Posts tagged Golf Resorts

Quinta do Lago North Course

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Reopening Quinta do Lago North Course

 

The eyes of the European golf industry are set to be on Quinta do Lago in October when it unveils its eagerly-awaited totally revamped North Course – predicted to become one of the new stars of European golf.

 

Redesigned by renowned American architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, the new layout has been built to the highest specifications with a €9.6m investment programme and is in line to become the new number one course at the prestigious family resort.

 QDL as Built Rendering New - w color logo

The North Course has been redeveloped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy. While many modern-day developments tend to focus on length, Welling and McGinley have been keen to design a golfing experience where accuracy and course management are the key factors, and a course that is playable and fun for golfers of all abilities.

 

Welling, who has worked on more than 90 projects worldwide, said: “We have kept the routing of the North Course intact, but we have totally reworked the golf experience within the existing corridors.  Specifically, we have worked very hard to make the experience more playable for higher handicappers while at the same time created precise target areas for the better player looking to score.  

 

“Paul has been great to work with. He is very passionate about golf in general, but he has a particular and keen interest in Quinta do Lago.

 

Quinta do lago North“We quickly realised we were very much “aligned” in  terms of what we wanted to see happen with the improvements to the North Course, so collaboration has been easy.  We both put a big premium on playability, but also in asking golfers to use their creativity when approaching a shot.    The new experience of the North Course is going to require strategic thinking and have a lot of shot values, no doubt a big imprint of Paul’s influence.”

 

Among the changes introduced on the 6,776-yard course which has been closed since last December, all greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation, drainage systems and cart paths have been rebuilt using the latest state-of-the-art technology, with four sets of tees introduced on each hole to accommodate players of all levels.

 

With the existing turf on all tees, fairways and greens having been stripped back, the final figures for completing such an ambitious project make impressive reading, with 379,800 tonnes of earth moved on site during the redevelopment.

 

An amazing 93.5km of new piping has been fitted on the redeveloped layout while the wide range of different jobs that have been carried have included:

 

  • Stripping existing grass
  • Earthworks
  • Sand extraction
  • Rough shaping
  • Lake installation
  • Drainage installation
  • Irrigation installation
  • Golf features construction
  • Cart path installation
  • Final grading
  • Sand capping
  • Final preparation and floating
  • Sod fairways and tees
  • Seed roughs and greens
  • Grow in
  • Environmental management

 

While the routing of the course has not changed, Quinta do Lago has addressed golf course strategy to make the par-72 layout significantly more playable for all golfers, while still being a challenging test for the better players.

 

A low-cut Bermuda grass approach has been introduced around greens to create a myriad of recovery shot options for increased satisfaction on all levels of play. The aesthetics of the golf course have also significantly improved through the introduction of a cool season rough grass and the select planting of native grasses and specimen trees to help the environment.

 Quinta do lago North

The renovation has also allowed Quinta do Lago to further reduce the impact on the environment by using recycled water and solar energy to maintain the course. The reduction of grassed areas will lessen the impact on the environment and the new design will include the creation of some new animal and plant habitats.

 

John Dwyer, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, said: “I think people will be blown away by the North Course.  It is going to be very different but very playable and a real challenge, and it will be one that members and visitors will want to play again and again.

 

“We have focused on building a course that will be the best presented in Europe once it opens and we couldn’t be happier with the work that has taken place.”

 

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago is one of the most highly regarded golf and residential developments in the Algarve since opening in 1972. Located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, the resort offers residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate, a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community.

 

Since its inception, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of European golf with three 18-hole championship courses – Quinta do Lago North and South courses and Laranjal – matched by outstanding practice facilities at the Paul McGinley Academy and the new Taylor Made Fitting Centre, which gives golfers the chance to enjoy the ultimate club-fitting experience by providing them with the tools and techniques used by professionals on tour.

Quinta do lago north  Quinta do lago North

 

Away from the fairways, the resort’s extensive leisure facilities guarantee there is plenty to keep everyone occupied with events, tennis, cycling and water sports just some of the activities available.

 

Quinta do Lago’s stunning location by the beach offers the perfect place to relax and unwind while the resort’s wide array of restaurants, both formal and informal, take advantage of the fresh Mediterranean produce that the region has become famous for.

Be one of the first to play the Quinta Do Lago North course with Quality Golf Destinations

Barcelo Montecastillo

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort

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Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort – Jerez

A little water with your Sherry

We continue to look at the often ignored region of Spain the Costa De la Luz, the western region of Andalucía and one that seems to get better on every visit we make.

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - 18th Hole

Jerez – Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort

We again flew in to Malaga Airport (Gibraltar Airport is only 45 minutes away) and travelled the 2 hour drive along the always quite Spanish toll roads this time stopping for a bite to eat on one of the many service stations that run along the route. Their main purpose is for fuel but they have the very Spanish versions of something approaching a little chef, the main difference being you will probably get a welcoming smile as we attempt to order in our very poor version of school boy Spanish. It’s a sad state of affairs that I can speak more words and phases of Thai than I can of most European languages. Watered and refreshed we soon found ourselves approaching Jerez which is amazing well signed posted, with the Barceló Montecastillo resort also easily found being located adjacent to the Jerez race track which hosts the Spanish Moto GP race each May. This week, usually on the May Bank holiday weekend is generally best avoided for the golfer as up to 250,000 bike race fans flock to the area. Although the track is only a couple of hundred metres from the resort you only see it once or twice on the course as it lies on the opposite side of a small hill.

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - Clubhouse  Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - Hotel

 

The Golf at Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort

The golden days of the Montecastillo course were probably from 1997 to 2001 when it hosted the Volvo Master’s the flagship end to the European Tour Season for 5 years. Winners during that period include Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Padraig Harrington. The only other venue for the tournament’s 22 year history before the end of season event moved to Dubai was its not so distance Andalucía neighbour Valderrama. The course up to a few years ago could have been accused of resting on its laurels and not making the best of what is in our opinion one of the best Nicklaus designed courses in Europe. However that cannot be said of the course today. Barceló Group have to be applauded at the time effort and not to mention the amount of money spent on the course to bring it back to fantastic condition. Considering its position away from the main golfing tourist track of the Costa del Sol it’s a pleasure to play a golf course of this quality. The project is still on going with excellent plans to improve the course and facilities here further, don’t be surprised if you see this venue gracing the professional ranks again in the coming years.

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - Golf

 Barceló Montecastillo Resort and Hotel

As well as a fantastic golf course the rest of the resort has been fully renovated in 2013. The 5 Star hotel which was originally built in the early 1900’s as the retreat of the Earl of Garvey is everything you would expect of a hotel of this class and is one of Barceló Premium range of Hotels. The original building now houses the clubhouse, the adjacent main hotel building has a selection of wonderfully appointed rooms with views over the golf course which are extremely comfortable and of a good size. Some very nice touches such as the expresso machine and luxurious bathrobes give the finishing touches together with some exceptionally quick Wi-Fi. The hotel has only 121 rooms and suites and 20 Villas overlooking the 18th Fairway. 3 restaurants are distributed around the resort, together with 2 outdoor swimming pools, an indoor swimming pool housed in one of the best spa’s in the area and a wonderful terrace area too sip a well-earned drink after your round of golf or before dinner. The Resort also has a convention centre with its own self-contained 4 star hotel

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - room  Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - Bar

 

Resort Overview

As a destination in its own right you should put Barceló Montecastillo Golf resort on your places to golf bucket list. It’s a great location for either small or large groups or that quite golf break as a couple. The course is fantastic both in design and condition. It’s a challenge off the back championship tees for the better players at over 7,000 yards Par 72 but is also playable and more importantly enjoyable by all level of golfer with a fair selection of tee positions. We would recommend using a buggy at Montecastillo as there are some considerable yardages between some of the greens and the next tee. We especially liked the water fountains positioned in shady areas around the course every few holes, another good touch as keeping hydrated while golfing in the sun is a topic in its own right.  The hotel has the style and service you would expect of a five star resort. Its Spa is exceptional and a perfect place to rejuvenate after a round or for the non-golfer to enjoy while you are enjoying the fairways. If you have visited and enjoyed 5 star resorts such as Penina or Penha Longa in Portugal you will enjoy Montecastillo.

Away from the resort Jerez is only a few miles away and is a fascinating town to visit and of course the centre of the countries sherry wine producing region. There are a number of excellent vineyards to visit and of course sample the local product. The city of Seville is only an hour’s drive away by car or Train and is a fascinating city to explore with its architecture and history. Beaches are plentiful and only a few miles away from Jerez.

And finally on to the important thing the Golf head to head around the Championship course against Rachel for the Quality Golf bragging rights. I stood confidently on the 18th tee with a one point lead playing the last, but the Pressure was on after a wonderful approach shot on the 18th by my opponent and as many great players before me I hit what looked a great shot in the air but unfortunately came up a yard short and found the water. Hence the title of this Newsletter and in my defence it was defiantly a Sunday pin position, well played Rachel !!!!!

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort - 18th Tee

 

 

For more details and packages at Barceló Montecastilo Golf Resort please give us a call or visit our website

Barceló Montecastillo Golf Resort

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

info@qualitygolfdestinations.com

Penina Summer Holiday Offer

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PENINA SUMMER HOLIDAY SPECIAL OFFER at  

JJW Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

Penina Hotel and golf resort         

To celebrate Summer Penina Hotel and Golf Resort are pleased to present this fantastic Summer Holiday offer. Normally retailing at £865 pp we can now offer this package at an amazing price. All our rooms are upgraded to superior rooms with views over the pool and 18th/9th greens

 

7 nights NOW ONLY £ 715 p/p

16 July – 24 August Unlimited Golf at Algarve’s premier 5* Golf resort

4 nights NOW ONLY £ 440 p/p

 

 

Based on 2 persons sharing a twin or double Superior pool view room with daily breakfast, Unlimited golf is included on the resorts golf courses with return private airport transfers or car hire. (Flights not included), Single Supplement £75/night

Valid for new bookings up to 4th July 2014

OFFER EXTENDED 6th AUGUST 2014

For stays up from July 16th – August 24th 2014

 

 Penina Hotel and Golf Resort - Championship course

 

Golf included in Package

Golf available on Sir Henry Cotton Championship course, Penina Resort course and Penina Academy course.

Golf must be pre booked; handicap certificates are required for the Championship course only

 

 

 Penina Hotel & Golf Resort - Pool  Penina Hotel and golf Resort - Restaurant

 

 

Penina Video tour

 

JJW Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

 

Penina Hotel and Golf resort - classic roomLocated in a magnificent 140 hectares estate, JJW Penina Hotel and Golf resort reflects its culture through a natural fusion of English architecture, Portuguese hospitality and high standards of service. 188 rooms and suites totally renovated offer comfort, relaxation and stunning views over the pool, golf courses, gardens and Monchique Mountains. Five restaurants and two bars invite you to taste the international or Mediterranean cuisine and creative cocktails.

All guestrooms and suites have telephone with international direct connection, LCD screen TV, Hi speed internet access, automatic mini bar and in-room safe, individually controlled air conditioning satellite TV, pay-tv channels, tea and coffee making facilities and hairdryer.

Penina hotel and golf resortThe hotels privileged location allows you to discover the local sandy beaches, the Monchique Mountains or simply enjoy a round of golf. Golf facilities include 36 holes; the 18 hole Sir Henry Cotton Championship course which has hosted the Portuguese open 10 times, two 9 hole courses, The Resort and Academy, Golf Pro shop, 2 chipping greens, 4 putting greens and bunker practice area. The main practice range is widely renowned as being one of the largest and best in Europe.

The JJW Penina Hotel and Golf Resort has managed to retain the elegance of this iconic golf resort while still maintaining an exceptional standard of service, great facilities and superb attention to detail.

 

 

 

Penina Championship Golf Course

Penina Championship coursePreviously The Penina, but known as the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, the main 18 holes provide the most demanding test of a player’s skills in the Algarve, if not in Portugal. With the inevitable difficulty that a flat landscaping and terrain creates with club selection, the holes are crossed and flanked by a series of streams, ditches and water hazards, demanding precisely executed shots to avoid trouble and achieve par. The course is beautifully maintained, winding past tall stands of eucalyptus and clumps of palm to mainly elevated greens which have subtle slopes and sometimes treacherous speeds.

18 holes, Par 73, 6912 yards

To book please quote “Penina Summer JJW Offer” Contact Quality Golf Destinations by phone on 01782 510800 or email info@qualitygolfdestination.com

La Manga Club Special offer

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La manga Club logoQuality Golf Destinations have teamed up with La Manga Club golf resort to offer an exceptional 5 star golf break for bookings during May. Your stay must be completed before the end of June.

La Manga Club - Hotel

 

Staying at the resorts award-winning 5 star Hotel Principe Felipe guests enjoy daily breakfast before your pre booked tee times at your choice of the resorts 3 championship golf courses. Also included each night is a two course dinner in a choice of four different restaurants.

la manga club room    la manga club - hotel pool

 

Package includes:

3, 4 or 7 nights’ accommodation in the Hotel Principe Felipe 5*.
Daily breakfast at the Amapola Restaurant.
2, 3 or 5 rounds of golf at any of the 3 golf courses.
Dinner every night at any of the following La Manga Club restaurants: Amapola, La Bodega, Luigis or Asia. 2 course dinner menu, drinks not included (Main Course or Starter + Dessert)
2nd Drink free at the Piano Bar. Same as the first one. * Conditions apply.

3 Nights + 2 Rounds = £316 per person per stay twin occupancy room.
4 Nights + 3 rounds = £433 per person per stay twin occupancy room.
7 Nights + 5 rounds = £749 per person per stay twin occupancy room.

 

Extra Special for groups: 1 in 8 can be applied to a maximum of 16 guests.

Why not let Quality Golf destinations arrange your Car Hire or Group transfers. We can also arrange your flights to complete the package. All packages including flights are covered by ATOL guarantees as well as our 100% secure TTA bonding

LaMangaClub_South_Course

 

For more information about the “La Manga Club” Click here

For more information or to book contact us on 01782 510800, Please quote “La Manga Club Offer”

La Manga Club - Hotel Terrace at night

The packages above can be tailored for your exact requirements please ask if there are any additional elements you would like.

Booking button

 

 

 

Penina Hotel and golf resort

Penina Hotel and Golf Resort Special Offer

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Portugal Hotels - JJW PeninaSUMMER & AUTUMN SPECIAL OFFER at  

JJW Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

Penina Hotel and golf resort         

To celebrate Penina Hotel and Golf Resort joining the JJW brand of luxury hotels we are pleased to present this fantastic opening offer. Normally retailing at £685 pp we can now offer this package at an amazing price. All our rooms are upgraded to superior rooms with views over the pool and 18th/9th greens

 

7 nights NOW ONLY £ 585 p/p

Enjoy a golf holiday at the Algarve’s premier 5* Golf resort

4 nights NOW ONLY £ 370 p/p

 

Based on 2 persons sharing a twin or double Superior pool view room with daily breakfast, daily golf is included on the resorts golf courses with return private airport transfers or car hire. (Flights not included), Single Supplement £40/night

Valid for new bookings up to May 2014

For stays up from Mar 1st – Oct 31st 2014* Exclude school summer holiday dates

Great prices Summer Holiday prices available for 2014 please ask.

 Penina Hotel and Golf Resort - Championship course

 

Golf included in Package

Golf available on Sir Henry Cotton Championship course, Penina Resort course and Penina Academy course.

Golf must be pre booked; handicap certificates are required for the Championship course only

* Supplements apply for Christmas Period

 

 

 Penina Hotel & Golf Resort - Pool  Penina Hotel and golf Resort - Restaurant

 

 

Penina Video tour

 

JJW Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

 

Penina Hotel and Golf resort - classic roomLocated in a magnificent 140 hectares estate, JJW Penina Hotel and Golf resort reflects its culture through a natural fusion of English architecture, Portuguese hospitality and high standards of service. 188 rooms and suites totally renovated offer comfort, relaxation and stunning views over the pool, golf courses, gardens and Monchique Mountains. Five restaurants and two bars invite you to taste the international or Mediterranean cuisine and creative cocktails.

All guestrooms and suites have telephone with international direct connection, LCD screen TV, Hi speed internet access, automatic mini bar and in-room safe, individually controlled air conditioning satellite TV, pay-tv channels, tea and coffee making facilities and hairdryer.

Penina hotel and golf resortThe hotels privileged location allows you to discover the local sandy beaches, the Monchique Mountains or simply enjoy a round of golf. Golf facilities include 36 holes; the 18 hole Sir Henry Cotton Championship course which has hosted the Portuguese open 10 times, two 9 hole courses, The Resort and Academy, Golf Pro shop, 2 chipping greens, 4 putting greens and bunker practice area. The main practice range is widely renowned as being one of the largest and best in Europe.

The JJW Penina Hotel and Golf Resort has managed to retain the elegance of this iconic golf resort while still maintaining an exceptional standard of service, great facilities and superb attention to detail.

 

 

 

Penina Championship Golf Course

Penina Championship coursePreviously The Penina, but known as the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, the main 18 holes provide the most demanding test of a player’s skills in the Algarve, if not in Portugal. With the inevitable difficulty that a flat landscaping and terrain creates with club selection, the holes are crossed and flanked by a series of streams, ditches and water hazards, demanding precisely executed shots to avoid trouble and achieve par. The course is beautifully maintained, winding past tall stands of eucalyptus and clumps of palm to mainly elevated greens which have subtle slopes and sometimes treacherous speeds.

18 holes, Par 73, 6912 yards

To book please quote “Penina JJW Offer” Contact Quality Golf Destinations by phone on 01782 510800 or email info@qualitygolfdestination.com

 

    

Algarve sunday special offer

Algarve Sunday Special offer

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5* Algarve Sunday Special offer

 

 

Come and play at San Lorenzo this September and stay for 3 nights at the wonderful 5* Hotel Dona Filipa with this great Algarve Sunday Special offer.

 Algarve sunday special offer

San Lorenzo is one of the most exclusive private members golf clubs in Portugal’s Algarve. Combine this with the newly refurbished Hotel Dona Filipa you have a truly five star short golf break this September. Arrivals must be on either a Sunday or Monday through out September to qualify for this Algarve Sunday Special offer.

 

  Algarve Sunday special offer Algarve Sunday special offer

 

3 nights twin/double share in a Classic room

With daily breakfast at the 5* Hotel Dona Filipa

Free daily round of golf at San Lorenzo Golf Club

Golf transfers via hotel shuttle bus

ReturnAirport transfers

 

Price: £285 pp

    

 Algarve Sunday special offer Algarve Sunday Special offer

 

 Algarve Sunday special offer

From 1st September to 30th September 2013

Single Supplement: £200 per person

Upgrade to Superior room with sea or pool view: £20 per room per night

 

Notes:

Prices include accommodation in a classic room with breakfast buffet,

Minimum 3 nights break, arrival must be on a Sunday or Monday

International flights not included.

 

Hotel Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo Golf Resort

 

Magnificently located overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo Golf Resort welcomes guests of all ages with a touch of glamour combined with an essence of true quality. This Portugal Hotel offers 154 rooms and suites uniquely complimented by professional staff that value the true notion of personalised service.

Dona Filipa Hotel provides guests with a vast variety of services and facilities, the prides itself in its excellent service and tries to exceed each and every guests’ expectation from the moment of reservation to the last minute of check-out. The Hotel’s swimming pool area, with mesmerizing views to the Atlantic Ocean, is the ideal place, not only for a tan, but to read a book, relax or simply have a drink or snack.

Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo Golf Resort caters for tennis enthusiasts as well as golfers with three ATP floodlit all weather hard surface tennis courts. It also has an exclusive area and Beach Club on the Vale do Lobo beach for hotel guests, situated a mere 200 metres away. Dona Filipa Hotel provides guests with 2 alternatives desiring a stay orientated to relax, revitalize and unwind: our in-house facility; the Estetica or access to the Vale do Lobo Royal Spa

 

 For reservations please contact: info@qualitygolfdestinations.com or call 01782 510800

Please quote “Sunday Special 2013” Offer with any correspondence.

 

 Algarve Sunday special offer     Algarve sunday special offer    Golf Holidays - Travel Trust Association

 

 

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Lisbon Golf Special Offers - Ribagolfe

Lisbon Golf Special offer

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Lisbon Golf Special offer

 

Come and play Ribagolfe I & II this Autumn

European Tour Qualifying School Stage 1 venue  

Lisbon Golf Special Offer - Ribagolfe  Lisbon Golf Special Offer - Ribagolfe

 

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.

 

 Lisbon Golf Special Offer

3 nights

Unlimited Golf

Free lunch every day at the Clubhouse

 Price: £199

 

 From 1st September to 31st October 2013

Supplement for single occupancy: £49 per person

Lisbon Golf Special offer 

Notes:

Prices include accommodation, breakfast buffet, lunch at the Clubhouse and

Unlimited golf;

3 nights break from Thursday to Sunday;

All groups have 1 free in 8 players;

All groups have 10% discount at ALFoz restaurant;

 Lisbon golf Special Offer - hotel Alfoz   Lisbon Golf Special offer - Hotel Alfoz room

For reservations please contact: info@qualitygolfdestinations.com or call 01782 510800

Please quote Lisbon Golf Special Offer with any correspondence.

Lisbon Golf Special offer - Alfoz breakfast

Lisbon Golf Special offer - Ribagolfe Lisbon Golf Special offer - ALFOZ

 

 

 

 

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.

Golf Safari - Stellenbosch 

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:

Golf Safari - Raddison Blu 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.

 Getting There

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.

Golf Safari - Cape townGolf Safari - Cape PointOn 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.

          Golf Safari - Table mountainGolf Safari - Cape town waterfront

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!

Golf Safari - Golf in Cape townThe 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.

Golf Safari - WedgeviewOur 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.

Golf Safari - Fancourt Golf Resort

Fancourt Golf Resort

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.

Golf Safari - Pumba Game Reserve Golf Safari - Safari

 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.

 Golf Safari - Rhino   Golf Safari - Cheeter's

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.

 Golf Safari - Ells Winery

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?

 

Pravets Golf & Spa Resort

Trophy Hunting at Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

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Pravets Golf and Spa Resort – June Newsletter

 

Bulgaria is one of a number of countries in Eastern Europe where golf is growing rapidly and is attracting more and more visitors. Last month it took a major step in reaching a wider audience with the staging of the Volvo World Match-play championships at Thracian Cliffs. Quality Golf Destinations Managing Director Neil Adams has been to Bulgaria a few times and visited all the courses. But not since Pravets Golf and Spa Resort had opened all 18 holes and St Sofia’s redevelopment had been completed. So when we received an invite to visit both courses and play in the annual Braemar Challenge at Pravets Golf and Spa Resort our intrepid hero was off like a shot!!!

 Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

Neil’s trip:

I have visited Bulgaria 3 times and loved every minute. It has taken a while to get a couple of courses within commuting distance of Sofia, but with the renovation of St Sofia Golf Club at last completed it has joined Pravets Golf Club in making a golf break based in Sofia possible.

I was invited to visit Pravets to take part in the annual Braemar Challenge, (Braemar manage the golf club), by an old friend Alan Rouget Golf Director at Pravets Golf and Spa Resort. Alan is originally from South Africa so I knew we would have a lively time!! How lively, we were about to find out.

 

We stayed at the RUI hotel (which is opposite side of the lake to the golf course). The hotel is stunning and contains a spa, swimming pool, gym, 2 restaurants, a bowling alley next door and a piano bar in the basement and even a Casino.

 

Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

 

Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

When we arrived we were met at Sofia Airport and shuttled directly to the Pravets Golf and Spa Resort. The journey took around 50 minutes and takes you through some beautiful countryside. Upon arrival we were quickly booked in and shown to our rooms. My room was excellent and very well appointed. The Hotel chain RIU has a great reputation and this hotel only enhances it, especially with a great view over the lake to the golf course.

We all convened in the bar and sat on a wonderful terrace by the lake, re-introducing ourselves to old friends and getting to know new friends. I felt I needed to ease the journey out of my system and so headed for the gym, there I tried at least four types of sauna. All facilities were excellent although I resisted the swimming pool, as I did not want to be over-trained.  After an excellent meal in the main restaurant as guests of Golf Director Alan Rouget we were all relatively well behaved and headed for bed.

 

Next day we got down to the serious business of investigating the golf course. Wow, I was blown away. You start off with a tricky par 5 (more of this later) and a front nine that’s a great test of golf. The back nine was well, amazing. The 10th hole has a difficult drive off the tee and by the time you get to the 16th you are ready for a break. Unfortunately it’s a par 5 over water with a narrow landing area. 9th and 18th are both long par 4’s, uphill to the biggest double green I have ever seen. (If you end up by the wrong flag you will probably dislocate your shoulder trying to put to the other hole!)

Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

9th and 18th greens at Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

 

 

 

That night at a gourmet dinner in the aptly named Gourmet Restaurant, hosted by Braemar Golf’s Managing Director, Keith Haslam, we were told about the competition we were playing in next day, “The Braemar Challenge”. This is an annual open pair’s competition commemorating the opening of the course. The pairings were announced and much to my French friends Damian’s surprise we were paired together Surprised, because Damian doesn’t play golf. Hmmm now there are lots out there who will be thinking, that makes two in that pair then. However with a few phone calls I soon had a partner lined up. So it was early to bed (1.30am is early isn’t it)? I didn’t sleep well as I kept dreaming I was playing 10th and 16th (neither very well).

When we arrived at the course and saw what appeared to be hundreds of people warming up, people arriving by helicopter to play and realised this was quite a big event. I did my usual bit of putting and then not wanting to overdo the practice hit 6 balls on the range (all well, crikey am I still dreaming!).

I met my playing partner Krasimir Panayotov, (Krasi for short) on the 10th tee (Oh why are we starting there?). Krasi was helpful with where to aim my tee short, he simply told me to aim over corner of bunker and let ball roll into middle of fairway leaving myself with an 8 iron to the flag. (He obviously doesn’t know my mantra of 1. hit the ball and 2. move it forward!!). I was helped with the obvious nerves when in the group in front one player moved the ball 6 inches backwards on the tee.

 Pravets Golf and Spa Resort  Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

 

Now Krasi works for Braemar Golf in their teaching academy and proceeded to give me an armchair ride around the course, he was brilliant. I’d like to feel I contributed, if only with my lively banter and cheering. Crikey it was hot and my caddy the afore mentioned Damien, (he wasn’t going to get out of this so easily), was getting redder & redder. When we got to the 1st (our 10th) Krasi said use your 3 wood and lay-up before the stream, wedge into the green and give yourself a birdie chance. I followed it to the letter but lipped out for birdie (phew what a pest I said!!). Anyway with Krasi playing like a pro we signed off for a respectable 43 points and found ourselves in the joint lead, wow. After an excellent lunch a couple of sherbets we had been joined at the top of the leader board by another group.  So unbelievably we were tied for 1st but lost on count-back, but a 2nd place was beyond my wildest dreams.

The whole day was well organised and the course in excellent condition. Thanks to all at Braemar and Pravets Golf and Spa Resort for the great event. Keith, Alan for being fantastic hosts. Jonathon, the head professional at Pravets, for releasing Krasi to play. Damien for being such a great sport. Finally thanks to Krasi for being absolutely brilliant.

We rounded of the day in the Piano bar drinking whisky out of the runners up cup whilst listening to Alan playing piano and singing. (See what I mean about staying away from South Africans if you want a quiet night in).

 Pravets golf and Spa Resort - Breamar Challenge Trophy   Pravets Golf and Spa Resort - Runners up Breamar Trophy 2013

 

All in all a trip to Bulgaria, (be it the Sophia region or Black Sea Coast) is worth putting on your must do list. If you want a resort with everything including sight-seeing, spa and golf then Pravets Golf and Spa Resort is the place for you. (Just don’t have nightmares about that 16th tee shot!!).

 

 

About Bulgarian Golf

Bulgaria has 7 international standard golf courses and in 2012 won the IAGTO Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year.

Black Sea Coast

Three are on the Black SeaCoast, (Thracian Cliffs (hosted the Volvo World Match Play May 2013), Black Sea Rama GC & Lighthouse GC). These are three great courses designed by Gary Player (Thracian Cliffs & Black Sea Rama GC) and Ian Woosnam Lighthouse GC. All are reached via VarnaAirport, which has direct flights from a number of UK airports. Lighthouse has a hotel alongside it & all courses are within 20 minutes of hotel. Transfers from airport to hotels & back are included in any packages.

 

Pirin Golf & Country Club

Pirin Golf & Country Club is an exclusive international 5-star resort located in the stunning Razlog valley, in the foothills of the PirinMountains, and only 5 km away from the world famous ski resort of Bansko. It is approximately 2 hours from Sophia. The mountain back-drop is really exciting

Pirin Golf & Country Club has two golf courses. The championship course designed by Ian Woosnam, is a par 72 course that is really challenging

 

St Sofia Golf Club & Spa

St. Sofia Golf Club & SPA is located just 25 minutes from Sofia city center. It has an 18-hole golf course recently re-designed by Paul McGinley & a golf academy. The course offers a challenge to all standards of golfers with clever use of tee box placements. The courses is relatively flat with generous wide fairways, but beware of the par 3’s as nearly all are over water & some are virtually island greens.

The clubhouse is huge, with well-appointed locker rooms, great eating facilities & a lovely spar centre. It also has 5 hotel rooms at the top of the clubhouse.

 

Pravets Golf and Spa Resort

Pravets Golf and Spa Resort is a magnificent new course designed by Peter Harradine, its 18 holes are cleverly created for all standards of golfers alike, and it is set in idyllic surrounds, ideal for both the elite and tourist golfer alike. The resort feature a four star RIU hotel with restaurants, piano bar, casino, superb spa and fully equipped fitness centre, all round sporting facilities including water sports on the lake surrounded by attractive woodland and the mountains of Stara Planina.

 IAGTO AWARD BULGARIA  BGA  Pravets Golf ClubPravets Golf and Spa resort - Braemar Golf  Riu Pravets

International Golf Travel Market – Vilamoura Nov 2012

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International Golf Travel Market – Vilamoura Nov 2012

 

Newsletter December 2012

International Golf Travel Market or IGTM as it is normaly known as is the annual must do show for all golf travel professionals.  This year’s show was held in Vilamoura and was attended by Rachel and Neil.  Many people think it is just another jolly for us so we thought we would share with you a little of what goes on at these events and what we got up to during the week.

 

Day 1 – The Golf Tournament and Welcome Reception

 

We were very lucky to be playing the Oceanic Victoria course which had hosted the Portuguese Masters just 3 weeks earlier.  It is not a course we had played before and we always like to have first-hand experience of the courses we send our clients to so a good opportunity.  If you are ever in Vilamoura it is one of the must play courses.  There is a lot of water and the rough is very rough but it is a great layout and although there had been a lot of rain in the weeks leading up to our visit it was in great condition.  We did okay although we didn’t win anything but it was a great start to what we knew would be a very busy week. (Those tiny people in the picture are Neil and I!!) In the evening there was reception for 1200 people at theTivoliMarinaHotel.  It was a great evening and we caught up with some old friends and made some new, very useful, contacts.  There is always a new hotel or golf course to find out about and meeting the representatives face to face always makes it easier to do business with them.

 

Day 2-4 – Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

 

During IGTM 2012 there were 11,500 scheduled meetings between exhibitors and buyers and many more impromptu meetings.  We both had over 40 meetings scheduled during the 3 days and talked to many hotels, golf courses and ground handlers.  Our intention is always to offer new and exciting destinations to our clients and all these meetings gave us a great opportunity to investigate what is new in the golf travel market.    We also had meetings with destinations we are familiar with to discuss new offers and packages they have to offer.  There were so many destinations present at the show it would be impossible to visit them all but we certainly had a good try!  The days were long and tiring and we walked for miles between our many meetings but it was a great show for us and we returned home armed with lots of information and new ideas.

Outside all the meetings there was also a lot of networking and socialising going on.  Many of the best meetings were held over a beer in the bar!  IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) sponsored a bar on the Tuesday evening which was a superb night.  The bar was across theMarinafrom the main show hotel and was rather a long walk although only about 200 yards as the crow flies.  Somebody had thought of everything and there was a catamaran which sailed back and to all evening so we didn’t even have to walk.  What a great way to go to the pub!

 

The final evening of IGTM was the IAGTO annual awards dinner where awards are presented to the best golf destinations around the world.  The winners included Dubai, Gran Canaria, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic.  The final award of the evening is the Honorary Award which this year was presented to Tony Jacklin, the most successful Ryder Captain in history, who was present to receive his award and was greeted with a standing ovation by the 1200 people present at the dinner.  It was brilliant to see one of Europe’s great honoured by the golf industry.  After the dinner there was a party at the Casino in Vilamoura which was attended by many of the people who had attended the dinner and was a fantastic end to what had been a tiring, busy, enjoyable and very worthwhile week for us.

Please keep an eye on our website as there will be lots of new deals and offers coming up as we follow up all the contacts we made in Vilamoura.

 

  

 

 

 

Post IGTM Special offer –

 

Play one of Lisbon’s best kept secret – Ribagolfe – A European tour qualifying school stage 1 venue since 2009. 36 holes of superb quality golf only 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon.

 

 

Enjoy a weekend break Thursday – Sunday 3 nights B&B at the 3 star Alfoz hotel and 3 rounds of golf for only

£151 per person

   

 

  

Offer valid for travel until 31/3/2012

Group special – 1 in 8 go free

 

Call Rob or Rachel on 01782 510800 for special offers and prices or email info@qualitygolfdestinations.com

    

Gran Canaria Golf

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Following last month’s Gran Canaria Golf Newsletter Escaping the Rain, when Rachel discovered the delights of golf on the island. 

Read the newsletter here

We will soon be launching a dedicated Gran Canaria golf page for this great holiday island.

Rachel in action at Lopesan Meloneras Golf

This will include a review and information on the Golf Courses and a few sample itinerary’s to whet your appetite about Gran Canaria Golf.

 

In the mean time take a look at this great video showcasing the best of Gran Canaria Golf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm96LYarbIY

 

Escape the rain – Aroeira Golf Portugal

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August Special Offer

Fed up with the English summer this year

 Escape the rain and Golf in Portugal

     

  Aroeira Golf Apartments, Lisbon & Aroeira Golf I & II 

 

7 nights in Self Catering apartments, unlimited green fees at Aroeira Golf (36 holes)

Daily breakfast in Clubhouse, weeks car hire from Lisbon Airport

 

2 people in 1 bed Apartment – from £ 390 /person

4 people in 2 bed Apartment – from £ 340/person

 

 

      

      Additional Golf at other local courses is also available on request.

Non-Golfer prices available. International Flights are not included in package.

 

                                                        2 Share       4 Share

September                             £545          £490

October                                 £575          £515

November                              £495          £445    (1 – 15th)

Nov/December                     £390          £340    (16 – 31st)

 Prices per person

 

Aroeira Golf Apartments

Set in a magnificent pinewood, with a view of the course, 1 and 2 bed roomed Villas Aroeira offers a pleasant stay in self catering accommodation, with easy access to the golf courses. In the summer the club offers transfers to the golf courses.

Located 25 km south of Lisbon, on the coast adjacent to a long stretch of beach. The site, Herdade da Aroeira is fully ring fenced with 24-hour security service 7-days a week. The apartments are 2 to 4 km from Aroeira I golf course and look over Aroeira II course. At the centre of the Golf Club sees a friendly clubhouse with restaurant, snack-bar, reception, golf shop and golf school, cafeteria, tropical swimming pool with bar and 4 tennis courts.

 

Aroeira Golf Courses

 Set in a pine wood with several lakes, and benefiting from a microclimate that allows you to play golf all year round, the AROEIRA I and II golf courses offer players of all levels a stimulating and varied challenge.

 Aroeira 1

This 18-hole course was designed by architect Frank Pennink and opened in 1973. Specialists say it is one of the best in Europe and it hosted the Portuguese Open in 1996 and 1997 and a number of Ladies Opens.

6044m (white tees) 5148 (red tees) Par 72

Aroeira 2

Aroeira’s second 18-hole golf course, Aroeira II was opened in April 2000. Its architect, Donald Steel, took care to comply with European Tour recommendations and designed a course with future Portuguese Opens in mind. Its 18 long greens wind round 5 lakes and the various tees for each hole mean it can be played by players of all levels. For a number of years it has hosted the Qualifying School of Ladies European Tour and several Portuguese Ladies Opens.

6367m (white tees) 4605 (red tees) Par 72

 

 

To book or for more information call – 01782 510800 or email info@qualitygolfdestinations.com

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