GRANDE DESIGNS: [Clockwise from here] Sotogrande is a golf resort like no other; FootJoy continues to impress with its footwear; industryleading clothing from Galvin Green; Ping are top of the club manufacturers in 2019.
➤ courses. Elsewhere, members will also have the pleasure of newly designed suites should they wish to spend the night in stylish comfort, as well as access to perhaps the finest health and fitness offering in golf. This includes stateof-the-art eGym fitness equipment, a spa, and a team of therapists – from nutrition and DNA therapy, to acupuncture and physiotherapy – who are on hand for those looking for a 360 approach to their lifestyle. Wentworth may be synonymous with sporting luxury, but it’s somehow got better. For more info, wentworthclub.com
BEST RESORT, UK: GLENEAGLES For the second year in a row, we can look no further for the best resort in the UK than Gleneagles. This sporting fantasyland blends luxury accommodation with three spectacular 18-hole championship courses to serve up the perfect bucket-list golf trip. New owner Ennismore has invested millions across the 850-acre estate, including a drop-dead gorgeous renovation of the main spaces and sumptuous bedrooms. There’s refinement at every turn: from the Gatsby-esque cocktail bar that opens for the evenings, to the French brasserie (one of four restaurants) that transports you from Perthshire to Paris without missing a beat. Set within the sweeping Scottish moorlands, the golf courses themselves are surrounded by mountains and the Ochil Hills. Jewel in the estate’s crown is The King’s course, designed by five-time Open champion James Baird in 1919, but the spotlight this year
has been on the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup venue, the PGA Centenary course. Having hosted the biggest team event in the women’s game, you can guarantee it’s as challenging a test as it is enjoyable. Not to be outdone, The Queen’s course (a personal favourite of the square mile team) has undergone several changes in 2019, including work on the par-three 13th and 14th holes. New tee boxes and the introduction of native Scottish heather has taken this corner of the course to the next level. It really doesn’t get better than this in Britain. For more info, gleneagles.com
BEST RESORT, INTERNATIONAL: SOTOGRANDE It’s hard to believe how much Sotogrande has changed in the last 15 years. The 6,178acre estate has been the luxurious home of Europe’s elite for decades, but the opening of La Reserva golf course in 2004 – a flashy sibling to former-Ryder Cup venue Valderrama and the exclusive Real Club de Sotogrande – sparked the beginning of an astonishing scale of development that now stands comfortably in excess of €100m in investment. There isn’t anywhere else in Europe that compares to this giant community of luxury living. Travelling through the hidden complex of multi-million-pound villas is to witness one of the world’s most well put together sports complexes. The pristine polo grounds give way to an elegant marina and swanky beach clubs, while an avant garde lagoon and Spain’s only man-made beach offers watersports and relaxation away from the masses.
Further into the Andalucian foothills you’ll find three prestige golf courses. Real Club de Sotogrande is the oldest and longest enduring courses on the Costa del Sol, while Valderrama speaks for itself as an icon in world golf. The youngest course, La Reserva Club, continues to grow from strength to strength. The Cabell B Robinson design is an intimidating 7,400 metres (more than 8,000 yards!) long and now features lethally quick greens after a recent renovation – and, better still, the most best conditioning anywhere on the Costa. As it winds through two intersecting valleys, the layout offers a fair challenge – and, much like its big brother Valderrama, gives you every opportunity to keep a score going, so long as you are accomplished with the driver and can control your spin approaching those lightening, undulating putting surfaces. The Ladies’ European Tour stopped off at the golf course this season, with rumours of an even bigger event likely to take part next year – no doubt buoyed by the news that the LET and the LPGA have embarked on a joint venture in the hope of growing the women’s game. There’s an additional 27 holes of golf at
There isn’t anywhere in Europe that compares to this giant community of luxury living squaremile.com
Square Mile Magazine – Issue 149 – The Christmas Issue