Unusual Golf Escapes

This week’s blog is a guide to some of our brilliant and interesting golf escapes. If you are looking for something a bit different and exciting, then look no further than one of these resorts or experiences as you will be offered a once in a lifetime experience. To learn about these interesting golf breaks read on and you may find one that piques your interest…

Rovos Rail was established in 1989 and since then, it has earnt a world-class reputation for its excellent service, superb cuisine and incredible experiences. You can choose from a range of journeys that last from between 48 hours to 15 days. There are three excellent packages that we offer with golf escapes and each of the journeys lasts nine days. The African Golf Collage begins in Pretoria before the train winds its way through some beautiful areas of Africa before ending up in Cape Town nine days later. Activities along the journey include a game drive in the Kruger National Park, a visit to the KWV Brandy Distillery and some spectacular rounds of golf at Leopard Creek, Durban Country Club, Humewood, Fancourt and Oubaai. Alternatively, you can choose from either the Golf Adventure or the Golf Safari which also offer you unique experiences at different National Parks, stunning views of the surrounding areas and rounds of golf on some of the world’s top golf courses. A trip on the Rovos Rail is not one to be passed up on and it isn’t hard to see why with its excellent service, delicious food and International wines as well as unforgettable experiences – travel in style on your next golf escape.

Next up, we have the Taj Mahal Trophy 2018 which is a unique and incredible golfing experience with a seven-night trip at the heart of the capital city of India. There are four impressive golf courses that you will get to experience: Golden Greens Golf and Country Club, Delhi Golf Club, Jaypee Greens Golf Resort and Classic Golf Resort. These are all unique and impressive golf courses that will provide you with some memorable rounds of golf and a passion for the wonderful country of India. Whilst you are on your journey, you will also have the opportunity to include some day trips. These trips include a trip to the Taj Mahal and Agra which will be a once in a lifetime experience, especially if you go at the right time of day. Whilst you are enjoying India and its fantastic culture and cuisine, you get the chance to stay in amazing five-star hotels with fabulous service, excellent golf and beautiful weather. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime golf break, then look no further than the Taj Mahal Trophy as it boasts everything that you need to have an incredible and life-changing holiday.

The Bell Inn is a Grade II listed building situated in a picture-perfect village in the heart of the New Forest and offers its guest a unique experience in an Inn with old rustic charm, comfortable and spacious bedrooms as well as stunning surroundings. The Inn boasts an informal feeling throughout and you are welcome to choose from four different areas to eat in. The large bar at the heart of the Inn boasts a double-aspect fireplace, cosy corners and comfy sofas to sink into whilst you enjoy a few drinks. The Oak Room is a warm and intimate decorated with earthy tones and burnished woods and then there is the beautiful, light and airy Garden Room where you feel as if you are dining alfresco even when you are inside, but there is a terrace you can choose to eat on during the warmer months. You can enjoy rounds of golf at Bramshaw Golf Club whilst you are here, on both the Forest Course and the Manor Course where you will enjoy a memorable round of golf and after your round, you can enjoy a few beverages and a bite to eat in the clubhouse. With beautiful rooms, a stunning location and great golf, this is a great choice for your next interesting and unique golf break.

Last, but certainly not least, located on the stunning island of La Gomera is Hotel Jardin Tecina. The resort is perched on top of the village where you can find an array of different bars and restaurants to enjoy. Its location means that the resort boasts stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean and of the neighbouring island of Tenerife. This is the ideal place to enjoy the tranquillity and luxury of this wonderful resort whilst have the opportunity to play on a brilliant championship golf course which is Tecina Golf where you can find breathtaking views and memorable holes. Each of the beautiful rooms includes all of the luxuries that you would expect from a hotel of this standard as well as either a private balcony or terrace from which you can look out across the gardens and to sea. Whilst you are not enjoying Tecina Golf, you can relax around one of the five different pools or enjoy the sporting facilities or, if you are after the ultimate indulgence, take a trip to the spa. With excellent facilities, a wide range of drinking and dining options including five different bars and several restaurants serving traditional Spanish and Canary cuisine, you will never be short of somewhere great to drink and dine. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for the full package with golf, cuisine, weather and location.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that one of these excellent resorts or experiences has appealed to you for your next golf break…

 

27 of the Best Golf World Records (There are Some Weird Ones!)

Did you know that there are golf world records? You’ve probably heard of the tallest man alive, the world record for longest fingernails or hair, but, there are tons of world records in the golf world too.

If you’re curious, or are looking for a new challenge to tackle, check out 27 of the best golf world records (some of them may surprise you.)

1. The Longest Putt

The longest putt was 125 yards and was accomplished by 66-year old, Fergus Muir. It happened back in 2001 at St. Andrews Links on the Eden Course. He made the shot on the 5th hole right from the tee. While some would consider themselves on the wrong side of their sixties, others, like Muir, are taking the time to accomplish world records! Pretty impressive.

2. The Fastest Round

The fastest round ever was completed in 13 minutes and 42 seconds. To make this record happen, a team of 80 golfers were placed around the 18-hole course, all doing their part to make the time. The record was achieved at Farnham Golf Club in Surrey. How 80 people were convinced to chip in on this golf round is a bit confusing to me, but their team work certainly paid off.

3. World’s Longest Hole 

The longest hole in the world can be found in Sano, Japan at Satsuki GC. It’s a par 7, 7th, and it measures a whopping 964 yards. Imagine trying to accomplish that in only three swings. Hey, maybe this will even give you an excuse to take a Japanese holiday. You never know, you might come back with a new golfing record of your own.

4. Longest Competition Drive

The longest drive occurred in a professional competition during 1974. It was achieved at the Winterwood golf course (now called the Desert Rose) by a 64-year old named Mike Austin. This record was set during the US National Seniors Tournament. Using a persimmon club, Austin hit the longest drive, which was 515 yards. It’s worth mentioning that he did get a little help from the 35 mph tailwinds that were whipping around that day.

5. The Most Played Holes in One Year

This record is held by a Canadian golfer named Chris Adam. In just one calendar year, Adam managed to play 14,626 holes! In fact, they were all played on one golf course, the King Kamehameha Golf Club, located in Wailuku, Hawaii. What’s more impressive than the number of games that they played is the amount of free time they must have had to pull it off. Maybe this is what retirement looks like for a golf enthusiast.

playing golf

6. The Youngest Golfer to Get a Hole-in-One 

This is a record that’s pretty hard to beat. And, if you’re reading this article right now, your ship has already sailed. Back in 1999, Christian Carpenter managed to get a hole-in-one at the young age of 4 years and 195 days old. The record occurred at the Mountain View Golf Club in Hickory, North Carolina. He continued his record breaking quest by shooting a 54 on an 18-hole course at the age of 12. He has since gone pro. Starting off a star golf career at 4 years of age is a hard thing to top as he gets older I’m sure!

7. The Lowest Score on an 18-hole Course

This record was achieved by Rhein Gibson of Australia in 2012. His score was a 55, during a game that took place at the River Oaks Golf Club, located in Edmond, Oklahoma. During this round, there were 12 birdies and 2 eagles.

8. Longest Usable Golf Club

This was a record made around a good cause. Michael Furrh, of the U.S, made a club that measured 8.56 meters and was still usable. In fact, he used it to hit the ball 59 yards. While doing this, he used the attention that the club got to raise money for breast cancer awareness. How much money he ended up raising, I’m not quite sure, but it certainly is a creative way to support those in need.

9. Lowest Score With One Club

The lowest score ever made with one club was a 2 under par 70. The record was met by Thad Daber of the U.S, while using a 6-iron. Daber accomplished this record back in 1987 during the World One Club Championship in North Carolina at the Lochmere Golf Club.

10. Most Holes Played in 24 Hours

Robb James of Canada holds this record which was accomplished using a cart at the Victoria Golf Course. He played 851 holes back in June of 2004 at this course in Edmonton, Canada. While accomplishing this goal, he hit 430 pars, 45 birdies, a high of 87, and four rounds of 68. I suspect that this man had a whole lot of coffee that day.

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11. Longest Course in The World

The longest course in the world can be found in Lijiang, China. It’s located at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and is a par-72. The course is 8,548 yards, and its longest hole is par-5 5th, at 711 yards. You might want to add this course to your travel bucket list.

12. The Biggest Golf Club Collection

Collecting golf clubs since 1992, Robert Lantsoght of Spain has 4,393 clubs. He owns a restaurant in Costa del Sol where diners can get a view of his entire collection which is on display there. He continues to add to his collection every week.

13. Fastest Golf Cart

People actually race golf carts, and the fastest one was driven by Robby Steen of the U.S. The cart’s name was Bandit, and was owned by Plum Quick Motors. It reached a speed of 191.12 km/hour at the Darlington Dragway in Hartsville, South Carolina in 2014.

14. The Longest Golf Cart

Well, since there is a record for the fastest, there might as well be one for the longest too. Created by Mike’s Golf Course, in the U.S, the longest cart measures 9.62 meters from bumper to bumper. This was accomplished in Georgia during May, 2013.

golf cart

15. The Longest Serving Member of a Golf Course

Geoffrey Crosskill of the UK holds this record of being a golf club member for 82 years and 18 days. He became a member of Eaton Golf Club in Norwich and is still going strong. Twice a week is how often he usually plays, usually on Mondays and Thursdays at 7am.

16. The Tallest Professional Golfer

This record goes to Marcel Pickel of Germany, who stands at 2.06 meters. This was last documented in 2014 in Koln, Germany. From 2010 to 2013, he played on the PGA of Germany Tour.

17. The Most 18-hole Courses Played During One Year

Cathie and Jonathon Weaver of Canada, hold this record for playing on 449 different courses during one calendar year. From 2008 to 2009, they played courses all across Canada and the U.S. The husband/wife duo are quite accomplished golfers and brought their skills to golf courses in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, California, Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, New Foundland, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Throughout this year, they averaged about 8.6 courses every week.

18. Youngest Female Hole-in-One 

Soona lee-Tolley of the U.S, is the youngest female to score a hole-in-one. She was 5 years and 103 days old and was par 3 7th at the Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, New York in 2007. The hole was an impressive 125 yards long.

19. The Largest Golf Tee 

Ok, so we’ve already talked about the largest golf club, so now we can’t help but mention the largest golf tee. The record says that the biggest one out there is 30 feet and 9 inches in length, 3 inches in head diameter, and 2 feet, 1 inch in width. Wow. Jim Bolin is the man behind the tee and he achieved this monstrosity by taking giant pine boards, gluing them together, and shaping them with a chainsaw. Why did he make it? It’s hard to say. Maybe he was in cahoots with the guy who made the largest club.

20. Most Golf Balls Hit at Once

Madrid was bidding for the 2016 Olympics and figured that they would pull off this golf stunt to gain some traction. In September of 2009, multiple golfers lined up at the Real Federacion Espanol de Golf Course to hit the record of 1,873 balls. That’s a whole lot of pressure though. Imagine going for the record and then being the one to miss!

golf balls

21. The Most Rounds in One Day in Different Countries

In June of 2013, Alexander Hautekiet and Belgians Kasper De Wulf were able to play 8 rounds of golf in 8 different countries. Starting off at Italy’s Tarvisio Golf & Country Club, they went on to play rounds in: the Netherlands, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia, and Belgium, where they finished at the Damme Golf & Country Club. These guys are some serious jetsetters! 

22. Most Balls Caught in One Minute

Wanting to work on their catching skills, two brothers, Nicholas and Daniel Parkes put themselves to work at the Edwalton Municipal Golf Course in Nottinghamshire in the UK. Their little experiment happened in 2013 when Daniel took his 5-iron and hit the balls for Nicholas to catch as he stood 100 meters away. Wearing protective gear, Nicholas was able to catch 7 balls in only 60 seconds. Pretty impressive.

23. Most Consecutive Bounces of a Golf Ball on The Head of a Ball Peen Hammer 

In Viejo, California, Michael J. Lavery was able to set this record with 481 bounces. It’s not easy to do but he seriously committed to this little stunt and has been able to hold the record ever since March of 2017.

24. The Most Golf Balls to Fit in Someone’s Mouth

This seems like a serious choking hazard, but in the name of competition, someone attempted to set the record. In February of 2013, that someone was Dinesh Shivnath Upadhyaya from Mumbai, India. He was able to fit five golf balls into his mouth at the same time. While it’s pretty impressive, it’s also quite dangerous, so please don’t try this at home, or anywhere else! 

golf ball

25.The Most Golf Balls Hit Off a Human Tee in One Minute

Here’s yet another dangerous golf record to note. This one took place in Vermont on May 29th, 2017. Two boys were the geniuses behind this stunt, and a total of 27 balls were hit off of one of their bodies in only a minute. One of the boys laid down on the green, with an upright tee taped to his stomach. While this could have ended up as a disaster, things clearly went pretty well.

26. The Most Rounds Trying to Shoot Their Age in One Day

Bob Kurtz, a 71-year old golfer and former CNN and ESPN sportscaster set the record at seven in 2012. He was at the Oaks Golf Course in Fairview, Alabama. He played nine rounds before finally completing the task, with his starting rounds of 70, 68, 68, 67, 69, and ending with 70, and 69.

27. Most Golf Balls Hit in Ten Seconds

This seems like a whole lot of pressure to put on yourself. With only ten seconds to spare, Mark E. was able to hit 37 golf balls. His record was set in October of 2014. Pretty impressive! I wonder what he looks like when he goes to the driving range.

 

Who would have thought that there were so many world records set around golf? There are plenty more where that came from if you’re curious to see what else these competitive golfers have been up to. And, if you would like to beat these, or set some new records, go for it; there’s always room to improve on what already exists. If you’d like to practice on a golfing holiday, you can see our destinations here.

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The Best Unusual Places to Golf

This week’s blog is a guide to some of the most unusual places and courses that you will get to enjoy a round of golf on. In many incidences, it is the case that golf is the main highlight of your holiday and it is often easy to find a fantastic hotel almost anywhere but these are courses which are well worth basing your entire holiday around…

Fist up we have Jardin Tecina which is arguably one of the most special and impressive courses in the Canary Islands. You tee off at the top of a hill and then for the duration of the course you slowly zigzag back down without playing one single uphill shot. With the course measuring a long 6,900 yards from the back tees it is not an easy round of golf. However, with the wide fairways and option of closer tees it is playable by golfers of all standards. The views from every shot are simply stunning with trees, flowers and other tropical plants adding to the stunning panoramic views of the ocean. Although all of the holes are brilliant, there are a few spectacular ones which you definitely won’t forget for a while like the downhill short 4th hole where if you don’t place your ball carefully it may get swallowed up by the ravine which is on your left. The finishing hole for this course is a great one where you will have to hit two well-placed shots in order to score well on this hole and the entrance to the green is framed by two impressive palm trees. This is a beautiful but challenging round of golf and one not to miss out on!

Up next we have the Crete Golf Club which is located in the hills of Hersonnisos and boasts spectacular views from this ideal location. Not only is this course built in a beautiful location but Crete’s year-round mild climate provides excellent golfing conditions. There are a wide variety of holes that will challenge even the golfers with the lowest handicaps here from short par-3s to long par-5s. As you play the course, the fairways wind through rocks and ravines where you can experience stunning views of the mountains and the coast. This is a beautiful course with some very memorable holes and scenery for you to experience – another course definitely not to be missed out on!

The four-star Bogogno Golf Resort is situated in Lake Maggiore where you can experience beautiful surroundings which can be enjoyed even more so when you are playing on the two parkland golf courses situated on the resort – the Bonora and the Del Conte Course. The rooms are all spacious and boast their own private terraces which overlook either one of the golf courses or the pool areas. This is a beautiful resort with some stunning surroundings and great facilities including two tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi as well as a great restaurant in which you can dine outside enjoying the views. Both of the golf courses onsite are regarded as two of the finest courses in Italy and blend effortlessly into their Italian countryside surroundings. The Bonora course is the more challenging of the two courses with its undulating fairways with many strategically placed hazards for you to navigate around.

Minthis Hills Golf Club is just a short drive from the bustling town of Paphos but far enough from the town that its setting is tranquil and relaxing set in the grounds of a twelfth century monastery. The course sits so naturally in its surroundings and offers stunning views away from the hustle and bustle of the towns nearby. There are a wide variety of different holes here and many will leave a lasting impression like the short 12th where you have to navigate the valley on your left and the challenging 17th hole where you will need to be very accurate and strong to reach the green in just two shots. The fairways are far from flat and are lined thickly with fruit trees and grape vines which can make this a challenge, however, with its range of tee options it is playable by golfers of all abilities which makes it a great course for an enjoyable golf break to Cyprus.

Up next we have the five-star Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. The hotel rooms here all boast a private balcony or terrace as well as a flat-screen TV, walk-in closet and other luxury furnishings. This is a very special golf resort and whilst staying here you will experience the height of luxury wherever you go within the resort. The resort boasts many facilities including a shooting centre, water sports, tennis courts as well as a private beach and a fantastic spa facility in which you can enjoy a range of different treatments. Whilst you are here you will never be short of somewhere fantastic to dine as there are seven superb restaurants where you can find anything from seafood to Italian to International cuisines. There are three fabulous golf courses on the resort, each of which offers something different from the last and will complete your luxury golfing experience here.

Hotel Antik is a fantastic, new, four-star hotel situated in the marina of Balchik and is just three minutes’ walk from the beach. All of the rooms here are beautifully designed and fully-fitted with all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this rating. Within walking distance, you can enjoy a wide variety of different bars and restaurants but the hotel’s on-site restaurant is superb and offers delicious food. With all of this as well as three signature golf courses within a 15 minutes’ drive away it would be hard to find anywhere better for your next golf break.

Another fantastic property located in Balchik is the four-star Hotel Mistral which overlooks the marina and all of the rooms here have stunning views out across the Black Sea. You are only a three minute walk from the beach here and being so close to the marina means that you are never short of somewhere fantastic to eat or drink. However, if you prefer to stay in, you can enjoy local and international dishes at the open-air restaurant at the hotel where you can enjoy views of the marina whilst you eat. This is a stunning hotel in a perfect location being in the centre of the marina but also only 10km from three superb golf courses.

Last but not least, we have two fantastic and unusual golf courses situated in Bulgaria. Thracian Cliffs is considered to be “Gary Player’s gem” and its setting is breathtaking. Every one of the 18 holes runs alongside the coast of the Black Sea and we can guarantee that you will never play a course anything like this one. Although this course seems daunting, with its many different tee positions, it is possible for golfers of all abilities to play and enjoy a round here – even if your golf is poor, the surroundings are anything but! The 7th and 8th holes are particularly tricky where if you are not entirely accurate you will lose your ball very easily. It is a tough course and one where you will have to take a lot of risks (and many might not pay off!) but it is one of a kind and definitely one that has to be on ever discerning golfer’s must-play list!

BlackSeaRama is another Gary Player special. This course is relatively flat, set upon the cliffs overlooking the Black Sea, although the course is flat, being so high means that the wind will affect your play and make scoring close to your handicap very tricky indeed. There are also a fair few water hazards that come into play, especially in the later holes which add to the trickiness of this course. Its finishing hole is the signature hole here, the 18th is a par-3 over the valley and the views are simply breathtaking. This is another spectacular course that you could easily base your holiday around…

We hope that this blog has inspired your next golf break…it isn’t too late to book for this year!