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Spring/Summer 2011 Great Golf Magazine

Great Golf

Magazine Spring/Summer 2011

Dominican Republic

Island in the sun... The Seychelles - A fairway to heaven • Singapore - Golf in the Lion City • Good Morning Vietnam! • South Africa - Where oceans meet • Amazing Venice • Norway - Golf in the Midnight Sun www.greatgolfmagazine.co.uk


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Welcome to a new chapter in Bentley history. The new Continental GT – a remarkable fusion of breathtaking performance, sensuous luxury and modern technology. This stunningly sculpted coupe’s sharp features are indicative of Bentley’s DNA. It harnesses an incredibly powerful 567bhp (575PS, 423kW) FlexFuel W12 engine

sporting innovative capabilities for everyday driving. This is matched with an exquisitely handcrafted, contemporary interior to ensure you are transported by all-wheel drive across countries and continents in superior comfort and elegance. Supreme motoring that is unmistakably Bentley. Welcome to the new Continental GT

Bentley Kent 92 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1BA. Tel: 01732 453 700 www.bentleykent.co.uk The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2011 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Bentley Continental GT, mrrp £135,750. Price correct at time of going to press and includes VAT at 20%. Price excludes road fund licence, registration and delivery charges.


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Fuel economy figures for the Continental GT in mpg (l/100km): Urban 11.1 (25.4); Extra Urban 24.9 (11.4); Combined 17.1 (16.5). CO2 Emissions (g/km): 384.

BENTLEY KENT


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Stay & Play AT THE ADDRESS MONTGOMERIE DUBAI AND THE ARABIAN RANCHES GOLF COURSE.

Golf enthusiasts are given the opportunity to discover two of

Dubai’s most acclaimed golf courses with the recent introduction of the Stay & Play package. From 1st June – 30 August 2011, starting from £280, spend two nights at The Address Montgomerie Dubai and play one round of golf on its championship course, as well as one round on the 18-hole, desert-style course at the Arabian Ranches Golf Club. From 31st August 2011 – 31st May 2012 rates are starting from £420. Terms and conditions apply.

T: +971 4 423 8888 F: +971 4 436 8880 E: STAY@THEADDRESS.COM WWW.THEADDRESS.COM


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AN UNMATCHED HAVEN AN IDYLLIC ESCAPE

The Address

MONTGOMERIE DUBAI

Welcome to one of Dubai’s most celebrated golf havens.

Our magnificent boutique hotel and golf course offers an idyllic setting for the perfect getaway retreat. Whether you are playing on our championship golf course, staying in one of our elegant guest rooms, dining at the award-winning restaurant, Nineteen, or relaxing in our Angsana spa - you will want for nothing from the moment you arrive at The Address Montgomerie Dubai.

T +971 4 390 5600 F +971 4 438 7888 E MONTGOMERIE@THEADDRESS.COM WWW.THEADDRESS.COM


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Great Golf

Magazine

Contents Dominican Republic – Island in the sun

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24 Singapore - Golf in the Lion City 30 Brussels – more than fine chocolate 38 Good Morning Vietnam! 46 Viva Valencia! 56 Lofoten – Golf in the Midnight Sun

The Scandinavian Golf Club - A touch of class Mauritius - Paradise found

72 80

Hartl Resort, Germany - A European giant South Africa – Where oceans meet Amazing Venice

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84

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The Seychelles - A fairway to heaven

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North Cyprus - The Mediterranean as it once was The Algarve - Golf, Beaches and Bacalhau St Enodoc – a poem worthy

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132 The West House - Living under a Star 140 Portugal’s Golf Coast 144 Ashdown Park - A sanctuary in the forest

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Great Golf

Magazine

The Club Guide

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UK

PORTUGAL

Trevose Golf & Country Club 151 Saunton Golf Club 152 Royal North Devon Golf Club 153 Burnham & Berrow Golf Club 154 St Enodoc Golf Club 156 Kingsbarns Golf Links 157 The Duke’s St Andrews 158 The Gleneagles Hotel 159 Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club 160 Turnberry Resort 162 Bovey Castle 163 Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses 164 The Manor House Golf Club 165

Boavista Golf & Spa 166 Quinta do Peru 168 Aroeira Golf Resort 170 Vivamarinha Hotel & Suites

G R E AT G O L F M A G A Z I N E

FRANCE Cote d’Opale

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SPAIN Sherry Golf Jerez 174 Golf El Puerto 176 Club de Golf Alcanada 178

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Ladies Collection available June 2011


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GOLF TRAVEL YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE...

Great GolfMagazine 30 Eridge Road Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8HR United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 7193 6406 www.greatgolfmagazine.co.uk

WELCOME to the first issue of Great

to Lofoten above the Arctic Circle,

Golf, a Golf Travel & Lifestyle Magazine.

down South to South Africa, due East

Within these 184 pages, we want to

to Vietnam and way out West to the

inspire and inform you about a

Dominican Republic as well as many

Mike Kaas-Stock mike@greatgolfmagazine.co.uk

selection of great golf destinations

places in between.

EDITOR

around the globe and hope to be a

To add some more flavour to the

source of reference when planning

magazine, we also have visited chef

your future golfing holidays, whether

extraordinaire, Graham Garrett at his

it be close to home or far away.

Michelin Star restaurant, as well as a

Golf is steadily gaining popularity in

Spa sanctuary in the forest.

countries around the world and new

We would like to thank all the people

and wonderful golf courses are opening

who have supported us from the start

in places undreamt of only a few years

including our Norwegian Colleagues

EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS

ago. For each issue we will travel to

Terje Myklebost and Louis Røren. We

Louise Candy Martyn Watkins

some of these locations and put down

also want to thank all the golf clubs,

in words and pictures what we have

tourist boards, resorts and hotels who

experienced.

have helped to make these pages

When you travel somewhere to play

possible.

golf, as well as wanting information

A big thanks goes to Richard Waterman

about the golf courses available, you

for his input and advice.

will also want to know about food,

We hope that you enjoy Great Golf and

accommodation, culture and other

that you will follow us in our next issue

attractions in the surrounding area so

coming out in the autumn.

as to make your holiday complete.

Happy Golfing wherever you go.

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Nils Bjornes nils@greatgolfmagazine.co.uk ASSISTANT EDITOR

Camilla Kaas-Stock camilla@greatgolfmagazine.co.uk ART DIRECTOR

In this issue we will take you far North

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G R E AT G O L F M A G A Z I N E

Ketil Plassgaard ketil@greatgolfmagazine.co.uk

MARKETING

Mike Kaas-Stock mike@greatgolfmagazine.co.uk CONTRIBUTORS IN THIS ISSUE

The Team

Terje Myklebost Louis Røren Frank Undall Published by IPB Publishing Ltd 30 Eridge Rd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8HR, UK Company No 6484115 Printed by The Magazine Printing Company www.magprint.co.uk All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written consent of Great Golf Magazine UK


SUNSET GOLF ON THE AILSA FROM £95 What could be more perfect than a round on the legendary Ailsa in the pure, clear light of a spring evening? Enjoy great sunset rates available daily from 3.00pm at £95 per person on The Ailsa and £55 on The Kintyre, bookable any time in advance. As host venue for four Open Championships and situated on Scotland’s rugged Ayrshire coast, with fine views over sea, islands and mountains; Turnberry is an inspirational golfing experience for world class pros and enthusiastic beginners alike.

To make a reservation or for full terms and conditions please visit turnberryresort.co.uk/golf or call 0844 811 3209

Great Golf_Full Page.indd 1

LIFE IS A COLLECTION OF EXPERIENCES LET US BE YOUR GUIDE

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The premium golfing experience

The premium golfing experience

s Tailor made private and corporate golfing packages to the Algarve s PGA golf professional; daily academy tuition and on course coaching s 5 star resort villa accommodation

E X E C UT I V E

You should come home a better golfer!

www.executive-golf.co.uk


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Corporate Packages At Executive Golf, we understand the corporate market and the particular requirements you will have, unique to your company, your staff, your clients and customers. We will tailor make a golfing experience for your company based around our guiding principles of excellence: s STARACCOMMODATIONONLYs0'!GOLFPROFESSIONALS WILLBEWITHYOURGROUP s.OCARHIRE WEARRANGETHETRANSPORTs0ERSONALCHEFSERVICEATTHEVILLAS s$IFFERENTGOLFCOURSEEACHDAYs'033KY#ADDIESPROVIDEDFORPLAYERS s,UNCHRESERVATIONSATTHECLUBHOUSESs$INNEREVENINGENTERTAINMENTSPRE BOOKED s/N SITEBUSINESSSERVICESGUESTRELATIONSs#OMPETITIONSORGANISED s%NDOFTOURGALADINNERCELEBRATION

Executive Golf is committed to providing you with a personal and tailored service and a tour to thrill your guests.

www.executive-golf.co.uk


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Oh, island in thesun... If it is daring cliff–top courses, dazzling views and challenging shots you’re after, then head to the Dominican Republic for a golfing holiday you’ll never forget. BY Louis Røren PHOTO: Casa de Campo and Puntacana

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Punta Cana Beach

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Corales Golf Course 8th hole Officially opened in April 2010, Corales Golf Course is set between rocky cliffs, coral reefs and the expansive Caribbean Sea. Six oceanfront holes with multiple lines of approach makes an exhilarating challenge that culminates in the striking eighteenth hole with a dramatic carry over the rocky Bay of Corales. 16

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t’s the song made famous by Harry Belafonte that comes to mind when you arrive in this Caribbean paradise. Even though it’s the traditional Merengue music that dominates here, in my mind I still hear the Belafonte from my childhood: All my days I will sing in praise of your forest, waters your shining sand… I am on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, more precisely, on the part of the island that is the Dominican Republic. Haiti is the second part, but that’s a completely different story.

Award–winning golf courses Voted Golf Destination of the Year 2009, by the world’s leading golf tour operators, this region has some very special courses that are well worth visiting. This is just one of many awards that recognises the islands’ fine golf courses, and the Dominican Republic has become one of the hottest golfing destinations in the world. So does the island live up to its reputation?

Casa de Campo Casa de Campo was the island’s first major resort, and has been voted World’s Leading Golf Resort 2010. It’s located about midway between the capital Santo Domingo and the new resorts in Punta Cana. Casa de Campo was built in the early 1970’s, but even so it has a modern feel. Here you will find the golf course with the unusual name: Teeth of the Dog (Diente de Perro). In all the years since its opening, the course has had top ranking. I greeted my chance to play here with high expectations and I was not disappointed. An acquaintance wrote to me after playing the course in autumn 2009, raving that ”this is the best course I’ve ever played”. A major reason why the course is held in such esteem is its spectacular location. Seven of the holes are placed along the shore, some of them on rock formations jutting out into the sea. The legendary designer of the golf course, Pete Dye, is quoted as saying, “God created seven of the holes, I just helped him a bit with the remaining 11!” Casa de Campo has a total of four courses, all designed by Pete Dye. The fourth is aptly named Dye Fore. And what a course it is – lying on the area’s highest point, with stunning views towards the sea and the river below. This course has more of an American feel to it than Teeth of the Dog. 17


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Casa de Campo resort covers 7,500 acres, and besides golf, there are numerous activities on offer. You can go hunting or fishing, play tennis on one of its 13 courts, there’s a diving centre as well as an equestrian centre, a shooting range and a marina. There is no need to be bored at this great resort, which has something to offer everyone. After a day of activities, you can enjoy a meal in one of the 20 restaurants, or treat yourself to some well-earned relaxation in the excellent spa.

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several hotels and other facilities on the same property. The standard is mostly impeccable, and they have developed the all-inclusive concept down to a tee. Each resort has its own spa facilities, casinos, plenty of restaurants, live entertainment and everything you can imagine, plus a bit more. So unless you wish to, there is no need to venture anywhere else. Most of the resorts have their own golf courses, several of them actually have more than one.

Punta Cana

Cap Cana

Casa de Campo is definitely a wonderful resort, but the Dominican Republic has much more to offer. On the eastern most part of the island you will find Punta Cana, designated as an area for tourism. There are miles of beautiful sandy beaches, framed by mangrove and palm forests. It was here, in the 1990s, that Dominican fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, along with close friends and the singer Julio Iglesias, decided to create a large–scale development, now called Puntacana. Here they built their own holiday homes and planned a number of golf courses, of which three are now open. They also had a new airport constructed, the Punta Cana International Airport, which is now the country’s largest, and where the majority of visiting tourists arrive. Along the Punta Cana coastline there are now about 40 resorts, all of them large and usually with

The newest resort is Cap Cana, which opened in January 2008. Here they are building the largest marina in the Caribbean, several residential areas, hotels and three golf courses, all Jack Nicklaus Signature Courses.

G R E AT G O L F M A G A Z I N E

Punta Espada – a golfer’s paradise Having enjoyed playing two of the courses in Casa de Campo, I was convinced I had played the best on the island. But that was before I ventured on to the Punta Espada course, which is by far the best and most beautiful golf course I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. This course is not just well designed, it is also exceptionally beautiful and immaculately well maintained. The only downside is that some of the views are so breathtaking that you might get distracted and not play your best!


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Each year since the course was opened, it has been the venue for the PGA Champions Tour for Seniors, and the magazine Golfweek, has named Punta Espada the “Best Golf Course in the Caribbean and Mexico” in its 2011 edition. On the resort of Cap Cana, which includes the Punta Espada course, there are plans to build two more Jack Nicklaus Signature Courses.

La Cana A short distance from Cap Cana you’ll find Puntacana resort, which will soon have three golf courses. The first, La Cana, opened in 2001 and was designed by P.V. Dye, the son of Pete Dye. When the course opened, it became the big topic of conversation in the country, and was for years the most popular course on this part of the coast. Since then it has been joined by a new course, Los Corales, designed by Tom Fazio, and the third course, Hacienda, also designed by P.B. Dye, will open this summer. La Cana has a great location by the sea, which can be seen from most of the holes. In fact, on seven of them, the sea and the beach are in play, but because you play along the beach instead of on cliffs (as on Punta Espada and sister track Corales), this course is less popular.

Roco Ki The last golf resort worth a mention is Roco Ki, which

is open but still being developed. The project was hit hard by the global economic crisis in 2008, when things ground to a halt – with the exception of the first of three planned golf courses, The Legacy. Nick Faldo, who designed the Legacy, has garnered awards and critical acclaim for his course design in recent years, as well as for this one. I am somewhat more ambivalent. How do you describe a course that is like a ‘ball–eating monster’ that constantly gives you a slap in the face, but at the same time is so spectacularly beautiful and challenging that it’s almost unparalleled? The name Roco Ki could be the title of a rock song, perhaps not unfitting because here you get enough rock and roll to last you for an entire season, especially on the last three holes. The 16th hole, overlooking the sea, fills you with a sense of expectation of what’s to come. Then the 17th and 18th holes reveal themselves in all their nerve–racking glory. The 17th is a relatively short par-3 hole, with the green on a spit jutting out in the ocean, while waves constantly crash against the cliffs. The 18th is a par-5 hole, where you strike across two ravines as the sea continuously hurls cascades of foam and spray into the air. This is a course to remember for a long time, and one I would love to come back and play again, and the next time I will be more prepared! 19


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

More than just golf...

D

Champion cigars

uring my stay at Casa de Campo I was invited to tour the cigar factory, Tabacalera de García. The plant, described as the world’s largest, is located near the resort and, until recently, was closed to visitors. Stepping inside the enormous building and seeing the 3,000 busy workers, most of them women, I was impressed. The cigars made here are said to be the best, because the owners – an American investment company – give them unlimited funds to buy the finest tobacco available on the market, which is not possible for the Cuban factories. My talk of Cuban cigars, Havana and the way they’re supposed to be hand–rolled on a woman’s thighs, is dismissed as pure gimmick. It turns out that this factory was originally located in Cuba, but production was moved to the Dominican Republic in the early 1970’s, after the former owners, the Garcia family, had their business confiscated by the authorities. Arriving in the Dominican Republic, the family immediately started producing the same cigars they had made famous in Cuba. So, in fact, the same cigars are manufactured and exported from both Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and this has been the case for almost 40 years. However, I think the Dominican cigars are of superior quality. So the next time you buy a

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Montecristo or a Romeo y Julieta, find out where it’s made. The Dominican Republic also claims that it has the best rum in the world (called Ron, locally), as well as the tastiest coffee. This is a proud and beautiful island, and if the amazing golf courses aren’t enough to draw you here, perhaps the finest cigars, rum and coffee will do it.

Good to know Playing golf in the Dominican Republic is relatively expensive. Green fee, without further agreement, varies from $125 to $375 (£75 - £230) with the most prestigious courses in the highest price range. Most of the courses are affiliated with one or more of the resorts, and through them you can get more favourable rates. But, for now, there is no cooperation between the various resorts. However, there are some local operators which offer packages that can be more cost–effective. Check out: www.grouppalmera.com run by an enterprising former professional golfer, Mr. Anders Bogebjerg, and his wife. On most courses I visited golf carts were mandatory and necessary. Caddy was not required on each course. On the most exclusive courses, however, you have to have at least one caddy per golf cart. On some courses Caddies are included in the price, but you still have to tip, and $10 (£6) are minimum. On other courses a Caddy costs $ 25 (£15) plus tip.


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About the Dominican Republic Hispaniola is the second largest island in the Caribbean, with Cuba as its nearest neighbour in the west. The Dominican Republic occupies twothirds of the island and Haiti the remainder. It was here that Columbus landed in 1492 and thought he was in India. The island was annexed by the Spanish government in 1502 and given the name

Santo Domingo. The native tribe, the Tainos, with a population of around 600,000 at the time, was virtually wiped out in just 13 years. Today’s population and culture reflects the historic influences of Spanish, French, African and Haitian relations. The national language has nevertheless always been Spanish. The population is about 10 million, of which over two million live in the capital Santo Domingo.

The largest industry is tourism, with around five million visitors each year, and the country has the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Not least because of all the new hotels and resorts in the eastern parts of the country that began development in the 1990s. At that time, this part of the country consisted mostly of mangrove forests and white sandy beaches.

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LOFOTEN/NORWAY

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Golf in the

midnight sun As one of the most northern golf courses in the world, Lofoten Golf Links has become the best known course in Norway. People travel from as far as China to experience the surreal feeling of playing golf at midnight – with the sun still hanging over the horizon. Louis Røren had to try it out for himself... PHOTO: Lofoten Golf Links and Visit Northen Norway

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LOFOTEN/NORWAY

L

ocated some 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Gimsøya in the archipelago of Lofoten, is not a place you stumble upon by accident – you only get there if you really want to. Gimsøya is one of many islands that make up the last outpost in the ocean above Lofoten. To the north there is only the Norwegian Sea, and to the northeast lie the characteristic mountains in Vesterålen, which shape the horizon. Out here, between the sea and the mountains, is where Frode Hov pursued his father’s dream to build a golf course. A dream that authorities in Nordland County tried to stop in the 1980s, stating: “People in northern Norway don’t play golf ”. Today, there are more than 10 courses in the region, including the Lofoten Golf Links.

An unlikely success The plans then lay dormant for several years, with Frode’s father trying to progress the site, but ultimately the project was revived by the young and enthusiastic Frode after his father’s death. In 1995, the go-ahead was finally given and during the next three years, under the supervision of the Norwegian Golf Association and Golf Landscape architect Jeremy Turner, the first six holes on Gimsøya were completed. To many people this whole project must have seemed like sheer madness. Way off the beaten track, exposed to the merciless forces of nature, with very few inhabitants (to whom golf was an unknown concept) – the dream didn’t seem very likely to succeed.

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Today, however, 12 years and an additional five holes later, it is not just viable, but the course has become world famous, with coverage in prestigious publications, such as, The New York Times and golf magazines from China to Europe. Even the renowned editor and writer of Golf Monthly, Malcolm Campbell, has visited a number of times since the opening and written several articles about the course. Frode and his business partner, Erik Skarstein have ambitious plans afoot. In fact, they intend to complete the 18hole course, and build a hotel and apartments, in the hope of creating a holiday resort and conference centre.

Golfing at midnight I arrived one late afternoon in May and, by chance, this happened to be the first night in the season where the sun does not go below the horizon. It was breathtakingly beautiful, calm and reasonably mild, even at midnight. It was a magical experience. I took to the course around nine o’clock that evening. The first four holes on the current course are among the original six. On these holes all tee-offs are from raised platforms mounted on stone mounds. At the approach to the first green, three flags come into view directly ahead and we are advised to go for the nearest as the other belongs to holes four and eight. After the first four holes, where we have played over rocks, sea and sand, raised platforms give way to more normal tees. The


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The renowned editor and writer of Golf Monthly, Malcolm Campbell, has visited a number of times since the opening and written several articles about the course.

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LOFOTEN/NORWAY

fairways become wider and artificial bunkers come into play. The topography and degree of difficulty have clearly changed. This is reflected in the two most recently added holes, which have been placed farther inland, perhaps because last June an informal North Norwegian Golf Championship was held here. These new holes are more reminiscent of park-like courses elsewhere in the world. We round off the evening’s game at 11pm and return to the spacious and remarkably well-equipped club house for an undeserved beer (I was thoroughly beaten by the house master). But my loss does not feel like a defeat. The exhilarating joy of getting the opportunity to do what I have just done, right here, under such conditions, overshadows everything else.

Open all hours Just as we arrive at the clubhouse, my playing partners are told that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry have called to say that they are arriving with 30 representatives from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, wishing full service with coffee, cakes, beer, red wine and more. And of course they get it. Sara, the charming proprietor from Iceland and the waiter, Giuseppe from Italy, are only too happy to receive guests – even in the middle of the night! At one o’clock in the morning, after plenty of food and drink and a chance to have a stroll on the golf course – some with cameras, others with clubs – the politicians retire. It has been a memorable night. The international workforce at Lofoten Golf Links does not stop with Sara and Giuseppe. There are about 10 different nationalities at work during the season, and they all thrive in this unique environment. The Pro, Andrew from Minnesota, has been here for three years and is a popular figure, and so is the handyman, Josè from Spain.

Eye of the eagle The next morning I awake to glorious sunshine, calm sea and the same seagull sitting on the cliff top, where it sat last night by the 28

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third tee. At least, it looks the same. It dares not approach the cliffs by the second tee, for there reign a pair of sea-eagles keeping a watchful eye. They don’t seem to understand that you don’t get an eagle on a par three hole! Many claim that God is the best golf course architect and you’ll find the proof in Lofoten. What makes this golf course so unique is that it has been designed to fit in and compliment the landscape, leaving nature undisturbed. Here the tees, fairways and greens are placed where nature allows, without destructive interference. Golfing here is like USEFUL INFORMATION golfing at the edge of Fly from London Heathrow to Oslo nature, all unpolished with BEA or SAS, from Gatwick with and raw, but then that’s Norwegian. From Oslo with SAS or the whole point. The Norwegian to Bodø, and then with Widerø to Leknes or Svolvær. SAS also world is full of expensive flies from Manchester to Oslo, from and beautifully Aberdeen to Stavanger and Bergen, manicured golf courses where you can fly with Norwegian to – the natural ones are Bodø. Check www.norwegian.no or few and far between. www.flysas.com/en/uk/ My visit certainly left a lasting impression. Gimsøya is located about 50 km from Leksnes and/or Svolvær airports, so A trip to the Lofoten you will need to hire a car. Golf Links is no The midnight sun lasts from late May ordinary vacation, more to mid-August, but the golf course is like a pilgrimage back to open almost all year round. the roots of golf. With its breathtaking scenery Green fee: 9 hole/£35 – 18 hole/£45 – 24 hr fee £50 and the almost mythical light of the midnight Accommodation: Apartments or sun, this is an experience cabins sleeps a total of 26 – find more that comes highly information at www.lofoten-golf.no recommended. e-mail: post@lofoten-golf.no Phone: +47 76 07 20 02


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gale force winds were blastingg from the ocean

and the waves were breakingg on the road. we g t with a cup of tea, watchingg sat inside all nigh pan ne. the rain beatingg aggainst the window p

next morningg we woke to this.

- IT’S I T ’ S A DIFFERENT D I F F E R E N T STORY STO RY www www.northernnorway.com .northernnorwayy.com


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SINGAPORE

Marina Bay Golf

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GOLF IN THE LION CITY As Singapore’s most exclusive golf resorts start to open their doors to guests, Terje Myklebost finds out whether the courses really are a great way to explore the orient... 31


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SINGAPORE

Serapong hole 5

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sia is becoming a major golfing destination. Thailand is already popular among golfers, Malaysia and China are also getting some recognition now. But Singapore remains more unknown, perhaps because the courses have been more or less closed for green fee play. This has changed over the past five years. Now there are 14 golf clubs in Singapore, most of them with two or more courses. Competition is increasing and new clubs are opening up. Even the top golf course in the city, Sentosa Golf Club, now welcomes guests. Singapore is a large city with five million inhabitants, but it is small compared to cities in China. It is quite beautiful, with a wonderful blend of ultra-modern skyscrapers and ancient buildings – it’s a melting pot of designs as colonial-style buildings mix with Chinese temples, Muslim mosques sit amid charming green parks and shady avenues.

Stunning Sentosa Sentosa Golf Club is a lush and exotic course found on the southeast side of the island of Sentosa, a 15-minute drive from the vibrant city centre. The club was officially opened by Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, in 1974. It is located on an exclusive piece of land, with an impressive entrance – and, perhaps unusually, an exceptionally welcoming reception at the check-in.

Singapore Open Sentosa Golf Club has two 18-hole courses, Sera Pong and Tanjong – both magnificent. Sera Pong is the club’s championship course and is ranked among the top five in Asia, but it is restricted to members. It is the location of the Barclay Singapore Open in November each year. This tournament features the world’s best golfers – familiar names like Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Angel Cabrera, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Thongchai Jaidee and Jeev Milkha Singh to name a few. And they return again and again, simply because they like the course, the environment and the climate. Designed by Ronald Fream, the course was opened in 1982. The difficulty lies in the positioning of bunkers, the length of the holes and the water. The holes along the lake are spectacular, with the Singapore skyline and the many cargo and cruise ships as a backdrop to the game.

Tanjong – for the everyday golfer But it’s Tanjong that is the course for regular golfers visiting the big city. And what a course this is. Designed by Frank Pennick and opened for play in 1972, the course is located just below the club. It is considered to be the most beautiful course in Singapore, with flowering trees and bushes, beautiful flower beds, ponds full of water lilies and a semi-botanical garden full of mangrove trees, and all varieties of palms and flame trees. In between the trees, you’ll find signs that warn against snakes and ask you not to look for your ball! So just smile and take a drop. The course starts nice and calm with a couple of wonderful holes that fall gently towards the sea, then you make a turn to the east and go along the waterfront on a par-five and a par-four hole, with a lake on the left. In this area they are currently building exclusive homes that are considered the most expensive and up-market in the whole of Singapore, with properties selling for up to £7 million. After a short and steep par-three hole, we turn back towards the clubhouse.

Lucky 13th hole The most spectacular hole is the 13th. Tee-off is on top of a hill, where you can get a cold drink to refresh yourself in the small restaurant before embarking on this challenge. From the tee-off, there’s a fall of 70-80 metres to a green 150 metres away – a wonderful

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Sky Bar at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Club House

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The famous Raffles Hotel


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par-three hole. From there, the course takes us out on to a plain, defined by small ponds and palm trees, before climbing up the 18th fairway – with the gorgeous clubhouse beckoning before the final putt.

Changing nature Both Sera Pong and Tanjong have undergone a facelift in recent years and stand today as two golf courses of the highest class. But with the construction of the houses along the sea, Tanjong will undergo some changes. Eighty per cent of all golf strokes are known to turn to the right, something the course would like to avoid on the fairways along holes three and four. Here, the head keeper now will let nature come better into its own by letting part of the rough grow high in the lagoons or like small islands in the fairways. This allows the course to become a more natural part of this lush terrain of the island, which will make it even more beautiful.

Wonderful terrace The clubhouse definitely adds that little extra something that makes Sentosa a special and stunning golf course. The beautiful colonial-style building is located on a hill, clearly visible in the landscape, yet understated in its elegance. The clubhouse is beautifully decorated in soft earthy colors, marble and wall-towall carpeting. It has excellent meeting facilities, a modest but exclusive pro shop, elegant dressing rooms, and good restaurants. And not least, a wonderful terrace with views of both the 9th and the 18th green. Widely known among golf enthusiasts in Singapore, as a place to meet and socialize, before and after the golf round, or when the siren goes for thunder and lightning. Here you can enjoy a good meal, be it Chinese, Japanese, local or western cuisine, and sip an ice-cold Tiger beer, a glass of wine or a coffee. The entire terrace is a buzz of people and cultures, just like Singapore itself.

Undeniably Asian Singapore definitely has its own character and is undeniably Asian. It is a vibrant city with all the world’s colourful cultures living together side by side. There is never a dull moment. Here you’ll find a bustling nightlife and a large choice of restaurants. And Singapore is Asia’s number one shopping city. In fact, the whole city is rather like a major shopping mall. And what they can’t squeeze in of shops and restaurants above ground, they have taken under ground. Orchard Road is in reality two streets – one above and one below ground, selling everything you could possibly need. The city also has a number of natural parks, botanical gardens, Japanese gardens, a zoological garden and the Jurong Bird Park, the largest bird park in the world with 600 species. Universal Studios and a giant theme park have opened on Sentosa, and the city opened its second of two major casinos in June 2010, drawing gamblers from around the world.

Charming hotel

Tanjong hole 3

During our visit, we stayed at Goodwood Park Hotel in Scotts Road, just a golf stroke away from Orchard Road. It’s a lovely little hotel in colonial style, and last September it celebrated its 110th year. A green oasis in this bustling metropolis, where the sounds of the city can be heard only as a distant murmur when lying by the swimming pool surrounded by skyscrapers, palm trees, flowers and the famous terrace under the fans. Inside you’ll find one of Singapore’s most celebrated coffee bars where they serve the best coffee, cakes and delicious lunches. Just around the corner, renowned tailor Simon has his little shop where he measures and sews exquisite suits, shirts or dresses in record time. 35


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The Rose Marie Suite, at the Goodwood Park Hotel formerly named the Brunei Suite because the Sultan of Brunei always stayed here

Goodwood Park is a 5 star hotel with at least the same number colonial-style architecture and lush tropical gardens that exude of stars to their restaurants – all of them famous places to eat in an atmosphere of timeless elegance.  a city full of excellent eateries. In Gordon’s Grill you can inspect Raffles Amrita Spa provides pampering relaxation, while the and decide on the amount of meat for the table before they boutiques of the hotel’s arcade offer ample opportunities for retail prepare an unforgettable meal. Both the Grill and the Japanese therapy. There are 15 restaurants and bars, including the Long sushi bar below are frequented by prominent government Bar – home to the world-renowned Singapore Sling and Tiffin Room, which continues the tradition of Afternoon Tea at Raffles. officials, diplomats and business people. And the Chinese Founded in 1887 by four Armenian brothers who leased a restaurant Min Jiang with a terrace along the swimming pool, is 10-room colonial style bungalow from an Arab trader and considered among the best in the city. Here they serve the most philanthropist, Raffles was originally by the seaside, but delicious, crispy Peking Duck. continuous reclaiming of the land means that the site is now 500 Unlike most hotels in Singapore, the Goodwood Park Hotel metres away from the shore. is a low structure of only three floors, with a small tower that is The hotel survived World War II, despite the hardships now protected as one of the city’s prominent landmarks. The Singapore faced and the use of the hotel at hotel has 223 rooms, and beneath the tower the end of the war as a transit camp for lies the very beautiful Rose Marie Suite, prisoners of war. In 1989, Raffles closed for formerly named the Brunei Suite because Great Golf Magazine chose to fly with an extensive renovation (at a cost of 160 the Sultan of Brunei always stayed here, Singapore Airlines from London, serving million dollars). until he bought his own hotel. This suite is the Singapore route with their Airbus frequently the choice of both ministers and The hotel also houses the Raffles A380, the world’s largest aircraft. royalty when they visit – among them Museum, which displays the rich history of Round-trip from London on Business Class Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, former the hotel. The museum was created after a costs £3,398, including taxes and fees. Economy from about £585. Contact your British Prime Minister Edward Heath, as heritage search, where people from all over travel agent for details. Singapore Airlines well as artists and movie stars. the world sent items and memorabilia of has two flights from London with the A380. their stay at the hotel. Items included Goodwood Park Hotel – prices from photographs, silver and china, postcards Legendary elegance approximately £150 per room, per night. and menus, as well as old and rare editions Being in Singapore no one should miss the www.goodwoodparkhotel.com of the works of the famous writers who opportunity to make a visit to world Green fee at Sentosa Golf Club is about stayed there. These are now proudly renowned Raffles Hotel, one of Singapore’s £100. www.sentosagolf.com.sg displayed in the museum, along with most graceful landmarks. Established more Taxi from Changi Airport to the Goodwood photographs of its famous guests and visitors. than 120 years ago, Raffles has become a Park Hotel takes about 30 minutes legend in its own right. depending on traffic, and costs around £ 10. Immortalized in the novels of Somerset Text also by Camilla Kaas-Stock - Photo Sentosa Golf Currency is Singapore dollars and 1 GBP Club and Singapore Tourism Board Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, Raffles has comes to approx. 2 SGD.

GOOD TO KNOW

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54180.01 Fun Brand Ad.indd Pg1 Mundocom UK

27/10/2010 17:52


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Brussels

more than fine

chocolate

The nerve center of the EU as well as the capital of Belgium, Brussels is usually associated with delicious chocolates, politics and sprouts. But as a golf destination, it’s a blank space on the map – not for much longer...

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russels has far more to offer than just politics – the city is full of culture, history, beautiful architecture and wonderful restaurants. Add to this around 80 golf courses, 20 of them within an hour’s drive from Brussels, and you have more reasons than ever to visit. Increasingly, people are finding their way to the golf courses, especially the many foreigners who live and work here.

A great city Brussels has become a magnificent city, a veritable melting pot of influences from around the world. But it still manages to maintain its character as a Northern European centre, full of ancient heritage, traditions, buildings and history. It is a beautiful place, more centrally located than most other capitals in Europe. From the center of Brussels, it’s just an hour by train to the Gare de Nord in Paris, and just two hours to London. Brussels and Belgium in general are world-famous for cuisine, fine chocolates, sweet waffles and good beer, not to mention Brussels sprouts and, perhaps, Agatha Christie’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. I stayed at the Norwegian-owned Stanhope Hotel in the city centre. The company’s Area Manager, Nils Hauge, is a Norwegian who has lived here for 13 years. “Lots of politicians and EU-delegates come to stay at this hotel, even royalty and celebrities. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and the Norwegian royal family usually stay here when they are in town,” says Hauge. “When it comes to golf we have deals with a couple of clubs, and can offer guests reasonable rates. Here you can play golf most of the year,” he adds.

Regal golf Golf Chateau de la Tournette is located in a rural setting about 40 minutes drive from my hotel. When you stroll through the gate the first thing you see is a small chateau, originally built in the 16th century. The building has been extensively renovated throughout the years, and is now the clubhouse with a bar, two restaurants and conference facilities. On the grounds you’ll also find a miniature version of the ornate gardens in Versailles. Hauge is a member here and the Stanhope Hotel has a corporate agreement with the club, so everything is ready at the check-in desk. First, though, we treat ourselves to a quick espresso in the elegant bar and restaurant before teeing off on the American course. According to Hauge, this course is slightly more fun than The English Course because it is more hilly and with more water hazards.

Luscious landscape We tee off fairly high above a small lake down to the right, out on a fairway that slopes upward into a dogleg to the left. It’s a beautiful and somewhat gentle opening to the round. Then follows a relatively simple, rather flat, par-4 hole. On the third hole, the course reveals itself, and to my surprise, this is certainly hilly, because here the fairway lies way down in a dogleg to the left around a large oak tree, and with strategically placed bunkers along the right side of the green. A beautiful, challenging and fun hole. On the next few holes we have to play over water, through woodland, then up and down undulating fairways and a long par3 hole, which is again over water. At the Chateau de la Tournette all the four par-3 holes have water in front of the green, making them both challenging and scenic.

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DE LA T-RICARDO PHOTO: OP

RIVA

PHOTO: OPT-J.P REMY

This is a picturesque and lush golf course. It is about 20 years old and has majestic oak, elegant birch trees and dense conifers along the fairways, on a course that alternates nicely between park and woodland, and is dotted by small, idyllic lakes.

Stunning signature holes The Back Nine are even more rugged, with some great challenging holes – taking us down slopes and up steep hills. It’s one great signature hole after another. Then there is the 15th, an exceptional golf hole with a fairway framed by magnificent oak trees that lead to a small lake 280 metres further down. If you do well here you can reach the green on the other side of the water hazard in two strokes. Unfortunately for me, I have to use the drop zone! What follows is a lovely little par-3 hole over the same water and then a couple of par-4 holes, with a beautiful teeing area in the forest and with water on the left side. I must be getting hungry by this point, because when I spot some waterfowl nearby, all I can think of is eating goose liver pâté and duck breast for dinner. We manage to avoid the birds and reach the green. The greens at the Chateau de la Tournette are large and fairly undulated. And it is not a given that you will two putt, even if the ball has reached the green. The 18th hole is a par-5 and a great finishing hole with a dogleg to the right around a pond. After that it’s a steep incline to a large green, which is just below the castle. Right now I can feel in my legs that the Chateau de la Tournette certainly is a course with plenty of hills. It’s a varied and exciting golf course – so exciting that I have no trouble recalling every hole as I sit with Hauge on the terrace, overlooking the landscape, sipping a nice cold Belgian beer. I have discovered that Belgium is underrated as a golf destination.

Food glorious food “I’ve always liked this golf course,” says Hauge. “It is varied, well maintained, has plenty of challenges and a friendly atmosphere. The clubhouse is great and has a very good restaurant. Belgians are passionate about good food. This applies to golf courses, as well. So here you get excellent food at a reasonable price – life centres a lot on good food,” smiles Hauge.

Exciting districts Brussels is not a large city; the population is just over a million. But it is an interesting place with a delightful centre, and many fun areas. My hotel is located in the city’s high-end shopping area, along the Avenue Louise, but just a short stroll away it’s like stepping into another world. This is the African district, a charming and colourful addition, where you’ll find mostly African shops, bars and restaurants. Walking in the opposite direction, you’ll find a pleasant residential area with no tourists, but lots of nice bars and restaurants frequented by the locals. Every Wednesday there is a market, where you can buy local produce and grab a bite to eat. After passing the Justice Palace, one of the largest buildings in Europe, you stumble into a completely different type of neighbourhood. This is Sablon, the artist quarter, a charming area of narrow steep streets, small bohemian cafés, galleries and antique shops. Well worth a visit.

Grand Place Walking down from the artist quarter you come to the picturesque and bustling Grand Place, surrounded by magnificent buildings with gilded facades, towers, domes and spires with elaborate stuccowork. This plaza, with its surrounding alleys, is where you’ll 43


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GOLF CHATEAU DE LA TOURNETTE find most of the tourists. Not surprisingly, for this is a beautiful area with its narrow, cobbled streets and small charming buildings with cozy cafés and restaurants. A coffee or a Belgian beer at one of the sidewalk cafés on the square is a very pleasant experience.

Manneken Pis Nearby stands the world-famous Manneken Pis, doing his business while the world looks on. People flock to this sculpture of the boy standing peeing. And as you walk past the statue, treat

yourself to some delicious chocolate or mouth-watering Belgian waffles, which fill the street with a wonderful sweet smell. The whole of Brussels seems to be filled with heavenly aromas. It is a lovely city that prides itself on its cultural diversity, easygoing atmosphere, interesting attractions, excellent cuisine and plenty of great golf courses. Only a train ride away, this city should definitely be on your map. Text Terje Myklebost Photo: Visit Belgium

GOOD TO KNOW There are plenty of daily flights to Brussels from several UK airports. From London you can also take the Eurostar. return ticket, £69 Stanhope Hotel Rue du Commerce 9, B-1000 Brussels +32 2 506 91 11 www.thonhotels.com Golf Chateau de la Tournette, www.tournette.com Greenfee Visitor Weekdays €65, Fridays €70 Weekend €95

PHOTO: OPT-ALEX KOUPRIANOFF

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© Golf Mont Garni

© Golf Mont Garni

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Vietnam. 46-53_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 12.23 Side 1

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!

Good Morning

Vietnam

Tens of thousands of Britons travel to Thailand each year. Many do it to play golf, but now Vietnam is moving up as a strong competitor with 18 fantastic golf courses, three more under construction, and an ever-improving infrastructure, Vietnam is the one to watch...

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he last time I was in Vietnam, eight years ago, there were only a couple of golf courses just outside Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Good courses, but rather secret at the time. Not any more. Over the last five years, 12-14 new courses have opened, and it’s well-known golf names like Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Ronald Fream who have designed some of them. Vietnam is now pulling out all the stops to attract golfers from around the world. Most of the golf developments are being done in the southern part of the country. Around Hanoi in the north there are only a couple of courses. In the south, however, new ones are popping up all the time, and several of them are located on the coast as 46

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beautiful links courses. Near Ho Chi Minh City, there are currently three very good courses. The oldest is Vietnam Golf & Country Club (very distinguished), the newest is Long Thanh Golf Club (modern and playful).

Vibrant city Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s financial and commercial centre, and it is pulsating with life. The streets are crowded with mopeds and bicycles, shoppers, bustling restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Much has changed in Ho Chi Minh City since I was here the first time 25 years ago. Back then there were few cars, but more cyclos (the typical bicycle taxis), and at least as many mopeds and


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bicycles. The traffic, then and now, is chaotic and crossing the street can seem an impossible task. I recommend stepping out from the pavement in a decisive manner and walking at a steady pace, without any hesitation. If you stop or change direction, you risk being mowed down!

Time stands still In many aspects, time has stood still in Ho Chi Minh City, although several of the old buildings have been torn down and replaced by modern ones. The charming place on the corner by the opera house is gone, and in its place is now a Louis Vuitton building. Unfortunately, only a few cyclos remain as a tourist

-attraction. Fancy boutiques have replaced the shops that once sold fake watches and copies of US cigarette lighters from the Vietnam War. There are Ferraris and Lamborghinis in the streets, something I’ve never seen here before, and big hotel chains dominate the city centre with their 20-storey-high buildings. In spite of all this, the old atmosphere of the city – the smells, the sounds, the tempo remains. Shady trees still line the sidewalks, with the small shops in low buildings – and the restaurants Lemongrass and Vietnam House still serving their mouthwatering dishes. The old beautiful Majestic Hotel by the Saigon River still stands as does the Rex Hotel, where journalists sat on the terrace and watched the end of the war in 1975. Even the little girls 47


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selling postcards to get money for school, and my old friend Binh’s tiny little street cafe on Dong You street are still present.

Great golf deals Golfing in Vietnam is in full bloom. Two years ago, the Long Thanh Golf Club opened its fairways and now enthusiastic golfers from South Korea, Japan, China and Australia are journeying to that course. Actually, this is now the most popular course for all foreigners residing in Ho Chi Minh City and is considered the best. It’s a 40-minute drive from downtown, but be careful to avoid the rush hour traffic or it will take a lot longer. 48

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Long Thanh clubhouse is located on a hill and the course is in an area dominated by a valley and gently undulated terrain. The Asian-style clubhouse is huge, but low and discreet and fits nicely into the landscape. Inside, the cool air-conditioned building welcomes you after a game of golf.

Lush and beautiful Long Thanh has 36 holes divided into Lake Course and Hill Course, and the names speak for themselves. I choose the latter, despite the heat, or perhaps because of the heat, hoping that being higher up would offer a better chance of a breeze. My caddy


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Long Than. Green 1

named Flower pulls my golf-bag along the lightly hilly course. It is stunning, with its great oil palm trees, beautiful flowerbeds, artificially-built waterfalls and lakes, and meticulously kept fairways and greens. At the third hole the course reveals itself. My tee-off is partially over water and up a wide and beautiful fairway. The 4th hole is a spectacular par-3hole with a low ‘Chinese wall’ that runs along the edge of the fairway. The hole is a dogleg that curves from right to left, with a lovely green far below. Here you strike out high and tiger line over the flowerbeds and the jagged wall to try to find the green 170 yards downstream – a fun hole.

And so it continues, with one great golf hole after another, over small lakes with beautiful ornate bridges, little tea houses, view points, waterfalls and a lush palm forest. The ever-smiling Flower is my great support throughout – she is sad when I have a bad shot and shouts “Superman” when I do well, which becomes more and more infrequent through the round. I blame the heat! However, with the slight breeze on the hilltops, the beautiful surroundings and with Flower as moral support and caddy, it is still a great experience to play golf on Long Thanh. Legend Hotel Saigon overlooks the Saigon River, and it feels good to step into the bright, air-conditioned atrium after 49


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a steaming hot day on the golf course. Japanese-owned, it is large, modern, clean and stylishly decorated. Here, I feast on Ho Chi Minh City’s best buffet lunch, satisfying both hunger and thirst, and afterwards I lounge in the shade by the pool with a good book. I treat myself to a relaxing foot massage in the spa facility, which is heavenly for sore feet. And I spend the evening aboard the delightful entertainment boat Bonsai, where Saigon’s history is told through song and dance while we glide quietly along the riverbank. I enjoy a delicious dinner as the cool breeze and surprisingly clean air soothes my hot skin. Sitting here, it suddenly seems unimportant how I played earlier. Life is good. 50

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Picturesque Hoi An Just an hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City you’ll find Danang, roughly in the middle of the country. Here China Beach stretches out along the sea, the sacred Marble Mountain with its five peaks rise dramatically in the otherwise flat landscape, and the old fishing village of Hoi An lies as a beautiful little jewel in the warm afternoon sun. When I was here 25 years ago there were only a few small rundown houses at the foot of the mountain, definitely no hotels along the beach and Hoi An was a drowsy little village. I was among the very few who climbed the stairs up Marble Mountain and I stood alone on the beach. Today, hotel resorts line the shore


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Long Than

and Hoi An is a bustling tourist magnet, but still with the small colourful houses along the main street, the picturesque old Japanese bridge and lots of exquisite restaurants. A little further down the beach you’ll find Golden Sands Resort & Spa, a delightful modern oasis with Vietnam’s longest swimming pool of 150 metres, and the sandy beach just below. Add to this a Vietnamese and international restaurant, a nice pub and a lovely little spa facility, and you have the makings of a perfect holiday.

Montgomerie Links – Colins favourite Ten minutes up the road you’ll find Hoi An’s spectacular golf

course, Montgomerie Links. Designed by Colin Montgomerie, this is a magnificent links course just a golf shot in from the sea. I turn up at the course bright and early on a sunny day in April, where I’m greeted by my caddy, who with a broad smile proclaims, “My name is Phuc!” When introductions were over we headed out on the course. I must admit it feels a bit strange to call out for Phuc, (because Ph in Vietnamese is pronounced F) but you can get used to anything, and I made sure not to laugh at her name! The 18-hole course had its official opening on the 19th of April 2010, with Colin himself present. Rumor has it that this is one of the favorite courses he has designed. 51


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Montgomerie Links is a large and very open course, and I recognize Colin’s signature from his course in Dubai. The course rolls forward like gentle waves in the flat, open terrain, scattered with small idyllic lakes and hundreds of beautiful white bunkers. It is an extremely beautiful golf course - a lush, green oasis in the somewhat barren terrain. There aren’t many palm trees here, but plenty of conifers and shrubs in the rough. The first four holes on the back nine are spectacular, with water, small mounds and gorgeous undulated greens, well surrounded by white bunkers. The sun is merciless, but there is a light breeze coming from the sea, and Phuc ensures that I drink plenty of water and encourages me onwards. On hole 14 she even 52

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sings a beautiful Vietnamese folk song for me - a lovely, peaceful moment. It is strange to think that Americans and Vietnamese clashed together in some of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War right here on the plains, below Marble Mountain. Vietcong used the caves on Marble Mountain to spy on the Americans who often spent their leave at China Beach. But Montgomerie Links’ marketing director, Donna Tran, assures me that they have searched the entire area with mine detectors and only found a few grenades and landmines. Hmmm! Well, the only bunkers you’ll find here now are sand bunkers, apart from some dilapidated bunkers by the tee-off on hole five,


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GOOD TO KNOW Great Golf chose to fly with Singapore Airlines to Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City. The airline has daily flights with Airbus A 380 from London, Paris and Zurich. For more information contact your travel agent or visit www.singaporeair.com. Long Thanh Golf Club in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Montgomerie Links Golf Club in Hoi An are three very good golf courses that show Vietnam is an up-and-coming golf destination. Green fee is around £40 and tips to the caddy is normally about £30. www.longthanhgolfresort.com www.montgomerielinks.com

and the only battles that take place on the plains today are the peaceful ones between competitors in golf tournaments. And if you need some spiritual guidance or a few words with the Gods to improve your game, you can swing by the small temple on the third hole.

My best hours After a great round of golf, and a soothing massage under the warm hands of Tien in the hotel spa, I climb the stairs to the first floor of the Cargo Club restaurant in Hoi An, and find a table out on the small terrace. Enveloped in the warm softness of the evening, with a view of the river, and with a delicious Vietnamese meal and a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc, I enjoy a couple of my

Legend Hotel Saigon is great for the Saigon River, in district 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. It has 5 stars and is one of the few hotels in the city that has a garden with swimming pool. The hotel has bright, funky and modern rooms, and as a curiosity include heated toilet seat! Legend Hotel Saigon provides the best buffet lunch in the atrium restaurant and otherwise some of Saigon’s best restaurants. www.legendsaigon.com The gorgeous resort hotels Le Belhamy and Golden Sand Resort & Spa are located both at China Beach, just minutes from the centre of the old fishing village of Hoi An on the east coast of Vietnam. www.swiss-belhotel.com www.belhamy.com

best hours ever. Vietnam is a wonderful country, and now also a paradise for golfers. Text Terje Myklebost Photo: Montgomerie Links and Long Thanh Golf Club 53


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Love Golf. Love Sun. Love La Manga Club. At La Manga Club, Spain, we’ve got golf trips off to a tee (if you’ll pardon the pun). It’s not surprising that we’ve been a world-renowned golfing destination for almost 40 years. Our three championship courses, each with its own distinct character, are all within the resort – that means maximum golf and minimum hassle. Add to that a lively and tempting choice of 19th holes and fabulous restaurants, not forgetting our wonderfully warm, Murcian micro-climate and much, much more. It’s easy to see what golfers love about La Manga Club.

Visit www.lamangaclub.com or call +34 968 17 5577

La Manga Club & The Region of Murcia Official Candidate Solheim Cup 2015

break f l o g t 5* p.n. 4-nigh ½119 p.p. for this .com from aclub mang t golf deals. ww.la a Visit w nd more gre a


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! a i c n e l a V A VIV Once a rough diamond, Valencia is now being polished to be a glistening jewel. Most golfers know Marbella, Murcia and the Costa Brava, but around Valencia City you’ll find some of the most magnificent golfcourses in Europe... 57


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p until recently, Valencia has been overshadowed by places like Madrid, Barcelona and Marbella. Even Seville and Bilbao are more famous. It’s all rather unfair, as Valencia is a beautiful city. But finally, this city is now on the right path, and not just because its football club has established themselves at the top of La Liga, and are constantly playing in the Champions League and European Cup! No, Valencia is finally getting recognized as the innovative and forward-looking city it actually is. Valencia is now known by virtue of what it represents – the combination of interesting history and a stunning old town, modern architecture and exciting culture. Plus it hosts such events as the America’s Cup and the Valencia Grand Prix in Formula 1. On top of this, it is being recognized as a great golfing destination. Sergio Garcia from Castellon, just north of Valencia City, has also contributed greatly to lifting the region out of the shadows

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and into the golf limelight. Add to this the fact that some of the world’s best golfers have designed many of the courses, so in Valencia, you are guaranteed value for your golf-money.

La Sella – the work of Olazábal A little further inland from the town of Denia, you’ll find La Sella Golf, a magnificent 18-hole golf course, designed by José Maria Olazábal 20 years ago. Last January a new nine-hole loop was opened, so it now offers 27 beautiful golf holes, which can be combined in different ways. La Sella hosts the European Tour for women in April each year, confirming its quality. Last year, it was the Swedish Anna Nordqvist and Sophie Gustafson who won the prestigious tournament. e course is impressive and beautifully kept, with the first nine holes more like a woodland course – undulated with some fairly tight holes, but varied and exciting. I chose to play the last


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nine holes on the original course and then test the nine new holes. e last nine old holes open up more towards a parkland course with wide fairways like gentle rolling waves in the terrain, with amusing obstacles such as creeks and small idyllic ponds.

Picture perfect e course is flat and easy to walk around, but demanding and stunningly beautiful where it lies at the foothills of the mountain and at the edge of the Montgo national park. ere are great views to the surrounding hills and mountains, with fairways and greens surrounded by conifers, ancient gnarled olive trees, lush orange trees, as well as palm and flowering almond trees. Picturesque arched stone bridges, small ancient houses in the typical yellow sandstone, and beautiful ruins of old water reservoirs from the time when this was farmland, make a wonderful frame around the course.

e old buildings stand as a dynamic contrast to the modern, cube-shaped clubhouse. Along the rough in front of some greens and elevated tees, there are neatly stacked stone walls that frame the holes. It is obvious that Mr Olazábal has put his heart into the design of La Sella, proving that he has a strong sense of aesthetics. e last hole of this loop sums up the ancient course – a wonderful par-5 hole that crosses a stream twice, and with a tall pine tree right in front of the elevated green encircled by bunkers.

Tough rough is brings me to the nine new golf holes, which have a surprisingly different character. At the 11th hole the terrain is more reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. ere is hardly a tree on the entire loop. e holes are spread across a large, completely open area, with small blue lakes that contrast against the dark green fairways and yellow rough. e grass on these nine holes is 59


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of a totally different character, especially in the rough, which is a huge challenge. Stiff, hard and dry in contrast to the lush green grass in the rough on the old course. But it is a great part of the course, with holes 13 and 14 especially enjoyable. e height difference from the green on hole 13 to the tee on hole 15 and onwards up to hole 18 is challenging. So it’s demanding to play the last five holes on this course. After this it feels good to rest and enjoy a delicious Spanish lunch on the terrace overlooking the green on hole 9.

El Saler – among Europe’s best El Saler was recently voted Europe’s ninth best golf course by Golf World magazine. Designed by Javier Arana and opened as early as 1968, El Saler is truly a magnificent golf course located on the seafront near Albufeira, about 12 miles to the south of Valencia City. It lies like a green emerald against the blue Mediterranean

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Sea, with a combination of links holes along the dunes and woodland holes behind the clubhouse.

A Caddy’s love for the course Caddy Master José Louis Fortea is from the village of El Saler just up the road, and practically grew up on this course. As a boy he was caddy for wealthy golfers as a way to earn a few pesetas. He has a special relationship with this great course, but it was not until nine years ago that José got a job at the club and he loves every minute of it. “El Saler is a great golf course. I do not play much golf myself, but since the course was built I have enjoyed spending time here,” says José. “And for me there is nothing more beautiful than the view from the tee on hole 18, the highest point on the course. From here you can see one of the world’s top 100 golf holes, as well as several others – all of which are linked to the sea and the dunes.


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“is is a true links course with natural sand in the bunkers, with undulating sand dunes along the sea and often a strong wind that affects your game, especially in the afternoon,” adds José. e remaining 11 holes lie in a wooded terrain with dense shrubbery, tall umbrella pines, deep bunkers and lovely lush fairways. e course has a wonderful combination of tranquil wooded areas, parkland, stunning sea views and challenging winds.

Conservation area El Saler Golf Course is located in Albufeira National Park and has been awarded a prize for the way it has been designed in harmony with nature. “Fortunately, in 1970 they introduced restrictions on building construction in this area, and so the plans to turn this location into a tourist area with hotels and restaurants, was suspended,” José explains. “e hotel, affiliated with the golf club, has been

modernized and now belongs to the Spanish hotel chain Paradores. Anyone staying at the hotel gets to play the course for half price. “I saw Bernhard Langer set the course record of 62 strokes when he won the Spanish Open in 1984. It was an experience I will never forget,” he adds. Even Sergio Garcia plays here as often as he can. He is so excited about this golf course that he comes here at least twice a year, which confirms that this is a world-class course. But in 26 years nobody has played it better than Bernhard Langer – El Saler is a tough play!

Dynamic city Just a few miles north along the coast lies Valencia. A perfect city to explore when taking a break from the fairway. Many cities tear down old buildings to build new – but here they retain the old.

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e great old city is a vibrant place, with both residential and business areas in the centre, this makes it beautiful and dynamic. Valencia’s historic district is large and impressively well preserved. Here you will find broad avenues criss-crossed by narrow alleys, great plazas and picturesque courtyards. is is a lively part of town where people live and work. And everywhere buildings are being renovated and restored. In 1957, Valencia suffered a major flood from the River Turia, which left the city under four feet of water, but today 80 per cent of the old town is beautifully restored. Work on the remaining 20 per cent will be finished over the next few years. Until the mid-19th century, the old town was surrounded by a city wall with 12 gates. Today, you can still see parts of the old wall by the two impressive gates, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart. Just off the beautiful old train station and the city’s bullfighting arena is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, surrounded by the magnificent town hall and a number of buildings connected to the city’s finances. is busy plaza is also the place for Las Fallas, Valencia’s major festival in March. In the centre of the old town lies the Mercado Central, the impressive Great Market Hall, which overflows with fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish, meat, hams, nuts, nougat and, in fact, virtually everything that is possible to eat. And across the street from the market is the fabulous La Lonja, the ancient silk market, 62

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which by virtue of its important role in trade also acted as an exchange. It is now declared as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Carmen - queen of the night After you’ve walked the ancient streets, satisfying your cultural needs, you’ll want to indulge in a drink and something to eat. If you follow Calle Caballeros a few blocks you’ll find yourself in the Barrio del Carmen – which is the place to go out. Here, the narrow streets are noisy and fun, with night clubs and charming small bars. e city’s many excellent restaurants are also in Carmen, with Sagardi as one of the best and most exciting. Sagardi is a wonderful steak restaurant based on ingredients and recipes taken from the Basque country in the north. e ground-floor bar is a place for socializing over a drink, before heading to the main restaurant upstairs, charmingly rustic and pleasant. It serves mouth-watering tapas and wonderful steaks of all varieties, with the most delicious Spanish wines. With all the stunning golf courses (there are 29 in the region) and an amazing city to explore, Valencia should definitely be high up on your list of where to visit next. Text by Terje Myklebost Photo also El Saler and La Sella


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GOOD TO KNOW The Valencia region has two main airports: Manises in Valencia and El Altet in Alicante. A new airport outside Castellón will open in 2012. The motorway AP-7 runs along the coast and connects Alicante, Valencia and Castellón. To go by train between Alicante and Valencia takes less than two hours. Driving from Alicante to La Sella golf club takes an hour by car and from there to Valencia, about 40 minutes. El Saler is a 30-minute drive south of Valencia city. The Valencia region has a mild and stable climate, with a couple of degrees difference in average temperature from the coast to inland. The region has 2,730 hours of sunshine a year, and the average temperature on the coast varies between 24˚C-32˚C in summer and 12˚C-20˚C in winter. This makes for perfect golfing conditions all year round. Green fee rates are €75 at La Sella www.lasellagolfresort.com and €80 at El Saler www.paradores.es.

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THE SCANDINAVIAN GOLF CLUB

A TOUCH OF CLASS Just twenty minutes drive northwest of Copenhagen, you’ll find Scandinavia’s newest golf course - which already has been compared to Les Bordes, the French course that is often ranked as Europe’s best...

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PHOTO: THORBJOERN HANSEN WWW.HENNINGLARSEN.COM

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THE SCANDINAVIAN GOLF CLUB

PHOTO: THORBJOERN HANSEN WWW.HENNINGLARSEN.COM

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hilst it may not be on the top of your list when planning a golfing holiday, Denmark has become increasingly popular among golfers from other European countries over the last few years. is little Scandinavian country has produced some of the world’s top players such as omas Bjørn, Anders Hansen and Iben Tinning - firmly planting the flag on the golfers’ map, and also has a good variety of golf courses - suiting everyone from the Professional to the enthusiast. Although Denmark can be a little cold and windy at times, the golfing season pretty much lasts all the year round. Many of the golf courses are hosts to some of Europe’s biggest golf tournaments. is might very well be the case for their newest addition as well.

challenge. Bruce Charlton who amongst other things created Chambers Bay, which will host the US Open in 2015, has instead ensured variation in the view the player experiences on every hole by creating optical illusions, as well as changing both distance, level and optimal direction of play for risk and reward. e key to this course is not be too ambitious, but play from tees according to your handicap. To help the player on the way the tees on both courses are marked with distance instead of colors. But don’t think you will set a course record just by choosing the easy way out, both courses demand your full attention all the way. So if you want to achieve a score to be proud of you will need to use all you know about course management, in addition to all the “weapons” you've stuffed into your bag.

The best from USA and Scandinavia.

Close to nature

e Scandinavian Golf Club is the result of eight years of tireless work and the dreams of four good friends to create something unique with exceptionally high quality. Nothing has been left to chance, and nothing has been done in a hurry. Tons of shale from the Norwegian mountains were shipped over to give the clubhouse a Scandinavian look, and the giant beams supporting the roof are made from 120 year old Douglas fir brought from the Black Forest in Germany. e architect, Soren Øllgaard who also designed the Opera House in Copenhagen, has achieved something close to the sublime with the clubhouse. e 36 holes at the resort are divided into four loops over two courses, the Old Course and the New Course both ending at the clubhouse. Chief architect Bruce Charlton from Robert Trent Jones II, has designed two golf courses where the intention wasn’t primarily to create championship courses. But when you see the finished result, it becomes clear that the Scandinavian would be a natural choice for any major tournament.

Sixty years ago the area where the golf course now lies became a military training ground. When the army left ten years ago leaving behind it a torn and scared landscape, the four friends grasped the opportunity to turn their dream of a golf course into reality. ree of them are the original founders of the IT-company Navision, which in 2002 was sold to Microsoft. e fourth - Lars Peter Wilhelmsen, was a member of the Board, and has since been the driving force in creating this unique golf facility. "We wanted to create a golf course with sharp contrast between the manicured and natural areas. Only a quarter of the area is developed into a golf course, so you get very close to nature and may encounter deer and rabbits as well as a variety of birds along the fairways "says Lars Peter Wilhelmsen. To ensure an optimal balance between the golf course and the surrounding nature, an often forgotten technique has been applied - common sense and uncompromising quality. e result is a facility where all the play areas have good and proper drainage preserving natural wetlands. “Everything takes time when you’re trying to create something exceptional, but we are planning to open this summer. e intentions are that the Scandinavian shall have an unpretentious atmosphere and be a place where members and guests can play golf under the best of conditions and then relax on the terrace or in the bar, cafe or restaurant,” says Lars Peter Wilhelmsen.

Golf at any level Standing at the first tee with a two-digit handicap, it still didn’t feel too daunting to take on the course. e five tees on each hole are unlike the ones Robert Trent Jones Sr made as his trademark - one long teeing ground where mere distance was the main

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GOOD TO KNOW Green fees in Denmark range from £15 to £60, depending on the type of course, 9 or 18 hole - day or weekend, and of course, the quality of the course. Generally speaking, for £15 you can play on a good 9 hole course during the week, where it will go up to £18-20 on the weekends. An 18 hole course will be about £20 on weekdays and £30 on weekends, but this can vary again depending on how popular the course is. The two most expensive courses are in northern Sjælland and costs £45 to £60 to play on their international course. www.thescandinavian.dk

PHOTO COPENHAGEN MEDIA CENTER

Wonderful Copenhagen

Restaurants

ere are 182 golf clubs in Denmark and they are not too far apart, but even the most passionate of golf enthusiasts should not leave this small and charming Scandinavian country without having had a chance to explore and fall in love with ”Wonderful Copenhagen” - and you will. Not only with the City itself, which started out as a fishing village dating back to the 12th century but also with its’ inhabitants. Today’s Copenhagen, often referred to as ”Paris of the North”, is a modern city with a population of 1.2 million, but the feel is still almost ”village-like”, and the people could best be described as open-minded and easy going, making every visitor welcome. As the second largest of the Scandinavian capitals, Copenhagen is compact and all parts are accessible easily on foot, by public transport and of course by bike. In Copenhagen, bicycles are a primary means of transportation and cycle paths and a network of cycling routes criss-cross the city. Free bikes are conveniently parked in racks throughout the inner city, and this is a great way to explore and take in the atmosphere.

From marinated reindeer to freshly caught lobster, from ai curries to traditional 'frikadeller' (Danish meat balls), or from sushi to ”smørrebrød” (open sandwich). If you love food, be prepared to leave Copenhagen happier - but perhaps slightly heavier. In the last few years a mouth-watering array of inventive, modern and stylish new restaurants have opened in the city, many of them with French, fusion or modern Nordic influence, transforming Copenhagen into a major gourmet destination. e Nordic kitchen is currently being revitalized and at the gourmet end Copenhagen is the Scandinavian record-holder with 11 Michelin starred restaurants in 2008. However, you can still enjoy more traditional Danish food, like ”hakkebøf ” and the special red Danish hot dog you buy from a street vendor, and not to forget the famous Danish pastry bought fresh from the baker.

Shopping One of the most popular areas and a must for any visitor is Strøget, which has the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe (1.1 kilometre) with a huge variety of shops, bars and restaurants. Copenhagen has long been a haven for artists and designers. In the sidestreets around Strøget you can find an array of little shops selling clothes and crafts. Apart from this you will of course find all the usual brands and plenty of shopping malls like Det Ny Illum and Magasin du Nord.

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Attractions When you’ve spent more than you should on shopping and your belly is full, it’s time to enjoy some of Copenhagens’ other attractions like e Tivoli Gardens or Dyrehavsbakken which is the oldest amusement park in the world. ere are several wonderful museums and art galleries like Glyptoteket and the National Museum, and of course we’ll have to mention e Little Mermaid - which is more or less a national symbol. All in all, you’ll find Copenhagen to be a welcoming city with a laid-back atmosphere, just what you would expect from the famous Danish hospitality. A place you definitely would like to visit again and again. Text Frank Undall and Nils Bjornes


Does the taxman have a cheque with your name on it? Or do you have a cheque with his name on it? 0121 228 0178 admin@hedge-taxmitigation.co.uk www.hedge-taxmitigation.co.uk

If any of these circumstances describe you, we may be able to legally reduce your tax burden • Y  ou own a profitable business and pay corporation tax. • You own commercial property e.g. shops, warehouses or offices. • Y  ou own investment properties that are either “multi-let” or let to holiday makers within the EEC. • Y  ou pay 40% tax and are concerned over future inheritance tax bills or care home fees. • Y  ou have a large pension pot and want greater access to the funds.

Many large companies and rich individuals pay very little tax on their income and are able to pass their wealth intact from one generation to the next, beyond the reach of HMRC. Would you like to know what they know and apply their tax saving strategies to your business, income or assets? Secret legal “loopholes”, Acts of Parliament and European legislation can all be used in the right circumstances to help you keep more of your money.

Here’s just one example. Mr J had spent many years building his pension pot, with assets including property, shares and cash. He wanted to access monies from the fund, as well as ensuring his children and grandchildren would benefit from his hard work and prudence. He was informed by his pension adviser that what he wanted to do was not possible. We were able to demonstrate that under European Law he could achieve all of his wishes. Call or email for a no obligation, exploratory discussion to see if we can help reduce your tax burden.

Call 0121 228 0178 or email admin@hedge-taxmitigation.co.uk Enquiries welcome from introducers


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Paradise found

A tropical island with white sandy beaches and all the peace and quiet you could wish for. Top it up with a legendary golf course, and you have the recipe for a perfect golf holiday. It could only be Mauritius...

By Terje Myklebost

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n today’s climate with religious conflicts and turmoil, all the world leaders should look to Mauritius for hope and inspiration. In this tiny island state the size of Cambridgeshire lives 1.2 million people of mixed race and religion, and they all live in peace with each other, something quite unusual today. The president is a Muslim, the Prime Minister a Hindu, the Deputy Prime Minister is a Roman Catholic and a number of ministers are Protestants. Together they govern a wonderful little country and the only battles fought in Mauritius are on the golf course.

The good life Located about 900 kilometers east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is truly a tropical paradise. With its white sandy beaches, turquoise water, lush vegetation and colorful culture, this is a tranquil and peaceful place, the perfect escape from all life’s stresses and strains. There is little here to disturb the serenity, and the closest you get to any hint of danger are wasps and Stone Fish. The latter you should definitely not step on. The people are warm and welcoming, but due to their religious believes this is not the place to come if you plan to party. Therefore you can concentrate on living the good life on the beach, taking pleasant excursions to explore the island, go scuba diving or deep 74

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sea fishing. There are seven types of marlin in the waters around the island, and when it comes to food, that’s an adventure in itself with a cuisine reflecting a mixture of Creole, Chinese, European, African and Indian. And of course there is golf. Mauritius is the perfect place to recharge the batteries!

Dev - my man! Like so many other places in the world, there are some tricks you should learn. One of them is how to get a taxi at a reasonable price. I feel a little reluctant to rent a car, not so much because of the chaotic traffic, but because Mauritius consists of a conglomerate of small meandering roads criss-crossing with little or no road signs. The taxi service provided by the hotel is expensive, so I’m advised to walk along the road and hail one. Which I do, and by coincidence I happen to stop an old friend, Sur yadev Auchaybar or Dev for short. And Dev will be my driver and guide this week. He wants £40 a day to drive me anywhere. Compared to £70 for a rental car plus petrol and lots of map reading, this is a very good deal. We have known each other for ten years now and have become good friends during our many road trips. Dev even invited me to his daughter’s lavish Indian wedding with 400 guests. It’s nice and


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...when it comes to food, that’s an adventure in itself with a cuisine reflecting a mixture of Creole, Chinese, European, African and Indian. convenient to have your own regular taxi driver. They know more than most. We’ve had many pleasant trips along the narrow, winding roads - through fields of sugar canes, small picturesque villages, down eucalyptus lined roads, along beautiful sandy beaches full of colorful fishing boats and the open fields with tomatoes, eggplant and onions, all the time with the great jagged mountains as a beautiful backdrop.

Focus on tourism Dev points out sights while constantly chatting away. He tells me about his five children, his wife, the small vegetable patch where they grow eggplants and onions, and particularly about the house he has built. It took him several years to collect all the building materials but finally he has managed to complete it. He tells of a peaceful island - a small and close knit community where everyone knows everyone and where there’s hardly any crime. He also tells me about the sugar production which has gone into decline because of dropping demands. Sugar from Mauritius is too expensive because most of the work is done by hand and not with large, efficient machines. Textile production is also struggling and is in danger of losing its position as the main source of income. But tourism is flourishing and has become an

important source of revenue for the country. Dev takes me to the Black River Gorge where he shows me the most colorful and elaborate temples on the island, and the Seven Coloured Earth where you can see the island’s volcanic soil through seven layers of different sediments and colors.

Shop till you drop! Next we go to Floreal and Curepipe where most of the textile outlets still are located. This is the perfect place to indulge in a bit of shopping. Here you can find shirts from Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss, Levis jeans and soft c a s h m e re s w e a t e r s . Some are originals others are copies. Then Dev takes me to a factory where they make elaborate models of famous sailing ships (tall ships). Fifteen youths are busy hammering, sanding and varnishing the most beautifully detailed models I’ve ever seen. Impressive craftsmanship! If you bring drawings of your favorite ship, they’ll make it for you. After this we head on to Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. When I was here for the first time 20 years ago this was a small town with a large and busy harbor. Now it has become a city and the harbor is full of shops and restaurants. 75


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Playing Belle Mare Plage is like playing in a botanical garden with palms, eucalyptus, pines, jacarandas and some trees I’ve never seen before. The Legend - a tough course The Legend is one of seven 18-hole courses in Mauritius, and located at the Hotel Belle Mare Plage, which belongs to the small local chain Constance Hotels. If you’re staying at their other hotel, the Prince Maurice, you can take a shuttle bus. My advice is to save your strength before setting off to play this Golf Course as it is a real tough one with 17 water hazards and narrow fairways. If you should be unlucky enough to miss the fairway there is not much point searching for the ball, as you won’t find it. Add to this the wind blowing in from the Indian Ocean, and you might feel a bit apprehensive about playing this course. But don’t be put off, because it’s a great course - if you like a challenge! If you play it a little defensively and use your most important club, namely your head, it’s a pretty fun course. Moreover, it is definitely a beautiful course, with interesting layout and in very good condition considering the warm climate. Outside the fairways you’ll find lots of black lava rock, which is not much fun to play on. Playing Belle Mare Plage is like playing in a botanical garden with palms, eucalyptus, pines, jacarandas and some trees I’ve never seen before. The greens and fairways are framed by flowers in all the colors of the rainbow and 76

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small and large lakes are scattered throughout. It’s very beautiful. And if you are lucky you may even spot a large herd of deer that lives on the course. But the beauty is deceptive because underneath hides a “beast” of a golf course. In addition to the heat, the light is special because the sun stands almost directly above your head, and for unfamiliar eyes it makes it harder to judge distance and direction.

The lost balls Usually I have seven to eight balls in my bag, which is more than enough, but at the Legend there are so many water hazards that it is a wonder it’s possible to build a golf course here at all. And if the balls don’t end up in the water, they seem to disappear in dense shrubs and grass. I feel like a botanist rooting around in the rough looking for balls. And of course I never find them! Now I understand why people I meet in the woods outside the fairway constantly offer to sell me balls. They’re probably just waiting for us to leave the green with our tail between our legs before quickly retrieving the balls from the woods. I guess it must be a pretty lucrative business. I’m quite sure I recognized several of the balls I bought back. The Legend is in fact a very beautiful golf course, and not too tiring to walk as it’s relatively flat and not too long. All the holes


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are different, and after one round you remember them all. The greens are gently undulated, but still quite hard to read. The grass on the greens is the local Paspalum which is a little rough and can influence the direction of the ball, as well as making the greens a bit slow.

The Links - a nice challenge A few years ago Belle Mare Plage opened a new 18-hole course named The Links – which is very different. It only takes five minutes on the shuttle to get there and it is beautiful and grand with wide open spaces. But then they have used eight million pounds creating it. They have crushed lava and turned it into gravel and created a special type of grass that will grow on it. And in Mauritius things grow fast! During a downpour you can virtually hear and see the grass grow. It only took six weeks from sowing the last green until they could open for play. The Links is probably somewhat easier to play than The Legend, but certainly challenging enough. It hasn’t nearly as many water hazards in play, but enough to make the course diverse and fun. This whole area used to be covered with fields of sugar cane and had therefore already been cleared of lava rocks, which now lie in large dark mounds as beautiful landmarks around the course, but are quite a headache for golfers. The Links is somewhat more rugged than The Legend, and feels more like a park course even if it has retained some low shrub-like forests in rough. But it’s a wonderful course with large, fast and fairly undulated greens.

All forgotten All in all, The Legend and The Links at Belle Mare Plage are two great courses that complement each other perfectly, but still demanding enough to poke a few holes in my confidence. In the evening though, all is forgotten. When I sit on the restaurant terrace at Prince Maurice - under the stars with a cool breeze and the sound of the waves against the shore, then it doesn’t really matter if a few of the shots went astray. The lobster is delicious and the South African wine intoxicatingly good! After all, tomorrow I have a new chance to become the world’s best golfer - maybe. Perhaps then I’ll get an opportunity to learn something from the good old boys who have dominated golf for years. Because they also like Mauritius and The Legend and The Links – and tomorrow they’ll all be here.

MCB Open The Legend is a championship course where the Mauritius Open has been played in December for the past 15 years, with famous players like Retief Goosen, Phil Price, Ian Poulter and the Danes Soren Kjeldsen, Anders Hansen and Soren Hansen on the play list. Last year Constance Hotels was given the honor of opening the season on the European Senior Tour - the first time for this prestigious tour to be held in Mauritius - and the hotel chain has been given a 3-year contract with the Senior Tour. And what a tournament it was! Most of the world’s senior stars had announced their arrival Sam Torrance, Constantino Rocca, Ralph Glenn, Peter Mitchell, 77


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MAURITIUS

Roger Chapman, Eamonn Darcy and Gordon J. Brand, to name a few. A total of 72 players wanted to be at the opening of the 2010 season, despite the fact that the prize pool in Mauritius is not among the largest on the tour - a total of 230,000 Euros and 34,500 to the winner. But the opening is important, and this is still good money to take with you into the season.

Informal tournament The Mauritius Commercial Bank Open (MCB Open) is a very social, friendly and informal event, like most things are on this pleasant and welcoming little island - quite unlike the other major golf tournaments in the world. Here I stroll along the fairways with the players and stay at the same hotel, where many also have brought their families. I become easily acquainted with the world’s best golfers, share meals with them and enjoy myself on the sun bed or on the beach with them. ”I’ve been here four times before, and love every minute of it,” says Sam Torrance. “Mauritius is a paradise, and the ultimate holiday island. Le Prince Maurice is for me the perfect place to rest and recharge. It’s calm and quiet with few noisy children and no night clubs with loud music. A resort for grownups who just want to enjoy the sandy beaches, a few hours by the pool and some good golf. Why can’t all hotels have this kind of sun beds!” he laughs as he sprawl onto a five feet wide sun lounger next to me - with his morning coffee and the latest book by Stephen King. A perfect way to relax before the tournament next day.

Serious golf The Senior Tour has been a prestigious step up for the Constance group. It means more serious golf, major cash prizes and a good start to the season for both players and the Senior Tour organizers, and thus also for the small hotel chain’s reputation as future host for the tournament. They would rather not make mistakes. But everything was perfectly planned down to the last detail and 72 happy golfers could look forward to getting the season started. And among them, the king himself, Sam Torrance, smiling and witty, but with seriousness and concentration behind the charm. He did not quite make it this time, finishing in a joint third place with Angel Franco of Paraguay. On first and second came Ken Spurgeon and Gordon J. Brand. But what does it matter, when just being here is a price in itself. There is always next year. 78

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FACTS ABOUT MAURITIUS Mauritius is a republic in the Indian Ocean off Africa’s east coast and 560 miles east of Madagascar. The island is located 20 degrees south of the Equator. Mauritius was first drawn on the map by Arab traders. The first visitors from Europe were the Portuguese who landed here in 1510. They used the island as a way station en route to Goa in India and Malacca in Malaysia. But the first settlers here were Dutchmen who arrived in 1598 and named the island Mauritius after Prince Maurice de Nassau. They introduced sugar, slaves and deer from Java. In 1715 the French took over and renamed the island Isle de France, and there are still many place names from this period in Mauritius. In 1810 it was Britain’s turn to occupy the country and they restored the name of Mauritius. At this time Chinese and Indian traders also appeared on the scene. On the 12th of March 1968 Mauritius finally achieved its independence. Admittedly, the country was under British Commonwealth, but in 1992 the country was finally declared an independent republic. The official language of Mauritius is English, but the most widely spoken are French or Creole.

GOOD TO KNOW Great Golf Magazine chose to fly with Air Mauritius. Prices from £600 + taxes. Flying time is about 12 hours. From the airport to the Belle Mare Plage The Resort and Hotel Le Prince Maurice on the east coast takes about 45 minutes. The 5-star hotel Le Prince Maurice and the Belle Mare Plage Resort owns The Legend and The Links golf courses, and as a guest, you can therefore play as much as you want on these two courses. Green fees are included in hotel price. If you come from outside you will have to pay about £120 for a round. You do not need a visa to Mauritius - only a valid passport. Monetary Unit in Mauritius is Rupees and £100 = 4730 MUR. You’ll find cash machines in the larger cities or in the larger hotels. Mauritius is GMT + 4 Hours. www.bellemareplagehotel.com


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Tyskland, Harti. 80-82_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 12.31 Side 1

HARTL RESORT, GERMANY

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Tyskland, Harti. 80-82_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 12.31 Side 2

A European giant Situated in the heart of Bavaria, Hartl Resort claims to be the biggest golf and spa resort in Europe. True or not, it certainly is large and impressive, with a wide choice of courses that are well worth a visit...

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HARTL RESORT, GERMANY

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n the midst of a fertile agricultural area outside the village of Bad Griesbach, near the border with Austria, you’ll find Hartl Resort. Over the past 20 years it has grown to gigantic proportions. Here you’ll find no less than five 18-hole golf courses, three 9-hole courses, two 6-hole children’s courses, a huge golf academy, with 36 full-time golf teachers, and several driving ranges in connection with the different courses.

Superb layout Three of the 18-hole courses, The Mercedes-Benz Golf Course, The Beckebauer and Brunnwies, are designed by Bernhard Langer, local two-time Masters champion and Ryder Cup captain. We played two of them and were duly impressed. The way the courses are laid out is superb and, not surprisingly, maintenance standards are high. Unfortunately we didn’t get to play the Brunnwies, which is a shame, because it is ranked as one of Germany’s best. In addition to the golfing facilities, the resort includes two spa hotels that make use of water from hot thermal springs. The water in the indoor thermal pool holds a pleasant temperature of 36° C, (96.8°F), w h i l e t h e o u t d o o r s p o r t s p o o l h a s a temperature of 28° C. Besides being Europe’s largest golf facility, Hartl Resort claims to have hosted the world’s largest golf tournament. In April 2009, 712 golfers participated in the same tournament with a shotgun start on all five 18-hole courses. This won them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, although they now have been beaten by Mission Hills in China, where 1,562 players participated. 82

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Grown-ups and children Apart from golf and the spa, the resort can offer almost any kind of outdoor activities for grown-ups and children alike. And even though the resort is huge, the different facilities are scattered over a vast area, so you do not feel overwhelmed by it all. Everything here is well thought out and runs like clock-work, as one would expect from a German establishment. The resort’s own buses take you to and from all the facilities. The hotels vary in size and design, from the opulent to the more romantic, typical Bavarian style (with hanging baskets full of flowers outside), and the many restaurants offer a variety of settings and cuisine. There are lots of cheap flights to Munich, All in all, this is a from several UK locations. EasyJet flies wonderful family from Stansted and Gatwick, Ryanair from resort, and a place Stansted. Prices as low as £20 one way. where even the most Driving time from the airport to Hartl discerning golfer Resort takes about one hour and would find the 30 minutes. courses on offer more than satisfactory. Green fee costs vary throughout the

GOOD TO KNOW

Text Louis Røren Photo Hartl Resort

season, but on the Bernhard Langer courses it is about €65 on weekdays and €75 on weekends for day guests. If you stay in one of the Hartl group’s hotels the green fee is €50. More information at www.hartl.de


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Arrival Fri.-Sat. Single Room: € 285,Double Room: € 197,50 For reservations and inquiries visit www.deutsche-golfstrasse.de or send an e-mail to: info@deutsche-golfstrasse.de


South Africa. 84-90_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 13.27 Side 1

SOUTH AFRICA

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South Africa. 84-90_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 13.27 Side 2

Where Oceans Meet

South Africa has it all - exciting wildlife, stunning scenery, delicious wines, and, of course, wonderful golf courses. It’s time to sample the delights of this beautiful country...

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e know of the Fan Court and Leopard Creek in Kruger Park, but the course that is ranked as the fourth best in the country, Arabella Golf Club (which annually hosts the Nelson Mandela Invitational) is a wonderful golf course and that’s where I’m heading. You’ll find all that you need at Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa which lies on the coast, an hour’s drive east of Cape Town. A large yet warm and welcoming hotel, with a superb golf course, this is a perfect place to spend a few days.

South Africa’s wine cellar On the way to the coast I drive over the mountains down into the wonderful wine valley, where the charming little village of Franschhoek lies surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards. Franschhoek means French corner, and it is located just north of the far more famous and commercially successful wine-producing city of Stellenbosch. Franschhoek, however, is for connoisseurs. This entire village, which in practice is just a main street, is all about the good life – exquisite wines, wonderful food, some of South Africa’s best restaurants, and it’s all made more enjoyable by the peaceful and serene setting. Franschhoek is ‘the wine cellar’ of South Africa, and it’s where you’ll find the good stuff. It was the French Huguenots who discovered this valley. They came to South Africa in 1688, and they immediately saw the possibilities for wine production in this area with its perfect soil and temperate conditions. Today, there are around 40 wineries in Franschhoek, 27 of them are open to the public. Several of the wine producers also have very good restaurants where you can taste wine in combination with gourmet food.

South Africa’s best Môreson is one of these vineyards. The name means ‘morning sun’ in Afrikaans, and sitting on the terrace of their restaurant, Bread & Wine, the warm noon sun is helping to make the lunch a memorable experience. Bread & Wine is known as the best lunch restaurant in South Africa and serves fabulous wines from their own vineyard, in particular their dew-fresh Sauvignon Blanc, especially delicious when accompanied with olives, freshly-baked bread and wonderful cured meats. I visit several vineyards and taste my way through many glasses of wine, each better than the last, and finish the evening in Franschhoek with a dinner at Grande Provence, where I’m welcomed with smiles and more wine. Here I enjoy orangeglazed scallops with a nice chardonnay, followed by strawberry panna cotta with a glass of Muscatel. This is the life! The next morning I set off across the mountain and down to Arabella Golf Club on the coast.

Arabella Golf Club “The Golf course opened in 1999, and I’ve been here since the beginning,” says John Bumpsted, Golf Manager at the hotel.

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On the way to the coast I drive over the mountains down into the wonderful wine valley, where the charming little village of Franschhoek lies surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards.

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SOUTH AFRICA

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The fairways take us on a journey through doglegs and woodlands, and across open fields which slope down towards the sea. The water hazards on the course are mostly along the holes by the lagoon and these holes are spectacular. “This is a championship course which can be played according to your ability, but is challenging also for the professional player. We want everybody to enjoy themselves,” says John, who is in charge of the ground floor of the hotel, which lies just up the hill from Bot River Lagoon, South Africa’s largest natural lagoon. Here you’ll find a well equipped pro shop, and a pleasant bar and lunch restaurant, serving ice-cold beer and delicious South African wines. John is practically a living legend among golf aficionados in South Africa and seems to know everyone who is anyone in the golf world, including South Africa’s Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Gary Player. John has created a fine golfing experience and a unique social environment.

Rare rough Arabella Golf Course is divided in two loops, one to the east and one to the west. A great golf course, with undulating fairways and fast greens. One of the most distinguishing characters is the rough, which largely consists of fynbos – a very rare plant that lives only here in the Kogelberg biosphere and a few other places in the world. I recommend you stick to the fairway because the thick bushes in the rough make it almost impossible to find the ball. The red rough, along with the teeming bird life (look out for the Red Bishop and Sunbird) in the lagoon area, make playing golf here a colorful experience. The ground crew does a great job with maintenance – they even use nail scissors to trim grass around the holes!

Best golf hole Matkovich & Hayes, who designed the course, must have had fun when they created it. The fairways take us on a journey through doglegs and woodlands, and across open fields which slope down towards the sea. The water hazards on the course are mostly along the holes by the lagoon and these holes are spectacular. Ernie Els has characterized the 8th hole as the best par-5 hole in South Africa, but that was before he designed his own course! The hole slopes all the way down to a green out on a promontory in the lagoon. From there we turn inwards and then along the lagoon to the 9th hole, it’s a beautiful part of the course. Then it climbs again on the 10th hole and along the plateau in the second loop.

Here the last four holes are the most exciting, especially the 17th, which is a wonderful par-3 on the lake side. Gary Player loves this hole. The 18th hole with its wide fairway, the hotel up the hill opposite and probably South Africa’s longest bunker along the lagoon, is a great way to finish the round. Jack Nicklaus claims it’s the best closing hole he has ever played. All in all, it’s a wonderful golf course.

Spa and gourmet food After a wonderful round of golf, it is equally nice to treat yourself to a bit of pampering in the Altira Spa, which is South Africa’s largest, built almost like a rainforest. Here you get thoroughly lathered and scrubbed all over, steamed clean in various dry and wet saunas, and hosed down by an endless number of showers. And if you feel the need for a real deep and soothing massage, there is no end to the choices. If you follow up with a gourmet dinner at the restaurant Premiere, where the chef does his utmost to spoil you with delicious cuisine and South African wines, well then the day is just perfect. With one of the best golf courses, the largest spa in South Africa and one of the Cape area’s best restaurants – you have it all. On top of that, I can look forward to a new round of golf the next day and, of course, a safari among the wild and exotic animals you usually only see on TV. After all, you’re in South Africa!

Luxury in the bush I travelled north to Port Elizabeth before heading about 12 miles inland to the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, a 22 hectare area with beautiful scenery, stunning views and between 10,000 and 15,000 animals. Among them the ‘Big Five’: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos. Kwandwe, with its combination of ecotourism and beautiful, well -equipped lodges, is the ultimate luxury. I wake at sunrise in a large rustic cabin, take a quick dip in my private pool before enjoying a cup of tea on the terrace overlooking the river. The air is filled with bird song and in the morning mist I can see the wild animals grazing on the other side of the river. It’s a wonderful, peaceful moment before having breakfast in the main house and then setting out in the open safari vehicles. The morning is the best time to see the animals.

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SOUTH AFRICA

Magic moment

GOOD TO KNOW

Flights from London South African Airways, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic. The Franschhoek is a pleasant, centrally-located hotel in the wine village of Franschhoek. Price about £230 per room in high season from October to April, which includes breakfast and all beverages. Half price in low season. Some great vineyards: www.moreson.co.za www.grandeprovence.co.za www.boschendal.ca.za Green fee at Arabella Golf Club costs about £70 and for hotel guests about £50 Rental of clubs about£25 www.arabellawesterncapehotel.com One night in Kwandwe costs about £500 per person in high season, otherwise approximately half that. This includes three delicious meals and all drinks, your own luxurious cabin with private swimming pool, and two safaris per day by car, ranger and tracker included. www.kwandwereserve.com

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By six o’clock we are ready to go, equipped with binoculars and cameras, and with a scout on a chair in front of the hood on the left side of the vehicle. He will use his keen eye sight to find the animals. And animals we find. Within a couple of days, going out both morning and afternoon, I have seen all of the Big Five, as well as my favorite cat, the beautiful cheetah. Sitting in an open car with a lion lying just 20 metres away, is definitely something I’ll never forget. It’s a magical, almost spiritual moment.

We’re told that lions can’t distinguish between the vehicle and the people in it, and would never attack something as big as a safari car. Fortunately! But we’re still instructed to keep quiet and stay seated. Getting into bed that last evening in the lodge, feeling the cool white bed sheets and soft pillows, I have a good feel for South Africa - for the people and for all the beautiful animals that I as a child always dreamed of seeing. Now it’s no longer just a dream, but a wonderful memory. Yes, South Africa does something to you.

Text Terje Myklebost Photo www.kwandwereserve.com, www.franschhoek.org.za


Prosjekt2_Layout 1 15.05.11 18.26 Side 3

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Venice. 92-96_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 11.29 Side 1

VENICE

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Venice. 92-96_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 11.30 Side 2

Amazing Venice Think of Venice and you picture canals, gondolas and ancient buildings... not golf courses. But, think again, because Venice is home to a course that is highly worthy a visit...

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VENICE

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Venice. 92-96_Dominican Republic. 12-19 15.05.11 11.30 Side 4

V

enice – even the name invokes feelings of awe, and whether you are looking down on the city from the air, or wandering along the canals, the sense of unreality is striking. This architectural and artistic treasure, built on small islands in the marshy lagoon along the Adriatic in north east Italy, is so incredibly unique that it seems more like an apparition than something tangible. Just the thought of golf in such a place, is absurd, but a golf course there is – and it’s a great one at that.

The growth of a city That Venice exists at all is in itself incredible, as this is the unlikeliest of places to build a city. The area where the city now lies was never really part of the Roman Empire. At that time there was nothing but mosquito-infested little islands, surrounded by swampland. When the army of Attila the Hun attacked the Empire in the north in 452AD, many people were forced to flee eastward. Some of the refugees ended up on these uninhabitable islands and Venice was born, but life was hard in such an inhospitable place and poverty was rife. Eventually, the city became an independent republic, ruled by a doge (military leader), and existed as such from 697 to 1797. During this time Venice became one of the world’s wealthiest city states, as a result of being a transit port for all trade between Europe and the Far East. This was the heyday of t h e Re n a i s s a n c e , a n d t h e enormous wealth that was created at the time is still reflected in the architecture and the art treasures you can see today. Now, as then, the city consists of 117 islands, 177 canals and 354 bridges. When Napoleon invaded northern Italy in 1797, the Republic was dissolved, and after the Corsican met his Waterloo, Venice came under Austrian rule. In 1866, the former independent republic Circolo Golf di Venezia was passed to Italy, and is today the state capital of Veneto. Of course, Venice is also on Unesco’s World Heritage List. Walking through the narrow streets of Venice that often run along the canals, perhaps from Piazza San Marco to the Rialto Bridge, is an experience to remember. Venice has a way of taking hold of you and it’s easy to loose yourself in the charm of the place, but this is no romantic break - I’m here to play golf.

bewildered. After a brief introduction to the game, The Count and Henry decided there and then to look into the possibilities of building a course in the area. At the tip of the island of Lido, which is a 15km long, thin island a short boat trip from the city centre, there was at the time a disused military barracks. Ford quickly realised the potential of the location, and the process was started. The then famous Scottish golf course architect, Cruickshank, was engaged and the first nine holes opened in 1928, for the benefit of a close circle of local aristocrats and their foreign friends. After the war, HC Cotton was brought in to extend the course to 18 holes, which opened for play in 1951.

Circolo Golf di Venezia

Golf in Venice

Lido is the only island in the archipelago that permits cars and it also has some wonderful beaches where the locals go swimming. This golf course is annually ranked among Italy’s best, but after playing it, I think the location has a lot to do with it. I have played several courses in Italy I consider to be better. Perhaps the weather had something to do with it, I visited in March – not the best time of year to go in hindsight. When first established, the course was a typical links course in the sand dunes. Today, Circolo Golf di Venezia is more of a parkland course in a typical English style, with huge pine trees, often like painful obstacles in the already narrow fairways. One of the most notable aspects of the course, besides location, is that there is almost no water in play. Ironic, given its location! It also has a highly unusual ninth hole – it’s a par3 hole of around 150 metres and is completely blind. The initial stroke (from the tee) goes over a hill with a directional indication marker. The hill top turns out to be the roof of the barracks at the former military garrison. On the top there is a flashing signal light that you turn on when you climb over, and that you have to remember to turn off when you leave the green. This is a rare hole on a unique course. The main building of the fort is now used as the clubhouse, which gives the place a special charm. To get to Lido you must go by boat, either by ferry from the port, a Vaporetto (a water bus), or by water taxi from the city centre. The course is open all year, except every Monday.

The story of how this golf course came into being is an interesting one and well worth telling. “Without Henry, no Ford - without Henry Ford, no golf course in Venice,” the saying goes. It was the mid 1920s, and Henry Ford was visiting his friend, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata. On the trip he had brought his golf clubs, something he apparently always did on his travels. At the time the Count hadn’t even heard of golf. So when Ford asked where the nearest golf course was located, the Count was

Veneto, of which Venice is capital, is a moderately large region of Italy, stretching from the Adriatic Sea in the east to Lake Garda in the west and from the Po River in the south to the Dolomites in the north. This area has many historic cities and places in addition to Venice. Cities such as Verona, Vicenza and Padova are doing well

Golf in Veneto

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VENICE

GOOD TO KNOW There are plenty of flights to Venice from many UK airports. If you prefer to save on airline tickets EasyJet and Ryanair are probably your best bet. Prices vary. Check www.ryanair.com or www.easyjet.com

Golf Club Ca'Amata

independently as travel destinations. The Until last summer, Ca’Amata consisted of region is well known for its cuisine and its only nine holes, most of them having water alcoholic beverages such as Grappa and in play. Since then nine new holes have been especially Prosecco, a light sparkling wine. It added. The old nine are flat and fairly also produces excellent wines, where technical - the new ones are longer with a Green Fee Cicolo Golf - Tuesday to Valpolicella, Bardolino and Amarone more modern design, with undulating Friday €70 Weekend €80 probably are the best known. fairways and greens. www.circologolfvenezia.it The new layout means that some When it comes to golf in the region there of the old holes are merged together are presently about 20 courses of varying Green Fee Golf Club Ca'Amata - €62 with the new, and this provides a quality and size. Some of the www.golfcastelfranco.it good and varied course. Next to the courses are designed by famous course they have built apartments names such as Trent Jones Sr, and some will be rented out. Arnold Palmer and Jim Fazio, and Golf Club Villa Condulmer is will satisfy even the most located near the airport and the demanding of players. The courses city of Treviso. This course is also are usually open all year round. situated on the grounds of a Apart from Circolo Golf, there former manor house - now a hotel. are other courses, such as, Golf Club However, neither the course nor Padova and Golf della Montecchia, the hotel was particularly which are internationally ranked. impressive. The hotel had seen The last two courses both have 27 better days and the course was a bit boring holes and are located by the town of Villa Condulmer Padova. and badly maintained, but with excellent greens. The condition Another internationally ranked course, Asolo Golf Club, also of the course might improve during the summer, but the layout has 27 holes, is nicely undulated and located in a parkland setting will require more than sunshine to be good. near the historic town of Asolo. This is in the middle of the Grappa and the Prosecco region. The conclusion is clear You can happily bring your golf clubs to Venice and Veneto. There Mansion Golf are enough good and varied golf courses to make it a very During my visit to the region I also played a couple of other enjoyable golf holiday, but it would be a shame to come to this courses, and the Golf Club Ca’Amata near the town of beautiful and historic region without experiencing something else Castelfranco is worth mentioning. The course is in the grounds than golf. And as for Venice - may it live forever, and I can only of a magnificent restored mansion, which is quite common for say, “Arrivedecci!” Text Louis Røren, Photo: Amazing Venice Golf and Italian Tourism golf courses in northern Italy. 96

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THE SEYCHELLES

A FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN Ever wondered what it’s like to golf in paradise? Terje Myklebost finds out when he heads to the Seychelles and experiences a little slice of heaven... Photo: Constance Hotels, Olivier Morio

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THE SEYCHELLES

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he night’s heavy downpour is followed by a beautiful fresh morning, where the dew drops glisten like diamonds in the sun. As the birds sing praise to the new day on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles, I can just make out the golf course with its tempting green behind the mangrove and palm trees. This is going to be a delightful round of golf – warm and exotic. It’s been said of the Seychelles that this archipelago is the closest you can come to paradise on Earth. Of course, we all have our own favourite places, but as an idyllic island there are few that surpass the Seychelles with its lush vegetation, beautiful white beaches, turquoise waters, delicious cuisine and happy locals. Add to this a wonderful 18-hole golf course on Praslin, and personally I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

An unspoilt destination The Seychelles consists of 155 islands scattered like green jewels in the Indian Ocean, about 994 miles east of Kenya on the African mainland, seven degrees south of the equator. The country is not a big golf destination – as it only has one 18-hole course – but what a beautiful and challenging golf course! So much so that the World Travel Awards named Lemuria the Indian Ocean’s Leading Golf Resort in 2009. The golf course is located on the island of Praslin (the second largest in the Seychelles), and is a wonderful par-70 link meandering through the dense vegetation around Lemuria Resort. Lying on the north-west tip of the island, the hotel itself is like an exotic dream. It is only a15 minute journey by plane from the capital Victoria.

Lemuria – tranquil and exotic Praslin is so small that you can drive around the island in an hour along a fairly narrow and enjoyable road that follows the coast. Here the pace of life is slow, and everywhere there are people strolling along the road, which has very little traffic, selling fruit, tending to their small colorful shops, cozy local restaurants or small hotels, most of which are close to the beach. You can see the sea from just about anywhere on Praslin, it is part of everything and everyone. The island is quite hilly, but barely 400 metres above sea level at its highest point, and is covered by dense and lush vegetation. Many of the plants grow only here on Praslin – like the wonderful double coconut, Coco de Mer. In fact, you’ll find a whole forest of these coconut palms. Vallee de Mai is a protected national park full of marked trails and with guides who can tell you about all the different types of trees. And just a few miles away is Lemuria, an exotic hotel with two gorgeous white beaches, a lovely terraced pool between large granite rocks leading up to the pool bar and main hotel building. The hotel has three excellent restaurants: the main restaurant, Legend, with delicious Asian touches; the delightful seafood restaurant, Beach Bar & Grill, which is located on the edge of the cliffs; and the Seahorse Restaurant, for fine dining. This is a beautiful and intimate hotel with small, low buildings along the beach and an idyllic spa facility.

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the other. And the latest addition is Ephelia Resort, part of Mauritius-based group, Constance.

Gradual growth

Ephelia Resort - new and stylish

My first visit to the Seychelles was in 1979. At that time there were hardly any tourists, and of course, no golf course. The airport had just opened and the few hotels that existed were concentrated around Beau Vallon Bay on the northern tip of the main island of Mahé. Today it’s rather different. The south still remains relatively undisturbed, while along the west coast new hotels have popped up along all the beaches, each one more impressive than

The hotel opened in February 2010 and is beautifully situated at Port Launay, north-west on Mahé and next to two of the island’s most attractive beaches. Here Constance Hotels purchased 120 acres of land, between a majestic and lush national park that stretches up the slope towards one of the island’s jagged peaks and the sea. The sea itself also constitutes a National Park – a marine national park teeming with fish and colorful corals. On the

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THE SEYCHELLES grounds of the hotel, there is a forest, consisting of seven different species of mangrove. Impressive, considering there are only nine species in the world. Ephelia Resort is divided into two parts – south and north. The southern part is a 4-star resort with 184 suites, located in four horseshoe-shaped buildings, each with its own pool and with views of the turquoise seas through the trees. In the Seychelles, it is forbidden to build closer than 15 metres to the sea and the structure should never be higher than the palm trees. Therefore, all buildings on Ephelia are only two floors high. The northern part consists of luxurious 5-star villas, some with their own spa, and some on a hillside with stunning sea views, including the presidential villa of 980 square metres.The resort has five restaurants, five bars, five boutiques, a well-equipped fitness centre, tennis courts and squash hall. It also offers a magnificent spa facility that is the biggest in the Indian Ocean with 18 treatment rooms. This is a gem of a hotel. Golf enthusiasts staying here can either take a pleasant one hour-boat trip across to Praslin and spend a day on the golf course, or go by the hotel helicopter, which takes just 15 minutes. If you want you can even split your vacation between Ephelia Resort on Mahé and Praslin Lemuria Resort.

Time for golf The enjoyable Lemuria course is designed by Rodney Wright. The first 12 holes are built on the hotel grounds, but it still doesn’t feel like you are playing between the hotel buildings. In fact, you do not see any buildings except on holes nine and 12. The course runs through exotic terrain, lush with coconut palms, cinnamon trees, mangroves and the characteristic Vacoa palms, which particularly come in play on the fourth fairway. Coconuts can be removed in the bunker – a local rule of Lemuria! This picturesque golf course is dotted with small lakes full of beautiful water lilies, and here and there heavy granite blocks protrude from the ground. The first 12 holes run in fairly flat terrain, but then the course changes character completely. The entire island of Praslin consists of steep hills, and the par-4 holes 13 and 14 take us up the side of such a hill – it’s beautiful and steep!

On the beach But when you’ve crawled up over the edge to the green of the 14th and hopefully sunk a putt for par, you are rewarded by a magnificent view from the tee-off on the 15th hole. What a view, and what a hole! This is a par-3 hole of 135 metres, but with a vertical drop of nearly 100 metres to the green. A few metres to the left of the green, behind a small forest, you’ll find Anse Georgette, voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. And after a disastrous pitch up in the strong wind and missing the green, I fish out my swimming trunks from the bag and go for a swim in the lovely turquoise waves. What a golf hole – and what a beautiful beach.

Brilliant finish After I’ve dried off, I get back into the game. The 16th hole is almost like a transport through a narrow valley to a green on a shelf, and perhaps the most boring hole on the course. But then another great par-3 hole reveals itself – 120 metres down to a beautiful green, framed by flowering bushes and a heavy stone wall. The whole round ends with a spectacular 18th hole where you drive out high over a wooded area to reach the fairway far below. A challenging drive. With water on the right side all the way to the green, this is a difficult hole, but still an absolutely brilliant ending to a great round of golf. 102

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Living the dream Sitting at the Beach Bar & Grill later that evening in the velvety darkness, with a gentle breeze, listening to the waves rolling lazily against the cliffs and beach below, I enjoy perfectly delicious lobster bisque and a glass of cold white wine. I have hole 15 and the swim on Anse Georgette fresh in my memory, and yes, life is just the way it should be. It feels good, occasionally, to live the dream. And the Seychelles is just that – a dream come true.


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THE SEYCHELLES

GOOD TO KNOW Both Emirates and Air Seychelles have flights to the Seychelles. Air Seychelles flies from London three times a week and from Paris five times a week. Emirates flies daily from London, with a half hour transit in Dubai. The Ephelia Resort on Mahé http://www.epheliaresort.com/ Tel: + (230) 402 2777 The Lemuria Resort on Praslin http://www.lemuriaresort.com/ Tel: + (230) 402 2777 The Seychelles’ only golf course is affiliated with Lemuria on Praslin. Green fees are free if you’re a guest at the hotel, and otherwise about £70, including golf cart. Rental of clubs costs about £20. Currency in the Seychelles is rupees, and 100SRP are about £5. US dollars are also viable in many places. Irrespective of the nationality of the visitor and his or her family members, there are NO VISA requirements to enter Seychelles, you only need a valid passport.

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Seychelles

Golf Holidays

Lemuria Seychelles

7 nights Lemuria Resort from £ 1,725 pp includes

Flights from Heathrow with Air Seychelles 7 nights Junior Suite B&B Return private transfers included Unlimited golf at Lemuria

South Africa & Seychelles

5 nights South Africa + 7 nights Lemuria Resort

from £ 3,195 pp

Flights from Heathrow with South African airlines and Air Seychelles 5 nights South Africa package as below with car hire 3 nights at Legend Golf & Safari Resort B&B 1 round @ Legend Signature Golf Course 1 round @ Legend 10 hole Par 3 Tribute course 2 nights at Zebula Country Club B&B 1 round @ Zebula Golf Club 7 nights Junior suite in Lemuria B&B Unlimited golf at Lemuria

Seychelles & Dubai

7 nights Lemuria Resort + 4 nights Jebel Ali hotel

from £ 2,495 pp

Flights from Heathrow with Emirates 7 nights Junior Suite in Lemuria B&B Unlimited golf at Lemuria 4 nights Jebel Ali Hotel All inclusive 1 round @ Emirates Club Mijlas course 1 round @ Dubai creek course Return private car airport transfers

enquiries@chakatravel.com

Tel: 028 9023 2112 w w w. c h a k a t r a v e l . c o m

CHAKA t r a v e l


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NORTH CYPRUS

The Mediterranean as it once was

Cyprus has long attracted sun starved tourists from all over Europe – that is to say – South Cyprus. Because this is a divided island, and across the border lies an undiscovered gem - North Cyprus. Now also with a spectacular golf course.

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NORTH CYPRUS

“The grass makes a great playing surface and the greens can play extremely fast”

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s the third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is believed to be the birth place of Aphrodite - the goddess of love. But this beautiful island has a long and troubled history. After becoming an independent republic in 1960, years of disagreement and violence between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority ensued. e Greek Cypriot nationalists coup attempt in the summer of 1974 and the Turkish army invasion that followed still casts its shadow over the divided island today. In spite of this, crossing the border between the two communities is now simple and straight

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forward. Although it feels surreal to have to go through passport control when going from one side of the capital Nicosia to the other, the atmosphere today is relaxed and friendly, and ever increasing numbers of tourists are now making their way to the north.

Unspoilt. e fact that North Cyprus has been more or less isolated for the last 37 years has resulted in this part of the island being less developed than other parts of the Mediterranean. With the jagged


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peaks of the Kyrenia Mountain range as a backdrop, and the turquoise ocean glistening in the sun, this is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the island. Kyrenia, with its picturesque harbour and castle is widely recognized as the most charming town in the whole of Cyprus. All along the horseshoe shaped waterfront there are fishing boats, yachts and day-cruise boats gently bobbing side by side. Waiters are busy trying to tempt you in to the many restaurants that line the harbour. Prices here are a bit higher than other places in town, but with such a beautiful setting it is worth spending a few extra Lira.

Culture. Cyprus has a rich and colourful cultural landscape, with major influences from both Greece and Turkey. Wander through some of the old villages and you feel like you have stepped back in time, where the older women sit outside their houses making lace (lefkara) and the men hunch over games of backgammon (tavla). Cyprus was once so famous for its lace that Leonardo Da Vinci visited to buy some for the cathedral in Milan. Proud of its 9000-year-old cultural heritage, this is an island boasting many handcrafts and interesting folk art. On the Karpas

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NORTH CYPRUS

St. Nic holas ' Cath edra l, Fam agus ta

The village of Karmi

peninsula you will find beautiful hand-woven kilim rugs. Higher up in the Troodos Mountains in Phini village, they still make traditional pottery and little intricate clay vases, as they have done for hundreds of years. Cyprus is also known for its colourful handwoven fabrics, carved wooden chests and much more.

Beaches. In the area around Kyrenia you can find several nice beaches where a variety of water-sports such as wind-surfing, parascending and jet-skiing are available. And, because of its warm seas Cyprus offers one of the longest diving seasons in the Mediterranean. ere are diving schools all over the island, and plenty of underwater life to enjoy for both beginners and the more experienced diver. Although the beaches around Kyrenia are not crowded - like many places in the Mediterranean, you can still have a beach all to yourself if you prefer, just head up to the Karpas peninsula. Here, beautiful deserted beaches stretch on and on. Golden Sands is perhaps the most special, fringed with sand dunes and populated by breeding sea turtles. Closer to Kyrenia you may catch a glimpse of the sea turtles at Alagadi, better known as Turtle Beach.

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St. Hilarion Rumour has it that this fortress was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s castle in the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You can see why - it is stunning, and with such a rich history St Hilarion is well worth a visit. But it’s not for the faint hearted, clinging to a craggy mountain top some 732 metres above the sea, with its towers and walls literary “growing” out of the rocks as if part of the mountain itself. Climbing up the never ending steep stairs, more suited for mountain goats, often with your heart in your mouth, you can’t help but marvel at such a feat - how on earth could they manage to build this over a thousand years ago? And when you finally reach the top, you are rewarded with a view so stunningly beautiful it really takes your breath away - that is if you have any breath left after the climb.

Golf with a view. Korineum Golf & Country Club is currently the only 18 hole golf course in North Cyprus although plans are underway to expand and modernise the golf course at Guzelyurt - to the west. And what a golf course Korineum is! Nestled into the Kyrenia


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Harbor Kyrenia

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hills, with the spectacular Five Finger Mountain to one side and the sea to the other, the views alone are enough to make this golf course stand out, but it also offers some of the most challenging golf in the Mediterranean. e 18 hole par 72 championship standard golf course, designed by acclaimed British golf architect David Hemstock, was opened in April 2007. Hemstock has created a course that enhances the existing landscape and retains enough of the olive and carob trees for the annual commercial harvest, as well as forests of umbrella pine. “I’ve been coming here to play for a couple of years now, and I found the course to be as demanding as it is beautiful”, says British expat Terry Hart while we enjoy a cold drink on the clubhouse terrace. “My advice is to take a buggy, because it’s quite hilly and the heat can be intense”, he adds.

Fast greens. Playing at Korineum during the summer months you’ll need an early tee time to avoid the worst of the heat. Because of the constant water shortage in North Cyprus, the golf course is seeded

with Sea-spray Paspalum, a type of grass which is watered with seawater treated in a desalination plant. “e grass makes a great playing surface and the greens can play extremely fast”, explains Terry. “You have to watch your uphill puts because if you miss the hole the ball will come rolling back”. Hole 14, a 421 metre par-4 dog leg is particularly challenging. Here you play from an elevated tee, and you should take the time to enjoy the view while you catch your breath after the short steep uphill walk from the buggy. With the pin out of sight, a good tee shot from this high elevation will be rewarded with a good chance of a birdie. “It’s a stunning hole with some of the best views in the house”, says Terry with a smile just as the waiter turns up with our lunch. e Valley Restaurant has an extensive menu and is very popular among the expats who live on the island, both because of its beautiful setting and also its delicious food. ere is also a wellness center and spa for those who fancy a bit of pampering, and of course a well equipped pro shop. Korineum now also offers accommodation for the real golf enthusiasts who just can’t get enough. 111


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NORTH CYPRUS The Harbour. After an enjoyable day, whether you spent it at the beach or on the golf course, you might want to go down to the harbour to watch the sunset and soak up the atmosphere. If you choose to have a meal here, there are plenty of great traditional restaurants, but be aware you also pay for the location. On the other hand, if you walk into town, down one of the narrow streets you’ll find lots of small restaurants where the locals go. If you prefer international cuisine, there are a wide variety of restaurants offering everything from Chinese and Indian to European food. But the Turkish Cypriots are proud of their food culture, and it would be a shame to leave without trying a Meze - a selection of hot and cold dishes, not unlike Tapas, which can be eaten as a starter or as a meal in itself. Or maybe try a full

Kebab meal, and believe me - this is nothing like what you get from your local kebab shop, because the food just keeps on coming, so make sure you have built up an appetite. Other delicious dishes are Kleftico - which is lamb slow cooked in a clay oven, where the meat is so tender it virtually melts in your mouth. For me, this is a perfect way to end the day.

Night Clubs. But the night is still young, and if you don’t feel ready to retire just yet, then there are plenty of night clubs to dance the night away, or if you’re a thrill-seeker then North Cyprus has lots of casinos. Not really what you would expect in a Muslim country, but then, North Cyprus is full of surprises. By Camilla Kaas-Stock, photo by Nils Bjornes

GOOD TO KNOW You can fly with Turkish Airlines or Pegasus to Ercan Airport in North Cyprus, with a touch down in Istanbul, or to Larnaca or Paphos in the South and hire a car. Insurance for the North can be bought on the border. Korineum Golf & Country Club also arranges pick-ups. www.korineumgolf.com

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THE ALGARVE

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GOLF, BEACHES and BACALHAU

With sun kissed beaches, sleepy picturesque villages and warm welcoming people, the Algarve is the quintessential holiday destination. And with some of Europe’s best and most magnificent golf courses, the setting is complete. But the Algarve is also steeped in tradition and history, and has a rich cultural heritage. 117


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Monte Rei North, the first of two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, is considered by many to be one of the best in Portugal.

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alking through narrow cobbled streets lined with beautiful white washed buildings where traditional craftsmen ply their trade and where bustling open markets still form the centerpiece of daily life - it’s like stepping back in time.

Success and disaster. In the 15th century, Prince Henry the Navigator based himself near Lagos and through his many seafaring expeditions Portugal was established as a colonial power. e voyages of discovery brought Lagos fame and fortune, trade flourished and Lagos became the capital of the historical province of Algarve in 1577. But in 1755 a huge earthquake rocked Lisbon and also damaged many areas in the Algarve. e ensuing tsunami devastated coastal areas and towns and villages were heavily damaged, except Faro, which was protected by the sandy banks of Ria Formosa lagoon. In Lagos, the waves reached the top of the city walls. And so it was that with time Faro became the region’s new capital. Today Algarve is the third richest region in Portugal, not least because of its flourishing tourist industry. In the peak holiday season the population triples thanks to the seven million foreign tourists that visit each year. A large number of these visitors come 118

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to play golf, and with 35 spectacular golf courses you are really spoilt for choice.

Golf. Algarve has long been a favorite golfing destination, especially for people from the northern European countries, since the main golf season here runs from late autumn to late spring - when most of their home courses are unplayable. However, although the winter season is mild, and Algarve is famous for its many days of sunshine it does rain from time to time, and nearly all of it falls during the main golfing season!

Oceanico Faldo Course. As one of Portugal’s top golf courses, the Oceanico Faldo Course at Amendoeria Golf Resort is truly stunning. Designed by Nick Faldo and opened in 2008, this 6598m par 72 championship course is demanding, careful positioning and planning are necessary to score well here. e course sits beautifully on the hilly landscape with its rocky outcrops, plenty of water and a stream that runs along many of the fairways. Ancient oaks and olive trees frame the fairways and here and there cacti add to the feeling of being at more of a desert course than a parkland course. e Bermuda grass fairways with


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PHOTO SHIGERU OHKI/ VISIT NORWAY

The Bacalhau, where salted dried cod is the main ingredients, is now imported in huge quantities from Norway.

the carpet-like playing surface delivers ideal playing conditions. Yes, this is truly a course to reckon with. Already when standing at the first hole with its elevated tees, the course reveals itself. is 415 m par-4 hole offers plenty of challenges with olive trees, a huge sprawling bunker in the front and two more guarding the green.

Challenging holes Hole 2, a short par-3 is a bit of a headache. Here you play downhill to a shallow green, where you need a precise shot to miss the large desert bunker with its clusters of flowering cacti, and at the same time avoiding ending up in the rocky outcrop to the right. e next few holes offers one challenge after another through doglegs, across water, narrow fairways guarded by intertwined oak trees, and always with the ever present bunkers lurking in wait for errant shots. Hole 13 is a 613m par-5 killer where you tee off from the highest point on the golf course. e views are beautiful, but it is a nerve wrecking moment when you look down to the fairway which sweeps down and down with cliffs to the left and a rock wall to the right. e pros advice is not to be too ambitious and

go for one of the easier routes, though easy it isn’t. When you finally get to the last hole you had better put in your best performance because here you are in full view from the Club House terrace, and you might find yourself with an audience – no pressure there then! Faldo himself once said: “When you stand on the tee, the golf hole tells you what to do. And if you do what it tells you there is reward, but if you don’t you’re penalized”. And it certainly speaks volumes for this course.

Monte Rei Monte Rei North, the first of two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, is considered by many to be one of the best in Portugal. Set in the picturesque foothills of the Eastern Algarve, this 6567m Championship golf course opened for play in 2007. e layout of the course is both challenging and distinctive where it nestles into the folds of the landscape with fairways framed by indigenous scrubs and grasses. Water is a major hazard on this course and comes into play on eleven of the eighteen holes. After an enjoyable round, the clubhouse offers the perfect place to unwind and perhaps a bite to eat. Set in beautiful landscaped gardens and courtyards, the clubhouse is the epitome 119


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THE ALGARVE of a Mediterranean hacienda but with a modern twist. Its cool interior offers a welcoming haven where award-winning Chef Jaime Perez rustles up some of the best Iberian cuisine and local fare.

San Lorenzo e San Lorenzo Golf Course lies in the southeast corner of Quinta do Lago, bordering the Ria Formosa Estuary and salt water lagoons. Opened in 1988, the 18 hole par 72 golf course was designed by the American golf architect Joseph Lee. e course which winds its way through a sandy undulating terrain with Bermuda grass fairways bordered by umbrella pines and the marshland bird sanctuary of Ria Formosa, is laid out in a figure of eight with the clubhouse at the heart. With stunning views of the beach and the sea beyond and some spectacularly challenging holes, this course offers plenty of thrills, not least the finishing hole. is is a beast of a par-4 with water left and right and a semi-island green, so you need a precision shot. In other words – don’t take your eye off the ball!

Golden sand Wi t h i t s b e a u t i f u l b e a c h e s i t’s h a rd l y sur pri sing that the Algarve is such a popular destination for sun starved tourists. Miles upon miles of golden sand, rocky beaches, c l i f f s a n d c ov e s , t h e re’s s o m e t h i n g h e re t o s u i t everyone. And with the s p a rk l i n g At l a n t i c g e n t l y lapping at the shore, it’s enough to tempt even the keenest golfer away from the golf course. Apart from golf, sea and sand, there is plenty to explore in the Algarve. If you want to experience the unspoiled Portugal, you will have to head inland where traditions and culture has not been stifled by mass tourism. Surrounded by cork and oak forests, a haven for nature lovers, the small villages of the inner Algarve are full of “old world” charm.

Moorish heritage Loule is the largest of these towns, with its many criss-crossing cobbled side streets where the Moorish heritage is still retained,

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it’s a nice place to spend the day. Here are to be found lots of little workshops making traditional crafts as well as boutiques, and on Saturdays there is the famous artisan market. North of Villamoura, which is one of the main holiday destinations in the Algarve, you’ll find the charming whitewashed village of Alte. Set in the rolling hills of the Serra Do Galdeirao region, this quintessential Portuguese village is considered to be one of the prettiest in the Algarve. Dating back to Roman times, the rural way of life remains unspoiled. And if you’re in the mood to explore, there are a number of these charming villages where you can wander through cobbled streets and get the taste for the real Algarve.

Delicious seafood e sea has played a big part in the history of this region and it’s no surprise that seafood features heavily on the local menus. With wonderful dishes like Caldeirada de Peixe, a traditional fish stew made with a variety of fish and shellfish, Arroz de mariscos, a succulent dish of rice, tomatoes and shellfish, and Cataplana, an aromatic dish of clams that takes its name from the Moorish-style copper pot it’s cooked in. e Portuguese nations' m o s t b e l ov e d d i s h , i s strangely enough made from a fish that is foreign to its waters. e Bacalhau, where salted dried cod is the main ingredients, is now imported in huge quantities from Norway. Seafood is so popular in the Algarve it even has its own annual festival, Festival do Marisco, which takes place every August in the town of Olhao outside Faro. In these economically troubled times, which also has had a big impact on the travel industry, the Algarve with its beautiful beaches and several golf courses rated among the best in the world, will certainly continue to attract both golfers and tourists alike. Having been there once we can say for sure – it leaves you with a taste for more. Text Nils Bjornes


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GOOD TO KNOW Monarch, EasyJet and Ryanair offers low cost flights to Faro Airport which is the main airport for the region. Prices from around £40, one way. There is a wide selection of car hire options within the terminal. The train station and bus terminals can be reached by taxi. Green Fees Oceanico Faldo Course €125 www.oceanicogolf.com/ Monte Rei - Summer: March 15th November 14th - €190 www.monterei.com San Lorenzo: 01/01/11 - 31/10/11 165 € www.sanlorenzogolfcourse.com

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COMPANY PROFILE

The Premium Golf Experience Enjoy a luxury golf break and come home a better player!

E

xecutive Golf provides a tailored golf experience for private and corporate groups, focussed on delivering a unique experience. e tours are planned around the customer, so you decide when you want to go, how long you want to stay, how many rounds of golf you want to play and the Executive Golf team put together a package to meet your requirements. The huge benefit for the customer, is having had a thoroughly enjoyable trip, you come home better golfers! Executive Golf PGA professionals are with you throughout your tour, typically for six hours each day, constantly developing and honing your golf skills. There is personalised coaching daily at the academy; driving, irons, pitching, chipping, bunker play and putting. Each player has their own tuition pack and individual programme to ensure the Pro concentrates on the specific issues relevant to each player's game and performance improvement. 124

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Executive Golf's destination of choice is the Algarve, southern Portugal. Reached within two and a half hours from dozens of European airports, the area benefits from more annual hours of sunshine than California. A golfer's paradise, there are some of the very best courses in Europe all maintained in year round pristine condition. e variety of partners signed up with Executive Golf allows its customers to enjoy the very best service. No car rental is necessary, as local transport specialists are on hand to collect you and drop you off at your villa throughout the tour. The accommodation is within a luxurious 5-star condominium resort with extensively landscaped gardens and swimming pools. On-site there is a guest services centre offering business and personal assistance. e villas are finished to an extremely high specification and offer private individual facilities for groups or double rooms for couples. Alternatively, if it is your preference, 5-star hotel accommodation will be arranged.


Executive 2 s._Executive 15.05.11 13.58 Side 2

Why go on an Executive Golf tour?... • Great location • Flexible stay and play timings throughout the year • 5-star accommodation • Individual coaching improvement programme • PGA Pro on course coaching • All the "little luxuries" are taken care of It's a great experience, tailored to meet what is good for you. You will have a great time and come home a better player ... What more could anyone ask for!

A TYPICAL TAILORED TOUR ITINERARY DAY 9.00 am Personal chef comes to your villa to prepare breakfast of your choice 10.00 am Golf Academy - individual coaching - swing analysis - practice session Noon Clubhouse lunch and debrief 1.00 pm 18 holes at a leading European course - Sky Caddies provided - PGA Pro with you on course 6.00 pm Analysis and refreshment 7.00 pm Return to villa for relax 8.00 pm Evening's entertainment

Contact: Executive Golf Limited, www.executive-golf.co.uk, 0800 7567735, contact@executive-golf.co.uk 125


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St Enodoc

– a poem worthy Ah! Seaweed smells from sandy caves And thyme and mist in whiffs, In-coming tide, Atlantic waves Slapping the sunny cliffs, Lark song and sea sounds in the air And splendour, splendour everywhere.

W

ith these words the celebrated English poet, Sir John Betjeman captured the essence of this old and noble golf course where he later was laid to rest in the church by the 10th hole. > 127


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GOLF CLUB PROFILE

Situated on the high sand dunes of the North Cornwall coast, St Enodoc Golf Club is one of the oldest and finest links courses in the South West of England. Originally designed by James Braid and opened for play in 1907, this 18 hole championship golf course has stood the test of time and was in 2009 ranked 55th in the world outside the US by Golf Digest. Legend has it that golf was first played on a part of the present course by a party of undergraduates in 1888 though their efforts were confined to the area round St Enodoc Church and the nearby Daymer Bay. A year later a number of local gentlemen laid out a few holes amongst the massive dunes at Rock, and in 1890 these enthusiasts formed St Enodoc Golf Club. roughout the years the course has undergone several alterations, the latest of these in 2004 and 2007, after a review by Peter McEvoy OBE. Subtle changes were designed to toughen up the rolling, meandering layout while complementing its spectacular and historic North Cornwall features. is resulted in a number of new fairway bunkers and additional tees being established, plus a new 13th green. In 2007 the 16th hole was considerably lengthened to create a more challenging par-5. In spite of all the changes, much care has been taken to retain many of the features and the characteristics of the original design by James Braid, a tribute to this great golfer’s vision and skill.

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The Church Course Overlooking the Camel Estuary, the championship Church Course offers undulating fairways, firm greens and a number of blind shots set against the backdrop of some of the greatest sea views of any course in the world. With Pa d s t ow a n d i t s picturesque harbour to the west and the Atlantic coast to the north, this unique links course has lured a host of legendary Open Champions to its fairways including Henry Cotton, Jim Barnes and Tom Watson which has added to the prestige of St Enodoc. At 6,547 yards this course is not long by today's standards yet the record stands at 65, just 4 under par, giving golfers a good indication of how challenging the course is. It is often said that many links courses are easy if there is no wind - but this does not apply to St Enodoc.

Signature hole e 10th hole is often described as the course's signature hole as it winds its way towards the 11th Century St Enodoc Church where Sir John Betjeman lies buried. A challenging hole, it


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requires a good drive followed by an even better second aimed at the church porch to avoid the lateral hazard which runs the length of the hole and creeps ever closer to the left side of the green. However, many view the 378-yard 6th hole as a rival signature hole. From the tee, it bends left whilst the infamous Himalaya bunker obstructs the view to the uphill green.

The Holywell Course Almost since golf was first played here there have been holes on the north side of the present clubhouse, at times part of the now Church course and at times part of a shorter nine-hole course. Many of the holes would do justice to any golf course and holes 14, 15 and 16 are its "Amen Corner". Hole 14 is a 345-yard, uphill par-4 with a road diagonally crossing the fairway at its most inconvenient point where it also doglegs right, leaving the player with a steep, uphill second to an almost invisible green. At 109 yards the 16th is the shortest hole of all, but to compensate it has a tiny green, the detail of which is hidden from view. You see the flag and nothing else. Anyone who stands on the 17th tee having parred the previous 3 holes, can feel very pleased. is course is also maintained to a very high standard and while it may be less demanding on stamina, it still provides a real test of skill for golfers of any handicap. It is ideal for the novice who are just starting to

play, as well as for experienced golfers who want an occasional relaxing round, perhaps on a warm summer evening.

Padstow Being in this beautiful part of Cornwall, we recommend taking the little ferry across the Camel Estuary to the picturesque town of Padstow. Traditionally a fishing port, Padstow is now a popular tourist destination. With its colourful harbour surrounded by pastel-washed medieval cottages, here you can soak up the hustle and bustle of harbour life, then dine on the locally caught fish, lobster and crab for which Padstow is so well known. And one man in particular has firmly placed Padstow on the culinary map. Celebrity chef Rick Stein has several restaurants and shops in the town, and in particular the Seafood Restaurant where people travel from far and wide just to have a chance to feast on his wonderful dishes of fruits de mer. ere is also St Petroc's Bistro and Rick Stein’s Cafe where you can enjoy mouth-watering dishes at more reasonable prices, or if you’re just in the mood for some great fish & chips, he’s got that covered too. In other words, if you are a seafood lover, than Padstow might be your idea of heaven. St Enodoc Golf Club, Rock, Wadebridge, Cornwall PL27 6LD Contact: Tuck Clagett T: 01208 863216 Green Fee £67 www.st-enodoc.co.uk tuck.clagett@st-enodoc.co.uk

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AR tour PRAGUE, s. r. o. Ke SkalkĂĄm 22/3249,106 00 Praha 10, Czech Republic Tel.: + 420 234 099 111, Fax: + 420 234 099 101 Email: travel@artour.cz

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Far Away Fairways . . . Play the most challenging courses throughout the Czech Republic or simply enjoy a leisurely game with friends in scenic settings. Recount those green moments over a drink in one of our specially selected hotels, maybe relax in the comfort of our luxury Spa region resorts or perhaps sample Prague’s vibrant nightlife. Choose from our special Green Way Package Deals or simply tell our Tour Advisors your own preference.

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Great Spa

Been in the rough? Time to relax...

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A sanctuary in the forest Whether you are looking for a leisurely walk through ancient woodlands, a game of tennis. a round of golf or perhaps just spoil yourself in an award winning spa, Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club has it all. We thought a bit of pampering sounded tempting and so we went to try it out. By Camilla Kaas-Stock Photo Nils Bjornes

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D

riving through the captivating Ashdown Forest you could be forgiven for driving straight past Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club without ever knowing it was there. Almost as if intended to be a secret, this listed 19th-century mansion house nestles into the green folds of the undulating East Sussex country side. With 186 acres of sweeping manicured lawns, carp filled lakes, ancient woodland filled with grazing wild deer, and of course a challenging 18 hole golf course, this is a perfect retreat. Originally a country mansion built by Mr. omas Charles ompson MP in 1867, Ashdown Park has passed through several hands and served a number of purposes before becoming the hotel we know today in 1993. During the First World War it was used as a hospital and a convalescent home for Belgian army officers, later as a convent for almost fifty years until the United States International University took it over in 1971. After that Ashdown Park became the Management Training Centre for Barclays Bank.

A mansion worthy On a chilly spring morning I step through the grand neo-gothic entrance into the large hall where a crackling log fire is burning on the hearth. I sit down in one of the comfortable chairs in front of the huge fireplace, being a little early for my meeting with the hotel’s representatives I welcome the opportunity to warm my fingers and toes while waiting. The entrance hall with its double height ceiling is a mansion worthy, with ornate stone columns, big arched windows and doorways and a sweeping staircase that leads up to the first floor mezzanine. rough the open doors leading into the elegant drawing rooms I can see staff are discretely serving coffee to guests.

Upstairs, downstairs. Melissa Hirst is the PR & Marketing Co-ordinator, and together with Leisure Manager Tim Page, she takes me on a guided tour. Walking up the stairs, through corridors with gently creaking floor boards into suite after suite, each more impressive than the previous. With names like “Monkey Puzzle” and “Cedar”, named after species of trees found on the estate, each of the 106 rooms has its own individual character and charm. We are told prices range from £199 per night for a Standard Deluxe Bedroom, to £465 for a Master Suite. e Hotel also has 16 fully equipped conference suites of various sizes, styles and functionality. Most impressive is the Richard Towneley Suite in the adjacent chapel with its beautiful neo-gothic stain glass windows and vaulted ceiling. A popular place for wedding receptions and other grand occasions.

Award Winning Spa. Ashdown Park Hotel certainly has everything you would expect from such a high class establishment. But I have come here for a spot of pampering so I’m off to the Country Club and award winning Spa. On the way over Tim, the Leisure Manager reveals that Ashdown Park has a very special meaning to him, as he in fact spent part of his childhood living here when

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his father worked for Barclays Banks’ Training Centre. “It’s funny how things work out, I had never thought I would end up working here, but for me it’s really like coming home. I love it here and I’m excited about building up the business. We can now offer our guests a wide range of activities from off-road racing, archery and falconry to tennis, croquet and not forgetting the golf course, which we are very proud of ”, he says. “Apart from this we also have a very well equipped gym, aerobic studio, an indoor swimming and steam rooms”.

Home away from home Whilst waiting for my appointment with the beauty therapist I enjoy a glass of sparkling water served by the friendly Matron Jenny, who tells me that coffee before the cleansing treatment is n o t re c o m m e n d e d . Si t t i n g comfortably in the informal Fairway Lounge overlooking the golf course, I feel that they really have succeeded in creating a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere – truly a home away from home. At 12 o’clock it’s time for my appointment and I’m greeted by my beauty therapist Sharlene Goode, who brings me my bathrobe and slippers. Before coming here I had studied their very extensive brochure intensively trying to choose which of the treatments to go for. e Country Club offers exclusive treatments from Matis, the Paris-based professional skincare company. Matis and Ashdown Park have created a bespoke range of signature treatments combining different styles and techniques from around the world producing a completely unique spa experience. I was tempted to go for their signature body treatment, which I have been told is one of their most popular ones; involving a fusion of techniques from Reiki, Balinese and Swedish massage. However, in the end I decided to go for the Ashdown Discovery Facial which promises to be cleansing and revitalizing.

Wonderful and relaxing e treatment room is quietly lit with soothing music and with a wonderful scent of flowers. Lying on the comfortable treatment table with soft blankets to keep me warm, Sharlene starts by removing all traces of make-up. en follows cleansing, exfoliation and a wonderful, relaxing head and shoulder massage. Creams are applied and removed, a deep-cleansing face mask is left to do its wonders, while Sharlene gently massages my arms and hands. is is truly blissful! I don’t think I ever felt this pampered. Sharlene tells me a bit about the various treatments they offer, and that it has become very popular among brides to have treatments in preparation for their wedding to ensure that they look their very best on their big day. is can also include doing the make-up. “But what about men?, I ask her. “Men tend to go for the Sports Massage. ere still seems to be a bit of a stigma around men having facials and grooming, but I have to say that when they have tried it once, they often come back for more”.


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With names like “Monkey Puzzle” and “Cedar”, named after species of trees found on the estate, each of the 106 rooms has its own individual character and charm.

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GREAT SPA

After removing my facial I get a lovely face massage and plenty of advice about what to do to best look after my skin. When the treatment is over my skin feels healthy and glowing , and all tensions have melted away. I feel wonderfully renewed when I once again enter the Fairway Lounge to treat myself to some lunch.

Salad Nicoise e Fairway lunch menu is extensive with plenty of mouthwatering dishes to choose from. ere are classic sandwiches like roast sirloin of Sussex beef and Norwegian prawns in a marie-rose sauce, wonderful salads and if you’re looking for something a little more substantial then perhaps the pan fried sea bass with crushed new potatoes, or wild mushroom and truffle risotto served with baby salad would hit the spot. To me, all of it sounded wonderfully tempting, but after a cleansing Spa treatment it seemed right to go for the healthy option and have a salad. I chose the smoked salmon nicoise with crisp salad, potatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. It was delicious.

Fine dining. e Fairway Lounge with its relaxed and informal atmosphere is popular with golfers, but Ashdown Park is also famous for its fine dining. e award winning Anderida Restaurant in the main building is tastefully decorated and has panoramic views of the gardens. Here gentlemen are respectfully reminded to wear jacket and tie after 7.00pm. In the kitchen Head Chef Hrvoje Loncarevic rustles up gourmet meals from a menu which is an innovative fusion of French and English cuisine. On the menu you will find dishes like pan-fried fillet of Loch Duart salmon with polenta cake, pancetta wrapped breast of Guinea Fowl with saffron parisienne potatoes and for desert, maybe a vanilla bean panna cotta with berry compote and Ashdown shortbread. Sounds tempting?

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3.00pm and can be enjoyed either in the comfortable drawing rooms in front of a roaring log fire in winter, or during the summer outside in the garden. Ashdown Park is the epitome of a country house hotel. Here you can find peace and tranquility, you can relax and unwind in a wonderful spa, or throw yourself into a challenging round of golf. So whether you like cream teas or tee-ing off, Ashdown Park won’t disappoint you. I for one will certainly be back for more. www.ashdownpark.co.uk

A bit of Spa-history e town of Spa in Belgium, whose name dates back to Roman times, has given its name to all spas and was the watering hole of the entire aristocracy of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, including Tzar Peter the Great who was cured by the waters of Spa of a severe form of indigestion. e practice of traveling to hot or cold springs in hope of a cure of some ailment dates back to pre-historic times. In Great Britain, ancient legend credited early Celtic kings with the discovery of the hot springs at Bath. e Romans, who brought their custom of bath-houses with them to their colonies, took advantage of the natural hot springs at Bath and Buxton in England. In 16th century England, the old Roman ideas of medicinal bathing were revived, and in 1571 William Slingsby who had been to the Belgian town (which he called Spaw) discovered a chalybeate spring in Yorkshire. He built an enclosed well at what became known as Harrogate, the first resort in England for drinking medicinal waters. en in 1596 Dr Timothy Bright called the resort e English Spaw, beginning the use of the word Spa as a generic description. As its popularity grew, spa-towns popped up all over the country. Today the term spa has come to mean beauty treatments, relaxing massages and pampering from top to toe and its popularity is ever increasing with luxury hotels and resorts all over the world. (Source: Wikipedia)


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2010.10.10. 10:47:25


1368 / 2011

Oceânico Victoria Course, Vilamoura

Experience the finest in Algarve golf with Oceânico. Play Oceânico’s seven championship courses, including the Oceânico Victoria course, Vilamoura, host venue of the European Tour’s Portugal Masters, and the critically acclaimed Oceânico Faldo Course and Oceânico O´Connor Jnr. at the luxurious Amendoeira Golf Resort. Oceânico presents the biggest portfolio of courses in the Algarve that allows you to enjoy some of Europe’s finest golf.

Oceânico Faldo Course, Amendoeira Golf Resort

call us now or book online at www. oceanicogolf . com for our tailored packages and best opportunities for your golf in the algarve UK 0871 990 3451 | PORTUGAL +351 289 310 333 | ROI 01617 7933

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26-04-2011 15:02:35


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Great Food

After great golf comes good food...

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THE WEST HOUSE

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Living under a Star Whilst he might not be a top golfer - having a handicap in double digits (officially 25) - Graham Garrett, the owner of The West House is definitely one of England’s top chefs with a star of his own – a Michelin star. By Camilla Kaas-Stock and Nils Bjornes

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THE WEST HOUSE this was the end of his college career, it was the beginning of a new one as a chef. Graham spent three and a half years in Holborn before moving on to run a restaurant in Fulham next to Gordon Ramsey’s “Aubergine”, where he got to know the celebrity chef. ere were always lots of things going on, with TV-crews and people from the entertainment industry running in and out. is being a part of life that Graham felt he had turned his back on, he longed to get away from it all.

A rocker at heart.

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iddenden is a typical Kentish village where old weaver’s cottages and Tudor houses line the High Street. ere’s the church, the pub and the little shop on the corner, but what you don’t expect to find is a world class restaurant. And yet, that is exactly what e West House is. It’s just after ten in the morning when we meet up at Graham Garrett’s restaurant in Biddenden, a few miles from Ashford in Kent. It is too early for lunch but already the clanking of pots and pans is coming from the kitchen, and the most delicious smells fill the room. Set in a Grade IIlisted Tudor cottage with exposed beams and a big i n g l e n o o k f i re p l a c e dominating the room, the tables in this small intimate restaurant are already set for lunch.

Not a proper job. “I always wanted to be a chef, but my father didn’t think it was a proper job for a man, so I became a musician”, says Graham as we sit down and chat over a cup of coffee. “Funnily enough, while most parents despair when their children say they want to be rock musicians, my father thought it was more manly and was very supportive”, he says with a laugh. Today at 49, it’s his passion for the culinary arts that have brought him the highest acclaim, winning numerous awards including the Michelin star, although he also had great success as a professional drummer for thirteen years. Despite all his achievements, Graham is warm, frank and unassuming with a great sense of humor. “I knew it was time to put down the drum sticks when I got a call for a session and felt upset because I had planned to cook something nice for dinner that night”.

A Chef is born. One day, some friends who had a pub in Convent Garden found themselves short of staff and asked Graham if he could help out in the kitchen. “I did my best but had no idea what I was doing. So I decided it was time to learn and blagged my way into Westminster College by saying I was a chef on day release from a top London restaurant”. Six weeks into the course he was called to the office, and thinking the game was up, he admitted to not being a chef but a musician. As it turned out one of the lecturers had opened a restaurant in Holborn, and wanted to offer him a job. Although

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“At this point I still felt like a musician with cooking as a hobby, and it actually took me a few years to admit that this is what I do”. For a while Graham worked with Richard Corrigan in his restaurant “e House” in Chelsea which was a big success, but when it was suggested that he should buy the restaurant, he decided that perhaps instead, it was time to move out of London. “With two young children, my partner Jackie and I felt it would be better for all of us”. And so it was in 2002 he ended up in Biddenden in Kent, a place he as an Eastender from London, never had heard about. “I really wanted to buy a pub, but when I found this place I saw the potential; small and manageable, just the right size for me and Jackie starting up on our own.

Kentish pineapples? Graham Garrett’s food philosophy is based on seasonal ingredients and making use of local produce when available. “is whole thing about just using local produce is a lot of hype. Who’s ever heard of Kentish lemons and pineapples? I source as much from the surrounding area as I can, but of course it’s not always possible. I also change the menu virtually every day. e most important thing for me is to keep the dishes simple, letting each ingredient speak for itself no matter where it comes from. I take inspiration from many countries so I guess you can call this a truly European cuisine". On the day of our interview the menu consisted of amongst other things, marinated herring with mustard crème fraiche, steamed fillet of Arctic Char, cuttlefish and cucumber tagliatelle. Not the kind of dishes you’ll find served in most restaurants, but then Graham is no ordinary chef. With passion and flair he rustles up new and unique yet simple dishes, because he’s not looking to impress the critics, he just cooks from the heart. Staying true to himself has earned him a Michelin star, and now people come from as far as America to eat at his restaurant. But his most memorable moment came years ago when he one day found himself cooking for the Queen.

Chatting with The Queen “is was while I worked at 'e House' back in Chelsea. We had some rooms upstairs that were available for private functions, and one day a lady came to have a look. She wanted to hold a dinner


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party for 10 and was very particular about the details because as she explained e Queen was coming. I thought she was just a batty old lady and subsequently forgot about it. at was until the day of the party. I was busy in the kitchen when I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned around to find two men in long trench coats and wearing ear pieces who wanted to have a word with me. ey presented themselves as the Head of Buckingham Palace security and Chief of Security at Scotland Yard. ey checked everything, including names of the guests who would be dining that evening. “e Queen arrived and walked straight through the dining room past astonished guests who couldn’t believe their eyes. Everything went perfectly and it seems Her Royal Highness had an enjoyable evening. When the party concluded at about midnight, I happened to be standing by the stairs as she came down and to my surprise she stopped for a chat. Before they left, I asked one of the security team if she often turns up at restaurants like this, and was told it was the first time in sixteen years. When I later told my mother what had happened she almost fell off her chair”.

Still wants a pub Last year e West House was among a handful of restaurants taking part in Gordon Ramsey’s Best Restaurants TV show and got through to the semi final. “e whole thing was surreal and quite stressful. But although

I’m not so keen on the whole showbiz thing, it was a good way to raise the profile of the restaurant. For the next few months after the show we were so booked, we had to turn people away. So is having a Michelin Star is a blessing or a curse? “Of course it’s a lot of pressure as the Michelin Star can be taken away at any point" explains Graham, “you never know when they turn up. Still I wouldn’t mind getting a second one. One day I hope to expand, but not too much. My dream is still to have a pub”.

Bitten by the bug. So what does a top chef do to relax? “I’ve been playing golf for many years and must say I’m bitten by the bug, but I don’t get much time to play these days, and to be honest I don’t think anybody would be impressed if they saw me in action”, says the former drummer turned Master Chef with a laugh. Perhaps Graham doesn’t shine at the golf course, but in the kitchen he’s definitely a star. So if you are planning to play golf on any of the great golf courses in Kent this summer, or are going to the Open at Royal St George’s, you definitely shouldn’t miss the opportunity to have a meal at one of Britain’s best restaurants – e West House in Biddenden. www.thewesthouserestaurant.co.uk

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Portugal’s Golf Coast

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ALGARVE CLUB GUIDE THE OCEANICO VICTORIA The Oceanico Victoria, which opened in 2004, is the most recent golf course project of Arnold Palmer in Portugal. On this 18-hole par 72 championship course, every care has been taken to ensure the preservation of the wetlands and the typical vegetation of carob, olive and almond trees. Several lakes, occupying 13 hectares, provide mirrors of water and strategic reservoirs for irrigation. The course features 5 or 6 tees per hole, wide, undulating fairways, extensive water hazards and cleverly positioned bunkers. In addition there is an exceptional driving range and a putting green. www.oceanicogolf.com

GRAMACHO GOLF COURSE This rather uniquely designed 18 hole course with 27 varied greens unfurls through the gentle countryside of Carvoeiro, providing a challenging but attractive course. Designed by Nick Price and Ronald Fream, this former nine hole course was cleverly redesigned to become a fully fledged 18 hole course. The designers have made the most of the natural landscape, from the boulder outcrops to the carob and olive trees. These features combined with the carefully placed lakes and bunkers means you have to be technically accurate in your play and know which club to choose before hitting the ball. Pestana Gramacho is recognized as a championship course enjoyable and playable even by those with a higher handicap. www.pestanagolf.com

PESTANA SILVES This latest course belonging to the Pestana Group is surrounded by typical Algarve fruit orchards and small farms. The course has been designed to test the golfer’s quality in hitting a well directed ball using the correct choice of club. This point is immediately emphasized as you stand on the first tee faced by two water hazards flanking the fairway. The course has been described as designed for attacking play whilst the bunkers are well placed to cause possible trouble to the ”big hitters”. On the Silves course low handicap players will find it a serious challenge to come in under par, whilst high handicaps (with concentration) will be able to enjoy their round. www.pestanagolf.com

VILA SOL VILAMOURA SPA & GOLF RESORT Located within the Vilamoura Resort and just five minutes from the marina, Vila Sol Golf has 27 holes divided into three courses, Prime, Challenge and Prestige, each with varying degrees of difficulty. The Clubhouse is the starting and finishing point for all three courses, The course staged the Portugal Open in 1992 and 1993, and won the Best Golf Development award in 2001. The English architect Donald Steel, has carefully maintained the original topographical nature of this undulating terrain, and necessary changes have been kept to a minimum. As well as offering accommodation in their contemporary styled hotel, there is great spa facilities, and the Vila Sol Beach Club is just fifteen minutes away. www.vilasol.pt 146

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CS ÁLAMOS GOLF This course is one of the newer courses to open in the Algarve. Located within the Morgado do Reguengo Resort, Álamos Golf is the second 18-hole course of this countryside retreat with the Monchique Mountains and the estate’s vineyard as backdrop. Laying to the north of Portimão it is laid out as a neighbour to its sister course Morgado. The setting is a large 980 hectare estate through undulating small valleys. The immediate main characteristic factor is its large greens which place demand on good putting skills as they are often raised above the fairway approach and involve several levels. Also, the accuracy of the player’s shot will be questioned by deep aggressive bunkers www.cshotelsandresorts.com

CS SALGADOS GOLF The CS Salgados Golf Course is located near Albufeira, within a protected, Natural Wildlife Reserve. This setting provides golfers with a unique experience, since the course gives shelter, water and food to a number of bird species, some of them nearly extinct. The beach is within walking distance and the sea view from the course adds to this scenic golfing experience. The Salgados Golf Course is part of an enclosed, self-contained resort that features a comprehensive range of leisure facilities that include Health Club and SPA, indoor swimming pool, tennis, Kids Club, 7 outdoor pools and 2 restaurants. www.cshotelsandresorts.com

CASTRO MARIM GOLFE & COUNTRY CLUB Located close to the historic town of Castro Marim, the three nine hole courses at Castro Marim Golfe & Country Club run through undulating hills dotted with pines and occasional views across the River Guadiana to neighboring Spain. The courses are named Atlantic, Grouse and Guardiana. These courses call for careful play with strategically placed water hazards and fairway terrain that will offer plenty of challenges. Not to forget the well placed bunkers waiting for errant shots. Even though these are nine hole courses, your skills will be put to the test. In fact, the fourth hole on the Atlantic Course features in the book ‘1001 Golf Holes you must play before you die’. www.castromarimgolfe.com

VALE DO LOBO Vale do Lobo is home to two challenging and outstanding golf courses – the Royal and the Ocean. Based on original concepts by the legendary Sir Henry Cotton and re-developed by American golf architect Rocky Roquemore, the Vale do Lobo courses have twice been host to the Portuguese Open. Both take players through umbrella pine and fig tree-lined fairways to the Atlantic – the Royal playing dramatically along the cliff’s edge, while the Ocean sweeps gently down to the beach. This combination of links and parkland golf provides an enjoyable game for golfers at all levels. www.valedolobo.com

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PINE CLIFFS The Pine Cliffs Golf Course is one of Portugal’s most original golf courses, built in a pine wood at the edge of spectacular cliffs, overlooking the beautiful beaches of the Algarve and the Atlantic beyond. The Pine Cliffs Golf Course is located near Albufeira and part of the Sheraton Algarve Hotel Resort. The perfectly kept golf course starts gently but gets more and more challenging with each hole. After the 5th hole comes the crown jewel, a Par-3 where you tee-off across a ravine requiring a 205 metre carrying shot right over the beach to land on a deep but narrow green – also called The Devil’s Parlour.

QUINTA DO VALE GOLF RESORT Quinta do Vale Golf Resort, which was opened in 2007 takes advantage of the charming natural setting where it lies next to the River Guadiana in the eastern Algarve. Marvellously integrated in the landscape the course sits into a natural valley always overlooked from the Clubhouse. Designed by the late Severiano Ballesteros the course incorporates many doglegs, with wide fairways, and many well placed strategic hazards and bunkers. Here players will notice Seve s creativity as well as his promise; to please everyone no matter what their handicap is. The variations in difficulty will challenge beginners and put the technique of more experienced golfers to the test.

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QUINTA DO LAGO GOLF The three courses at Quinta do Lago, The South and the North Course and Laranjal, all offer different challenges. Each course is reminiscent of Augusta and has generous, lush fairways intermittently decorated with clusters of pine, heather, broom and wild flowers. The carefully tended greens, considered among the best in Portugal, are fast, true and sometimes humbling. The terrain of the South and North course is comprised of firm, sandy Algarvean soil, that gives a helpful impetus off the tee. All courses enjoy first class driving ranges, a golf academy, putting greens, pro-shops and clubhouses with large and informal terraces. www.quintadolagogolf.com

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BENAMOR Designed by Sir Henry Cotton, Benamor was the first course built east of Faro in the Algarve. The course is laid out on mainly undulating land and offers pleasant views both to the Atlantic Ocean and the hills of the Serra do Caldeirão. Players accuracy is particularly called upon by the architects retention of as many of the old trees as feasible. These natural obstacles coupled with strategic placed bunkers and occasional water hazards make the course a worthwhile challenge. The recent improvement of access to Tavira, makes the whole area much easier to reach. www.benamor.com


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Great Golf Guide

A selection of outstanding courses - at home and abroad...

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England

Trevose Golf & Country Club heltered by the majestic Trevose Head, the experience of playing the Championship Course at Trevose Golf & Country Club is enhanced by the spectacular views of the North Atlantic Ocean, wide sandy beaches and dramatic North Cornish coastline. A true test of links golf, the course was designed by Harry Colt in 1925 and will test all aspects of your game. As with all of Colt’s designs, the course is in two loops of nine holes with the front nine holes hugging the sand dunes and coastline and back nine forming inland links, although the sea can be seen from every single hole. Like all great links courses the difficulty lies in the wind – so beware when the wind blows! No two days are ever the same, and those who are prepared to be more creative with their shot making will be well rewarded. The greens are quick all year round and due to the temperate micro climate the area enjoys, the course condition is excellent 365 days a year. Come rain or shine, wind or calm, Trevose will test every shot in your armoury and every club in your bag! As one of the top championship links golf courses in the British Isles, Trevose hosted the 2008 Brabazon Trophy (English Men’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship) and The McGregor Trophy in 2012 and it regularly plays home to touring

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professionals and top amateurs alike. Indeed Paul Way, exEuropean Tour and Ryder Cup player, has said of Trevose, “I have played lots of Harry Colt courses and Trevose is up there with his best. The setting is fantastic and you need every shot on this course.” With a range of 3 to 5 star on-site (self catering) accommodation, as well as first-class dining, three tennis courts, a beauty/therapy salon, swimming pool, children’s play area, seven nearby beaches and three courses to choose from, Trevose offers the ideal golf destination with a relaxed holiday atmosphere. Trevose, a member of the England’s Atlantic Links golf network, is easily accessible via the M5. CONTACT Trevose Golf & Country Club, Constantine Bay, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8JB Contact: Nick Gammon T: 01841 520208 Green Fee £65 Summer/Winter £40 www.trevose-gc.co.uk ngammon@trevose-gc.co.uk 151


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Saunton Golf Club wo of links golf’s most precious gems are set in the remote shadows of the towering sand dunes of Braunton Burrows at Saunton Golf Club in North Devon, less than ? mile from the Atlantic Ocean. When the club was inaugurated in 1897 its clubhouse doubled up as the local post office, yet now its two championship courses, East and West, are considered among the greatest links in the world. The basis for the present East Course was laid out under the direction of the renowned course architect W. Herbert Fowler in the 1920’s. A completely natural layout set amid the spectacular sand hills, the East Course provides a peaceful environment with only the sound of the sea for company as well as a great test of golf for players of all standards. The West course is also an exceptional challenge in its own right and it was here in 1997 that a 17-year-old Sergio Garcia won the British Boys Championship, just two years before making his Ryder Cup debut. Indeed over the years Saunton has played host to many major national and international championships during its 113- year history.

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The East Course will host the South West Amateur Championships and West of England Championships in 2011 whilst the West course will be used in 2012 by the English Golf Union for the Mid Amateur Championships, Logan Trophy. England’s most successful modern day golfer, Nick Faldo, has been one of Saunton’s many fans since playing here as a boy. The multiple major winner once said of Saunton’s East Course, "I've no doubt if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent it would have hosted an Open Championship by now." Saunton, a member of the England’s Atlantic Links golf network, is easily accessible via the M5 and A361.

CONTACT Saunton Golf Club, Nr Braunton, North Devon EX33 1LG Contact: Peter McMullen T: 01271 818050 Green fee £74 weekdays/£79 weekends www.sauntongolf.co.uk gm4@sauntongolf.co.uk


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Royal North Devon Golf Club golfing pilgrimage to Royal North Devon is a must for anyone interested in the history of golf. Dating back to 1864, Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as it is also known, is England’s oldest links course and is often described as windswept, wild and interesting. The layout has hardly changed over nearly 150 years and to play it is like taking a step back in time and seeing how golf was played over a hundred years ago in Victorian England. The golf course is carved out of the natural terrain that gently undulates alongside the North Atlantic coastline and is set on common land on which to this day livestock still graze. Despite its age, the course has stood the test of time and is still a great test for any standard of golfer. While JH Taylor may have served as Burnham & Berrow’s first pro, it was here at Royal North Devon that the golfer started his career as a caddie and later finished it as club president. With such history and heritage, it is no surprise that the

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clubhouse houses a veritable treasure trove of golf memorabilia, honors boards and club trophies, second only to the collection found in the Royal & Ancient club house of St Andrews. As far removed as possible from many of the modern, manicured and manufactured courses of today, Royal North Devon is deemed a great championship links that combines pure raw exhilaration with the experience of playing a fast running links in a stiff breeze that still tests the very best in the game. Royal North Devon, a member of the England’s Atlantic Links golf network, is easily accessible via the M5 and A361. CONTACT Royal North Devon Golf Club, Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! Bideford EX39 1HD Contact: Mark Evans T: 01237 473817 Green Fee Friday & Saturday £55/Sunday to Thursday £48 www.royalnorthdevongolfclub.co.uk info@royalnorthdevongolfclub.co.uk 153


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Burnham & Berrow Golf Club

omerset’s Burnham & Berrow Golf Club is a fine example of a classic English links course that offers a superb challenge to golfers of all abilities. Founded in 1890, the championship layout is particularly noted for its distinct sand hills that form stubborn, natural obstacles along with the buckthorn and even a marsh mid-way through a round that golfers are advised to avoid. As with all links golf the challenging factor is the wind and its unpredictability, which means that the course can play differently almost every day. The prevailing south westerly winds that whip in from the dramatic backdrop of the North Atlantic Coast and along the Bristol Channel ensure that golfers are treated to a links challenge that is not for the faint hearted. The greens are renowned as true and quick and the temperate coastal location means that the course is guaranteed to be in good condition all year round. Excellent drainage due to the sandy subsoil ensures that the course is rarely, if ever, closed. The nature of the course demands that you use almost every club in the bag, ensuring that the experience is both memorable and challenging.The course has evolved over the decades but

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today’s layout is largely the work of Harry Colt. The club’s first professional was the legendary JH Taylor, five times an Open champion, who played an important part in development of the playing side of the club and once described the course as “one of the most sporting courses conceivable”. Burnham & Berrow has hosted a string of prestigious amateur tournaments from as early as 1906 when it staged the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship. More recently it has been proud to be chosen as the venue for the 2006 English Amateur Championship and the 2009 Tillman Trophy. In 2011 it will be the host venue for The Brabazon Trophy as well as the British Boys Championship. Conveniently located just off the M5 in Burnham-on-Sea, Burnham & Berrow is part of the England’s Atlantic Links golf network. CONTACT Burnham & Berrow Golf Club, St Christopher’s Way, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset TA8 2PE Michael Blight T: 01278 785760 Green fee £70 www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk secretary.bbgc@btconnect.com


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England

St Enodoc Golf Club ornwall’s St Enodoc, designed by celebrated golf course architect James Braid, is a sparkling jewel of links golf in South West England that once trodden, is never forgotten. Founded in 1890, it boasts a magnificent setting amongst the rolling sand dunes and exposed cliff tops that overlook the Camel Estuary and the dramatic coastline of the North Atlantic ocean giving it some of the greatest sea and estuary views of any course in the world. Indeed St Enodoc prides itself on its stunning panoramas over the water that can be seen from every single hole. St Enodoc’s Church Course is so called because of the 11th century Norman Church that was uncovered from amongst the sand dunes in Victorian times in the middle of the course at the bottom of the winding 10th hole. This is where the Poet Laureate John Betjeman lies following a lifelong love of Cornwall and the golf course. The undulating track that trails the natural contours of the landscape has no two holes the same and is world renowned for its towering Himalaya bunker - reputedly the tallest bunker in Europe - that entirely blocks golfers’ view of the 6th green from all but a slither of fairway.

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Testament to the quality of the course St Enodoc, one of the most charming championship links courses in England, has played host to top amateur events including the English Ladies Amateur Championship in 1993 & 2002 and the English Counties Championship in 1989 & 2005. Over the years, the charm of St Enodoc and its history has lured a host of legendary Open Champions to its fairways including James Braid of course, Henry Cotton, Jim Barnes and Tom Watson which has added to the prestige of this exceptional course. The club offers excellent practice facilities complete with driving range, two putting greens and two PGA coaching professionals and recently invested heavily in a new short game practice area, a new target green on the range and a new covered bay facility. CONTACT St Enodoc Golf Club, Rock, Wadebridge, Cornwall PL27 6LD Contact: Tuck Clagett T: 01208 863216 Green Fee £67 www.st-enodoc.co.uk tuck.clagett@st-enodoc.co.uk


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Scotland

Kingsbarns Golf Links ocated just seven miles south-east of St Andrews Kingsbarns is a must-play seaside links course which regularly features in top 100 golf course rankings in the world. Designed by Kyle Phillips, the golf course opened in 2000 and is set in an amphitheatre along the coast line, so nearly every hole boasts spectacular views of the sea. At 7,181 yards from the championship tees, Kingsbarns is a formidable enough test to be included in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship rota each autumn alongside the Old Course, St. Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links. Kingsbarns prides itself on excellent customer service and great accessibility of tee times. As Kingsbarns does not operate a membership programme, visiting golfers are each treated like members for the day, with staff on hand to ensure that they each enjoy the golfing experience which the team at Kingsbarns are so proud of. Kingsbarns Golf Links offers an unforgettable golfing experience, which is proving increasingly popular with the corporate market. Companies are using it as a venue for both large

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and small groups when they really want to make a favourable impression with clients or show their appreciation to valued members of staff. Our proximity to St Andrews and a wide range of accommodation providers makes us a no hassle venue to book. With two five star hotels, The Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa and The Fairmont, St Andrews on our doorstep along with a choice of 4 and 3 star hotels, there are accommodation offerings for every budget. There is an extensive range of flight options from London to Edinburgh (1hr 20 minutes from St Andrews) and CityJet fly from London City to Dundee (20 minutes from St Andrews) offering a no charge for your clubs option. CONTACT Kingsbarns Golf Links Kingsbarns, St. Andrews, Scotland +44 (0)1334 460861 E-mail: info@kingsbarns.com www.kingsbarns.com 157


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Scotland

The Duke´s St Andrews he Duke’s is the only heathland course in St Andrews daring to be different amongst the famous list of links courses, including of course the Old Course, in the Home of Golf. The Duke’s rolling terrain and elevated position above St Andrews provides spectacular panoramas of the surrounding countryside, The Grampians, the West Sands and the “Auld Grey Toon”. Moreover the sheltered inland location of the course offers a welcome respite from the blustery, sometimes brutal linksexperience elsewhere in the location. Owned like the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa by the Kohler Co., The Duke’s was originally designed by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson and was officially opened by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, in 1995. However American Tim Liddy, a protégé of distinguished golf course designer Pete Dye, remodeled The Duke’s in June 2006 transforming it into a majestic layout reminiscent of the true heathland courses of the 1920s. It now boasts five completely new holes and the addition of 118 natural, rough-edged bunkers. The championship course now measures 7512 yards and is a Par 71 that offers a set of five tees on each hole, making it a challenge for golfers of every standard.

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The Duke’s Clubhouse offers five-star service and a warm Scottish welcome in relaxed surroundings. Amenities include The Duke’s Bar & Grill, a traditional wood-panelled bar and restaurant with a terrace overlooking the course for al fresco dining on warm days, The Captains’ Room for private dining or meetings, a well stocked Pro Shop and equipment hire. It also boasts comprehensive practice facilities that include a large practice range, extensive putting green, two practice par3 holes and a chipping/bunker area. The Duke’s was recently voted the ‘Best Club in the UK’ by the Golf Club of the Year Awards and in 2008 & 2010, Golf World magazine included The Duke’s course in its Top 100 Courses in the UK. Today the course is very much on many players “must-play” list. CONTACT The Duke’s St Andrews Craigtoun, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland KY16 8NS Contact: Alan McColm, Golf Coordinator T: 01334 470214 Green Fee Summer £115/Winter £55 www.playthedukes.co.uk alan.mccolm@oldcoursehotel.co.uk


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Scotland

The Gleneagles Hotel et in its own magnificent 850-acre estate, The Gleneagles® Hotel 5 Red Star resort is only one hour’s drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh and is a byword for style, elegance and comfort. Gleneagles offers 3 championship golf courses set in the heart of the stunning Perthshire countryside. The King’s and the Queen’s are both top Scottish Championship courses, whilst The PGA Centenary has been chosen to host the 2014 Ryder Cup Matches. The golf courses were the inspiration of two of the world's most famous golfers, James Braid, five times winner of the Open Championship who designed the King's and Queen's, and Jack Nicklaus, Golfer of the 20th Century, who created the PGA Centenary Course. As well as playing great courses at Gleneagles golfers can also brush up their skills at The PGA National Golf Academy that offers tuition for all abilities, beginner to scratch player, and a 320yard double ended driving range. For those who want to practice what they have learnt but are not quite ready to take on an 18hole championship course, they can make the progression to the testing but fun 9-hole par 3 PGA National Academy Course.

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Once golf is over you can retire to the newly refurbished Dormy Clubhouse facilities, and rue the lipped putts and toast the holed chips while enjoying food and drink of a quality that no-one can argue with, all while looking out over the 18th greens of the King’s and Queen’s courses. As well as golf, there are a host of outdoor activities including riding, fishing, off road driving, falconry, shooting, archery and gun dog lessons. To relax further there’s an award-winning destination spa by ESPA with all the latest therapeutic treatments, as well as a range of bars and restaurants, including the Two Michelin starred Andrew Fairlie. Gleneagles is a sanctuary from the modern world, offering the best of Scotland every day of the year.

CONTACT The Gleneagles Hotel Auchterarder, Perthshire, PH3 1NF Tel +44 (0) 1764 662231 www.gleneagles.com resort.sales@gleneagles.com

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England

Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club et within 186 acres of beautifully-maintained parkland, with its own secret gardens, carp-filled lake, walled garden and woodland trails; the impressive Ashdown Park Hotel is tucked away, as if intended to be a secret, at the heart of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. The landscaped Sussex countryside makes it the ideal setting for a leisurely round of golf. There is a Par 3, 18 hole golf course, driving range, putting green and indoor nets, and if you are wanting to improve your game, we can also arrange for tuition from an experienced coach. As well as the golf course, the Country Club offers an impressive range of facilities for both invigorating and relaxing pursuits as well as informal refreshments in the Fairway Lounge. The gym is well-equipped and personal training is available. In addition there is an aerobics studio, indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room, table tennis and snooker as well as outdoor pursuits including jogging trails (an experience not to be missed during the bluebell season), tennis courts and croquet. The Revitalise Spa, located within the Country Club, offers a wide range of bespoke signature treatments combining different styles and techniques from around the world, producing a

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completely unique spa experience. Membership starts from ÂŁ86.00 per month which includes full use of the Country Club facilities as well as preferential rates on spa treatments, food & drink and accommodation in the hotel. When you break from your round of golf or take time out from the facilities in the Country Club, head to the Fairway lounge and enjoy lunch or dinner. The Fairway is a Brassiere-style restaurant located in the Country Club which overlooks beautiful views across the golf course. It is the perfect place to enjoy light lunches throughout the week and a less formal meal on Friday & Saturday evenings. The menu offers a wide variety of meals from delicious club bites to mouth-watering main courses and sweet treats.

CONTACT Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club Wych Cross, Nr Forest Row East Sussex RH18 5JR T +44 (0)1342 824988. Fax: +44 (0)1342 826206 www.ashdownpark.com


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Scotland

Turnberry Resort VERVIEW: Turnberry, an icon of Scottish hospitality and home of four Open Championships, has been treasured for more than a hundred years. Turnberry Resort is part of Starwood’s acclaimed Luxury Collection portfolio following a multimillion pound restoration in 2009. LOCATION: West coast of Scotland. Approximately 55 miles (one hour) from Glasgow Airport, 25 miles (30 minutes) from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, and 100 miles from Edinburgh Airport. ROOMS: A total of 150 rooms, including four Specialty Suites and four eight-bedroom lodges. Eight newly renovated Lands of Turnberry self-catering apartments are also located in the heart of the resort. GOLF: Turnberry offers some of the best golf facilities in the world, with 45 holes of magnificent golf, the world’s first links golf academy and a sociable Clubhouse. The 18-hole Ailsa championship course – venue for The Open Championship in 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2009 and consistently ranked as the UK and Ireland’s top golf course. The 18-hole Kintyre championship course – a final qualifying course for The Open Championship in 2004. The 9-hole Arran course – used as a teaching course by

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Turnberry’s Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy. Scotland’s first and only TaylorMade Performance Lab. THE SPA AT TURNBERRY: Featuring an inviting 20-metre indoor pool, eleven individual treatment rooms, fitness studio, heat experiences and pool-side Jacuzzi and offering a range of treatments by ESPA including reflexology and hot stone massage. CUISINE: Turnberry has six restaurants, bars and lounges – the signature restaurant 1906, Duel in the Sun bar, The Ailsa Bar & Lounge, James Miller and The Grand Tea Lounge. In the heart of the Turnberry kitchens is the ultimate dining experience, The Turnberry Chefs Table. Turnberry also boasts the Tappie Toorie restaurant, which is situated in the Clubhouse. OUTDOOR PURSUITS: Rifle target shooting, clay target shooting, 4x4 off-road driving, trout fishing, archery, quad biking, falconry, horse riding, all-terrain carting, mountain biking and children’s activities. CONTACT Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort Maidens Road Ayrshire KA26 9LT (0)1655 331 991 www.luxurycollection.com/turnberry turnberry@luxurycollection.com


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England

Bovey Castle ovey Castle is an internationally-renowned five-star resort, with special breaks for golfers available throughout the year. The rich heritage of Bovey Castle’s former life has been lovingly-complemented throughout and reflects the hotel’s ambience and luxurious hospitality. Set within its own private estate in Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is 40 minutes from Exeter by car and just over two hours by train from London Paddington to the nearest train station – Exeter St.Davids. The hotel’s Land Rover transfer service can be arranged from any location in the UK. The Old Course at Bovey Castle is a challenging and beautiful 18-hole championship course, designed in 1926 by JF Abercromby, one of the finest British golf course designers of the Golden Era. The course has gained its reputation as one of the most enjoyable places to play golf due to its glorious setting and varied challenge. Designed to rival its sister courses at Gleneagles and Turnberry, this course has been described as an experience of golf never to be forgotten, presenting the pure challenge of golf to

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professional and amateur alike. At just 6303 yards, golfers should not consider the Old Course a simple task as Bovey Castle puts a precedence on accuracy, with many tee and approach shots crossing a variety of hazards. With the River Bovey coming into play on the first eight holes, clear thinking and strategic positional play is vital to score well around this course. The course’s par three 3rd, surrounded by water on three sides, is matched only by the most famous hole at Bovey Castle – the par four 7th, once described by Sir Henry Cotton as “one of the most challenging par 4’s on an CONTACT DE TAIL S inland golf course.” Bovey Castle The clubhouse is wellDartmoor National Park equipped with changing rooms, Devon golf shop, restaurant and bar area TQ13 8RE with outdoor seating overlooking Golf professional the course Richard Lewis 01647 445009 www.boveycastle.com/golf 163


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Scotland

Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses urrayshall Hotel is the home to both the Murrayshall and the Lynedoch Golf Courses, two prestigious but very different eighteen hole courses, providing a hugely enjoyable challenge for all golfers. The Murrayshall course meanders through tree lined fairways, undulated parkland and has several natural burns which have been used to protect the large greens. The introduction of the white sand bunkers which are a feature of the Murrayshall course lie in waiting for errant shots. In creating Lynedoch the course designer made great use of the existing Scots pine woodland, utilising the wild flower meadows and carved a real wee gem of a course. Both courses are a real contrast to one another Murrayshall the wider, longer course requires length and accuracy from the tee shot, this will allow golfers the opportunity to approach greens from the correct angle, widening the view of the pin. Lynedoch however is shorter but no less a challenge, tighter fairways, bracken filled gullies and tall Scots Pine trees narrow the golfer’s view of fairways and greens. With two different golf courses, both set out to a fabulous standard of play, the courses have attracted national and

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international events over the years. Currently the home to the Paul Lawrie Scottish Schools Championship Murrayshall and Lynedoch have also hosted PGA events along with SGU National Finals and most recently was the Inaugural Scottish venue for the Sky Sports Trilby Tour. Murrayshall also gives our resident golfers the chance to visit the famous courses of St Andrews, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and Gleneagles, which are all within short driving distance of the hotel. With so much on offer to keen golfers of all levels, it’s no surprise that Murrayshall House Hotel has become renowned as a provider of top quality golfing breaks and golf days out in the historic home of golf. CONTACT Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses Scone, Perth, Scotland, PH2 7PH +44 (0)1738 551171 sales@murrayshall.co.uk www.murrayshall.co.uk


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England

The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club ne of the finest resorts in the south west, The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club is situated in 365 acres of beautiful park and woodland. Its silently secluded setting alongside the Cotswold village of Castle Combe places it within easy reach of the world famous Bath and only 90 minutes from Paddington station. Designed by the renowned BBC commentator Peter Alliss and his designing partner Clive Clarke, the championship course combines hand cut tees and greens with mature oak trees and the meandering Bybrook River to create one of the most spectacular courses in the UK. Home to one of the top 10 par 3’s of the world, the undulating landscape has attracted many professionals over the years. Justin Rose chose to play the course on the morning before his wedding describing it as “a wonderfully scenic golf course that complements the outstanding Manor House Hotel”. Luke Donald described it as “a truly stunning course” going on to say that “he would definitely be coming back” With PGA trained pro’s on hand and comprehensive USGA practice facilities including a driving range playing off natural turf, a chipping and bunker area and an immaculate putting green to get a little practice in you are sure to be well prepared before tackling the greens. The immaculate standards of the course are complimented

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by the welcoming faces and attention to detail in the recently refurbished club house. From the sun soaked terrace you can look out across the enchanting lake and 18th green or you can take a seat in one of the sumptuous lounges where a new “Great British Menu” serves traditional dishes recreated with produce from local suppliers. Nestled in the Bybrook Valley the 14th century Manor House Hotel boasts a Michelin star restaurant and 48 rooms and suites all individually designed so no two are the same, whether you opt for the main house or the Mews Cottages, there is something for everyone. If you find time to spare between playing the championship golf course, enjoying Michelin star fine dining or strolling in the grounds then try your hand at fishing, laser-clay shooting, archery or even go-karting at the local race circuit. CONTACT The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club Castle Combe, Nr Bath, Wiltshire SN14 7HR Tel +44 (0) 1249 784809 www.manorhouse.co.uk enquiries@manorhouse.co.uk 165


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Portugal

Boavista Golf & Spa hether you’re coming to the Algarve for some holiday golf, living here and looking for a different course to play or a club to join, Boavista Golf & SPA, near Lagos in the west Algarve, has something for everyone. Is Boavista a great golf course with a resort attached or a great holiday resort with a golf course? The answer is it’s both. Built ten years ago by British house builders, Jones Homes Portugal, the golf course was constructed to attract property buyers to the development, but the quality of this championship course means that it’s now a magnet for keen golfers in its own right. Boavista has a thriving golf club membership, averaging around 60 players for each competition. Many of these members are not property owners at the resort, but come from all around the surrounding area to play there. The course gets many visiting golfers too. It’s easy to see why; the facilities at Boavista are fantastic. Part of the enjoyment of playing Boavista is that it’s kept in great condition. The fairways, tees and greens are well manicured without a weed in sight. The bunkers always have plenty of sand and are expertly maintained.

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But there’s always the welcoming clubhouse to look forward to if conditions are tough. This has a good buzz about it,especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the golf club competition days, or on Mondays and Thursdays when the Bridge Club meets. The Golf Shop has all the latest fashion trends and golf equipment, with expert staff ready to help you, whether you want to buy clothes or golf equipment. The Health Club & SPA is state-of-the-art. It has a 20metre indoor pool, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and an array of massages and treatments that guarantee you can relax or keep in shape. The resort has very good security with regular patrols both day and night, as well as property management and cleaning services that you can choose to use whether you let your property out or just use it yourself. There are even on-site medical services. Visit Boavista Golf & SPA to see the best Portugal has to offer. CONTACT Rodrigo F. Ulrich Marketing & Operations Manager Tel: +351 282 000 100 info@boavistagolf.com www.boavistagolf.com www.boavistaresort.com

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Portugal

Quinta do Peru ith the ArrĂĄbida mountains as its backdrop, the Quinta do Peru golf course offers amateurs a pleasant game, whilst also presenting a challenge for professionals. It was voted amongst the top 10 courses in Portugal in the biennial poll organised by the European Golf magazine. With its many trees and wild flowers, the course provides a varied start, for the first three holes consist of a par 5, a 386-metre par 4 and a 186-metre par 3. Amongst the first nine holes, attention is drawn to the short eighth hole, with a lake in front of its green. The next nine holes are even more difficult. Number 12 is a par 4 which, although not very long, has a lake running beside the fairway and down to the green. Then comes what is probably the most difficult test on the course: hole 16, a 200-metre par 3, where one needs to play over a lake to reach the green. Due to the quality of the course Quinta do Peru has hosted several events from the European Challenge Tour.

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The friendly family atmosphere makes this club one of the most highly regarded in Portuguese golf, its diversified course offering excellent views over the surrounding countryside.

Quinta do Peru Golf Course is located in a privileged and accessible area, 30 minutes south of Lisbon. CONTACT Quinta do PerĂş Golf & Country Club Alameda da Serra, 2 2975-666 Quinta do Conde Portugal +351 212 134 320 e-mail: pedro@golfquintadoperu.com


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Portugal

Aroeira Golf Resort roeira is located within protected pine woodland just a short 20 minutes drive from central Lisbon. When the first golf course was designed in 1973, the course directors could never have imagined that 40 years down the line, it would become a benchmark of prestige in the Greater Lisbon area. The weather is never too bad for a game, even during the winter months and the sun is always willing to shine through for the players. Moreover, the fact that the courses are built over sand dunes, means that rain never presents a barrier to play as the courses have wonderful drainage. Aroeira I was designed by Architect Frank Pennink in 1973 with the idea of creating a course that would provide the golfer with calm surroundings in the midst of nature. The result was a beautiful tree-lined course adorned by five lakes. The course itself is 6,040 metres long and a par 72. It has been host to the Portuguese Open in 1996 and 1997 as well as various Ladies Opens. It’s regarded by specialists as one of the best in Portugal. Aroeira II opened in April 2000 and is a 6,113 metres long par

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72 course. It was designed by Donald Steel. Built to be a more challenging course than its sister Aroeira I, this 18-hole championship course was designed to European Tour standards in order to host major international golf events. Although it presents a challenge, it is an excellent experiece for any level of golfer. Apart from all the facilities which you would expect from a top golf course, Aroeira Golf Resort includes self catering apartments for rent, a tropical swimming pool, tennis courts and a shopping area. These features make Aroeira Golf Resort the ideal place to spend a deserved holiday playing golf, relaxing and getting in touch with nature while remaining close to a capital city teeming with life and culture. CONTACT Herdade da Aroeira 2820-567 Charneca da Caparica T +351 212 979 111 Fax +351 212 979 119 golf.reservas@aroeira.com lojagolf@aroeira.com www.aroeira.com

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Portugal

Vivamarinha Hotel & Suites ivamarinha is located about 25 minutes from Lisbon’s city center and the international airport; it sits within a verdant residential area called Quinta da Marinha. It’s an easy pedal to the beach from here via the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, or you can book the free shuttle for the 10-minute ride to Cascais and Estoril (home to Europe’s largest casino) or the magical town of Sintra, a World Heritage Site about 30 minutes to the north. Vivamarinha is well-known for being two steps away of the Guincho Beach and for the excellent range of facilities that are available in the surrounding areas, including 5 Golf courses: Two Premium golf courses - Quinta da Marinha Golf Club and Oitavos Dunes, are within walking distance, and three more just 15 minutes away. Vivamarinha was the official hotel of the 53rd Estoril Open Portugal golf tournament in 2008. There is also a Racket Club, tennis courts and an equestrian centre for those who enjoy horseback riding. With a superb selection of rooms and suites, 142 in total, Vivamarinha offers exceptionally comfortable and extremely spacious rooms, decorated in a contemporary style with dark wood, caramel and chocolate tones with chrome highlights and sleek furnishings. The suites and living rooms will definitely make

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you want to settle in and stay. Every room has either a private balcony or an outdoor living space for relaxing with a book and bottle of Portuguese wine. An excellent choice to enjoy the fantastic climate and views over the hotel gardens and pine woods or overlooking the outdoor pool and its unique curving wooden walkway at the end of the day. Sauna, Turkish bath and Fitness services are included in the price for Vivamarinha guests, except for physio therapy and SPA treatment. You will find an exclusive ambience where a team of highly specialized professionals attend to your every need. An excellent solution at the end of the day after a round of golf for relaxing or reparing any muscle aches. CONTACT Vivamarinha Hotel & Suites Rua das Palmeiras, Lote 5, Quinta da Marinha 2750-004 Cascais, Portugal Tel.: +351 21 482 91 00 moreinfo@vivamarinha.pt reservations@vivamarinha.pt 171


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France

Côte d ´Opale ituated in Northern France, just across the Channel, the Côte d’Opale brings together all the charms of the region, including a choice of eleven 18-hole courses. Set within an exceptional environment, this golfer’s paradise offers a diversity of golf courses from natural links to pine forests, each accessible to all levels of players. In order to maintain their excellent quality, considerable investments have been made at many of these golf clubs and each offer top-class facilities including comfortable club houses, restaurants and function rooms. Côte d’Opale is the heart of French Golf.

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Golf en Côte d’Opale comprises of the following clubs: Dunkerque – 27 holes Wimereux – 18 holes Hardelot – 36 holes Le Touquet – 45 holes Saint-Omer – 27 holes Abbeville – 18 holes Nampont-Saint-Martin – 36 Holes Belle-Dune – 18 holes Arras : 27 holes

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.golfencotedopale.com contact@golfencotedopale.com Golf en Côte d'Opale. Route de la Trésorerie. 62126 Wimille Tél: + 33 3 21 10 34 60.

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Spain - Cadiz

Sherry Golf Jerez esigned by Stirling & Martin from Global Golf Company, Sherry Golf appears like an accessible course for amateurs and challenging for professionals. Proof of this are the many important tournaments we have had the honour to host, like the Spanish Open Amateur Championship, two years in a row, and the Seniors International Championship. We are also the official venue of the 2nd Stage of the PGA Qualifying School. The layout is characterized as being one of the most pleasant walkthroughs in Spain: - 18 holes Championship course: 6572 meters, Par 72 - Pitch & Putt course: 911 meters, Par 3 Sherry Golf is within the new concepts of American golf course design: fun but safe in the game with undulations and well placed hazards, without making it too hilly, in order to ensure a pleasant walkthrough. Wide fairways and ample greens, puts Sherry Golf into the category of a luxury course. The Clubhouse counts more than 2,800 sq metres designed under the Sherry flair, with a warm, welcoming atmosphere just like the city of Jerez. Its facilities caters to every single aspect of the sport as well as tournaments, including pro-shop, club storage

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room, locker rooms, restaurant, terrace grill, cafeteria, spike bar, lounges, golf academy, and much more. The exceptional geographic location of Jerez and its surroundings make this area the perfect destination for the visitor. 3,200 hours of sun light per year, gives this area of the coast its name, Costa de la Luz (Coast of light). Sherry Golf is located only 5 minutes from the international airport of Jerez, 50 minutes from Seville airport and 1 hour from Malaga International, thanks to the new motorway from Jerez to Los Barrios. CONTACT Sherry Golf Jerez, 11407 Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz Telephone +34 956 088 330 Fax +34 956 088 331 Email info@sherrygolf.com www.sherrygolf.com


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RICHARD A ROOKE INDEPENDENT PROPERTY CONSULTANT FIABCI The International Real Estate Federation

ALL YEAR ROUND GOLF IN THE SUN Over 25 years’ experience in Spanish Real Estate

WIDE CHOICE OF PROPERTIES NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY NEW AND RESALE

LAS COLINAS Golf and Country Club Dehesa de Campoamor, Costa Blanca, Spain Superb 18 hole championship golf course with perfect all-year-round playing conditions Luxury fully equipped villas and apartments for sale 10 years’ free golf membership for all owners Free access to frontline Beach Club

The ultimate destination, south of Alicante, 10 minutes from the coast and the fantastic beaches of Campoamor and Pilar de la Horadada. “A world apart” where a prestigious championship golf course, natural landscape and luxurious properties combine to create an exclusive environment with breathtaking views and a tranquil, relaxed atmosphere.

BEST BUYS on the Spanish Costas

Tel/Fax: +34 965 320 024 email: richarda@eresmas.net

www.villavalue.com

Mil Palmeras, Pilar de la Horadada (Alicante) Spain


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Spain - Cadiz

Golf El Puerto olf El Puerto is a charming and challenging golf course, located in Puerto de Santa María, a tourist resort and a focal point for gastronomy and leisure in the Bay of Cadiz at the Costa de la Luz. The course, designed by professional Manuel Piñero, was created as an attractive 18-hole course (Par 72), ideal for players of all levels – and well-placed to host professional events. The magnificently designed layout and configuration, featuring undulating fairways, provides an interesting and entertaining element to a round of golf. The course also has the advantage of being free of blind holes, and having a proliferation of native trees and a huge topographic plate of water (33.000 square metre) where lakes and streams have been created in the depressions and inclinations. At all times players are surrounded by peace and quiet, amongst many characteristic species of Atlantic flora, wrapped in a silence that is only broken by the small brooks and the numerous water birds that live on the lakes.

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Golf El Puerto, with its 6300 metres length, is appealing to expert and amateur golfers alike. The biggest attraction of this course is its varied layout, with degrees of difficulties that make it ideal for players of all levels. The practice course, including greens, bunkers, putting & chipping greens, completes a playing area with some difficult stretches, yet feasible for all players. With holes protected by the singular route between the numerous lakes and small woods, and with no blind shots - in short, a course with a personality of its own, and whose layout is a pleasant challenge for all true golf enthusiasts. CONTACT DE TAIL S: Golf El Puerto Carretera de Sanlúcar 11500 El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) Tel. (0034) 956 876 541 Fax (0034) 956 854 866 Email: info@golfelpuerto.com

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Club de Golf Alcanada lub de Golf Alcanada on the Mediterranean Island of Mallorca opened for play in October 2003. It is considered to be one of the top courses in Spain according to a variety of golf guides and has been voted for the last 3 years as the most prefered golf course in Europe by the readers of “Golf Journal”. Peter Porsche, member of the famous car dynasty, made one of his lifelong dreams come true – to build and own a golf course. His eye for perfection and high quality can be seen in every corner of the complex. As an avid golfer himself it was important that his golf course would be a natural asset to the local enviornment. The world renouned golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones Junior, is responsible for the layout of this course in the Bay of Alcudia. A three hundred year old Mallorcan Mansion houses pro shop, lockers and club restaurant. The picturesque island of Alcanada with its lighthouse, which lends its name to the course, is the dominant feature from most points of the course. In

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summer, with the restaurant also open evenings, Alcanada is probably one of the best spots to enjoy a dinner on the island of Mallorca. At Alcanada, with its gently rolling fairways, well placed greenside bunkers and tricky fast greens, challenge each player. To fine tune play, Alcanada offfers a practice area incorporating spacious pitching area, roofed driving range and two practice putting greens. The multi language golf school under the supervision of PGA teacher Peter Dost offers a variety of courses and classes and is able to create personal and personalized lessons (www.dostgolf.com) to suit both beginners and experienced players. CONTACT Club de Golf Alcanada www.golf-alcanada.com info@golf-alcanada.com Tel: 0034-971-54 95 60. Fax: 0034-971 -89 75 78


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In a class of its own 'HVWLQHGWREHFRPHRQHRIWKH(XURSHÂ?VILQHVWJROILQJHVFDSHVWKHUHVRUWÂśV-DFN1LFNODXV Signature Golf Course has been, amongst other accolades, independently ranked as No. 1 Golf Course in Portugal and No. 10 Golf Course in mainland Europe. This exquisite development offers a variety of luxury properties for sale and short term rentals for those wishing to enjoy a world - class resort in a unique Algarvean setting. For more information, please visit our website www.monte-rei.com

Apartado 118, 8901- 907 Vila Nova de Cacela. Algarve - Portugal T. +351 281 950950 Email: info@monterei.com www.monte-rei.com


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BEST GOLF DEVELOPMENT SOUTH AFRICA

BEST GOLF DEVELOPMENT AFRICA Kingswood Golf Estate

BEST DEVELOPMENT SOUTH AFRICA Kingswood Golf Estate

Kingswood Golf Estate


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THE NEXT ISSUE

Great Golf

Magazine

... and thethe journey continues ... and journey continues In the next issue of Great Golf Magazine, coming out in the Autumn, we will take you to new and exciting places as well as some old favorites. We are also planning to take a closer look at some of the golf courses in France and Spain, and we shall sample the good life with some great food and wine. We hope you will join us again. If you like the magazine and want to secure your copy of the Autumn issue, you’ll find more information on our website www.greatgolfmagazine.co.uk To those who may wish to advertise in the next issue, please contact Mike Kaas Stock at mike@greatgolfmagazine.co.uk, or call +44(0)20 7193 6406

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Time to play. In Ireland, golf isn’t just a game, it’s part of who we are. With over four hundred world-class courses, each surrounded by history and offering breathtaking views it’s no wonder Ireland attracts golfers from all over the world each year. So go on… test your skills on our challenging greens and join our great golf tradition. Oh – and don’t forget to reward yourself by enjoying some Irish hospitality at the 19th hole where you can share tales of your success on the course! For more information visit discoverireland.com/golf

Ireland’s Golf Ambassador

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Georg

TOURISM IRELAND

Publication: Great Golf Magazine UK Publish Date: Spring, 2011 Materials Date: February 3, 2011

DIMENSIONS Trim: 297 x 210 mm Bleed: 305 x 218 mm Live area: 262 x 176 mm

Supplied by: Tengo Two, S.L. Barcelona, Spain Tel: 011 [34] 652 081 624 eMail: info@tengotwo.com


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