2016 is fast approaching and you may not have started planning which golfing related events and trips that you want to make during the next twelve months but this list is sure to help you make some important choices and make sure that you make the most out of your 2016 in the world of golf!

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This autumn time will see the Ryder Cup travel back to the USA to Hazeltine National Golf Club and it will be a spectacle that cannot be missed. This bi-yearly competition is heading back over the pond and everyone is desperate to see whether Team Europe (lead by Darren Clarke) can continue their winning streak or if Team USA can snatch it back this year. This year, there are so many talented Team USA and Team Europe players with players in the Top 20 World Rankings there is no doubt that this could quite possibly be the most competitive Ryder Cup year yet. If you are going to book to go to the Ryder Cup next autumn, then make sure you do it with style and make it an event to remember. Those golf lovers should have a trip to see the Ryder Cup on their bucket list and with the competition being held at such a beautiful course this year it is is the perfect year to tick this certain event off!

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Masters

But before the Ryder Cup, this Spring time will see the 80th Masters Tournament which will be held at its home of the stunning Augusta National Golf Club. This course is famously exclusive and for a chance to get to walk around this beautiful course as well as witness some of the World’s finest players participate in a grand competition, you should not miss out. As it is set in the Spring the weather should be glorious, the azaleas will be out in force and as usual, the greens will be perfect. The ability to be able to enjoy all of this and stay in world-class hotels at the same time is quite possibly the experience of a lifetime. The question on everyone’s mind is, will Jordan Speith win another jacket this year after his convincing win last year? Make sure that you are one of the elite to watch this competition from the course next Spring and book your flights today to make 2016 a memorable golfing year for you.

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Lisbon

This year, make sure a trip to Lisbon is on your golfing itinerary for several important reasons. If you have never been to Lisbon before then you are really missing out, this city is the cultural hub of Portugal and is one of the most interesting and historic cities that is often missed out on. For golfers there are endless reasons to take a golfing break to Lisbon and not all of them involve the magnificent golf courses available, such as Praia d’el Rey and Royal Obidos. There are several spectacular hotels in which you can enjoy your visit to the cultural hub of Portugal in style whilst enjoying some of the finest food and drink that Lisbon has to offer. It is impossible to be bored in Lisbon and on the days where a round of golf is absent from the itinerary there are some lovely historical monuments and most week-ends there are many events and markets that take place within the city allowing for you to experience the full Portuguese culture. For a short flight and some great deals there is no place better to enjoy a cultural holiday than Lisbon this 2016.

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Make 2016 the year that you embark on the journey of a lifetime and book yourself a ticket aboard the Rovos Rail. The Rovos Rail is a majestic train which travels through Africa with you on-board for a nine days, with you stopping off at some of the most fabulous golf courses that are on offer or at game ranges where you can take a walk on the wild side! This is truly one of the most magical experiences that you can ever take part in and doing it aboard the spectacular Rovos Rail just adds to the enjoyment of this amazing trip. With great opportunities for both golfers and non-golfers there is no reason that only golfers will enjoy this once in a lifetime trip making it an experience that you can wholeheartedly share with a non-golfing companion. If you see yourself winding down through Africa this 2016 aboard a dark-wood, old-fashioned yet beautiful train where on-board you will be served with the best food and wine available then make sure that you book your Rovos Rail adventure for this year and enjoy every second of it.

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This winter may have been a grey one for you but there is no reason that winter 2016 has to be the same. Book a golfing trip away to the Canary Islands and soak up some winter sun somewhere not too far away from home. It is undeniable that playing golf in the wind and the rain doesn’t bring as much enjoyment as a stunning round in the sun and what could be better than a stunning round in the sun overlooking the Mediterranean? No matter which Canary Island you choose you will be able to find some fantastic courses with stunning hotels and great little fishing villages, which are perfect for exploring even in the winter because of the constant spring-like climate there! Make sure that your winter 2016 is a great one, filled with golf and winter sun!

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We hope that this list gave you some great and fun ideas for your golfing itinerary during 2016 and that you have a very Happy New Year.

This Christmas you may be struggling to find that last minute perfect present for your golfing fanatic loved one. Shopping for a golfer can be hard if you know very little about the sport but these gifts can be sourced by anyone and will surely be appreciated. This list is of five perfect presents for the keen golfer this Christmas.

Lynx-Golf

First up on the list for perfect Christmas gifts are the products sold by Lynx Golf. From drivers to irons to accessories and stand bags, Lynx Golf has everything that a keen golfer could possible put on their Christmas list! Every club that a golfer could ever dream of possessing can be bought here and the sleek designs of each club just adds to the class and standard of this brand. Not only does Lynx Golf provide sleek products for those golfing men but there are also some fabulous gifts for those golfing wives and children! The Boom Boom clubs are especially regarded as being a perfect gift for those starting out on the course or those aiming to lower that handicap even further! It is no surprise that products from this brand are highly recommended by us for the ideal golfing gift for this Christmas.

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FootJoy

Next up on the list are the fabulous D.N.A MyJoys by FootJoy. At FootJoy there are some great golfing shoes on offer perfect for every single golfer imaginable. The ones on this list are the customizable D.N.A style where even the colour of the laces can be customized to suit your loved ones’ preferences. There is no greater brand of golfing shoes than the FootJoy shoes and this is shown by the Ryder Cup choosing this brand. If you’re looking for high-end quality and class, then this brand of golfing shoe is perfect for a golfing gift this Christmas time. Although the shoes by FootJoy are a little more expensive than some of the high street brands you certainly get what you pay for and these shoes are certainly worth it, especially the D.N.A style. Make sure that these are in your shopping cart this Christmas and then under your tree to make your golfing loved one happy!

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Third on the list of great Christmas gifts for this year are the products designed by Galvin Green. This desirable brand of high quality and high-end designed clothing is perfect for those golfers wanting to feel sleek and professional out on the course come rain or shine. No one knows golfers’ preferences quite like other golfers which makes this brand so perfect as all the products are designed by golfers, for golfers. From cool layers to warm layers to breathable and waterproof jackets there is a clothing piece ideal to combat all of the elements that golfers have to face on their rounds! Every keen golfer appreciates that sometimes a good round can be tainted by that brutal wind or the sparse showers and no present could be better than one which will be used round in round out during their golfing life to prevent these weathers from spoiling a round. It is no surprise that this desirable brand made this list as there truly is no other brand which offers the style and comfort that is offered by the clothing at Galvin Green.

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J_Lindeberg

Next up on this list of ideal golfing gifts this Christmas is the J. Lindeberg jacket. It would be a lie if any golfer were to say that they had not always wanted one of these jackets, which makes this gift a prime candidate for this list of the perfect golfing presents. Even if the jacket isn’t the gift you are looking for then there are plenty of other great quality products available from J. Lindeberg such as some breathable, great quality golf shirts as well as trousers and other golfing accessories. These high quality products cannot be missed out from this list as this brand is so respected and loved by golfers wanting high class, great products – another ideal gift idea for the golfers in your lives.

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Canaries

Last but certainly not least on the list of the perfect presents for those keen golfers this Christmas is the ultimate gift. A golf escape to the Canary Islands could not be a more perfect gift for anyone this Christmas. Whilst in England we sit through the rain and the cold whilst pining after a round in the sun, on the Canary Islands golfers can experience just that. The constant spring climate and the beautiful golf courses featuring stunning views and lovely surroundings makes this the ideal destination for a winter golfing break. Even if we staying in England may not see the sun until May of next year there is no reason why your loved one should not be able to enjoy the perfect round on the perfect golf course in the perfect place this Winter. Whether you choose the tiny yet stunning island of Gran Canaria or the great Tenerife and La Gomera, you nor your gift recipient will be disappointed with what could only be described as the gift of the year! A golf escape to the Canary Islands is truly the best gift that can be given to your keen golfer this Christmas.

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We hope that this list helped that last minute shopping for your golfing loved ones and that you have now got the perfect gift sussed all out for them! All of us at Golf Escapes wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

The Canary Islands are the perfect destination for your autumn or winter golfing holiday when you need to escape the rain and the grey clouds and experience some spring-like weather and some beautiful golf courses. This list is of the finest courses in the Canary Islands and should well be considered for next time you are looking to leave the cold and fly away!

tecina

Tecina Golf course is on the island of La Gomera but there is a fast ferry which runs from Tenerife to La Gomera so why not make this round into a beautiful and scenic day out? This course could be described as “golfing in paradise”, the views and the scenery of Tenerife and tropical gardens is breathtaking. Not forgetting, the views of the majestic Mount Teide which can be seen from a distance on a clear day. The course features undulating greens and being set on the top of a cliff means that wind often comes into play here making it hard for even the best of golfer to score well! It is rare to see a course with more than one signature hole but Tecina Golf has a trio of signature holes: holes 4, 10 and 12 are truly brilliant and it is worth taking the trip to this course just for those three holes. If you’re looking to play a magnificent course with unpredictable greens, incredible views and a unique layout then this really has to be on your golfing bucket list!

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AnfiTauro

Anfi Tauro is the next course on this list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands, this course is situated on the small and beautiful island of Gran Canaria. This 18-hole course has an Arizonan desert feel to it and is perfect for all golfers of all abilities due to its option of five different tees! This course is always in spectacular condition with beautiful vegetation lining the fairways and stunning waterfalls as well as volcanic-like mountains as a backdrop. Anfi Tauro sits very well within its surroundings and the design makes use of the elevation of the ground meaning that many of the holes have superb views of the volcanic-like mountains or the shimmering Atlantic Ocean making this course a beautiful and picturesque addition to your next golfing holiday to Gran Canaria. With top quality service and a fabulous location this golf course is truly an experience not to be missed for any keen golfer.

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CostaAdeje

On the beautiful island of Tenerife is where our next addition to this list is situated. Golf Costa Adeje is a very popular and beautiful course with very fast greens, strategically placed bunkers and a challenging layout. The course has a great mix of holes of varying elevation and most are accompanied by stunning backdrop of the ocean. Its backdrop and the undulating greens and old wall stones make this course seem like it is at one with its surroundings. This course is always noted for its great service and the atmosphere in the clubhouse – not to mention the great post-round buffet! Golf Costa Adeje is a great, challenging round to play and with some superb views and the great weather of Tenerife what could be better? This course truly is a gem on the island of Tenerife and as the course is always kept in perfect condition so it is no wonder that it has made our list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands.

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Meloneras

Fourth on the list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands is the second course on the list situated upon the tiny island of Gran Canaria. Meloneras Golf is an 18-hole course where the course works from the coastline inwards meaning that this course gets harder throughout the round with the inland winds and target play on the back nine. This course is great for any golfing ability with four different tees and a straight-forward par 4 hole one which prepares you for the round ahead. In Gran Canaria, very few of the golf courses have holes directly at the coast which is a major attraction for those wanting to feel as if they are actually playing on the beach but at Meloneras Golf, several of the holes have this feature. With this course it is impossible to have an unhappy round as the greens are always immaculate, the sky is (mainly) always blue and the views are amazing. No two holes are the same and the service is fabulous! It truly is no wonder why this course made this list of finest courses!

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Salobre-Golf

Last on this list is another spectacular course situated in Gran Canaria – the Old Course at Salobre Golf. The design of this course incorporates the rolling terrain and natural ravines to make this a challenging yet very enjoyable course. This course has certainly stood the test of time and is still in immaculate condition as well as being as popular as ever. With all around views and tee-times at reasonable prices as well as being a more forgiving course than the newer course at Salobre Golf this course is a must-visit for your next golfing break to Gran Canaria. This beautiful, old course is truly considered to be one of the finest in Gran Canaria and so is deserving of a place on this list of the finest courses in the Canary Islands.

SALOBRE GOLF OLD COURSE HOLE 1

 

Next time you’re booking your golfing trip to the Canary Islands make sure to check out this list again and book a few tee-times at at least one of these fine courses!

Often when you’ve decided on your destination for your next golfing trip you think about the exact courses you want to play or the hotel that you want to stay at. We think that is important to experience some of the finer things in life and so here is our list of the five finest courses in Spain.Valderrama

First on the list we have Real Club Valderrama situated in Sotogrande, which is not just the first course on our list but is first on another list; the top courses in Europe. It isn’t hard to see how Valderrama got that impressive reputation with its beautiful and tranquil surroundings. This course is always in perfect condition and although it may not be the cheapest green fee around you certainly get what you pay for here both in terms of service and the golf that is on offer here. The course provides a great test to the everyday golfer as well as those more accomplished golfers as the crosswinds add an element of difficulty as well as strategically placed bunkers and fast greens – making it a perfect course in every way! Many golfers say that this is the most spectacular course they have ever played and so it isn’t really hard to see why this course is first up on our list of the finest courses in Spain.

Valderrama

Finca-Cortesin

Next up on the list of Spain’s finest courses, we have the course at the Finca Cortesin golf club which is located on the Costa del Sol. This course is on of Europe’s longest layouts at 6.802 metres and is known for its beautiful and tranquil surroundings which include natural vegetation and views which stretch as far as the Estepona mountains. Aside from the surroundings, this course is a challenging one and can be extremely tricky with fast, rolling greens and with the inevitable high sea winds this is a challenging course even for the most experienced golfer. However, the course does offer five different tee options and so those who are less experienced are still catered for at this stunning course. This course has been described as the epitome of class; guests are met by staff and led to their named buggies before starting their round. All the facilities are in excellent condition and the treatment received is impeccable. As well as Valderrama this course also has expensive green fees but it is well worth the extra money in order to receive this first class treatment and be able to play on this great course.

Finca Cortesin, 6+5+3

La-Reserva

Third on our list is another Sotogrande favourite – La Reserva. This course is the longest course on the Costa del Sol with 6721 metres of rolling greenery. With views of the glistening Mediterranean alongside you and in front of you for almost the entire course this truly is one of the finest courses that Spain has to offer. With water presenting itself on six of the holes and many risk/reward shots have to be taken in order to succeed on this course making it a fun and challenging course for golfers of all abilities. The back nine holes are worth coming to play this course alone as they make you climb onto higher ground giving you the access to some tremendous views and great tee shots. This course is in spectacular condition and everything about it is majestic including its lovely staff and stunning clubhouse meaning that it is easily classed as one of the finest courses around. With Valderrama as one of La Reserva’s neighbours if you’re looking to play some of the finest courses in Spain then you know which area to come to on your next golfing holiday.La Reserva

Sotogrande

Real Club Sotogrande golf course is the fourth course on this list. This course is a private members course but it is still worth trying to get tee times here to experience the beauty of this course. Real Club Sotogrande was opened in 1964 and even after 40 years is still regarded as one of the top 10 courses in the whole of Europe which shows how well this course has survived the test of time. This course has many strategically placed bunkers and water hazards making it a challenge even to the most discerning golfer and means that a lot of effort and thinking are required in order to score well on the course and avoid these hazards. Just 150 metres from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and with a careful layout designed to integrate the natural area with a fantastic golf course it is no surprise that this course has made the list of Spain’s finest courses.

Sotogrande

San-Roque

Last on the list are the courses at San Roque Golf Club. The two courses there are as challenging as they are beautiful and although both courses are very different they both offer a fabulous round at one of the finest golf clubs on the Costa del Sol. The Old Course is the club’s pride and joy; it is rated among the top five courses in Spain as well as one of the best in the whole of Europe. With large fairways and narrow greens which undulate gently through forest-like surroundings as well as bunkers and water hazards this course is sure to make for an interesting round. Of course, along with any fine golf course there are some spectacular views and this course features beautiful ones of the mountains which are further inland making this not only an interesting round but a picturesque one as well. The new course at San Roque is by far the most challenging out of the two and so we suggest this course if you’re looking for a tough but enjoyable round. This course features many deep bunkers and the fairways are exceptionally narrow but to experience a fine round on this course is worth the potential poor score!

San Roque

At the far southern tip of the continent of Africa, lies one of the most amazing countries that you will find anywhere on Earth. There are many reasons behind this bold statement and certainly the current strength of the pound against the South African rand is massive plus. Being five times larger than the UK, South Africa has such a breadth and depth to offers its visitors. It certainly a country where you can keep all members of the family or group happy whatever their needs and wants are.

History

If we start with the history of the country which is characterised by racial and political violence, territorial conflict, wars of conquest, and inter-ethnic rivalry, the latter of which still exists to this day. The bush-men (Khoi and San) were the original inhabitants having had roots in the region for millennia with a nomadic lifestyle, and empathy to their environment similar in many ways to the aborigines of Australia. Most of the rest of the population trace their history to later immigration. Africans in South Africa are descendants of migrants from central Africa, who first entered southern Africa about 2,000 years ago. White South African were descendants of later European settlers, mainly from the Netherlands (the Boers), Germany, France and Britain. All have left their mark on the country making it the special place it is. The much used term “Rainbow Nation” was first coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe South Africa after apartheid rule had ended in 1994, and more than 20 years later the country is so different in many ways. As an example, according to the South African Golf Association, the country now has over 450 affiliated golf courses which service more than 125,000 golfers, the majority of the newest ones tend to have been built in the Western Cape.

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So with the history lesson finished and us being fully up-to-date on to South Africa today let us discover the regions in more detail. What better place to start than the world famous city of Cape Town, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the south and east. This is Africa’s most southerly point and the convergence of two major oceans close to Cape Town gives it changeable weather patterns that are generally Mediterranean with hot summers and warm but wet winters.

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For the wine fanatics, the Cape region is famous for the wine producing regions including Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschoek as well as the Karoo, a semi desert region and the Garden Route, an area of coastal vegetation called ‘fynbos’ which is found only in South Africa. The route from George through to Port Elisabeth is known as the ‘Garden Route’ and offers some spectacular scenery and flora especially in their spring which is from late September to early November. This is a must visit location on any itinerary

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The Western Cape

As well as being home to the Mother City of Cape Town as mentioned this is included in most itineraries usually at the start or end. As also mentioned the Western Cape is home to the majority of South Africa’s vineyards with such well-known name as Franschhoek (“French Corner”), Paarl and Stellenbosch. A tour to at least one of these areas, with a driver/guide of course, just has to be one of your days out and perhaps the perfect opportunity for a day away from the golf course. Likewise a trip to Boulders Beach to see the penguins, followed by a drive round Chapman’s Peak and a visit to Kirstenbosch also needs to be on your bucket list. But then there is also Bo Kaap, Robben Island, Hout Bay and, of course, Table Mountain.

When it is time to think about getting your clubs out, the golf courses in the province are some of the best in South Africa and offer a challenge to golfers of all standards. And the green fees are such good value!

Just a few miles to the east is the coastal town of Hermanus, famed for its very particular flora, found only in this region, called ‘fynobos’. But is flora is not your thing Hermanus is famed for being the location where the Southern Right Whales come so close to the shore that all you need to do, is sit on the cliff top with a glass of the local produce. If that is still too tame, then take a short trip to Dyer Island and go Great White Shark cage diving. There really is something here for everyone.

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Eastern_Cape

The Eastern Cape

So, that is Cape Town sorted and now is the time to strike out and discover more of the real South Africa. Three choices of quality reveal themselves to the first time visitor. First up, hire a car and drive towards George (it’s scenic in an M4 through Wiltshire sort of way) and the Garden Route unless you cut inland and route through the Karoo. Best visited in their spring (October & November), the region has some quant Cape Dutch homes and beautiful scenery with the lagoon around which Knysna is built being a particular pull.

The golf courses are simply superb, with the likes of Simola, Oubaai and Fancourt courses that you just have to play. Beware Fancourt Links unless you’re serious golfer or your confidence could take a battering.

Head further east through Tsitsikamma and onwards to Port Elizabeth and the malaria free game reserves awaits with names such as Addo, Amakhala and Shamwari, home to the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant).

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Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga / Limpopo

A two hour flight from Cape Town will take you to Kruger Mpumalanga Intl Airport and another of the major pulls for visitors to South Africa – the Kruger National Park. Named after Paul Kruger who was instrumental in its formation. The park is the size of Wales and borders Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The Kruger has such varying topography that there is a habitat all the major animals you can think of and several hundred more besides. You can self-drive and camp in the Kruger, its great fun and very social but I would also advise spending a little bit more for a few days and finding a rustic lodge in one of the many private game reserves that abut the park.

For some relaxation after the early morning safari starts, head west for an hour or two and visit the area around Pilgrim’s Rest, set in the Drakensberg Escarpment, was one of the Transvaal’s goldfields that drew prospectors to the area in the 1870’s. The scenery is the area is simply stunning with hill walking, white water rafting, hang gliding and horse-riding just some of the activities on offer. Your bucket list in this region has to include visiting the Three Rondavels, Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window.

The golf courses in the area are not as plentiful as the other provinces but what is lacked in quantity is made up by their quality. Leopards Creek has views into the Kruger and is arguably the No.1 course in South Africa, whilst further into Limpopo is Legends which houses two courses of such quality that is needs to be on every golfers list of courses to play. And then there’s its famous 19th

hole – not the bar but a 400m Par 3 (yes Par 3). Have you ever taken a helicopter to a tee box? The region is malaria free and being at a higher altitude, your ball will travel further in the thinner air. It is an ideal destination for a golf & safari combination and, now, also to some incredible island and resorts of Mozambique, with direct flights from the Kruger to Vilanculos.

Mpumalanga

Kwa-Zulu-Natal

Kwa Zulu Natal

And finally to an area that in my opinion is the pivotal region in South Africa from a historical viewpoint and my particular favourite. The name itself evokes the history of the region – Kwa means ‘place of’, Zulu after the warrior nation who under King Shaka shaped the nation. Then there’s Natal, a shortened version of Natalia, that the Portugese called the region after landing here on Christmas Day. Nowadays it is usual shortened to just KZN.

The region is where most of the battles that forged the nation of South Africa took place between the Boers, the Zulus and the colonial British. You cannot have not seen the film ‘Zulu’ starring Michael Caine, it was a real engagement and you can visit the site of the battle.  This one has to be on your bucket list.

The Drakensberg Escarpment continues in an arc from Mpumlanga and provides a stunning backdrop to the hinterland of KZN, a place to take a picnic and hill walk, or horse-ride, or mountain bike or fly fish. Or just relax and breathe in the clear crisp mountain air. A trip to Cathedral Peak and Giant’s Castle is a day not wasted.

Inland from Durban the country opens out into the rolling hills of the Midlands, rising up to the Drakensberg Mountains and the land-locked nation of Lesotho. There is so much to do in this province that you’ll never have time to be bored, whether playing on some of the hidden gems of courses, relaxing on a beach, listening to the stories of its colourful past or tasting the wonderful fusion cuisine offered.

Moving to the coast KZN has some of the best beaches in Africa, stretching up from Richards Bay to the Mozambique border with names such as St Lucia, Kosi and Rocktail. These are wild and remote beaches with superb diving and space to relax – but do not think loungers, club sandwiches and waiter service.

The game reserves are some of the oldest in South Africa, home to a wide variety of wild life and quite close to the coast; it is perfectly possible to have a game drive in the morning, a dive in the Indian Ocean on the afternoon and drinks at Lake Sibaya as the sun sets. What a superb day!

Golfers are well catered for with several superb courses, including some championship ones, both north and south of Durban and in the Drakensberg. I would definitely recommend Durban Country Club, Zimbali, Prince’s Grant and Cotswold Downs..

KwaZulu Natal

RovosRail

Rovos Rail

If all the above seems a bit too much like hard work and you instead want the height of luxury then we also have the answer. Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has rightly earned an international reputation for its world class travel experiences, with discreet, friendly service, supeb cuisine and some of South Africa’s finest wines.

In a series of journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 days, Rovos Rail links some of the sub-continents greatest destinations from Cape Town at its most southerly tip to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the desert landscapes of Namibia through Kwa Zulu Natal to the wonder that is Victoria Falls. Our personal favourite experience sees the train traverses the spectacular Garden Route to the winelands for a brandy distillery visit and across the Cape Fold Mountains before this magnificent expedition ends in Cape Town. Golfers play Leopard Creek at Kruger, Durban Country Club, Humewood in Port Elizabeth, Fancourt in Knysna & Ernie Els Oubaai in George.

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Whale-Tail-Classic

Whale Tail Classic

Finally, if it some serious competitive golf that takes your fancy then it is with great pleasure that Golf Escapes invite you to the take part in the 2nd Whale Tail Classic, Hosted by Arabella Hotel & Spa, South Africa at the end of September 2016 for 5 wonderful days.

The hotel itself offers the ultimate in five-star luxury and a wealth of leisure and business options. The hotel staff will go out of their way to create a memorable and unique event this September. The fabled 18-hole, Par 72 Championship Arabella Golf Course has once again been ranked number 1 in the Western Cape and Top 5 in South Africa. This rugged stretch of South African coastline snakes along the Atlantic Ocean, with magnificent mountains rising up on the other side. As part of the tournament package, you will have the opportunity to see the region’s namesake – whales – cruising and wallowing in the coastal waters. We envisage guests wanting to add on to this 5-night programme, with pre or post tours to the likes of Cape Town, Fancourt or a safari destination and are happy to provide further details as requested.

whaletail

 

So, that’s our synopsis of South Africa. What more could you ask for, great scenery, stunning diving, challenging golf, endless walking, delicious wines and nation forming history. Want to find out more then get in contact with us today.

If you’re considering taking a Golf Escape, perhaps for the first time or maybe you’ve been several times before, Portugal should be on your radar. But why? Have you really thought this through? If not this is our list of reasons why we advise you that you should not take a golfing holiday to Portugal…

The-Journey

Let us start with the journey to Portugal which is most certainly a deal-breaker. Two hours flying south to be nearer to that orange thing in the sky we don’t see hardly anything of in the UK, whilst being served a beer or glass of wine mid-flight. Then just a short transfer to your accommodation, this just doesn’t cut it with us. We prefer staying in the UK with the traffic jams on the M1, rain and mist, stale coffee in a flask to avoid the service stations and that is before “storm Barney” hits on arrival and the courses are then closed.

JOURNEY

The-Weather

Then this leads us to discuss in more detail the weather that you will have to endure whilst staying in Portugal. The temperature in Portugal can reach up to the early 20°Cs in March and then rarely drops below 20°C until November time so you wont be able to show off that new jumper you just brought yourself (or more likely thick coat if you are staying in the UK). Then there is the summer months when temperatures sit in the mid-30°Cs making the need for ice in every Gin & Tonic you enjoy, plus having to bother about reapplying sun cream mid-way through your fantastic round of golf.  Don’t even get us started on the golf-shirt tan to take home and show your friends, it is much better to stay at home and suffer from rust.

An empty beach in the Algarve, Portugal

Lisbon

Another reason not to come to Portugal is the city of Lisbon. If you’re looking to experience the culture of Portugal then Lisbon is the place to visit and stay. But who wants culture, fish & chips are the future right? Actually, within the city you can experience any kind of cuisine from traditional Portuguese to Mediterranean, Chinese or Indian (the fish & chips Lisbon style are actually fantastic but let’s not let that fact get in the way) and don’t forget the vast amount of bars in which you can wash down your fantastic meal in afterwards. This sounds great but your beer gets warm too quickly doesn’t it when you are sitting outdoors on one of the beautiful terraces. Personally we prefer a flat pint of Fosters, indoors at home! There are also plenty of shopping areas (now that really is a downside for many men) and historical monuments making it impossible to be bored on a trip into the city centre. Then it is back to the fantastic golf courses, time for more sun cream…..what a chore.

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The-Algarve

The fourth reason on our “list” is the Algarve. Why would you want to come to the Algarve where there are many options for our customer from reasonably priced to the highest of luxury, real quality service and some fantastic golf on offer? But this can’t be a reason to stay here, surely all this self-indulgence will play havoc with our golf handicap? Not convinced, let’s take a further look around as in addition to the stunning hotels and the great golf courses there are some beautiful little Portuguese fishing villages perfect for a wander round or to get a bite to eat in after a round or two on the golf course. The Algarve also features some beautiful beaches with long stretches of golden sand and clear waters as well as towns with great nightlife and a vast array of bars and restaurants such as Vilamoura. However, did somebody mention sand? Doesn’t that get everywhere? Another one to add to the list? So in summary there is something for everyone and plenty of places to relax and enjoy yourselves both on and off of the golf courses! All in all, why would anyone want to come to the Algarve?

ALGARVE

The-Golf

The last reason, but not the most insignificant are the golf courses on offer in Portugal. Why would anyone want to play the spectacular courses on offer such as the world-class Monte Rei which is a golf course with a unique design situated in unspoilt Portuguese countryside with fantastic views of the Atlantic and of the Serra de Caldeirão mountains? Or the fantastic Ribagolfe I where undulating greens and beautiful surrounding create one of the finest golfing experience around? Not forgetting the loop of 27 holes at Palmares Golf featuring a links style of holes followed by parkland before rolling down the sea meaning that there are incredible views and a diverse course rolled into one round! Last but not least, we have the Praia D’el Rey course which is set in a simply stunning location with picturesque views of the Berlengas Islands and the Atlantic Ocean.

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After reading these reasons would you still take your next golfing holiday to Portugal? Of course you would, it is one of the most amazing of countries and most welcoming of people so for more information visit our website golf-escapes.com or call us on 01342 811 777 and discover Portugal for your next Golf Escape.

 

 

 

When planning your next golfing group escape look no further than our tailor-made guide to selecting your next destination. We are here to suit all your group members’ needs and wants and to make sure you choose the destination right for the holiday you want!

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First on the list we have the Pestana Dom Joao II which is situated in the Algarve. With one of the prettiest beaches just next-door and five fantastic golf courses available to play what could be more appealing? The hotel is also just a short walk into the fabulous town of Alvor where there are copious amounts of bars and restaurants perfect for an evening out after a tough round on one of the Pestana courses or rehydrating after a day lounging in the sun! The hotel has been decorated with a modern style and all the rooms are fitted to a high standard and are of a comfortable size. Not only does the hotel boasts the beachside location to miles and miles of golden sand there are also two pools; an indoor and an outdoor pool perfect for relaxing by after a good night out in Alvor. This hotel is truly in the ideal position both for fantastic golf courses, with the five Pestana courses all being within a 25 minute drive and for great nightlife and eateries in the centre of town. Look no further than this hotel for a lively group golfing escape.

Luna-Olympus

Next up we have Luna Olympus apartments which are situated just 250 metres from the beach and surrounded by the commercial areas of Vilamoura. This is the perfect location for those groups looking for the best nightlife that the Algarve has to offer as well as a great beach and some fabulous restaurants. The apartments are spacious and fully-fitted with air-con a LCD TV with satellite and a kitchenette, there is also a large balcony attached to each to enjoy the views and a cold beer after a long day at the golf course. Golf Escapes clients can receive free shuttles to Vilamoura’s golf courses making this perfect for those groups looking for some great golfing in the day and then a walk into town in the evening! As well as the beach the hotel also offers a lovely outdoor pool area which is great if you’re not looking to venture from the hotel for the day! If your group are after a great town with superb nightlife as well as a lovely beach and Marina then these apartments are ideal for you.

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POLYNESIA

Those groups looking for something a little calmer should look into staying at the fabulous Holiday Polynesia Hotel in Benalmadena. This place is perfect for an all-inclusive golfing holiday in sunny Spain. With some fabulous golf courses just a few minutes’ drive away as well as plenty of great activities on-site such as diving and tennis this really is an all-inclusive gem in the Costa del Sol. The hotel also boasts a spa complete with a sauna, whirlpool and a steam room as well as a gym which is great for a little bit of relaxation! The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle most mornings to the marina and Costa Mijas which guests should take advantage of! All the rooms are spacious and clean and the food options are varied and of a high quality. The hotel is actually situated right on the beach which is a beautiful, sandy beach – perfect for chilling on after a night in the bars! Although the hotel is not within walking distance to extensive nightlife the hotel offers a shuttle down to the bus stop where you can get into different towns from and explore a bit more – even get the train to Malaga! This is perfect for an all-inclusive group golf escape to the Costa del Sol.

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LA-MANGA-CLUB

The apartments at Las Lomas village in La Manga offer a fantastic self-catering opportunity to those groups wanting to cook for themselves or even eat out rather than eat in the hotel all the time. The apartments are in a stunning location and overlook the sea and the North course. There is a huge outdoor pool perfect for soaking up a little bit of sun after a round or two on one of the great La Manga golf courses which are close by to the apartment village. There is a fantastic shuttle service on the resort which means that all the bars and restaurants are within reach by using this service. There are a vast array of different restaurants including an Indian, a Chinese, a burger bar and a tapas restaurant! Of course, there is also the option of cooking in the apartments as they are all fitted with a full kitchen. The apartments also feature a large balcony as well as spacious bedrooms making it perfect for a group as you will all have your own space. If you have a car or choose to get a taxi then the Cabo De Palos harbour is just a few minutes’ drive away and also offers a wide range of bars and fish restaurants. This resort is ideal for those groups looking for the opportunity to cook for themselves as well as having everything they could possibly need onsite and not to forget the fabulous La Manga golf courses nearby!

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Melia_villaitana

Last, but not least on the list we have Hotel Melia Villaitana. This hotel is situated just 20 minutes from the vibrant city of Alicante and between two fantastic courses: the Levante course and the Poniente course. The courses offer a challenge whilst being great, fun courses to play on your next golfing holiday! The hotel features two lovely pool areas around which you can relax pre or post-round! The breakfast buffet is extensive and you have the opportunity to eat out on the terrace which is lovely. Guests can venture into Benidorm on a night out which has a vast array of bars and restaurants and some fun nightlife but the hotel bar is also reasonably priced and has a great atmosphere too. For those looking for more nightlife then Alicante is just a taxi-ride away. The rooms are all spacious and fitted to a high-standard making your stay here both comfortable and enjoyable. This place is ideal for those looking for peace, serenity, relaxation and some great golf during the day and then some fun and lively evenings in Benidorm! Another ideal location for a fun and exciting golfing trip away for groups!VILLAITANA

 

Often going away on a golfing holiday as a couple makes it hard to decide where to go even if you are both keen golfers you both have different requirements but here is our guide to the five best golfing getaways for couples…

Royal---Obidos

First on our list for the best couple hotels we have to offer is the Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa in Portugal. This hotel is just a year and a half old and is set to become a favourite for those looking for serenity and relaxation in a remote and beautiful area with a fabulous golf course onsite. All the rooms are light and spacious with the option of sea view available to guests with modern décor and a well-fitted bathroom. The hotel also has its own spa which features extensive treatments using locally sourced materials and produce and after a treatment you can enjoy yourself in the beautiful indoor pool, the Finnish sauna or the Jacuzzi. For food there is plenty of choice for breakfast at the buffet and for your evening meal you can either eat from the Dinner Menu at the Golf Club or stay at the hotel and eat from their set menu which offers some delicious seafood. The golf course is adjacent to the hotel which is a beautifully designed and challenging course not to be missed! This hotel really is perfect for some relaxation time with your other half whilst getting the opportunities to enjoy a fabulous hotel and golf course.

 

Couples-holidays-blogDonnafugata

In Sicily we have the five star luxury Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa. This is a golfer’s paradise with two fantastic 18-hole golf courses on site! The hotel also features beautiful spa and wellness facilities so even if you’re not a keen golfer you will certainly not be disappointed with your visit to this fabulous hotel as the spa offers extensive facilities and treatments to suit any and all of their guests’ needs. Each of the rooms feature a private balcony or terrace with either a lovely view of the golf course or the beautiful gardens. The hotel hosts three spectacular restaurants which serve a range of cuisine from Mediterranean to their regional specialities – you will never be short of amazing food whilst staying here!  This hotel is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some great golf, great food and great quality treatment on your next couples golfing retreat!

donnafygata Elba-Palace

Next on the list we have Elba Palace Golf and Vital Hotel which is situated right in the centre of the stunning Fuerteventura golf course. As a member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” we are sure you could not be disappointed with a stay at this beautiful gem of a hotel. The rooms are light and spacious, fully fitted with amenities and old fashioned décor. This is an adults-only hotel so ideal for those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of family life! For those looking for activities other than golf the hotel offers a variety including hiking, tennis and diving just to name a few! The hotel also offer free transfers to the nearby Sheraton Spa for those looking for extreme relaxation. Whether you are looking for spectacular golf or a quiet rest in a beautiful location then look no further than this hotel for your next couple golf getaway.

Elba-Palace Gran-Hotel-benahavis

Last but certainly not least on the list is Gran Hotel Benahavis. This beautiful hotel is situated in the hills and is just a five minute walk away from the charming pedestrianised town of Benahavis where there are many different bars and restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine meaning that you are never short of a great eatery whilst here! There are a variety of different rooms in the hotel but all are comfortable and well-appointed with lovely décor. The hotel also features two main pools one of which even has a swim-to-bar making it perfect for a post-round dip and relax! The outside areas around the hotel are stunning with a magnificent courtyard and areas through which you could walk for hours. All guests to the hotel receive free entry to the spa which offers a wide range of treatments and has all the amenities you would expect from a hotel spa of this standard! For those looking for a town livelier than Benahavis then the town of Puerto Banus is just ten minutes away with a bustling atmosphere around the clock! This hotel is perfect for a piece of calm and tranquillity with a wonderful atmosphere yet still within reasonable distance of other livelier towns – what could be better?

Gran-Hotel-benahavis Isla-Canela

Hotel Isla Canela Golf in Andalusia is next on the list which is located in Ayamonte with just the River Guadiana separating itself from the Algarve and just 3km from the stunning beaches of Isla Canela which boasts more than 7km of white sand. This place is perfect for a holiday of complete rest and relaxation to enjoy together. The rooms are spacious with fantastic décor in keeping with its historical and beautiful surroundings some of the rooms also have the view of  the fantastic  18th fairway of the golf course which truly is a sight. The wonderful thing about this hotel is that you feel in the middle of nowhere so if you are looking for relaxation and tranquillity you can find it here but you are also just a 25 minute walk down to some shops, bars and restaurants as well as the beach! The golf course is challenging especially with the wind coming in from the coast but it is a great course and with it being right on your doorstep here at Isla Canela what could be more ideal? This is a perfect hotel for a couples golf escape.

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Sometimes finding a holiday destination for a family is difficult as everyone wants and needs different things and activities but here is our list of the top five family golfing holiday destinations where we have thought of both the children and the adults’ needs…

If you are looking for a fantastic family golfing holiday it is hard to look past the hotels and resorts in Belek as they offer some of the most luxurious holidays and golfing experiences available…

sueno-deluxe

First up we have the brand new Sueno Deluxe which just opened in May this year. The hotel is situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach and offers all-inclusive catering which we all know can be easier than self-catered when budgeting for a family holiday! It would be almost impossible for anyone to be bored here with the beach club, many pools and water activities. A majority of the stunning and modern rooms give guests incredible sea views as well as being fitted with plasma screen TVs, a minibar and a large balcony on which you can enjoy the views. For those non-golfers who are looking for more than water-based activities there is also a gym and spa which guests can appreciate. There are also many different restaurants and bars so even those children with the pickiest of tastes could not go hungry at this stunning new hotel. To top it all off, the golf courses here are fantastic and in the summer are almost empty so you can take a guilt-free round or two knowing that your family are more than taken care of here.

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maxxroyal

Another great new hotel in Belek is the Maxx Royal Golf Resort Hotel. This hotel is one of the most modern and luxurious experiences that Belek has to offer and is also all-inclusive like the Sueno being ideal for families of large eaters especially! Impressively, the Maxx Royal hosts several à la carte restaurants which are all free and easy to book for all guests, the hotel also offers a 24 hour restaurant which can be perfect and ideal for those children who don’t quite have a set eating routine! All rooms feature a LCD TV, a private balcony as well as a well-stocked minibar which is replenished everyday with snacks and soft drinks, the bathrooms are also very spacious and well-stocked with complimentary toiletries. Onsite, as well as the spectacular golf course, there is a water park perfect for families who want some fun without leaving the resort, there are also seven swimming pools as well as a spa and gym where guests can relax and enjoy a traditional Turkish bath as well as a variety of treatments. The hotel is now the owner of the fabulous 18-hole world-class Montgomerie Golf Course where golfers can escape to enjoy a great round and then re-join the non-golfers for a relaxing dip in one of the many pools or a drink at the bar. This hotel truly is perfect for an exciting and luxurious family golfing holiday.

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If you’re not looking for all-inclusive or are looking for a different destination to Turkey then look no further than the great options that sunny Spain has to offer….

LaManga

A fantastic option is the Las Lomas village in La Manga Club. The apartments are built into the hill which means great views out to the Mediterranean and the North Course as well as this, the resort has a village-like feel about it making it feel homely and welcoming. These apartments are perfect for those with younger children when self-catering is sometimes easier as you choose your dining times but there are some great restaurants both on and just off site which are also reasonably priced. Those looking for a sporting holiday should look no further as there are various sporting academies such as tennis or cricket which are perfect for those wanting more scheduled activities during their holiday. The village also hosts its own spectacular spa which is fully fitted with Jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms and a huge lap pool as well as a separate children’s pool. Guests have access to tee-times at the fantastic La Manga Club golf courses and can go and play knowing that the rest of their family are enjoying their stay as much as they are.

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Islantila

Another fabulous golfing resort in Spain but in a different region is the Islantilla Golf Resort Hotel. The resort combines its spectacular 27-hole golf course with a fantastic beach club perfect for all ages which is only a ten minute complimentary train ride away from the hotel. The hotel offers food on a half-board basis which can be ideal for families here as the commercial centre with a small selection of restaurants and shops is only a short walk away so lunch is easy to source and could make a change to eating at the hotel throughout the whole of the holiday but during the evenings the buffet is a different theme most nights which offers all guests the variety they need. The hotel offers numerous leisure activities both by the hotel and down at the beach club which means that your children could never be bored or short of things to do here whether it be playing in the large outdoor pool or enjoying what the beach club has to offer. The rooms are spacious and well-fitted and most have balconies on which to relax after either a hard day at the golf course or a tiring day at the beach club. This hotel is perfect for those looking for a quieter family golfing holiday where the hotel is peaceful but there are still plenty of activities for the little ones.

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If you’re looking for a luxury family golfing holiday then look no further than what the Penina Hotel and Golf Resort in Portugal has to offer…

Penina

Those with young children cannot go wrong with choosing the Penina Resort for their next family golfing holiday. This resort has class, character and a fabulous golf course. The Kangaroo Kids Club is complimentary and once the children are signed up they can sign in and out whenever suits you where they can participate in a variety of fun activities whilst giving you the chance to relax by the huge pool or have a tough round or two on the golf course. If you’re looking for more excitement than just the hotel then you’re in luck here as Alvor is just a five minute drive away where you can find a wide variety of shops and restaurants to enjoy as well as a lovely beach. Further out are the towns of Portimao and Lagoa which are just ten minutes away and also have a wide variety of restaurants and activities as well as being interesting towns. This resort hotel is perfect for young children who need activities during the day to keep them occupied whilst still being within reach of their parents! Overall, if you’re looking for a more traditional golfing family holiday then this is the perfect destination for you.

Le Méridien Penina

 

Sometimes it is hard to decide which of the many golf courses in Europe you are going to put on your golfing bucket list and which you are going to centre your next golfing holiday around but here is our tailor-made list of the top five golf courses in Europe…

To start the list we have these three superb golf courses in Portugal…

Monte-Rei

First up we have Monte Rei which could well be the best golf course that we sell in Portugal and it’s not just the golf course that is first class! All the buggies include GPS systems which help you navigate your way around the spectacular course. The club is renowned for its fabulous service, guests will be met by a member of staff who will even park the car and take the clubs to the first tee for them where they will be clean and waiting for you. This course is not to be missed and everything from its excellent service to the bunkers made of crushed marble and beautiful greenery explains why this is one of the finest courses in the Algarve.

#6San-Lorenzo

Then we have San Lorenzo which is a fabulously well thought out course in Portugal. It is constantly appearing in the list of “Europe’s top 100 courses” in magazines such as Today’s Golfer and Golf World and it isn’t hard to see why.  The course features sandy undulating greens with the fairways bordered by umbrella pines and the marsh sanctuary. The course offers some stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean before turning back inland after the 7th hole showing spectacular greenery and the lakes that make this course a little tricky. We recommend staying at Dona Filipa or the Formosa Park to ensure tee times on this great course!

SanLorenzo_06BackSunset_9681royal-obidos

Next up we have the Royal Obidos course which only opened in 2012 but is already making a name for itself. With its undulating greens and its spectacular scenery of lakes and greenery it’s not hard to see why this is one of the Golf Escapes’ favourites! We recommend a buggy at Royal Obidos as you will certainly know about it the next day if you decide to walk the course and water features so prominently on this course that you are certain to lose a few balls so make sure you bring a few spare! This picturesque course also offers great views of the Atlantic Ocean and holes of varying difficulty. Set in the grounds of the amazing Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa this really is a perfect golfing holiday destination.

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Portugal hosts some fabulous courses but these course which are situated in Spain are sure to turn any keen golfer’s head…

PGA-Catalunya

There are two fantastic 18 hole courses at PGA and both are brilliant in their own ways. These could be argued as the two best courses in Northern Spain easily. The PGA Stadium is the tougher of the two courses and has held the Spanish Open on a number of occasions. Although not confirmed until December, this course has a shot at even being the host of the Ryder Cup 2022. Even though the Stadium course is fantastic, the PGA Tour course seems to be more popular to a lot of golfers as it is easier and less punishing! We recommend staying in Girona if these two courses are on your golfing holiday itinerary which is just 20 minutes away. Girona is a mini Barcelona with plenty of Michelin Star restaurants, stylish bars and great nightlife.

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BlogValderrama

Last, but not least, we have Valderrama. Anyone who knows anything about golf and fantastic golf courses will have heard of Valderrama after its hosting of a plethora of championships. Set amongst cork trees on terrains in brilliant condition, this is arguably one of the best courses in the whole of Europe and has been justifiably been rated as number one. This course has been awarded for environmental excellence and it’s not hard to see why with its naturalistic setting and vast amount of wildlife. Although the course features quick greens it is playable for players of most abilities making it a great round of golf. If price will allow, no golfer should miss out on ticking this fantastic course off of their golfing bucket list.

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And our wildcard…the spectacular Thracian Cliffs course situated in Bulgaria…Thracian-Cliffs

Thracian Cliffs is unlike any other golf course in Europe.  It’s spectacular and a very tough and challenging course, even the best players will have to have a good round to score even close to their handicap! The course was designed by Gary Player and all 18 holes run along the cliff line of the Black Sea and the green fees at Thracian Cliffs all include unlimited use of the driving range facilities and a buggies. Just 15 minutes from the town of Balchik which is a great, local Bulgarian town where you can grab a pre or post round meal! We believe that the reason people should play at Thracian Cliffs is because it’s a world-class golfing experience, unlike any other course and it is also superb value for money. This course is a must-play and will be an unforgettable round!

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