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The insider’s guide to Emporda Golf…

This week’s blog is an insiders guide to Emporda Golf. This hotel and its surrounding area is perfect for your next golf escape to the Costa Brava as it really has everything – location, great golf and great amenities and service for you to enjoy. This blog will tell you all you need to know about staying at Doubletree by Hilton Golf & Spa Emporda as well as the superb golf courses which are on-site for you to enjoy on your next golf break to the Costa Brava!

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The Doubletree hotel is a small and modern hotel set in the grounds of two fantastic golf courses: Emporda Forest and Emporda Links. All the rooms are decorated in a modern, contemporary style and have their own private balconies as well as free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and an Mp3 docking station. Although this is a fairly small hotel, it has a lovely restaurant serving traditional Catalan dishes as well as a cocktail lounge for you to enjoy a lovely post-round cocktail or beer and maybe an aperitif before dinner!

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You can also enjoy the seasonal outdoor pool and the spa (for a small extra charge) where you can enjoy a range of different treatments, a Turkish bath, a sauna and a hot tub as well as a fitness centre. Not only does this hotel have two beautiful golf courses and an outdoor pool for you to enjoy but it is also in a fantastic location with several different towns and areas for you to visit and just under 2 miles from the lovely L’Estartit beach. The L’Estartit beach is 5km of golden sand with the beachside town at the end of the beach where you can enjoy an array of shops, bars and restaurants or even hire out equipment for watersports. Although the beach is often quite busy during the summertime, if you walk a little down towards the River Ter you can often have an area all to yourself.

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Just a 15-minute drive away from the hotel are the lively and fun beach resorts of Pals and L’Estartit where you can enjoy a wide array of different bars and restaurants as well as vibrant nightlife. But, on the other hand, if you’re looking for a more charming town with history and culture as well as bars and restaurants for you to enjoy then just a few minutes’ drive from the hotel is the lovely old town of Toroella de Montgri and you certainly won’t be disappointed here. Here you can go scuba diving, visit the castle, enjoy a walk round the old town and experience some old culture and admire the old buildings or enjoy one of the many restaurants which serve everything from fresh fish to tapas to traditional Catalan dishes.

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The Emporda Forest course is a superb course which looks a little average until you get the chance to play a round or two here. With fairways winding in and out of pine trees, strategically placed bunkers and a sprinkling of water throughout the course this is a must-play venue and is one of the most popular courses with the Golf Escapes clients. This is a tough and long course (especially off the back tees) and can prove to be a real challenge for golfers of all abilities. As early as the 2nd hole you are rewarded with a quality hole which is a mid-range par 3 with some strategically placed bunkering on the right. From the 3rd hole up to and including the 5th you play through the pine tree lined, narrow fairways. The 6th hole is one of the best holes that you may get the chance to play and is a great and short par 4 which is a great risk-reward hole where you have to decide right from the tee which line of play you are going to take. The back nine holes are all fabulous holes and close with the 18th which is a par 5 with plenty of water in play and just to make it trickier – 10 bunkers which surround the green!

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Just like its sister course, the Emporda Links course is a long and difficult course with some superb holes that you can enjoy. Unlike the Forest course, the fairways are wide but this doesn’t mean that they are slow by any stretch of the imagination. The course certainly requires precise shot-making in order to score well with rolling bunkers, two large lakes and dunes which fit into the stunning Mediterranean landscape which means that no matter how low your handicap you need to have a lot of concentration! This course is modelled on the classic Links courses that you may find in Ireland or Scotland and the designers here have done a great job of keeping the course in-tune with its surroundings. The Links course also features a great deal of water hazards as well so make sure that you have packed a few extra balls when you are planning on playing either of these courses. The 2nd and 11th holes are often the favourites of the course where you can expect a challenge with some stunning views thrown in. These two golf courses are just another reason why this resort is perfect for your next stay and play golf break to the Costa Brava.7

 

We hope that this blog opened your eyes to the great golf, restaurants, bars, beaches and towns that are awaiting you if you choose Doubletree Hotel for your next golf holiday to the Costa Brava. This really is an ideal hotel in an ideal location with some ideal golf and scenery to top it all off.

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The top 5 courses for medium handicappers…

For those of you with a medium-level handicap will sometimes find some of the trickier courses too much of a challenge to be enjoyable and vice versa with the easier courses! This blog is designed to help you plan your next European golfing holiday making sure that you have got a few ideas of the best courses for you! Here is our list of the best courses for medium-level handicap holders!

Las-Lagos

Situated on the Costa del Sol is the Mijas Los Lagos course. This course is a lovely, original course which was built in the mid 1970s making it a classic and very enjoyable course to play. It is set in just over 150 acres of stunning, gently undulating, green landscape with some beautiful natural scenery as its surroundings. This course is a very long course which will make an impact on you – especially if you take it on from the white tees! This course has many memorable holes but a particularly special one is the par five 5th hole where the fairway is restricted by a boundary wall on the left whilst the fairway narrows into a waste bunker with water on the right – a mighty risk-reward hole! With huge open fairways, large greens and vast lakes and bunkers this course has the power to make anyone feel small again, but it will always provide a good challenge to those of you with a mid-level handicap but also not be too tricky that you despair over your scorecard!

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Santana

With a backdrop of the Mijas Mountains and set amidst 140 acres of avocado and orange groves sits the Santana golf course on the Costa del Sol. The golf course seems to merge into its surroundings here with crushed marble white sand bunkers and some unusually shaped greens. The best hole on the course has to be the outstanding par five 4th hole which is a spectacularly long hole which features treacherously sloping greens, a little stream waiting to catch your stray balls and some strategically placed bunkers! Although this course is not particularly long, the fast, tricky greens will definitely offer a challenge on this course especially as they are deceivingly generous. The greens paired with the hazards along the way and the interestingly shaped greens and anything-but-flat fairways and you are in for a treat! This course is a fabulous course and cannot be missed off of the itinerary when you are in possession of a mid-level handicap and are looking for a fantastic course to play in the Costa del Sol!

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Emporda-Golf

The Forest course at the Emporda Golf Resort on the Costa Brava is next up on the list of the best European courses for those with a mid-level handicap! These pine flanked fairways and greens are some of the loveliest in Spain and are not to be missed! This course is undeniably a very attractive course and has some quality holes to make it an even more enjoyable game. As early as the 2nd hole you get to experience a great par three with some strategically placed bunkering on the right before venturing through pine trees for the next few holes. Hole 6 can only be described as one of the best short, par fours around. This hole a great risk/reward hole and may leave you with a few lost balls! Make sure that you are not missing off the Forest course at Emporda on your next golf holiday to the Costa Brava and for an extra treat check out its sister course – the Links course at Emporda too, which is another great course for mid-level handicappers.img_Emporda

Lumiine-Golf-Club

The Hills course at Lumine Golf Club on the Costa Dorada is set in forests of white pine trees and with the backdrop of the stunning Mediterranean Sea. Not only are the fairways of the course flanked with olive trees and pine trees but due to being set in the surroundings of a bird sanctuary golfers will never be short of flying company whilst playing a superb round of golf on this course. The two closing holes on this course will stay in your mind for a long time after playing this fabulous course. The backdrop to the 17th is a natural rock-face and it is all about the approach to the very small green making it a little tricky but a beautiful hole indeed. The last hole is simply superb, from the tee all you can see are bunkers and the fairway disappearing in front of you into water but the hole veers off to the right meaning that you have a huge water hazard on your left where you can see yet more bunkers and another stunning rock-face. Make sure that this scenic and enjoyably challenging (but not too challenging!) course is on your to-play-list this coming year!img_Lumine

Alamos

Last, but certainly not least on the list is the Alamos course which is situated in the sunny Algarve in Portugal. The course is characterised by two large lakes and stunning views of the Monchique Mountains as you look over the reservoir and the vineyard – this course truly shows the peaceful side of the Algarve! With irregular and tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers as well as small greens this can be a tricky course to play but the variety of holes means that it is kept interesting! Make sure that your putting is on point for this round as the greens are fast and unforgiving but without making you cry at your scoresheet! This course is a course full of variety and beautiful scenery and cannot be missed on your next golf break to the Algarve – especially if you are a mid-level handicapper and are looking for a fine challenge!

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We hope that this list helps you, as a holder of a medium-level handicap, to choose the courses you are wanting to tick off the list! These course are all fantastic courses which will provide a challenge whilst not being heartbreakingly difficult!

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Top 5 courses for high handicappers…

This week’s blog is to help those of you who may not have the lowest handicap or be the most skilled golfer but are still looking to enjoy a fabulous golfing holiday in Europe and are wondering which courses will be the best for you. Here is our blog on the top five courses in Europe for those of you with a high handicap…

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First up we have the Bom Sucesso course which is situated just an hours drive from Lisbon. Although there are many strategically placed bunkers and this course is a little challenging, this is a great course to play for those less experienced golfers as the main challenge of this course is avoiding those obstacles by hitting accurately. Playing from the front tees will eliminate the long carries which means that you can focus on navigating this brilliant course but from the championship tees those with a lower handicap will find it a challenging course too. This course also boasts some beautiful views over the Obidos region and the sea, especially on the last two holes, making the round a scenic and enjoyable one. With gently undulating fairways, fair but fast greens and beautiful scenery when you are next in Lisbon on a golfing holiday make sure to visit the Bom Sucesso course and enjoy a fabulous round here (whilst not scoring badly!).

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PGA-Catalunya

Next up on the list of European courses perfect for those with a higher handicap is the PGA Catalunya Tour course situated in Spain. This course is the kinder of the two courses at the PGA Catalunya resort and offers a great game for players of all levels. Whilst you are never far from a water hazard or a trickily positioned bunker, the course features wide fairways meaning that a few dodgy shots will be forgiven! Having said that, accuracy is key on this course and with the hazards set to trip you up it is a good idea to keep concentration through this round in order to finish with a good score! This course is a breathtakingly beautiful course with its stunning woodland surroundings and of course, the lakes. As this course is a shorter, less undulating course than its sister course it is a walkable course which means that you have more time to enjoy the scenery and socialise with your fellow players. This is great course to add to the itinerary of your next golfing holiday to Spain!

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Monte-Rei

Next up, on the list we have the well-established and well-known Monte Rei course. This course is considered to be the number one course in Portugal and if that isn’t enough of a reason to come and play then maybe the beautiful surroundings and fabulous layout of the course will tempt you. Monte Rei is set in the hills towards the Spanish border and the mountainous setting is very special to this course. The fairways are bordered with indigenous trees and plants just adding to the beautiful scenery created by the mountainous setting. Although the terrain is very undulating, there is no reason that with concentration and some accurate shots those with a higher handicap cannot score well on this course – as long as you avoid the lakes and bunkers! As you progress throughout the course you will find that each hole is better than the last making this such a superb round of golf it is unmissable. This is one of the finest courses around and it truly is a perfect course for those with all handicap scores making this a must-play on your next golfing holiday to Portugal!

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The next course on the list is the Oceanico Old course situated in the Algarve. This course is a traditional one and is the second oldest course in Portugal, showing how traditional parkland courses which are in tune with their surroundings can still compete with the newer courses. Although the back nine holes on this course have proven to be a challenge for many golfers, the front few holes provide golfers with a chance to get comfortable and hit some accurate shots and score well – just don’t get lulled into a false sense of security! Watch out for the cluster of deep and dangerous bunkers on the 12th hole and maintain concentration the whole way through the round making sure that you are not distracted by the beautiful surroundings. All of the greens are always in immaculate condition and this course is truly at one with its surroundings making it a fabulous round to play! This course is a great one for golfers of all handicaps as it is such a fun and exciting course with wonderful surroundings. Make sure that on your next golfing holiday to the Algarve you add this course to the itinerary!

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Last, but certainly not least, on the list is the Oceanico Victoria course, also situated in the Algarve. This course is essentially a flat course, meaning that navigation is easier than on some of the more undulating courses meaning that it is possible to score well on this course even if you are in possession of a higher handicap score! However, the course boasts many stunning water features and fountains which can be a little tricky to navigate around but add to the natural beauty of the course. These hazards are severe but there are safer routes to make it to the final putt – there is a huge element of risk-reward on this course! The greens and fairways are fast but fair and they are large enough to accept some error in shots meaning that this course is perfect for those of all handicaps. Don’t be put off by the many water hazards and make sure this stunning course is on the agenda for your next golf break to Lisbon!

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We hope that this list has helped you decide which European courses you are going to try and play on your next golfing holiday to Spain or Portugal if you haven’t got the lowest handicap in the world!