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As we return to golf, competitions will hopefully soon resume and in this blog we’ll look at how you can mentally prepare yourself for the pressures that a round of golf can bring.

Whether you’re having the round of your life, or a round to forget somewhere across your 18 holes you’ll be met with some kind of pressure, on the tee or on the green either from yourself or your playing partners.

Now, if you’re anything like me, this pressure often causes tee shots to be sliced, putts to be left short, and a long walk to retrieve my thrown club. But what can you do in these situations to prepare yourself when the temperature rises?

Centre yourself.

Based around removing the negative thoughts and focusing on the shot at hand, centering is a way of maintaining composure and retaining control of the situation, no matter the occasion.

How Do I Do It?

There are 4 key steps to centering yourself and they are crucial in removing distractions and executing the intended shot.

  1. Replace negative thoughts surrounding the shot at hand with a positive one; e.g. turn “this is a long putt” into “I’ve made these putts before”
  2. Centre your attention, focus internally on the shot at hand; how will the putt feel? How will you swing the putter to ensure you sink the putt?
  3. Begin to focus externally on the shot, what do you need to account for; how are the greens running? What breaks are in the green and this putt?
  4. Execute the shot. When you’re ready, take the putt, be sure not to overthink the shot, and prepare for execution as soon as you feel physically and mentally ready.

 

Can I just use it?

As with any psychological techniques, these must be worked on individually as it may take more time not only to implement into your game, but also to execute.

With more important shots it may take more time to centre yourself, and with different types of shots, for example a tee shot may take less time than a putt. Therefore it is important to understand how you centre yourself and how long it takes you.

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. To learn more about the effects of centering, have a read of this research using it in ice hockey. Although it’s a different sport, the same principles can apply.

Expect the unexpected

 

Ahhh, you’re back on the course. After being locked down you’re stood on the first tee box again, a tricky hole, and one you’ve struggled with in the past, lots of danger on the right, and red stakes lining the fairway. Perfect.

 

You’re lacking confidence and not sure what to expect. Bang, the dreaded slice returns, your ball sails out of bounds and before you know it, you’re three off the tee. But how can your thoughts before the shot influence this dreaded start to a round?

 

Your expectations before a shot can have major influence not only on your mental game, raising or lowering anxiety or confidence, but also your physical game, with the ability to loosen or stiffen your body as a result. Therefore it is important to manage your expectations throughout your round, importantly before every shot.

The theory behind expectations

Expectations are a combination of both your perception of the task or shot at hand, and also what you put this down to. Are the factors influencing the outcome of your shot within your control or not? What have you put your performances down to in the past and how do these translate into future performances?

 

Let’s start with your success. When you have a good round what do you put this down to? Is it something stable, like your ability or do you put it down to something unstable, like a few lucky shots? If you put it down to your ability you naturally become more self-confident in your ability, you believe that you can continue these performances going forward and you’re well on your way to lowering your handicap. If, however, you put it down to luck on the course, you retain humility, understanding that although you must be improving, your success isn’t guaranteed next time.

 

By the same token your failures can also be put into these two brackets, if you have a bad round and begin to relate it to your ability, you can reduce your confidence and expect to play the next round, or certain holes poorly based on these experiences. An often preferred attribution is something unstable, if you feel you were unlucky with a few putts or chips you can protect your confidence, and you understand that next time you play, you might get a lucky bounce, or play the hole in a better way.

 

It is unhealthy for an athlete to lean too heavily one way or another. The athlete must be able to praise themselves when it is deserved, and understand that they have hit an excellent shot, however this mustn’t go to their heads. Similarly, if you hit a bad shot, don’t be too critical on yourself, golf is full of factors you’re unable to control, particularly as we’re in the midst of the winter months, with poor ground, and even worse conditions, but you must also be able to take responsibility when it’s warranted.

Closing thoughts

As we’ve mentioned, it is unhealthy to lean too far in your attributions. Don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself if you hit the shot of your life, and don’t be too critical if you hit a poor shot, we’re all capable of it…me more than most apparently…

 

But take your previous experiences and use them to benefit your future rounds, don’t step up to the tee and be petrified of hitting a poor shot, just because you did last time. This time will be different, step up, take a deep breath, and bomb it down the middle.

 

To find out more

 

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. To learn more about altering your attributions within golf make sure to give this a read.

Setting the scene

We’ve all been there, sliced a tee shot, three of the tee, and you’re annoyed at yourself. Mentally berating yourself, how could you be so stupid, you know how to hit a straight tee shot, why can’t you do it?!…anybody?…just me?…well, this is awkward….

 

Either way, I know how frustrating it is to be like this, and whether it isn’t you personally, you definitely know someone like it. So what exactly can you do to help yourself?

 

Talk to yourself. No, seriously, hear me out…

 

Positive self-talk is a technique that has been used by athletes for years and to be most effective the self-talk should be short and sharp, you don’t want to overcomplicate things, particularly if your performance is already dwindling. Additionally, by associating the self-talk to the skill, and using it before the skill you can mentally and physically prepare for the shot you’re about to hit.

 

Types of talk

It has been suggested that there are three categories of self-talk that can be implemented into your game depending on the situation in which you find yourself in.

 

  • The first category of self-talk is technique related, within this you use keywords or a phrase that mentions how you’re about to perform your shot. For example; when hitting the driver, the word “rotate” will remind you to rotate the hips through your whole swing.

 

  • The second is encouragement, the one that I use the most. When you’ve hit a bad shot, and don’t want to get bogged down with potentially negative swing thoughts. Something simple like “you’ve made this putt before” reinforces to yourself that you can perform the skill, and will perform it successfully this time.

 

  • The final category is mood words. These are specific words that mentally prepare you for the skill you’re about to perform. These words can affect your mood and your physical response to the shot. For example saying the word “smash” before hitting your driver or “gently” before hitting a putt can evoke a physical reaction.

Closing thoughts

Effectively using self-talk within your game you can not only increase performances but also confidence when hitting shots whilst reducing your anxiety, perfect for those first tee nerves! As with any addition to your game it will take time to implement with benefits not necessarily being immediately noticeable.

 

It should be mentioned that self-talk doesn’t have to be said out loud, if you’d prefer to look a little more sane, the words can have the same impact if you say them in your head. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preferences and what works for you, don’t be afraid to say the odd word out loud if it helps you shoot a better score!

 

With all this in mind it is important you gradually work on adding it in, don’t overload yourself with swing thoughts or too much information. Take time to link the correct words with the corresponding shots starting at the driving range before heading to the course.

 

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. This research paper gives you an insight to the use of self-talk to improve performance.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

We’ve all been there, a ropey round of golf with a variety of miss hits and a LOT of balls lost, right…? But all is not lost, surely all you really need is a bucket of balls on the range hitting that damn driver and you will magically solve all your problems! Fool-proof.

Whilst you’re on the range, you do hit a few good ones that convince you that you’re cured, but then, you step up to the first tee, and BANG, another lost ball.

So why doesn’t this perfection on the range translate onto the course?

It may have something to do with the face that consistently hitting 50 – 100 drivers in succession isn’t what you’d do on the course! So with that in mind how can you best utilise your time on the range in order to reduce your handicap and get back to, maybe, enjoying golf?

 

Practice with purpose!

Different practice types are beneficial for different levels of golfer, and unfortunately there’s no firm guide on when you should change your practice type, so use your judgement, but if you see no benefit, don’t be afraid to try a different type of practice.

There are typically three main practice types, blocked, serial and random and as aforementioned use your own judgement when deciding which is best for you. It is important to leave your ego in the car, practice according to your actual ability, not the ability you want. If you practice enough and with real intent, your handicap will come tumbling down!

 

Practice Types

Blocked Practice

Blocked practice is repeating the same shot with the same club over and over again, learning the movement and grooving it to your tailored needs. For example hitting 50 – 100 drivers in a row.

 

Serial Practice

Hitting a variety of clubs / shots but in a set sequence, reducing how often you hit the same club and making it more round specific. For example, hitting your driver, 7 iron, sand wedge and repeating these shots in this order.

 

Random Practice

Hitting set clubs in no particular order, making it the most round specific practice, practicing as though you were playing and adapting after each shot. For example hitting driver, 7 iron, sand wedge, driver, 9 iron, 6 iron.

Making the most of your practice

Whatever practice method you choose, make your range time as round specific as possible. Go through your pre shot routine and imagery before every shot, if you’re unsure of how to implement these then head over to my previous blogs (yes, two shameless plugs in one sentence!) to learn more about these techniques.

By doing this, you will mentally and physically ready yourself for every shot; this will translate onto the course with your body knowing when you’re about to swing. This, implemented with your best suited practice method, will work together to help you not only groove your swing, but also increase repeatability of the swing.

 

Conclusion

In order to best utilise your practice time you have to be realistic with where you’re at with your game. Doing this will help you best select the practice method you need and your time at the range will be more beneficial when you do.

Don’t just think hitting a bucket of drivers is exactly what you need, you may be at a level where you need to hit a variety of clubs to see the most improvements in your game.

 

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. To learn more about the different practice types and how you can use it in accordance to your skill level make sure to give this a read.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” – Tony Robbins

With the summer heat firmly in place, golf has been awash with both returning players and a mass of new players, making the game more popular than ever. But however long you’ve been playing, the big question for us all remains the same; no, not “how many balls did I really lose today” but actually “how can I improve my game?”.

I’ve previously mentioned the importance of goal setting within golf, but how exactly do you go about creating beneficial goals, and more importantly go about achieving these goals?

The first step to understanding and implementing goals into your game is to read the first blog (yes, a shameless plug!) to understand the different types of goal (process, performance, outcome).

Once you’ve done that, and are ready to start implementing goals into your game you must set yourself an overall goal. Then create multiple smaller goals that will help you attain this. For example, if your overarching goal is to get your handicap to a certain figure, your smaller goals must help you attain this such as X amount of greens or fairways in regulation.

The goal setting steps

When creating your goals, there are numerous factors you must take into account in order to get the most from them. By understanding and utilising the SMART guidelines you can create goals that will help you get the most out of your game.

  • Specific
    • Goals must be specific and outline exactly what you want to achieve. For example, achieve a handicap of XX
  • Measureable
    • You must be able to track your progress throughout. For example, keeping scorecards with strokes and stableford points
  • Attainable
    • Although challenging, your goals must be reachable. For example, instead of trying to be a scratch golfer overnight, aim to reduce your handicap by 4 or 5 strokes
  • Realistic
    • Be honest with yourself, you know what you’re capable of you! You have to feel like you can reach the target. For example, similar to the above goal, aiming to reduce your handicap as opposed to becoming a scratch golfer
  • Timed
    • Don’t give yourself all the time in the world! Set a certain time period to achieve these goals. The bigger the goal the longer your time period. For example, if you’re a novice golfer, reducing your handicap by 3 shots in 3 months.

Helping the process

By setting smaller goals across your rounds you can help make the goal seem more manageable, increasing your confidence and motivation. If you break down the goal of reducing your handicap into parts; for example, hitting X fairways in regulation, hitting X greens in regulation and hitting X putts per hole, you can work your way up to the ultimate goal. By tracking these statistics on a scorecard you can view your progress and adapt your game accordingly.

Conclusion

Goal setting is a proven method of improving your performance, and it’s benefits go beyond just this. Goals can be a factor not only in getting better, but also increasing motivation. As you achieve your goals, your drive to play will be increased as a result! However, to make the most of your goals you must constantly track them, otherwise their effectiveness is reduced greatly.

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit this psych-chek. To know more about the use of goal setting to enhance performance in not only sport but exercise, have a read of this book chapter that expands on the important principles behind goal setting!

I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a colour movie. First I ‘see’ where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I ‘see’ the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is this sort of fadeout, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images to reality. – Jack Nicklaus

 

How many times do you step up to a shot with a vague idea of what you want to happen, before duffing your shot, whether it be a top, chunk, slice or hook, it just doesn’t go to plan…? If you’re anything like me, too often!

But what can you implement into your game, before hitting your shot to both slow down the pre-routine and have more confidence in the shot you’re about to play?

One thing utilised by the best players in the world is imagery. Now this comes down to the individual but it has been shown to aid players with both performance and their confidence going into a shot.

What is imagery?

Imagery is the visualisation or mental rehearsal of the skill you’re about to perform, players utilise all of their senses to picture both the execution and the outcome of the shot. For example, visualising the line your ball must go on when putting, feeling the swing tempo, hearing the ball hit the bottom of the cup. In doing this you will approach the shot with more confidence, and be more likely to execute the skill.

Imagery is a skill which isn’t a quick fix. It must be learned and tailored to your personal game. You cannot just be put into your game and expect it to work. Golfers like Tiger Woods have been using imagery from a young age. He’s been visualising every shot taken and the exact position he wants the ball to go. He’s not had a bad career so who are we to argue with him?

 

Implementing Imagery

The best time to start using imagery is in practice, as aforementioned you can’t expect it to just work. Utilise these key tips to try and best implement it into your game.

  • Remember: Whenever you visualise shot execution, picture yourself full of confidence, executing the shot to the best of your ability.
  • Initially start with short images of the skill execution and the goal in mind, trying to be as situation specific as possible at the driving range. This may be hitting a certain flag/target on the range, or sinking a certain length putt on the putting green.
  • Stay as relaxed as possible, with steady breathing talking yourself through the ideal shot, for a more vivid image.
    • What can you see?
      • The flag you’re aiming for, the ball flight as it heads on the target line
    • What can you feel?
      • Feel a smooth, powerful swing, the ball hits the centre of the face
    • What can you hear?
      • A good ball, club face connection
    • Don’t be worried if it takes a long time to pick up. Don’t rush between shots. On the course you’d never hit a shot, and then immediately hit another, so don’t rush when you’re visualising. Give yourself the best chance for it to work and take your time.

 

Closing comments

Imagery can be used by every level of golfer, from the elite PGA tour pros to novices, however, it isn’t for everyone. Don’t be afraid if it doesn’t work, not everyone can vividly imagine themselves. You may be better using different psychological techniques that work for you specifically, but it shouldn’t be overlooked, and if you want it to work it must be given the required time to embed itself successfully into your game.

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. To learn more about how you can use imagery more effectively and use it to address your other aspects of performance, take a look at this research.

“The foundation of consistency is a sound pre-shot routine.” –  Bob Rotella

With golf courses having been reopened for nearly a month now, many of us can feel the rust falling away from our golf game. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the slice, over the past few weeks but boy does it feel good to be able to play golf in the summer sun.

As time goes on the golfer that was present before lockdown is re-emerging, which isn’t necessarily a good thing; but we’re just happy to be back playing the game we love. Since restarting play we’ve been subject to some excellent shots, some that leave a little to be desired, and if you’re anything like me, some truly horrifying shots!

But with the return of the PGA tour and world-class golf we are seeing consistency on an unrivalled level once again, leaving us in awe of their games, and striving to improve ourselves. But what techniques do the elite golfers use throughout their round to maintain high performance? Can we implement them within our own games?

Pre-shot Routines

Many elite athletes utilise pre-shot routines to prepare themselves both mentally and physically for the shot they are about to hit. These routines typically follow the same basic principles but the specifics are malleable for each athlete, and offer a chance for a level of consistency throughout your game, regardless of the shot you are faced with.

These are the key steps of an effective pre-shot routine using the specific example of a tee shot on any hole.

Readying yourself

  • This is where you mentally prepare for the shot being faced, maintaining self-confidence, emotional control and realistic expectations. For example, you’re confident you’ll hit the green on this par three, or the fairway on a longer hole.

Imaging yourself

  • Picture yourself performing the shot to the best of your ability, culminating in a successful outcome. For example, hitting a drive straight down the middle of the fairway.

Focus on the surroundings

  • Take a moment to focus on the factors in the environment which could influence your shot, such as the wind or your lie. Similarly, take time to focus on your target, for example, the middle of the green, or the pin.

During the swing

  • Whilst swinging the club, avoid excessive thoughts. Try your best to perform the shot with as little thought as possible. The few thoughts that are going through your mind should be related to the task and helpful.

Evaluating the swing and thoughts

  • After hitting the shot, take some time to assess the quality of swing execution and pre-shot routine. Taking these evaluations with you into the following shots.

As aforementioned these steps are structured in their order, but fulfilling these steps is a personal experience. Implementing this will take more than a couple of holes. I recommend playing rounds alone whilst you tailor your focus and add these steps to your own game. This can help optimise your focus, with as few distractions as possible.

 

Conclusion

In order to see the maximal benefits of a pre-shot routine you have to spend the time working on the steps, and tailoring them to your personal needs. By having a repeatable, structured routine you can offer some consistency to a sport which offers a diverse experience with every round.

By controlling the controllables you can offer yourself a more consistent, and (hopefully) enjoyable experience with lower scores as you begin to keep as much of the game under your control as possible. What more could you want as you shake off that lockdown rust?

 

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek and to learn more about pre-shot routines take a look at these research papers which highlight the implications for coaches and how pre-shot routines have been utilised by golfers in their own games.

 “If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is.” – Horace G. Hutchinson.

The year started with such optimism, not just a new year but a new decade, a clean slate, and a chance to finally cut our handicaps. But no sooner had 2020 begun, we were locked down due to COVID-19, the courses were closed, and dreams of playing on tour were dashed…

Finally, in mid-May, the restrictions were eased, courses were re-opened and the mad-dash to the first tee began. But what a lot of us, ourselves included, overlooked, was the rust that had set in over the 6 weeks. With courses opening before many ranges, people went straight to the course without so much as a practice swing expecting to play just as they had done pre-lockdown.

Golf is a game that takes time, both physically and mentally, and consciously we all know this…but somehow, just knowing it doesn’t help. So what can you do to mentally prepare for the course after a long time away?

 

Realistic Expectations

Mentally, golf can be difficult. When things don’t go your way like a missed putt, or a lost ball, it’s easy to get despondent. We easily lose focus and motivation. Therefore, it is important that during these times of rust, you take particular care of yourself (mentally) on the course to avoid falling out of love with the game you’ve waited so long to play.

It’s easy for others to say, “don’t be so hard on yourself” or “just enjoy it” but how can you help yourself? Take your time, relax and reflect after each shot. If you top one 3 yards, remember it’s been a while and you haven’t been to the range. Simply reset before your next shot. Don’t sprint to the ball and try to take the paint from the ball, be realistic with what you expect to happen, or what can happen on the course.

Similarly, if you know what you want out of golf, take the time to utilise goal setting. I’m sure you’ve all heard of it, but how many know how to effectively use it to your advantage, both short and long term?

 

Goal setting

Quite simply, goal setting is the use of attainable targets to enhance motivation, performances, or both.

A golfer commonly has one, overarching outcome goal, this is your desired end performance result in comparison to another golfer, for example, bettering your playing partners on the course. To do this, there are a set of smaller, more attainable, performance goals that should be used. These are goals about your desired performance compared to your previous performances, for example, parring a hole you bogied last time.

In order to achieve these successfully, you must focus on the processes involved. These processes are entirely under your control and help you achieve both short term performance goals and your overarching outcome goals. For example, if you want to find more fairways, you would work on your driver at the range.

Conclusion

Utilising these goals can be a simple way of helping get back into the swing of the game you love.  By setting and achieving simpler, attainable goals, you’ll break down your larger, more daunting ones, benefiting both your performances and your motivation to continue playing.

Throughout the coming months we will be providing more ways to improve your psychology both on and off the course, and hope to help you reduce your scores and increase your enjoyment.

Even if I can’t help myself…

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek, and to learn more about the different types of goal setting this book chapter explores and breaks goals down in golf-specific settings.

This week’s blog is a guide to nine of the best golf courses, hotels and resorts located on the Lisbon Golf Coast. With stunning beaches, spectacular golf courses and a great range of accommodation, it comes as no surprise that golfers flock to the Lisbon Golf Coast in huge numbers year after year. In addition to booking themselves the best golf escape they have had to date; golfers can enjoy our new exclusive deal. All golfers that book their golf holiday to the Lisbon Golf Coast will receive a FootJoy polo shirt (while stocks last).

First up is the Aroeira I, one of the Lisbon Golf Coast’s golden members. This superb golf course is widely considered to be among some of the best golf courses in Europe, meaning that it is undoubtedly a must-play golf course on your next golf break to Lisbon. The Aroeira I offers its players the perfect round of golf set on a stunning pine woodland landscape with a new challenge to be found around every corner. While the Aroeira I is considered to be the superior golf course to its more modern twin, the Aroeira II, both golf courses are widely considered to be must-play golf courses for any golfer on the Lisbon Golf Course. The golf course is set 6,080 metres from the back tees, and it consistently demands its players balance the perfect mix of accuracy and skill as they approach the many challenges across the course. The perfect base to enjoy the Aroeira I golf course is the new Aroeira Lisbon Hotel, a fantastic four-star hotel positioned in the heart of the Aroeira Resort, with a beautiful sandy beach set just a few moments away.

Yet another golf course that is widely considered to be among some of the must-play golf courses on the Lisbon Golf Coast includes the Ribagolfe II. While the Ribagolfe II is slightly shorter than its sibling golf course, the Ribagolfe I, it still bears a great challenge that can be appreciated by all those who challenge it. The Ribagolfe II boasts an open landscape dotted with indigenous cork oak trees, sweeping undulations and plenty of water hazards. Even for the more skilled golfer, with contoured greens and a range of hazards, players are kept on their toes throughout their round. This golf course is ideal for a leisurely round of golf amongst friends with its beautiful landscape and unique layout, so it really comes as no surprise that so many golfers return here year after year to challenge its fast greens. Despite the Ribagolfe II being a relatively new addition to the golfing family in Lisbon, it has not failed to establish itself as one of the region’s best golf courses. With the perfect balance of par threes, a beautiful landscape and a great challenge, the Ribagolfe II is undoubtedly a strong contender on your itinerary for your next golf break on the Lisbon Golf Coast.

Located in the heart of the Lisbon Golf Coast is the West Cliffs Golf Links. The West Cliffs Golf Links is easily considered to be one of the region’s most stunning golf courses, and just as the name suggests, it is positioned right on the edge of the Lisbon Golf Coast, meaning golfers could not be in a better position to enjoy some of the area’s most beautiful views across the sea. Throughout their round of golf, players will find themselves mesmerised by the course’s stunning coastal views, however, their attention must remain transfixed by the challenge at hand. The architects of the West Cliffs Golf Links have perfectly incorporated the natural landscape of the area into the superb golf course that currently stands today. Despite the West Cliffs Golf Links only opening in June 2017, it has easily managed to establish itself as one of the most prized members of the Lisbon Golf Coast. The landscape and layout here are very varied across different terrains and undulations, so it is fair to say that golfers do not need to worry about having a dull round of golf here. There are masses of sand dunes dotted across the course, with the landscape’s original fauna acting as unique hazards to trip up golfers.

One of the Lisbon Golf Coast’s best known and most loved resorts is the Bom Sucesso Resort, home to a superb golf course and luxury five-star self-catered accommodation. The resort itself comprises of many modern private villas and apartments, all of which have been individually designed by different architects in contemporary designs with modern décor. All of the spacious villas here have their own private swimming pools, as well as access to the resort’s tennis club. Furthermore, the resort is also home to a large swimming pool for the use of all its guests, as well as sunbeds and parasols. For the perfect luxury golf escape to the Lisbon Golf Coast, the Bom Sucesso Resort is a great choice. Guests here have it all; great facilities, superb accommodation, and most importantly, a spectacular golf course located on-site. Located on-site at the Bom Sucesso Resort is the Guardian Bom Sucesso, a European Tour Destination designed by the world-renowned golf architect, Donald Steel. After having undergone complete renovations in previous years, the golf course is consistently kept in immaculate condition throughout the year. With a new and improved layout, the Guardian Bom Sucesso has challenged and entertained all the golfers that have played its greens.

The Troia Design Hotel is perfect for all those looking for an unforgettable golf escape with the ideal mix of sun, sea and golf. The hotel is set next to one of the Lisbon Golf Coast’s most stunning beaches, meaning that all guests here are never without an opportunity to make the most out of one of the many beautiful beaches that Portugal is known so well for. Just next door to the hotel lies the Setubal Bay, which has even been labelled as one of the ’35 Most Beautiful Bays in the World’, so all guests at the Troia Design Hotel have the perfect spot to catch a tan and soak up the rays while they are taking a break from challenging the greens of the local golf courses. However, the Troia Design Hotel is not just ideally located for its guests to make the most out of one of the region’s beautiful beaches; it is also ideally located for its guests to play one of the region’s best golf courses. Located just next door to the Troia Design Hotel is the Troia golf course, a superb golf course that is responsible for setting the standard of golf in the area so high.

Host to the Portuguese Open and widely considered to be a true gem of the Lisbon Golf Coast, the Penha Longa Atlantic is one of Europe’s most respected golf courses. This golf course is truly not one to be attempted by the faint-hearted; its unruly layout is widely accepted to be a true challenge. While there are several risk and reward elements on offer throughout the round, golfers should proceed with caution and make good use of the course map in order to anticipate any challenge the best they can. Should golfers finish with a steady score, then they are sure to be deserving of a celebratory drink in the clubhouse! The Penha Longa Atlantic is located on-site to the Penha Longa Resort, the perfect base to play this superb golf course. The Penha Longa Resort is truly a five-star resort in every aspect, whether it be in reference to its spectacular golf course, its impeccable service or its modern guest rooms; whatever golfers are looking for out of their next golf break, the Penha Longa Resort is sure to offer the perfect golf escape. The resort is home to eight restaurants to suit every preference, a huge spa facility, and a range of great facilities to keep all guests entertained, whether they play golf or not.

Another superb option for your next luxury golf escape to the Lisbon Golf Coast is the Oitavos Hotel, a fantastic five-star hotel located in Cascais. Cascais is one of the Lisbon region’s most sought-after towns with its great range of bars, shops and restaurants, as well as its great atmosphere. The Oitavos Hotel is very contemporary in its design, and guests here are never without an opportunity to enjoy the stunning views across the neighbouring sea. Guests at this hotel can enjoy the best of both worlds as they are sufficiently set back from all of the hustle and bustle of the centre of Cascais, but they are still just a short drive into the centre of town if they fancy a fun evening out or an evening of exploring. Furthermore, golfers at the Oitavos Hotel can also enjoy easy access to a spectacular golf course; the Oitavos Dunes golf course is positioned just next door to the hotel. The Oitavos Dunes golf course has been consistently ranked as one of the top golf courses in Europe, meaning all golfers should anticipate an unforgettable round of golf here. With strong prevailing blowing across from the coast, some tight doglegs and a range of tricky hazards, golfers are set to have every aspect of their game challenged during their round here.

The Praia d’el Rey is yet another superb golf course located on the Lisbon Golf Coast, set just a short drive away from the charming town of Obidos. Designed by the world-renowned golf architect Cabell B. Robinson, golfers here are guaranteed to have a spectacular round of golf. This golf course undeniably poses as an unruly challenge for even the most experienced of golfers, especially when the prevailing coastal winds from across the Atlantic come into play. With its beautiful coastal landscape, the unique layout and its perfect maintenance, it is hardly surprising that the Praia d’el Rey is consistently voted among the best golf courses in the world, and recently, it has been voted 13th place in the Best Golf Courses in Europe by Golf World Magazine. The perfect base to enjoy this fantastic golf course is the Praia d’el Rey Marriott Golf and Beach Resort; as the name suggests, it offers all of its guests the perfect golf escape with access to a stunning sandy beach. Furthermore, if golfers here are looking for a bit more of variety on their golf break on the Lisbon Golf Coast, then the West Cliffs Links is also set just a few minutes away from the hotel, so a great round of golf is never far from reach.

Last but not least is the Royal Obidos golf course, a challenging golf course that is played uphill in the surrounding countryside around the charming town of Obidos. While this golf course has only opened its doors to the public in recent years, it is fair to say that the Royal Obidos has not struggled to make a name for itself among all of the other spectacular golf courses on the Lisbon Golf Coast. The Royal Obidos golf course is truly unique in every aspect, and it is said to differ completely from the Praia d’el Rey, so the Royal Obidos is a great choice for all those golfers looking to mix up their golfing itinerary on their next golf break to the Lisbon Golf Coast. With water hazards dominating every aspect of play on the back nine holes, it is strongly recommended that even the most experienced and skilled of golfers are sure to bring plenty of extra balls; you never know where the coastal wind might take you! The Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel and Spa offers an unbeatably relaxing stay with its impeccable service, modern guest rooms, and its boutique design. This hotel is the ideal accommodation choice for all golfers that are looking to challenge the greens of the Royal Obidos golf course as it is positioned just next door.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on nine of the best golf courses, hotels and resorts on the Lisbon Golf Course. With spectacular golf courses, beautiful beaches and a great range of accommodation, there is absolutely no reason why the Lisbon Golf Coast should not be your next golf break destination.

This week’s blog is a guide to eight of the best hotels and resorts with the best spa facilities and golf courses. For the perfect golf escape, golfers need to find the perfect balance between getting some well-deserved ‘R and R’ and challenging the greens of the local golf courses, and luckily for golfers, all eight of these hotels and resorts offer just that.

First up is the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort and Spa, a fantastic hotel situated in one of Europe’s top luxury golf holiday destinations, Vilamoura. Golfers continue to flock to Vilamoura year after year in huge numbers with its great climate, superb golf courses and its well-known marina. Just a ten-minute drive away from the Hilton Vilamoura takes guests into the centre of Vilamoura where they can enjoy a spot of leisurely lunch around the marina, or alternatively enjoy some well-deserved retail therapy at one of the many upmarket shops on offer. Vilamoura is a great destination for all those looking to enjoy the finer things in life, including some fantastic golf. The Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort could not make it easier for its guests to enjoy all of the fantastic golf that is on offer in Vilamoura as the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle service to the local golf courses. The hotel is positioned just across from the Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course, so a great round of golf is never far away. For guests to unwind after challenging the greens of the local golf courses, they can head to the Falesia Beach which the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle service to in the summer season, or alternatively, guests can just make the most out of the hotel’s excellent facilities. The hotel’s 7Seven Spa is said to be the biggest spa in Portugal, so the guests here are in a great position to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation in the spa’s unique water tunnel experience.

Another great resort for the perfect golf and spa escape is the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort. The resort is set in the beautiful rolling hills of the South of France’s countryside, so guests can enjoy beautiful views throughout the resort during their stay, as well as an unbeatably idyllic atmosphere. Just to add to the resort’s idyllic atmosphere, the layout is set like a village of small villas with just 115 suites and villas, so there is the perfect boutique-hotel feel. The service here is impeccable, and with so many great facilities and a relaxing atmosphere, meaning Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf is an unbeatable option for your next golf escape. The excellent quality of the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf has not gone unnoticed in the travel industry; the Terre Blanch Hotel Spa Golf Resort was voted the Golf Resort of the Year in 2013, and more recently awarded the World’s Leading Golf and Villa Resort in 2019. The Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf is the perfect resort for both a golf escape and a spa retreat with a comprehensive spa facility on-site, as well as two spectacular golf courses. Both the Le Chateau Course and the Le Riou Course at Terre Blanche are widely considered to be among some of the best golf courses in the French Riviera region, and conveniently for all golfers looking to challenge its greens, they are located onsite at the resort. Aside from its fantastic golf courses, the resort’s best facility is its spa centre with 14 treatment rooms, a private terrace, and a wide range of facilities to help guests relax.

The Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is the ideal choice for all those looking for the perfect mix of sun, sea, and spa. This four-star hotel boasts an ideal coastal location positioned on a stunning white sandy beach, so guests here are never without an opportunity to catch a tan and make the most out of one of the beautiful beaches that Portugal is known so well for. All of the guest rooms here are spacious and modern in design, and they are all facing the coast, so beautiful sea views can be enjoyed by the whole hotel. The Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is not just ideally located to make the most out of the region’s stunning beaches; it is also ideally located to make the most out of exploring one of the region’s most charming coastal towns, home to a great range of bars, restaurants and shops. Once guests here have had enough of lounging on the neighbouring beach or exploring Sesimbra, they can focus their sights on playing some of the region’s best golf courses. Both of the Aroeira golf courses are located just a forty-minute drive away from the hotel, so a great round of golf is always in easy reach. To relax after a gruelling round of golf, guests can head to the spa for a well-deserved session of ‘R and R’ with a massage or treatment. Alternatively, the more active guest can head to the outdoor swimming pool for a swim or a session in the gym.

Yet another great choice for your next golf and spa escape in the Lisbon region is the Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa, a stunning five-star hotel located in Estoril, one of the region’s most sought-after towns. Estoril is one of Portugal’s most upmarket areas, but it is fair to say that a golf escape here is worth every penny with the great weather, beautiful beach, and charming town. This luxury destination is widely considered to be among one of Europe’s best golf destinations, and it is not difficult to see why. At the Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa, guests are in the perfect position to make the most out of all that Estoril can offer as it is set just a stone’s throw away from the centre of town where there is a great selection of bars, restaurants and shops, as well as a stunning sandy beach. The hotel opened its doors in the 1930s, but it has still maintained all of its charms throughout its stunning architecture and décor. The Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa’s beautiful décor has never gone unnoticed; the hotel was the setting for a scene in a well-known James Bond film. The hotel’s best facility to help its guests unwind has to be the Estoril Wellness Centre with various treatment rooms, a Pilates and yoga studio, and an indoor swimming pool. For all guests looking for a leisurely round of golf, there is no need to look far, as the Golf do Estoril is set just a five-minute drive up the road.

Perfect for all those who are looking to stay local on their next golf escape, but they are still looking to enjoy some spectacular golf, the East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa is a great option. The East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa is the perfect choice for golfers who do not want to have to deal with the cost and stress of flying and going abroad, as they can still play some superb golf and enjoy some well-deserved ‘R and R’. The resort is set in the heart of the English countryside, so guests can enjoy an unbeatably idyllic golfing getaway, but the resort is still perfectly positioned next to great transport links, so it is highly accessible for all prospective guests. The hotel is relatively small in size, with all of the guest rooms overlooking the stunning rolling hills of the South Downs and the two neighbouring golf courses, the East Sussex National East Course and the East Sussex National West Course. Both of these golf courses offer a fantastic round of golf which can be enjoyed by golfers of all handicaps. However, golf is not the only thing that the East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa offers its guests; it also boasts an excellent spa facility to help all guests unwind on their golfing getaway. The Horsted Spa offers a wide range of treatments and massages to guests should they choose to indulge in some well-deserved ‘me time’.

The Fairplay Golf and Spa Resort is a consistent favourite amongst all golfers, and it is hardly difficult to see why with its fantastic facilities, impeccable service, and most importantly, its spectacular golf course located on-site. This resort is truly five-stars in every aspect, ranging from its spacious and modern guest rooms to its comprehensive spa facility. Set in the Los Alcornocales Nature Reserve, guests here can enjoy beautiful views across the surrounding landscapes, as well as the superb golf course next door. The Fairplay Golf Club was designed by the world-renowned golf architect Baron Paul Rolin, and with its generous fairways and well-thought-out layout, it welcomes golfers of all handicaps and skill. Perfect for all golfers who are looking to challenge the greens of the Fairplay Golf Club, this fantastic golf course is located on-site, so a fantastic round of golf is never far from reach. However, the Fairplay Golf and Spa Resort is not just perfectly located to enjoy one of the Costa de la Luz Cadiz’s best golf courses; it is also perfectly located to explore one of the region’s most charming towns. Benalup is home to a good range of bars, restaurants and shops to suit all budgets and preferences, and it is located just a twenty-minute walk away from the resort. If the guests here want to stay local and relax, then the resort is also home to a great range of facilities to help them do just that. Guests can lounge around the outdoor swimming pool, or head to the Fairplay SPA, one of the most luxurious spas in the Costa de la Luz Cadiz.

The Quinta do Lago Resort has often been described as the ‘California of Europe’ with its beautiful beaches and warm climate, meaning it is a top option for your next golf break in the Algarve. The Conrad Algarve is a fantastic five-star hotel located in the heart of this resort, home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, stunning 18th-century architecture, and great service. The Quinta do Lago offers absolutely everything a golfer could ever want and more for an unforgettable golf escape; world-class golf courses, stunning beaches, and a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops to suit all preferences and budgets. Both of the Vale do Lobo golf courses and both of the Quinta do Lago golf courses are just a stone’s throw away from the Conrad Algarve, so a superb round of golf is never far from reach. Even for a five-star hotel, the guest rooms here are especially modern in design, providing the perfect base for guests to relax. Arguably the Conrad Algarve’s best facility is its world-class spa, the Conrad Spa, home to an infinity pool, a private lounge, as well as an extensive menu of treatments and massages.

Last but not least is the Westin Resort Costa Navarino, a coastal golf resort positioned in the heart of the Costa Navarino. With its great facilities and location, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino is not just the perfect choice for your next golf and spa escape; it is also a superb option for a family holiday. The resort boasts a beachfront position in Messinia, so guests here are always just a stone’s throw away from one of the many stunning white sandy beaches that Greece is known so well for. With its picturesque beach location, all guests here are set to have an unbeatably idyllic golfing getaway. The resort itself is set out in small low-rise buildings across manicured gardens, with all of the great facilities in easy reach of its guests. The Westin Resort Costa Navarino’s best facilities include its two world-class golf courses, The Dunes Course and The Bay Course, both of which are located on-site. For all non-golfers and for younger guests, there is still plenty of things going on. The resort is also home to two swimming pools, an aquapark, a cycling tour activity school, and a unique spa centre which focuses on the use of locally grown olive oil.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on eight of the best golf and spa escapes. All eight of these hotels and resorts offer the perfect mix of golf and relaxation, meaning anyone of them would be an unbeatable option for your next golf escape.