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GOLF

The golf guide for the travel industry

2019

The rise of Japan By Peter Ellegard


Located in the north of Mauritius facing the turquoise Indian Ocean, Baystone Boutique Hotel & SPA hotel, offers you an exclusive stay. Our deluxe rooms and suites are spacious and luxurious. Every day, our restaurant, the B Restaurant opens its doors for an haute cuisine and our Mizu Sushi Bar for sushi and Malaysian cuisine. The heavenly Spa with its floatation tank, unique in Mauritius, welcomes you for a moment of pure relaxation. A wide range of water sport activities is offered during your stay.

baystone@baystone.mu Pointe aux Canonniers, Mauritius +230 209 1900


GOLF

BACK COVER (52)

COVER CREDIT © KEN TENZING

The golf guide for the travel industry

2019

The all-new ABTA Golf

H

ello and welcome to the new-look ABTA Golf, the first created by Waterfront Publishing. In May 2018, we relaunched ABTA Magazine with a new design, size and ethos. We improved the The rise of Japan distribution, refocused the editorial and broadened its scope – and now we’ve done the same with ABTA Golf. This magazine, written by golf experts, is aimed at travel agents, tour operators and others working in the travel industry. It’s here to help you learn more about – and sell – golfing holidays, regardless of whether you’re a keen golfer or have never stepped foot on a course. As past readers will notice, ABTA Golf is now a smaller, more condensed magazine – we want it to be your go-to guide for selling golf holidays. We’ll be updating you shortly with more very exciting developments. Here’s what you can find in this issue: By Peter Ellegard

In our cover feature on p26, Peter Ellegard writes about the land of the rising sun, which is now an emerging golf holiday destination. Next year, the Olympic Games will return to Japan’s capital, Tokyo, where golf, following its reintroduction in 2016, will feature. It’s no surprise then, that the world’s golfers are considering the island for a golfing holiday. This remarkable country, which offers so much in terms of culture, natural wonders and food, is friendly, safe and the public transport links are exemplary. While the number of courses in Japan has actually fallen over the past few decades, more and more are now open to overseas visitors – there has never been a better time to visit. Elsewhere in this issue, Sue Bryant, a cruise expert and keen golfer, considers the options when pairing the high seas and fairways, examining the offerings from the likes of Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd and AmaWaterways, which uniquely combines river cruise with golf holidays (p36). Kathryn Liston explores the rise of spa and golf holidays as resorts become more and more luxurious (p22), while we also round up all the latest news from p9. We hope you enjoy reading.

© KEN TENZING

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March 2019

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WINTER Promotion Plays only for USD$60 when prepaying 4 rounds, the golf cart with Resort Discount. Valid from November 1st to April 30th. Guest Round: Promotion - (1) FREE green fee per player included for every night stay. - Subject to availability. - Golf Cart Extra charge. - Valid for season 2019-2020 - Prices per person per round for Barcelรณ Bรกvaro Grand Resort Guests. Taxes included. For reservations: 8:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. For more information Tel. 809-686-5797 Ext. 1860/1835 Bavaro.golf@barcelo.com www.barcelobavarogolf.net

Live up to more

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Abta Golf 2019 FEATURES

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© PETER ELLEGARD

© PETER ELLEGARD

22

Spa & golf Why the two go hand-in-hand

Canada The country’s best courses

Japan The new golfing star

ABTA Golf is created by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA

bryan@waterfront-publishing.com 020 3865 9338

Waterfront Publishing 12-18 Hoxton Street London N1 6NG waterfront-publishing.com 020 3865 9360

Sales manager Emily Norris emily@waterfront-publishing.com 020 3865 4815

Director Sam Ballard sam@waterfront-publishing.com Director Anthony Pearce anthony@waterfront-publishing.com Sales manager Bryan Johnson

Head of design Billy Odell billy@ABTAmag.com Business travel editor Jenny Southan jenny@ABTAmag.com 020 3456 7899 Sub-editors Nathaniel Cramp, Emily Eastman

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With thanks to: Peter Ellegard, Kathryn Liston, Sue Bryant, Jack Pitkeathley ABTAmag.com info@ABTAmag.com Twitter: @ABTAMagazine Facebook: ABTAMagazine

ABTA 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ Chief executive Mark Tanzer Chairman Noel Josephides


In the 2019 issue

14

03 09

Editor’s letter Welcome to the new-look ABTA Golf

14

Top 5 Scenic courses Peter Ellegard picks five showstoppers from across the world

17 17

36

News All the latest news, from the Algarve to Vietnam

The best new courses The new courses that we’re most excited about

20

Interview: Peter Walton Peter Ellegard speaks to the head of IAGTO about the future of golf

22

Spa & golf It’s a dream two-ball pairing offering twice the commission-earning potential

26

Japan Peter Ellegard discovers why Japan is the most exciting golf destination in the world

30

Canada Peter Ellegard provides a guide to Canada’s most spectacular courses

36

Cruise & golf Cruise expert and golf fanatic Sue Bryant explores cruising options

40

Northern Ireland Peter Ellegard explores the country’s best golfing options

42

Selling tips Kathryn Liston provides a no-nonsense guide to selling golf holidays

45 46

Gamesroom Games to play on your break Ask the expert Steve Frewin director, A Golfing Experience


News March 2019

All the latest headlines from the world of golf SCOTLAND

Swing by for tee at Carnoustie By Kathryn Liston

PORTUGAL

Orizonte offers stay and play at Sesimbra By Kathryn Liston The golf management company Orizonte (orizontegolf.com) is offering stay-and-play spring breaks on the Lisbon coast until the end of May. Three- and four-night Sesimbra packages include B&B accommodation at the four-star Sana Sesimbra Hotel in the coastal village

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Carnoustie Golf Links (carnoustiegolflinks.co.uk) has launched a golf and dine offer to encourage players and families to spend more time in the Angus and Tayside area. The package, which costs £240 per person, includes three days of unlimited golf on the Buddon and Burnside courses at Carnoustie with two lunches and two dinners at The Rookery restaurant. Golfers can upgrade to the Championship course for £60. The golf club has been actively encouraging women and families into the game with ladies and junior golf programmes, free club hire and public use of the indoor practice facilities. The prestigious golf club has hosted The Open Championship and The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. ABTAmag.com

of Sesimbra and golf at Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club and Aroeira, both regularly ranked among Europe’s top 100 golfing venues. Prices start from €232 per person (£205 approximately) for three nights including a round of golf at each course, and €334 (£295 approximately) for four nights, including a third round of golf at Aroeira and lunch.

March 2019

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ABTA Golf

News

PORTUGAL

By Kathryn Liston

NEW DESTINATIONS

Spain and Portugal losing out to ‘new kids on the block’ By Kathryn Liston Golf’s traditional short-haul markets are in danger of losing business to the “new kids on the block” if they don’t reconsider their green-fee prices, according to Tony Judge, co-founder of Clubs to Hire. Judge’s company has seen a boom in bookings from Belek (up 115 per cent), Marrakech (up 17 per cent), Alicante (up 18 per cent) and Cyprus. “A recent domestic report in Portugal highlighted that, for the first time since records began, the number of Portuguese visitors to the Algarve outnumbered British travellers in 2018,” explained Judge. “While 18 per cent of respondents cited the possible impact of Brexit as a concern, I feel the tendency to over-inflate green-fee prices in areas that have previously been a magnet for British and Irish visitors has seen significant chunks of business move elsewhere.” He estimated that a week in a five-star resort including four rounds

10 March 2019

of golf in March or April would cost about €859 (£747) on an all-inclusive basis in Belek, Turkey, compared to €999 (£864) in Spain and €970 (£843) in the Algarve, excluding food and drink. Judge said: “As people increasingly look for more bang for their buck, places like Turkey and Greece will continue to reap the benefit.” Prestigious Antalya Golf Club (agc. com.tr) is one of them, recording a 95 per cent increase in the number of rounds sold to 63,000 last year. Bookings for 2019 are 15 per cent up on this time last year and green fees are 50 per cent sold. The resort features two 18-hole golf courses – the PGA Sultan and The Pasha – and two five-star hotels the Kempinski Hotel The Dome and the Sirene Belek Hotel. However, last year Quinta do Lago (quintadolago.com) in the Algarve recorded a 9 per cent increase (up 8,500) in rounds played at its three 18-hole championship courses – the North, South and Laranjal.

Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort (praia-del-rey.com) in Obidos, north of Lisbon, is the first venue in Portugal to introduce Tagmarshal golf management software to help speed up play. The live-streaming tracking equipment will be carried on bags, trolleys and buggies by all golfers playing the 18-hole championship Praia D’El Rey and West Cliffs Golf Links courses. The software will help the golf-course management team to monitor the pace of play and identify potential slow-play bottlenecks. Francisco Cadete, director of golf, said: “Slow play has been a problem in golf for a long time but we’re confident that by keeping a close eye on the speed and flow of traffic around our courses, we can make this a thing of the past.”

MOROCCO

New 19th at Marrakech Royal Golf Marrakech, the city’s oldest golf course, has built a new clubhouse with an Indian Ocean design. Built in the 1920s, the course was a favourite of both Winston Churchill and His Late Majesty King Hassan.

ABTAmag.com


ASIA

Holidays on the up

Vietnam in midst of golf boom By Kathryn Liston Golf-club carrying goat caddies are the quirkiest offering of the new golf courses to open in the past year. Goats were trained because the McVeigh’s Gauntlet golf course at Silvies Valley Ranch, eastern Oregon, proved too hilly for buggies. Vietnam, however, has seen the fastest growth in course construction. A nine-hole floodlit course by Nicklaus Design has opened at the Da Nang Golf

By Kathryn Liston

Resort’s Danang Golf Club. South of Hoi An, a Robert Trent Jones Jr course is due to open this year at Hosanna Shores Golf Club. Close to Hanoi, the 19-hole Jack Nicklaus II signature Kings Course has opened at the BRG Kings Island Resort, taking the resort to 55 holes on three courses. Georgia gained its first 18hole course last summer, the Tbilisi Hills Golf Resort at the foot of the Caucasus mountains.

SPAIN

Afternoon tee times on offer at La Manga By Kathryn Liston Holidaymakers at Spain’s popular La Manga Club (lamangaclub.com) can now indulge in a traditional afternoon tea in the Piano Bar after enjoying a round of golf on the resort’s three 18-hole courses. The sports resort in

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Murcia, which is popular with families and golfers, features 15 bars and restaurants, a 28-court tennis centre, eight FIFA-sized football pitches and a wellness centre, as well as luxury villas, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and the five-star Hotel Principe Felipe.

Sales of golf holidays are continuing to rise although the pace of growth is slower than last year, according to figures from IAGTO, the golf tourism industry’s global trade association. Golf tour operator sales in the third quarter of 2018 were up 5 per cent year-on-year, according to the Global Golf Tourism Survey. IAGTO predicted rates would slow to 5-7 per cent from 2018-20 after consistently high annual growth of 8-9 per cent from 2011-17. However, despite slowing growth, forward projections by golf tour operators have been bullish, with business on their books up 7.8 per cent yearon-year at October 1, 2018 compared to 5.4 per cent at July 1, said the report. Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia continued to enjoy the strongest year-on-year growth in golf visitor arrivals and forward bookings. Scotland and Ireland have also performed strongly over the past couple of years, with forward bookings up 6.8 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively. Visitor arrivals to winter-sun Mediterranean destinations were down 1.2 per cent in the third quarter; Spain and Portugal were on a level footing. The USA and Asia continued to perform well, up 7.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively year on year.

March 2019 11


ABTA Golf

News

SCOTLAND

Women welcome

PORTO

Club hiring firm tees off in Portuguese city

By Kathryn Liston VisitScotland has launched a female-focused marketing campaign to encourage more women to travel to Scotland to play golf. A 60-second video, accompanied by the HerScotland hashtag, is featured on the tourist organisation’s YouTube channel. Other marketing activity will focus on key events in the golfing calendar such as the 2019 Solheim Cup, which is being held at Gleneagles from September 9-15. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend. VisitScotland said it wanted to showcase its “stunning, accessible and friendly” courses as well as other activities on offer. Key markets include the UK, Germany and North America. Just 12 per cent of Scotland’s golf visitors are women. For an example of women-focused itineraries visit visitscotland.com/womensgolf.

By Kathryn Liston Golfers heading to Porto will no longer have to drag their clubs and bags through the airport. Clubs to Hire (clubstohire.com) is opening its 29th golf-club rental outlet in the city – and bookings are commissionable to travel agents. Players can book the latest TaylorMade M6, Callaway Rogue and Mizuno products, including left- and right-handed clubs, from

€35 (£30 approx) a week offering a potential saving of up to €193 (£168), the company said. Although the Porto region is increasing in popularity as a golf break destination, co-founder Tony Judge says it has been “under appreciated”. Top courses in the region include the five-star Virago Palace, the links at Estela and Oporto, Portugal’s oldest. Last year, Clubs to Hire received more than 80,000 bookings.

VILAMOURA

Old Course is Portugal’s best The Dom Pedro Old Course (dompedrogolf.com) at Vilamoura in the Algarve has been named Best Course in Portugal in Today’s Golfer Travel Awards 2019. The Dom Pedro Vilamoura was runner-up in the Best Hotel in Portugal category. Dom Pedro Golf operates five championship courses.

12 March 2019

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In September 2018, Waterfront, the publisher of ABTA Magazine and Cruise Adviser, launched a new creative agency. The Studio by Waterfront specialises in design solutions across print, web and social media. The Studio offers a tailored approach for all clients, with copywriting, proofreading and design elements available, in the following areas:

PRINT Catalogues, brochures, leaflets, exhibition stand designs and magazines

DIGITAL Website design, social media campaigns, digital and native advertising

ADVERTISING BRANDING Logos, brand identity, Billboards, newspaper and magazine creative advertising promotional videos, proofreading and copy writing and advertorials

For more information, email info@waterfront-publishing.com


ABTA Golf

The Top Five

The top five: scenic courses

Some golf courses have that wow factor where the setting might just stop golfers concentrating on their game. Peter Ellegard picks some of the world’s most scenic courses

PEBBLE BEACH GOLF LINKS, MONTEREY PENINSULA, CALIFORNIA, USA Host course for its sixth US Open in 2019, Pebble Beach starts quietly inland before setting the pulse racing with its famous stretch of holes along the Pacific. Some are perched on clifftops, while others – notably its par-three 7th – swoop down to greens on the rocky shore. pebblebeach.com

© PETER ELLEGARD

14 March 2019

© PETER ELLEGARD

GREYWOLF GOLF COURSE, PANORAMA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA Mountain golf at its most magnificent, Greywolf is laid out under towering summits in the Kootenay Rockies in winter ski resort Panorama. The par-three 6th hole, aptly named Cliffhanger, requires a tee shot over a yawning chasm framed by pine-clad peaks. greywolfgolf.com

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OLD HEAD GOLF LINKS, KINSALE, IRELAND Perhaps the most exhilarating golf course of all, this stunner is laid out atop 300-foot-high cliffs in the shadow of the Old Head of Kinsale lighthouse on Ireland’s South Coast. What’s more, you can also stay onsite in 15 luxury suites. oldhead.com

ILE AUX CERFS GOLF CLUB, TROU D’EAU DOUCE, MAURITIUS Bernhard Langer’s Ile aux Cerfs course is spectacular, from the air and to play. It takes up most of an island reached by ferry from Shangri-La’s luxury Le Touessrok resort. This beauty can be a beast thanks to mangrove swamps, water hazards galore, jungle, a constant breeze and narrow fairways, edged by palm trees and beaches on some holes (also pictured right). ileauxcerfsgolfclub.com

KAURI CLIFFS, MATAURI BAY/ CAPE KIDNAPPERS, HAWKE’S BAY, NEW ZEALAND These glorious North Island courses, both owned by Robertson Lodges, each merit a place. Spanning rugged Bay of Islands crags, Kauri Cliffs’ holes look out to Matauri Bay where Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is laid to rest. Cape Kidnappers arguably shades it for its improbable setting with holes precariously laid out along a series of finger-like seacliffs. robertsonlodges.com

ABTAmag.com

March 2019 15


ABTA Golf

The Top Five

16 March 2019

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March 2019 17


ABTA Golf

New courses

The best new courses

Quality golf courses continue to debut around the world writes Peter Ellegard MICHLIFEN RESORT & GOLF Morocco’s first Jack Nicklaus Signature design, the IMG-managed Michlifen Golf & Country Club (michlifen.com) forms part of the luxury 71-room Michlifen Resort & Golf. Set high in the forested Middle Atlas Mountains, its altitude and climate make the main playing season from spring to autumn, unlike other Moroccan courses.

REGNUM GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB Turkish resort Bodrum’s first golf course, the Tim Lobb-designed Regnum Golf & Country Club (regnumgolfcountry.com.tr) threads through hills, valleys and pine trees, with an olive grove on the course.

KN GOLF LINKS Golf continues to grow apace in Vietnam. Latest openings include the Greg Norman-designed KN Golf Links (kngolflinks.com) in burgeoning south-eastern beach resort Cam Ranh. Vietnam’s main golf hub, Danang, gains a Robert Trent Jones Jr links design at Hoiana Shores Golf Club (hoianashores. com) in mid-2019 near Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An (vinpearl. com/resort-da-nang) with its new IMG-designed course, both by ancient town Hoi An.

18 March 2019

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QATAR’S EDUCATION CITY GOLF CLUB Qatar’s Education City Golf Club (ecgolf.com) features an 18-hole desert and wadi golf course and two short courses, all by Jose Maria Olazabal.

SAND VALLEY GOLF VALLEY Among notable US debutants, Mammoth Dunes by Scotland’s David McLay Kidd opened with huge sand blowouts along with 17-hole short course The Sandbox by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw at Wisconsin’s Sand Valley Golf Valley (sandvalley. com), augmenting Coore and Crenshaw’s original 18-hole course Sand Valley. OZARKS NATIONAL Luxury Branson, Missouri, resort Big Cedar Lodge (bigcedar.com) has its own new Coore/Crenshaw creation, Ozarks National, and opens Payne’s Valley, a tribute to late Ozark champion Payne Stewart designed by Tiger Woods, in autumn.

GAUNTLET Perhaps the quirkiest debutant is McVeigh’s Gauntlet, a hilly sevenhole addition at eastern Oregon resort Silvies Vally Ranch (silvies. us), where specially trained goat caddies wear packs to carry golfers’ clubs – and six packs of beer.

ABTAmag.com

March 2019 19


ABTA Golf

Interview

‘It’s forever evolving’

Peter Walton, chief executive of IAGTO, on why golf travel is an experience that will never become generic 20 March 2019

ABTAmag.com


ABTAmag.com

delivering a truly wonderful experience with no less than five inspiring viewpoints from around a beautifully choreographed design.” The October opening of the Nick Faldo-designed golf course at Vattanac Golf Club in Phnom Penh will also create Cambodia’s second three-course cluster, the other being in Siem Reap, where the 2019 Asia Golf Tourism Convention takes place this spring. Walton also highlights 2019 IGTM host Marrakech, in Morocco, as another growing golf destination, offering 10 courses, “many of which will be new to tour operators, travel agents and golf travellers alike”. “For UK travel agents, look out for great new deals in established golf destinations where exchange rates drive value-driven golfers and shed your light on destinations that, while perhaps less trodden, have been there for the taking, such as Oregon and Texas in the USA,” Walton suggests. He adds: “Closer to home, Spain and Portugal offer just about every combination with golf that your golf clientele is looking for, while new summer golf destinations such as Slovenia, Austria and Italy are working really hard to attract your business.” France has been revitalised by the Ryder Cup, with new website playgolfinfrance.com launched as a guide to its golf. “Golf destinations are forever evolving, which makes golf travel an experience that will never become generic or repetitive,” observes Walton, “so our advice to all ABTA travel agents is to just ask what their golf travelling clients are looking for and IAGTO tour operators will find something not only new, but perfectly tailored for them.”

March 2019 21

© PETER ELLEGARD

G

olf tourism will continue to grow worldwide, but at a slower pace than in recent years. However, that is not because of a slackening in demand. In fact, says Peter Walton, chief executive of global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO, the opposite is true. “On the back of seven years of growth in golf tour operator sales averaging double the rate of general leisure tourism, the next three years will see this squeezed, year-on-year, to between 5 and 7 per cent,” says Walton. “The reason is not a lack of appetite for golf travel but a lack of supply in the world’s most popular golf destinations.” Around a quarter of the world’s 60 million golfers plan on taking a golf vacation in 2019, according to IAGTO. At the recent International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he told delegates a survey of IAGTO’s outbound tour operator members, of which there are more than 700 in 64 countries, showed annual golf travel sales were worth $2.1 billion annually and the one-third of those that had responded so far carried 1.8 million holidaying golfers. While tour operator sales surged by between 7.5 and 11.1 per cent between 2012 and 2017, forward projections show growth slowing because of the pressure on supply. “Everything, though, is regional,” says Walton, “with Danang in Vietnam having addressed this head on by building two more courses – Vinpearl and Hoiana Shores – to increase their capacity by 50 per cent.” Quality is the “litmus test” rather than just adding more golf products, he continues, “which is why it is great to see the new Chee Chan golf course in Pattaya


ABTA Golf

Golf and spa

Time to relax Golf and spa – it’s a dream two-ball pairing offering twice the commissionearning potential, says Kathryn Liston

L

uxury golf resorts and hotels can be found all over the world – and their lavish spas are just the tonic for fairway-weary legs and tired bagcarrying shoulders. But it’s not only golfers who will enjoy a resort with a great spa. There are lots of groups, friends, families and couples with non-playing partners – plus casual golfers who don’t want to spend every waking hour pounding the fairways. The Algarve and southern Spain, UK golfer hotspots, are top of the leaderboard when it comes to golf resorts and hotels offering excellent spas. Perennial favourites include Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura in the Algarve. In Spain La Manga, near Murcia, and La Cala Resort, Mijas, are firm favourites, as is luxury Abama in Tenerife offering a tantalising combo of Michelin-star dining and sumptuous spa.

22 March 2019

Keen competition among tour operators and hoteliers means special offers and packages so keep an eye out for golf and spa deals, too. Longevity Cegonha Country Club at Vilamoura has introduced three- and five-night Golf & Spa packages which include accommodation, two or three 18-hole rounds on top-class courses nearby and four or eight spa treatments depending on the package. Prices start from £1,508pp for three nights or £2,541 for five nights. Guests who don’t play golf can opt for a €75 spa voucher at the Magnolia Hotel, Quinta do Lago. A three-night Stay and Play package which includes B&B accommodation, two rounds of golf or spa voucher costs from £211pp a night. Five nights with three rounds costs from £201pn and seven nights with five rounds from £196pn.

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FIND OUT MORE

Golf Cruising

abamahotelresort.com serenity-spa.com pinecliffs.com shangri-la.com/male/villingiliresort/offerdetail/rooms-suites/stay-play/ palazzoversace.ae/en/default.html casadecampo.com michlifen.com

Luxury Pine Cliffs has introduced a 9 & Shine package (€110) which includes equipment hire, massage or Ila express facial and access to the Serenity Spa’s Thermal Oasis of therapy pools, salt, ice and steam experiences. Morocco’s warm climate and fine courses have been attracting more UK golfers over the last two years. The five-star Michlifen Resort & Golf, which opened last year in the mountains, an hour from Fez, features the first Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Morocco and a spa offering balneotherapy (bathing therapy) and two hammams. France is another favourite. Steven Frewin, director of A Golfing Experience, recommends Terre Blanche in Pays de Fayence close to the Cote d’Azure. Voted Best Golf Course in France 2017, it offers luxury suites and villas and a luxury spa. Further afield, a Stay, Cruise and Golf package from the luxury Palazzo Versace, Dubai, includes a round of golf at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, complimentary club and shoe hire, and a massage or body treatment at the luxury hotel’s spa. A 90-minute spa treatment, daily shoe and club cleaning and free laundry and pressing of golf kit is included in a five-night golf package

ABTAmag.com

ABTA Golf

at Santiburi Koh Samui, Thailand. The B&B package costs from £2,216 per room and includes three rounds of golf at the championship Santiburi Samui Country Club. Guests staying at the ShangriLa Villingili Resort & Spa in the Maldives on its Stay and Play deal can have a round at the island’s only golf course with resident professional and receive a massage afterwards. Caribbean islands pack a rum punch when it comes to golf and spas, particularly Jamaica, The Bahamas, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic. Casa De Campo Resort and Villas in the Dominican Republic – sold by operators such as Hayes and Jarvis, BA Holidays and Virgin Holidays – has spent more than US$12million on upgrading the resort and adding a golf training centre. Facilities include the Teeth of the Dog course, the Caribbean’s highest rated, night golf with LED balls and a spa using ayurvedic treatments and local organic ingredients. Closer to home, the UK has many golf hotels with excellent spas including Foxhills in Surrey, Scotland’s St Andrew’s Old Course Hotel, Gleneagles and Turnberry, and Celtic Manor, near Newport in south Wales which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.

March 2019 23


Located along the Central Florida coast, Daytona Beach has long been a sleeping giant on the golf travel scene. The area is home to the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) headquarters, providing a prominent relationship with one of the game’s most recognizable brands, and to nearly 30 courses that provide a broad range of experiences. Golf is only half the fun, and Daytona Beach is in a class of its own off the course. From Daytona International Speedway to Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and enough nightlife to power a month-long trip, here’s a three-day itinerary to guide you through golf and experiences.

Day 1: The Riviera

The perfect place to begin a Daytona Beach golf trip is Riviera Country Club, one of the area’s most storied and friendly courses. The Riv, as locals fondly call the layout, is home to America’s longest running mini-tour event, and the par 71 plays just 6,250 yards from the tips, providing an opportunity for golfers to post a good score on opening day. Off the course: Head to Daytona International Speedway for a midafternoon tour of the World Center of Racing. The tour takes people onto the track and Victory Lane before the checkered flag waves in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, which chronicles the history of all forms of motorsports in America. After concluding the Speedway tour, take a stroll or, better yet, a drive on the beach before heading to Rock Bottom Brewery, a leading member

of the Daytona Beach Ale Trail, for dinner. The three-story restaurant with rooftop bar offers expansive views of the Speedway and overlooks the fountains at ONE DAYTONA.

Day 2: LPGA International

It’s time to head to Daytona Beach’s signature golf facility, LPGA International, for 36 holes at two of Florida’s premier public layouts. Start with The Hills Course, which challenges with fairways lined by beautiful magnolia trees and native pines, providing an experience that occasionally stirs echoes of Pinehurst. The Hills Course is a 4.5-star design worthy of building a golf trip around. The layout stretches to 6,954 yards, but plays a much more manageable 6,255 yards from the white tees, which are the most commonly utilized. Next up is Rees Jones’ acclaimed layout. A links style design, the Jones Course has five sets of tees that stretch from 5,131 yards to 7,088 yards, providing the appropriate level of challenge for players of all skill levels. Strategic mounding, expansive bunkers, natural marsh areas and lakes provide unforgettable visuals and have helped make the course one of Florida’s most popular. Off the course: After 36 holes of championship golf, your group should reward itself with a relaxing, upscale evening at one of the area’s best Italian restaurants - The Cellar. The award-winning restaurant, which makes everything from scratch, is located in historic down-

town Daytona Beach of the former seasonal home of President Warren G. Harding.

Day 3: Back to Golf’s Roots

A round at one of Daytona Beach’s two Donald Ross courses provides golfers a reminder of the area’s deep historical ties to the game. Ross, widely regarded as America’s most important golf course architect, designed Pinehurst No. 2, Oakland Hills, East Lake Golf Club and Seminole Golf Club, among many other high profile layouts, and he left his mark in Daytona Beach. The South Course at Daytona Beach Golf Club and New Smyrna Golf Club are both Ross designs and should be near the top of your must-play list. Off the course: After concluding your final round at one of the area’s historic layouts, enjoy lunch at Racing’s North Turn, which sits on the exact location where racing history began in Daytona Beach. You will enjoy a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean and can imagine what it was like when cars began speeding around the property in the late 1930s. After enjoying lunch, make the trip to Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. It will require 203 steps to scale Florida’s tallest lighthouse but the view from the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse makes the effort worthwhile. It’s the perfect cap to a trip. For more information on courses, visit to Daytona Beach.Golf.


Escape to

Plan your getaway at DaytonaBeach.Golf

Explore a destination where adventures are around every corner. Stroll along 23 miles of white-sand beaches, experience the adrenaline of a race, take a stroll through history, hit your zone on the greens or savor the local flavor. Within an hours drive from Orlando, Daytona Beach is the perfect Florida getaway.


ABTA Golf

Japan

26 March 2019

ABTAmag.com


ELLEGARD Japan © PETER ABTA Golf

A new star Peter Ellegard heads east to discover why Japan is the most exciting golf destination in the world

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March 2019 27


ABTA Golf

Japan

T

he land of the rising sun is now an emerging golf holiday destination. Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where golf will again feature after its reintroduction at Rio in 2016, Japan is laying out the welcome mat for international golfers. Where once golf was mainly the preserve of exclusive golf clubs, falling memberships and resulting closures – course numbers have dropped from almost 2,500 in 2000 to something over 2,200 today – have prompted many clubs to open their fairways to overseas visitors. Luxury golf resorts also offer stay and play opportunities. The push for attracting international golfers is being led by the Mie Prefecture, which hosted the inaugural Japan Golf Tourism Convention last October, organised by global golf tourism industry association IAGTO. Golf courses and hotels from 18 of Japan’s 47 prefectures attended

28 March 2019

the event, meeting golf tour operators from around the world, including the UK. The operators also experienced golf facilities and sights on pre and post fam trips to other parts of Japan. There is golf in every prefecture. Many courses are close to cities, making travel to and between them easy. Golfing clients can even take Japan’s famed Shikansen bullet trains as part of an itinerary. However, not all golf clubs have signs in English or English-speaking staff, so IAGTO has helpfully identified courses which are geared up for international visitors as “export ready”. About half of Japan’s courses offer caddies, usually one per fourball group and everyone riding in a single buggy. Golf clubs often have paths with magnetic strips below and caddies can remotely control buggies, sending them on to the next tee when the group is putting. At most courses golfers have morning and afternoon tee times

for each nine holes, with an hour’s mandatory lunch break in between. Many golf clubs also have hot spring baths, or onsens, where golfers must follow strict protocols such as showering before entering and not letting their towels touch the water. Tattoos are also not allowed. These are the main golfing areas for overseas golfers. OKINAWA The sub-tropical climate allows year-round golf in Japan’s southernmost prefecture, which comprises more than 150 islands. Among golf resorts are the Kanucha Resort (kanucha. jp), with a highly rated course, and PGM Golf Resort Okinawa (pacificgolf.co.jp/okinawa), overlooking the East China Sea. Ocean views are also on offer from the upland fairways of Shurei Country Club (shurei-cc. com) and Emerald Coast Golf Links (tokyugolf.com/emerald), situated right on the sea.

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© PETER ELLEGARD

MIE A number of the prefecture’s 69 courses are in the Ise-Shima resort region that includes tourist attractions including the IseShima National Park, the pearl fishing women divers of Toba and Mikimoto Pearl Island, and the historic Ise Shrine. Golf courses include: Tsu Country Club (tsu.co.jp) codesigned by Japanese golfing hero Jumbo Ozaki, which has just added on-site accommodation; Nemu Golf Club (nemuresort.com), part of a resort with fairways and greens set spectacularly above inlets of Ago Bay; and the Ohtori Course at Fuji OGM Excellent Club Ise, above right (orix-golf.jp), one of two at the resort. SHIGA The original home of Japan’s ninja warriors – you can dress up as a ninja and try throwing ninja stars at the Koka Ninja Village – also encompasses the largest lake in

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© KEN TENZING

Japan, Lake Biwa. Golf facilities close to prefecture capital Otsu, on the southern shore of the lake and just 20 minutes from the ancient city of Kyoto, include the undulating Seta Golf Course (princehotels.co.jp/golf/seta) with three courses high above the lake and an associated 38-floor lakeside hotel, and Koka Country Club (koga-cc.jp) laid out on forested mountain slopes. SHIZUOKA Home to Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, the prefecture is Japan’s largest producer of green tea and wasabi, and golfing clients can relax after a round at natural onsen hot springs, including in some traditional ryokan hotels. Fuji’s conical peak forms the backdrop to a number of nearby golf courses, among them Fuji County Club, above centre (fujicountryclub. com), in Gotemba. The Yamaha Resort Katsuragi Kitanomaru (yamaharesort.co.jp/katsuragi-

kitanomaru) offers guests two courses at nearby Katsuragi Golf Club. The challenging Fuji Course, one of two at the Kawana Resort, above left (princehotels. com/en/golf/kawana) on the Izu Peninsula, is laid out on coastal cliffs and ranks among the world’s top 100 courses. HOKKAIDO Golf in Japan’s most northerly prefecture, known for its glorious natural scenery, is seasonal, from April to October. Hokkaido Brooks Country Club (brooks-c.com) was named Japan’s best golf course at the 2017 World Golf Awards. Of courses in Japan’s other regions, the Miyazaki prefecture’s Phoenix Seagaia Resort (seagaia. co.jp) has a Sheraton hotel and two golf courses, one by golf legend Tom Watson and the Phoenix Country Club course, ranked among Japan’s top three and host to the Japan Golf Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix Tournament.

March 2019 29


ABTA Golf

Canada

Canada drive 30 March 2019

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© PETER ELLEGARD

From British Columbia to Nova Scotia, Peter Ellegard provides a guide to Canada’s most spectacular courses

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March 2019 31


ABTA Golf

Canada

C

anada has the second highest number of golf facilities in the world, according to a 2017 report by Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada and the National Golf Foundation. The Golf Facilities in Canada report states that Canada is home to 2,298 public and private golf facilities, ranking it second only to the US (15,014) and ahead of Japan (2,290), England (1,991) and Australia (1,591). Of those, nearly 90 per cent are open to the public, with 2,068 daily fee or public facilities. Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia account for over three-quarters of all Canada’s golf facilities. These are some top-rated courses clients can play in Canada. WESTERN CANADA British Columbia: The province was named North America Golf Destination of the Year for 2007 in the golf industry’s prestigious IAGTO Awards. Golf can be played year-round on courses around Vancouver and Vancouver

32 March 2019

Island’s Victoria thanks to their mild climate. The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa (bearmountain.ca/resort/westin) has two courses by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his son, Steve, close to Victoria. Bald eagles soar overhead at Olympic View Golf Club (olympicviewgolf.com), named for its vistas of Washington State’s Olympic Mountains. The 17th green has a 40-foot waterfall behind it. Of ski and summer resort Whistler’s quartet of top-notch courses, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club (fairmont. com/whistler/golf) is the only one attached to a hotel. Set on mountain slopes, the Robert Trent Jones Jr layout is an Audubon-certified course. Also in Whistler is Nicklaus North Golf Club (nicklausnorth.com), a Signature Jack Nicklaus design, by Green Lake and Arnold Palmer’s Whistler Golf Club, next to Whistler village, with Big Sky Golf Club (bigskygolf.ca) nearby in Pemberton. Halfway to Vancouver, scenic Furry Creek Golf & Country

Club (furrycreekgolf.com) has holes stacked on a mountainside overlooking Howe Sound and its 14th green juts into the water. Comedy film Happy Gilmore was filmed there. Top Vancouver area courses include Westwood Plateau (westwoodplateaugolf.com). Among Central BC corkers are the Okanagan Valley’s Predator Ridge Resort (predatorridge. com/resort), with two 18-hole courses just outside Vernon, and the lakeside Tobiano Golf Course (tobianogolf.com), near Kamloops. Greywolf Golf Course (greywolfgolf.com), in mountain resort Panorama, is set amid the spectacular backdrop of the Kootenay Rockies. Alberta: The Rockies provide majestic settings for another two acclaimed Fairmont golf resorts. The courses at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs, above centre (banffmountaingolf. com) and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (jaspermountaingolf. com), above right were both designed by renowned architect

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© FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS

© FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS

Stanley Thompson in the 1920s in breathtaking mountain scenery. The two Robert Trent Jones Sr layouts at Kananaskis Country Golf Course (kananaskisgolf.com) in mountain resort Kananaskis reopened in 2018 after restoration following devastating floods in 2013.

operated Whirlpool Golf Course, above left (niagaraparksgolf.com), is perched on Niagara River Gorge rim. Also run by Niagara Parks, Legends on the Niagara’s 45 holes include Carrick’s Battlefield Golf Course, named for a War of 1812 battle that took place on the site.

ONTARIO AND QUEBEC Ontario: Visiting golfers can play prestigious venues including Oakville’s Glen Abbey Golf Club (glenabbey.clublink.ca) near Toronto, the first solo design by Jack Nicklaus and 30-time host of the PGA Tour’s Canadian Open. It houses the Canadian Golf Museum and Hall of Fame. Top-ranked Doug Carrick publicplay designs include Eagles Nest Golf Club (eaglesnestgolf. com), north of Toronto, Muskoka region golf clubs Muskoka Bay (muskokabayclub.com), Bigwin Island (bigwinisland.com) and Taboo (taboomuskoka.com), and Georgian Bay’s Cobble Beach Golf Links (cobblebeach.com). Stanley Thompson’s final design, the Niagara Parks-

Quebec: Laurentians resort Mont Tremblant (tremblant.ca/ things-to-do/golfing) operates two mountain courses, Le Diable and Le Geant, while guests staying in selected hotels can play acclaimed club Le Maitre de Mont Tremblant (lemaitre.clublink.ca). In Quebec’s Charlevoix region, the Fairmont Le Manoir Richeleu (fairmont.com/ richelieu-charlevoix/golf) resort has 27 holes of golf, many of which have commanding views over the St Lawrence River.

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ATLANTIC CANADA Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Island boasts three of Canada’s very best courses. Cabot Links (cabotlinks. com) leapt to the top of rankings after opening in a former coastal mining town in 2011, but was

eclipsed by sister course Cabot Cliffs, draped over adjacent seacliffs, on its debut in 2015. Guests can stay on-site in luxury villas. Also on Cape Breton Island is Stanley Thompson’s world-class Cape Breton Highlands Links (kelticlodge.ca/golf), laid out within a national park at Ingonish Beach with accommodation in stately resort Keltic Lodge. Prince Edward Island: Named Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year in the 2011 IAGTO Awards, Prince Edward offers more than two dozen golf courses. Pick of the bunch is The Links at Crowbush cove (peisfinestgolf. com/crowbush), spanning dunes on the island’s north shore alongside the Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort. Newfoundland: Yet another Doug Carrick creation, the River Course at Humber Valley Resort (humbervalley.com/golf) offers stirring views over the Humber River, Deer Lake and the forested valley.

March 2019 33


The ABTA Country Guides will be published in March 2019 in five editions: ABTA Member Services; UK & Europe; Middle East & Africa; & Australasia; The The ABTA Country Guides willAsia be published in March Americas Theeditions: Caribbean. vital information 2019 in & five ABTAContaining Member Services; UK & about destinations across the globe, such as geography, Europe; Middle East & Africa; Asia & Australasia; The currency, tourist office contact information, Americas & weather, The Caribbean. Containing vital information foreign office adviceacross and more, the guides aregeography, an essential about destinations the globe, such as tooltourist for travel agents. currency, weather, office contact information, foreign office advice and more, the guides are an essential tool for travel agents.

RALASIA ASIA & AUST

– Volume 4: Guide 2018

RALASIA ASIA & AUST

untry Country By Co

RALASIA ASIA & AUST

– Volume 4: Guide 2018

RALASIA ASIA & AUST

untry Country By Co

ABTA COUNTRY BY COUNTRY ABTA COUNTRY BY COUNTRY

Distributed to travel agencies across the country, the guides are intended to betokept onagencies shelves, Distributed travel sharedthe among staff,the and referred across country, guides are to intended regularly,tohelping agents learn be kept on shelves, more about destinations and sell shared among staff, and referred more holidays. The comprehensive to regularly, helping agents learn guides are unique in publishing more about destinations andand sell available only in print. The guides more holidays. The comprehensive will be perfect bound, B5 in size and guides are unique in publishing and printed on high-quality matt paper. available only in print. The guides will be perfect bound, B5 in size and printed on high-quality matt paper.

2018 2018

Email info@ABTAmag.com for more information Email info@ABTAmag.com for more information


ABTAMAG.COM ABTAmag.com is the new home of ABTA Magazine. The website hosts digital versions of the bi-monthly magazine, as well as additional news, comment, analysis and competitions. ABTAmag.com will also host ABTA Golf, the ABTA Magazine Guides and the ABTA Handbooks.

New beginnings

Travel industry insights / May 2018

After a difficult few years, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt are back on the map for British travellers. Katherine Lawrey welcomes the return of old favourites

King of the north How Belfast became one of the world’s most exciting cities

ABTA Magazine

Generation game

Why business travel has been reshaped around the needs of millennials

Royal Caribbean

Waterslides, robotic barmen and the world’s largest cruise ships

ABTA Magazine A BTA

NSIBLE

L

RESPO

T R AV E

Turning the plastic tide

Sustainability guru Dr Catherine Wilson explains how the industry can cut plastic waste

O

n July 11, 1907, the chemist Leo Baekeland wrote in his diary: “unless I am very much mistaken, this invention will prove important in the future”. If anything, Baekeland, a pioneer of plastic, was underplaying his hand. Soon, plastic was king and today an estimated 300 million tons are produced each year – just 10 per cent of which is recycled. Production is expected to double in the next 20 years, but about 50 per cent of all plastics, from miniature hotel toiletries to disposable coffee cups, are used just once, sometimes only for a few seconds, and then thrown away without a second thought. The main benefit of plastic – its durability – has become its greatest environmental threat: a plastic bottle takes a whopping 450 years to decay. The result is an estimated eight million tons of plastic waste entering the ocean every year. Over time, the plastic degrades and fragments into microparticles, which absorb toxic chemicals in ever greater

Clare Jenkinson concentrations as they travel up the food chain, ending up on our dinner plates. Roughly 75 per cent of litter in the sea is plastic and this is having a direct impact on wildlife – from turtles suffocating on plastic bags and litter islands affecting ecosystems, to fish consuming fatal amounts of microparticles. With as much as 80 per cent of tourism connected to coastal areas, the impact of ocean plastic is a huge concern. Plastic waste is a visual eyesore, reducing beach use, wildlife sightings and well-being. The logical conclusion is fewer visitors, revenue and jobs. Sadly, travel and tourism is a major contributor to the problem. Between 2011-2013, researchers monitoring litter on 23 beaches across Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia, found that an estimated 33 per cent of the waste was generated by leisure or tourism. More than half of this rubbish was plastic. It’s clear that plastic has become a global problem; no part of the world has been left untouched.

We spoke to ABTA’s senior destinations and sustainability manager, about the Better Places programme – and how businesses are using it to tackle plastics What is the Better Places programme?

It is a series of tools and guidance designed to help ABTA Members implement a sustainability approach or improve on their current sustainability performance.

What’s the thinking behind it?

ABTA believes sustainable tourism is essential for the industry’s long-term viability and profitability – and Better Places addresses the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism. We’ve focused on the actions we know have a material impact and made the process simple.

How does this relate to plastics?

The programme helps Members adopt the sustainability policy that works for them and – as we know plastics is a hugely important topic for the industry – we can offer guidance and support on how businesses can address this issue in their wider policy.

What’s been your best achievement?

Thousands of employees in the travel sector have now been trained on child protection and accessible tourism. Also, in the past 18 months we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of Members engaging with the programme as sustainability rises up the agenda.

How can Members get involved?

Contact sustainable tourism@abta. co.uk or visit Better Places on the Member Zone for more information.

56 May 2018

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May 2018 57

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ABTA Golf

Cruise and golf

36 March 2019

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Tees and high seas Golf and cruise can be a match made in heaven. It’s no surprise cruise lines are upping their offering, writes Sue Bryant

I

n theory, golf and cruise should go hand-in-hand; the age group and demographic is perfect, and cruises provide what golfers are looking for – variety, and the chance to play several courses in one trip. It’s surprising, therefore, that more cruise lines don’t embrace golf. Those that make the effort do it very well, including everything from caddies and carts to transfers and social activities. “For serious golfers, I would certainly recommend booking a cruise with a golf theme as everything is included,” says Scott Anderson, general manager of The Luxury Cruise Company, which has a dedicated golf section on its website. “Also, some of the courses offered are members-only, so by going with the cruise line, clients get access to courses they wouldn’t be able to play independently.” Azamara Club Cruises (azamaraclubcruises.co.uk) offers golf cruises in association with PerryGolf. All start times are pre-booked, transfers to the course included, caddies and carts booked – and even a packed lunch provided for playing days. There are golf socials on board, a tournament on every voyage and a PerryGolf manager as a point of contact. Azamara’s three mid-sized ships sail all over the world, so there’s

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plenty of choice. As an example, a sailing to Spain and Portugal in May includes rounds at The Faldo Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort on the Algarve; La Reserva at Sotogrande; and El Saler near Valencia, among others. A 12-night British Isles cruise this July, meanwhile, includes a grounds admission ticket on the final day of The Open at Royal Portrush as well as rounds on legendary courses including The Ailsa at Trump Turnberry, Royal Birkdale near Liverpool and The K Club in Dublin. Upmarket German-owned Hapag Lloyd Cruises (hl-cruises. com) also features a number of golf cruises, many of them on the ultraluxurious ship Europa 2, left. As with Azamara, the golf is sold as an additional package, with a PGA pro on board to coordinate events and advise. A seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Monte Carlo in March 2020 gives clients three rounds for an extra £850 (commissionable at 5 per cent) on top of the cruise fare of £3,553. Courses include hilly Son Gual on Mallorca; the parkland San Victoire Golf Club near Marseille; and the posh Monte Carlo Golf Club, high above the Principality, with sweeping views down over the rooftops and the megayachts in the harbour. Early booking is essential with this line, which sells out fast.

March 2019 37


ABTA Golf

Cruise and golf

Crystal Cruises (crystalcruises. co.uk) has an impressive array of voyages with a golf theme, ranging from Europe to Asia, Africa and the US. On these, rounds are booked individually, rather than as a complete package. Cruises with a golf theme include all kinds of perks, from competitions and social events to a PGA pro to escort all the golf events and often a celebrity speaker. Courses on offer include the Oddur in Iceland, with lava lining the fairways; Mount Murray on the Isle of Man; and Gleneagles. One to watch for golf clients is newcomer Blue World Voyages (blueworldvoyages.co.uk), planning to launch later this year with a single ship that’s entirely dedicated to sport and wellness. A Hank Haney Golf Center is planned on board, complete with simulators, putting green and pro shop, while

38 March 2019

excursions for golfers will be offered in most ports. As yet, itineraries haven’t been confirmed but we’ve been told that the Med, northern Europe, the Caribbean and west coast South America will all feature. Golf cruises are available on more mainstream cruise lines, too, through specialist Fairway Cruises (fairwaycruises.co.uk or, for ex-Florida and Caribbean sailings, fairwaycruises.com). The company works with P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and MSC Cruises, mainly on sailings from Southampton, although there are some fly-cruises, for example, with MSC, so clients can play courses like the undulating St Anna in Genoa and Il Picciola in Messina, on the slopes of Mount Etna. Everything is covered: green fees, caddy, buggy, transfers, club storage and cleaning, a tour escort and private events on board. “The whole ethos

is to provide a fully inclusive and escorted package, taking all the stress away from the client,” says CEO Rob Grant. Golf isn’t limited to ocean cruising. Luxury river cruise operator AmaWaterways (amawaterways.co.uk) has a Luxury Concierge Golf programme on several of its European ships, with golf cruises leading in at £3,851 for a week. Everything has been taken into account: transport, green fees, club cleaning, a token for the range, a trolley and a welcome pack of 12 Titleist balls, a pitch repair tool and leather shoe bag. All Ama’s golf cruises are on the Danube, with golf days at Budapest, Bratislava, Weissenkirchen, Vilshofen, Linz, Passau and Prague. Golf widows and widowers needn’t feel shortchanged, either, as a full excursion programme is included in the fare.

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CRYSTAL WHERE LUXURY IS PERSONAL

TEE OFF ON THE HIGH SEAS WITH THE WORLD’S BEST

IBERIAN IMAGES LISBON TO MONTE CARLO | OCY190812-11 CRYSTAL SERENITY | 12 AUGUST 2019 | 11 NIGHTS

A cruise with the World’s Best is a golfer’s dream on special themed sailings. PGA pros work with you on your game, golf celebrities discuss their experiences on the PGA tour, and then you'll have the chance to tee off on optional Crystal Adventures at world-famous courses along your itinerary. Explore all our golf themed sailings by visiting www.crystalcruises.co.uk. Welcome to Crystal, where luxury is personal.

Cruise Only Fares From

Deluxe Stateroom (C3 Grade)

from £3,400 per person

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah (B3 Grade)

from £4,715 per person

Itinerary Highlights: Lisbon ( ), Cádiz/Seville, Gibraltar, Ibiza ( ), Barcelona ( ), St-Tropez ( ), Monte Carlo ( ).

2018

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A BOOKING, PLEASE CALL:

020 7399 7601

www.crystalcruises.co.uk

( ) = Overnight stay

ABTA No.V8548

Fares are per person, cruise only in UK sterling based on double occupancy in the specified stateroom grade for the first two full-fare guests and include port, security and handling charges, which vary by departure. All fares, offers and itineraries are subject to change and availability and can be withdrawn at any time. Fares may fluctuate and should be used as a guide only. Prices may go up or down. You should contact us on 0207 399 7601 before booking, or visit our website www.crystalcruises.co.uk. The fares are available to new bookings only and are only available to UK & Eire residents. Restrictions apply. See crystalcruises.co.uk for complete terms and conditions of all offers. (c) 2019 Crystal Cruises, Inc., Ships' registry: The Bahamas.

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March 2019 39


Northern Ireland

Š PETER ELLEGARD

ABTA Golf

Open for business With the Open finally returning to Northern Ireland, Peter Ellegard explores the country’s best golfing options 40 March 2019

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N

orthern Ireland packs a punch with its collection of golf courses. More than a third of its 94 courses have been awarded the quality-assured guarantee of excellence by Tourism Northern Ireland, which highlights the country’s golfing pedigree with the tag Made for Golf. But two iconic links veterans are in the vanguard. NORTHERN IRELAND’S LINKS The Open Championship returns to the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club (royalportrushgolfclub. com) in July for the first time since 1951 – the only other occasion it has been played outside of England and Scotland. Meanwhile, the Championship Links of Royal County Down Golf Club (royalcountydown.org) is ranked as the world’s greatest course by influential magazine Golf Digest. Both date back to the late 19th century and have been shaped by some of the game’s most famous golf architects: Old Tom Morris, Harry Colt, Harry Vardon and Donald Steel over the years at Royal County Down, and a redesign by Harry Colt in 1932 at Royal Portrush. Royal Portrush lies on the northern Causeway Coast just a few minutes’ drive from Unesco World Heritage Site the Giant’s Causeway. Founded in 1898 with two courses, its Dunluce Links layout has undergone changes ahead of the 2019 Open, with new 7th and 8th holes borrowed from its sister Valley course to replace the original 17th and 18th holes and make space for a spectator village area. Royal County Down’s championship course was extended to 18 holes from the original nine soon after its 1889 opening by four-time Open winner and former St Andrews greenkeeper Old Tom Morris. The front nine meanders through dunes alongside the sea

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below the Mourne Mountains 30 miles south of Belfast. Two other Causeway Coast links centenarians are the work of golfing legends. Just 15 minutes from Royal Portrush, Portstewart Golf Club (portstewartgc.co.uk) has 54 holes of links golf between the Atlantic and the River Bann, its Strand Course, the 2017 Irish Open venue, laid out by two-time Open champion Willie Park Jr amid towering dunes and featuring a lofty tee on the opening hole. Across the River Bann estuary lies Castlerock Golf Club (castlerockgc.co.uk). Its 18-hole Mussenden Links course was designed by Scottish club maker and architect Ben Sayers and later modified by Harry Colt. Six holes were recently reworked by designer Martin Hawtree. Golfers playing hidden gem Ardglass Golf Club (ardglassgolfclub. com), hugging the rocky coast near Royal County Down, can enjoy a post-game drink in the world’s oldest golf club clubhouse, built as a castle more than 600 years ago. GOLF RESORTS Northern Ireland has four golf resorts. The parkland course of Northern Ireland Open host venue Galgorm Castle Golf Club (galgormcastle.com) winds through mature woodland on the 220-acre Galgorm Castle Estate, alongside its 17th-century castle, with Galgorm Resort & Spa nearby. Lough Erne Resort (lougherneresort.com), on Lower Lough Erne’s shore in Fermanagh, comprises a championship course by multiple Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, a second 18-hole course and a 120-room, five-star hotel that hosted world leaders for the G8 summit in 2013. Roe Park Resort (roeparkresort. com), near the Causeway Coast, features a course with views of the Sperrin Mountains and Lough

Foyle from elevated holes, the 118-room four-star hotel originally an 18th-century country house. Its spa is an Elemis teaching academy. The 130-room Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Golf & Country Club (hilton.com/templepatrick), just 10 minutes from Belfast International Airport, has a David Feherty and David Jones golf course. BELFAST COURSES Belfast makes a great base for combining golf with a city break. Most Northern Ireland courses are playable on a day trip from the city. Courses close to its centre include the country’s oldest golf club, Royal Belfast Golf Club (royalbelfast. com). Founded in 1881, it lies alongside the main seaway into the city’s harbour, Belfast Lough. Seven holes overlook the lough. The newly-extended clubhouse of Holywood Golf Club (holywoodgolfclub.co.uk) includes a shrine to its favourite son, Rory McIlroy, who honed his skills as a youngster there and who remains a member, with memorabilia from his early years and replicas of the US Open and US PGA trophies he has won. The 11th tee has views of Belfast and the giant yellow Harland and Wolff shipyard cranes. Other Belfast courses include Malone Golf Club (malonegolfclub. co.uk), its clubhouse in a 200-yearold former manor house, and Harry Colt-designed Belvoir Park Golf Club (belvoirparkgolfclub. com), just three miles from Belfast’s centre. For golfing clients with a flight of fancy, the championship Earhart Course of Derry’s Foyle Golf Centre (foylegolfcentre. co.uk) is named after aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, her historic 1932 flight ended in an emergency landing on what is now the 6th green.

March 2019 41


ABTA Golf

Sales tips

42 March 2019

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How to sell golf You don’t necessarily need to know your wedges from your woods to help clients. Kathryn Liston shares her selling tips

E

ven if you don’t play yourself, it’s easier to get into the swing of selling golf holidays than you may think. From beginners to club players and families to groups, there’s a huge market for you to tap into. Follow our tips and your sales figures could soon be top of the Leaderboard. WHERE DO YOUR CLIENTS WANT TO GO? Three quarters of golfers will be travelling to Spain, Portugal, France or Turkey, destinations you are probably already very familiar with. Long-haul favourites include Dubai, Thailand and Florida. WHAT TYPE OF HOLIDAY DO THEY WANT? Is it a golfing holiday with mates who want to play every day, or a relaxing holiday with a partner with a few rounds of golf thrown in? Golf resorts and hotels, popular in Spain, Portugal, France and Turkey, are the ideal suggestion. They offer courses (often more than one) and lots of activities, water sports, children’s clubs (check they’re open out of season) and luxury spas to keep everyone – including non-players – happy. If clients want local restaurants, shops and bars, book them into a hotel that runs

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shuttle buses to the golf courses rather than a golf resort with international restaurants on site. WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION? Golf resort, B&B, villa or half-board hotel? All-inclusive is popular in places such as Cyprus and Turkey but accounts for only 15 per cent of the market. WHAT’S THEIR BUDGET? Green fees for 18 holes of golf vary enormously from around €40 to €140 a round and will make a big difference to the overall package price. They’re also higher at weekends and during the peak April to June and September to October golfing season. If your clients are relative beginners, they probably won’t want to pay top dollar. ARE FLIGHTS, TRANSFERS OR CAR HIRE REQUIRED? If clients want car hire, make sure that the vehicle is big enough to carry all the passengers and golf equipment or suggest they upgrade to a larger model. ARE THEY TAKING THEIR OWN GOLF CLUBS? Check the weight requirements and cost of flying with golf clubs.

March 2019 43


ABTA Golf

Sales tips

Fees vary hugely from a maximum of €40-€114 each way. Advise clients that it is far cheaper to pre-book carriage. … OR WOULD THEY PREFER TO SHIP THEM OR HIRE A SET IN RESORT? And, yes, you can earn commission into the bargain. Luggage Mule (luggagemule. co.uk) will deliver your clients’ golf clubs door to door to anywhere in Europe from £34.99. The service is available worldwide, saving your clients the hassle of dragging luggage and golf clubs through the airport. It also gives them up to 20kg in weight allowance. Clubs to Hire (clubstohire. com) offers top brands – TaylorMade, Callaway and Mizuno – and left- or righthanded clubs from €35 a week in 29 outlets worldwide including Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Turkey

44 March 2019

and the US, saving clients, it estimates, up to €193. WHICH COURSES AND HOW MANY ROUNDS? Establish which courses golfers want to play, and how frequently – one or two rounds each day, a round every other day? Do they want to play on their day of arrival and departure? PRE-BOOK TEE TIMES, BUGGIES AND CARTS Courses are extremely busy and competition for the best time slots is keen. To prevent your clients being teed off in resort, book all the times they require in advance. Pre-booking is essential in the Algarve and Costa del Sol during the peak months. DO THEY HAVE A HANDICAP CERTIFICATE? Some championship courses will require a handicap certificate so check before booking.

TUITION REQUIRED? Book a resort with a teaching academy and good practice facilities such as Pine Cliffs (pinecliffs.com) in the Algarve (nine holes) or Aphrodite Hills (aphroditehills.com) in Cyprus, which has a three-hole academy course. Regular players may also want to brush up on their technique. SPEAK TO THE EXPERTS Call reservations staff at specialist tour operators for advice. They will have visited most of the resorts and played many of the courses. Their websites also have a wealth of information. TOURNAMENT WEEKS Recommend for single golfers or players travelling with a non-golfing partner. They are a great way of enjoying competitive golf and getting guaranteed tee-times on the world’s top courses.

ABTAmag.com


Gamesroom Crossword

ACROSS 7. Self-esteem (3) 8. Attack (7) 9. City of Seven Hills (4) 10. Ollie’s oppo (4) 13. One way to disappear (4,4,3) 14. It breaks daily (4) 15. Golda ---, former Israeli PM (4) 18. Some shipping routes (7) 19. Pale or brown beverage (3)







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ABTAmag.com

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3 March 2019 45


ABTA Golf

Ask the expert

Ask the expert WHAT CAN AGENTS WHO FEEL THEY DON’T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO SELL TRADITIONAL GOLF HOLIDAY DO TO SECURE SALES? There are lots of people who may want a few lessons or play a few rounds of golf on holiday rather than take a standard golf tour. These are the type of people who might be flying to Tenerife, the RitzCarlton Abama resort for example, who enjoy a few golf lessons and a nice meal and spa treatment. It’s a part of the market that is looking to play golf on holiday rather than take a standard golf tour and there is a strategic cross-over between the two. We have been trying to push that and there has been a little bit of pick-up with couples looking for seven nights and five rounds of golf. Agents do have the customers and if they work with golf operators they will be able to retain them rather than lose them to their competitors.

away for and how many rounds of golf do they require? Then there’s budget. It seems obvious but the cost of tee times and hotels vary from the week to weekend. WHERE CAN THEY FIND GREAT DEALS? Our Classic France package starts from £380pp in early April and includes three nights’ half-board at Hotel Barrière l’Hotel du Golf Deauville, Normandy, Eurotunnel crossing based on four people sharing a car, three rounds of golf at a choice of courses including Golf Barriere Deauville, Golf Barriere St Julien, Amiraute Deauville, and Omaha Beach, and 30 per cent off drinks at St Julien and Deauville club houses (except champagne and cocktails).

WHAT ARE THE KEY POINTS FOR AGENTS TO REMEMBER IN AN OPENING TWOMINUTE CONVERSATION? You’ll need to think about the following. Where do your clients want to go? Eighty per cent of golfers will be travelling to Spain, Portugal, France or Turkey. How important is the 19th Hole? What kind of holiday is it? A golf holiday with the guys and girls, or for a couple? Is coaching required? Plus, what type of package do they want – seven nights with five rounds or a long weekend? How long are they looking to go

Steve Frewin

Director, A Golfing Experience (agolfingexperience.co.uk)

46 March 2019

ABTAmag.com


F E AT U R E S | R O O M SERVIC E M EN U | SHORE EXC UR SION S

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ISSUE ONE

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PREVIEW EDITION

December 2016

D E C E M B E R 2016

WATERMARK YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST HOLIDAYS IN THE WORLD

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Issue two

A world of luxury We consider the benefits of all-inclusive river cruising

SECRETS OF THE DOURO Explore the wonders of Porto with our new itinerary for 2017

MEET THE FLEET Introducing a trio of new ships: Emerald Radiance, Liberté and Destiny

RAISE A GLASS Enjoy the world’s finest wines during our new cruise on the Rhône

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Travel industry insights / September 2018

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ON THE HORIZON THE LATEST CRUISE NEWS

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H E L P I N G YO U S E L L S O L O T R AV E L

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PARADISE FOUND We return to the Caribbean with P&O Cruises and find it very much open for business after last year’s hurricanes

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ABTA Golf – March 2019  

The relaunch issue of ABTA Golf, the first created by Waterfront Publishing. In this issue, Peter Ellegard visits Japan, the most exciting d...

ABTA Golf – March 2019  

The relaunch issue of ABTA Golf, the first created by Waterfront Publishing. In this issue, Peter Ellegard visits Japan, the most exciting d...

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