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Ask the Experts...

by Richard Green 19. January 2016 23:39

We booked more golf holidays for more than 200,000 golfers in 2015 - but where do the staff at Golfbreaks.com like to play & stay?

Here’s a few of our favourite trips of last year and top tips for 2016…

2015 Highlights:

Joe Bowrey, ROW Sales - Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

With views of the sea to one side, the Abu Dhabi race track on the other and some of the best par threes you’ll ever play, this Kyle Phillips desert links is unbelievably good.. I loved it. Fully deserves its tag as one of the world’s best new courses. 

  

Thomas Duncombe, Marketing Executive - Royal Lytham and St Anne’s, Blackpool

Despite my terrible play, I’ve never had so much fun on a golf course. Royal Lytham is a pure links layout, with so many challenging and rewarding holes – not to mention a warm welcome and a great club sandwich!

Andrew Stanley, Chief Executive - Golf de Chiberta, Biarritz, France

A great test of golf with a mixture of stunning links and lovely tree-lined holes. Everyone in our group loved this course and it was a highlight of a superb tour of the area. Biarritz is a great option if you’re after somewhere new to try.

Nick Roberts, UK Product Manager - St Andrews, Fife

I played the Old Course six weeks before The Open… what an experience that was! You can’t beat the adrenaline rush off the first tee and the warm round of applause you receive when you hole your last putt on the 18th!  A post-round drink in The Jigger Inn is a must!

Michael Birch, Group Partnerships Manager - Quinta do Lago (North), Algarve, Portugal

I loved this superbly re-modelled course by Paul McGinley, set within the great backdrop of the Quinta do Lago estate. Conditioning is amazing and the greens are lightning fast… a Tour course in the future perhaps.

  

Francis Cox, EU Sales - La Manga, Spain

The best course I played in 2015 this year was the South Course at La Manga.  Challenging for low handicappers and enjoyable for low handicappers, it’s got the lot.  The Venue Hotel Principe Felipe is fantastic value for money and has wonderful service.

Daniel Grave, Founding Director Golfbreaks.com & CEO of Golfbreaks USA - A trip to the Masters

Walking through the gates of Augusta National for the first time and seeing the most beautifully manicured golf course in the world will blow your mind! Combine with pre/post trips to Kiawah or Hilton Head for the ultimate bucket list trip!

  

Tom Clayton, PGA Sales - Las Colinas Resort, Alicante, Spain

A fantastic resort just 50 minutes from Alicante airport with an unexpectedly excellent course on what is a vast plot of land. Definitely my tip for a great value trip away.. book for June for the best prices and free buggies!

Richard Green, PR Manager - Belle Dune, France

A golf break to Le Touquet rarely disappoints and this year’s certainly didn’t. The newly renovated courses at Hardelot were excellent, but we all look forward to playing the aptly named Belle Dune above all others. Dinner at Perard is also a must, if only for the legendary fish soup.

Gary Williams, Marketing Executive - Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai

The Earth course hosts the Tour Championship but I actually preferred the Fire course… with its red sand bunkers it’s an amazing visual spectacle. And the greens are probably the best I’ve ever putted on.

  

Rhys Howell, ROW Product Manager - Grand National Golf Club, Auburn, Alabama

The Lake Course is the best on the Robert Trent Jones Trail, with 12 holes hugging the shore of Lake Saugahatchee. The signature hole is the island green par-3 15th which is played from an elevated tee...just the 230 yards off the tips! This course is also home to the PGA TOUR's Barbasol Championship and will only cost you around $60 to play...bargain!

Nick Liddle, Digital Marketing Manager - Fairmont St Andrews, Fife

If a visit to St Andrews is something to tick off, do it in style and stay at the luxurious Fairmont, making sure you play onsite at least once. I’ve played lots of resort courses across Europe and I have to say the Torrance course really stands out, with great views and some challenging holes. The hotel is great too.

Ben Gayton, EU Product Manager - Quinta da Ria, Algarve, Portugal

I love the Algarve to bits, but in the height of summer it can be a bit crowded – so Quinta da Ria, in the Eastern Algarve, was a real find. Close to the lovely little village of Tavira and with two immaculate courses, it’s a lovely place to play.

David Orchard, UK Sales - St Mellion (Nicklaus), Cornwall

Not one for the faint hearted, this is a true test of golf for all abilities. Watch out for the 12th - quite possibly the trickiest, tree lined par 5 I have played. Bring your ‘A’ game!

  

Sam Barker, Head of Sales - Old Corkscrew Golf Club, Naples, Florida

This went straight into my Top 10 courses of all time! A stunning tree-lined course with some of the best par 5's I have ever played. Each was over 500 yards with water well placed to make it interesting but playable. A real hidden gem.

2016 TIPS

Michael Birch, Group Partnerships Manager - The Grove, Hertfordshire

I’m really looking forward to the British Masters taking place there in October. Five-star all the way, this is an amazing venue with incredible facilities and a stunning hotel.

Joseph Dent, USA Sales - Marriott Marco Island, Florida

A perfect getaway destination for relaxing, sunshine and amazing golf, it’s ideally situated to combine as part of a tour with Miami or Naples. One of my favourite US destinations.

Joe Bowrey, ROW Sales - Marrakech, Morocco

Wonderful hotels, amazing site-seeing and cheap flights from the UK – not to mention some truly excellent golf courses – have put Marrakech well and truly on the golfing map. Definitely one to tick off the list in 2016. 

  

Nick Roberts, UK Product Manager  - Royal Cinque Ports, Kent

A thoroughly enjoyable links course that’s hosted two Opens. Beware the wind factor - you may think after 11 holes the course is easy, but as you turn for home on the 12th it becomes so tough.

Cameron Ritchie, EU Product Manager - Pestana Vila Sol, Algarve, Portugal

If you want a weekend escape I can’t recommend this place highly enough. It’s semi all-inclusive (meaning breakfast, dinner and evening drinks included) and within just a few minutes’ walk of the famous Vilamoura marina, making it perfect for groups.

Andrew Stanley, Chief Executive - Turnberry (Ailsa), Ayrshire

Like everyone else in the company I can’t wait to play the new layout. The new holes look amazing and will breathe new life into the course. Sign me up now!

Nick Liddle, Digital Marketing Manager - Take a UK City Tour

Granted you don’t get the same sensation of ‘going on holiday’, but there are some fantastic golf destinations just waiting to be discovered. Yes there are the big-name areas like East Lothian and Southport but don’t ignore likes of Nottingham, Bristol, Swansea and Bournemouth.

  

Gary Williams, Marketing Executive - Le Golf National, Paris

I’m really looking forward to experiencing the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. Lots of renovation work has been going on and I can’t wait to see the finished product… particularly the closing stretch with so much water in play.

Thomas Duncombe, Marketing Executive - Aberdovey, Wales

Sadly we were unable to experience the signature par 3 12th due to it being destroyed by a storm earlier in the year… but what a course this is, I’m really looking forward to playing it again in 2016. A truly vintage links!

Richard Green, PR Manager - Northern Ireland

With Golf Digest ranking Royal County Down as the World’s No.1 course and Royal Portrush being awarded the Open in 2019 I can’t wait to get over to Northern Ireland. Add in Portstewart and you’ve got a truly great triumvirate. Castlerock, Ballycastle and Ardglass should supply a ‘hidden gem’ fix.

Ben Gayton, EU Product Manager - Amendoeira Golf Resort, Algarve, Portugal

Given that it has two brilliant courses (from Faldo and Christy O’Connor) and a range of apartments and villas for all party sizes, I can’t think of a better value resort in Europe. All just a short drive from Faro airport too.

  

Tom Clayton, PGA Sales - Go somewhere different!

Although it is tempting to stick to the old faithfuls of the Algarve and Costa Del Sol, I’m looking forward to visiting some of the hidden gems of Europe, especially around the Lisbon area and Spain’s Costa Dorada.

For more 2016 offers, click here

 

Tags:

A bit of Fun | Golf Course Reviews | Golf Destinations | Golf Experiences

Le Touquet Quick 9

by Richard Green 11. January 2016 20:45

When it comes to a weekend golf break away, Le Touquet really is the destination that has it all – great golf, plenty of nightlife, easy access and superb value are all par for the course in Northern France.

Belle Dune

  

One of the most scenic and inviting courses in France, Belle Dune is quite rightly a huge favourite with Golfbreaks.com customers. Moving from pretty woodlands into the giant dunes of the Fort Mahon Plage, a round at Belle Dune is always a wonderful experience. Lunch and a beer on the terrace by the lake is a must.More...

A Golfbreaks.com Guide to Najeti Hotels

by Richard Green 17. December 2015 19:56

Found in some of France’s most beautiful tourist hotspots, the Najeti Hotel brand is one of a kind. Unique in their own way and stylishly French in another, the group boast eight hotels and three golf courses spread across France.

The flagship property is the European Challenge Tour venue of Aa Saint-Omer Golf Club, where 27 holes flow through the picturesque Aa Valley, just a short drive from the Eurotunnel and Ferry Ports at Calais. Having recently been awarded No. 1 over the 20 golf courses in Nord – Pas de Calais and 43rd over the 619 golf courses in France by Leadingcourse.com, Saint-Omer provides a great stop for any golf holiday in France. With some spectacular holes and glorious scenery, this is a course that is truly worthy of its international reputation.More...

Tags:

Golf Course Reviews | Golf Destinations | Golf Experiences | Golf Hotels and Resorts

Golfbreaks.com meets: Iain Carter, BBC Golf Correspondent

by Richard Green 3. December 2015 19:04

We caught up with Five Live’s golf man to discuss playing with Alliss, Monty’s grip, the best course you’ve never heard of and his new book on the Majors.

Being a golf commentator do you play golf all the time?

I’ve always held a theory that the more you work in golf, the less you play. It’s been a real struggle to hold onto a single-figure handicap but I’m working on that and starting to turn the corner. Fortunately my wife and son play so there’s always an excuse to go and play.

What’s your best-ever round?

I’ve shot a gross 74 three times on par-71 courses... twice at Hampton Court and once at Cosby in Leicestershire where I grew up.

What’s the best tip you’ve ever been given?

Lightness of grip. Monty goes on about it a lot, and if he was holding a clinic he would say, ‘I guarantee you are holding the club tighter than I am.’ I often think about that when things are going awry - slow things down, check your grip pressure and especially on putts. On bad putting days I am certainly holding the club too tightly.More...

Tags:

A bit of Fun | Golf Experiences | People in Golf

Belek – Quick 9

by Richard Green 20. November 2015 21:03

In just 20 years Belek has gone from a golfing backwater to a bona-fide big-hitter of the European game, thanks largely to its combination of superb courses, five-star all-inclusive accommodation and no less than 300 days of sunshine every year. Here’s some of our favourites. 

Cornelia

  

With three loops of nine designed by six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo – making three very different challenges - there’s plenty of great golf to be found among the pine forests and sandy ridges of Cornelia. Featuring tricky doglegs and shimmering lakes, the course is a strategic masterpiece that is extremely highly rated. And just to keep your game in top-top condition, the practice facilities are equally superb.More...

Tags: , ,

Quick 9 – Southport

by Richard Green 12. November 2015 20:27

A golfing hotbed if ever there was one, Southport is the perfect base for a North-West golf break. Close to both Liverpool and Blackpool, the choice of great courses is almost endless… here’s a few of our favourites.

Hillside

Sandwiched between Birkdale and S&A, Hillside is a true great. The front nine is decent enough but by the time you reach the 10th green and 11th tee the giant dunes appear and one of the finest back nines in world golf lies in wait. Magnificent.More...

Northern Ireland's Big 2

by Richard Green 28. October 2015 23:48

One country, two great courses…we run the rule over Northern Ireland’s regal pair following the R&A’s announcement that the Open will return to Portrush in 2019.

THE HISTORY…

Royal County Down

It might have been designed by Old Tom Morris in 1889 for a fee supposedly “not in excess of four guineas” (£4.20), but golfers owe a debt of gratitude to Joseph Tatlow, who was in charge of the Belfast & County Down Railway. Looking for a location along the train line that was suitable for a golf course, he happened upon the village of Newcastle and was immediately smitten. The course was later reconstructed under the guidance of Harry Vardon and gained its Royal title in 1908.More...

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