7 Tricks to Avoid the High Prices

To keep your Golf Escape under the budget you desire can sometimes be a tricky job for the tour leader. Of course, everyone wants to play the best courses and stay in the nicest hotels possible, but often, it cannot be done for the set budget. If you can be flexible with your dates, then there are always some little periods in the year where there is a deal to be had. So here are our top tips of when to stay and play at certain hotels and courses for the 2019/20 season.


Our first visit is to Las Colinas golf course on the border of the Costa Blanca and Murcia regions. Voted Spain’s best course 3 years in a row at the World Golf Awards, this is one that should be on everyone’s list to play. Littered with bunkers and huge water hazards, it is a course that is very pleasant on the eye. With little else around the course too, it is a peaceful experience, which helps as you work your way around this challenging course. But when should you play it? September. Las Colinas class September as their ‘low season’, even though it is a lot of regions most popular month for golfers. They cut the prices by 25% and makes one of Europe’s best courses a very affordable round of golf. Coming in at below £80 per person with a buggy included too, you have to include it in your itinerary for anybody staying from La Manga right up to Benidorm. It is well worth the journey.


The next stop off is in the Eastern Algarve and we are going to talk luxury. Not just luxury accommodation, but a golf course to match it too. Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is one of Portugals finest golf resorts, perhaps even the best. Its huge Villas are traditional in design with modern touches throughout, making it the perfect place to relax before tackling the demanding
course on site. The Nicklaus course of Monte Rei is a Golf Escapes favourite and has to be considered a bucket list course that competes with some of the best courses in the world. Perfectly maintained all year, stunning surroundings and a level of service you can’t imagine is why this course is so superior to many others. Sounds expensive right? For a resort this good, it is worth paying for, but in the prime golfing period between 01st – 14th March, You could do 3 nights and 2 rounds (with buggies and range balls) from £359 per person! So, I bet we can guess where you will be going next March!

The Canary Islands. Known for its steady warm temperatures all year round, making it a fantastic winter golf destination where you can get away from the rain, wind and snow in the UK for some golf in the sun. The golf courses know this though and for that reason, their high seasons are from October through to April. So why don’t we go there in May or September? Same weather, same golf courses, but a fraction of the price. For example, Costa Adeje Golf in Tenerife. If you were to play this course on the 1 st of May or September, compared to the 1 st of November or February you would save over £35 per round!

The same for Salobre Old Course in Gran Canaria. You would save over £25 per round at this golf course. These are just two examples, but similar savings are to be had at all courses in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura during the ‘summer’ months. It seems strange to think things would be cheaper at these times of the year, but it really is the case, we promise.


When you think of a good time of year to play golf abroad, most people would say April, May September give you the full package. Sun, but not too hot and also not paying the high hotel prices that June, July and August bring. Nestled right in the centre of Paphos new town is the Dionysos Hotel, this property offers an unbelievable price in April. Peak golf season and with average temperatures 21°, this has to be the perfect opportunity to visit such a fantastic golf destination. The 3-star hotel in a perfect location is £20 per person, per night cheaper in April that it is in September! This hotel paired with the fabulous courses the island has to offer such as Aphrodite Hills, Secret Valley, Elea and Minthis makes for the perfect golfing getaway for couples and groups alike. They very much look forward to welcoming you in the most wonderful Cypriot manor.

Next is an option for groups on a budget. Mar Menor Golf Resort in Murcia is a resort that continues to baffle everyone here at Golf Escapes, but for all the right reasons. The resort has a 5-star hotel, 4-star apartments, a good selection of bars and restaurants and a lovely Jack Nicklaus golf course all within a stone’s throw of each other. Yet the apartments, known as ‘The Residences at Mar Menor’ is one of the cheapest and best value packages available in Europe. The resort is cheap all year
round, but to make it even better, they class the golfing peak season of May as their ‘low season’. So let’s talk numbers. 3 nights 2 rounds from £159 & 7 nights 4 rounds from £309 in May, yes May! Not only is there a great course on-site, but there are also 6 other courses that you can play for no extra cost and use the free shuttle bus provided by the resort to take you there too. We hope to see you there in May, because we will be there.


Praia D’el Rey. I am sure most of you have heard of the resort north of Lisbon and most would think of it as a prestigious golf course. That’s because it is. It has recently had a rather good addition to the resort too. West Cliffs golf course opened 18 months ago and has quickly become one of the most sought- after courses in the country. These two courses mixed with Royal Obidos and Bom Sucesso (all within 15 minutes of each other) makes for one of the best selections of courses to play in Europe.
Back to the question of when to visit though… To be honest, we’ve cheated with this one. Go at any time. Any time from April until June and from September until the end of October is when we would recommend though. It can be a bit chillier here in the lower seasons, so nice to wait until the weather warms up, but when it does, it is a place of stunning natural beauty. Prices at either the 5 star Marriot Praia D’el Rey Hotel or the Praia D’el Rey Village (apartments and villas) are fantastic value for money during these periods. It is another resort that is hard to understand why it is so cheap considering the quality of golf courses. With 4 nights and 3 rounds staying in the village starting from £245 this package would be at least double the price if the resort was based in the Algarve. Golf Escapes really can’t applaud this resort highly enough as it is a truly unbelievable destination for the keenest of golfers.


Last but certainly not least… The Conrad Algarve. Voted in the top 5 hotels in the Algarve on TripAdvisor, a Michelin Star restaurant and awards under its belt such as having the best spa and the best hotel suite in Europe. The hotel is situated in the perfect location of the classy town, Quinta do Lago. Opposite bars and restaurants and 3 world class golf courses (Quinta do Lago North, South & Laranjal) within 5 minutes, this hotel has everything to offer. The hotel is luxury in every sense of the
word and is one of the most expensive hotels in the Algarve and rightly so. It is quite simply outstanding. Of course, though, it wouldn’t be in this article if it didn’t have a sneaky period where it becomes a place where anybody can visit. This period is from the beginning of March until the beginning of April, the perfect time of the year for golfers. It is literally half the price in March
compared to June & September. A Golf Escape of pure quality throughout is very possible and more than affordable in the month of March and if you wanted to treat yourself next year, get it booked sooner rather than later for even further discounts.
We hope this might have helped plan your holiday for this year and next. Be as flexible as possible with your dates and you never know what deals might just be a few days away from the dates you were first thinking.

 

What Makes a Golf Resort Great?

There are many different golf resorts out there that offer a variety of experiences, but why are some more popular than others? Here is Golf Escapes’ guide to what makes a golf resort a great one.

Us Brits love things to be easy when we are on holiday, and why wouldn’t we? If we can stay in a hotel and walk out to the golf course in the morning, have a nice dip in the hotel pool in the afternoon and then wander out to a local bar or restaurant in the evening, then that would just be perfect. Does that exist though? Of course it does!

La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain ticks all of these boxes. Just 25 minutes from Murcia airport, or 90 minutes from Alicante airport it is very accessible from most UK airports. La Manga Club Resort is basically one big town with the beautiful 5-star Principe Felipe hotel in the middle of it. 2 courses lay aside the hotel (North and South) and 1 course (West) is a 5-minute shuttle drive away. If the luxury 5-star hotel isn’t your thing, then you can also experience the 4-star Las Lomas apartments which are a 10-minute shuttle from the hotel and boast an enormous Spa in their grounds too. The resort is made so stress-free for its guests with a constant shuttle service running around all day to take you wherever you may want to go. Whether it be the tennis courts, spa, football pitches, golf courses or to many of La Manga’s bars and restaurants, the shuttle is just a phone call away. Both the hotel and apartments have bars and restaurants to walk out to for an evening and with food from all the continents available and of course a resident Irish bar on site, what more could you want? Bearing all this in mind, there really isn’t anything not to like about La Manga and this is why Golf Escapes consider it to be one of our ‘great’ golf resorts.

Another type of golf holiday people are starting to enjoy more is to have a hotel as the main hub for the week and not leave the site for the duration of your stay. This is not an easy thing for a hotel to achieve as the hotel needs to create an atmosphere to keep guests entertained throughout the day and evening. One resort that has this down to a tee is the Precise Resort El Rompido on the Costa de la Luz, Spain. How have they achieved this though? Simple… 2 fantastic golf courses (North and South) that provide a challenge to every handicap, a stunning 5-star hotel, a great pool in the middle of the horseshoe hotel and a little treat called Semi All-Inclusive. Semi All-Inclusive is every golfer’s dream. You get breakfast and dinner, plus drinks in the evening from 17:00 – 24:00. So whilst you play golf in the day, you don’t feel like you are wasting your All-Inclusive when you are on the course and as soon as its time for your sundowner in the evening, the drinks kick in at all 3 of the hotel’s bars. Perfect! El Rompido has somehow managed to create an atmosphere of an evening which brings hotel guests together and the hotel bars become a social hot spot. It’s this atmosphere that means all guests are happy to stay within the resort for their whole stay and never feel like they need to do anything else. It is this reason why Precise Resort El Rompido has made it is to Golf Escapes’ ‘great’ golf resorts.

The final golf resort to feature has been included for the golf it can offer. Well… and its stunning 5-star boutique hotel. Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa in Portugal is an hour’s drive north of Lisbon airport and has a fantastic championship golf course on-site. The Royal Obidos golf course is flashy in every sense. With huge lakes, undulating fairways, immaculate greens and outstanding practice facilities, this course will leave you wanting to play it again and again. Although it is not just the course on site to the hotel that makes this resort so appealing. With 3 other courses within a ten-minute drive, the area of Obidos becomes one of the best golf destinations in Europe. Bom Sucesso (a European Tour Property), Praia d’el Rey (one of the most famous courses in Portugal) and the new West Cliffs Golf Links (will host many big tournaments in the future and could quite easily now be seen as the best course in the country) are the 3 courses that surround Royal Obidos and they all work together. A free shuttle service runs from the hotel doors to the other 3 courses and all 4 courses in the area are a must play. The hotel on-site to Royal Obidos is a thing of beauty. Quirky, but modern, it has a very open feel to the place. The reception and bar are next to one another and the main restaurant is just down the stairs. It makes for a very relaxing stay from the off as you won’t need to spend half your first day looking for everything. All your needs will be easily dealt with by the hotel’s fantastic staff. It is a real treasure of a resort for the keenest of golfers that like a touch of luxury and is why it is the last resort that makes it into Golf Escapes’ ‘great’ golf resorts.

The Best Golf Courses in Europe That Won’t Break the Bank

If you work your way around all the destinations in Europe, there are so many golf courses out there that mean you can have a great Golf Escape without spending a small fortune. Every region has their signature course that all the group flock to play, but they usually come at a cost. Here is our advice on how to play great golf courses, but keeping it within a healthy budget too.el-chaparral

El Chaparral – A really fun course. The design is very different to others in the area and is a really interesting course to have in your itinerary. We always recommend to play it in the middle of your holiday as it is very tight and a tough one to start off with. The added bonus with El Chaparral is that shared buggies are included in the greenfee as well, just to make it even better value for money! After your round, stay for a drink as the staff are incredibly friendly and gives the superb clubhouse a great atmosphere. A real gem of the Costa del Sol.castro-marim

Castro Marim – In the East of the Algarve lays some great golf courses and with the town of Tavira in the middle of them all, it is a fantastic place to take your next holiday. Out of the local courses, Castro Marim is easily the best value for money. Three loops of 9 holes, the Grouse, Guadiana and Atlantico make up the resort and all three are great. The Grouse is the newest and perhaps the best if you wanted to take in the views of the rolling hills. The Guadiana is the tightest, set amongst pines trees. Several of the greens are elevated and are usually the fastest of the 9 holes. Beware of the bunkers! Finally the Atlantico. Plenty of water and similar to the Guadiana in that it is lined with pine trees. Definitely worth playing when staying in the East of the Algarve and an area in general that must be considered for your next Golf Escape.

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El Valle – Murcia is a golfer’s paradise with so many golf courses all in such close proximity to the sea front and to Murcia Airport and all brilliant value. You can play 6 different courses without travelling any further than 30 minutes from your base in Los Alcazeras. El Valle is the Golf Escape pick though. A vast open space littered with bunkers makes it a course that you have to think your way around. Tight fairways also add to the difficulty of the course. When you think you have mastered the fairways and bunkers you are then faced with huge expanses of water on the 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th. Tough, but a very pleasant walk taking in views of the hills surrounding you.

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Troia – A treat to play if you are staying anywhere in the Lisbon area and fancy a good day out. The course is situated in the Troia Peninsula and means getting a short ferry journey from Setubal. When you get there though, you will see why it is worth the journey. The course is stunning. If it was anywhere else in the world it would be a £150 round of golf easily. This is where location, location, location works in the guests favour. You can play this course for great value for money as long as you don’t mind the journey. Playing alongside a peaceful beach, it has a links feel to it at times with sandy wasteland for the 2nd cut of rough. A challenge, but a real favourite in the Golf Escapes office.

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Golf Escapes Top 18 European Holes, chosen by the team…Back 9

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

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

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11thPenha Longa 6th – Par 5, Portugal.

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

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

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

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

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

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14th – La Reserva 9th – Par 4, Spain.

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

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15th BlackSeaRama 18th – Par 3, Bulgaria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Golf Escapes Top 18 European Holes, chosen by the team…Front 9

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

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

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

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

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3rd – Valderrama 17th – Par 5, Spain.

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

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4th – Carya 10th – Par 4, Turkey.

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

 

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

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

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6th – Santana 4th – Par 5, Spain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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