf<br />

With many historical and cultural<br />

highlights, Prague is a great place to<br />

relax, enjoy sightseeing, shopping and<br />

taking a chance to taste local cuisine,<br />

especially the famous roast pork, Czech<br />

dumplings and a glass of Czech lager.<br />

Visitors to Prague should not miss<br />

Prague Castle – the biggest castle<br />

grounds in the world, or the magnificent<br />

Charles Bridge, which is filled with<br />

pedestrians walking from Old Town<br />

Square towards the Castle.<br />

Great meals, drinks, culture, opera,<br />

shopping, nightlife, brewery and winery<br />

tours, wellness and spas are all available<br />

to meet your holiday wishes.<br />

Among the 18-hole golf courses around<br />

Prague you will find a wide range of<br />

options. You can play right in the city,<br />

on municipal-style layouts, or enjoy nice<br />

holiday courses around the Czech<br />

Oaks PGA National<br />

Czech Republic

Advertising Feature<br />

Panorama<br />

Golf Resort<br />

capital, where you can also explore the<br />

beautiful countryside.<br />

If you are looking for a unique golf<br />

experience with the highest standard of<br />

services, make sure to explore the<br />

following three premium venues...<br />

Albatross Golf Resort<br />

This 18-hole championship golf course<br />

opened in 2009 in the vicinity of Prague<br />

and was designed by Keith Preston. The<br />

course was built with a vision to create<br />

the best course in the Czech Republic<br />

and is maintained with the highest<br />

attention to detail. The elegantly shaped<br />

contours in the moderately hilly terrain<br />

has rust-coloured rocks lining water<br />

hazards that make for a striking layout.<br />

The splendid clubhouse hosts a<br />

renowned restaurant with a considerable<br />

terrace overlooking a large putting green<br />

and the whole of the course.<br />

Albatross is located about 35 minutes<br />

from Prague’s historic centre and only<br />

20 minutes from Prague airport.<br />

The course hosted the Ladies<br />

European Tour and it has been the<br />

offcial home to the European Tour<br />

(D+D Real Czech Masters) since 2014,<br />

as well as an offcial member of<br />

European Tour Properties.<br />

Panorama Golf Resort<br />

This 27-hole golf course was opened in<br />

2016 in the beautiful area of Posazavi.<br />

Designed by an international team led by<br />

Libor Jirasek, Michael Terech and Rainer<br />

Albatross<br />

Golf Resort<br />

Oaks PGA National<br />

Czech Republic<br />

Preissmann, the resort is located an<br />

hour from the centre of Prague and<br />

offers a challenging golf experience.<br />

The first nine, Forest, offers very<br />

interesting and challenging holes,<br />

the second loop of nine, Meadows,<br />

is quite demanding and undulating,<br />

while the final nine, River, near to the<br />

Sazava River, is more demanding because<br />

of the many water hazards.<br />

Players can also enjoy a modern<br />

clubhouse which boasts an elegant<br />

interior and a relaxing terrace. There is<br />

also a great restaurant that serves local<br />

specialties as well as a modern hotel with<br />

facilities. Panorama is the best Czech<br />

course of recent years, according to Golf<br />

Digest readers, and will host the<br />

Challenge Tour from 2022.<br />

Oaks PGA National<br />

Czech Republic<br />

This venue is the new premium golf<br />

experience in the Czech Republic, having<br />

opened in August 2020. The 18-hole<br />

course was created by leading designer<br />

Kyle Phillips, who has designed courses<br />

on every continent including three of the<br />

world’s top 100 – Kingsbarns in Scotland,<br />

California Club in the USA and South<br />

Cape in South Korea.<br />

It is part of Oaks Prague, a modern<br />

community of premium homes nestled<br />

in a beautiful, 140-hectare country<br />

estate south-east of Prague city centre.<br />

The course is a trailblazer in<br />

environmentally sustainable golf<br />

design and is operated by Troon Privé,<br />

the private club division of Troon<br />

Golf, the world’s foremost golf<br />

management company.<br />

Located just over half-an-hour by car<br />

from Prague, Oaks PGA is the winner of<br />

a World Golf Award in the category of the<br />

‘Czech Republic’s Best Golf Course 2020’<br />

and ‘Europe’s Best Golf Courses 2020’.<br />

Test yourself at this PGA golf course<br />

during your golf break to Prague.<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 39

Useful links<br />

Czech Tourism<br />

www.czechtourism.com<br />

Czech Golf Travel Association<br />

www.cgta.cz<br />

Czech Golf Federation<br />

www.cgf.cz<br />

Albatross Golf Resort<br />

www.albatross.cz<br />

Panorama Golf Resort<br />

www.panoramagolf.cz<br />

Oaks PGA National Czech Republic<br />

www.oakspga.cz<br />

Pentahotel Prague<br />

www.pentahotels.com<br />

Falkensteiner Hotel Marienbad<br />

www.falkensteiner.com<br />

Czech Golf Festival<br />

www.czech-golf-festival.com<br />

Prague Golf Trophy<br />

www.prague-golf-trophy.com<br />

Golf breaks to Prague and around<br />

the Czech Republic<br />

www.czech-republic-golf.com<br />

Attractions off the course<br />

There is a wide range of hotels in<br />

Prague to meet all standards, from<br />

excellent four-star hotels to luxury fivestar<br />

properties.<br />

One of the most popular hotels<br />

among golfers is the modern and cosy<br />

Pentahotel Prague.<br />

Located in a lively area, close to the<br />

city centre, with many bars, restaurants<br />

and pubs nearby, it provides a<br />

restaurant, fitness centre and stylish<br />

rooms with air-conditioning.<br />

All rooms provide a 42” flat-screen TV<br />

with free movie channels, iPod docking<br />

station, coffee and tea making facilities,<br />

safety deposit box and free WiFi. The<br />

private bathroom comes with a rainshower.<br />

In the lifestyle lobby, exotic<br />

cocktails as well as quality Czech lager<br />

can be enjoyed at the 24-hour bar.<br />

Prague’s historic centre is only 10<br />

minutes by taxi or you can easily use<br />

public transportation.<br />

West Bohemia<br />

Combining Prague and West Bohemia<br />

with the region’s spas and the country’s<br />

oldest golf courses has become very<br />

popular for a week-long holiday. The<br />

journey from Prague airport takes only<br />

about 90 minutes by car and more than<br />

six interesting 18-hole courses are<br />

available in this area.<br />

Karlovy Vary combines modern life<br />

with the elegance of the last centuries<br />

and is well known especially for Moser<br />

Glass, International Film Festival or the<br />

herb liquor called Becherovka.<br />

Marianske Lazne is a smaller but also<br />

picturesque spa town with the Neo<br />

Baroque Spa Colonnade, magnificent<br />

parks and a singing fountain. If you<br />

decide to stay here, you cannot miss the<br />

grand, luxurious Falkensteiner Hotel<br />

Grand MedSpa Marienbad.<br />

The guests will appreciate spacious<br />

and cosy rooms as well as an elegant bar<br />

with library and summer terrace for<br />

evening relaxation. This recently<br />

refurbished luxury hotel offers unique<br />

relaxation facilities as it offers the only<br />

outdoor pool in town, plus four more<br />

indoor pools and caddie room, with the<br />

option to charge your golf trolley.<br />

The hotel offers half-board<br />

supplements both for individual tourist<br />

and groups, plus a special menu for<br />

dinner every Saturday. If you travel with<br />

family or kids and are looking for nongolfing<br />

activities, this venue will meet all<br />

your needs and the hotel concierge will<br />

Albatross<br />

Golf Resort<br />

Oaks Falkensteiner PGA National<br />

Czech Marienbad Republic<br />

Pentahotel<br />

Prague<br />

40 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

Advertising Feature<br />

assist with any additional requirements<br />

such as local sightseeing or excursions.<br />

Golf events for<br />

amateur golfers<br />

Looking for a golf competition too?<br />

Looking for new golf friendships and,<br />

above all, for warm hospitality and fun?<br />

Or just need a golf escape after the<br />

Covid-19 crisis?<br />

Then the annual international golf<br />

events in Prague are the perfect<br />

opportunity for you. They have been<br />

organised by leading local golf travel<br />

specialists in association with the best<br />

industry suppliers since 2011.<br />

Czech Golf Festival is a special summer<br />

event that provides a golf experience in<br />

Prague and includes a high standard of<br />

courses. Enjoy welcome and prize<br />

presentation dinners, sightseeing tours,<br />

all golf and airport transfers and much<br />

more, including great prizes in July.<br />

If you are thinking of a holiday later in<br />

2021, consider special autumn golf event<br />

the Prague Golf Trophy. The 2021 edition<br />

is based on championship golf at<br />

Albatross, Panorama and Oaks PGA<br />

and will be held from October 1. A fully<br />

serviced programme with attractive<br />

prizes awaits you.<br />

SAMPLE<br />

DEALS<br />

Prague or West Bohemia<br />

Three nights and two rounds<br />

of golf from 319 GBP.<br />

Four nights and three rounds<br />

of golf from 449 GBP<br />

Seven nights and five rounds<br />

of golf from 749 GBP.<br />

Play and Stay in the<br />

Prague area<br />

Two nights and two round<br />

from 249 GBP.<br />

Five nights and four rounds of<br />

golf from 499 GBP.<br />

Prague Golf Trophy,<br />

October 2021<br />

Special autumn golf package<br />

including a golf tournament<br />

organized in Prague<br />

3 (5) nights including<br />

breakfast with 2-4 rounds of<br />

championship golf<br />

Welcome cocktail, prize<br />

presentation dinner and<br />

much more<br />

From 549 GBP per golfer,<br />

from 399 GBP per non-golfer<br />

www.prague-golf-trophy.com<br />

Panorama<br />

Golf Resort<br />

Czech Golf Festival, July 2022<br />

Special summer golf package<br />

including a golf tournament<br />

organized in Prague<br />

5 (7) nights including breakfast<br />

with 3-5 rounds of golf<br />

Welcome dinner, prize<br />

presentation dinner and<br />

much more<br />

From 685 GBP per golfer and<br />

from 559 GBP per non-golfer<br />

www.czech-golf-festival.com<br />

Prices per person sharing twin<br />

rooms including breakfast at<br />

centrally located 4-star hotels,<br />

all airport and golf transfers,<br />

meet and greet on arrival,<br />

assistance during the tour as<br />

well as all local taxes.<br />

Discounts for groups, Pros<br />

and tailor made golf holidays<br />

on request.<br />

For more information and<br />

free brochure visit<br />

www.czech-republic-golf.com<br />

or call from the<br />

UK 020 8133 2340.<br />

Golf packages and tailor<br />

made golf to Prague and<br />

around the Czech Republic<br />

are available with many UK<br />

golf tour operators. Ask your<br />

golf travel specialist then.<br />

In England for example<br />

Golf Escapes at<br />

www.golf-escapes.com or in<br />

Scotland Golf Kings at<br />

www.golfkings.co.uk.<br />

Karlštejn<br />

My Favourite<br />

Fairways<br />

Tee-off at one of Europe’s most spectacular<br />

courses and explore the surprising connections<br />

between golf and Czech history. Uncover<br />

the hidden gems scattered across different<br />

Czech regions, nestled amongst the picturesque<br />

landscape in the shadows of majestic castles.<br />


YOUR GUIDE TO...<br />

FRANCE<br />

Classic courses, world-class resorts, Ryder Cup venues and<br />

spectacular destinations… France can do them all<br />

Terre Blanche Hotel<br />

Spa Golf Resort<br />

42<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK



Morfontaine<br />

Only one course from Continental Europe<br />

would definitively get in a GB&I ranking,<br />

and this is it. Morfontaine is a Tom<br />

Simpson masterpiece that bears<br />

comparison with even the very best of<br />

the Surrey and Berkshire heathlands.<br />

It’s extremely private, but worth the effort<br />

to be accessed via Private Golf Key.<br />


Terre Blanche<br />

Two undulating, tree-lined championship<br />

courses, both designed by Dave Thomas<br />

and draped across natural Provencal<br />

terrain with stunning water features.<br />

An Academy that is out-of-this-world.<br />

Four restaurants including the Michelinstarred<br />

Le Faventia, an infinity pool with<br />

panoramic views, a two-storey luxury spa<br />

plus tennis courts and more amenities<br />

than there’s room to list here. More than<br />

100 independent luxury suites and villas.<br />

Need we explain further?<br />


Golf du Medoc (Le Chateaux)<br />

Laid out by Bill Coore in 1989 – when<br />

he wasn’t the massive draw in golf course<br />

design that he is today – this is<br />

one of the classiest venues on the<br />

Continent. A heathland very much in the<br />

style of Walton Heath, Le Chateaux<br />

sweeps around this sandy site between<br />

Bordeaux and the Atlantic in magisterial<br />

fashion. A proper golfers’ golf resort, the<br />

on-site hotel is neat but not extravagant<br />

and this is a connoisseurs’ choice for a<br />

golf break. If we had a category for ‘Best<br />

second course’, its sister the Vignes would<br />

take the honours.<br />


Sperone<br />

It looks like it belongs in the Indian Ocean<br />

or the Caribbean. But the flawless<br />

turquoise waters aren’t lapping the coast<br />

of Mauritius or Jamaica, the land you see<br />

is Corsica in the Mediterranean. You’re<br />

playing Sperone, and for five holes –<br />

from the 12th to the 16th – it’s simply<br />

breathtaking. The 16th is an all-world par<br />

5 that, like 13 and 15, hugs the edge of<br />

the bluffs à la Old Head of Kinsale.<br />


Les Bordes<br />

This Robert von Hagge design isn’t for the<br />

faint-hearted and you know it’s a tough<br />

nut to crack when you hear Ryder Cup<br />

players talk about it in hushed tones. But<br />

Le Touquet’s La Mer<br />

while it tests every ounce of ability you<br />

have, it’s also gives a lot back, in terms of<br />

its majesty, its atmosphere, its epic feel<br />

and its conditioning. You simply won’t find<br />

a blade of grass out of place.<br />


Dinard<br />

Laid out by feted Tom Dunn, Dinard<br />

is the second oldest course in France,<br />

dating back to 1887. A links with funky<br />

greens and general eccentricity.<br />

Elsewhere in Brittany, St Malo is laid<br />

out in the ancient hunting grounds of<br />

the Forest of Mesnil and Pleneuf-Val-<br />

Andre offers a hint of links, a bit of<br />

parkland and a suggestion of heathland.<br />

In neighbouring Normandy, Granville<br />

is one of France’s closest versions of<br />

a British links, with sand dunes,<br />

plateau greens and wispy rough,<br />

while Etretat sits on the chalky cliffs of<br />

the Alabaster coast.<br />


Le Touquet (La Mer)<br />

Harry Colt’s classic links in north-west<br />

France had seen better days when Open<br />

Golf engaged restoration expert Frank<br />

Pont to return it to something more<br />

aligned with what the genius architect<br />

left. The result is an array of world-class<br />

holes and others that are just beginning<br />

to breathe again. The 16th is but one<br />

example among many.<br />


Golf National (Albatross)<br />

Built on farmland as flat as a pancake, the<br />

Albatross was moulded and sculpted<br />

beautifully using landfill. A triumph for the<br />

designers and shapers who have made it<br />

thrill-a-minute, American-style golf –<br />

especially through the skilful use of water<br />

hazards. Your palms are sweaty but<br />

your mind invigorated by the entire<br />

closing stretch.<br />


Les Bordes (New)<br />

Gil Hanse has literally just finished his<br />

work on this second courses at the<br />

Orleans-based super club. We’re heading<br />

down there in the summer for a first look<br />

and, with the combination of the cerebral<br />

Hanse, a big budget and the rolling<br />

topography of the site, we can’t help but<br />

expect big things from Les Bordes II.<br />

Hanse dropping hints about an English<br />

heathland-style course does nothing to<br />

lower those hopes…<br />


Hardelot (Les Pins)<br />

This Opal Coast venue had long been<br />

a favourite with British golfers who<br />

delighted in its Tom Simpson greens and<br />

tranquil atmosphere. But the course had<br />

lost is way in truth, until Frank Pont, in<br />

association with Patrice Boissonnas,<br />

undertook an enormous restoration. As a<br />

result, Les Pins is now comfortably inside<br />

Golf World’s Continental top 50.<br />


■ The climate Not unlike the British<br />

climate in the north, but the south<br />

has an extended summer period of<br />

early May to late September. The<br />

south-west isn’t quite as warm as<br />

the south-east.<br />

■ Getting there You can fly all over<br />

France cheaply and hire a car, but<br />

we like the Eurotunnel option. Paris<br />

is just three hours’ drive from Calais.<br />

■ Time difference GMT+1<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 43


Terre Blanche<br />

Hotel Spa Golf Resort<br />

Escape and unwind in the five-star splendour of one of Europe’s finest golf resorts<br />

D<br />

rive 45 minutes from Nice<br />

airport, south-west through<br />

glorious Provence, and you’ll<br />

arrive at one of the world’s<br />

most prestigious golf venues,<br />

a resort created with a lighter footprint<br />

philosophy and set amid the beautiful<br />

hills of the Côte d’Azur: five-star Terre<br />

Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort.<br />

As a European Tour Destination, Terre<br />

Blanche is a true golfers’ paradise, set in<br />

stunning surroundings. The two 18-hole<br />

golf courses, Le Château and Le Riou,<br />

have been designed by Dave Thomas,<br />

who capitalised on the existing landscape<br />

and the natural features. Le Château,<br />

which is known to be the more<br />

demanding of the two, runs over 7,235<br />

yards with bunkers, water hazard and<br />

greens worthy of a championship course.<br />

It rewards precision and length, both off<br />

the tee and on approach, and gives a true<br />

taste of the game at a high level. Le Riou,<br />

with its 6,567 yards, its hilly, winding<br />

fairways and fast greens, is shorter and<br />

offers a slightly different game, with<br />

spectacular views over the picturesque

Advertising Feature<br />

hilltop villages of Le Pays de Fayence.<br />

Being GEO© certified and taking<br />

greater steps towards sustainable<br />

development in the golfing world, the<br />

resort is changing the grass on tees, in<br />

semi-rough and on fairways to Bermuda<br />

Grass Riviera. Not only will this reduce<br />

water consumption, but also reduce the<br />

use of phytosanitary products and offer<br />

optimal golf ball lift, enhancing the<br />

golfing experience on both courses.<br />

In addition, the resort boasts the<br />

Albatros Golf Performance Center, the<br />

only European Tour Performance<br />

Institute certified in Europe. This unique<br />

training centre comprises a two-storey<br />

driving range, the Terre Blanche Golf<br />

Academy complete with the<br />

Biomecaswing Center, where all players,<br />

from beginners to touring pros,<br />

can enjoy unique training facilities and<br />

sophisticated analysis. Combining the<br />

use of biomechanics and state-of-the-art<br />

technology, the Biomecaswing concept<br />

facilitates the immediate detection of<br />

postural imbalances affecting the golf<br />

swing and offers corrective solutions.<br />

Away from the golf, retreat to the<br />

Terre Blanche Spa for a spell of calm<br />

relaxation. Surrounded by luxurious<br />

greenery, this Provençal villa is a<br />

sanctuary of well-being that has all the<br />

treatments you could dream of, from antiageing<br />

facials by VALMONT to aqua<br />

fitness, yoga and Pilates.<br />

Guests will also appreciate the five-star<br />

hotel comprising villas designed as a<br />

charming Provençal village with<br />

flourished cobble stone alleyways set<br />

amid peaceful gardens. In harmony<br />

with nature, every suite has alluring<br />

views, luxury space, comfort, privacy<br />

and large terraces, but the 600sqm<br />

infinity pool, with its awe-inspiring<br />

backdrop, is, without doubt, the resort’s<br />

true masterpiece.<br />

Featuring four restaurants, Terre<br />

Blanche is also a first-choice destination<br />

for any gourmand. Using local products,<br />

the menus present a refined Provençal<br />

cuisine, from the buffet breakfast, with<br />

freshly baked pastries, local cheeses<br />

and fruits, to the fine-dining<br />

experience at the elegant, Michelin-<br />

starred Le Faventia restaurant.<br />

And while there’s plenty to do on site,<br />

the hotel offers you the chance to explore<br />

the breathtaking Provençal countryside,<br />

through its sunny roads, medieval<br />

villages and vineyards where you can<br />

sample a glass or two the region’s worldrenowned<br />

wine.<br />

For the younger travellers, the Kids’<br />

Club provides a wide range of activities,<br />

alternating games, discovery and<br />

creations for children up to 12 years old.<br />

Families and teenagers will also enjoy a<br />

variety of activities at the resort and<br />

around, including golf, tennis, aquatic<br />

games, paddle, laser game, treetop<br />

adventures and horse riding.<br />

Whatever your age and interest, Terre<br />

Blanche offers a truly great escape.<br />

The details<br />

Call +334 9439 9000<br />

Email reservations.tbhotel@terre-blanche.com<br />

Visit www.terre-blanche.com

YOUR GUIDE TO...<br />

SPAIN<br />

We help you narrow down the hundreds of choices for your<br />

next holiday in Spain by picking out the best of the best –<br />

the top courses in the key areas<br />

Lumine Hills,<br />

Costa Daurada<br />

46<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


Spain has 400 golf courses stretched<br />

north, south, east and west. That<br />

means there are numerous pockets<br />

of great golf to be found and, as you’ll<br />

probably already be aware, diffcult<br />

choices to be made about where to select<br />

for your golf break.<br />

To help you make sense of the many<br />

options, we’ve identified the top areas and<br />

break down what you can expect from the<br />

leading courses in each of them.<br />


Spain’s south coast area is packed<br />

with superstar names<br />

The most famous course in Spain and<br />

one of the best in Continental Europe,<br />

Valderrama is a bucket-list destination.<br />

Host of the Ryder Cup in 1997, it’s a<br />

physical and mental examination to<br />

plot your way among the cork oaks of<br />

this pristine course. Private but playable,<br />

it’s far from forgiving but the kind of<br />

day you will recall with relish for years<br />

to come.<br />

Real Sotogrande’s birth way back in<br />

1964 is the moment this corner of Spain<br />

got a foothold in golf. The following<br />

year, the Robert Trent Jones-designed<br />

course held the Spanish Open<br />

Championship, with Roberto de Vicenzo<br />

triumphing. Later it staged the Spanish<br />

Amateur of 1983, won by a certain<br />

youngster named Jose Maria Olazabal.<br />

Real Sotogrande is, self-evidently,<br />

a club with enormous pedigree and<br />

this Trent Jones classic was refurbished<br />

in the past decade to make sure it remains<br />

one of Europe’s finest.<br />

It’s a mark of how impressive Finca<br />

Cortesin is that this newcomer to the<br />

Sotogrande scene has become an<br />

essential part of an itinerary to the<br />

area. With such genuinely high-calibre<br />

courses already so deeply established,<br />

a new course had to be good to survive.<br />

This Cabell Robinson design from 2007<br />

is just that. La Reserva is a serious<br />

championship course and with a better<br />

variety of holes than some of the more<br />

established names.<br />

Robinson routed La Reserva in 2003 on<br />

the same kind of rolling topography as its<br />

neighbours and as a result of advances in<br />

equipment and thus earth moving, there’s<br />

a really nice flow to the round here,<br />

with nothing feeling as if it simply had to<br />

go somewhere.<br />

Las Brisas has undergone a Kyle Phillips<br />

overhaul in the past few years and is now<br />

climbing back up Golf World’s Continental<br />

European Top 100; he was engaged to<br />

work on one nine but the members liked<br />

the work so much he did the whole course.<br />

Classy, with lots of risk-reward moments.<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 47

La Reserva, Andalucia<br />

The San Roque name carries with<br />

it a lot of pedigree, having been a<br />

popular venue for British golfers<br />

since it opened 25 years ago. Designed<br />

by Dave Thomas at the foothills of the<br />

Sierra Bermeja, where the mountains<br />

meet the sea, the Old is a wellbalanced<br />

mixture of exacting holes<br />

and aesthetic holes. Its bunkers were<br />

redesigned by Seve Ballesteros and<br />

it is now undergoing a huge overhaul.<br />

San Roque added a second 18<br />

holes, and invited Perry Dye to<br />

organise it. It sits on much the same<br />

land and offers much the same treetop<br />

views as its sister, but this 7,000+<br />

yard track is unquestionably a notch up<br />

in diffculty.<br />

La Cala is home to three courses<br />

of almost equal quality and merit.<br />

Certainly you will find it hard to split<br />

Europa and America, with Asia not<br />

far behind, if it is inferior at all. This<br />

thriving but tranquil resort is booming,<br />

renowned again for providing highquality<br />

golf.<br />

Aloha is revered in Spain because<br />

of its designer, Javier Arana, who is<br />

regarded as the country’s greatest<br />

architect. This is a course of great<br />

variety, laid out on interesting and<br />

often acutely undulating terrain.<br />

Along with Malaga, Mijas and Santana,<br />

it is the best of the rest when you head<br />

to Andalucia.<br />

MADRID<br />

The capital has an astonishing<br />

array of high-class courses<br />

There are lots of classy courses but<br />

they are largely the preserve of their<br />

fortunate members. However, and for<br />

the record, here’s our list of the best,<br />

in ranked order: Puerto de Hierro<br />

(Arriba), La Moraleja No.3, La<br />

Moraleja No.4, Villa de Madrid (Black),<br />

Puerto de Hierro (Abajo), Real<br />

Sociedad Hipica Espanola (North),<br />

Santander, Real Sociedad Hipica<br />

Espanola (South) and La Herreria.<br />


The stretch to the north of Barcelona,<br />

headlined by PGA Catalunya<br />

We think the Costa Brava might be the<br />

most under-appreciated region of Spain,<br />

because the riches to the north of<br />

Barcelona are considerable.<br />

They centre around PGA Catalunya,<br />

whose Stadium course might be the best<br />

Ryder Cup venue that never was. It was<br />

slated for the 2022 matches, but lost out<br />

to Marco Simone in Rome. Consistently<br />

dramatic and always challenging, Angel<br />

Gallardo and Neil Cole’s mix of holes sees<br />

thrilling drives on the odd holes and terrific<br />

approaches on the evens.<br />

The Tour suffers in that manner familiar<br />

to ‘second’ courses. It is indubitably<br />

good and mixes its tough holes with<br />

more straightforward ones especially<br />

cleverly. Its site is intertwined with the<br />

Stadium and thus it encompasses similarly<br />

acute changes in elevation across rolling<br />

terrain populated by mature trees.<br />

El Prat is a historic club that was initially<br />

located right next to the city’s airport<br />

but had to move when runways were<br />

added. The members discovered a huge<br />

plot of gently undulating, forested land<br />

north of Barcelona, near Terrassa. Greg<br />

Norman was invited to layout the new<br />

courses and there are 45 holes at El Prat,<br />

although the Valles nine is generally used<br />

for practice.<br />

Emporda is another multi-course<br />

resort. The Links sprawls over flat, gently<br />

undulating, open terrain that is thus<br />

significantly affected by the wind. It has<br />

very few trees and the open landscape<br />

ensures panoramic views of the mountains<br />

that surround much of the resort.<br />

The Forest is, as expected, routed<br />

through umbrella pines common to Iberia<br />

and Belek. The fairways are not bulldozed<br />

into flat corridors between the trees<br />

though, varying from the gentle ripples of<br />

an unmade bed to more dramatic mounds.<br />

Finally, Platja de Pals is the original<br />

course to be built on the Costa Brava and<br />

exudes the calibre one would expect; it is<br />

by the coast but characterised by flitting in<br />

and out of tall woodland.<br />

48 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK



The 36 holes at Lumine showcase the<br />

best of this area south of Barcelona<br />

You can spend a lovely full day at<br />

Lumine as there are 36 holes of<br />

championship golf here… as well as<br />

a terrific lunch awaiting you.<br />

The Lakes is technically the No.1<br />

course at this Troon-managed resort.<br />

It is designed by Greg Norman on flat<br />

marshland that has been so painstakingly<br />

preserved it’s become a sanctuary for<br />

rare birds.<br />

Norman’s design is spread out over a<br />

large area and requires a lot of straight<br />

hitting to avoid sand and water. This<br />

6,948-yard brute will challenge even the<br />

many national squads who use Lumine<br />

as a winter training camp.<br />

We prefer the Hills though, and it has<br />

been a contender for Golf World’s<br />

Continental Top 100. Incorporating super<br />

views as a result of frequent changes in<br />

elevation and no real estate, it also has<br />

plenty of cool holes. It’s for the most<br />

part cut through pine trees, but there’s<br />

a great variety of holes both visually<br />

and strategically.<br />

It ends with a short par 4 whose<br />

green is overlooked by its own clubhouse<br />

atop a cliff-face of light orange rock.<br />


LA TOJA<br />

Just nine holes here. And you won’t<br />

have seen them in any other ranking<br />

of Spanish golf courses. Watch for<br />

that to change now Golf World<br />

included it in its list of Spain’s elite.<br />

Located between Coruna and Vigo<br />

in Galicia in north-west Spain, this is<br />

a fun and scenic course the like of<br />

which you rarely get on the continent.<br />

There’s more of a Scottish feel to the<br />

course, if not the turf.<br />

The fun nine-hole Ruins course completes<br />

the picture.<br />

Robert Trent Jones Jnr carved Bonmont<br />

out of arid, rocky landscape and it opened<br />

for business in 1990. Barely 12 months<br />

later, Jose Maria Olazábal won the 1991<br />

Catalan Open there.<br />

There is plenty of criss-crossing of<br />

treacherous ravines that slice through<br />

the route plan, plus 90 bunkers and a<br />

number of man- made lakes that need<br />

to be negotiated.<br />


Valencia boasts an Arana seaside<br />

classic and a modern masterpiece<br />

Javier Arana is Spain’s foremost<br />

architect and his course at El Saler,<br />

to the south of Valencia, is regarded<br />

as his stand-out piece of work.<br />

For lovers of Golden Age<br />

architecture it’s heavenly, with a<br />

set of green complexes likely to<br />

have design connoisseurs salivating<br />

hole after hole.<br />

El Saler is laid out by the sea and<br />

the front nine has some of the most<br />

exhilarating holes in Spanish golf.<br />

A third of the course is played to,<br />

from or alongside the sea, with the<br />

majority weaving among mature trees.<br />

Las Colinas is a Cabell Robinson<br />

design created with the 20-handicapper<br />

in mind, rather than the Tour pro. Part<br />

of a really good resort, with modern,<br />

fully equipped apartments and villas<br />

with large gardens or terraces, and a<br />

communal swimming pool. With a<br />

Top 100 stalwart course, it is a good<br />

single-sex group venue for golf and<br />

pool relaxation.<br />

Finally, El Bosque is a course set in<br />

mature woodland where plotters will<br />

prevail over bombers, while Escorpion<br />

(Blue) was created by the American<br />

Ron Kirby in 1976.<br />

SEVE & ARANA<br />

Something for the architecture<br />

purists and Seve fans in the lowprofile<br />

Bilbao area: Javier Arana’s<br />

Neguri was fifth in Golf World’s<br />

Spain ranking while Pedrena,<br />

where Seve grew up, was sixth.<br />


The stars of Majorca, Gran<br />

Canaria and Tenerife<br />

Son Gual on Majorca is consistently<br />

ranked in our Continental Europe Top<br />

100. There are few better-conditioned<br />

courses on mainland Europe than this<br />

Thomas Himmel design. It could host a<br />

tournament tomorrow, we can safely state<br />

that – it’s just always in top condition.<br />

Alcanada is one of Spain’s most scenic<br />

courses, with views of the Bay of Alcudia<br />

from the majority of its holes. It was set<br />

down on a hillside on the north-east of<br />

Majorca by Robert Trent Jones Jnr. The<br />

son of the legendary architect – who has<br />

himself made a fine career in course<br />

design – was very proud of his work there.<br />

Anfi Tauro is part of a neat little resort<br />

and sits on a spectacular landscape on<br />

Gran Canaria. It benefits from the skill of<br />

designer Robert Von Hagge and a quite<br />

fabulous location.<br />

Elsewhere on Gran Canaria, Salobre’s<br />

two courses offer distinctly different<br />

experiences. Aim to experience both, but<br />

if time is tight, The New is the real<br />

challenge – and a proper thrill-a-minute<br />

ride at that.<br />

Then there is Real Club of Las Palmas,<br />

founded way back in 1891, and now on a<br />

woodland site near an extinct volcano.<br />

On Tenerife, Abama offers a taste of<br />

Augusta National, with greens that are<br />

super slick and also distinctly undulating.<br />

Las Colinas, Costa Blanca<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 49

LUMINE<br />


For golfers and travellers alike,<br />

2021 offers a route back to<br />

normality, an opportunity to<br />

vacate one’s residency, and<br />

search for that perfect escape.<br />

The destination of choice can now be<br />

different, an exploration beyond the major<br />

cities, a more peaceful, picturesque, and<br />

relaxing environment.<br />

Lumine, located just a short stroll from<br />

the Mediterranean Sea, is established as<br />

one of Spain’s finest lifestyle resorts<br />

presenting championship golf facilities,<br />

modern gastronomy and a contemporary<br />

beach club with unrivalled facilities and<br />

bespoke cultural activities. Showcasing its<br />

natural beauty, standing amongst the<br />

region’s famous pine trees and natural<br />

olive plantations, Lumine poses a calm<br />

and tranquil ecosystem, one that is truly<br />

dedicated to making a lasting impact on its<br />

guest’s well-being.<br />

Boasting an award-winning golf facility<br />

(Europe’s Best Golf Venue, World Golf<br />

Awards 2019 & 2020) Lumine showcases<br />

two championship courses, as well as a<br />

unique nine-hole course, each with a<br />

distinct design and layout. Hosts to the<br />

European Tour’s Qualifying School Final<br />

Stages, the quality and condition is<br />

unquestionable, both the Lakes and Hills<br />

Courses deliver undulating putting<br />

surfaces and strategically positioned<br />

hazards to entertain all levels of golfer.<br />

It’s not often, one resort can develop<br />

and construct two state-of-the-art<br />

clubhouses, both illustrating the breathtaking<br />

views across the golf course,<br />

however Lumine have managed this<br />

perfectly. Combined with exceptional<br />

service and the chef’s daily specials,<br />

delivering freshly sourced and prepared<br />

dishes, guests will leave the resort with<br />

a cleansed palette and fulfilled mood<br />

having been spoilt at the Lakes and<br />

the Hills.<br />

50 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

Advertising Feature<br />

And, if the clubhouse views didn’t<br />

showcase enough of the local region,<br />

Lumine Beach Club promises a vista and<br />

scenery like no other golf resort in Europe.<br />

Elevating the golfing experience, uniting<br />

leisure, wellness and gastronomy, this<br />

intrinsic breakaway will fascinate any<br />

guest. Facilities, that include seven<br />

swimming pools, each with their own<br />

charm and personality, as well as one of<br />

the best fresh fish restaurants in the<br />

region, enable Lumine to attract<br />

sophisticated customers from across the<br />

globe. Set amongst the pine forests above<br />

Playa Larga, it presents a unique<br />

experience with spectacular panoramic<br />

views of the Mediterranean.<br />

Four more stylish restaurants can be<br />

visited on site as part of the new and<br />

exciting modern gastronomy choices at<br />

Lumine. Only the finest produce, service<br />

and menus will be available, all<br />

exquisitely prepared, sourced straight<br />

from the ocean and local farming<br />

grounds, by world-renowned Executive<br />

Chef, David Marsal.<br />

All of the above, can only be enjoyed<br />

to full effect if one has enough rest.<br />

Tarragona, just a short drive from the<br />

resort, is a place of luxury, class, and<br />

history. The charming town offers endless<br />

experiences through centuries of<br />

protected landscapes and cultural<br />

activities, all partnered by beautiful<br />

boutique hotels. The gateway to<br />

Barcelona, it is an extension of everything<br />

the city has to offer with an abundance of<br />

gastronomy, sports, and entertainment.<br />

Whether it is Oyster tasting in the crystalclear<br />

waters of the Mediterranean, horseriding<br />

along the Ebro river, or sampling<br />

the finest cuisines down at the Marina,<br />

Lumine is ready to welcome visitors<br />

all-year round.<br />

Listed as one of Europe’s most<br />

sustainable golf resorts, it goes above and<br />

beyond to protect nature and its<br />

surroundings. Sequences of olive trees,<br />

natural bodies of water, historic ruins, and<br />

protected species all form an integral part<br />

of the unique experience at Lumine.<br />

Receiving its first GEO Certification in<br />

2013, the resort is hoping to lead the way<br />

in sustainable practices for golf courses<br />

in Europe, identifying both domestic and<br />

global best practices.<br />

A safe, private and personable<br />

destination awaits, with world-class golf<br />

courses, an extraordinary leisure<br />

experience, and incredible sea views ready<br />

to inspire you.<br />

Prepare for your next escape.<br />

The details<br />

Call +34 977 129 070<br />

Email info@lumine.com<br />

Visit www.lumine.com<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 51

YOUR GUIDE TO...<br />


The three key golf areas of the country offer pleasingly differing experiences<br />

Even if you’ve been to Portugal five<br />

times for a golf break before, there’s<br />

still so much to explore. If you’ve<br />

been 10 times, there will be excellent<br />

courses we suspect you haven’t played.<br />

Part of this reason is the fact Portugal<br />

is about a lot more than the Algarve,<br />

which has been and remains the country’s<br />

heartland in a golf sense.<br />

It’s home to more than 40 courses and<br />

no area in Europe can beat it for quantity.<br />

You can enjoy seven golf breaks here and<br />

still not have played them all.<br />

Throw in its fantastic weather, off-course<br />

attractions and easy access from the UK<br />

and it is hard to see past it.<br />

But in Porto and Lisbon, Portugal has<br />

two other wonderful options. Between the<br />

three of them they offer myriad different<br />

types of golf holiday, so no matter what<br />

type of break you fancy this year, Portugal<br />

can provide it.<br />

That also means Portuguese venues<br />

simply have to provide quality, because<br />

the competition is so high. This internal<br />

pressure on the market is added to by<br />

the fact that where once they only had<br />

Spain to worry about, Portugal now has<br />

destinations as diverse as Belek and<br />

Dubai to also contend with.<br />

Being popular tourist areas, when you’re<br />

not playing golf you can laze by the pool,<br />

enjoy some water sports, soak up<br />

the sun on the beach or take day trips to<br />

heritage sites, water parks or bustling<br />

city centres.<br />

It also means the food and beverage<br />

side of things is peerless; from ice-cold<br />

Sagres or Super Bock to a crisp bottle of<br />

Rosé, and sensational fresh fish to endless<br />

flavours of homemade ice cream, you will<br />

rarely eat and drink better than in Portugal.<br />

Here, we will take you on a whistle-stop<br />

tour of the three main areas – although<br />

there are further riches on Portuguese<br />

islands of Madeira and the Azores – to help<br />

you decide where to go.<br />

Porto<br />

Three key courses here – and two of them<br />

are by the seaside.<br />

Estela is a Continental Top 100 course<br />

that is as close to a raw seaside links<br />

experience as you will find on mainland<br />

Europe. The start to both nines is routed<br />

along the coastline and the wind, sea<br />

views, sandy turf and authentic links feels<br />

are just what you’d expect from a British<br />

equivalent. This is a golfer’s golf club with a<br />

warm welcome for anyone who finds their<br />

way here. You really should try to.<br />

Oporto is the other seaside option, and<br />

is steeped in history. There’s just one older<br />

golf club in Continental Europe, as a result<br />

of it being laid out by British workers in<br />

the port industry in the late 1800s.<br />

It is reminiscent of Royal North Devon<br />

in its simple charms of wide fairways and<br />

clever green complexes. A really fun,<br />

interesting course.<br />

The final option in Porto is Vidago<br />

Palace, opened in 1910 and over 100<br />

years later it still maintains the same<br />

splendour, service and conviviality for<br />

which it was immediately known.<br />

It was refurbished in 2010 while<br />

preserving its architectural heritage and is<br />

among the best historic hotels of Europe.<br />

The course has nine original holes by<br />

Mackenzie Ross among woodland, as well<br />

as more open modern holes.<br />

Lisbon<br />

Lisbon has three main areas of its own, and<br />

all have their own appeal.<br />

In the north, around the medieval town<br />

of Obidos, there is Europe’s new superstar,<br />

West Cliffs. Designed by Cynthia Dye, it<br />

has ocean views and spellbinding holes.<br />

It is the sister course to Praia d’El Rey, a<br />

fabulous seaside course and a fixture in all<br />

European Top 100s. It has its best holes<br />

along the Atlantic, before which it wanders<br />

inland among pine trees.<br />

Royal Obidos is another recent arrival,<br />

adding another Top 100-quality<br />

championship course to the area. This is a<br />

Seve design, built to a high spec and with<br />

plenty of drama.<br />

Bom Sucesso is another fine option, a<br />

Donald Steel design with a solid back nine<br />

in particular.<br />

Oporto Golf Club<br />

52<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


In the area around Cascais, to the west<br />

of Lisbon, Oitavos Dunes is the star, one of<br />

our highest-ranked Portuguese courses<br />

with some breathtaking Atlantic views.<br />

Next door is Quinta da Marinha, one of<br />

the best spots in Europe for a play-andstay<br />

break. The short, par-4 13th plays<br />

down towards the sea and is amazing.<br />

The Estoril club is one of the most<br />

famous names in Portuguese golf, with real<br />

pedigree and tournament-hosting history.<br />

Penha Longa is spectacular and tough, a<br />

Kyle Phillips design (when he was working<br />

for Robert Trent Jones) on undulating land<br />

that is never anything but exciting. It’s one<br />

of Europe’s finest courses and has a hotel<br />

on site that is at least the equal of the golf.<br />

To the south, the Orizonte group own<br />

several courses and categorically offer the<br />

best pound-for-pound golf break in Europe.<br />

Long-time Top 100 entry Quinta do<br />

Peru, two 18-hole courses at Ribagolfe,<br />

Santo Estevao and Aroeira’s Woburnesque<br />

No.1 and No.2 offer top quality at<br />

real value prices.<br />

Troia is a RTJ track and the undoubted<br />

highlight of this area – it’s No.2 in our<br />

Portugal Top 50 and arguably unlucky to<br />

be that low. Awesome seaside golf.<br />

The Algarve<br />

Europe’s most famous area spans the<br />

width of Portugal’s south coast and has<br />

more courses in our Top 100 of Continental<br />

Europe than most entire countries!<br />

Like Lisbon, you can loosely base<br />

yourself in three main areas, although it<br />

is easy to stay in the west and end up<br />

playing Monte Rei in the east.<br />

Nevertheless, while there is great depth<br />

to the quality here, these are the stand-out<br />

names in each area…<br />

The west has the redesigned 27 holes<br />

of Palmares, the original Algarve course<br />

in Penina (and still one of its best), and<br />

less-hyped but still solid courses at<br />

Silves, Gramacho and Boavista.<br />

Monte Rei<br />

Penha Longa<br />

The centre is the most populated<br />

and most celebrated, starring the<br />

Dom Pedro quintet of the Old, Pinhal,<br />

Victoria, Millennium and Laguna. The<br />

Old is still a class act. Quinta do Lago’s<br />

three courses – all of Top 100 calibre –<br />

are here too, as is picturesque San<br />

Lorenzo and the highs of Vale do Lobo’s<br />

duo. Amendoeira - whose O’Connor and<br />

Faldo are equal in quality – are on the<br />

centre-west ‘border’.<br />

Then, in the East, Jack Nicklaus’ Monte<br />

Rei is Portugal’s No.1 and is ably backed up<br />

by Quinta da Cima and Ria, plus Benamor,<br />

Quinta do Vale and Castro Marim.<br />


■ THE CLIMATE Exceptionally good<br />

in the Algarve all year round. It’s<br />

May to September for Porto and<br />

Lisbon to get some sun, really.<br />

■ GETTING THERE You can fly to<br />

Faro or Lisbon with all the budget<br />

airlines from myriad British airports<br />

in the British Isles. This is a huge<br />

advantage to Portuguese golf<br />

breaks – getting there is just so<br />

easy and inexpensive.<br />


TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 53

YOUR GUIDE TO...<br />

TURKEY<br />

Incredible value, peerless weather and Top 100-calibre courses…<br />

What’s not to love about Belek?<br />

November 18, 1994 was a great<br />

day for golf travel – National<br />

Golf Club in Belek opened.<br />

Its birth spawned a golf revolution on<br />

the south coast of Turkey, an area that<br />

has become a real challenger to the<br />

traditional travel superpowers of Iberia.<br />

There are now 17 courses on this<br />

golden strip of coastline and despite its<br />

lack of pedigree in the Royal & Ancient<br />

game, the consistent quality of courses<br />

is staggeringly high.<br />

It’s not that there are four good<br />

courses, five decent ones and the rest<br />

are after-thoughts; there’s not a single<br />

weak course among the 17 – and several<br />

of them are truly outstanding.<br />

Golf World’s top-ranked course<br />

is Carya, the work of Open legend<br />

Peter Thomson along with his design<br />

consultants Ross Perrett and Tim Lobb,<br />

who continues to advise the European<br />

Tour host.<br />

Carya is reminiscent of the heathland<br />

courses in Surrey, dominated as it is by<br />

pines, heather and white-sand bunkers.<br />

There are other Top 100 entrants in<br />

Antalya Golf Club’s Sultan and the Sir<br />

Nick Faldo-designed three loops of<br />

nine at the Cornelia.<br />

The man who succeeded Faldo as<br />

European captain, Colin Montgomerie,<br />

has also left his mark in Belek, in the<br />

shape of The Montgomerie Maxx Royal.<br />

Forty minutes from the heart of Belek<br />

is the Perry Dye-designed Lykia Links, a<br />

dramatic seaside experience with an epic<br />

stretch along the Mediterranean.<br />

And the National itself, now sister<br />

course to Carya, is also in our Continental<br />

Top 100; it’s a wonderful old school<br />

design in impeccable condition.<br />

The next tier of courses really do not<br />

let the side down – from Antalya’s Pasha<br />

(a playable sister course to the Sultan)<br />

to the pair at Sueno and the trio at ‘super<br />

resort’ Gloria.<br />

The quality of courses is far from the<br />

54 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


Carya<br />

Lykia Links<br />

Carya<br />

Gloria<br />

only attraction; in fact it might not even<br />

be the biggest lure!<br />

For a start, Turkey has real advantages<br />

over its Iberian competitors in terms of<br />

currency and climate. It’s not in the euro,<br />

so our pounds go further, and its<br />

southerly location affords it a couple<br />

more months of terrific weather<br />

compared to Portugal and Spain.<br />

So not only is it cheaper to take a<br />

week’s holiday there – and there are<br />

some amazing all-inclusive deals to be<br />

snapped up in five-star hotels – you<br />

can head there in November or March<br />

and be confident you will be greeted<br />

by sunshine; at the worst it will be warm<br />

even if it is not blazing sun.<br />

From April to October you will lap<br />

up guaranteed sun, with May-September<br />

being often absolutely sizzling.<br />

Off the course, Belek is also very<br />

tough to beat. The resorts offer luxury<br />

modern accommodation, wonderful<br />

food, an array of non-golf amenities<br />

and fabulous service – and for a frankly<br />

unbeatable price.<br />

And it’s a really, really low-hassle<br />

affair. After your direct flight to Antalya<br />

from one of several UK airports, you<br />

will be in your hotel within 30 minutes.<br />

From that point, all transfers to other<br />

courses – with the exception of Lykia –<br />

are just 10 minutes.<br />

As we said, 1994 was a good year<br />

for the travelling golfer.<br />


■ THE CLIMATE Belek is typically<br />

Mediterranean, with hot summers<br />

and mild winters. April to June and<br />

September to November are the best<br />

– in terms of climate – for golfers.<br />

■ GETTING THERE Turkish Airlines<br />

operate flights to Antalya from<br />

various UK airports.<br />


TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 55




Chris Bertram’s golden rules to follow when organising the best week of the year<br />

xxxxxxxxxxxx<br />

56 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


We’ve tried in this supplement to<br />

offer some ideas for your next<br />

golf holiday by describing a<br />

host of destinations worldwide.<br />

But there are some general aspects<br />

we must consider, things which might<br />

shape in which direction you look for<br />

your 2021 golf break; where you go, who<br />

goes with you, when you go and how<br />

you pull it all together.<br />

So we thought we would highlight a<br />

few key considerations, borne of our<br />

years of experience of going to various<br />

parts of the world, with various people<br />

and at various times. And the various<br />

‘issues’ it has caused…<br />

Interrogate yourself<br />

From the very start, you need to ask<br />

yourself some searching questions.<br />

What sort of holiday do you actually<br />

want? Packed with golf or just the<br />

occasional round?<br />

What sort of golf do you want? Top<br />

100-calibre courses or just some fun,<br />

cheerful tracks? Links, parklands,<br />

heathlands, or a mix?<br />

What is your budget and what<br />

proportion do you want to spend on<br />

golf, accommodation, travel and food<br />

and drink?<br />

Do you mind spending a lot of time<br />

travelling, both to get there initially and<br />

between courses once there?<br />

Only once you have answered these<br />

kind of questions, candidly, can you start<br />

to narrow down your thousands of options.<br />

Pick a captain<br />

They don’t need an armband (though it<br />

has been known), but you need to pick<br />

a leader. Everyone can have some input<br />

into what happens, but having one<br />

person who is responsible for sorting it all<br />

out and bringing it all together is crucial.<br />

Some travel agents let the organiser<br />

go free because it is so useful. Some of<br />

those chosen might be reluctant to take<br />

on the duties but get on with it, others<br />

will have spreadsheets coming out of<br />

their ears and pinging incessantly into<br />

your in-box. It doesn’t matter how they<br />

do it, just that they do.<br />

Oh, and ensure they are utterly ruthless<br />

in getting a deposit from everyone – it’s<br />

amazing how few “family things” or<br />

“work stuff” crop up on the week of the<br />

trip once people have stumped up £150…<br />

Weather watch<br />

First, decide if you want sun, and what<br />

kind of sun. There’s playing-with-warmth<br />

on-your-back sun, and then there’s lyingby-the-pool<br />

sun. They are very different<br />

(Algarve does the former 10 months of<br />

the year but the latter only five) and you<br />

need to establish how important one<br />

or the other is to you and your friends<br />

or partner.<br />

Secondly, be realistic about what<br />

each destination really, genuinely offers<br />

– there’s no point pretending “It’ll be OK<br />

when we get there” if it’s something you<br />

have no control over.<br />

Be realistic<br />

This is my greatest failing… trying to play<br />

just too much golf. Or golf that is spread<br />

too far apart.<br />

It seems fun in the planning to think<br />

how you’ll play twice in a day and drive<br />

80 minutes in between, but it actually<br />

isn’t. It leads to arguments,<br />

speeding tickets, hungry<br />

golfers who didn’t have<br />

time for lunch, and some<br />

bad golf because it’s all<br />

been a big rush.<br />

Accept your perfect<br />

itinerary of courses isn’t<br />

possible and play once<br />

in a day or somewhere<br />

closer in the afternoon.<br />

Remember, you’re on<br />

holiday and you’re meant<br />

to be having fun.<br />

Friends disunited?<br />

“There ain’t no surer way to find out<br />

whether you like people or hate them<br />

than to travel with them.” Not my words,<br />

the words of someone who can actually<br />

write well: Mark Twain.<br />

Or to put it another way, you know<br />

when you get your mates from home<br />

together, plus your mates from uni,<br />

plus your mates from work and it<br />

promises to be the best night out ever?<br />

And then it somehow really isn’t. Well,<br />

a golf trip can so often and so easily<br />

end up like that.<br />

It’s the combination of tiredness,<br />

poor form (golf and otherwise), alcohol,<br />

fussy tastes in food and beverages,<br />

differences in what constitutes<br />

‘expensive’, what time to get up for<br />

breakfast, and some personal hygiene<br />

issues. And that’s just if you go with your<br />

other half.<br />

Golf trips tests relationships, so make<br />

sure those you invite have half a chance<br />

of getting on, because if one or more go<br />

‘off tour’ it really is a pain. And if you’re<br />

reading this, you know who you are.<br />

Oh, and never, ever go with a silly<br />

number – i.e. too many, or a five, which<br />

means there is always a two-ball, which<br />

weirdly seems like the boring group on<br />

a trip even though the rest of the time<br />

two seems fine and indeed normal.<br />

Eight is needless to say perfect and 12<br />

is a bit unwieldy but acceptable. Sixteen<br />

is just asking for trouble, even if there<br />

will be stories.<br />

Expect the unexpected<br />

Believe me, you need to assume things<br />

will go wrong. Because they will. And<br />

if you have an itinerary or a costing that<br />

assumes everything will be fine, you will<br />

come a cropper.<br />

It depends on how adventurous your<br />

trip is, of course, but if you’re driving<br />

yourself between courses, for example,<br />

we have learnt the hard way that relying<br />

on phone GPS for navigation is risky,<br />

because sometimes you’ll forget to<br />

charge it and sometimes you’ll have no<br />

signal. And the signs in Slovenia weren’t<br />

all that helpful, let us tell you.<br />

The car hire debate<br />

The $64,000 Question<br />

(on a golf trip). I usually<br />

do hire, but increasingly<br />

I’m sweating the<br />

decision. It’s so<br />

convenient and often<br />

more cost effective, but<br />

it is more hassle. Way<br />

more sometimes, especially<br />

if there’s a city involved, and<br />

thus parking. And if you aren’t<br />

going to use it loads, all the fuel tolls,<br />

initial cost and potential fines add up.<br />

Oh, and there’s no designated driver<br />

if you’re using taxis…<br />

In the UAE for example, taxis are so<br />

cheap it is crazy to hire if you’re in Abu<br />

Dhabi or Dubai.<br />

Booking dilemma<br />

The $64,000 Question Part 2. I actually<br />

prefer arranging my travel independently<br />

because it gives you more freedom. You<br />

get good deals from the various elements<br />

and you get more flexibility – it all helps<br />

balance the books. But using a travel<br />

agent does cut out the work massively<br />

and they can offer expertise and will get<br />

some good green fee deals at times –<br />

but remember they<br />

have to make money<br />

for themselves,<br />

somehow…<br />

The precious<br />

sticks<br />

The $64,000<br />

Question Part 3.<br />

To take or not to<br />

take your clubs?<br />

Well, 15 years of<br />

debating has led me<br />

to this conclusion: If<br />

you’re playing more<br />

than two rounds,<br />

taking your clubs is<br />

the way. Likewise if<br />

it’s just two rounds<br />

but one of them is<br />

bucket-list stuff.<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 57

YOUR GUIDE TO...<br />

SOUTH<br />

AFRICA<br />

There’s good reason to believe this is the most under-rated country in the world<br />

When Golf World released its<br />

Top 100 Courses in the World<br />

at the end of last year, a lot<br />

of the attention centred around the<br />

number of courses from Britain & Ireland<br />

and America in it.<br />

Canada and Australia were also well<br />

represented, but it may have escaped<br />

some people’s notice that South Africa<br />

had two of its courses in the list and<br />

several others noted as strong contenders.<br />

The Links at Fancourt was at No.90 and<br />

Humewood at 98. Other contenders for<br />

the ranking included Leopard Creek,<br />

Durban, Pearl Valley and St Francis Links –<br />

altogether, proof that this is a country with<br />

strength in depth as well as great variety.<br />

Fancourt’s Links – built at the same time<br />

as Leopard Creek was being constructed<br />

in the mid-’90s – is now established as<br />

South Africa’s No.1 after a transformation<br />

in the mid 2000s that enabled it to fulfil<br />

its immense potential.<br />

Greens were replanted with a new<br />

variety of bent grass mix and each of the<br />

90-odd bunkers was inspected, and<br />

changes made to more than 20 of them.<br />

Some were closed up, new ones were<br />

added, and many were re-faced. Most<br />

importantly, all the bunker sand was<br />

replaced with a new variety of sand that<br />

today provides a much firmer feel.<br />

The Links is an incredible architectural<br />

achievement, created out of flat farmland<br />

by Gary Player. An argument directed<br />

against his creation being a contender for<br />

Pinnacle Point<br />

58<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


Fancourt Montagu<br />

Xxxxxxx xxxx x<br />

Fancourt Links<br />

the No.1 position over the last decade<br />

has been its playability for average<br />

golfers. This was often cited by as a<br />

weakness – it considered too diffcult<br />

to enjoy as a golfing experience unless<br />

you were expert enough to rifle pinpoint<br />

shots at elusive targets.<br />

That has been softened now and it’s<br />

playable for all, while remaining a test<br />

for the strongest players.<br />

Opened in November 2000 and<br />

host to the Presidents Cup in 2003,<br />

the Black Knight created undulating<br />

fairways and dune-style terrain that<br />

mimic a Scottish links. The scenery<br />

that backdrops it is gorgeous. Featuring<br />

an undulating, windswept terrain and<br />

dune-style landscape, it was clearly<br />

inspired by the great courses in the<br />

Home of Golf.<br />

Beyond The Links is the Montagu<br />

course, which has developed into one<br />

of the country’s finest 18-hole parklands.<br />

Immaculately conditioned, this tree-lined<br />

course rumbles over varying terrain on<br />

rolling land.<br />

The Outeniqua – named after the<br />

mountain range that provides its backdrop<br />

– offers a more forgiving experience<br />

despite having water hazards on as many<br />

as 11 of the holes.<br />

Humewood is South Africa’s other<br />

World Top 100 entry and one of the best<br />

examples of a links as we would expect to<br />

find outside GB&I. It is now presented well<br />

and is laid out among dunes on the shores<br />

of Algoa Bay.<br />

Its undulating, wide fairways are well<br />

protected by steep-faced bunkers and it<br />

edged into Golf World’s Top 100 in the<br />

World ahead of Durban.<br />

You can also play East London to the<br />

north and especially St Francis Links to<br />

the south when visiting it.<br />

Durban is a classic links with some less<br />

high-octane moments and is an intimate,<br />

charming, traditional course.<br />

Leopard Creek is a magnificent venue<br />

overlooking the Kruger National Park and<br />

for many remains the benchmark when<br />

evaluating other courses in terms of its<br />

memorability, aesthetics and conditioning.<br />

Gary Player CC and the spectacular<br />

Pinnacle Point are other fabulous courses<br />

worthy of your attention, as is new kid on<br />

the block, Blair Atholl.<br />

Another design in an exclusive, private<br />

estate near Lanseria Airport in Gauteng,<br />

Blair Atholl is a big, bold layout on rolling<br />

hills and is increasingly acclaimed.<br />

Throw in Arabella, Royal Johannesburg<br />

& Kensington (East), Wild Coast,<br />

Glendower, Elements and River Club and<br />

it is clear to see why this country of<br />

outstanding and varied natural beauty<br />

has so much to offer golfers.<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 59

Advertising Feature<br />


Fancourt<br />

Find your balance between leisure and world-class golf in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route<br />

Settled on 613 hectares of lush<br />

Garden Route countryside and<br />

with the Outeniqua Mountains<br />

rising up as the background,<br />

a holiday at Fancourt is quite<br />

the experience.<br />

With all three of the estate’s golf<br />

courses ranking among the top 20 in the<br />

country, The Links currently as number<br />

one, it needs no formal introduction to<br />

golf-aficionados. But, what Fancourt<br />

manages to do particularly well, is hit<br />

the sweetspot between leisure and<br />

world-class golfing. With walkways<br />

leading out to perfectly-positioned<br />

leisure facilities like swimming pools<br />

and tennis courts, it is clear that there<br />

is more to the property than just those<br />

velvet-green fairways.<br />

More than just great golf<br />

At Fancourt, the appreciation of good<br />

food and wine is regarded almost as<br />

highly as the game of golf, the estate’s<br />

four restaurants catering to different<br />

occasions, from bespoke dining<br />

experiences to relaxed family suppers.<br />

If you’re travelling with the kids,<br />

Fancourt boasts a stellar reputation as a<br />

luxury holiday destination of choice for<br />

families. As the go-to area for younger<br />

guests, there’s a dedicated Kids Club and<br />

a Teen Lounge, not to mention bikes to<br />

ride, lawns to picnic on and pools to<br />

splash in.<br />

The Spa at Fancourt ticks all the right<br />

boxes for those looking to unwind,<br />

offering complimentary features like<br />

an indoor heated Roman Bath, sauna,<br />

steam room and tepidarium. Further<br />

afield, glorious swimming beaches are<br />

easily accessible. Mountain biking,<br />

horse riding, and hikes can be arranged<br />

on request, along with sightseeing<br />

excursions to the pretty coastal towns<br />

of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and<br />

Mossel Bay.<br />

As for accommodation, The Fancourt<br />

Hotel offers 115 private rooms paired<br />

with top-notch service and genuine<br />

hospitality. If you’re looking to level up<br />

on exclusivity, quietly tucked behind<br />

the main hotel is The Manor House.<br />

This boutique hotel stands as the<br />

original farmhouse on the estate, built<br />

as a family home in 1859 by Henry<br />

Fancourt White, a British engineer.<br />

A focus on the fairways<br />

They say great things happen in threes<br />

and that certainly seems to be the case<br />

with Fancourt’s three award-winning<br />

courses. If you are here purely for the<br />

game, you’ll love exploring the estate’s<br />

legendary trio.<br />

The Links is an iconic course that has<br />

hosted some of the most prestigious<br />

tournaments and players in the world,<br />

including the Presidents Cup, the SA<br />

Open and the Volvo Golf Champions<br />

European Tour. Inspired by the famous<br />

links courses of the British Isles, it is<br />

considered a masterpiece and lauded for<br />

its vital role in environmental<br />

sustainability since its transformation<br />

from an airfield.<br />

Designed by nine-time major winner<br />

Gary Player, Fancourt’s Montagu course<br />

is arguably one of the finest 18-hole<br />

parkland layouts. It is exquisitely<br />

conditioned to provide a riveting golfing<br />

experience, covering large tracts of<br />

varying terrain on rolling land.<br />

And since the focus at Fancourt is all<br />

about balance, the Outeniqua course<br />

offers an easier alternative, albeit with<br />

water making a regular appearance<br />

throughout your round. Also designed<br />

by Gary Player, with an 18-hole parkland<br />

layout, it has been tailored to provide a<br />

laid-back golfing experience.<br />

Apart from its award-winning golf<br />

courses, Fancourt also features state of<br />

the art practice facilities for those who<br />

want to fine-tune their swing before<br />

teeing off. These facilities include a<br />

chipping and bunker practice area, as<br />

well as a driving range. Young golfing<br />

enthusiasts and aspiring professionals<br />

are also welcome to attend The Academy<br />

at Fancourt and gain access to expert<br />

PGA professional tuition.<br />

The details<br />

Call +27 44 804 0000<br />

Email reservations@fancourt.co.za<br />

Visit www.fancourt.com

YOUR GUIDE TO...<br />

UNITED<br />

ARAB<br />


Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah might seem daunting, but they<br />

really should be right at the front of your winter sun thoughts<br />

A<br />

golf break in the Middle East<br />

might seem like a step into the<br />

unknown, but for those thinking<br />

about a winter sun trip for the end of this<br />

year, you won’t find a better option.<br />

You might never have been to the<br />

United Arab Emirates before and to think<br />

of planning a golf break there probably<br />

seems like a “Where do I start” moment,<br />

quickly followed by its dismissal as a<br />

possibility and an internet search for<br />

flights to Turkey, Cyprus or the Algarve.<br />

All very fine options, as we detail<br />

elsewhere in this supplement. But if you<br />

want to guarantee sun on your back<br />

November to February. And you want to<br />

be lying on a beach or by a pool. And<br />

you want to return with a tan, you need<br />

to be thinking UAE, not Southern Europe.<br />

The weather isn’t the only reason to<br />

be thinking about it either. Not at all.<br />

The courses are top class – if they were<br />

in Continental Europe, 10 of them would<br />

be in the Top 100 – the accommodation<br />

is second to none and the non-golf<br />

opportunities create memories that will<br />

last forever.<br />

And, genuinely, one of the other<br />

reasons is that it is a low-hassle trip.<br />

Dubai can undoubtedly be busy and<br />

bustling but taxis are super cheap and<br />

there is never far to travel, so even if the<br />

traffc is heavy, it’s not a big problem.<br />

Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah are<br />

more sedate and we wouldn’t discourage<br />

you from hiring a car in both. We always<br />

do when we visit.<br />

The pictures on our television screens,<br />

newspapers and smartphones every<br />

January give northern Europeans shivering<br />

in our winters a snapshot of the luxurious<br />

golf holidays that await in the UAE, and<br />

the reality is every bit as good as those<br />

sun-kissed pictures suggest.<br />

It is true that there is only half the year<br />

that you’d really want to visit, because<br />

otherwise it’s just a bit too warm. But<br />

happily those red-hot summer months are<br />

62<br />

ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK


when Europe is also warm.<br />

So the UAE’s summer (same as ours)<br />

will be too hot for most. It’s only really<br />

for pool and beach lovers. But in the winter<br />

– October to March – it’s perfect for golf,<br />

with warm sunshine and a little breeze.<br />

For most of us, the key reason to be<br />

going will be for the golf. The courses need<br />

to be good, but as we have already alluded<br />

to, they are. They’re not just of a high<br />

standard, they are also more varied in<br />

character than you might expect given the<br />

landscape is obviously reclaimed desert.<br />

The majority are classic resort golf,<br />

with lush, green fairways winding<br />

between water and sand, but even they<br />

can vary considerably.<br />

The leading courses of that type are led<br />

by Abu Dhabi GC’s National course, which<br />

hosts the European Tour event every year.<br />

It’s arguably the strongest technical<br />

|course in the Middle East and is always<br />

in magnificent condition with a really good<br />

variety of holes, including some that give<br />

you a real chance of a good score. With a<br />

wonderful on-site hotel in the Westin, you<br />

have the perfect base for a trip not just to<br />

Abu Dhabi (it has three courses, detailed<br />

below) but the UAE generally, for Dubai is<br />

only an hour away.<br />

Then there are two terrific examples<br />

at Emirates GC – which has the Tourhosting<br />

Majlis and its sister course The<br />

Faldo – the aptly-named Dubai Creek and<br />

the Race to Dubai-hosting Earth at<br />

Jumeirah Estates. Dubai Hills and Trump<br />

Dubai are newer and a bit different – and<br />

none the worse for that.<br />

Further north from Dubai (within an<br />

hour) are the emirates of Ajman and<br />

Ras Al Khaimah. In the former, Al Zorah<br />

sits beautifully among mangroves while<br />

there are three really solid courses in RAK.<br />

Back in Abu Dhabi, Yas Links is a must<br />

Yas Links<br />

play, a World Top 100 course by Kyle<br />

Phillips with majestic seaside holes and<br />

the kind of undulating terrain links<br />

lovers adore.<br />

Saadiyat Beach, as its name suggests,<br />

is also by the sea and this Gary Player<br />

design is vintage holiday golf with some<br />

risk-reward holes, wonderful views and<br />

even gazelle roaming. It combines for that<br />

‘glad to be alive’ feeling.<br />

So, weather sorted, and also the golf.<br />

What else do you want? Activities off<br />

the course?<br />

Well, there is nothing you can’t find here.<br />

The shopping malls are enormous, you<br />

can take an amazing jeep safari in the<br />

desert, take a trip up the world’s tallest<br />

building (Burj Khalifa), browse in a modern<br />

souk , run or cycle round the F1 track, or<br />

spend a day at Yas Waterworld or Ferrari<br />

World. There’s even a huge indoor ski<br />

slope in Dubai!<br />

If you prefer a lazy day, savour an al<br />

fresco brunch (a UAE institution) or lie<br />

on the beach or by the pool. There are<br />

hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs,<br />

especially on Pier 7 in Dubai or on Yas<br />

Island in Abu Dhabi.<br />

All this sounds expensive, doesn’t it?<br />

Well, it can be – and eye-wateringly<br />

so. However, if you’re clever, you can<br />

make it seem good value given what<br />

you’re getting in return. The extra time<br />

and cost spent on your flights gives<br />

you guaranteed perfect weather and if<br />

you book those flights way in advance,<br />

you can get there for a surprisingly<br />

reasonable £300.<br />

Then there are lots and lots of threestar<br />

hotels that are four-star by our<br />

standards, and you can find lots of good<br />

deals on green fees and food and drink,<br />

with the latter the easiest way to blow<br />

your budget.<br />


■ THE CLIMATE May to September<br />

is blisteringly hot and totally dry,<br />

the remainder is lovely.<br />

■ GETTING THERE Dubai from<br />

Manchester, Heathrow, Newcastle,<br />

Birmingham and Glasgow. Etihad<br />

flies from Heathrow, Edinburgh and<br />

Manchester to Abu Dhabi.<br />


Saadiyat Beach<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 63


Abu Dhabi<br />

Yas Links, Saadiyat Beach and Abu Dhabi GC are three of the<br />

Middle East’s finest courses – and their close proximity to each other<br />

makes them perfect for a high-class, low-hassle golf holiday<br />

Yas Links<br />

This Kyle Phillips-designed course<br />

ranks No.48 in the world golf rankings<br />

and combines visual glory with the thrill<br />

of golf’s ultimate test.<br />

The 18-hole course presents the kind<br />

of challenges that golfers from all over<br />

the world dream about while the ninehole<br />

par 3 course and practice facilities<br />

are the perfect fit for all abilities.<br />

The clubhouse is set alongside the<br />

water’s edge, offering dramatic views of<br />

the Arabian Gulf and providing the<br />

perfect setting for dinning and events.<br />

Yas Links represents the first true<br />

Links course in the Middle East region,<br />

designed by Phillips – one of the world’s<br />

leading course designers.<br />

The Championship links course is<br />

located on the west shores of Yas Island,<br />

Abu Dhabi’s Island of Entertainment,<br />

and also offers a luxurious clubhouse,<br />

gym, swimming pool, male spa and<br />

world-class, floodlit practice ranges,<br />

now with state-of-the-art Toptracer<br />

range technology and Golf Academy.<br />

The par-72 championship course<br />

opened in 2010 and incorporates<br />

undulating fairways and seashore green<br />

locations in the same manner as the<br />

great links of Scotland.<br />

Off the course, Yas boasts Toptracer<br />

– which is revolutionising how people<br />

watch golf on TV – on its practice range.<br />

Utilising advanced proprietary<br />

technology, Toptracer captures and<br />

displays ball flight in real-time during<br />

more than 100 broadcasts per year –<br />

making it the most used ball-tracing<br />

technology in golf.<br />

Hickory’s Restaurant & Bar at Yas<br />

Links offers amazing views of the 18th<br />

green and course, the endless<br />

mangroves and the shapely coastline.<br />

Meanwhile MATSU’s dishes are<br />

taken back to their basic ingredients,<br />

describing the real taste of Japanese<br />

dining culture.<br />

Saadiyat Beach Golf<br />

Club<br />

Breathtaking Saadiyat Beach Golf Club<br />

was the Arabian Gulf’s first beachfront<br />

course. Designed by the legendary Gary<br />

Player, the 18-hole championship course<br />

and top of the range practice facilities<br />

harness the beauty of Saadiyat Island and<br />

create an unparalleled golf experience<br />

with views of the Gulf’s glittering ocean.<br />

Host venue of the first Ladies European<br />

Tour event in Abu Dhabi, the Fatima Bint<br />

Mubarak Ladies Open, and voted ‘Best<br />

Course in the UAE’ in 2015 and ‘Best<br />

Course in Abu Dhabi’ in 2019 in the World<br />

Golf Awards, it is recognised globally as a<br />

world-class destination.<br />

The eco-conscious course respectfully<br />

harnesses the natural beauty of Saadiyat<br />

Island’s white sand beaches for a<br />

stunning playing experience. It is one of<br />

only 900 in the world designated as a<br />

Certified Audubon Cooperative<br />

Sanctuary – and an extremely rare<br />

64 ISSUE <strong>412</strong> TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

Advertising Feature<br />

migratory bird called the Steppe<br />

Whimbrel has even been spotted on the<br />

18th. The course provides a wealth of sea<br />

views, with the chance to spot dolphins at<br />

play in the glistening Arabian Gulf. Three<br />

salt water lakes and restored beach and<br />

sand dunes provide majestic on-course<br />

hazards, while more than 60 bunkers<br />

force even the bravest to pause for<br />

thought on this challenging par-72 track.<br />

Designed with amateurs and<br />

professionals in mind, carefully<br />

positioned tee boxes ensure the total<br />

yardage starts at 5,290 but can be<br />

extended to 7,784 yards for pros.<br />

The clubhouse is known as a dining<br />

treat and has a great terrace for prizegiving<br />

ceremonies or outdoor socialising.<br />

For an unforgettable dining experience<br />

and enticing wide range of a la carte<br />

cuisine, Hawksbill restaurant provides a<br />

fabulous dining venue.<br />

Abu Dhabi Golf Club<br />

Abu Dhabi GC is home to 27 holes of<br />

championship golf. The National, its 18-<br />

hole championship course, is a tough but<br />

fair challenge and is home to one of the<br />

European Tour’s most prestigious events,<br />

the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, a<br />

Rolex Series Event. It has been won by a<br />

star-studded line-up of British golfers<br />

including Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood,<br />

Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton.<br />

An oasis of tranquility carved out of<br />

the desert, Abu Dhabi GC offers one of<br />

the most luxurious golf resort<br />

experiences in the Middle East and a<br />

facility of excellence.<br />

With lush fairways, strategically placed<br />

bunkers and immaculate greens, the<br />

course has been described as a “super<br />

course” by leading golf media.<br />

The 162-hectares of Abu Dhabi GC also<br />

features the floodlit nine-hole Garden<br />

course, which provides a great test for<br />

those keen to enjoy championship golf<br />

once the sun’s gone down! The 3,341-yard,<br />

par-36 course is more forgiving than the<br />

National course, making it an enjoyable<br />

experience for all players.<br />

Overlooking the lakes from the far<br />

end of the course, the Falcon clubhouse<br />

dominates the scene. Inside and out, the<br />

superbly designed building creates an<br />

atmosphere of relaxed elegance, one of<br />

the key characteristic of the design was<br />

to ensure that all three floors of the iconic<br />

clubhouse would be able to enjoy<br />

prominent and unhindered views across<br />

the 9th & 18th holes of the championship<br />

course, designed by Peter Harradine.<br />

Constructed in 1995 the Falcon<br />

clubhouse is one of the most instantly<br />

recognisable designs in the world. There<br />

are a wide range of dining and event<br />

options in this fabulous building.<br />

Finally, 800 yards from the clubhouse<br />

is the five-star Westin hotel, which makes<br />

this the Middle East’s leading play-andstay<br />

options – and one of the world’s best.<br />

The lowdown<br />

■ GETTING THERE Abu Dhabi is a sevenhour<br />

flight from several UK airports, with<br />

flights available for as little as £270.<br />

■ CONTACT w: troonabudhabi.com/ t: +971<br />

2 885 3555 e: reservations@aldargolf.com<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 65




Its name is so apt. Seychelles. It just<br />

screams (or is that whispers?) turquoise<br />

water, white sand, palm trees, cloudless<br />

skies, a cooling breeze and carefree days.<br />

The reality is not a disappointment.<br />

Seychelles is all that and more – and the<br />

Constance Lemuria resort, located on one<br />

of its larger islands, Praslin, has its crown<br />

jewel. Anse Georgette beach is widely<br />

regarded as one of the most beautiful in<br />

the world, and despite knowing of its<br />

reputation before you emerge from a gap<br />

in the trees to set foot on it for the first<br />

time, it still takes your breath away.<br />

Georgette provides the backdrop for<br />

Lemuria’s stand-out golf hole, the drop par<br />

3 – part of a back nine of bewilderingly<br />

spectacular views and unforgettable holes.<br />

To add to the peerless beaches, a<br />

memorable golf course, the endless<br />

sunshine and heavenly scenes, add in a<br />

gorgeous central hub of varied restaurants,<br />

bars and pools, picture-postcard individual<br />

villas set along the shore, a spa, gym,<br />

numerous watersports and tennis.<br />

You might never feel like leaving but you<br />

should at least go scuba diving, visit the<br />

Vallee de Mai rainforest and spend a day<br />

cycling round super-cute La Digue.<br />

www.constancehotels.com<br />

TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK ISSUE <strong>412</strong> 66

TOP 100<br />



2021<br />

Bounce back to golf<br />

With one of our stay and play packages<br />

Book Now<br />

Call 01754 763298<br />

breaks@northshoregolf.co.uk<br />


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We’re<br />

celebrating<br />

nearly<br />

20 years<br />

Get away!<br />

Call us to discuss your next<br />

escape to Lisbon<br />

Trustpilot 4.9 & Feefo 4.9 rating<br />


Terrific to deal with, very professional with good<br />

knowledge of resorts and hotels. 5*s not enough.<br />

Troia, Lisboa Golf Coast<br />

Excellent customer service, particularly through<br />

the covid crisis. No quibble refunds when all other<br />

options (eg postponement, rearranging etc)<br />

exhausted. Knowledgeable helpful staff.<br />

Can’t rate them highly enough.<br />

I have had a number of trips with Golf Escapes<br />

& would thoroughly recommend them to<br />

anyone. Highly professional set up, even<br />

through these Covid times.<br />

t: 01342 811777 | e: info@golf-escapes.com<br />


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