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We start our journey on our LISBOA GOLF COAST blog in the north of the region, in an area known as the “Oeste”. The first and arguably most popular course here is Praia d’el Rey. With holes meandering through the sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic and other holes inside a mature pine forest, every hole offers a unique challenge here. The clubhouse is just a couple of minutes drive by regular shuttle from the 5* Praia d’el Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort where you can enjoy some fantastic golf packages to play here and also at the new sister course 5 minutes away at West Cliffs. West Cliffs opened in 2017 to great critical acclaim and is now recognised as one of Portugal’s finest but also one of its toughest courses. You really need to bring your straight driving game here and if you do, you’ll be rewarded with some amazing approach shots to well-guarded greens. And if you don’t, just leave your credit card behind the pro shop desk. Another tough course in this increasingly requested area is the Seve designed Royal Obidos. Although not as tight as West Cliffs, Royal Obidos has some long par 4s and some good carries even off the yellow tees. It really is a great test of golf and any Stableford score in the 30s is a round to be savoured. The luxurious and boutique 5* Royal Evolutee Hotel completes this fine golf resort at Royal Obidos. The last of the quartet, but by no means least, is the under-rated Bom Sucesso. This resort endured some tough economic times in 2010 and beyond, but the new owners are constantly upgrading the course (certainly the most playable for higher handicaps in the region) and the excellent self-catering accommodations on site. Our exclusive semi all-inclusive packages are our clients’ most popular option in this golf-rich region. The opening of the new 5* hotel overlooking the 18th green is eagerly anticipated.

Half an hour south of the Oeste region and conveniently located just off the Lisbon-bound motorway we have the 18-hole Campo Real course and the on-site 5* Dolce Campo Real Lisboa Hotel. Campo Real has hosted The Portuguese Women’s Open and is an enjoyable but tight test of golf set in rural rolling countryside. The hotel offers some great value golf packages for a 5* and is ideal for a few nights rest and relaxation.
A further half-hour south and just to the west of the city, we come to the Cascais / Estoril coast, arguably where the LISBOA GOLF COAST made its name. There are several fine courses in this area. On the way from Lisbon to Estoril, we have two fine courses. The first stop is Lisbon Sports Club, a relatively short but tricky layout with the atmosphere of a private English club. Almost opposite this, we have the excellent but wildly different Belas, a longer hillier course with a more contemporary design. Both courses offer great value green fees and an exceptional 2-round package including transfers from Cascais and Estoril.

Just outside the town bearing the same name, Estoril Golf Club offers a varied experience to players with undulating fairways, tight approach shots and some spectacular scenery. This is one of the country’s oldest courses and held the Portuguese Open on 20 occasions. Guests at the wonderful and historic Estoril Palacio Hotel in the centre of town receive free golf here most months of the year. The hotel is one of our favourites in the whole of Portugal with its classic architecture and superb location and facilities.
Estoril being a little more sophisticated with its casino and fine dining restaurants. However, Cascais has some wonderful restaurants both in quality and authenticity with some amazing family restaurants in the backstreets where you feel like you are eating in someone’s front room. There are numerous hotels serving both towns from 2-star pensions to 5-star luxury hotels. The golfer’s favourite in Cascais town is Hotel Vila Gale Cascais next to the glossy modern marina.

Just a couple of kilometres from Cascais, we’ll find two superb golf resorts. Onyria Quinta da Marinha is now a fully-fledged luxury resort having recently been completely renovated and upgraded to a 5-star hotel. The onsite Quinta da Marinha course is a traditional style layout surrounded by pine trees with a few water hazards and several bunkers adding to the challenge. Adjoining Quinta da Marinha we will find the wonderful Oitavos Dunes golf course. It is odd to think that these 2 courses occupy the same piece of land as they are so different. Oitavos has starting and finishing holes among the dunes forests but otherwise, it is very much a links layout. The wind invariably blows hard here as the course is exposed to the coastline; the course is truly one of Lisboa Golf Coast’s best and has held numerous PGA European Tour events. Adjacent to the Oitavos Dunes clubhouse is The Oitavos Hotel, an ultra-modern design and open plan 5-star hotel with every mod con available to make your stay a relaxing and memorable one.

Just 20 minutes drive away from the coast, we will find the area’s 3rd luxury golf resort at Penha Longa. This property consists of the Penha Longa Resort Hotel, a glorious 5-star hotel with exceptional quality and service. The hotel is one of the area’s iconic landmarks and has hosted royalty and celebrities over several decades, keeping its full splendour intact throughout several renovations and ownerships. On-site is the equally magnificent Penha Longa Golf. There are 18 holes of superb Championship golf with the 9 hole Monastery course offering higher handicaps respite from the challenge of the main course. The Championship course is undulating, some would say hilly, and offers a great challenge to golfers in beautiful countryside. The peace can be shattered on several holes if there are events at the neighbouring race track though!
One of the several benefits of a golf holiday on the LISBOA GOLF COAST is the range of geographical options available. We now move to the south of the area and to the so-called “Wentworth of Lisbon”, namely Aroeira Golf Resort. There are 36-holes of great tree-lined golf here, just 30 minutes south of the city centre and 5 minutes to the amazingly long stretch of sandy beach at Costa Caparica. There isn’t much to choose between Aroeira 1 and Aroeira 2 in terms of golf. Both are similar in design and high quality and offer golfers of all abilities a fair round. It really is a special place and recently enhanced by the brand new Aroeira Lisbon Hotel, a 4* hotel catering to golfers with their semi all-inclusive option offering dinner and evening drinks in an all-in package with golf on-site and very reasonable rates. STOP PRESS: The golf courses have been rebranded; Aroeira 1 has become Aroeira Pines and 2 is now Aroeira Challenge.
Just 20 minutes east, we’ll find Quinta do Peru.  Very much a members club feel but our clients receive a warm welcome from the friendly staff here. This is also one of our favourite courses in the area with a great layout and the course is invariably in excellent condition as demanded by the members. We were blown away by the choice of excellent local craft beer in the clubhouse after our last visit – this almost overshadowed the quality of the course in the preceding 4 hours.
30-40 minutes south of Aroeira and Quinta do Peru, the lovely resort of Sesimbra offers golfers a great base from which to explore this area’s courses. There are four 4* hotels to choose from and seemingly more restaurants than you can eat at in a year. We recommend booking a room with views out across the Atlantic and the fabulous sandy beach.

Around the coast from Sesimbra heading east,  the traditional working town of Setubal (famous as the birthplace and hometown of Jose Mourinho) gives us the choice of ferry or catamaran over to the magnificent Troia Golf. This superb course is always high up in the rankings of Portugal, and indeed European, golf courses. This track occupies an area of natural beauty amongst the sand dunes. When you see how Trent Jones Snr designed the course, it is almost as if this small peninsula was created with the sole purpose of hosting this course. The layout is tough – you need to keep the ball on the fairway or be prepared to play out the sandy rough, and there is usually a breeze to contend with. However, the natural beauty will be enough to divert your eyes away from your scorecard. We recommend to any golfer that this is a journey worth taking and is truly a great day out with the trip over the water. We are very happy to suggest a few nights either in one of the two hotels on the Troia Peninsula or in Setubal, so you can enjoy more than one round here without travelling.
Just to the east of Setubal, we’ll find another of LISBOA GOLF COAST’s excellent golf resorts. Montado Golf Resort has a 4* hotel on-site and a much-underrated golf course. Everyone has seen images of the island green on the par 3 18th but there is so much more to the course. The wide fairways offer generous landing areas but the greens are small and heavily bunkered so your approach shots need to be accurate. The packages with accommodation and golf here offer the lowest prices in the area but we are very happy with the quality of both hotel, golf and importantly, the hospitality at Montado.
Working our way north and further east, and 30 minutes east of Lisbon city, Ribagolfe is a favourite of Golf Escapes. There are two great 18 hole courses set among cork trees in a spectacular rural area. This could be millionaire’s golf as the courses very rarely have many players, especially midweek. Rarely have we come across a golf complex in such an isolated area, and especially one with such quality golf. Ribagolfe 1, a regular host of the European Tour Qualifying School and the tougher of the two courses, is now known as Ribagolfe Lakes. Ribagolfe 2, the shorter and more forgiving course, is now Ribagolfe Oaks. Sadly, the strict planning rules in the area currently prevent the construction of the planned hotel and upgraded clubhouse – when this happens, everyone will know about Ribagolfe. We host golf groups in Alcochete, a quaint town 15 minutes drive away.
We hope you have enjoyed our brief tour of the LISBOA GOLF COAST – be sure to include this area in the planning of your next Golf Escapes!

The region of Murcia is in the protected south-east corner of Spain between Andalucia and Valencia, meaning mild winters and hot summers. If you are looking at a clock map of the Iberian Peninsula, Murcia would be at 4 o’clock. The region is served by a fantastic new airport at Corvera, this having replaced San Javier Airport in 2019. As well as Corvera, the area can also be accessed via Alicante which is under one hour to 90 minutes away from most of the area’s golf. The interior of the region is mountainous and sparsely populated but the coastal areas are remarkably flat which facilitates the building of accessible golf resorts.

The annual temperature is a very golf-friendly 18 degrees C or 64 degrees F and is one of the driest regions of Spain with just 12 inches of annual rainfall and 3,000 hours of sunshine. So whatever time of year, Murcia can be considered for a golf escape safe in the knowledge that you have a high chance of sunny days.

With this climate and landscape, it is easy to see why, in the early 1970s, a group of developers decided to create a luxury resort with housing, a hotel and 2 golf courses. And this, La Manga Club, was the start of the Murcian golf industry in 1972 when the resort opened its doors. To this day when you think of golf in Spain, La Manga is one of the first resorts that comes to mind. La Manga Club has developed over the years now boasting over 2000 private properties, bars and restaurants to please all tastes and of course the luxurious 5-star hotel Principe Felipe. The numerous private dwellings mean the resort is alive throughout the year, and with leisure facilities and sports pitches to match resorts worldwide, 3 wonderful championship golf courses, and amazing practice and learning sports facilities. La Manga Club boasts numerous outdoor pools, an indoor pool, world-class tennis, football and cricket amenities, and even a beach. Not to mention the dozens of restaurants, shops and bars in and just outside the resort catering for all culinary and entertainment requirements.

The original two courses at La Manga Club are the South and North, both within an easy stroll of the hotel. The courses are relatively flat with palm trees lining the fairways and large greens protected by bunkers. There are several water hazards notably protecting the green on the South’s par 5 finishing hole. This hole has seen many dramas including the times when it hosted the Open de España in the 1970’s. The West Course was added several years later and is remarkably different from its older siblings. The course was carved from a pine woods and with the back nine winding up into the hills offers a more varied experience than the South and North. Although the West is shorter, it is certainly a trickier course. Superb practice facilities and a renowned academy round off the extraordinary golf experience at the unique resort that is La Manga Club.

Just half an hour north-west of La Manga Club in the early years of the millennium, a group of developers and investors created the Nicklaus Trail of golf courses. As the name implies Jack Nicklaus was invited to design seven golf courses around which luxury residential and holiday resorts were to be built under the Polaris World name. Sadly, the financial crash and the associated Spanish property crash in 2008 decimated these plans but fortunately for all golfers, six excellent courses were born and still exist from the original idea.

The original Polaris World courses are now under two different ownerships. These are UGolf who look after Mar Menor, Saurines de la Torre, and Hacienda del Alamo (not one of the Polaris courses). GNK Golf run El Valle, Hacienda Riquelme, La Torre and Alhama Signature. This enables us to create some exciting golfing packages depending on the accommodation that suits you and your group best.

Mar Menor is a traditional Spanish resort course – flat terrain, wide fairways, good-sized greens and loads of bunkers and water! Arguably the most requested by our clients due its value and location on-site to the Caleia Mar Menor Golf & Spa Resort, a quality 5-star hotel boasting extensive facilities on-site and within walking distance of several bars and restaurants. Also, in the same estate, we find The Residences at Mar Menor – well-furnished and equipped self-catering properties with one, two and three bedrooms offering groups fantastic value for money that is hard to match when compared to other packages available throughout Spain and Portugal.

Saurines de la Torre is a most enjoyable course combining characteristics of resort golf with target desert golf. Lots of doglegs and interesting holes create a most enjoyable experience.

Hacienda del Alamo is a fine Dave Thomas-designed course stretching to over 7,400 yards from the back tees. There is a definite desert feel to this course even though the fairways meander through almond and olive trees. The new Hacienda del Alamo Golf & Spa Resort offers 155 stylish and modern rooms and 100 well-furnished apartments and although closed due to the pandemic we have some great packages available for 2022.

Out of the GNK courses, El Valle is the most highly rated. The course is located in desert terrain with fantastic mountain views. This excellent design makes full use of its geographical advantages with amazing scenery and offers a great experience to golfers of all abilities. A great modern clubhouse completes a fine day out.

Hacienda Riquelme is nestled in the heart of a desert valley and again, the natural land features have been integrated with the course design. Wide fairways and large greens are features of this most enjoyable course. This is not a well-known course, however, after playing this course many of the Golf Escapes team rate it highly and we suggest you include this in your itinerary on your visit.

The Alhama Signature Course was designed personally by the great Jack Nicklaus himself and although this fine track is around half an hour’s drive from its siblings and cousins towards Murcia city, it is well worth the drive. The Sierra Espuna mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to this long course and in common with other Nicklaus courses, the secret is to avoid the (116) bunkers! Not a course for the faint-hearted but certainly one for a golfer that relishes a challenge.

La Torre completes the series. A resort course that is easily walked and great fun to play. It is the shortest of these courses but don’t be fooled by the length. This is still a great test of golf with hazards of the sand and water kind seemingly everywhere and doglegs galore. Very much a thinking golfer’s track.

On-site to La Torre, and similar to Mar Menor, there is the excellent 5* DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel with great facilities and prices, especially with packages on the 4 GNK courses. This option really does tick a lot of boxes for golfing groups and is very popular as a result.

We now move back to the coast, and to the area close to the old San Javier Airport. Roda Golf is another popular complex with an exciting 18-hole course with good self-catering options in resort. The course has a linksy feel and meanders around a great clubhouse from where you have views of pretty much every hole. Beware – there is plenty of water here, however, a cold beer in the clubhouse afterward is the perfect reward.

Plenty of water does not even begin to describe the course at La Serena just 10 minutes from Roda. With lakes on 16 holes, you may need your ball retriever regripped after a round here. The course is flat and easily walked and not long, but you can see where the trouble lies.

Close to the Roda and La Serena courses, we’ll find the popular resort town of Los Alcazares. Here we find two hotels popular with golfers: Hotel 525 which backs onto lively 525 Square, and the beachfront Hotel Costa Narejos which offers fantastic value out of the peak summer season. These hotels are great options for golfers wanting to experience the excellent variety of courses within half an hour while also enjoying a variety of après golf nightlife right on the doorstep.

Although not in the region of Murcia, honourable mention must be made of Lo Romero and Las Colinas, both accessible within half an hour of the GNK and UGolf resort accommodations as well as Los Alcazares. They are great courses and well worth the journey as an addition to your Murcian golf itinerary, especially for those returning to the region and looking for the next challenge.

We now move to the capital of the region, Murcia city. This is the seventh-largest city in the country with just under half a million residents. It has yet to be discovered as a major tourist attraction which adds to the attraction for many. We highly recommend a few nights to wander around this fascinating city and take in everything to be loved about the lifestyle. The old town is beautiful, the cathedral stunning, and there are more tapas bars than is possible to visit in a few days’ stay. This is, in common with most Spanish cities, a great place to sit in one of the many “plazas” with a beer, coffee or whatever you fancy, and do a spot of people watching. Nightlife is fantastic, great value and quality, and the locals are very friendly.

Our preferred hotel is the 4* Tryp Rincon de Pepe, right in the heart of the city – a stone’s throw to the Cathedral and the beautiful pedestrianised streets lined with restaurants, bars and cafes. The hotel has a comfortable bar as well as a restaurant offering a traditional Spanish breakfast. The rooms are very well furnished but the hotel’s main attraction is the location in the heart of the city. There is also a fantastic new Casino on offer for those who are feeling lucky.

The golf course serving the city of Murcia is Altorreal, just 20 minutes drive from the centre. This Dave Thomas-designed parkland course is in the picturesque Murcia mountains and boasts perfectly manicured greens and excellent practice facilities. Much of the natural fauna and flora has been incorporated beautifully into the course design to create a classically beautiful Spanish landscape. There are also many pine trees, olive groves and carob trees along the course. It is a long course off the tips and offers a good challenge to low handicappers.

In addition to Altorreal, the courses of Mar Menor, Hacienda Riquelme, Saurines and El Valle can all be accessed within 20-30 minutes from the Tryp Rincon de Pepe. We have great transfer rates making your escape hassle-free.

Our final golf region of Murcia is the Aguilas municipality in the southern coastal area of Murcia province close to the Almeria border.   Our accommodation here will be in the coastal town of Aguilas itself, a traditional Spanish beach resort very much geared towards traditional Spanish visitors so you may need to brush up on your language skills before your trip to ensure you get the most from your time here! This will be worth it however as you will discover a charming town, unspoiled by tourism with restaurants offering the fresh produce from the nearby fields at incredible prices. Our main base in Aguilas is the 4-star Hotel Puerto Juan Montiel, as the name suggests opposite the marina directly opposite the glistening Med and the beach.  The rooms are modern and comfortable, and the hotel’s terrace bar is a great place to relax overlooking the marina before heading along the promenade into town. For those looking for a very economical option, Aguilas de los Collados is a very good choice for self-catering apartments a couple of miles out of town in a very pleasant residential area.

There are two courses serving the immediate area. Lorca Golf is a great track, extremely highly rated in a beautiful rural area 20 minutes’ drive from Aguilas. A short but hilly and tricky course, the front nine is fairly straightforward but the back nine becomes more challenging. The fairways are narrow and there are quite a few water hazards but if you are having “one of those days”, you can always admire the stunning mountain views.

Aguilon is another scenically spectacular course 20 minutes from Aguilas. Ravines, bunkers and lakes create a great challenge in a setting that could be straight out of a spaghetti western. The lush green fairways appear as you come to the course most unexpectedly. This time the front nine is the tougher of the loops, and the course is another fine test of golf. Highly recommended and even more so with a remarkably low green fee for the quality.

If you want to add more choice from Aguilas, the Almeria courses of Valle del Este and Desert Springs are both under an hour away, as are Hacienda del Alamo and Alhama Signature.

We hope you have enjoyed our tour of Murcia. This region will always hold a special place in the heart of the author as the producer of almost all of the supermarket Gazpacho found in Spain (a cold tomato based garlicky soup). With great weather, green fees and accommodation at half the price of some other Spanish provinces and with great quality on offer, if you have yet to tread the Murcian fairways, now might be the time to start planning your next Golf Escape here.

Intro

Over the summer I’ve found that my golf has gotten a little more consistent. I’ve had the best round of my life shooting a 9 hole score of 25 stableford points, substantially dropping my newly received handicap, a change which will most certainly not last!

But that got me thinking, have you ever had one of those rounds where everything falls into place? Your drives are long and straight, approach play is dialed in and putts are being sunk from all over the green. You feel in complete control of your entire game and there are no distractions whatsoever, no hesitation and you have full confidence in your ability…

When this happens, you’re in “The Zone”.

But what is the zone and how can you ensure you find your zone every time you play?

What is the Zone?

The zone is an ideal state of focus which helps athletes perform to their full potential. By restricting external distractions your mind only processes the most important information helping you reach your goal. 

For golf, the zone would be a state in which you have minimal swing thoughts and trust your ability, you focus on important factors, such as course conditions whilst switching off to the outside world beyond the course. Requiring total commitment and effort, the zone is often difficult to find for many amateur athletes due to natural doubts and over-thinking, particularly when facing tricky shots.

Reaching the Zone

Practice, practice, practice. One way to ensure you’re round ready is to spend time at the range, honing your swing and shots. In doing this you can work on specific swing thoughts that work for you, reducing the number you’ll be faced with on the course. 

Similarly, by tailoring your practice to replicate a round, you can play the shots you’re likely to play on the course, in the same order. This will help increase your consistency as you only have one chance to make a specific shot, just like in a competition.

Turn off distractions. When you turn up to perform or practice be sure to free yourself from the distractions of everyday life. Switch off your phone and focus fully on the round at hand and the shots you’re likely to face.

Once underway don’t think too far ahead, the next shot is the most important and your game is the priority. Chat on your way to your ball, but once you reach your ball you’re back in the zone, fully focussed on the shot at hand.

Ready yourself. Across my previous blogs I’ve discussed a wide range of techniques that can help you ready yourself for your round, and when getting into the zone none are more important, in my opinion, than a pre shot routine.

By having a standardised pre-shot routine you can mentally and physically prepare yourself for the shot at hand. This routine will align your body and mind allowing you to be ready just be thinking about the shot, and knowing you’ve done it before will fill you with confidence.

Closing thoughts

The zone is quite simply the optimal state to perform in, but as aforementioned it can often be elusive for long periods of time until something clicks. Despite this, there are numerous things you can do to give yourself the best chance of having the round of your life!

Practice these methods and check back over some of the previous articles and see what works best for you. Psychological states are unique to us all so take the time to work on yourself beyond the range and you’ll likely see a benefit on the course.

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek and to learn more about the zone, take a look at this research paper which describes how athletes can get into the optimal performance state.

It’s competition day, you’re playing well and have put yourself into a strong position heading down the back 9, and have hit it close to within 6 feet on the 15th, perfect.

As you’re lining up a putt you’ve made hundreds of times without a second thought, but this is different…the pressure gets to you and the smooth stroke that’s treated you so well goes out the window and you stutter, leaving the putt a foot short and doubting your own ability.

The yips, as they’ve become known, can happen to anyone at any time and can be devastating to a golfer’s enjoyment of the game. Normally rearing their ugly head during high-pressure situations result in multiple negative psychical reactions including a high heart rate, a tighter grip on the putter, and less fluid, more jerky movements.

Despite their negative effects, they aren’t impossible to overcome, so what can you do to help yourself when the pressure is on?

Relaxation and centering
We’ve recently covered the ability to centre yourself however it is a skill that can be invaluable in pressured situations. By replacing negative thoughts with more positive, optimistic thoughts and being able to focus your attention you stand yourself in good stead.

When the pressure ramps up, take a deep breath and calm yourself down before focusing internally on how the swing and the shot will feel. Then move your focus externally, don’t overthink it, just focus on what will impact your shot, the speed of the greens, etc.

Positive self-talk
Don’t worry, I realise this might make you look a little mad, but as previously discussed it’s not as ludicrous as it may seem. When used properly not only can it calm you down, but it can also help you focus on your technique and also improve your performance.

If you’re suffering with the yips then all three types of self-talk could be used to help you prepare for your putt. Technique, motivation, and mood will all be beneficial when the pressure ramps up and it is down to you to understand what works best for you.

Imagery
I’ve covered this previously but being able to visualise the shot you’re about to play is an amazing skill to have and is something that can not only increase your confidence when standing over a putt, but also, when used correctly, can help with your performance.

If you’re feeling a little nervous before taking your putt, step back and in your mind make sure you see, feel and hit your shot. Make sure you visualise the putt and its breaks, the feeling of the shot, and then hit the shot in your mind with it going straight into the cup.

Closing thoughts
The yips is something that can impact any player at any given time and can be devastating to your golfing performance. However, this is not the end of your golfing career and can be overcome with the effective use of psychological techniques as we’ve discussed.

These aren’t a quick fix however and should therefore be given the time to bed themselves into your golf game before being thrust into highly competitive scenarios. Given time research suggests that the yips can be overcome.

To find out more
For more psychology resources visit psych-chek and to learn more about the yips, take a look at this research paper which highlights the thoughts of affected players.

For many, a golf holiday should provide more than great golf and some good weather; many golfers want the opportunity to enjoy a lively atmosphere in the surrounding area come night-time. All nine of these golf hotels provide golfers with the perfect mix of sun, golf and great nightlife, meaning they are set for one of their best golf holidays to date.

Thanos Almyra in Paphos, Cyprus

Up first is the Thanos Almyra, a seafront hotel located in the heart of Paphos. The Thanos Almyra has an unbeatable location for all those wanting to make the most out of the beautiful beaches that Cyprus is known so well for, as well as having plenty of options to go out in the evening. Just a few minutes away on foot takes guests into the centre of Paphos where there is a huge range of bars, restaurants and clubs to suit every preference and budget. Then to recover the following day, guests can lounge on the neighbouring beach or relax around one of the four swimming pools at the hotel. Aside from the great range of nightlife options in the centre of Paphos, there are also plenty of other things to do here. Three of the area’s best golf courses are situated within a twenty-minute drive away from the hotel. The award-winning Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, PGA National, Minthis Golf Club and the Elea Golf Course are all within close proximity to the Thanos Almyra, so a great round of golf is never far away. The Thanos Almyra is a five-star hotel in every aspect, ranging from its fantastic facilities, impeccable service and modern guest rooms. Guests here are never without an opportunity to relax with a huge spa facility as well as two adult-only swimming pools and a rooftop lounge area. Furthermore, there are private tennis courts as well as a fitness centre for guests to keep active when they are taking a break from playing the local golf courses. 

Vila Gale Marina in Algarve, Portugal

Vilamoura is widely considered to be one of the most sought-after golfing locations in Europe with its upmarket marina, fantastic hotels and superb golf courses in the surrounding area. While a golf holiday here undoubtedly demands loosening of some of your purse strings, it is fair to say that it is definitely worth it. The Vila Gale Marina is a fantastic four-star hotel that offers great value for a golf holiday in Vilamoura. The hotel boasts an excellent position for its guests to make the most out of Vilamoura’s buzzing nightlife, fantastic beach and some of the Algarve’s best golf courses. Just a few minutes on foot takes guests to Vilamoura’s marina which it is known so well for, with its wide range of upmarket bars and restaurants which stay open until late. Despite the Vila Gale Marina’s central location in Vilamoura, it is still quiet, meaning guests can relax to make the most out of the nearby golf courses. Perfect for golfers, the hotel even runs a complimentary shuttle bus service to some of the area’s golf courses. The fantastic location of the Vila Gale Marina is undoubtedly its main selling point, but the hotel is also a great option for your next golf holiday with its spacious guest rooms and fantastic facilities. All of the guest rooms here are large and modern in design, with some of them overlooking the neighbouring marina. The hotel has a fantastic health club with a fitness centre, hot tub and Turkish bath, as well as three restaurants and two bars located within the hotel. 

Hotel Melia Villaitana in Benidorm, Spain

Yet another great option for your next golf holiday with a fantastic range of nightlife is the Hotel Melia Villaitana. This hotel has the perfect location for all those looking to relax and enjoy some local golf, as well as having the ability to jump in the car and be in the centre of Benidorm in just a few minutes. Benidorm is known for its huge range of nightlife with a wide selection of bars and clubs open until late. Whether visitors here are looking to stay up until the early hours or grab some drinks after dinner, there are more than enough options located here. The centre of Benidorm is located just a ten-minute drive away from the Hotel Melia Villaitana, and taxis in the nearby area are cheap and very plentiful. Whether they play golf or not, guests at the Hotel Melia Villaitana will never find themselves short of things to do or see. The hotel is positioned just a few minutes away by car from a nearby sandy beach, and it is also just a stone’s throw away from two of the Costa Blanca’s most-played golf courses, the Villaitana Levante and the Villaitana Poniente. To keep active, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s private tennis and paddle courts, or to catch a tan, they can head to one of the hotel’s two outdoor swimming pools. 

The Belfry in West Midlands, England

For all golfers who want to enjoy a fantastic golf holiday without having to go to all of the trouble, stress and expense of flying, the Belfry is an unbeatable option. With three superb golf courses and impeccable service, it really comes as no surprise that the Belfry has been awarded the Best Golf Hotel in Europe. Here, there is no need for golfers to go abroad to enjoy some truly fantastic golf as the resort is home to three of the country’s best golf courses. The PGA, the Derby and the Brabazon Course are some of England’s most sought-after golf courses, and conveniently for guests staying here, they are all located just a stone’s throw away. At the Belfry, golfers can enjoy the best of both worlds as they are tucked away in a peaceful countryside location, but the centre of Birmingham is easily accessible for all guests staying here. In the centre of Birmingham, there is a huge range of nightlife options on offer for all budgets and preferences. The Belfry is not just a great location for your next golf holiday due to its unbeatable location; the hotel has benefitted from huge renovations in recent years, so all of the guest rooms and facilities here are to a very high standard. 

Pestana Dom Joao II in Algarve, Portugal

Another fantastic golf holiday option in the Algarve is the Pestana Dom Joao II. The hotel has the perfect location for all beach-lovers as guests are never more than a few steps away from a stunning sandy beach. The Pestana Dom Joao II does not just have a great location for golfers to enjoy one of the Algarve’s many beautiful beaches; the hotel boasts a central location in Alvor. Despite the development of Algarve’s most popular areas over the years as golf here has become increasingly popular, Alvor has still managed to retain more of its classic Portuguese charm, meaning this town offers guests the best of both worlds. Alvor has everything any golfer could ever want for an unforgettable golf escape; a fantastic range of bars and restaurants, a stunning beach and a good atmosphere. In recent years, the hotel has benefitted from major renovations meaning all of the guest rooms are very modern in design and non-golfers can enjoy a fantastic range of facilities. There is a wide range of sports activities at the hotel including volleyball and tennis, then at the beach guests can enjoy some water sports, and there are five of the region’s best golf courses just a short drive away from the hotel.

Hotel Red Fox in Le Touquet, France

The Hotel Red Fox is a great option for a budget golf holiday for all those looking to play some of Le Touquet’s best golf courses and enjoy some French food and culture. Le Touquet is positioned in Northern France, so it is also a great option for a ‘drive and stay’ golf holiday as guests need not have to bother with the expense and stresses of flying, making it a fantastic option for your next golf holiday. In Le Touquet, golfers are in a great position to play some of the region’s fantastic golf courses, as well as enjoy a relaxing golf holiday in an idyllic town. Come night-time after golfers have had a great day enjoying a gruelling round of golf, they can head into the centre of Le Touquet where there is a good range of bars and restaurants, many of which are low cost. During the day, golfers can make the most out of being in such close proximity to two fantastic golf courses; the La Mer and the La Foret golf courses both offer a great round of golf, and conveniently for guests at the Hotel Red Fox, they are both approximately ten minutes away by car.

Zentral Center Hotel in Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife

The Canary Islands are a hugely popular golf holiday destination with its mild climate throughout the year, buzzing nightlife and superb golf courses. The Zentral Center Hotel could not have a better location; the Playa de Las Americas Beach is positioned just across from the hotel, and the Las Americas Golf Club is also just a few minutes away, meaning a fantastic round of golf is never far from reach. Las Americas is Tenerife’s key area, home to a huge range of nightlife options with many bars and nightclubs just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. However, the Zentral Center Hotel is not just perfectly located to make the most out of the nightlife that Tenerife is known so well for; the Las Americas Golf Club is just next door to the hotel, and if golfers want a bit more variety, then the Golf Costa Adeje is also a fifteen-minute drive away. For golfers to relax after a challenging round of golf on one of the area’s many fantastic golf courses, they can either head to the neighbouring beach, or catch a tan on the hotel’s rooftop swimming pool.

Real Bellavista in Albufeira, Portugal

Albufeira is known for its buzzing nightlife, and at the Real Bellavista, guests are in the perfect position to make the most out of it. The Real Bellavista is an unbeatable option for all those looking to enjoy some of the Algarve’s best golf courses in the daytime, then come night-time, they can easily head out into the centre of Albufeira for a fun night out. Furthermore, the Real Bellavista offers a great all-inclusive accommodation option, meaning guests can indulge without having to worry about a hefty bill at the end of their stay. Also, as the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle service to the nearby beach, guests can enjoy a great golf holiday with the perfect mix of nightlife, beach, and golf. When golfers are taking a break from challenging the fairways at the local golf courses, they can soak up the sun on one of the hotel’s outdoor swimming pools, or head to the hotel’s spa for a well-deserved massage or treatment. 

Hotel Alay in Benalmadena, Spain

Last but not least is the Hotel Alay, a relatively new hotel positioned just steps away from Benalmadena Marina with its wide range of bars and restaurants. This four-star hotel is a great option for all those looking for a fantastic golf holiday with the ability to enjoy a lively atmosphere in the evenings and one of the Costa del Sol’s stunning sandy beaches. The Hotel Alay is not just perfectly positioned to visit Benalmadena’s beach or make the most out of its great range of bars, restaurants and clubs; the hotel is located just a half an hour’s drive away from the Chaparral Golf Club, and the Cabopino Golf Course is also just forty minutes away. Aside from its fantastic location, the Hotel Alay is also a great option for your next golf holiday with its spacious and modern guest rooms and leisure facilities. The hotel is home to three outdoor swimming pools, and it even has its own private beach area located at the Malapesquera Beach Club. 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on nine of the best golf hotels for nightlife and that you have been given plenty of inspiration for your next golf holiday to make it your best one yet. All nine of these golf hotels offer everything and more to ensure a fantastic golf holiday, no matter what your budget or preferences. If you are still finding yourself unpersuaded, then give us a call on 01342 811777, and we will ensure you have your best golf holiday yet.

When you are looking for your next golf break, it is sometimes good to consider courses to base your break around that are nearby to an airport. This can be ideal for short golf escapes to a sunny destination, perfect for long weekends away or even if you are not keen to hire a car whilst you are away as transfers are obviously cheaper if you stay closer to an airport.

1. Belas Golf Course in Lisbon, Portugal

A short drive from Lisbon’s city centre is the brilliant Belas golf course, just 25 minutes from Lisbon airport. The course meanders through mounds and from many of the tees you can enjoy stunning views across the Sintra Hills. From the white tees, this course is a long one at over 6,700 yards which makes it a fair challenge of golf, especially due to the other features of the course, including the penal rough where you could lose more than a few balls. Throughout the course, there is a selection of good par 3s including a few spectacular drop holes. There are some standout holes, including the 5th which is very long and has many strategically placed bunkers. The finishing four holes are brilliant beginning with the 15th hole which is a downhill rollercoaster par 5, there is then the heavily bunkered dogleg 16th hole, then the 17th which is exceptionally tricky with water on both sides of the green. The 18th is a fantastic finishing hole, it is a short par 4 where you are hitting downhill from the raised tee whilst avoiding the pond to the right. The course features some very memorable holes and views which makes it a great course to base your next golf holiday around, especially as it boasts such a great location between Belas and Lisbon. If you are looking to plan your golf break around this great course, look at the fabulous Sheraton Cascais Resort as you can play many more courses with that hotel as your base.

PGA Catalunya Courses in Costa Brava, Spain

Next up, is the stunning four-star Hotel Gran Ultonia – 18 minutes from Girona Airport in Costa Brava. This hotel boasts a great location just a few hundred yards from Girona Cathedral and the Barri Vell District. Each of the rooms at this hotel is stylish and functional with elegant and modern bathrooms as well as all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this rating. As the hotel boasts such a fantastic location, you are never far from great bars and restaurants but there are also two brilliant golf courses within close proximity of the hotel. The PGA Catalunya courses are both excellent but different which means that they are the perfect addition to your stay at Hotel Gran Ultonia. The PGA Catalunya Tour course may be a little shorter and easier to play than the Stadium course but with an abundance of pine trees and water hazards lying in wait for any errant shots, you cannot afford to not play with accuracy. It is a brilliant holiday course as it provides a challenge for golfers of all abilities.

The PGA Catalunya Stadium is arguably one of the best courses in Spain but it is a very challenging one, located just 7 minutes from Girona Airport. The course is very long and very hilly, however, there are five sets of tees to choose from so even golfers with higher handicaps are catered for here and may have a chance at scoring well if they can still play with accuracy! Right from the 1st tee you can see how brilliant this course is as you start off with an elevated drive to a dogleg left par 4 hole. Not only is the course a magnificent round of golf, but the scenery is beautiful – this is a world-class course and not one to be missed out on when you are planning your next golf escape to the Costa Brava.

Alicante Golf Resort Course in Costa Blanca, Spain

Alicante Golf Resort is located just on the edge of Alicante City, in Costa Blanca where the weather is great golfing weather practically all year round and as the course and Hotel Alicante Golf is 21 minutes from Alicante airport, so this is the perfect destination for a golf escape any time of the year. The course is a traditional one and since it opened in 1998, several alterations have been made including the addition of artificial lakes and rivers which have made the course a very tricky one. In order to score well, you must play strategically as there are many hazards along the course that can cause you to lose your ball. This is a brilliant course and Hotel Alicante Golf is a stunning hotel with brilliant facilities. This is the perfect hotel and course combination for a great golf break to Alicante regardless of the time of year…

Golf Del Sur in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Barcelo Tenerife boasts a stunning location just 10 minutes from Tenerife South Airport, and it is positioned right in the centre of its very own nature reserve and allows you to feel like you are separated from the rest of the world with nearby golf courses and the brilliant facilities at the hotel to enjoy. However, although everything here is peaceful and calm, just 20 minutes walk from the hotel is the town of Los Abrigos where you can find a wide array of different bars and restaurants to enjoy. The prestigious Golf del Sur sits just next door to the property and there are other courses nearby including Amarilla Golf, Buenavista Golf, Golf Costa Adeje and Golf Las Americas. Golf del Sur is just 5 minutes drive from the hotel and the course runs along the stunning coastline. This is a truly scenic course with stunning views and interesting black volcanic sand bunkers, cacti and palm trees dotted around. Arguably, the signature hole of the course is the par 4 3rd hole on the North nine which is a lush and long hole and has a long and narrow green to reach beyond the bunkers and other hazards waiting. This is the perfect destination for your next golf break to Tenerife, especially with the tropical climate of the Canary Islands all year round…

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are thinking about your next golf escape, consider somewhere easy to access from an airport so that you can make the most out of your time there – especially if it is a golfing weekend away to blow away the cobwebs until we reach the summer months.

“Don’t slice it…strong grip…close the face…tuck the elbow in…straight takeaway…don’t come steep…don’t hit it too hard…”

FOOOOOOORE!!

If you’re anything like me, these thoughts are all too common. They creep in after a bad tee shot, and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with swing thoughts about how I can correct my swing and get my round back on track. Inevitably I end up overthinking my swing and that causes my day to spiral and I could happily walk off the course and never look back.

 

Despite this, there is the argument that one, or maybe two, swing thoughts can be beneficial for your game but why is this, and how many is too many?

Don’t overthink it

Your golf game is normally at its best when it’s coming naturally. You’re swinging freely and not having any technical thoughts. But should a few wayward shots creep into your round, then the thoughts begin as you try to correct it before your score racks up.

The best thoughts are the ones that aren’t too invasive and are very specific to a certain shot. Therefore focussing on a singular key aspect, and maintaining only this thought throughout the swing, for example, if you’re having an issue with coming over the top with your driver your swing thought may be “tuck in my back elbow”.

 

By keeping these thoughts to a minimum, and knowing what works for you personally you are able to keep your mind free and hit the shots you know you’re capable of. By mastering this, you’re able to get your round off to a flying start, and get it back on track should it start slipping.

Owning your thoughts

As with anything, it is important to understand what works best for you. In this instance understanding the swing thoughts that most resonate with you and cause the least intrusion is key when trying to own your swing thoughts.

 

Similarly, acknowledging the thoughts that aren’t relevant to your swing, or you find detracting from your performance and being able to remove these is vital. This will help you reduce the number of thoughts at any one time, and focus on the shot at hand.

 

Spend some time at the range, see where potential swing faults can come into play, and the thoughts you need to correct these. Make sure these thoughts definitely work for you and put pressure on yourself within your practice and your more laid-back rounds to guarantee that these thoughts work for you within the competition.

Closing thoughts

Swing thoughts are a part of the game that it is almost impossible to avoid. Unless you picked the game up at a young age they are often inevitable as the skills aren’t hardwired into us. For this reason, it is vital that you reduce these as much as possible, selecting and focussing on only the thoughts that are beneficial to your performance.

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. To learn more about the swing thoughts in professional golfers, have a read of this research conducted in 2007.

Valle Romano

We start our tour of the Costa del Sol near Malaga Airport, the hub serving this area. You can reach Malaga Airport from every major airport in the UK. The airport has recently been upgraded to a very high standard and is now one of Europe’s best and most modern airports.

When you fly into the airport you see several golf courses as green mirages among the brown mountains and bright blue sea. The first course you’ll see is Guadalhorce, a traditional members club with a warm welcome and two distinctly different nines.  You’ll also get a great view of Lauro Golf with 27 holes in a stunning location beneath the Malaga Mountains surrounded by some excellent self-catering properties for those wishing to stay in a quiet environment.Guadalhorce

Moving along the coast from the airport we come to the resorts of Torremolinos and Benalmadena. We have several accommodation choices here. In Torremolinos, Sol Melia Hotels have a great choice of accommodations from 3* B&B hotels to 4* all-inclusive properties along the coast. On the Torremolinos / Benalmadena border, they have recently refurbished the outstanding Sol House Costa del Sol – now established as one of the best golfers’ hotels in the area with ultra-modern suites and facilities within a 10-minute stroll along the beach promenade to the lively and popular Benalmadena Marina.

In Benalmadena, Golf Torrequebrada sits proudly overlooking the resort as a Spanish Open course. This is one of the coast’s oldest and best courses and a good choice for an arrival or departure day round. Just down the round from Torrequebrada, golfers enjoy the imposing and mainly all-inclusive Holiday World complex, which has hosted successful Golf Escapes Pro-Am events.

A little further down the coast from Benalmadena, we come to Fuengirola. This is another lively traditional tourist hotspot with a long beach and countless tall hotels and apartment blocks lining the seafront. There are all types of accommodations to choose from here including the great value Hotel PYR right in the heart of the action.

In the hills behind Fuengirola, the established courses of Mijas Los Lagos and Mijas Los Olivos offer enjoyable experiences to players of all abilities. Wide fairways here lull golfers into a false sense of security – beware of the sand and water.  Just next to Fuengirola is the ever-popular and testing Chaparral Golf, a fine test of golf with an equally good clubhouse and welcome.

Just 10 km down the coast road to the west of Fuengirola is La Cala Village, one of this author’s favourite Costa del Sol beach towns with an enchanting mix of Spanish architecture and some great restaurants and bars.La Cala Golf Resort

The famous La Cala Resort overlooks the coast and enjoys fantastic rural and mountain views with 3 great courses on-site and a 4-star hotel offering golfers every comfort.

Between La Cala and Marbella, there are several fine golf courses. A great value choice for your stay in this part of the coast would be MacDonald Dona Lola Resort. This property is on the seafront surrounded by the bars and restaurants of Calahonda and offers apartments of varying sizes with easy access to the pool bar a few steps from the beach.  The nearby Cabopino is a short but tricky course and very popular.  Santa Maria is similar and with a few spectacular holes in the foothills of the mountains. Marbella Golf & Country Club is longer and hillier but equally enjoyable, especially now the old building next to the clubhouse has been taken down. Its next-door neighbour Santa Clara has a very tight front nine with narrow fairways and small greens; the back nine is friendlier. All these courses usually offer free buggies to help with the undulating terrain.

We are now close to Marbella and just a few minutes east of the town, we offer great packages at the luxury beachfront 5* Hotel Los Monteros with golf at both Marbella Golf & Country Club and Santa Clara – both 5 minutes from the hotel on their regular free shuttle service.

Even closer to Marbella, we will come across the Rio Real complex with a fine palm-tree-lined golf course with a couple of holes down by the beach, and the 5* boutique Rio Real Hotel. There are only 30 rooms here but with its location on top of one of the area’s finest courses just 3km from Marbella, this is a great spot for a relaxing golf holiday on the Costa del Sol but with restaurants and shops on the doorstep.

Marbella has always been a glamorous spot for the rich and famous since Sean Connery and the like discovered the town when the Costa del Sol became fashionable as air travel became easy in the 1970s. La Plaza de Los Naranjos or “Orange Square” is a beautiful place to visit when in town and can be found just a few minutes inland from the town’s fabulous sandy beach.

There are some magnificent championship courses in and around Marbella but you don’t have to break the bank to play a fine track. Los Arqueros, Los Naranjos, El Paraiso and La Quinta are all relatively inexpensive and really enjoyable courses to play. The Westin La Quinta is a luxurious 5-star property with the 27-hole La Quinta on-site. From here, you are also a short hop into Puerto Banus, where people, car and boat spotting are popular pastimes. Do be aware that you will pay two or even three times more for a drink or meal overlooking Puerto Banus harbour than anywhere else on the Costa del Sol coastline. Popular accommodations here include PYR Marbella and H10 Andalucia Plaza with a casino adjacent.La Quinta

Moving westwards again towards Estepona, there are many more fine golf resorts. Hotel Guadalmina enjoys a fantastic location on the beach just a few minutes drive into Puerto Banus, and has the two fine courses of Guadalmina North and South right by (the clubhouse is a short drive away).

The Sol Marbella Estepona Atalaya Park is another hotel enjoying a beachfront location with great value packages at the two Atalaya courses, again a short drive away by free shuttle.

Arguably the most luxurious resort in this area (and with the longest name) is Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavis Marbella Resort. This amazing property has hosted royalty and the rich and famous over the years. On-site there are 54 holes of excellent golf, the hugely popular Flamingos, the tight and tough Alferini and the short and friendlier Tramores.

All these courses are within reach of Estepona, one of our favourite towns on the coast. Here we have two hotels. The 5-star Elba Estepona has hosted some very popular Golf Escapes pro-ams and offers a luxury all-inclusive option to guests.  The H10 Estepona Palace is within walking distance of the fabulous Estepona Marina where you’ll find restaurants offering many different cuisines from all corners of the globe. 2 hotels. Estepona town itself is gorgeous with a long beach and an old town where you can easily lose yourself in the pretty pedestrian streets.

The most famous course in the area is Finca Cortesin, host of the Volvo World Matchplay Championship on three occasions. This is a great test of golf and always in fine condition.  Other enjoyable courses in the area are Estepona Golf, a short but challenging track, and Valle Romano, a modern design with the Ona Valle Romano hotel on site.Finca Cortesin

The most westerly region of the Costa del Sol is the Sotogrande area. Here we’ll find a collection of some of the finest golf courses in Europe in a very small radius. The first and most inexpensive is La Canada. This most enjoyable course was originally built to enable workers and caddies to learn the game and the course has produced many professionals. Almenara is a fine 27-hole course and we eagerly anticipate the reopening of the upgraded and renovated luxury hotel on site.

La Reserva and Real Sotogrande are two wonderful courses that although in the upper price bracket will provide players with great memories. San Roque Old and New are also great tracks that players of all standards enjoy, and there are some excellent packages on offer to play both courses. The last course in the area is Valderrama, truly one of Europe’s finest and host of the 1997 Ryder Cup.Real Club Valderrama

The most westerly golf complex of the Costa del Sol is the 36-hole Alcaidesa Golf Resort with two enjoyable courses in the Links (now closed for upgrade) and Heathland. Both have great views of the Rock of Gibraltar. Many golfers use Gibraltar Airport as a gateway to this side of the Costa del Sol.

We hope you enjoyed our brief overview of the Costa del Golf, but there really is nothing to beat the experience of coming here! We will be delighted to help you plan your next Golf Escape to this area where golf in Spain truly begun.

Intro

We’ve made it, three months without golf, if you’re anything like me, it’s been a long, LONG time!

As you blow off the cobwebs be sure to check out my “getting back into the swing of things” blog published after the first lockdown. Here I discussed a few of the ways you can ease your way back into the game we love and take the pressure off.

Now if you’re anything like me you’ve forgotten how to swing a club, let alone piece a round together…but before entering into a huge competition it is important to pick your playing partners carefully. In this article we will discuss how your partner can impact your mental state and your overall performance. 

It’s all in the chat

You may well have noticed that you play better with certain partners than with others, but have you ever stopped and wondered why?

In previous articles I mentioned the concept of self talk, and in a similar vein your playing partners can also raise or lower your self confidence. If you’re playing with someone who is better than you (both in handicap, and your opinion) and they offer encouragement then your self-confidence is likely to be improved. This is because they are deemed to know “good golf” and therefore a positive remark has to be earned as opposed to just given.

Similarly if you’re playing in competition with people who heckle you, or try to get into your head, you’re naturally more likely to lose confidence in your ability to perform, whether they mean it or not, particularly if you’re having an off day.

Now for your first few rounds back you may well have a few more duffed shots than you’re used to, and in my case a lot more provisionals off the tee! And with this in mind, particularly after such a long imposed break, you need to play with people who build and inspire you as opposed to jumping straight into a competition when you could be performing worse than your handicap suggests.

Closing Thoughts

Whilst your preferred playing partner will not always be available for a round, it is particularly important during these first few rounds that you play with people who benefit your performance and your confidence. Without this you can risk your scores falling away and most worryingly falling out of love with the game you’ve waited so long to play.

Similarly this is a two way street, and as such you must also think about your comments towards your playing partner. By all means share some banter on the tee, but be aware that your comments can do so much for someone’s performance and you might affect them more than you know.

Be someone people want to play with and not someone people have to play with, it is after all, only a game.

To find out more

For more psychology resources visit psych-chek. To learn more about the effects of verbal persuasion, have a read of this research in a tennis setting.

The Algarve is a consistent favourite among golfers in Europe with its great climate, fantastic range of hotels and most importantly, its superb golf courses. There is everything and more in the Algarve to ensure that all golfers have an unforgettable golf escape, so it really does come as no surprise that golfers continue to flock here in numbers year after year. Golf Escapes send more golfers to The Algarve annually than to any other destination – and it’s easy to see why…

Starting in East of The Algarve, Monte Rei has established itself as arguably Portugal’s finest. This Jack Nicklaus design has attracted praise and awards from afar and is now ever-present in Europe’s top 10 course rankings. The design makes full use of the undulating terrain and is fully deserving of the accolades. You come off the course thinking that the area of land was created for a golf course. We await the opening of Monte Rei’s second course eagerly – currently a work in progress. This magnificent resort boasts a range of luxurious self-catering properties offering great packages with golf. We love the linked houses with plenty of room to relax after your round with a huge swimming pool and restaurant/bar adjacent. Off-site, the nearest town with a good choice of amenities is Tavira…

In Tavira, you will find The Maria Nova Lounge Hotel, centrally located for travellers looking for a great golf holiday comprising of sun, food, sand, nightlife, and of course, fantastic golf. Just a short stroll away from the hotel takes guests into the centre of Tavira, a charming coastal town set in the Eastern Algarve. Tavira is home to a great range of bars, shops and restaurants to give guests an opportunity for a fun night out, or a leisurely lunch to enjoy some authentic Portuguese food. Also, perfect for all of those who are looking to relax on their golf holiday, golfers can head to the nearby beach in Tavira to soak up the sun in between rounds of golf on the local golf courses. In addition to Monte Rei, the 36-hole resort comprising the excellent Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima courses are under 10 minutes’ drive from town, as well as the enjoyable Benamor. Further back towards Spain, you will also find two fine but tricky courses, Quinta do Vale and Castro Marim, both offering amazing value green fees with views over into Spain. With stunning beaches and terrific courses always in easy reach, the Maria Nova Lounge Hotel is a great choice for your next golf escape to the Algarve. Furthermore, in recent years, the Maria Nova Lounge Hotel made huge investments to completely renovate the hotel, so all of the guest rooms and facilities here are very modern. Non-golfers can relax around the outdoor swimming pool, visit the hotel’s fitness centre, or enjoy a session at the spa.

Moving into the centre of The Algarve nearer to Faro Airport, we’ll find the Magnolia Hotel located in the heart of the luxury Quinta do Lago resort opposite the famous Quinta Shopping complex. With a huge range of facilities, superb golf courses and a great location, Quinta do Lago is known to be a consistent favourite amongst golfers in the Algarve. Whether guests at the Magnolia Hotel are looking to improve their tan on the nearby sandy beach, or challenge some of the Algarve’s best golf courses, the hotel has something for everyone to ensure an unbeatable stay. Quinta do Lago has been aptly labelled the ‘California of Europe’ with its stunning beaches and great weather, so it is sure to be a great base for your next golf escape to the Algarve. However, the Magnolia Hotel is not just an option for some well-deserved ‘R and R’; it is also a fantastic choice for all those looking to enjoy some of the Algarve’s best golf courses. Quinta do Lago is home to three superb golf courses; Quinta do Lago Laranjal, Quinta do Lago North, and the newly renovated in 2021 Quinta do Lago South. With such a range of golf on offer to guests with reduced green fees and packages at the Magnolia Hotel, it is no surprise that so many golfers return there for a guaranteed amazing golfing experience. No stay in the central Algarve will be complete without an après golf refreshment at The Melting Pot over the road from the hotel, and it has to be said there is an excellent gin selection in the hotel bar.

Just a few kilometres west of Quinta do Lago, we’ll find the famous Vilamoura. This is widely considered to be among the Algarve’s most luxurious destinations with its yacht-filled marina and upmarket bars, shops and restaurants. At the Hotel Vila Gale Ampalius, guests can enjoy all the luxuries of Vilamoura at a value price as the hotel offers superb value for money and regular deals. While golfers are taking a break in between rounds of golf at the local golf courses, they can indulge in some retail therapy, or alternatively grab lunch around the marina. Also, perfect for all those looking to relax as well, they can head to the beach conveniently opposite the hotel. The Ampalius could not be better located to ensure all guests make the most of Vilamoura; as well as backing onto the beach, the centre of Vilamoura is just a few hundred metres away. While the hotel has its own bar and restaurant, with the centre of Vilamoura on the doorstep, there are always plenty of options on offer for guests to have a leisurely lunch or a fun night out. Furthermore, at the Vila Gale Ampalius, the hotel could not make it easier for its guests to make the most out of some of the best golf on offer in the Algarve; the hotel conveniently runs a complimentary shuttle service to Dom Pedro Laguna, Millennium, Pinhal, Old Course and Victoria, so a great round of golf is never far away. While its value for money and location being great appeals for guests here, the hotel also has a fantastic selection of facilities for all those looking to relax and stay local to the hotel with outdoor and indoor pools, as well as a comprehensive Health Club facility.

For those looking to stay on a golf course and still have the bright lights of Vilamoura within a few minutes’ drive, we would suggest Pestana Vila Sol. This 5-star property enjoys a rural location just northeast of Vilamoura and has the 27-hole Vila Sol course surrounding the hotel, with the clubhouse a chip shot from the hotel. Guests here enjoy the rooms in the semi-tropical garden set around the huge outdoor pool and the welcoming bar and restaurant. With guest green fees starting at £30 in low season on Vila Sol (a fraction of the other green fees in the area and a Portuguese Open host no less!), and on the other Pestana courses further down towards the western coast, you can see why this resort is a popular choice for golfers looking for quality and value with great nightlife, shopping and beaches on the doorstep. As well as the on-site Vila Sol, guests here have easy access to all the other Vilamoura courses within a 10-minute drive, and the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo courses are just 20 minutes away with free transfers for 4 players or more.

The Hilton Vilamoura as Cascatas Golf Resort and Spa is another great choice for your next luxury golf holiday in the Algarve with its five-star status, impeccable service, and ideal location close to the popular Pinhal course. Guests at the Hilton Vilamoura can truly enjoy the best of both worlds, as they will find themselves set back a good distance away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre so they can enjoy some well-deserved peace on their next golf holiday, but should they choose to explore the local region, then the centre of Vilamoura lies just a short drive away from the hotel. Ten minutes in the car will take guests into the centre of Vilamoura where they can lounge on the beach to catch a tan, or alternatively, grab some lunch or do some shopping around the Vilamoura marina. Furthermore, the resort could not make it easier for guests to enjoy all the region’s fantastic golf on offer, as it runs a complimentary shuttle service to four of the region’s best golf courses, and the Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course is also positioned just over the road. Due to the location of the resort, guests will never find themselves without something to do. Even if they choose to stay local to the resort for a relaxing afternoon, guests can lounge around one of the resort’s six swimming pools, or even head to the resort’s private beach club at the nearby Falesia Beach.

Moving west down the coast past Albufeira, we find the newly refurbished luxury Tivoli Carvoeiro.  The renovation of the old hotel is truly breathtaking and the new Tivoli Carvoeiro can justifiably call itself one of the top hotels on The Algarve coast. The hotel has a beautiful location on top of a cliff surrounding a sheltered cove. Guests of the hotel can enjoy the best of both worlds as they can enjoy a peaceful stay in a stunning beach location, but they still have the opportunity to take a short stroll down the hill into the local town of Carvoeiro where there is a good range of shops, bars and restaurants. Guests are never more than a fifteen-minute walk away from town, and they can also escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy towns and resorts to enjoy their golf holiday in peace. At the Tivoli Carvoeiro, there is truly something for everyone; whether the guests are looking to top up their tan on the nearby sandy beach, enjoy a leisurely round of golf or enjoy some authentic Portuguese food in Carvoeiro. In under 10 minutes, you can be sampling the delights of the courses at Carvoeiro Golf Resort, Pinta and Gramacho, and just a further 15 minutes away you can play several others including Penina Championship, Silves, Alto, the two great courses of Amendoeira O’Connor and Amendoeira Faldo, and Alamos and Morgado. Even considering its five-star status, the guest rooms at the hotel are especially spacious and modern in design with light décor, with the highest standard of furnishings due to the recent extensive renovation. For non-golfers, there is a great choice of things to see and do here such as a trip to the spa, a trip to the beach, or a sociable round of tennis. A cocktail on the hotel’s rooftop bar watching the sun dip over the Atlantic is a perfect way to start your evening…

Just a little further west and inland from Carvoeiro, we come to the place where golf on The Algarve began. The Penina Hotel and Golf Resort is arguably the most popular of The Algarve’s many golf resorts. With a world-class golf course, impeccable service and five-star facilities, it is no wonder Penina is such a highly respected golf resort in the Algarve. Guests are never far away from a superb round of golf at the Penina Hotel and Golf Resort, as both the Penina Championship and Penina Resort golf courses are on-site. The fantastic practice facilities make this a go-to resort for golf pros and their students. While guests have a great choice of bars and restaurants in the hotel itself, the beautiful beach town of Alvor is also located just a short drive away from the resort and offers a huge variety of cuisines and nightlife, so if guests decide to go out and explore the local area on a lazy afternoon or for a lively night out, then they can do so with ease. Guests are never without an opportunity to enjoy some of the stunning views across the resort from their guest rooms, with views spanning out across the two Penina golf courses and the neighbouring Monchique Mountains.

The final major resort moving westwards on The Algarve is Lagos. This town offers beautiful secluded sandy coves, a marina with a dozen plus bars and restaurants, a beautifully atmospheric old town, and some fine golf courses. Our most popular property in Lagos is the Tivoli Lagos (originally called simply “Hotel Lagos”) and has been an iconic building in the town for decades. The Tivoli was totally refurbished in 2018 and offers a very high standard of accommodation at great prices in probably the best location in Lagos. A five-minute stroll one way and you will find yourself in the heart of the pedestrianised old town among quaint restaurants, bars that come alive late evening, and boutique shops. A ten-minute amble in the other direction and over the bridge you will find the lively bustling modern marina to enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail as you look back towards the town across the sea of luxury boats on display. There are three fine golf courses within a ten-minute drive of the Tivoli Lagos: the amazing 27-hole Palmares course with links and parkland holes, the modern style of Boavista with plenty of water and bunkers, and the short but tricky track of Espiche. Further afield you can play several other courses that the western Algarve enjoys but the three mentioned will keep most players happy for week’s great golfing enjoyment.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on nine of the best escapes on the Algarve, widely considered to be Europe’s best golf destination.