Assoufid Golf Club nominated as ‘Best Golf Course in Morocco 2015’

Assoufid Golf Club nominated as ‘Best Golf Course in Morocco 2015’

Assoufid Golf Club nominated as ‘Best Golf Course in Morocco 2015’

Award-winning Assoufid Golf Club recently named ‘Africa’s Best New Golf Course 2014’, has reinforced its growing global reputation by being nominated on the shortlist for The World Golf Awards as ‘Morocco’s Best Golf Course 2015’.

The desert-style 18-hole golf course is situated close to the vibrant city of Marrakech –ranked No.1 in TripAdvisor’s ‘2015 Travellers’ Choice, Top 25 Destinations in the World’ – and is set against the backdrop of North Africa’s snow-capped Atlas Mountains.

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco, Africa

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco, Africa

Assoufid Golf Club officially opened for play in October last year and is a debut design for Scottish PGA professional and former European Tour player, Niall Cameron.

Additionally, the club is a 10-minute drive from the city’s international airport and forms part of an exquisite 222-hectare development, which will include a hospitality and residential Continue reading “Assoufid Golf Club nominated as ‘Best Golf Course in Morocco 2015’”

Top 5 UK Golf Courses

With over 2000 golf courses in the UK, it can be challenging to find the best golf club to play at. There are several factors that make a golf course great: the condition of the course, the design and variety of each hole, a sense of history, and the scenery… even just the very feel of the course can have a play in your fondness towards it.

Finding a golf course with all these qualities can be tough, so a great way to start is by using a course finder such as the Gamola Golf Course Finder, which allows you to search by town or postcode to find golf courses local to your area.

Sometimes, however, only the best course will do. In these instances, here are the top five courses in the UK to check out.

1. Royal Birkdale, Merseyside

Royal Birkdale has a rich noble history and has hosted many championships in the past. Each hole runs through stunning landscapes of sand dunes and heather, and the course itself is extremely challenging due to tight fairways, deep bunkers, rough greens and sea gathered wind. The course itself is in excellent condition and each hole is varied, suiting the course to all players.

2. Royal St George’s, Kent

Those looking for a traditional experience need look no further than Royal St George’s. With its in-depth history of hosting The Open championships, stunning clubhouse and outstanding catering, Royal St George’s appeals to golfers of all abilities. The course itself is immaculate, and challenging. Blind tees, deep bunkers and rough create varied holes which require strategic navigation. Continue reading “Top 5 UK Golf Courses”

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The Best Golf Courses in Western France


The best golf courses in North West France

Image source: Brittany Ferries presents the best golf courses in Western France.

Take it Easy with a French Golf Holiday or Weekend Break

With such a long hot summer drawing to a close, there’s been plenty of time for golf this year. Courses throughout the UK have been lush and busy throughout.  So like me you may have managed to play a round or three at many of your local golf courses; some for the first time, and others with more regular visits. We’re pretty lucky here in the south-east corner of England as Kent, Essex and Surrey are full of great golf courses to play, including some fantastic pay and play courses. But if you were looking for a weekend getaway or golf holiday abroad that’s not going to break the bank or take too long, then why not consider golf break in France?

Kent is the closest point in the UK to France with its ferry terminals and Channel tunnel.  There are plenty of fine courses waiting for British golfers on the other side of the English Channel.  But for something a little more adventurous, why not take a ferry from Portsmouth or Poole to one of the French Atlantic ports, situated on the French west coast.

The French Atlantic Ports includes Le Havre, Rouen-Honfleur, Cherbourg, St Malo, Brest, Lorient, Nantes-St Nazaire, La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Bayonne-Saint Jean de Luz; and part of their beautiful countryside is a wealth of beautiful golf courses, all of which welcome tourists and golf lovers, alike.

Cherbourg is very close to the Channel Islands and hosts many golf courses including the Golf De Cherbourg which is probably one of the most beautiful nine holes you will find in the whole of Normandy.  The course is relatively short (5686m) and very flat.  The fairways are long and narrow with small beautifully kept greens. The Golf De Cherbourg is close to the ferry terminal and therefore an obvious place to visit.  But Cherbourg has other courses that are well worth a visit. Why not book a round at the nearby18 hole Golf de la Presqu’île du Cotentin or the Golf de la Côte des Isles?

For those planning a longer stay there is Golf de Coutainville and Golf d’Omaha Beach further along the coastlines or the lovely Golf Centre Manche further inland. This beautiful part of France is truly beautiful and loves its golf.  So I can’t really think of any good reasons not to book Brittany Ferries golf holidays and enjoy the beautiful French cuisine, culture and play a few rounds.  Can you?

Critters on the Course – Animal Encounters Add Excitement to Golf

Salem Golf Club, N. Salem, NY                                                                                                                   © Golf Girl Media




















A golf course, by its very nature, can be an ideal place to observe wildlife. Whether you play on a traditional seaside links course, a lush parkland spread or an unlikely desert oasis, sooner or later you’ll probably have a close encounter with a critter or two.

Autumn with its ripened berries, falling chestnuts and burnished golden foliage, is prime time for nature watchers in the northeastern US; last week, just off a pristine fairway at Salem Golf Club, our foursome observed a white tail deer casually rubbing his antlers on the bark of an ancient oak tree.  It was all very picturesque until he began pounding his hoof on the ground in a blatantly aggressive manner. We collectively conceded that this eight point buck might be the most effective deterrent to slow play… ever.

This past weekend, along with a US victory, The Presidents Cup celebrated… with giddy enthusiasm… a squirrel.  Sammy, as the affable rodent was known, quickly became the team mascot and provided multiple moments of brightness in a competition that took place under consistently somber skies.

Less famous than Sammy, but far more imposing was the female grizzly bear who’d been haunting the golf courses at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia for most of the summer.  It seems the ursine interloper was attracted to the area by a berry patch and salmon stream.  She was finally trapped and moved to higher ground … and wildlife officials made sure to outfit the golf course grizzly with a tracking collar to assure an advanced warning should she again be tempted to try her paws at the Creekside Par 3.

Finally, there’s the now famous fairway fox at Verbier Golf Club in Verbier, Switzerland.  Local residents and golfers playing the alpine course have been entertained… and frustrated… by the playful omnivore since early September. You see, this sly canid isn’t content to sit on the sidelines. According to observers, he appears on course each afternoon and proceeds to steal golf balls.  The impressive action is documented in the video below, and has garnered Foxy a share of celebrity; BBC News, CNN and the Huffington Post have all covered his antics.  It’s interesting to note that Foxy’s course of choice is also a par-3.  Perhaps critters prefer the playability of a shorter course.

With more and more courses focused on sustainability and conservation golfers can expect more frequent meetings with wildlife. Fortunately, for most who love the sport animal encounters only add to its awesomeness.

Golf has never been so popular in the UK

With Tiger Woods back where he belongs, re-instated as the #1 golf player in the world ranking table followed by a wealth of British talent, the likes of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and the flamboyance of Ian Poulter, it’s no wonder that golf has never been more popular as an amateur sport in the UK.

Furthermore, with over 7,500 courses to choose from throughout the UK, it’s never been easier or cheaper to play the best game in the world. Competition has driven prices down and increased the quality of pay and play golf courses available for non-members. Although I am surrounded by some awesome golf courses, I personally choose not to be a member of any of my local golf clubs. These days I have more fun facing different challenges, playing different courses whether it be with my son, some friends or co-ordinating a special corporate day.

I really enjoy seeking out new golf courses to play; and with the internet it is now even easier to find  new courses, read customer feedback on the quality of the greens and even the food and service on offer at the nineteenth hole.  All this, plus numerous websites listing cheap tee-times including some of the most prestigious golf courses throughout the UK.

From the amateur golfers point of view, things couldn’t be much better.  But what’s it like owning or managing a golf course with such competition and high levels of expectation and value for money?

Keeping the greens lush, the bunkers raked and the fairways in order is just one small part of managing a successful golf course. Imagine how a storm or severe winds could affect a golf course. Damage caused by hurricane-strength winds or an overnight flood, falling trees or branches on the course all need to be managed as does vandalism and theft.  But as a customer, I am only interested in the golf day experience I have when visiting a club.

Golf club insurance from Aon or other insurance companies, against accidental damage and public liability is as necessary as a top quality groundsman; and managing a course to always hit or exceed high expectations must be a real headache. these reasons alone, I recently decided to carry on enjoying the best game in the world as a customer rather than further exploring the possibility of co-owning a golf course with a friend who is very keen on making golf his livelihood as much as his pastime.

Golf’s Water Hog Reputation… And Its Little Known Green Side

Not surprisingly, when the subject is water usage, golf often finds itself on the defensive.

In communities where water is scarce, the perception of lush emerald fairways and perfectly verdant greens… maintained at great cost for an elite few… often strikes residents as a frivolous allocation of this most vital resource.

Whether the cause of a water shortage is prolonged drought or rapid population growth… or whether there even is a water shortage in a particular area… golf courses are seen by many as the consummate water hogs.  And golfers, by association, are looked upon as self-indulgent, inconsiderate, porcine primadonnas.  Not a flattering image, to say the least.

However as Attaya Anthony points out in a recent article in the Sun Sentinel, many golf courses are actually helping to replenish drinking water.  It’s a fascinating piece that highlights the role of turf grass as a natural filtration system …and the thing is, this is just one of numerous environmental benefits a golf course can provide when managed with sustainability in mind. As more golfers are educated to these facts, the hope is that they’ll support those with an eco-friendly focus, and the sport’s water hog reputation will …pardon the pun …no longer hold water.

Turfpath: An New Social App for Homeowners and Golf Course Managers

Turfpath: a mobile-social app for grass lovers      photo: © Golf Girl Media

A lawn is defined as, “an area of land planted with grasses which are maintained at a short height and used for aesthetic and recreational purposes”. 

Now to me, that sounds a bit like, well, a golf course… and if you happen to be a golfer who owns a home in a continental climate zone, chances are you often spend spring, summer and  autumn torn between the competing demands of your lawn and your game.

Just as area courses begin open for the season’s first rounds, a plethora of spring lawn care tasks present themselves; raking, liming, over seeding, fertilizing … and pulling up those perennial dandelions. It all must be done if you want to maintain decent lawn, and if you do, you’ll inevitably find yourself sacrificing some of your early rounds and practice sessions for days of utilitarian yard work.

Other days you’ll hit the course, which has hopefully been aerated, top dressed, nourished, trimmed and spruced-up for spring.  Good golf course maintenance makes early season playing a pleasure, but the vivid, lushness can also provoke some serious “lawn lust” because let’s face it, we all want our lawns to look like our golf courses, right?  It’s even been said that today’s lawn care industry was actually born in the Spring of 1967 with the first technicolor broadcast of the Masters, when suburban America saw Augusta National, in its verdant glory, for the first time.

Now available at the Google Play and iTunes app stores

With that in mind, who better to liaise with when your goal is a gorgeous green lawn than golf course managers and turf grass specialists?  And that’s part of the premise behind Turfpath, an ultra-promising new app now available in the Google Play and iTunes app stores.

Created by John Kaminski, an associate professor at Penn State (and a multi-faceted renaissance man) who understood a couple of years ago that a mobile social network would be a stellar way to allow anyone with interest in growing grass… anywhere in the world… to connect and exchange information.

The app features a growing gallery of images and descriptions of the various weeds, diseases and insects that can be problematic for grass growers.   Turfgrass professionals, golf course superintendents, landscapers and lawn-lusting suburban home owners can then add to the galleries with their own photos and information, and can exchange ideas on how to control these turf trouble-makers and prevent future infestations. The app will also contain live, geo-specific infestation alerts.

Adding to the social factor is a system of points and badges one can earn for posting, sharing information and interacting with others.  I happen to be one of those golf-loving, lawn-lusting suburbanites I described earlier, so I downloaded the app this morning and I’ve already identified a couple of the annoying weeds that have recently appeared on my lawn.. and gotten some eco-friendly advice on how to handle them.

I’m pretty sure Turfpath will soon be one of my favorite and most frequently used apps and I’m guessing I may have a greener lawn and a better golf game by the end of this summer.

Economy, Environment, Health & Charity – Golf’s Expansive Impact

Golf’s Impact on the United States       We Are Golf

Springtime golf in New England is often… inconsistent.

A bright, balmy spell in late March or early April gets the season off to a stellar start and we enjoy a couple of warm rounds on our reawakening courses, reveling in our collective conviction that winter is finally over.

Some of us…me, for example… are quick to transition our closets; moving any reminder of cool weather to the farthest reaches of the armoire and exchanging racks of somber colored sweaters, slacks and windshirts for a colorful display of shorts, skorts and sleeveless shirts.  This timely transformation makes us inordinately happy.

That’s when the backdoor cold front inevitably arrives. A cool, damp Atlantic air mass moves in replacing the warmer continental air we’d so quickly embraced and leaving us back where we were in early March, playing and practicing in dank, dreary conditions.  And to add insult to injury some of us now have to dig all the way to the back of the closet (or attic or storage unit) to get dressed.   

So goes the Spring of 2013… in New England and many other areas of the US… and as a result many of us can count the rounds we’ve played thus far this year on one hand. If we’re lucky. And while a late Spring can be frustrating for golfers it’s beyond frustrating for area golf courses which are seeing their rounds way down, particularly when compared to the exceptionally mild winter of 2012.

This probably all seems quite trivial to those who don’t play the game but, it really shouldn’t.  An infographic look at Golf’s Impact on the United States clearly shows how the benefits of the game goes way beyond the fairways and greens.  Golf is a major industry, one that brings value to individuals and communities in ways many don’t consider.  For golfers… for me, anyway… this makes those wet chilly April rounds seem a bit warmer.


More golf accommodation opens in Kent

The Lodge @ Prince's Club Golf Club in Kent

The Lodge @ Prince's Club Golf Club in Kent

Following last year’s Open Championship, held at Royal St Georges Golf Club, Kent has seen an 85% increase in the number of UK amateur golfers booking golf packages and tee times at the county’s 97 courses.

Shepherd Neame, the renowned Kent-based brewer, pub and hotel operator, is among those offering accommodation for golf tourists, which has invested significantly in its estate.

Recent acquisitions include the iconic Bell hotel in Sandwich, a favourite with visiting golfers, the Camden Arms hotel in Pembury, near Royal Tunbridge Wells, and the Fayreness hotel in Broadstairs, which boasts a magnificent cliff-top location at Kingsgate Bay.

The Bell Hotel in Sandwich, Kent

The Bell Hotel in Sandwich, Kent

These additions mean that Shepherd Neame now has more than 468 rooms across its managed and tenanted estate, making it the biggest independent accommodation provider in Kent.

“We have always sought out opportunities within the Kentish heartland, striving to offer the best quality proposition to golfers visiting our county in terms of both food and accommodation,” commented Nigel Bunting, Retail Director at Shepherd Neame.

“At Shepherd Neame, we endeavour to provide each visitor with a unique experience. From intimate inns to high-end boutique hotels, each property is characterful and oozes individuality to leave a lasting expression of Kent with each golfer visiting this world-class golfing destination.”

The additions to Shepherd Neame’s accommodation portfolio are further supplemented by The Lodge at Prince’s Golf Club that opened in May 2012, ideal for Links connoisseurs, and, in the future, by a new 5* hotel and spa at The London Golf Club, for which planning permission has already been granted. Both facilities are perfectly positioned to welcome in-bound golf enthusiasts thanks to their proximity to London, France and the Continent.

“These establishments underline Kent’s status as a world-class golf destination with a wide range of accommodation for all tastes, budgets and lengths of stay,” added Nigel Bunting.

Away from the fairways, Kent has much to offer, from world-class iconic attractions, such as Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle and the new Turner Contemporary in Margate, to little gems and hidden treasures, including the mysterious tunnels of Chislehurst Caves hewn by the Druids, Romans and Saxons, which were also used as hidden shelters in the Second World War.

For more information on Kent see www.visitkent.co.uk.

More golf accommodation opens in Kent

The Lodge @ Prince's Club Golf Club in Kent

The Lodge @ Prince's Club Golf Club in Kent

Following last year’s Open Championship, held at Royal St Georges Golf Club, Kent has seen an 85% increase in the number of UK amateur golfers booking golf packages and tee times at the county’s 97 courses.

Shepherd Neame, the renowned Kent-based brewer, pub and hotel operator, is among those offering accommodation for golf tourists, which has invested significantly in its estate.

Recent acquisitions include the iconic Bell hotel in Sandwich, a favourite with visiting golfers, the Camden Arms hotel in Pembury, near Royal Tunbridge Wells, and the Fayreness hotel in Broadstairs, which boasts a magnificent cliff-top location at Kingsgate Bay.

The Bell Hotel in Sandwich, Kent

The Bell Hotel in Sandwich, Kent

These additions mean that Shepherd Neame now has more than 468 rooms across its managed and tenanted estate, making it the biggest independent accommodation provider in Kent.

“We have always sought out opportunities within the Kentish heartland, striving to offer the best quality proposition to golfers visiting our county in terms of both food and accommodation,” commented Nigel Bunting, Retail Director at Shepherd Neame.

“At Shepherd Neame, we endeavour to provide each visitor with a unique experience. From intimate inns to high-end boutique hotels, each property is characterful and oozes individuality to leave a lasting expression of Kent with each golfer visiting this world-class golfing destination.”

The additions to Shepherd Neame’s accommodation portfolio are further supplemented by The Lodge at Prince’s Golf Club that opened in May 2012, ideal for Links connoisseurs, and, in the future, by a new 5* hotel and spa at The London Golf Club, for which planning permission has already been granted. Both facilities are perfectly positioned to welcome in-bound golf enthusiasts thanks to their proximity to London, France and the Continent.

“These establishments underline Kent’s status as a world-class golf destination with a wide range of accommodation for all tastes, budgets and lengths of stay,” added Nigel Bunting.

Away from the fairways, Kent has much to offer, from world-class iconic attractions, such as Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle and the new Turner Contemporary in Margate, to little gems and hidden treasures, including the mysterious tunnels of Chislehurst Caves hewn by the Druids, Romans and Saxons, which were also used as hidden shelters in the Second World War.

For more information on Kent see www.visitkent.co.uk.

Golf Going Forward: A Far Shorter Path to a More Accessible Game

“Far Forward”, “Fairway”, “Rookie” and “Rockin Red”.

These are some of the names that have been given to the extra tee box that numerous courses have installed over the past year. They’re closer to the hole than the standard forward tee, and in some places they’re referred to as the “fun tees”.  It’s easy to see why.

The game of golf is dauntingly difficult; a fact that’s been loudly lamented by generations of players. We’ve heard it for years, from politicians, preachers and a whole slew of stand-up comics…many of whom were actually excellent players.  It’s no wonder so many once hopeful golfers give up on the game each year; they simply grow weary of playing a sport they suspect they may never get good at.

Golf is a multi-faceted game, and numerous elements contribute to its high degree of difficulty. However, due to the aforementioned exodus… and a decline in golf participation over the past several years… one of those elements is being addressed at a growing number of North America golf courses.  From coast to coast a new set of tees is making golf decidedly more accessible/enjoyable for beginners… and others… who’ve found frustration on courses that, particularly over the past couple of decades, have become far too long and too difficult for their skill level… even from “forward tees”… because at most of today’s golf courses the forward tees play at over (often well over) 5,000 yards which for many beginner / junior / senior / female-weekend / recreational golfers means lots of picking up (frustrating) or an exceedingly slow round (frustrating + annoying / inconsiderate).

Tee it Forward… the awareness campaign to encourage golfers to play from the correct tee for their ability level… was introduced by the USGA and PGA of America last year and the feedback has been promising.  As expected… because old habits die hard… there’s been some rather vocal resistance, but it’s clear according to a National Golf Foundation survey undertaken in July, that the movement is beginning to gain traction. However the one year survey indicated support was coming mainly from private club members and other avid golfers. I’m guessing this was partly due to awareness (72% of what the NGF calls “Golf Nuts” were aware of Tee it Forward, vs. 42% of casual golfers), but the fact that those those +5,000yrd forward tees were as forward as one could tee it at many courses may have also limited the campaign’s reach  …and that’s where the Far Forward-Fairway-Rookie-Rockin Red Tees come in;  these shorter tees that numerous courses have been adding of late, allow all players to Tee it Forward… including those already playing the “forward tees”.

Hopefully, this signals the trend that will take Tee it Forward to the next level, making the game more accessible to beginners and less frustrating for casual golfers.

Dogs on Course: Talented Golden Retriever Gets a Golf Job

A couple of months ago we told you about TurfNet’s “Superintendent’s Best Friend Calendar”, an awesome publication that featured 14 fabulous golf course dogs.

The calendar canines correspond to courses all over the countries and some “work” as watch dogs or goose chasers. However, it turns out  those aren’t the only golf jobs available to “man’s best friend”. Meet Kaleigh.  She’s a Golden Retriever who works at Whitetail Golf Course in Charleston, Maine …as a golf cart valet!


via BuzzFeed

Of Pin-up Models, Calendar Contests and Golf’s Top Dogs

When someone says “golf pin-up” or “golf calendar model” it generally brings to mind images like like this.  Or perhaps, this.

In other words you picture a shapely lady in a revealing outfit… with maybe a golf club or two in the mix. Anything else is optional/irreverent.

Well, earlier today I discovered a different kind of “golf pin-up”. One with a slightly less libidinous aesthetic.

TurfNet.com is a site for the superintendents, the often under-heralded professionals who manage the labor, time, materials and financial resources needed to care for the fairways and greens of the courses we play on.  In addition the tutorials, job boards and equipment listings, there are myriad blogs and articles that provide an interesting and enlightening look and the extraordinary effort required to keep even the most modest golf courses up to par.  It’s a fascinating glimpse into the multi-faceted world of a profession that we golfers depend on for our favorite recreational activity… but one most of us know very little about.

Then there’s the calendar… and this is a feature that totally transcends golf.

“Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr… and Tank; just a few of history’s most popular pin-up models.” 

That’s how the TurfNet Superintendent’s Best Friend Calendar‘s call for models is presented, and every year since 2002, 14 fabulous golf course dogs have been selected to grace the pages of this very special calendar.  The 2012 nominees are presented in their own video, and there are numerous other videos in the site’s TurfNetTV section that present all of the beguiling canines in their photogenic glory. The quality of the photos is, quite simply, amazing.  The variety of different breeds and the diversity of the courses they inhabit is remarkable, and the way the dogs pose… and project ownership of their respective domains… is enchanting.
 
So when you’ve got a bit of time to spare head over to TurfNet, and check out the awesome golf course dogs.  I guarantee they’ll lift your spirits.

Rising Commodity Prices & The Fate of a Popular Golf Course

Corn, it seems, is the culprit.

The U.S. government’s backing of corn-based ethanol has created steady demand for the classic mid-western crop and hastened a steep rise in the value of land that can produce it.  Rising global demand for grain certainly plays a role as well.

In Mason County, IL this is a welcome reversal of fortunes for families who struggled during the farm crisis, but it’s putting one of the area’s most popular golf courses at risk. 

Crane Creek Golf Course, a highly-rated 18 hole course in Kilbourne, will go one the auction block next week, part of 347 acres owned by Chicago-based St. Andrews Properties, Inc.

The property will be sold in five different tracts,  three of which contain the front nine holes, the back nine holes and the clubhouse. Those three would need to be purchased together in order to keep the golf course, and golfers across the state are hoping that happens, but there are also some major doubts. 

Ken Nofziger works for Murray Wise Associates, the firm in charge of the auction, and he speculates that the golf course may not be around for much longer, stating “Where commodity prices and land prices are today it wouldn’t be surprising if somebody stepped up and said we could make a lot of money if we convert it back to farmland.”  Additional details on the precarious case of Crane Creek appear in this pjstar.com piece,

The auction will take place on Tuesday, February 21.

Estonian Golf & Country Club

Estonian Golf & Country Club

Estonian Golf & Country Club

National tourism boom and Tallinn’s status as a European Capital of Culture drives new visitors to one of the continent’s Top 100 Golf Courses

Estonian Golf & Country Club
experienced a 10% increase in overseas visitors throughout 2011 on the back of a tourism boom in the Baltic State.

Tourism across the country was up 16% compared to 2010, with visitors drawn from across the continent by the capital Tallinn’s status as European Capital of Culture and the fact that low cost airlines increased the number of routes into the country.

Hanno Kross, Estonian Golf & Country Club Chief Executive, said:

“We are seeing more and more visitors from overseas,particularly from the UK. With Tallinn a mere 25 minutes away people are combining a visit to the stunning city with a round of golf at our first class European Tour Course.

“Our total number of rounds increased by 7% in 2011 compared to 2010 – the appetite for golf in Estonia is growing and it is testament to the quality of our facilities that people are choosing to visit.”

Estonian Golf & Country Club – featured in Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe – has two outstanding courses, both hewn from an ancient archaeological site: the championship 18-hole Sea Course – a challenging layout that winds its way through forests before opening out alongside the Gulf of Finland and the Jägala River – and the links style 9-hole Stone Course.

A single Sea Course green fee in 2012 will cost 70EUR (£62), while those wishing to stay on-site can enjoy one of the venue’s luxury Golf Villas, which can accommodate up to 12 people, with prices starting from 167EUR (£138) per person, including two rounds on the Sea Course.

Visitors to Estonia from the UK doubled over the course of 2011 according to statistics published in a report by Visit Estonia, which also showed a vast increase in the number of visitors from Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark as well as substantial growth in tourists from Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Flights to Tallinn from the UK are available through Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) from Luton, Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands, Edinburgh and a new route opening in April from Manchester.

For further details and a full list of stay and play deals visit www.egcc.ee.

Estonian Golf & Country Club

Estonian Golf & Country Club

Estonian Golf & Country Club

National tourism boom and Tallinn’s status as a European Capital of Culture drives new visitors to one of the continent’s Top 100 Golf Courses

Estonian Golf & Country Club
experienced a 10% increase in overseas visitors throughout 2011 on the back of a tourism boom in the Baltic State.

Tourism across the country was up 16% compared to 2010, with visitors drawn from across the continent by the capital Tallinn’s status as European Capital of Culture and the fact that low cost airlines increased the number of routes into the country.

Hanno Kross, Estonian Golf & Country Club Chief Executive, said:

“We are seeing more and more visitors from overseas,particularly from the UK. With Tallinn a mere 25 minutes away people are combining a visit to the stunning city with a round of golf at our first class European Tour Course.

“Our total number of rounds increased by 7% in 2011 compared to 2010 – the appetite for golf in Estonia is growing and it is testament to the quality of our facilities that people are choosing to visit.”

Estonian Golf & Country Club – featured in Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe – has two outstanding courses, both hewn from an ancient archaeological site: the championship 18-hole Sea Course – a challenging layout that winds its way through forests before opening out alongside the Gulf of Finland and the Jägala River – and the links style 9-hole Stone Course.

A single Sea Course green fee in 2012 will cost 70EUR (£62), while those wishing to stay on-site can enjoy one of the venue’s luxury Golf Villas, which can accommodate up to 12 people, with prices starting from 167EUR (£138) per person, including two rounds on the Sea Course.

Visitors to Estonia from the UK doubled over the course of 2011 according to statistics published in a report by Visit Estonia, which also showed a vast increase in the number of visitors from Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark as well as substantial growth in tourists from Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Flights to Tallinn from the UK are available through Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) from Luton, Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands, Edinburgh and a new route opening in April from Manchester.

For further details and a full list of stay and play deals visit www.egcc.ee.

The Algarve – perfect for a Winter Golf Break

After the last two long, cold winters it has been relatively mild with just the odd few days being too bitter or wet for golf in the south of England.  But it takes more than mild weather to get me playing in December & January throughout the winter months. Friends tell me golf is an all-year-round game; and for them it is, but not for me.

I love a round of golf, but as much as I enjoy the game itself, I equally enjoy the relaxation, the fresh air, exercise, walk amongst countryside as an alternative to work and stress, the quiet over the madden crowd… and the sunshine and warmth on my skin. Equally, I prefer to play in a polo shirt, sunglasses and a cap rather than jumper, Gore-Tex waterproofs and a woollen hat.

Everyone agrees the perfect round of golf includes sunshine and a warm day.  But for me it’s more than an optional ingredient.  It’s as obligatory as several birdies, spectacular drives, and nothing more than 18 two-putts.  That’s a perfect round of golf as far as I’m concerned.

So relatively speaking, yes it is mild for this time of year, and this morning the sun was bright.  But the Mediterranean is where I want to be playing golf in Janaury, February and March.

Average temperature in The Algarve for this time of year is 15°C, increasing to 16°C in February, 18°C in March and steadily rising until a peak of 28°C in July and August. And though 15°C may not be overly appealing right now to some, it comes with more of a guarantee than the English weather.

The Algarve has been one of the most popular resorts for UK golfers for some time now; and due to the law of supply and demand, there are now more golf courses in this beautiful region of Portugal than ever before.  As well as choice, this also results in some great Algarve golf deals with offers for as little as £95 per person for a three nights, two rounds and bed & breakfast break.

Plenty of golf courses with a backdrop overlooking The Mediterranean, how can anyone not prefer to experience the sun, sea and relaxation on offer.

With flights only taking approximately two-and-a-half hours from London to The Algarve, gorgeous food, great accommodation, and top golf courses such as Parque Da Floresta, Tivoli Lagos, Penina, Tivoli Marina Portimao, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Pestana Carvoeiro and Val do Lobo, some with adjoining hotels.  What are you waiting for?