Ryder Cup 2016

Many keen golf-lovers will be anticipating the arrival of autumn-time 2016 which signals the arrival of the Ryder Cup in the USA for its 41st biennial competition between teams from Europe and the USA. With the European teams pipping the USA to the post for the past three competitions USA have a lot to prove to make sure that they come out on top which will make this an exciting golfing team challenge.

Discover the course that is shortly going to host one of the most anticipated golfing championships in autumn 2016…

 

Hazeltine golf course is considered to be the premier destination for golf in the upper Midwest as well as a popular choice for many other tournaments over the years held in the USA makes this course the obvious choice to host this next huge golfing spectacle.

This course presents players one of the most challenging tests of golf available in the USA with its narrow and hilly fairways along with the small greens. The water features on half of the holes just add to the level of skill required to score well on this course.  As the course measures no less than 7,600 yards players must start off with powerful swings and continue throughout the game to score well.

The 16th hole is a par 4 and is Hazeltine’s signature hole. With Hazeltine’s lake on the left and the creek running down on the right as well as an elevated green sat on a peninsula surrounded by water this hole is the ultimate challenge and will surely cause some late drama on the Singles Sunday!

Take the opportunity to enjoy the world-class golf at Hazeltine whilst staying at a fantastic hotel…

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If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during the Ryder Cup which will offer you the full luxury experience then our package at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis is ideal. The hotel is situated in the heart of the city making it easy access to a wide variety of restaurants and bars as well as the shops and the arts. Another advantage of its central location is the incredible views from your hotel room meaning that you will enjoy your Ryder Cup holiday in the finest hotel.

The Mystic Casino Hotel is perfect for those looking for a hotel a little closer to Hazeltine but still offering a resort experience. This hotel hosts its own lovely 18-hole golf course as well as ten diverse restaurants meaning that everyone is catered for.  This hotel also offers shuttles to the Mall of America so guests can enjoy a little shopping whilst not watching the drama unfold at Hazeltine.

Groups looking for a fun hotel with a huge indoor water park and the Mall of America practically next door will not be disappointed with the Raddiison Hotel of Bloomington by Mall of America. This hotel’s location is truly ideal with the airport a free shuttle away. When not enjoying the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine you can dine in one of the three fabulous restaurants, enjoy the spa, use the fitness centre or visit the Northern Lights Arcade.

Those looking for a quieter experience may prefer the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel situated in downtown Minneapolis designed to look like a 19th century train depot. Despite being a quieter more historic hotel it is only a short walk to the Mississippi River as well as the Guthrie and the Mill Museum. It is also a short walk to more bars and restaurants making it a hotel ideal for those wanting something more adult orientated.

Being situated opposite the Mall of America means that anyone staying at the Best Western Plus Bloomington hotel will never be short of things to do. Along with watching the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine guests have the opportunity to visit many attractions at the Mall as well as enjoy the huge pool and hot tub situated within the hotel. This is perfect for those golf fanatics who want an array of other activities at their fingertips during their stay.

Those looking for modern interior with historic exterior should look no further for their Ryder Cup hotel than the Residence Inn at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis by the Mississippi riverfront. This all-suite hotel means that eating out is not essential due to its full kitchen fittings in every suite making it perfect for those looking for a quieter and more relaxed stay. However, for those not wanting to utilise the kitchen there are two fantastic in house restaurants and further restaurants in the surrounding area.

The Commons Hotel is a popular hotel and rated number one hotel in Minneapolis on TripAdvisor. Although situated on the University of Minnesota campus which may be unappealing this hotel boasts a fabulous location right next to Dinkytown where there are lots of cool bars and restaurants all within walking distance. This hotel is perfect for those wanting to enjoy their Ryder cup break and also be able to enjoy fantastic food at all times of day from Dinkytown.

Take a look at the Ryder Cup 2016 Captains and probable team members…

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Darren Clarke has been named Team Europe’s 2016 Captain and will certainly be motivated to bring Team Europe their 4th consecutive victory in autumn 2016 at Hazeltine Golf Club, Minnesota. Clarke is determined to bring more success to Team Europe by learning from past successful captains and applying the knowledge to ensure that he doesn’t come home from Minnesota empty handed.

Having played in the last five Ryder Cups Ian Poulter is a sure pick for Team Europe. His enthusiasms for the event along with his past records have warranted him a nickname in the press as “Mr Ryder Cup” and so he is surely a shoo-in for Team Europe 2016.

Currently world number one is Rory McIlroy but he has been battling over the title against Jordan Speith for a while now which is sure to add extra excitement to this tournament in Minnesota whilst they both play not only for their teams but to retain the number one spot.

Team USA has suffered a poor run winning only 2 Ryder Cups out of the last 10 competitions. This brings into question why they have chosen Davis Love III to be their captain again after the turn of events that happened in 2012. However, Love has insisted he is coming back as a different captain but with the same goals – to gain the upper hand against Team Europe once more.

Even though it is early on to start discussing team members with the competition a year away we are sure to see some new names and faces on the Team USA line-up with them bringing in some younger players which haven’t been on the track for long. Maybe this mix-up of players and returning captain could mean victory for Team USA again.

Whatever team the captains select, this unique format of golf provides one of the best atmospheres you will ever have the opportunity to experience and Golf Escapes can make this happen. We’re happy to talk you through our packages or visit our website for more information.

7 perfect places for a luxurious golfing holiday…

7 Perfect Places for a luxurious golfing holiday…

Introduction…

There are many great places to go around the world if you are looking for a luxurious golfing holiday. Some more popular than others, and they can range from all different budgets. When it comes to finding these destinations and organising trips to them, we know what we’re talking about here at Golf Escapes. Our expert knowledge and vast amount of experience contribute to the fact that we are able to pick out not only the best places to go in the world, but also the best one for you. There’s something for everyone out there, however here at Golf Escapes we have come to the conclusion that these are generally the best.

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Verdura Golf & Spa Resort…

First off we have Verdura, a beautiful resort set on the Italian island of Sicily. Specifically, in the town of Sciacca. Spread over 230 hectares of stunning land, this resort is home to two brilliant golf courses, both of which prove to be a challenge for any handicap. Opened in 2010, the Verdura resort has gone on to win many awards. 2012 was the year in which these golf courses hosted the PGA European Tour Sicilian open, so it goes to show that there is a very high general standard of quality. Reviews predominantly talk about the amazing level of service, the functions held by the hotel, the food and the golf courses. One of the reviews is even titled ‘vacation in heaven’. This goes to prove that it lives up to people’s expectations and more. Definitely worth a look. Here at Golf Escapes it is not only one of the very popular sellers, yet one of our favourites.

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Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa…

This is another new one, however this one only opened last year. This hotel has a lot of area for success. It is set in the lovely Lisbon, Portugal. Presuming you like golf, there is a fabulous 18 hole course to play on here which also provides for a fantastic view to wake up to along with the local lagoon. There is a sensational spa on site which will allow you to unwind and get the treatment you need to really get that holiday feeling. The swimming pool seems to stretch for miles and overlooks a fantastic view which really rejuvenates you and gives off an exotic, summer vibe.  From a personal point of view, this is definitely a place to visit, especially being so modern and up to date with everything. The climate in Portugal is renowned for being hot and sunny even when it isn’t in the prime summer months.

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Hotel Las Madrigueras…

Las Madrigueras is a straight 5* hotel located in the island of Tenerife which is the largest of the Canary Islands. This immediately lets you know that the weather is likely to be good all year round. Perfect for playing golf. Reviews state that it is one of the best hotels. Ever. Here at Golf Escapes we do not believe dissimilarly regarding this. If you are looking for a simply astonishing hotel with a fantastic golf course and breath taking views, along with direct access to the first tee, then this is most likely the place for you to go. It is definitely one of my own personal recommendations. This is where real golfers go and play a proper course, however anybody can play there. That’s why it is good as it accounts for everyone’s needs.

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Penha Longa Resort…

This is yet another superb resort in the popular golfing location of Lisbon in Portugal. This hotel has a lot of history behind it and can be traced back to the 14th century. The brilliant standard of hospitality and service makes it five star rated. It is one of the most elegant hotels we have ever worked with here at Golf Escapes. This hotel has a fantastic 18 hole golf course to offer its customers which is of world class standard making it a very popular choice for people to go and stay at if they are keen golfers. The huge spa also has a lot to offer to people, especially good for people that aren’t there just for the golf. Penha Longa has lots to offer everybody, and in my opinion is one of the best resorts we offer, being located in Portugal also means that there is a lot of golfing interest in the local area.

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Cape Provinces…

This hotel is positioned in a slightly unorthodox area for golf, yet has so much to offer, it is in South Africa. This brings a new element to golf, there is also fantastic climate and the scenery is indescribable. The hotel Conrad Pezula Resort and Spa itself is phenomenal. Offering once in a lifetime views, covering 2,500 acres including the Knysna Lagoon and in the distance lies the Outeniqua Mountains. To me this holiday is something you don’t want to miss out on, it seriously is a unique experience which everybody falls in love with. This is another resort that truly deserves it’s 5* rating.

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Le Meridian Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf and Spa…

Another unique location. This time, the oriental setting of Thailand. This really does have a lot to offer. First of all, the whole different culture just brings a new element to a golfing holiday. This resort is simply fascinating, surrounded by astonishing views, this really is a beautiful place. There are 223 rooms on offer here all of which are contemporary and luxuriously elegant. The marvellous view over the Summit Windmill Golf Club makes for a perfect photo. Here at Golf Escapes we think this is perfect if you want to try something different, yet keep your holidays consisting of golf. That’s why it is in our top 7.

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Park Hyatt Dubai…

This middle-eastern resort is yet another unusual place for a golfing holiday however it delivers. It is very prestigious in the sense that it is next to the golf course which is also a yacht club, together are called Dubai creek. Being in Dubai means that it is a very modern and up to date resort with a high level of prestige to it. This is what attracts people to it, if they are after a luxury holiday filled with hot weather, beautiful views and fantastic golf. Here at Golf Escapes we think this is definitely worth a mention as it is so high end. It offers a brilliant holiday all round and anybody would regret turning down the opportunity.

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Visit Tenerife…

Tenerife’s climate…

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…is only one of the reasons that it is one of the most perfect places to holiday and visit at any time of the year. Rarely dropping below 19°C even in the winter months of December and January means that even in the peak of winter the beautiful landscape and scenery can be enjoyed by visitors. If the climate isn’t enough alone to persuade you to visit this picturesque island then maybe the fantastic scenery, impressive architecture, extensive activities, spectacular golf and quaint old towns will encourage you to visit.

Tenerife is home to some of the most charming, historical and beautiful towns in the world and a visit to Tenerife wouldn’t be complete without visiting a few…

 

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Nestling in a valley with a backdrop of the mountains La Laguna Old Town is situated in the North of the island filled with historic religious buildings such as the cathedral, La Iglesia del Cristo and the convents of Santa Catalina and of Santa Clara. Its old cobbled streets look like something straight from a film set especially at dusk with the antique street lights La Laguna is a sight not to be missed by anyone and even if the architecture doesn’t appeal to you then the great selection of eateries and the pedestrianised shopping area must!

Taganana boasts a stunning location high above the Atlantic Ocean facilitating incredible views for its visitors but the views are definitely not the sole draw of this tiny, sleepy Spanish town. The village epitomises charm and old beauty with its narrow and winding streets lined with old Canarian houses and brilliant architecture – perfect for those looking for a hidden gem!

Situated in Teno which is known for its natural beauty the hamlet of Masca is set. Away from civilisation Masca’s cobbled streets and unspoilt buildings make up this remote and attractive little island village and if you can survive the hair-pin bends and narrow roads to get there then it truly is one of a kind.

Garachico is an old seaside town on the north-west coast of Tenerife and is one of the most untouched and preserved towns in the Canary Islands. This charming town attracts many tourists to see the natural rock pools which formed after the eruption of Montaña Negra in 1706 which caused the destruction of Garachico’s harbour causing the town to lose its status as the most important port in Tenerife and be untouched and preserved for many more years. If you want a town filled with character, history and other curios as well as unspoiled coastline then this is the place to come.

Tenerife is full of unspoiled natural areas each with a completely unique draw to them…

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Situated in the centre of Tenerife is Teide, the highest peak in Spain, the most visited natural park in Europe. The stunning and unrivalled views of the landscape can be seen and captured in a quiet and tranquil setting making this one of Tenerife’s gems. For a fee visitors can take a cable car to the top where views extend the sea on all sides and the expanse of terrain unlike anything you have ever seen before making it not hard to see why this is the most popular national park.

The Corona Forestal Natural Park covers 50,000 hectares and surrounds the Teide National Park. Mountains, ravines, valleys and landscape unite to form this beautiful and picturesque expanse of scenery. The Park is only used for recreational use and outdoor activities and is protected from industries which mean that the wildlife there is incredible – the Park hosts many endemic species such as the elegant Canarian Pine and birds such as the Blue Chaffinch or Laurel Pigeon.

Teno has gradually become a haven of traditional culture which is increasingly unique and valuable. Teno Rural Park hosts a range of activities from hiking to sea kayaking. Teno’s orientation and altitude facilitate its wide biological diversity including many endangered species such as the laurel pigeons and the endemic lizards. The scenery and landscape is so diverse from flowing ravines to rich vegetation – Teno has it all and is a compulsory visit especially for keen hikers.

The Pico Del Inglés offers 360° panoramic views at up to 1,024m where a wonderful view of the entire Anaga headland and its rolling greenery can be seen. On a clear day, the city of Santa Cruz can be seen to the east and to the west, the highest peak of Teide is visible. Hikers can trek through the famous laurel forests and delve into the heart of the fantastic scenery on offer.

Natural pools are naturally-formed areas of the sea that are suitable for safe swimming and Tenerife hosts some spectacular ones…

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Charco de la Laja is a volcanic pool situated in the north of Tenerife. It is a truly natural pool, unmodified in any way created by a lava flow that reached the sea. This natural spa is located in one of Tenerife’s most attractive village and is surrounded by a sun bathing area as well as bars and restaurants.

Charco Del Viento is the most popular natural pool in La Guancha and it isn’t hard to see why. Four beautiful natural pools surrounded by sandy sunbathing areas with a backdrop of the Teide and banana plantations – what could be more idyllic?

In the north-east of Tenerife the natural pools of Bajamar are situated along with three natural pools there is also a sandy beach and nearby services. This perfect destination, perfect climate and perfect atmosphere make a swim here a really pleasurable experience.

Tenerife boasts some fantastic golf courses each with their own fabulous views and unique landscapes making Tenerife a golfing paradise…

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Amarilla Golf and Country Club is situated perfectly between the bright blue of Atlantic Ocean and Spain’s highest mountain – Teide – making it a picture perfect golf course sandwich! This course offers a challenge to all golfers with its narrow fairways but the highlight of this course is undoubtedly the 5th hole which requires players to hit the ball over the ocean – playing here ensures an unforgettable experience!

Located in the north of Tenerife is Buenavista golf course. In close proximity to the coastline as well as neighbouring the fabulous Teno Park this course has incredible views and beautiful surroundings making it well worth a round or two!

Golf Costa Adeje is built on former banana plantations and so has been built to adapt to its surroundings of uneven terrain this combined with the beautiful views of the ocean and La Gomera as well as the superb Adeje mountain backdrop make it an incredibly natural and picturesque course not to be missed!

Nestled on the southern coast where the landscape is full of lush green vegetation and palm trees of Tenerife is Golf del Sur. This championship course has a number of striking and individual features such as the black volcanic ash sand in the bunkers and the backdrop of the deep ocean creating a naturalistic setting. This course is set to challenge most golfers with the natural sea breeze, many lakes and tricky borrows making it a difficult one even for those with a low handicap.

Golf Las Americas is situated in the south in Playa de las Américas and boasts panoramic views of the coastline and mountains. The course itself features a number of lakes and water-filled ravines making it both challenging and beautiful. Protected from the winds by the surrounding hills mean that its climate is ideal for a fair game in both winter and summer periods. If you want a course filled with natural water features and no wind then this is the one to visit.

Wine is one of the most characteristic products of the Canarian cuisine and so a trip to a fine winery will make any fabulous holiday complete…

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The traditional Monje Winery is situated in the area of El Sauzal only 500m above sea level. The vineyard is situated on rocky terrain complete with dry lava. This winery has kept to the antique traditions on fermenting wine whilst incorporating modern technology. A guided tour is on offer along with a selection of wine tasting and even cookery lessons! The fabulous wines aren’t the only things on offer at this winery and vineyard though as its location means that there are incredible views of the ocean and other surroundings. If you’re looking for fantastic wine, food and views then there is nowhere more suited to you than here!

The Valle de Güimar Winery is located in the south-east and has the capacity to process up to one million litres of wine. The winery also has vast gardens and runs guided tours and wine tasting sessions for the public but make sure you make an appointment before your visit!

Explore Fuerteventura…

Fuerteventura has similar weather conditions to Florida and Mexico making it one of the most ideal holiday locations and along with its glorious weather this island boasts more than 150 incredibly beautiful beaches as well as some unique and interesting landscape.
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The Canary Islands are considered to be one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world…

…and visiting the natural areas in Fuerteventura will explain why…
From the port of Corralejo in Fuerteventura you can take a short ferry trip to the Isle of Lobos which hosts beautiful volcanic landscapes and crystal clear waters emitting an air of tranquillity. You can then choose from a variety of trails which lead to the volcanic cone of La Montaña crater, La Calera beach or the Lobos Lighthouse. This mini-adventure allows guests to explore a few natural areas of the island all on one trip and is not to be passed up on!

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In the north-east of the island is the Sacred Mountain of Tindaya. The aboriginals who originally inhabited this island considered the mountain to be sacred and there are many engravings in the base of the mountain. At the bottom of the mountain is a little village with restaurants and shops which may appeal to visitors. This mountain is of great archaeological value and a visit should not be missed.

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If you’re looking to enjoy and experience the natural beauty of Fuerteventura then a visit to the Corralejo Natural Park has to be on your itinerary. In the north is the biggest dune spread in the whole of the Canary Islands which contrasts to in the south which is covered in volcanic landscape. Visitors can either bring their bathing suits and towels or relax on the beach side of the park with the crystal clear waters or they can bring their hiking boots and walk 300 metres up the Montaña Roja volcano where views of Lanzarote and La Graciosa can be seen across the water.

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The Morro Velosa Viewpoint is in an elegant building with a wooden porch and a tiled roof. This building is full of character and inside visitors can learn about the geological past of Fuerteventura. From the viewing spot miles and miles of beautifully untouched landscape can be seen with rolling valleys and hills where tiny villages are nestled in between them. Another spot at which the natural beauty of Fuerteventura can be admired and is not to be missed.

Fuerteventura has so many areas of outstanding natural beauty and places with incredible architecture and charm that it is essential that you visit a few places…

 

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Antigua is one of the oldest villages in the island and has some incredible architecture. The church, Cruz de los Caldos dominates the town and stands tall amongst beautiful greenery in the centre of the town. The village square flanks the church and is filled with flowers all year round. It also hosts a famous market occasionally so if you are planning on visiting then you should find out when the market is to make the most of the experience! You must also visit the Windmill Museum where you can see how the grain as milled in the olden days and visit the stately home next door which is filled with traditional hand crafted gifts.

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If you’re looking for a lovely seaside town then look no further than Las Playitas located in the south east of the island and close to Gran Tarajel it has the look and charm of an old fishing village. On one side of the town you have the fishing hub and on the other side there is a volcanic sand beach complete with water sports! The beach is still relatively quiet and so if you’re looking for more peace and quiet then this is ideal.

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Old Town Betancuria is situated in the centre of Fuerteventura. This village has remarkable character and is full of fantastic architecture and artistic heritage. You can take tours around the many religious buildings such as the church of Santa Maria de la Concepión, the chapels of Santa Inés and Nuestra Señora de la Peña. Visitors also must visit the Museum of Sacred Art as well as Fuerteventura’s Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography.

Fuerteventura is home to three fantastic golf courses which offer spectacular views and have to be tried out when here…

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Playitas Golf is a short but challenging course with undulating, narrow fairways and beautiful water hazards. The course offers players some stunning views of the sea throughout the game and is known to be a challenge for every golfer. This course is worth a play next time you’re in Fuerteventura!

 

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Fuerteventura was the first golf course on the island and is an 18-hole course which meanders over streams and around lakes. Holes 1 to 10 host the Atlantic Ocean as their backdrop which makes for some incredible scenery! As it is located at the Elba Palace Golf Club there are restaurants and cafes available for food after a round on this course.

The third and final course on the island is the Salinas de Antigua course. Although it is a short course, the vast amount of bunkers, four lakes and rolling hills means that a huge amount of accuracy is required in order to score well on this course!

If you’re more into relaxing on the beach or bathing in natural pools than sight-seeing and playing golf then Fuerteventura also has lots to offer for you…

El Castillo is a tranquil, safe beach with rolling golden sands and crystal clear water making it the picture-perfect beach! The waters are always calm due to being located within a small bay which means that it is a perfect family holiday destination and a relaxing getaway. It hosts a beach promenade with a range of restaurants, cafes and shops as well as a bus stop and parking making it fully accessible! It is also very close to a marina where guests can windsurf, swim with sea lions or scuba dive!

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Positioned also on the east coast of the island is the La Guirra beach made up of seven hundred metres of soft white sand and calm, clear waters. The promenade links up with the centre of Caleta de Fuste where visitors can find a wide range of leisure options and restaurants.

Puertito de Lobos can be reached by getting a boat to Corralejo. The area is virtually untouched and hosts diverse and delightful natural pools of crystal clear waters where visitors can take a peaceful dip or even snorkel. If you are looking for an area of natural beauty and peace then this is the place for you.

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Aguas Verdes is situated in Betancuria and epitomises the beauty and unspoiled nature that is found in Fuerteventura. There are secluded pools situated along the 6km of coastline. A visit to these pools gives you the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of the towns and enjoy a relaxing day bathing and snorkelling in calm and clear waters.