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Golf With an Air of Sophistication

This week’s blog is on some of the most sophisticated resorts that we offer and recommend. When planning your next golf break it is important to understand what you want from the holiday and if sophistication is one then we have some superb resorts to recommend to you which we are sure won’t leave you disappointed…

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The Titanic Deluxe in Belek is a fabulous, practically brand new, five-star all-inclusive resort. The resort features countless facilities and activities from the nine outdoor pools to the aqua park to the extensive spa and the outdoor sports courts and pitches. All of the rooms are decorated with a modern theme and feature an LED TV, air-conditioning as well as a minibar. The rooms also all feature their own private balcony with views of the gardens or the river. This hotel is not situated directly on the beach but guests can take the boat down the Besgoz River right to a stretch of beach 1km long which is exclusive to guests here at the Titanic Deluxe. When it comes to eating a drinking you will be spoilt for choice with a buffet restaurant as well as four a la carte restaurants serving different cuisines from Italian to Turkish to seafood dishes. There are also 14 bars for you to choose from when you are thinking about where to enjoy your post-round beverage! This is a fantastic resort for your next sophisticated golf break as everything here is of the highest standard – including the service and the golf!

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For keen golfers, the Titanic Golf Club just will certainly not disappoint, there are three loops of nine holes here so you can work out which 18-hole course you want to take on. Water comes into play on almost half of the holes across the whole course which can make it a little tricky for those who have a slightly higher handicap. This is a superb holiday course with each route of nine holes having something unique to offer – whether it’s playing along the beach with stunning views of the Mediterranean or enjoying the inland loops with equally breathtaking views of the Taurus mountains.

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The Verdura Resort in Sicily is another stunning five-star resort. The resort is set amongst 230 hectares of classic Sicilian countryside and olive groves and offers guests access to the private beach as well as to the infinity pool. This resort is the definition of sophistication with extensive spa facilities including thalassotherapy pools, lovely treatment rooms and a hot tub. The resort also boasts two fantastic 18-hole championship golf courses which are a great test of golf and if you’re looking to stay active, besides the golf there is also the fully-equipped gym and a running trail through lemon trees to enjoy! The rooms are all fitted to the highest standard with king-size beds and balconies with beautiful views across the resort’s surroundings. This is another fabulous option for your next golf holiday with style!

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If you’re looking for somewhere quieter then Hotel Las Madrigueras in Tenerife is a perfect little five-star hotel set within the Las Americas golf course. From the hotel you can enjoy breathtaking views of the golf course, the Atlantic and La Gomera whilst sipping on a cold drink! You will enjoy a few rounds at Golf Las Americas which is a great course, suitable for those of all abilities but definitely a little challenging for all with the water and sand hazards as well as the fast, undulating greens! If you are more into relaxation (or relaxation as well as golf!) then you won’t be disappointed with the lovely outdoor pool area and the spa which features a hot tube, a Turkish bath, a sauna as well as an extensive treatment menu. This is another superb hotel perfect for a sophisticated golf break away!

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Hotel Camiral at the PGA Catalunya Resort is next up on our list of suggestions. This is a stylish and modern hotel just a five-minutes’ drive from the lovely town of Caldes de Malavella. There is an a la carte restaurant on site but you can also enjoy the piano bar and pub as well as drinks on the terrace during the summer months. The hotel boasts a lovely outdoor pool as well as extensive spa facilities that you can enjoy at your leisure whilst staying here. The PGA Catalunya courses are just a five-minutes’ walk away and it is no surprise that these are two of the most popular courses in Europe – staying here means that you get to see why! This hotel is a beautifully decorated one and all of the rooms are decorated with warm colours and feature elegant bathrooms. This is a beautiful hotel where you can enjoy stunning surroundings, great golf and high-class facilities.

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Last, but not least, is Costa Navarino which is a beautiful five-star hotel located in Greece. This resort is popular with both golfers and non-golfers due to its extensive facilities, superb golf and other activities on offer as well as its stunning surroundings. The hotel is just five-minutes’ walk from the golden, sandy beach but there are also stunning outdoor pool areas for you to relax around as well as the beach. You will never be short of somewhere relaxing to eat or drink with there being so many different restaurants and bars in great locations around the hotel for you to enjoy. If golf is less your thing then there is the Anazoe Spa which features an indoor spa as well as a long treatment menu for you to pick from! Golfers can indulge at the on-site Dunes course which has a links feel to it but you find your way navigating around Greek countryside which gives a great setting to the course. It is no surprise that Costa Navarino made it onto our list for the best hotels for a golf holiday with added sophistication!

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We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and you have seen the high-class service and facilities that could be awaiting you if you book one of these resort for your next golf holiday perhaps for the fast-approaching 2017!

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Insider’s guide to Oliva Nova…

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort in Valencia. Whether you’re thinking of booking a last minute golfing getaway somewhere warm and sunny or just considering your options for your next holiday then this is a perfect hotel for you to look at.

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The four-star Oliva Nova is situated in a beautiful location in Valencia and has all the amenities you would expect of a hotel of this rating. The rooms are large and decorated elegantly, each of the rooms has a seating area, a flat screen TV as well as a terrace or balcony which you can look out onto the complex, the dunes and the Montgo Mountains from. The hotel’s restaurant serves classic Valencian dishes which you are sure to enjoy and there are several bars for you to enjoy a few drinks in! Asides from the hotel’s main restaurant you can also enjoy an Irish pub or the beach bar. Of course, as the hotel is located between the two towns of Oliva and Denia you can easily leave the hotel if you want to try some different restaurants and bars. If you prefer to relax rather than play golf or enjoy the other activities that you can here, like tennis and football, then the hotel’s beautiful spa area will be perfect for you. In the spa area there is an indoor pool with two waterfalls, a jacuzzi, a Finnish sauna and a Turkish Bath – everything you could ever want for the perfect relaxation experience! You can also enjoy a range of different treatments in the aromatic beauty rooms. After a round of golf there is nothing better than relaxing by the lagoon style swimming pool or on the Oliva Nova Beach which all guests have direct access to. This is an ideal hotel in a perfect location and just 45 minutes’ drive from Valencia making it a perfect destination for your next golf break to Spain.


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Oliva Nova Golf Club course is a par-72 links course which stretches across over 50 hectares. The course has an exceptional location and backdrop which makes it one of the top golf courses in the Valencia area. The course has slightly undulating greens as well as many tight doglegs which makes this course a tight and challenging one. To further add to the challenge there are water hazards on 15 out of 18 holes which can prove a test to even the golfers with the lowest handicaps! With only 3 holes being free from water hazards make sure to bring a few extra balls for any wayward shots. As the course is fairly close to the coast, on a breezy day this course can certainly present a strong challenge for any golfer and you must always hit the most accurate of shots to score close to your handicap. With flora and fauna, majestic palm trees and stunning lakes positioned around the course there is no denying that this is a truly picturesque course where you can enjoy stunning scenery with some fantastic golf. A bonus for playing this course is that although the fairways are slightly undulating, the course is mainly fairly flat which means that it is a pleasure to walk and you won’t have the added expense of a golf buggy. The Oliva Nova Golf Club also boasts a stunning club house which features panoramic views of the course and is somewhere that you can enjoy a post-round drink or meal whilst looking out onto the fairways. There is also a pitch & putt 5 hole course which is where you can practice your short game as well as a putting green where you can practice getting out of bunkers! This is a stunning golf course and one that is quite possibly one of the best in the Costa Blanca region and is certainly not one to be passed up on!

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As the resort is situated between two lovely Spanish towns it is possible for you to get out of the resort and enjoy eating and drinking elsewhere as well as soaking up some of the culture. Oliva is a very quiet village with a few restaurants and bars that you can enjoy as well as some great nightlife which is down by the beach. The old town is very beautiful but very hilly so make sure you take some sensible shoes if you’re going to go exploring! There are also some beautiful historical churches for you to admire. Down by the beach there are a few cafes and restaurants and the beach is not crowded for most parts of the year which makes it a perfect place to relax and explore!

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Denia is a cosmopolitan town which offers a wide range of activities from water sports on the beach to mountain climbing, biking and hiking. Along the marina you can find a modern commercial area with plenty of bars and restaurants for you to enjoy. This is another lovely town just on your doorstep when you are staying at the Oliva Nova resort.

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We hope that this week’s blog has inspired your next golf holiday to Spain and that you can see the great holiday that could be lying in front of you if you choose to take a break to the Oliva Nova resort where you can experience a fantastic beach, a wonderful golf course and two beautiful coastal towns all in one holiday.

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The Insider’s Guide to Details Hotels

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Details Hotels which are all situated on the Algarve. These hotels all have unique selling points and with the lack of summer weather here in England you might want to think about booking a last minute golfing getaway to one of these superb hotels…

Magnolia

First up is the Magnolia Golf & Wellness Hotel in Quinta da Lago. This is an adults-only hotel so perfect if you are looking for a more sophisticated and relaxed holiday without children around. This is a contemporary and modern hotel which boasts a superb location near to some of the best beaches, shops and restaurants in the area. It is also within close distance to the Vale de Lobo courses which are well-known to be a couple of the best courses around. Not only is the hotel close to the Vale de Lobo courses but also Quinta do Lago and San Lorenzo golf clubs which are other fantastic golf courses close-by which means that you will never have to travel far from the hotel to find a great round of golf here! The Quinta do Lago beach is just over 2 miles from the hotel but there are plenty of other areas around the hotel to relax in including the pool areas, the spa and wellness facilities and the hotel bars. Each of the rooms are well-fitted with everything you would expect from a hotel of this standard as well as a private balcony per room, here you can enjoy the views of the gardens and the area around the hotel. This is a fantastic, modern hotel with some great facilities and in an amazing location meaning that taking golfing holiday here could be nothing but a perfect choice.

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Next up is the Vale D’el Rei Suite & Villas Hotel in Carvoeiro. This is a more secluded hotel as it is nestled in the Algarve countryside and is surrounded by vineyards, mountains and white cliffs. Although it is a more secluded hotel and has a tranquil setting it is not too far from Carvoeiro’s centre and other beachside resorts. The rooms are all decorated in warm, earthy tones to fit in with the hotel’s surroundings and all have a satellite TV. There are two hotel restaurants, the Pool Terrace serves breakfast and lighter meals whilst the Serenata restaurant serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine and whilst you are here you must enjoy one of the delicious cocktails served at the Calabash Café. The golf courses you will most likely play here are Alamos, Salgados and Morgado. These are all fantastic courses and a round on each should never be passed up on! If you’re looking for other activities to enjoy besides golfing on holiday then you would not be disappointed here, the hotel can arrange mountain biking or horse riding or you can enjoy a trip to the hotel spa where you can enjoy the Turkish Bath, sauna and the hot tub. This is a fantastic, quiet hotel where you can enjoy a variety of activities or just lay by the pool all day!

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The Velamar Boutique Hotel is another fabulous hotel to consider for your next Portuguese golfing getaway. This hotel is situated in Albufeira and was fully renovated this year and re-opened as a boutique style hotel. All of the rooms are elegantly decorated with a luxury bathroom and some of the rooms feature a private balcony which overlooks the beautiful fishing village or the Atlantic Ocean. You can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from the breakfast room as well as enjoy the surrounding scenery from the hotel bars whilst sipping on a few drinks post-round! You can enjoy the lavish outdoor pool area when you are not playing one of the fantastic courses that are situated in and near Albufeira. The hotel is located in the fishing village of Olhos D’Agua and is also very close to the resort of Albufeira, this means that you can enjoy copious places to eat and drink as well as explore the history of Albufeira. The hotel offers guests bike hire and car hire which means that the great areas and towns around the hotel are easily accessible. This is a great, modern hotel in which you can relax and unwind whilst enjoying the hotel’s superb location and some excellent golf within close proximity.

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Last, but not least of the Details Hotels is Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos adults-only hotel, also situated in Albufeira. This hotel boasts the perfect location, it is set in a Mediterranean garden with direct access to the beach as well as having the vast array of restaurants, bars, clubs and shops of Albufeira just a short stroll away. There is no doubt that if you’re looking for somewhere with direct access to some bustling nightlife, wonderful restaurants and delightful little bars whilst staying in a hotel which feels separate from the bustle of the town then this is the perfect place for you. All of the rooms here are furnished with a modern design and open up onto private balconies where you can enjoy views of the gardens and the ocean. If you prefer to eat in at the hotel rather than venture out into Albufeira then you will not be disappointed with the traditional cuisine served in the main hotel restaurant. Whilst staying here, you can enjoy the abundance of golf courses within a short distance away from the hotel as well as the outdoor pool area at the hotel and the direct access to the sandy beach. There is definitely not a shortage of places for you to relax here or if you prefer to be more active then there are different activities and sports which can be found in Albufeira or you can just enjoy learning the history of Albufeira – another ideal golfing getaway destination!

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We hope that this blog has opened your eyes to the great Details Hotels which all offer guests something unique and are all brilliant holiday destinations! Make sure to book your last minute golf break away before the English weather starts to get you down…

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The insider’s guide to Titanic Deluxe Belek

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Titanic Deluxe in Belek, Turkey. This is a new, all-inclusive, five-star resort which joined the other fantastic hotels and golf courses here in Belek. This blog will give you all the information you need to know about the Titanic Deluxe as well as its surroundings and the great golf you can play when staying here.

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The Titanic Deluxe opened in the Spring of 2013 and has been a hit for golfers and non-golfers alike since. This is one of the larger hotels in Belek with 600 rooms, 9 outdoor pools, 2 indoor pools, an aqua park as well as a spa and fitness centre. With so many places around the hotel grounds to relax and soak up the sun after a round on the golf course it is no surprising how popular this resort is. If soaking up the sun isn’t your cup of tea, then you can enjoy relaxing in the spa centre where you can enjoy the Turkish bath or an array of treatments. Asides from golf, the many swimming pools and the spa area, the hotel offers you the opportunity to play on one of the 9 tennis courts or on the professional grass football pitches. Unlike many of the other hotels in Belek, the Titanic Deluxe is not located directly on the beach but as it is by the river the hotel offers you the chance to have a private boat tour down the river and to the beach rather than walk!

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All of the rooms are fully-furnished and are very modern. They are all fitted with a LED TV, central air conditioning and a minibar with a variety of different drinks. Each of the rooms has their own private balcony where you can enjoy views of the river or the gardens. As with many other fantastic five-star hotels you will never be short of somewhere to get a drink or some food! The hotel boasts five different restaurants including a buffet restaurant and four a la cartes which serve Turkish, Italian and seafood speciality dishes. There are also 14 different bars for you to enjoy, each with a different setting and some with different speciality drinks!

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The hotel is close to two golf courses: Titanic Golf Club and National Golf Club which are the two courses most commonly played by guests to the Titanic Deluxe. Titanic Golf Club (formerly known as Tat Golf Club) features 27 interesting holes for players to enjoy here. The 27 holes are made up of three loops of 9 holes named Mediterranean, River and Forest. As the course is situated between the Besgoz River and the Mediterranean Sea it is no surprise that water comes into play on over half of the holes! This course is a little less challenging than most of the other courses in the area but is a great, fun round full of holes that vary in scenery and difficulty. There are many stand-out holes across the 27 holes but there is a signatory for each set of 9 holes. The par-3, 4th hole on the River loop is played from an elevated tee facing towards the mountains and where you have to aim your ball to the right of the hole to avoid the huge lake. The par-4, 12th hole on the Mediterranean loop is a hole that you play alongside the sea which means that if you’re not careful you could end up landing a ball onto the beach! The 22nd hole on the Forest loop is a par-5 and the hole is on a green surrounded on three sides by water. This is a great course and is a perfect ‘holiday’ course.

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The National Golf Club is a truly magnificent golf course which has been built to incorporate well into its surroundings which is rolling terrain which ventures through pine and eucalyptus trees. To add to the course’s surroundings is the backdrop of the snow-capped Taurus mountains which seem ironic as the course is bathed in hot sunshine for the majority of the year! It is imperative that you choose the correct tee box when taking on this course as if you choose correctly you will have a fantastic time and if not, you may not be celebrating during your post-round drink. This course is very well-kept and has very tight fairways which make it a challenge for all 6,300 yards of it! It is one of the tightest driving courses in the area with plenty of great holes which will certainly keep you on your toes. The bunkers are deep and should be avoided at all costs if you are wanting to score anywhere near your handicap as it is a challenge in itself to get your ball out of one of them! The 2nd and 5th holes are great par-3s and the 18th hole is a superb end to the round where you have to navigate around the water hazards which partially surround the green. This is another spectacular course that you can enjoy when you stay at the Titanic Deluxe.

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With Antalya airport just under 20 miles from the resort this is a great resort, with two fabulous golf courses and plenty to do, eat and drink all in a great location. Furthermore, the Kaleici district (also known as Old Antalya) is 25 miles away and here you can venture out to enjoy the history of Antalya and enjoy fine dining as well as a walk around the harbour.

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This resort is perfect for your next golf holiday to Belek and somewhere where you can enjoy having lots to do and see including some beautiful golf courses, the hotel’s private 1km beach as well as nearby Antalya. You need look no further than Titanic Deluxe for your next luxury golf break.

 

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Review of the Orizonte golf course collection

The Orizonte Golf collection of courses is a brilliant group of courses in the Lisbon region in Portugal. This week’s blog is a guide to these Orizonte courses and will show you why, on your next trip to the Lisbon area, these courses are a must-play on your itinerary.

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First up is Quinta do Peru which is one of the most exclusive golf courses in the area but tee-times are still available if you book far enough in advance. The course is set in a pine forest with the Arrabida Mountains as a backdrop. The course its self is set out over a high, undulating plateau which means that there are some superb views to be enjoyed when you can see over the treetops. Although this course may not be described as the most challenging, it is a great one to play for a relaxing holiday-style round but there are still the American-style bunkers and the occasional water hazards which you still need to look out for! The front nine holes are great, but the back nine are superb with a great set of finishing holes to end the round with. Both the 8th and the 16th holes are played across large lakes to well-guarded greens making them potentially the hardest holes on the course. This is a great, enjoyable course for those of all handicaps for sure.

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Aroeira I is next up on the list and has been claimed to be one of the finest courses in Europe. The course travels through a pine forest along undulating fairways and prides itself on the array of different holes that you will come face to face with. This course is a tricky one due to its setting with the many pine trees often obstructing the path of play but a noticeable fact about this course is that there are no bunkers on the fairways trying to catch errant balls. The 11th hole is one of the shining stars of the course as you have to avoid water which cuts into the left of the green on your approach shot before tackling the stretch of fairway (avoiding the pines) to the green. You then have to avoid the same water hazard in the fun par-3 14th hole too. This is another superb course by Orizonte golf and this unique array of holes can provide you with an unforgettable round of golf.

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Next up is the (younger) sibling of Aroeira I – Aroeira II. This course was built to European Tour recommendations to potentially host some major tournaments. This course has a superb layout like its sister course and you have to navigate carefully through heavily wooded and gently undulating terrain to reach the well-guarded greens. The holes are long here and cleverly shaped using the natural landscape and bunkers. A stand out hole is the par 5 4th hole where a large stand of pine trees about 100 yards short of the green need to be overcome in order to reach the centre of the green. This course also has a spectacular few finishing holes which will make you wish that the round wasn’t ending. The 18th hole is a par 5 with water up the right of the fairway and stretching into the left of the finishing green. Don’t come to Aroeira and only play the first course – this is also a spectacular course and one which you will come to love.

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Ribagolfe I is another great Orizonte course, this is a magnificent course and the Ribagolfe complex is arguably one of the best on the Iberian Peninsula and is definitely the best value. Although the course measures 7,370 yards from the back tees, the course is very playable for those with slightly higher handicaps from the front tees. Water hazards come into play a few times throughout the back nine of the course. Each of the holes are memorable in their own way and its landscape is simply stunning – a must play. One of the best, and the shortest hole on the course is the par 3 15th hole where water sits to the left of a raised green that’s surrounded by bunkers making it tricky to even get your ball on to the green without it being caught! Although the Ribagolfe complex is not in the best location accessibility wise it is definitely recommended that you play at least one round here and you won’t regret it.

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Ribagolfe II is the sister course and makes up the other 18-holes of Ribagolfe’s 36-hole complex. This course is also routed through stands of cork oak and has beautiful surroundings. This is a shorter course, with more open fairways which lead to large greens and water hazards are less prominent on this course. Where water does come into play it really completes the holes. The best is the long par 5 13th hole where the same stream slices through the fairway into a small lake which is set to the right of the hole. The 3rd hole is definitely one to look out for as it is a long par 3 where trees block part of the route to the green on the right-hand side of the fairway which means that you need a lot of concentration to keep your shots on course! This is a superb course and a perfect partner for Ribagolfe I – these two courses are certainly not to be missed out on.

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Last, but certainly not least on the list is Santo Estevao which is in the same area as the Ribagolfe complex. This course is suited to those who have a higher handicap as there is more room for error with the wider fairways and the bigger greens. This is a great, fun course which is perfect for those looking for a light round with some great views and can be used as preparation to play one of the harder courses in the area – perhaps Ribagolfe? This is another superb Orizonte golf course and is well worth the trip to play.

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We hope that this week’s blog opened your eyes to the great courses that you should have on your list to play when you are next taking a golf holiday to the Lisbon area!

 

 

 

 

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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 insider’s guide to Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo…

This week’s blog is the insider’s guide to the lovely Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo Golf Resort which is situated in the centre of the Vale de Lobo estate. When looking for your next golf escape to the Algarve there are very few other places which can offer you the experience that this resort can in terms of activities, golf and service. This week’s blog is to show you what you’re missing and what you could have if you choose to book a golf break to this fantastic resort.

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The hotel boasts a superb location being just 200 yards from the stunning Vale de Lobo beach and with Vale de Lobo plaza right on its doorstep. The resort is also just under 7 miles from the bustling town of Vilamoura which means that there are endless bars and restaurants to enjoy either in the plaza or just a short drive away. The rooms at the hotel are a mixture of old-age Portuguese style and more modern designs but all are spacious and welcoming. Guests here will enjoy high-class service and luxurious rooms, fitted with all the amenities expected of a hotel of this rating, and communal areas as well as the beautiful surroundings. The hotel overlooks the 17th fairway of the Vale de Lobo course so guests can enjoy spectacular views. Guests can enjoy a massage at the spa, the tennis courts, the outdoor pool which overlooks the Atlantic or of course, the beach. With Vilamoura just down the road, Faro just a short drive away and two fantastic golf courses within such close distance there really isn’t anywhere else that you need to consider apart from this resort when booking your next golf holiday to the Algarve when looking for relaxation, superb surroundings and fantastic golf.

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San Lorenzo golf course is a world class course and is often rated as one of the best in the Algarve and even in continental Europe. The course is set alongside the Atlantic Ocean and is built upon sandy, undulating terrain with the long fairways being bordered by pine trees and the Ria Formosa bird sanctuary making this a picturesque course which is very in tune with nature! The course is laid out in a figure of eight which explains why you have to navigate so many dog-leg holes and explains why this course tests your precision on each hole right from the tee. The 5th and the 7th hole dominate your attention during the front nine as all you can see are the saltwater lagoons and the bird sanctuary with the Atlantic in the horizon but the finish of the course is equally as strong. With the opposite side of the Ria Formosa coming into view in the last three holes and the 18th being a long, spectacular risk-reward finish to the round there is no question as to why this course is ranked so highly. Make sure to complete your holiday to Dona Filipa with a spectacular round at this memorable course.

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The second course that golfers usually play during a stay at the Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo resort is Pinheiros Altos. This course is split into three parts which are all fantastic but are all laid out very differently making you feel like you could be playing three separate courses! The front nine is set out across a sandy hillside with pine trees lining the fairways and is referred to as the “Pines” nine. The second nine, is referred to as the “Olives” nine and is laid out more as a parkland course set out over flatter terrain and borders the Ria Formosa sanctuary where there are huge expanses of water which are laying in wait to catch errant shots. The feature hole on the front 18 is the 17th which is a par 3 and will require the upmost concentration to score well on what with its island green, vast lake and deep magnetic sand trap all contributing to the difficulty! In 2007, the course opened a further nine holes called “Corks” which is an easier addition to the course with the only challenges being the last few holes. This 27-hole course is a superb challenge in great surroundings which can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. A perfect course to compliment San Lorenzo and a stay at the Dona Filipa.

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With Vilamoura being so close to the resort it is no surprise that many guests choose to venture into the town to enjoy meals and drinks out. The town features a large choice of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and cafes making it perfect for a day trip or night out from the resort. It is normally suggested to use a car but there are always taxis available to be booked both to and from Vilamoura and the resort.

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With many different activities in the area including horse riding, golf, biking and various watersports to try out – you could never be bored with this town so close by. If you are more looking for relaxation when coming into the town of Vilamoura then you must try several of the different restaurants where you will be able to find traditional Portuguese cuisine to oriental cuisine to a full English!

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We hope this blog has opened your eyes to what you could be enjoying in the Algarve. From spectacular golfing opportunities and other sports to the fantastic array of bars and restaurants that are waiting for you to enjoy! This resort holds a superb location and a holiday here is definitely not to be missed out on.

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5 up and coming golf resorts you have to try in 2016…

This week’s blog is a guide to five great up and coming golfing resorts which you must give a try in 2016! With a hotel and golf on site as well as many other amenities and activities on the resort what could be more perfect than a fabulous golf break to one of these resorts?

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First up on the list is the Bom Sucesso Resort in Obidos, Lisbon. This four-star resort offers a wide range of unique apartments as well as access to the brilliant golf course, Bom Sucesso. The resort is located in one of the most beautiful regions which offers so much to see and do during your stay here. With many different stunning beaches nearby guests can enjoy watersports or simply lounging around on the golden sand on their days off from the golf course! The medieval town of Obidos is just a 15-minute drive and has a wide range of different bars and eateries as well as some beautiful architecture to enjoy – definitely not to be missed! On-site is the fantastic Bom Sucesso 18-hole golf course which stretches over 60 hectares! The course features a very challenging parkland layout and features stunning views over the Obidos lagoon which can be enjoyed whilst you are trying to navigate the strategically placed bunkers and fast greens! Whilst you are staying at Bom Sucesso there are also opportunities to play other fantastic golf courses in the area so where could be more perfect for your next golf holiday to Lisbon?

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Next up on the list is another resort situated in Portugal but this time in the Algarve region. The Oceanico Amendoeira Resort is located just 7 miles from the historic town of Silves and just 35-minutes’ drive from Faro Airport. The resort features spacious and beautifully decorated apartments, all with private balconies which overlook the stunning gardens and the golf courses surrounding the apartments. With fully-fitted kitchens and large living areas as well, these truly are luxury apartments! Guests also have access to the lovely pool area as well as the two fantastic golf courses on site! The Oceanico Faldo course is a tricky course and requires good placing to score well, this course is lined with some beautiful greenery, undulating greens and some spectacular views which makes this course a great round with a little challenge and a lot of fun. The Oceanico O’Connor features water far more heavily than its sister course and so is a little trickier. Not only does the water add to the challenge of the course but also the beauty of it. With orange groves, different wildlife and great views of the golf course from the top of the 18th hole this is a spectacular show of golf and not to be missed! This resort is perfect for your next golf break to the Algarve.

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The Guadalmina Resort which is situated in Puerto Banus on the Costa del Sol is next up on the list. The resort is situated on the beach and on the golf course which of course is a perfect location for when you want to combine great golf with some relaxation time! The rooms are all spacious and modern with superb facilities and great service. Guests also have access to the fitness room, sun terrace and the outdoor pools as well as great discount rates for the range of different spa treatments available! The hotel is just 10-minutes’ drive from Marbella Old Town which is beautiful and offers many different places to eat and drink which is perfect for evenings after a day on the beach or on the golf course! Guadalmina South has narrow fairways which are lined by trees which means that accuracy is certainly key here! The par 3 11th hole is the highlight of the course as it plays parallel to the beach right by the hotel but many can lose their balls here with an errant shot to the left landing you in a bunker or water hazard! The North Course on the resort winds through the resort and features many water hazards and is always kept in immaculate condition. This is a great resort for your next golf break to the Costa del Sol.

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The courses at the Lumine Golf Resort are both spectacular and offer something different from one another. The Lumine South Course, also known as the Hills Course, is so deeply integrated with its surroundings that it is a beautiful and natural course to play. Players can enjoy endless views of the Mediterranean horizon throughout their round which will require them to play accurately through olive and carob plantations as well as avoiding many strategically placed bunkers! The Lumine North Course, also known as the Lakes Course, is also integrated with its natural surroundings which are Sèquia Major wetland area which means that this course features many water hazards which feature on 14 holes! The course has some stunning views and has a great, challenging and interesting layout with a range of different styled holes. These courses are certainly not to be missed on your next golfing holiday to Costa Dorada in Spain as they are a spectacular duo!

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Last, but certainly not least on the list is the Barcelo Jandia Playa Hotel which is situated on the beautiful island of Fuerteventura. The hotel is set on the golden sands of the Jandia Beach and offers a superb all-inclusive package making this perfect for those who want to relax and not worry about eating out all the time on holiday! There are two restaurants and six bars for guests to enjoy as well as a great hotel spa and different pool areas! Although the hotel offers a great all-inclusive option the town centre of Morro del Jable is just 2km away where there are a variety of different restaurants and bars to enjoy as well! The Jandia Golf course was reopened in 2014 and is immaculate condition and surrounded by stunning views of the beach. The course can be a stern challenge but is a great round of golf and is enjoyable for golfers of all abilities. With four lakes and many dry riverbeds this course must be played strategically for anyone to score well and the winds can always make the challenge even sterner! This is a great golfing resort and is perfect for your next golf break to Fuerteventura.

We hope that these resorts have caught your eye and that you will try at least one of them out! With great hotels and great golf in great locations what more could you ask for?

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5 best courses in Europe for a low handicapper…

This week’s blog is a guide of the top European courses for those of you with a low handicap. For those of you golfers who pride yourself on your low handicap and are always searching for the next brilliant golf course to challenge your refined golfing skills, this is the blog for you to help plan your European golf holidays around some of the best and most challenging courses around.

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First up on the list is the stunning course at Finca Cortesin which is situated on the Costa del Sol. With over 6,800 metres of fabulous golf course combined with natural Mediterranean scenery and environment there is no need to question why this course has such a fantastic reputation. Putting aside the beautiful and tranquil surroundings, this course is certainly a challenging one with tricky, fast undulating greens and when the sea winds are blowing scoring well can be almost impossible. With some superb holes it is hard to choose a shining star but the par 4 13th hole which you drive into a wide fairway over water and then over another water hazard on your approach to the green whilst bunkers and trees surround you – an exciting and tricky hole to say the least! Although the green fees are a little steep here this is one of the most fantastic and most challenging courses you will ever get the opportunity to play on the Costa del Sol and is not to be passed up on.

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The course at Royal Obidos Golf Club is the next course on the list which is in Portugal. There is not a bad hole to be seen on this fantastic course and with a wide variety of spectacular holes it is always an exciting and challenging round of golf. With fabulous views of Lagoa de Óbidos, strategically placed bunkers, various water hazards and beautiful landscape this is a picturesque and difficult round so make sure to maintain focus throughout the round! With six of the holes meandering through an ecosystem of lakes and the par five 10th hole features water so heavily that is essential to bring at least several more balls than you would usually bring along with you! On this course, even the most discerning golfer may choose not to play off from the back tee! This course is a must for the best of golfers when taking a golf break to Portugal as although you may score a little worse than usual and lose a few more balls it is more than worth it here!

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Next up on the list for those golfers with a low handicap is the Thracian Cliffs course which is located on the Northern Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria and is unlike any other golf course in the whole of Europe. Thracian Cliffs is a one-off experience with some stunning tee shots and some where you may lose your ball forever! This is an extremely tough and challenging course but is most spectacular and is well-worth the embarrassment of a poor scorecard! All of its 18-holes run along the cliff of the Black Sea which is a unique feature of this course and it is easy to say that this could well be the best course that you will ever get the chance to play and enjoy! This world-class golfing experience is not to be missed and the brilliant holes combined with the pure setting will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

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Fourth on the list is the Oceanico Faldo course, situated in the Algarve. With desert scrub bunkers, rocky outcrops, wandering water hazards and olive trees which are all lying in wait for errant shots this course is a tricky one which players have to play strategically in order to score well. The course winds between the rocky hills of the Algarve and is a real masterpiece from Nick Faldo where golfers get to experience beautiful views and undulating greens all in the surroundings of natural terrain. There is no denying that this course is certainly a challenge but even if you walk away with a poor scoresheet you will not have had a dull round. This is definitely a course to add to your golfing bucket list as a discerning golfer looking for a challenging and exciting round when on a golfing holiday to Portugal.

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Last, but not least on the list of top European courses for those golfers with a low handicap is the Montgomerie Course in Belek, Turkey. With eight lakes on site it is no surprise that this course is certainly a tricky one with water heavily featuring, especially on the front nine holes. Although there is a lot less water on the back nine the holes are no less challenging here meaning that this is an extremely difficult round even for the best of golfers. The greens undulate a lot which means that it is tricky to land your ball where you are aiming for it to land. This is especially the case on the 8th hole where there is a mound before the green which can throw your ball off in any direction! The 18th is a spectacular finishing hole where you need to hit off the tee through a narrow stretch of pine trees before having to avoid a strategically placed bunker as well as a final water hazard! This round is exciting and picturesque – a perfect combination!

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We hope that you enjoyed this list and are considering at least one of these fantastic courses to play to give you a spectacular challenge as well as a beautiful round in the case of all of these courses! These courses are the best in Europe to give even the best golfer a tricky round on their next golf break.