Bucket List Golf

This week’s blog is a guide to some of the best golf courses from around the world that we recommend having on your bucket list. There are some spectacular golf courses out there and if you are a discerning golfer you will have identified the ones that you want to have the opportunity to play but we recommend these brilliant courses as a round on one of these courses is truly unforgettable.

Both of the courses at Fairmont St Andrew’s are incredible and each deserve a place on this list and it isn’t hard to see why. The Kittocks course is situated on elevated ground next to the cliff-tops and boasts a fantastic and dramatic design that is a brilliant test of golf. The course features two man-made lakes but the layout of the course honours the tradition of golf at St Andrew’s with two double greens and many deep pot bunkers. As you play your round, you will meander along the Fife coastline where you can enjoy beautiful views over St Andrews which just adds to the brilliant feel of this course. Beware of this course, you may be eased in for the first few holes but when you get to the par-5 5th hole, you never really look back. The Torrance course is a testing one at 7,230 yards from the back tees. The course played host to The Open in 2010 and is a top-quality course right from the welcome that you receive in the clubhouse to each and every one of the well-manicured greens. The course is built on the cliff tops and whilst you are enjoying your round you can enjoy stunning views over the North Sea. Like its sister course, you have a gentle start, but the course soon becomes trickier. With a professional welcome at the clubhouse and great service as well as two beautifully manicured courses which both will provide you with an excellent test of golf, it is no surprise that we recommend that Fairmont St Andrews Golf Club has a place on your golfing bucket list.

Next, is the brilliant Albatros at Le Golf National which is considered to be one of the best championship courses in Europe and so it is no surprise that the course will host the 2018 Ryder Cup. The course boasts brilliantly fast greens, undulating fairways and links-style bunkers which makes this course a strategic challenge of golf. During your round here, you will need to use every single club in your bag in order to score as well as you can. The finale of this course is very impressive, and the greens are surrounded by water hazards which makes it a fantastic and challenging end to the course and is sure to mean some last-minute drama at the Ryder Cup later this year. It is not surprising that this is a recommendation of ours for your golfing bucket list and so make sure that you book your golf break soon as possible as we are sure that this course will be getting a lot of attention this year…

Fancourt Golf Club’s Links course is another one that we highly recommend to you and is arguably South Africa’s premier leisure resort which is situated in the heart of the Garden Route. The course is situated on over 1,500 acres of lush African countryside and boasts the majestic Outeniqua Mountains as the perfect backdrop. This Gary Player course has a unique feel to it and is a magnificent round of golf with some amazing wildlife and scenery to enjoy during your round if you can pull your eyes away from the course! There are no easy holes on the course and the rough is severe and penal, if you’re a high handicapper this may not be the best course for you but is one that you can aspire to play.

The K Club is widely considered to be one of the most opulent golf resorts in Ireland so it isn’t hard to see why we have added this to our list of golf courses that should be on your bucket list. The Palmer Ryder course at K Club is a stern test of golf at 7,337 yards from the back tees. As you play your round here, you will have to take on many different challenges successfully in order to finish the round with a good scorecard. These challenges range from the vast number of water hazards to strategically placed bunkers and fast greens. This course should not be underestimated and even if you don’t score well, a trip to The K Club is a brilliant one with first-class service and facilities as well as a course with a fantastic layout and stunning views. There are some very intimidating holes which you must tackle carefully including the 16th which is a very long par-5 at just under 600 yards from the blue tees and boasts a double dogleg where you must navigate your ball around the water and bunkers as well as many trees before you get to approach the green which is protected on two sides by the River Laffey and is difficult to reach successfully. This is a brilliant course with some unique and interesting holes as well as a lovely clubhouse to enjoy a drink and meal in after.

Last, but certainly not least, is Real Club Valderrama which has hosted many championship golfing events since its opening and has justifiably been ranked as the number one course in Europe. It is always in immaculate condition and boasts a great design but is one that challenges even the best of golfers with many tight holes and hazards to navigate your way around. The closing holes are always described as being very tough but if you choose your tee option wisely then you should be able to get a fairly good scorecard. Although the green fee is a little expensive here, it is more than worth the money to get the chance to play on this world-renowned course.

We hope that you have taken a note of the courses you would be most interested in adding to your golfing bucket list and that you consider booking a golf break to one of them and the fantastic hotels that are nearby to these brilliant courses…

Major Golfing Events in 2018

This week’s blog is a guide to the big golfing events that are happening this year. There is something very special about watching the finest golfers in the world play on some of the most breathtaking courses and these are some of the events that you should have the dates in the calendar for…

The 42nd Ryder Cup will be played over the last weekend in September 2018. This year, the tournament will be held at Le Golf National in France on their recently renovated and very difficult Albatros course. This is only the second time in the history of the tournament that the competition has been held in continental Europe (the first being when it was played at the magnificent Valderrama Golf Club in Spain in 1997). The 12-man European team will comprise the first four players from the European Points list as well as the leading four players from the World Point list and four wildcard players. There is still a long way to go before teams will be decided, especially as the competitions held closer to the time reward more points in order for the players that have played best recently to get selected. You can take a look now at the World Point list and the European Point list to see if your favourites are close to being given the chance to play for the European Team this Autumn. The Albatros course at Le Golf National is a spectacular course which combines the traditional feel of a links course with modern features. This is a very tricky course and the final four holes, where the final holes will be played of the Ryder Cup this year, are surrounded by water hazards which will make this a tense and difficult end to the competition. Make sure that you have the dates in the calendar for the 42nd Ryder Cup this Autumn and keep an eye on your favourites on the Points lists.

The US 2018 Masters will be played this year during the week commencing Monday 2nd April and finishing on Sunday 8th April. This year, the tournament will be played at the superb Augusta National Golf Club. Just like membership at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters is an invitation-only event and whilst there are specific criteria that need to be met to be in with a chance of getting an invitation, it is a very exclusive event. Augusta Golf Club is a very exclusive club and it isn’t hard to see why, the course is truly magnificent and is always kept in pristine condition. The layout is superb and is designed to test even the best of golfers. If you have ever wondered what it is like to experience the excitement and buzz of getting to witness the brilliant golf at Augusta National Golf Club first-hand or if you have ever pictured yourself walking along the magnificent course in real life then take a look at our fantastic Golf Escapes US Masters 2018 packages which can all be tailored to fit you so that you can have the best experience at Augusta possible this April.

The 2018 Open Championship will be the 147th Open Championship and will be held from the 19th to 22nd July 2018 at the fantastic Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. There is quite a wide field of entrants for the Open Championships and you can apply to be given the chance to play alongside some of the world’s greatest players. Carnoustie Championship course is a natural seaside links course and is one of the toughest courses in Britain and Ireland. With strategically placed formidable bunkers, sloping fairways and fast greens, this a very challenging course and when the wind is up you must play cautiously to avoid losing a ball to one of the cavernous bunkers.

The 2018 European Tour has announced many different dates and competitions that are to take place all over the world from South Africa to China to the US and Scotland. There are several Major Championships throughout the year including the Masters Tournament in April, the U.S Open in June, The Open Championship in July and the PGA Championship in August. Asides from these, there are many smaller competitions and championships each month which can be viewed and enjoyed by keen golfers such as yourselves…If you are looking for some brilliant golf to immerse yourself in when you don’t have the chance to get out on the course for a round or two then make sure that you are up to date with the golf that you can enjoy even if it is just on the TV.

If you are a keen golfer and want to see some of the greatest players in the world compete for top prizes and recognition then make sure that you take a note of the important dates and maybe even book your package with us to go and see the US Masters or the Ryder Cup! 

Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus – Golf Resort of Europe 2018

If you are looking for somewhere to venture to for your golf escape this year then look no further than the fantastic Aphrodite Hills Resort which is situated in Paphos, South Cyprus. In December, IAGTO named Aphrodite Hills Resort as the 2018 European Golf Resort of the Year in the prestigious annual IAGTO awards. Aphrodite Hills Resort was competing against hundreds of different brilliant golf resorts and it isn’t hard to see why they stole the crown for this award.

The Aphrodite Hills Resort is the only comprehensive golf, leisure and real estate development in Cyprus and has been developed over the last 10 years to produce this luxurious and unique resort. You can choose from staying at the luxurious five-star Aphrodite Hills Hotel or you can stay at The Residences in one of the fantastic apartments of villas which range from one bedroom to five bedrooms with their private swimming pools and fully equipped kitchens. The resort boasts a fantastic location nestled in the hills above Paphos and surrounded by the stunning multi award-winning golf course. There is a range of different luxurious amenities and activities for you to enjoy on the resort with the Tennis Academy, the Greco-Roman Retreat Spa, the exclusive Zias Beach Club, nature trails for jogging or horse-riding and many other activities await you at the resort. Not only is there so much to do and see, but there is also so much to eat and drink. The resort boasts 18 different restaurants and a wide array of different bars, so you are never far away from somewhere brilliant to unwind, relax and enjoy good food and drink.

The brilliant five-star Aphrodite Hills Hotel is situated at the heart of the Aphrodite Hills Resort and boasts luxurious and contemporary accommodation and facilities. Each of the rooms is beautifully decorated and boasts a private terrace from which you can either see out across the pool, gardens, the magnificent golf course or the sea. Just two minutes’ walk from the hotel will take you out to the brilliant Aphrodite Hills PGA National Cyprus sits. Most of our packages to the hotel are B&B and so for your other meals you can enjoy venturing out to one of the 18 different restaurants that sit within the Aphrodite Hills Resort. This is a beautiful, luxurious hotel with so much to do and see including relaxing in the Retreat Spa or on the private beach which includes a beach club and a kids’ club if you choose to come here as a family.

The Aphrodite Hills Holiday Residences are perfect if you are looking for a spacious place to stay with your own fully-fitted kitchen which means that you don’t have to eat out all the time and you can enjoy cooking and eating a meal out on your private terrace attached to whichever apartment or villa you choose to rent. From the Residences, you can enjoy sweeping views of the Mediterranean, the Aphrodite Hills golf course and the unspoilt natural landscape of Paphos. Just a short walk from the Residences is the Village Square and the clubhouse where you can find a great array of different bars and restaurants and enjoy what you find whilst soaking up your beautiful surroundings.

No matter whether you feel that the Hotel or the Residences are the perfect fit for you and whoever you are travelling with to the Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort, you will get to experience the same luxury experience with all of the amenities, facilities and surroundings to enjoy. Whether you want to spend your days hiking along the trails and enjoying the different sporting facilities including a gym, or if you prefer to relax on the golden sand or in the Retreat Spa where you can choose from a range of different massages and health and beauty treatments, Aphrodite Hills has you covered. The best thing that the Hotel and the Residences have in common is the outstanding Aphrodite Hills Golf Course which was designed by the acclaimed architect Cabell Robinson.

Re-opened in January 2018 after a full refurbishment, the newly appointed PGA National, Cyprus boasts a unique layout across over 6,289 metres and overlooking beautiful landscape. This magnificent 18-hole championship golf course officially opened in 2002 and it is the perfect challenge for golfers of all abilities. With difficult pot bunkers, manicured fairways or lush Bermuda grass and tiered greens, this is an enjoyable but tricky course. The course follows the contours of two plateaux with the fairways cut through olive groves, lakes and the villas of the Residences. As you play the course, you wind through indigenous olive and carob trees and experience some breath-taking scenery including a dramatic ravine along the course from which you can see across the Mediterranean Sea. This ravine can make play difficult, as during the 7th hole you must travel your ball across the 130-metre gorge. This is quite a hilly course but with our packages, a buggy is included to make your life easier and you can still see out across the stunning landscape.

This is a truly breath-taking course and many of the most memorable holes from the course run alongside or across the central ravine. After your round, enjoy some time in the extensive clubhouse which overlooks the 18th green and is somewhere which is perfect to enjoy a well-earned beverage and a bite to eat. This course is a spectacular one and one that tops off the luxurious and exclusive Aphrodite Hills Resort perfectly.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are considering booking your next golf holiday, you think of Cyprus and this award-winning, fantastic resort which has everything that you could possibly need for the perfect Golf Escape.

Inspiration for 2018 – Driving Golf Holidays

This week’s blog is a blog on our driving golf holidays. If you are looking for inspiration for your next 2018 golf break then we hope to provide you with some here. The advantages of going on a driving golf holiday are that you don’t have to worry about how much you pack and paying extra baggage allowance for your golf clubs and that once you are at the hotel, you can venture out to many different golf courses and explore the local area easier.

Galgorm Resort and Spa is situated in Northern Ireland and boasts a beautiful location situated within 163 acres of lush parkland and the River Maine flows through the estate. In 2016, Galgorm Resort and Spa won the IGTOA award for “Large Golf Hotel of the Year” and it isn’t hard to see why with its unique setting, impressive facilities and amenities as well as easy access to some world-class golf. The hotel boasts an excellent spa and Thermal Village which comprises of both indoor and outdoor spa facilities and the access to these facilities is included within your B&B rate. Each of the 122 guest rooms is beautifully luxurious with spacious ensuite bathrooms and many of them offer stunning views out across the River Maine and the surrounding countryside. Whilst you are here, especially if you have a car, you have so much to do, see and explore as you are within close proximity of both Belfast and the North Antrim Coast. Whilst you are not out in the local area, you can enjoy relaxing at the hotel and dining at one of the three onsite restaurants including a traditional Italian, a Bar and Grill and a fine dining restaurant. Not only does Galgorm Resort and Spa offer all of these great facilities but you can easily drive out to the nearby golf courses of Galgorm Castle, Portstewart Golf Club and Royal Portrush. This is the perfect place for your next golf break.

Situated just three minutes’ walk from the beach and overlooking the famous Old Course in St. Andrews centre is the brilliant Macdonald Rusacks Hotel. This is a wonderfully traditional pub which features a brilliant gastro pub and a luxury champagne bar which is in keeping with the style of this plush hotel. There are only 68 guest rooms, but they are all luxuriously decorated and boast high quality facilities and amenities including air conditioning, designer toiletries, a satellite TV, a hairdryer and Wi-Fi. Besides from the brilliant The One Under Gastro Pub which serves traditional Scottish food accompanied with an extensive wine list, there is the Rocco Bar and Grill which serves a rustic Italian menu and boasts views over the West Sands Beach. You are situated in a prime position here to enjoy some excellent golf including the Jubilee Course and the Old Course and there is so much to do within the local area as you are just 10 minutes’ walk from St Andrews Castle and 20 minutes’ drive from Dundee. With two fantastic restaurants, luxurious rooms, an excellent location and some world-class golf within close proximity of the hotel, it is no surprise that this is a recommendation of ours for your next driving golf holiday.

In Northern France, in the centre of the wonderful town of Le Touquet and nearby to several excellent golf courses is Hotel Red Fox. Whilst here, you are just five minutes’ walk from the beach and 150 yards from the brilliant Casino. Each of the guest rooms features air-conditioning, Wi-Fi access and a satellite TV. In the mornings, you can enjoy a buffet breakfast with fresh pastries and fruit in the breakfast room and for other meals, you will be sure to find somewhere excellent to eat in the local town. This is a great value hotel where you can enjoy the charm of the local area and get the chance to play some of the best golf courses in Northern France. In Le Touquet, you can explore the local area in style by going on a Segway tour or visit the Marche Couvert market to do a bit of shopping and appreciate the French culture of the town. You are also nearby to the beach and a brilliant waterpark which is situated on the beach. If you are looking to explore some of the history of the region and don’t mind venturing a little further by car then you can drive 90 minutes to Nord Pas de Calais where there are some fascinating World War sites. This is a very popular hotel with golfers and it isn’t hard to see why as you are within such close proximity of fabulous courses like La Touquet’s La Mer and La Foret courses and if you are happy to drive a little further afield, 40 minutes away are the renowned Hardelot’s Les Dunes and Les Pins courses. This is a great destination for your next driving golf holiday as you can get to many of the brilliant courses in the area easily with your car.

The Martins Brugge is a great three-star hotel which boasts an excellent location just a few steps away from the main market square, Grote Market and the 13th century Belfort Tower. This little hotel is the perfect place to base your golf break in Bruges with a central location and easy access to some brilliant sites and golf courses. There are many historical sites within close proximity of the hotel including the Belfry of Bruges, the medieval bell tower which you can climb up to enjoy panoramic views of the city. There is also the Sint-Salvators cathedral and the Picasso Exhibit. The hotel boasts a modern theme and all of the guest rooms boast a flat-screen TV as well as air conditioning, complimentary WI-Fi and a well-stocked minibar. Whilst you are not exploring the local area and enjoying the many restaurants and bars that are to offer in the city, you can enjoy the Arthies restaurant which serves delicious Belgian cuisine which is created using locally sourced produce. Of course, the most important benefit of this hotel is that it is not far from some fantastic golf courses. Just 35 minutes’ drive away is the Executive and Championship course at the Royal Zoute Golf Club and you are 40 minutes’ drive from the Langleed Golf Course. There are other golf courses closer to the hotel including Damme Golf and Country Club and Golf Club Oostburg. This is a brilliant hotel for your next driving golf break for 2018 and is one that provides you with an excellent base to explore the exciting city of Bruges from.

These are just a few of the brilliant tours that we offer within the UK, Northern Ireland, France and Belgium so make sure that you have a browse of the website or give us a call to find out the full range of options including a range of hotels and B&Bs from three to five-star as well as various exciting golf courses ranging in levels of difficulty – the world is your oyster with all of these different options to explore.