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Golf Escapes Top 18 European Holes, chosen by the team…

10th – Vale do Lobo Royal 16th – Par 3, Portugal.

  • The signature hole in the Algarve. A stunning sea view from the tee box and a daunting view to the green. An average length tee shot is needed over the picturesque gauge that will require steady nerves not to be put off by what lies ahead.

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11thPenha Longa 6th – Par 5, Portugal.

  • The long par five is a hole you need to add to your photo albums. The scenic approach shot to the green is one to remember. Penha Longa’s signature whole has a historic ruin to the right of the green and a pond to the left which makes this hole a real tough ask.

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12th – Santa Maria 16th – Par 4, Spain.

  • A par four that becomes very long if the wind is blowing its usual south west way. From the tee, you need to take into account the right to left slope on the fairway as any draw/hook will be pushed into the olive trees. The long, three tiered green means your approach shot will call for accuracy to make your putt as easy as possible.

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13th – Finca Cortesin 15th – Par 4, Spain.

  • The tee shot is very difficult, a huge stream must be carried to reach the fairway. The second shot will probably be faced with an uneven lie to a small and bunker protected elevated green. Always take a club more than you think for your second shot and don’t forget to take in the views of the Mediterranean from this very fast green.

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14th – La Reserva 9th – Par 4, Spain.

  • A long, par 4, uphill. A real daunting task when looking up at the hole from the tee box. The fairway is tight where your first shot will land and also has bunkers on each side of the fairway too. A long iron uphill again, will take you to the elevated green where you can view the hole back down the hill with pride that you made it.

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15th BlackSeaRama 18th – Par 3, Bulgaria.

  • This long par 3 greets you well as you walk to the tee box through an ancient ruin arch. Hit it right, you’ll need to reload from the tee. To short you may have the same outcome, or you are left with a tricky bunker shot. The signature hole here is just spectacular.

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16th – Monte Rei 2nd – Par 5, Portugal.

  • Monte Rei could have had all of their holes in our top 18, but this takes the bunch. The par 5 has a tricky start over water on the right hand side, so it is safe to play down the left if possible. Fairway bunkers where your second shot will land requires good accurate iron play. A lofted chip is needed to beat the bunkers in front of the green and leave yourself an easy putt.

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17th – Oceanico Victoria 14th – Par 4, Portugal.

  • A hole that is popular amongst spectators when the Portuguese Masters is held here. A tricky decision from the tee box weather or not to drive over the large lake which will take you onto the right hand fairway. Or play safe down the left hand fairway which leaves you with a harder approach shot into the green surrounded by water.

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18th – San Lorenzo 6th – Par 4, Portugal.

  • A beautiful hole to finish our 18. The dogleg left, stroke index 1, looking out to the sea tempts you to cut the corner. Unless you get the length and line just right, you will be penalised by landing in thick shrub. Once the corner is turned, the green becomes visible, kicked off to the right – club selection is paramount.

 

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Golf Escapes Top 18 European Holes, chosen by the team…

1st – PGA Catalunya Stadium 13th – Par 4, Spain.

  • The 13th at Catalunya is a stunning way to start our chosen 18 holes. With a backdrop worthy of being framed, the hole is a chance to hit a long straight drive downhill. The pitch into the green is tricky to say the least with something too short, long or right being punished by water.

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2nd – Aphrodite Hills 7th – Par 3, Cyprus.

  • The staggering 130 metre gorge dividing the tee from green at the 7th hole is an enticing challenge for all lovers of this beautiful game. Anything short is lost and to add difficulty the large bunker at the back of the green makes this a real tough tee shot, needing pin point accuracy.

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3rd – Valderrama 17th – Par 5, Spain.

  • The first of our Par 5 It’s long and narrow with two bunkers either side of the fairway where your tee shot and second shot will land. Water in front and to the left of the green to make your approach shot difficult as well. There’s no wonder Tiger Woods struggled with this hole back in 2000 hitting 3 shots over the 4 days into the hazard.

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4th – Carya 10th – Par 4, Turkey.

  • The Kracken as they call it officially. An incredibly difficult hole urging you into the water on the left in every way possible. Trees on the right hand side means a straight drive is vital. Get it wrong and you’re in the drink. The narrow fairway sloping right to left also doesn’t help matters, with bunkers lining the right hand side of the fairway. An iron off the tee is advised

 

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5th – Lumine Hills 18th – Par 4, Spain.

  • In our 18 for its beauty. The sharp dog leg right looks like a normal dog leg from the tee until you turn the corner and see the large lake on the left and a stunning open cliff face shadowing the green. A big hitter can avoid the lake if you can shoot over the trees, if not, a tricky approach shot over the water onto a slightly raised green, will mean anything too heavy will roll off the back of the green.

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6th – Santana 4th – Par 5, Spain.

  • A long par 5 and a hole to think about. Keep your tee shot left to avoid the cluster of bunkers that can be reached from your tee shot. The second shot is one you want to keep right to give yourself the best angle into the green. Be aware of the small stream and two nasty bunkers protecting the front of the green.

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7th – Costa Navarino Dunes 2nd – Par 4, Greece.

  • This stunning short par 4 requires you to be accurate off the tee to avoid the bunkers lining the fairway. This hole takes its place in our 18 because of its breath-taking, sea view backdrop from tee to green.

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8th – Thracian Cliffs 7th – Par 4, Bulgaria.

  • Possibly the most photographed hole in Europe. One of the most challenging too. The tee shot which is from a tee box in the sea needs to carry 170 meters over the sea onto a narrow, elevated fairway. Good luck!

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9th – Verdura East 18th – Par 4, Sicily.

  • The tee shot is played against a backdrop of the cliffs and an ancient ruin with the coastline of Sicily lying to the right with the waves breaking on the shoreline. The demanding second shot to the green must carry a deep hollow before rising up to the undulating putting surface set directly against the cliff face.

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The best of Obidos, the new home of quality golf…

This week’s blog is about the best that Obidos has to offer in terms of golf. Obidos is a town north of Lisbon and is the new home of quality golf in Portugal. With some superb courses within close proximity to the town and some great hotels also it is no surprise that this area is becoming more and more popular among golfers. In this blog are the five best golf courses that Obidos has to offer…

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First up on the list is Bom Sucesso which is an 18-hole championship course based on a challenging parkland layout. This course is hard but fair and is set alongside the Lagoa de Óbidos which means that there are spectacular views to be enjoyed whilst trying to navigate your way around the course. There is a vast difference between the front nine and the back nine on this course with the front nine being played across fairly even terrain whereas the back nine is played across undulating terrain allowing for the spectacular finish to the course. With a vast amount of bunkers and water hazards this course requires accuracy and concentration right from the first tee shot and although it is a tough course, golfers of all levels will enjoy this picturesque and interesting course. There is no denying that the final trio of holes are the best on the course with the 16th being an uphill par-4 taking you up to the highest point of the course for the start of the 17th hole. The 17th hole is downhill where you tee off and watch your ball crash down the hill before enjoying the 18th hole which is a tricky hole but ends up opposite the majestic clubhouse. This course is a great one and a round here is not to be passed up on.

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Next up is the Campo Real course which is another challenging course in this area. The terrain upon which the course is played is very hilly which means that there are often blind shots that have to be played which is made trickier by the small greens which are featured on this course. The front nine are especially tough with many water hazards and tight drives to navigate your way around! You start this course with two holes separated by a lake which is positioned expertly to collect any stray balls. Then players can enjoy the winding course for the next few holes as it winds up, into and around the valley. The show-stopper for this course is definitely the 17th hole which gives players stunning views of the vineyards and the resort before finishing up on the 18th hole which is another par-5 and although seems like an easy hole, many direct their tee shot directly into the lone bunker waiting below. This is another brilliant example of the golf that there is on offer north of Lisbon and another reason as to why you should make Obidos your next golf escapes destination.

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Oitavos Dunes is the next course up on the list and is made up of a variety of links and woodland type holes to make this an interesting and picturesque round. This course is a real challenge, especially when the wind is blowing and even when it isn’t, the strategically placed bunkers, fast greens and undulating terrain keep even the best golfers on their toes! Although the course seems to begin fairly easily, do not lose concentration as the tree-lined fairways and multiple bunkers can cause trouble early on. The 7th and 8th holes are especially tricky, both are long par fives which require three long and controlled shots in order to avoid the many hazards that await them. The 14th hole is the signature hole here which starts off with a tee shot across a storm ravine which then runs alongside the duration of the hole. This course is a challenging and great round which is a must-play on your next golf holiday to the Obidos area.

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Praia d’el Rey is another fantastic course which golfers can enjoy on their next golf break to Obidos. This course features a great mix of holes from holes which cut through vegetation to those which run alongside the coastline. This course is yet another challenging one as the course features many large bunkers and the way in which the course has been designed means that access to the greens can be very tricky and so concentration and accuracy is required in every shot. The first few holes require you to travel gently uphill before then travelling downhill alongside the coastline of the Atlantic where there are some truly fantastic views. The course then turns inland and the first nine are finished with the 9th hole where you have no less than nine bunkers to contend with before the green! The 12th hole to the 15th hole run alongside the coastline again and are holes which will challenge even the most discerning golfer. This course is a fabulous mix of holes and with a sea breeze you will do well to come close to your handicap. Another course that cannot be missed out on!

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The last course on the list is Royal Obidos golf course. Although this course is not set on the beach, the Atlantic is in view for half of the round with views of the Lagoa de Óbidos and vegetation to be enjoyed as well as the sea views. The 5th hole is certainly a feature hole of the course which is an exciting par five hole where the final approach is to the green which is surrounded almost entirely by water. Another feature hole of the course is the 12th hole where you have to navigate the tight drive and your second shot around and over two large lakes and a stream. The closing hole is a spectacular one where you tee off from an elevated positon before contending with many bunkers before and beyond the green as well as the water which surrounds the green. This course is a long course from the back tees and is certainly a tricky one but all players can enjoy this marvelous course by utilising the different tee positions. This course is a beautiful one and has got a superb reputation and it really isn’t hard to see why, make sure this one is certainly on the list to play when you are taking a golf break to the Lisbon area!

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the golf that awaits you in and around the Obidos and Lisbon area. There truly are few places where you can find better quality golf and hotels than here and a golf break here is never a bad decision.

 

 

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The Gloria & Sirene Experience…

This week’s blog is a feature piece on three fantastic hotels in Turkey which offer the highest quality in service and surroundings as well as golf and activities available at the hotels. These are all perfect for your next golf break to Turkey and we hope that you feel that way too…

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First up we have one of the Gloria hotels. The Gloria Golf Resort is a five-star resort featuring everything from waterslides to a luxury spa area to two championship golf courses on site. The resort is set amongst pine trees in a site of 530 acres which makes guests feel like they’re in their own little world at the hotel. All the rooms are spacious with a satellite TV, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi, the rooms also all feature a private balcony which look out onto the stunning grounds around the hotel. With six restaurants to choose from, including several à la carte and a buffet restaurant to enjoy you will always be spoilt for choice when staying here! If you’re tired of enjoying the beautiful pool areas, then to get to the stunning sandy beach all you have to do is walk of the river bridge to start soaking up some rays on the sand! Down by the beach there are also opportunities for watersports which you can enjoy if the golf isn’t enough of an activity for you! This hotel is ideal for couples and groups alike and is not to be missed out on.


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The other Gloria hotel in this week’s blog is the Gloria Serenity Resort also located in Belek. This is one of the most luxurious and finest hotels in the whole of Belek and it is not hard to see why this hotel got its reputation. This hotel features outstanding architecture, combining modern and classical to make one of the most aesthetically interesting hotels. The hotel features a wonderful spa where guests can enjoy a wide range of treatments and enjoy pure relaxation. The dining options here are unbeatable. With 6 restaurants and cuisine ranging from Asian to American to Italian you will be forever spoilt for choice. Not only are the extensive dining options but also extensive bar options, with 10 different bars throughout the hotel you will never be short of a place to enjoy a post-round beverage! The hotel features lovely pool areas and is also situated right on the beach so guests can enjoy the best of both worlds! With all of this and two championship golf courses within a short distance there truly is nowhere better for a golf break to Turkey than the Gloria Serenity Resort.

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The golf courses played by guests at these two fantastic hotels are the Gloria courses. The Gloria Old course is one of the oldest in Turkey and is a renowned favourite for golfers who come to play here year after year. It is located in a beautiful forest location at the feet of the Taurus Mountains and is a classic design that all golfers will enjoy. This course is certainly not a dry course, with a total of seven lakes in play and bunkers its set to be a challenge. The feature has to be the par four 16th hole which is a short par four but is definitely not easy. With a large lake to the left, out of bounds to the right and several bunkers at the green this is a pure test of golf.

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The Gloria New course opened in late 2005 and with undulating greens this course is certainly a challenge of golf. This course winds through pine trees and although there are not as many water hazards as in its sister course there are plenty of bunkers which are waiting to catch any errant shots! With a wide variety of holes which are all different in both layout and ability this is sure to be an interesting and enjoyable round. The 17th hole is a spectacular one, with a little island green and a great trade in lake balls around the green! This is truly a spectacular course and is not to be missed out on when enjoying your next golf holiday to Turkey!

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The Sirene Belek Hotel is yet another fabulous, all-inclusive, five-star hotel in Belek. Guests at this hotel always report about the fantastic service that they receive here along with the activities and facilities available to guests. Guests can enjoy the multiple outdoor pool areas, the tennis courts or the spa which features and indoor pool as well as a wide array of treatments. The rooms are decorated with a modern and contemporary style and all the rooms feature private balconies where guests can enjoy the views around the grounds. With 4 à la carte restaurants, 2 buffet restaurants and 6 bars you will never be hungry or thirsty here! You can experience many different cuisines here including South American, Mediterranean and of course, traditional Turkish dishes. Down by the beach there are also watersports available and there is a kids’ club which is perfect for when you want to enjoy a round of golf without the little ones! With four golf courses within such a short distance and so many activities and things to enjoy at the resort this is a clear choice for your next golf holiday to Belek!

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Sirene Belek is in between two fantastic courses – Pasha and Sultan. The Pasha course is a relatively flat course with tree-lined fairways and many bunkers to catch errant shots. This is a challenging course and although is shorter than its sister course it is no less tricky with its strategically placed bunkers and water hazards. The trickiest hole is the 11th which is a short hole with water running beside the fairway for the entirety of the hole and then four bunkers guard the green! This is a fun and exciting round of golf and is certainly not a round to be passed up on.

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The Sultan course is one of the best courses in Europe and it is not hard to see why this course gained that reputation. The course is certainly a long one at over 7,000 yards from the back tees but there are various tee options so this course can essentially be enjoyed by players of all abilities. Much like its sister course, there are water hazards on most holes – 12 out of 18 holes to be exact – and many strategically placed bunkers to work your way around! The final hole is a special one with an island fairway and then the green being surrounded by five bunkers – not an easy hole at all! This is another spectacular round not to be missed out on.

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We hope that this blog opened your eyes to the beautiful hotels and golf courses that Belek has to offer and that you book your flights now!