Golfing India’s Golden Triangle – India discovered.
India as a golf destination? When I first found out my next trip was to India I have to admit I had mixed feelings, after all it’s not a place to play golf, is it? For the sightseeing, culture and food India has long been a holiday destination no question but golf? Well the 1st FICCI Golf tourism summit in Delhi was the place to find out what Golf in India is all about, followed by a week playing some of the courses and discovering what else the local region had to offer my mind was made up, armed with my business visa, enough medical supplies to combat Delhi Belly and, of course, my golf clubs it was India here I come.
The First taste of India
Arriving in Delhi International airport with a friendly welcome from our hosts, the short drive into the city centre was an adventure in its own right, we were told the traffic would be quiet!! Maybe for Delhi standards but it took busy to a totally new level, the first thing you learn very quickly is that time is on a different level, don’t get stressed if a 20 minute journey takes 45 minutes, no one else does. Just enjoy the local symphony of car horns and try not to focus on the bus six inches from the door mirror. We soon disappeared down a side road and found ourselves in the diplomatic area of Delhi and admiring the impressive India gate monument and the colonial embassies that line the wide avenues in this part of town.
FICCI Golf tourism Summit
A real intensive two days of presentations, meetings with Indian golf operators, golf courses, hotels, airlines and regional tourist boards. Organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) together with the Indian Golf Tourism Association (IGTA) and held in the conference hall of The 5* LaLit hotel close to the centre of Delhi. After around 30 appointments I had learned a lot about the history of golf in India, where to stay, where to play, what to do and when to go so I was raring to see the real India and get outside of the conference hall and discover what was out there for myself.
Golf in India
There are over 200 golf clubs in India, including the oldest club outside the British Isles in The Royal Calcutta Golf Club whose history dates back to 1829. However many of those 200 are not accessible to the general golfing public being military courses. Out of the remaining courses probably around 20-30 are rated as international standard. Many of the outstanding courses have been built over the last 20 years to international standards usually in conjunction with some sort of property development, one of the exceptions to this rule is Delhi Golf Club, located close to India Gate in the centre of Delhi, built in 1931 by the British it is still a very colloquial members only club and famed for its quality and condition but happy to allow visiting tourist golfers (with the appropriate handicap certificate) to play. I played two other excellent courses around the Delhi area, Jaypee Greens Golf Resort in Noida to the south of Delhi, designed by Greg Norman with water featuring prominently on this course. Good clubhouse and hotel also feature at this resort. The other course worth a mention is the ITC Classic Golf Resort in Manesar. A rural setting but probably the best Jack Nicklaus course I have played around the world, some great holes on this course. The new luxury ITC Grand Bharat hotel has just opened here and for a special treat is a wonderful place to stay for a night or two while enjoying the golf course in a true luxury all suite resort. We also played 9 holes at Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur and was a good example of a local golf course, a very enjoyable four ball was played but the course was nowhere near the standard of the other courses. It’s a long time since I have seen gang mowers used for cutting the fairways but it’s a reminder of how much golf course maintenance has improved over the last 10-15 years in the UK an experience that turned back the clock.
Away from Delhi and Jaipur, some excellent golf is found in a number of locations especially in Mumbai and Bangalore/Chennai regions. For the more adventurous golf can be played up in the foothills of the Himalayas on the world’s highest golf course at Gulmarg Golf Club in Kashmir at 2,650 metres above sea level and is over 100 years old.
Golf and Sightseeing tour
The best way in our opinion is to combine a sightseeing tour with a few rounds of golf. India’s Golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur allows some of the best sightseeing in India while taking in the best of golf around Delhi.
Following the famous Golden Triangle route. Starting in Delhi for a few days allowing for a couple of rounds of Golf while enjoying a day to discover the old town of Delhi together with its colonial past. Then head down to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal something that cannot be missed on a trip to this region of India and nothing short of spellbinding.
En-route from Agra to Jaipur stop and discover the ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur has some wonderful sightseeing. At the Amber Fort outside Jaipur you ascending on elephant up the hill (this is optional for those of a nervous disposition), on which the fort is situated. Before discovering one of the region’s most famous hill forts. In the city itself the old pink-hued streets of the old town are a delight to walk around with its markets stalls and busy streets you really get to experience the fragrance of India and its chaotic charm. A visit to the palace of winds is a must see and one of the most photographed historical building in India is located just outside the old town walls. Outside of Jaipur there are some amazing old maharaja’s palaces set in the hills that have been converted into luxury hotels. This make a great historical stop for a night’s stay as you turn the clock back, and enjoy a Maharaja’s life style in a completely unique experience. It’s also a nice change from the busy City based hotels. Finally return to Delhi for a night or two and enjoy a final round of golf. This tour can be done in five or six days but we would recommend taking around 10 nights to fully enjoy the experience, have time to relax and when playing golf three or four times and enjoy the experience. For non-golfers there are plenty of additional activities to keep them occupied while you play golf or there is always the option to relax by the hotel pool or be pampered in a spa.
Overview of India’s Golden Triangle
A wonderful holiday destination, not everybody’s cup of tea but if you love to explore a new culture and have a sense of adventure then India may well tick a lot of your boxes. You have to be a fan of Indian food before you go as you may be seriously limited when it comes to meal times, the exception being breakfast although the top quality 5 star hotels do cater for the international visitor. However the food was spectacular and delicious, I loved it.
Good quality accommodation is available in all the main cities and most large towns and if you are a lover of Spa’s then you will be delighted with what they have on offer. Guides are excellent and speak perfect English as do nearly all the staff you will find in the hotels and golf courses (I had some great caddies, many play golf themselves and nearly all the clubs have monthly caddy tournaments) make sure you have some small denomination notes as a little tip here and there will make the good service excellent.
The golf was something most surprising and pleasing. The top golf courses around Delhi will stand up and be counted against top resort courses the world over when it comes to condition and course design. With most of the world’s top golf architects having courses in India there are certainly quality courses elsewhere in the country as well. Away from the International standard courses the local club courses can still be enjoyable if you need your fix of golf on holiday, just don’t expect manicured fairways and greens. You will however have a very warm welcome where ever you play.
I was not expecting to enjoy India as much as a did, it’s probably the busiest place I have been to and from someone who has spent a lot of time in the Far East that’s saying something. Only in India will you get five lanes of traffic on a dual carriage way and it still (sort of) moves for most of the time, after a few days in Delhi you become accustomed to the craziness of the place.
The more you travel, the more you travel with an open mind and I believe the more you enjoy new places, visiting the Taj Mahal will definitely always rank in the top five places in the world to visit, I defy anyone not to be impressed or moved by its scale and atmosphere. I certainly was on both counts.
You will see poverty in India but at the same time you will also see more smiles than you would in the high street on a Saturday afternoon. Away from the cities the land is agricultural and a tractor is likely to be the village’s local bus to market it’s definitely a country of contrasts
So is India a real golf destination, probably not if you’re comparing it to other long haul alternatives such as Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa or the USA. There just are not enough quality courses in a vast country the size of Europe. However plan your itinerary correctly and it’s a perfect place to intersperse your sightseeing with some very good golf. If you enjoy doing things on your holidays especially sightseeing then India has so much to offer it could well be the place for you to explore.
We certainly recommend the India’s Golden Triangle as a starting point for discovering India and I personally look forward to our next visit to discover more of this fascinating country.
An example Itinerary of a Private 10 night Luxury Golfing holiday in India’s Golden Triangle
Prices from £1,975pp
Same itinerary using 4 star hotels from £1,599 pp
Visit India and follow the famous Golden Triangle. Enjoy the perfect introduction to India’s three most popular destinations – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – as we explore the icons and discover the secrets of this fascinating region. Experience the history of massive forts, the opulence and splendour of Rajasthan’s palaces, the bustle and buzz of markets and bazaars, and the traditions of a heritage homestay. Travel through a land full of contrasts on this compact India tour, jam-packed with unforgettable highlights.
DAY 01: Arrive Delhi
Meeting and assistance on arrival at Delhi Airport. Private transfer and check into the 5* Claridges hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 02: In Delhi
After breakfast enjoy a morning half day city sightseeing tour of Old Delhi visiting the Red Fort built in 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shahjehan Jama Masjid. One of the largest mosques in India, Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana – the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Also drive past Chandni Chowk shopping centre of Old Delhi.
Afternoon half day city sightseeing tour of New Delhi visiting Qutab Minar built by Qutub-ud-Din aibek in 1199, in 1199, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate (War memorial arch), Lakshminarayan temple – a modern Hindu temple. Also drive past President’s house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught Place – shopping centre of New Delhi.
Overnight at the Hotel.
DAY 03: In Delhi
After breakfast transfer to the ITC Classic golf course for 18 holes with shared buggy and caddy
Overnight in Delhi.
DAY 04: Delhi – Agra (204 kms, 4.5 hrs)
Morning- After breakfast check out of The Claridges and transfer by road to Agra via Nordia.
En-route play golf at Jaypee Green GC after lunch continue to Agra
On arrival check into ITC Mungal hotel Agra.
Evening at leisure
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 05: Agra
After Breakfast enjoy a half day city sightseeing tour of Agra visiting the world famous Taj Mahal built by Moghul Emperor Shahjahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Later visit the Agra fort containing the halls of Private and Public audience and other palaces. (Taj Mahal closed on every Friday).
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 06: Agra – Jaipur (237 kms, 6.5 hrs)
Morning after breakfast Check out of hotel and drive to Jaipur enroute visiting FATEHPUR SIKRI built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal and other Palaces.
Check in to the ITC Jaipur – Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 07: In Jaipur
After breakfast a full days sightseeing in Jaipur
Morning half day excursion to Amber Fort the ancient capital of the state until 1728. Visit the Jagmandir or the hall of victory glittering with mirrors, Jai mahal and temple of Kali. Ascend on elephant /jeep ride, the hill, on which the fort is situated.
Afternoon half day city sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting Maharaja’s city palace and the observatory. Drive past Hawa mahal or the palace of winds and through the rose-pink residential and business areas of Jaipur.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 08: In Jaipur
Transfer to Samode Palace Hotel – Live life as a Maharaja for a day in this amazing hotel set in the hill 1 hour from Jaipur
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 09: Jaipur – Delhi
After breakfast transfer to Delhi, on arrival to Delhi check in to Claridges hotel or similar hotel.
Afternoon at leisure
Overnight at the hotel
Day 10: Delhi
Play at Delhi Golf Club including caddy
Dependant on your return flight time an extra night may be needed in Delhi
or Day 11: Delhi
Transfer to Airport for your homeward flight or internal flight to extend your holiday
10 nights Twin shared accommodation in top class 5* Hotels
Daily buffet breakfast
3 rounds of golf including, Shared carts & caddy* (recommended caddy tip 500IRS approximately £5)
Private transfers with English speaking guide
Full days sightseeing in Delhi and Jaipur and half days sightseeing in Agra.
All entrance fees included in listed sightseeing tours
International Flights (London/Manchester – Delhi)
To Visit the hotel websites listed in this tour click on the hotel logo’s
Novo Sancti Petri – Cadiz – Rediscovering the lost art of losing a golf ball
Just when you think you know something you visit part of a region that totally changes your opinion. We were lucky enough to be invited to the west of Andalucía to inspect the golfing areas around Novo Sancti Petri Cadiz. The Costa de La Luz, not Andalucía most famous golfing region and our first visit to the area. To many people golf in Andalucía is golf in the Costa del Sol, but the region stretches all the way from Spain’s border with Portugal in the West to Almeria in the East, a good 7 hour end to end drive along everyone’s favourite Spanish road the A7.
Cadiz – Novo Sancti Petri
We flew in to Malaga Airport and it was a very pleasant 2 ½ hour drive along the A7 and AP7. I enjoy the toll roads on the continent, they are relatively cheap (around 10 euros for a 250 km trip) and no one drives on them. The scenery changes quite dramatically once you pass Gibraltar to a greener rolling hills landscape with vineyards on the best slopes, with river valleys and small lakes in between. If you can ignore the large amount of wind turbines on the hills you would definitely call it a pleasant land scape.
For those of you not wanting such a long drive the region is well supplied with flights to Gibraltar, usually slightly more expensive than Malaga flights (but not always) for the more adventurous of you Ryan Air fly into both Jerez and Seville which is also close by and an option from London airports. Novo Sancti Petri is one of the main summer resort centres for Cadiz, only 15-20 minutes’ drive away and well worth a visit with its heritage going back to Phoenician times, ancient city walls and the old town/harbour area. The beach at Novo Sancti Petri stretches for an amazing 8 miles of picture perfect sand and is known as La Barrosa Beach, also and slightly surprisingly, is an area of unspoilt dune land between the hotels and beach. This gives anyone lucky enough to have a sea view an amazing sight when they open the curtains each morning.
Novo Sancti Petri is a Spanish tourist resort, in the summer the hotels and beaches are packed with the inhabitants of Madrid on their family holiday (think of it as a very sunny Devon). There are a number of large resort hotels on the beach, Villa’s and apartments around the golf courses and a purpose built commercial centre with shops, bars and restaurants for those people who want to escape the “entertainment” the beach hotels insist on hosting in the evening. We were visiting both the Resorts Iberostar Hotels, Royal Andalus and the Andalucía Playa both excellent 4* hotels and only a few minutes’ walk from Iberostar very own 36 hole Novo Sancti Petri golf club with its excellent practice facilities.
Both the hotels have had recent refurbishments, with the Royal Andalus literally finished weeks ago, the majority of rooms have either some sort of sea or pool views, with a few at the Andalus overlooking the golf course. This has helped give both hotels an excellent feel, the feature that stands out more than the room décor or pools was the excellent food available through the complexes. I usually only opt for a buffet restaurant when there are no other options available or you have just arrived in a resort and have not got your bearings yet. Iberostar have for me reset the bar on an exceptional buffet dinner. With a superb range of choice, multiple show cooking and deserts that tasted every bit as good as they looked the cuisine went way above what you would have expected in any 4* hotel. Breakfast was almost as impressive as dinner and continued the five star gourmet treatment with HP sauce available (the true measure of a star rating in my book). The two Iberostar hotels at Novo Sancti Petri both have very different feel to them, the Royal Andalus caters for a more family market while I would describe the Andalucía Playa as more of a couple’s hotel, both however are excellent beach resorts that we would happily return to on holiday ourselves, always a bench mark when reviewing a hotel.
The Golf Overview at Novo Sancti Petri
Novo Santi Petri golf club is owned by Iberostar and as you would expect has excellent resident’s rates. The club has two championship 18 hole courses the A & B, designed by Seve Ballesteros. Water and Pine trees dominate the features of both golf courses, nice greens give you confidence to go for puts and despite its length if your eye is in you can score well on the greens. As well as the golf courses the club have a superb golf range with separate par 3 area and putting and chipping greens as well as a Jack Nicholas golf academy with its own dedicated facilities. The Academy area has its own mini club house/bar El Chozo, across the road is the main clubhouse with the normal full facilities including Restaurant, Proshop and Caddy Master.
A course Par 72 7064 yards, B course Par 72 6639 yards
As well as Novo Sancti Petri Golf Club there are a number of other clubs close by we recommend.
The Sancti Petri Hills course which is situated behind the Novo Sancti Petri Golf club is a great par 68 course, designed by Manuel Pinero what it lacks in length it makes up for with strategically placed bunkers and water features. The driver can only be used on selective holes but its position that counts here. Don’t be put off with the Hills title of the club, this refers to the elevation as the land climbs gently away from the sea, it’s definitely not a hilly course and well worth a visit. Also don’t be fooled by the length of the card here there are 7 par three’s on the course the last two both around 200 yards and played over water
Par 68 5,211 yards
Campano Golf club is one of the oldest courses in the area. The original nine holes was laid out in a clockwise loop by Robert Trent Jones, and the quality of the design is easy to see and is a mature layout, there are some large pine trees that have to be avoided. The club was extended to 18 holes in 2006. The new nine is set inside the original course and has some interesting water features and plenty of olive trees but it allows you to open your shoulders on certain holes. All in all a gem of a golf club with a very nice bar and restaurant to relax in after your round.
Par 72 6,514 yards
Novo Sancti Petri – Area overview
Novo Sancti Petri is a great place to go on a golf holiday, there are more than enough golf courses to keep you happy for a week’s holiday. The beach is a wonderful endless stretch of sand and the City of Cadiz makes a great day out on a non-golfing day, as are the local wine and sherry vineyards that are famous the world over. Accommodation at both the Iberostar hotels is extremely comfortable with everything you would expect from a four star resort hotel. If I was being picky Wi-Fi in public areas for guests is pretty much a norm in hotels of this class around the world these days, it is lacking here but the hotel management are looking to rectify the situation in the near future, saying that a couple of minutes’ walk to the local bars will get you hooked up for some free Wi-Fi as you enjoy a coffee and brandy while keeping up to date with Facebook or Twitter accounts.
The golf is very enjoyable here and the courses were all in great condition (especially the greens) when we visited the region (May 2014). Be sure to bring a good supply of Golf Balls here, as with many resort courses, the designers love to put water features which make the holes look spectacular on the photo’s but can quickly ruin a golf score card. Also beware the old adage of tree’s being 90% air it does not hold true here, hit a ball in to the foliage and if you don’t see it bounce out the likely hood is, it’s still up the tree. Hence the title the lost art of losing a golf ball, we both only brought a few balls with us on this trip in a vague effort to keep within baggage limits on the last day despite playing some good golf we were feeling the real pressure of only having one ball left in the bag!!!
Quality Golf Destinations visited Novo Sancti Petri in May 2014, Hotels stay during the visit were the Iberostar Royal Andalus and Andalucía Playa. Golf Courses visited Novo Sancti Petri GC A & B courses, Sancti Petri Hill GC and Campano GC
Example package at 4* Royal Andalus – Novo Sancti Petri
7 nights HB, 5 rounds of golf March/April 2015 from £520pp
4 nights HB, 3 rounds of golf from only £280pp
WINTER SPECIAL 21/11/14 – 8/2/15
7 nights HB & Daily Golf only £385**pp upgrade to All inclusive only £135
A great range of other dates and durations are available
**supplements apply Christmas & New Year’s Eve
For more details and packages please give us a call or visit our website At Quality Golf Destinations we tailor make the golf package to meet your needs, if you are interested in a Golf Holiday, Contact Rachel or Rob on 01782 510800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In our Next Newsletter we feature Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort in Jerez
Lisbon Golf Special offer
Come and play Ribagolfe I & II this Autumn
European Tour Qualifying School Stage 1 venue
Ribagolfe is a 36-hole golf resort 20 minutes south of Lisbon and offers two great championship golf courses. Ribagolfe is one of Portugal’s golf’s hidden gems, This Lisbon Golf Special offer is a great price and you will not be disappointed with the courses as they are always in superb condition. Staying a few minutes drive away at the 3* hotel Alfoz in Alcochete, the hotel offers comfortable accommodation with views across the Rio Tejo to Lisbon. Alcochete offers plenty of well priced restaurants and bars but is still only a short drive across the Ponte Vasco da Gama Bridge to access Lisbon town centre and the Airport.
For group booking we have the added bonus of 1 in 8 going FREE.
Each day of golf you also get lunch free at the Ribagolfe Clubhouse.
Free lunch every day at the Clubhouse
From 1st September to 31st October 2013
Supplement for single occupancy: £49 per person
Prices include accommodation, breakfast buffet, lunch at the Clubhouse and
3 nights break from Thursday to Sunday;
All groups have 1 free in 8 players;
All groups have 10% discount at ALFoz restaurant;
For reservations please contact: email@example.com or call 01782 510800
Please quote Lisbon Golf Special Offer with any correspondence.
4 years ago
Golf Safari – Into Africa, Golf on the Wildside
South Africa is a big country, just how big we were about to find out.
Its history has intertwined with that of Britain for well over 100 years, they drive on the left, speak English as a matter of course and share our passion for all things competitive. South Africa is a country whose people delight in its name of ‘Rainbow Nation’ which signifies its multicultural outlook. For so long an outsider from the international community, South Africa has gleefully been accepted back, due almost entirely to the work of one man, Nelson Mandela, the father of free South Africa. Wherever you travel in the country you will never be far from his influence and how he is loved by his people.
Quality Golf Destinations Managing Director, Neil Adams, has always been struck by their infectious enthusiasm for their country, their golf and life in general. Indeed Neil will tell you that if you want a quiet night out stay well clear of South Africans! It was with great anticipation that Neil and his long suffering wife headed for some winter sun and a golf Safari. After her experiences as freelance reporter we had to get Sue to recount her trip. Over to you Sue:
When Neil told me he was going to South Africa last year it’s the first time that I’ve said “that is not work it’s a holiday!” When Neil got back he wouldn’t shut up (nothing new there), but all he would talk about was South Africa. So I knew the inevitable would happen that we would be heading down there sooner rather than later.
Now let’s get a few things straight first, I have a lot to say about where we go on holiday and I know Neil’s organisational skills, I was really reassured that Rachel was handling our end and Warren, Director of Giltedge Golf and Sport (Quality Golf’s travel partner in South Africa) was doing the planning over there. I was therefore delighted to be presented with my travel pack by Rachel. The Golf Safari itinerary looked fantastic and the pack was so well presented, (obviously Rachel’s work me thinks). So leaving behind freezing England we boarded the flight for sun, fun & adventure.
To visit South Africa you can fly direct from London with several national carriers. Airlines such as South African Airlines, BA and Virgin all fly into a variety of cities. You can fly from regional airports via Dubai, Paris (Air France) or Amsterdam (KLM), a longer route but sometimes more convenient than travelling to London. We flew Manchester to Dubai and then Dubai to Cape Town as Neil is an Emirates groupie, he has some sort of Skywards card that gets people to carry him on and off the planes. Flight times were 6 hours to Dubai and 8 hours to Cape Town. (Direct flights are in the region of 11 hours).
South Africa & love affairs
I had to confess to Neil that not only had I not been to SA, I had never been in the southern hemisphere, something the South Africans found most amusing.
On a more personal note I have another confession to make; it’s one thing to fall in love on holiday, but another if your partner is with you! That’s what happened to me and before everyone thinks this some racy newsletter, I’d best qualify that with the fact I fell in love with South Africa. Neil kept saying “you will love this place”, so much so I was worried it would be anti-climactic. Neil was right it was love at first sight and the sights, the sounds and the people we met will life in my memories for ever.
Cape Town is simply beautiful. We arrived at night and having picked up our rental car complete with sat navigation; together with Warren’s directions off we went. After a quiet drive with only 1 mistake we found our first hotel,
The Last Word Constantia Hotel situated in a quiet suburb of Cape Town. A chic boutique hotel with the feel of a very large modern house rather than a hotel. All the hotel staff were wonderful (that saying will keep cropping up) and couldn’t do enough for us. We needed an early breakfast both days we stayed there. It was never any trouble, they even had time to make us delicious omelettes each day. This is a must stay hotel that has lovely gardens, swimming pool and the bedroom we had was brilliant.
The next 4 days were spent playing golf, touring around TableMountain and visiting Cape Point, all in beautiful sunshine and warmth, marvellous! Cape Town feels like home and everyone you meet from hotel staff to taxi drivers are so friendly they will tell you their life stories and also get yours! This is a beautiful city, easy to get round with so much to see we only scratched the surface.
The Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel as it says on the tin, this hotel is on the waterfront in Cape Town and is very convenient for the marina with its great selection of bars and restaurants. This is a truly sensational modern hotel of real high quality that can pamper your every need. Again all the facilities were excellent and to eat your breakfast on the outside decking watching dolphins play in the bay was you, guessed it, amazing.
No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to Table Mountain and a trip to Cape Point. Table Mountain is as good as it looks. The cable car ride is great, queue’s for the cable car can be busy at weekends but was not too bad for us, and the scenery at the top is breath-taking. We walked up there for a good 4 hours (make sure you take fluids with you as it can get seriously hot). If the weather’s good while you are in Cape Town go to Table Mountain at the first opportunity. If the wind blows from the wrong direction Table Mountain wears its famous cloud top hat and there’s nothing to see. Cape Point was a wonderful drive and then a short walk the final few hundred yards. To stand and look at Atlantic Ocean one side and Indian Ocean on the other was spectacular.
Golf Safari in Cape Town
The golfing twins, Warren & Neil wanted to play some golf and I fancied taking some money off them!
The first game was at Royal Cape Town Golf Club, Warren’s home club so I was sporting and let him win. Somehow Neil sneaked in to second place but not to worry. This was a beautiful golf course with a real traditional feel to it. The course was easy to find and once again everyone at the club was so friendly. The next day we played at PearlValley, a course Neil played last year and insisted we play it again. I paired with Warren and we saw off Neil and his partner for the day Patrick (a lovely German guy who lives in Sweden, come on please keep up!!). I holed out from a bunker to administer the coup de grâce.
The cool beer after was so much sweeter knowing you know who had to pay for it. As before the golf course was magnificent, surrounded by beautiful houses (Geoff Boycott has a house here) & according to Neil he used to play cricket for England apparently.
Stellenbosch is the home of South African wine and also rugby. When you look around you could be in any European town with the back drop of vineyards. I was very keen to sample the South African Sauvignon (actually to be truthful I had been practising that for a few days). Stellenbosch did not disappoint with its wineries, superb restaurants and a beautiful gust house to relax in.
Our base in the wine lands was the Wedgeview Country House. This is a 5 star guest house run by Dave Bakker (an ex Dutch international cricketer so Neil told me, where does he pick up all this trivia from, and more importantly is anyone interested?). This is a wonderful thatched property with all the facilities of a 5* hotel (including pool, spa centre & games deck) and surrounded on all sides by vineyards. Again we were looked after like royalty. The next day Neil managed to sneak off to play golf at De Zalze. He can back raving about his caddy, a man called Smiley. Smiley apparently sorted out Neil’s golf game, his course management and his head, (now that is a feat) and all inside 5 hours. Smiley is probably collecting his Nobel Prize for Care in the Community as we speak. Neil said De Zalze was great fun, but my spa and poolside therapy were better.
It would be rude not to visit a couple of wineries whilst in Stellenbosch. We booked a three vineyard tour, which included transfers, lunch and plenty of wine tasting. The quality of the wine was excellent, so good we only managed 2 out of the 3 tastings. We never got passed the second, Ernie Els’s winery where an 8 wine tasting with a superb South African steak saw us all off. We still managed to somehow visit the working part as they were bringing in the harvest. The first winery we visited was wonderful and noted for its port.
The Garden Route is a spectacular journey between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We took the coastal route and saw wonderful rugged coast-lines. This is a route you could take weeks over, stopping at each bay and journeying inland to see many interesting places. We stopped to look at Arabella Golf Club which is well worth a visit. Continuing on along the coast we were staying for a few nights at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club. Being married to a golf tour provider means we have to visit golf complexes. Fancourt is some complex. Fancourt states it is South Africa’s premier leisure and business resort. I can say it certainly lives up to its claims.
The resort has 3 golf courses: Outeniqua, Montagu and the world famous Links. We played Outeniqua on the first day, then as a challenge Neil switched us to the Links course. Wow even I was impressed. What a golf course. The scoring wasn’t great, I won, and Neil lost a few balls as normal, I didn’t, happy days.
After the few days of Safari Golf at Fancourt we continued our journey/adventure past Port Elizabeth and headed inland to the exquisite Pumba Private Game Reserve. This to me was real Africa and real Safari. I expected David Attenborough to come round the corner saying lets go and look at elephants. This game reserve was all inclusive (you can’t walk down to the pub at night!). You get up early as the sun rises for a morning game drive, a lot of the action takes place at dawn and dusk so it’s not a place for a lie in. After the game drive is breakfast and plenty of time for relaxation. Another game drive takes place in the late afternoon/evening this time accompanied by sundowners in the bush, very civilised. All other times are your own. On our game drives we saw so much wildlife, practically everything but water buffalo and leopards. We witnessed a lion kill and, far rarer, a cheater kill. This is not a gruesome as it sounds, but it is real life and to see all these magnificent animals in the wild was, (I’ll say it again) amazing. Pumba was Africa as you expect it and probably the high-light of my trip.
South African Hospitality
As Neil has said before, South Africans are party animals and we were welcomed as long lost friends.
The day after we arrived in Cape Town was the largest amateur bike ride in the world, 35,000 cyclists took over Cape Town, what an atmosphere!
My overall reflections were of a country so big, with so much to see that we must go back and soon. The happy smiling faces the openness of the people was something that will stick in my memory.
Finally thanks to Rachel & Robbie for making the UK end work, Warren for putting together a wonderful Golf Safari package and putting up with Neil. Natalie and Claude for the great evening in Cape Town. Special thanks to Dave and Jan for being such great company (Ernie’s winery will never be the same). Finally thanks to all hotel, golf staff, taxi drivers and Smiley. Last but not least thanks to Sarah, how we cope with Warren and Neil I’ll never know.
The Golf Safari Itinerary was a 14 night trip to Cape town and along the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth
Cape Town (4 days), Stellenbosch (4 days), Fancourt (3 days), Pumba Game Reserve (2 days) and a final night in Cape Town.
Golf Safari Packages are available on a similar itinerary to Sue’s trip from £1995 p.p twin share for 10 nights in a mixture of 4 and 5 star accommodation with daily breakfast and include car hire for the duration of the trip and 3 rounds of golf. Flights are available from £550 (Economy).
To learn more about South Africa visit our web page Why South Africa?
5 years ago
July Special Offer
Fed up with the English summer this year
Escape the rain and Golf in Alicante
Hotel Bonalba, Alicante & Bonalba Golf
7 nights B&B, 5 green fees at Bonalba Golf – £ 365 /person
Group of 8 – £ 346/person
7 nights All inclusive, 5 green fees at Bonalba Golf – £628/person
Group of 8 – £596/person
For departures – 2/09/2012 – 30/12/2012
Prices are based on twin share accommodation
Car hire rates or Airport transfers are available on request.
Additional Golf at other local courses is also available on request.
Non-Golfer prices available.
International Flights are not included in package.
– 4* Hotel with 252 Rooms, SPA area & Outdoor pool
– 50 metres to the Club House of Bonalba Golf
– 4 km to San Juan Beach, 7 km to Alicante City, 25 km to Alicante Airport
– All Inclusive PACKAGES can have the DINNER at the Hotel Restaurant or at Casino Restaurant at Alicante.
– All inclusive includes, breakfast, Lunch & Dinner + Snack menu 11am-19.30pm
Drinks included are draught beer, soft drinks, mineral water, house wine by the glass and tea & coffee.
– EARLY BOOKINGS until 15/08/12 will have a FREE UPGRADE to JUNIOR SUITE.
To book or for more information call – 01782 510800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Quality Golf Destinations are bonded with the Travel Trust Association (U7420) and members of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
Scottish Golf Classic 2012
An exciting, and fun golf event/tournament open to golfers and non-golfing partners from the 23rd of August 2012. Stay at the award winning 5-star Fairmont St Andrews, soak up the Scottish hospitality, enjoy everything the ‘Home of Golf’ has to offer and play some of the best courses including Kingsbarns Golf Links, The Torrance, The Kittocks and Castle Course.
|Golfer Package: £1335.00– Entry to the Scottish Golf Classic 2012- Stableford format- 5 Nights at Fairmont St Andrews- Daily Scottish & American buffet breakfast- Free access toFairmontSpa & leisure facilities- Free use of theFairmontgolf practice facilities- Links Golf Clinic (Scottish PGA Professionals)
– Luxury return golf transfers
– 4 Rounds including Kingsbarns & Castle Course
– Souvenirs & gifts including golf shirt & balls
– Complimentary range balls, water & fruit
– Welcome reception & dinner
– Prize giving & gala dinner with Scottish theme
|Non-Golfer: £835.00– 5 Nights at Fairmont St Andrews- Daily Scottish & American buffet breakfast- Free access toFairmontSpa & leisure facilities- Free use of theFairmontgolf practice facilities- Links Golf Clinic (Scottish PGA Professionals)- Souvenirs & gifts- Complimentary range balls, water & fruit
– Welcome reception & dinner
– Gala dinner with Scottish theme
T: 0044 (0) 1782 510800
|Guarantee your place and book now!|
For more information download our pdf below.
4 * Valle Del Este Golf Resort – Vera, Almería, Spain
5 night’s Half Board – 3 rounds of golf at Valle Del Este Championship Course, 6 days car hire
From £ 310*
7 night’s Half Board – 5 rounds golf at Valle Del Este Championship Course, 1 Week Car Hire
From £ 370*
- Accommodation and car hire use based on twin share.
- Not included – international flights.
Valid only for holidays booked for the travel period 1st JUNE – 30th JUNE 2012
• Supplement for single use available on request
•Offer on request and subject to availability of the Hotel and Golf Course
•Additional Golf at other local courses can be booked at additional cost
•Car rental based on 2 people sharing an economy car, upgrades available at additional cost
To book please ring Rachel or Rob on 01782 510800 or email Rachel@qualitygolfdestinations.com