Golfers can now enjoy a complete five-star experience by playing the exclusive Real Club de Golf El Prat, a 10-time host of the Spanish Open, while staying in The Serras, Barcelona’s most luxurious boutique hotel, after the two agreed a fantastic stay-and-play golf package.
Dating back to 1912 and one of the oldest golf clubs in Spain, El Prat, which boasts 45 holes over five Greg Norman-designed courses, is steeped in history and remains one of only a small number of clubs to have been granted royal status by King Alfonso XIII.
Real Club de Golf El Prat was recently named one of the 125 Platinum Clubs of the World – Five-star Private Club – recognition of attaining a standard of excellence by an international panel of experts, historians and connoisseurs in a confidential ballot – as well as being granted the Golden Plaque of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit.
The world-renowned course is the perfect partner for The Serras, a stunning 19th century Molina-designed building in the Gothic quarter that was Pablo Picasso’s first studio when he was just 15 years old, and winner of Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award for the Best Luxury Boutique Hotel in Spain for three consecutive years.
Packages throughout the year to stay at The Serras on a bed-and-breakfast basis, including one green fee at Real Club de Golf El Prat, with shared buggy, costs just €225 per person per night for a shared room.
Marcello Della Vecchia, director of sales and marketing at El Prat, said: “Real Club de Golf El Prat has long been regarded as a first-class golf venue thanks to its world-class courses, state-of-the-art practice facilities, clubhouse and superb location near the wonderful city of Barcelona.
“And this tie-up with The Serras hotel will further enhance the experience for visitors. The Serras is one of the finest boutique hotels in Barcelona, offering the perfect setting within easy reach of Real Club de Golf El Prat, the city centre and all its sights, as well as the airport, which benefits from excellent travel links from across Europe, both in terms of frequency and cost.”
Since 2002, Real Club de Golf El Prat’s layout stretches across the 518-acre estate of BonVilar and cleverly utilises its 45 holes over an exciting mix of five highly acclaimed courses – the Open, Blue, Yellow, Pink and Green.
The prestigious venue has been home to major Spanish and international amateur tournaments, such as the 2013 European Amateur Championships and has held more than 250 national and international championships.
It has also hosted some of the biggest names in golf, including Spanish legends Severiano Ballesteros and José Maria Olazábal, eight-time Major winner Tom Watson and European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn.
El Prat, which is just 35 minutes from the centre of Barcelona, also offers a modern and lively clubhouse and top-quality practice facilities, in addition to a 300m driving range and a host of specialist short-game areas.
Situated on the waterfront in the Ciutat Vella district, just eight miles from Barcelona airport and a short walk to all the city’s major attractions, the five-star Serras is the perfect base to unwind after a round of golf.
The luxury hotel, which has just undergone a €125m refurbishment, boasts a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, a modern Catalan restaurant by leading chef Marc Gassons, who has earned a Michelin star for his creations, and a stylish, yet intimate, cocktail bar and lounge.
For more information please visit:
www.realclubdegolfelprat.com or www.hoteltheserrasbarcelona.com/en/packages
World Golf Awards has revealed that the five-star La Manga Club resort, an unrivalled sports and leisure paradise in south-east Spain, will host its Gala Ceremony 2018.
The most prestigious awards programme in the golf tourism industry will return to the famous venue in Murcia for the second consecutive year from 1-4 November 2018.
Attendees will be welcomed to Spain's flagship resort for three action-packed days of unrivalled networking events, dinners and exclusive golf experience activities.
The highlight of the event will be the red-carpet World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony on Saturday 3 November, where golf tourism figureheads and market leaders from North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Central & South America and Australasia will gather together at La Manga Club's Hotel Principe Felipe for the 2018 winners to be announced.
World Golf Awards managing director, Chris Frost, said: “It is an honour to be returning to the award-winning La Manga Club for our fifth gala ceremony. With every continent represented, the event is going to be truly global and we’re looking forward to having a weekend to remember at one of golf’s most iconic resorts.”
Set across an area of 1,400 acres, La Manga Club has been at the forefront of European sports and leisure destinations since its inception in 1972.
Featuring three 18-hole golf courses, a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice facilities, La Manga Club has enjoyed a rich golfing history over the last four decades. Golfing legends Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Seve Ballesteros all figure prominently in its past, while its array of other outstanding sports and leisure amenities, bars and restaurants has helped establish La Manga Club as a firm favourite with golfers worldwide.
The official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the resort's unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination also include a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm Wellness Centre. In addition, La Manga Club features the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 15 bars and restaurants.
Eduardo Ruiz, director of golf at La Manga Club, commented: “It was a tremendous privilege for La Manga Club to be chosen to host the 2017 World Golf Awards on our landmark 45th anniversary, and it’s very exciting that the event will be returning again in November.
“Last year’s show helped to create a huge buzz around the resort and capped another successful year for La Manga Club. The feedback we received from event delegates was second to none, and this is another great opportunity for us to demonstrate our world-class golf, sports and lifestyle facilities to a global industry audience.”
Voting for the World Golf Awards is now open and will conclude on 20 September 2018.
For nomination information please visit the official website, worldgolfawards.com. For further details about La Manga Club, go to www.lamangaclub.com
Golf International Pont Royal - the venue for this year's Open De Provence by Hopps Group - has been nominated for the title of France's best golf course, in the 2018 World Golf Awards.
The stunning layout - the only Seve Ballesteros-designed course in France - opened in 1992 and has won wide acclaim for its sensitive design, taking golfers on a journey through pine woods and typical Provencal ‘garrigue' (countryside).
And its inclusion in the nominees for the award pitches it up against some of the most prestigious courses in France, including two venues which have previously been crowned the best in Europe and a third which will host the Ryder Cup in September.
Pont Royal's general manager, Jerome Lauredi, said: "To be nominated for any award is always pleasing and to be listed alongside some of the best-known resorts in Europe is a great achievement and we are delighted to receive such a plaudit.
"It's also a wonderful reward for the hard work and dedication put in by the team at Pont Royal. Everybody is determined to give everything to make a visit to Pont Royal become a memorable experience, and, nominations like this, show it is paying dividends."
Many holes at Pont Royal are blessed with a plateau setting, offering stunning views to the Luberon and Alpilles mountain ranges. Technical shaping of shots is required to reach the true, slick greens, and visitors enjoy an interesting, wide variety of holes that form a smooth and seamless experience. It contains some tough holes - none more so than the 11th, where players face a 215-yard test across a steep rocky valley to a raised green.
Voting for the World Golf Awards is open now and runs until September 20, 2018. The gala awards ceremony will take place at the world-renowned La Manga Club, Spain, on November 3, 2018.
To vote for Pont Royal, visit the World Golf Awards website at www.worldgolfawards.com/award/france-best-golf-course/2018.
Northern France set for a new golden age of golf travel as its two most famous courses – Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot – soar in new European top 100 ranking
Almost 90 years ago the creation of two iconic golf courses – Le Touquet Golf Resort’s La Mer (The Sea) and Golf d’Hardelot’s Les Pins (The Pines) – triggered a golden age of golf travel for France’s Channel-facing Côte d’Opale. Today, thanks to painstaking restoration work that has seen both courses returned to their original glory and prompted unprecedented climbs in a respected ranking of Europe’s top 100 courses, the region is preparing for another.
Colt & Alison’s classic La Mer layout and Tom Simpson’s stunning Les Pins were opened within months of each other in 1931, just as the town of Le Touquet was gaining a reputation not only as Europe’s most fashionable resort but also an elite sporting playground for the rich and famous.
Occupying the dramatic terrain between the Côte d’Opale’s expansive duneland and swathes of pine forest, the two courses remain the star attractions of Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot, two premier resorts sitting just 12 miles apart in France’s northernmost department, Pas-de-Calais.
Both courses quickly won plaudits for their ability to charm and challenge in equal measure. And after their recent successful restorations by golf architects Patrice Boissonnas and Frank Pont, they continue to do so; both La Mer, France’s #1 links, and Les Pins have climbed significantly in the 2018-2019 ranking of Continental Europe’s top 100 courses by influential online listing top100golfcourses.com.
Le Touquet Golf Resort’s La Mer climbed 21 places to finish 35th, securing a top 10 position within the country’s best layouts, while Golf d’Hardelot’s Les Pins became the new rankings’ highest-rising course, jumping 36 places to #23 – and securing 7th in the country listing.
Brian Ward, who visited both courses recently for top100golfcourses.com, said: “Tom Simpson's initial design at Hardelot has been expertly and lovingly brought back to life by Pont and Boissonnas. The exquisite bunker renovation and careful pruning of encroaching trees has rightfully positioned Les Pins amongst the very best layouts in continental Europe.
“At Le Touquet, Boissonnas and Pont's high-quality renovation of La Mer – including the re-introduction of four Colt & Alison holes from the 1930s – has not only restored much of the original links character but has created a much more interesting layout, which is now a must play for all.”
Laurent Boissonnas, owner of Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot, added: “Our vision is to help establish a new golden age of golf travel to this magnificent coastal area of northern France – and it is our objective to put its golf offering firmly back on the map, making it one of the finest golf destinations in Europe.”
Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot, both Open Golf Club-managed venues, are easily reached from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France by road and rail. Less than an hour’s drive south of the Eurotunnel terminus, they are accessed via the A16 autoroute. There is also just a short connecting train journey from the Eurostar hub at Gare de Calais-Fréthun.
For more information about Le Touquet Golf Resort, visit www.opengolfclub.com/en/Golf-du-Touquet and regarding Golf d’Hardelot, visit www.hardelotgolfclub.com
The new West Cliffs Golf Links' meteoric rise towards the pinnacle of European golf courses has received significant endorsement after it was ranked second in the Top 100 Golf Courses website's latest list of the top golfing venues in Portugal.
The Cynthia Dye-designed layout jumped straight into the top three of the updated poll and claimed the coveted accolade ahead of many of its more established rivals - despite having opened barely six months ago.
And its management company, Praia D'El Rey Golf & Beach Resort, was given double cause for celebration with the resort's other 18-hole championship course also featuring in the top 10 of the new standings, being ranked at number nine.
Unveiling the updated ratings, the Top 100 Golf Courses panel remarked: "Arriving from literally nowhere, West Cliffs debuts in the Portuguese national chart at number two.
"This place already has people running out of superlatives when trying to describe their playing experience out on the course. West Cliffs is set to become Cynthia Dye's global masterpiece."
Named as the World's Best New Golf Course' at the 2017 World Golf Awards, West Cliffs has been tipped to become Portugal's new number one by many golf industry experts, and was the highest new entry ever at no.16 in the website's recent list of the ‘Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe'.
Francisco Cadete, director of golf at West Cliffs Golf Links and Praia D'El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort, said: "For West Cliffs to be ranked as high as second in Portugal is amazing, especially bearing in mind the quality of the opposition.
"The great thing about the course is that it's only going to get improve further as it settles down and matures. It has numerous holes that will live long in the memory and so does Praia D'El Rey, which fully deserves to be ranked so highly.
"To have two courses in the top 10 is a great achievement for us and a further illustration why, when it comes to taking a golf break, Praia D'El Rey is right up there alongside the best resorts in Europe."
Among its list of other notable accolades, West Cliffs became a Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Certified® Development last summer and was the highest new entry at no. 25 in Golf World magazine's list of the Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe 2017/18, while the course also hosted the 2018 Portuguese Women's Amateur Championship last month.
The first Dye golf course in Portugal - and only the fourth in Europe, the spectacular par-72 clifftop links lies on stunning terrain on the Silver Coast, less than an hour north of Lisbon. It has been created over 200 hectares of natural landscape and rolling sand dunes, and offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean from each hole.
Complementing it is Praia D'El Rey's 18-hole championship course which, designed by Cabell Robinson in 1997, is set amidst a combination of extensive pine forests and undulating dunes, and features spectacular views over the Atlantic and the Berlengas Islands beyond.
As well as golf, Praia D'El Rey offers an extensive array of world-class sports, leisure and accommodation facilities including a Marriott hotel, a wide selection of villas, a tennis academy, a luxury spa and health club and numerous watersports and restaurants.
For further details about West Cliffs, go to www.westcliffs.com
For more information on Praia D'El Rey, go to www.praia-del-rey.com
Ambitious Foxhills Club & Resort is targeting a place in the top-10 – despite an impressive showing in the inaugural Golf World Top 100 Resorts in UK & Ireland.
The historic club, based in Ottershaw, Surrey, has built its reputation as an exceptional and diverse leisure experience with two 18-hole championship golf courses – Longcross and Bernard Hunt – the nine-hole par-three Manor course, 11 tennis courts and a wealth of attractive dining and accommodation options.
It ensured Foxhills sealed a lofty place well inside the top-40 as it was ranked at number 35 by the popular magazine’s guide, which is recognised as a benchmark in the industry.
While it is deserved recognition and a position other resorts would envy, director of golf Chris Fitt is not satisfied and is determined to see a big improvement for the 2019 edition.
Fitt said: “Of course, we are pleased to feature at number 35 in the rankings, but honestly, we should be much higher than that.
“The standard of the golf courses, the quality of the accommodation and all of the leisure and dining facilities we have at Foxhills should see us well inside the top-10.
“So it’s down to us at Foxhills to get our message out to more people and to show everyone what is here. If we can do that, I am convinced we will rise up these rankings. It’s about raising the awareness of what a great golf resort we have here at Foxhills because you simply can’t fail to be impressed once you are here.”
Fitt, who has previously held positions Gleneagles, Brocket Hall and Golf At Goodwood, joined Foxhills last year and is eager to steer the resort to new heights.
He said: “We hosted the PGA Cup last year, which was a great success and will be hosting a Europro event later this summer. It’s further evidence of the quality here at Foxhills but nobody is resting on their laurels and we have high hopes for the continued success of this club.”
Aside from the golf, the facilities at Foxhills claimed Best Hotel Facility of the Year and Best Health Club of the Year at the recent National Fitness Awards.
Foxhills boasts a 20m indoor swimming pool, hydropool with massage jets, outdoor jacuzzi, steam room, thermal area, relaxation room, two Finnish saunas and a spa garden featuring one of England’s first natural swimming pools with chemical-free water purified by plants and minerals.
A wide range of membership options are available, while visitors are also welcome. To find out more, contact the membership team on 01932 704450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Le Manoir Hotel at Le Touquet Golf Resort, home of France’s #1 links course, has been voted Best Golf Hotel/Resort in France by readers of Today’s Golfer magazine (UK), for the second successive year.
The award comes as the 41-room residence enters the final phase of a comprehensive upgrade, designed to transform it into a boutique style hotel.
The restaurant, La Table du Manoir, has been the first amenity to benefit. Opened in the summer of 2017, the new décor and fixtures deliver a bright and airy feel, which echo the aesthetics of the resort’s architect designed clubhouse.
The hotel’s transformation has continued this winter with improvements to the bar, reception and other communal areas. Their completion, in early 2018, will ensure a boutique style in harmony with Le Manoir’s history and heritage.
“It’s easy to see why our readers hold Le Manoir in such high regard,” said Today’s Golfer courses editor Kevin Brown. “Improving décor and facilities, friendliness, value and superb accessibility for UK golfers make a compelling package… and that’s before you consider Le Manoir is on the doorstep of two of France’s finest courses, in Le Touquet’s challenging La Mer and La Forêt layouts.
Kevin added: “Le Manoir’s continued recognition in the annual Travel Awards is a deserved endorsement of the hotel’s enduring popularity and quality.”
The improvements at Le Manoir are part of a comprehensive investment programme at Le Touquet Golf Resort, which has included the restoration of the La Mer course, a classic 1931 Colt and Alison design rated France’s #1 links, as well as a new clubhouse.
Le Touquet was Europe’s most fashionable resort of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and 1930s and it remains an iconic destination, blending elegant style and architecture with boutiques, bistros and casinos. The town is also the long-time weekend retreat of President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, where they have a residence.
Le Touquet Golf Resort, which is part of the Open Golf Club group, is easily reached from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France by road and rail. Less than an hour’s drive south of the Eurotunnel terminus, it is accessed via the A16 autoroute. It is also just a short connecting train journey from the Eurostar hub at Gare de Calais-Fréthun.
For more information about Le Touquet Golf Resort, visit www.opengolfclub.com/en/Golf-du-Touquet
Club de Golf Alcanada is celebrating yet again after the premier Mallorcan course was named Spain’s 16th best in the well-respected Top 100 Golf Courses’ Spanish rankings.
That is a climb of five places for the Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed layout, the only one on the island that is next to the sea and therefore enjoys stunning views of Alcudia Bay and the iconic lighthouse just offshore from which the course takes its name.
The recognition follows on from recently being named in the Top 100 Golf Courses of Continental Europe for the first time after the Porsche-owned club became a new entry in 81st place out of thousands of rivals.
Kristoff Both, director of golf at Alcanada, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised in the golfing world again. It is a real honour as we know there are so many fine courses in Spain.
“All my staff work very hard to ensure every visitor who comes to Club de Golf Alcanada enjoys playing here, so this is a wonderful team effort. We are very privileged to be where we are and enjoy unrivalled views of the lighthouse, Mediterranean and the bay, but we have spent a lot of time and money improving all aspects of the course and club.
“But that will not stop during 2018 and hopefully we can continue to climb the rankings further still.”
Club de Golf Alcanada has won a string of awards since opening in October 2003 having also been voted favourite course on the continent by German website 1golf.eu for seven consecutive years and also named one of Spain’s most popular clubs by highly-respected website Leadingcourses.com.
There were also some impressive additions in 2017 with the official opening of the new Lighthouse Bar, a Spanish-style stone halfway house, by the 10th tee, allowing golfers to enjoy the stunning views.
Club de Golf Alcanada also signed a three-year contract with TagMarshal, a GPS course management system, which on average speeds up play by 14 minutes thanks to its tracking tag that clips to golf bags and provides real-time data, allowing up-to-the-second information.
The Stadium layout at PGA Catalunya Resort, near Girona, has once again been named Spain’s No.1 course in top100golfcourses.com’s latest Spanish rankings.
The 7,333-yard layout designed by Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo, which also achieved a final position of 4th in the influential website’s latest Continental European listing, fended off competition from Spain’s other 348 courses to retain the crown it has held continuously since 2012.
Top100golfcourses.com’s judging panel were especially impressed by the immaculate conditioning of Spain’s no.1 course and the ambience created by its special setting on a forested 300-hectare estate.
Andy Newmarch from top100golfcourses.com’s listing, said: “The Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort remains our Spanish #1 for 2018-2019. This continues to be a huge achievement as growing numbers of top-end courses in this country are making our listing ever more competitive.
“I have said before that the Stadium Course has improved on each visit in recent years – and that was true again in 2017. The course delivers superb design, first-class conditioning, a big challenge… and it is quite simply a wonderful place to be. The Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya Resort is a Must Play.”
The continued improvements to the Stadium Course and its sister Tour layout – itself securing a top 25 position – reveal the determination of PGA Catalunya Resort, a European Tour Destination, to offer its guests and residents world-class golf as part a luxurious, active lifestyle.
David Plana, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort, said: “Once again top100golfcourses.com has ranked the Stadium layout as the best course in Spain, and this reflects the consistency of the its challenge and presentation. While we are investing heavily away from the fairways – including the luxurious 5* Hotel Camiral and new sport and leisure facilities – the Stadium Course is the jewel in our crown and fundamental to our drive to deliver the ultimate golf and lifestyle resort.”
PGA Catalunya Resort’s three-year, multi-million Euro investment programme is seeing a wealth of new facilities introduced – including football pitches, tennis courts, a new Forest Park and a man-made recreational lake – which are helping it become a valuable ecological reserve. The resort’s prestigious, five star Hotel Camiral, opened in 2016, is taking the leisure offerings, as well as the dining experiences of PGA Catalunya Resort to a new level.
Less than an hour’s drive from the vibrant city of Barcelona and only 20 minutes from the Michelin-starred restaurants of Girona, the 36-hole resort is building on its IAGTO 2015 award for Golf Resort of the Year in Europe, steadily becoming the ultimate golf and lifestyle resort.
For further information about PGA Catalunya Resort, its golf courses and private residences, please visit www.pgacatalunya.com
ORIZONTE – Lisbon Golf, the largest golf course management company in Portugal, is celebrating following a stunning 20 per cent increase in reservations for 2018 in comparison to last year.
Situated on the doorstep of the lively Portuguese capital Lisbon, the highly-acclaimed ORIZONTE portfolio boasts seven golf courses that are proving to be more popular than ever with players from across Europe.
The array of award-winning courses offer golfers of all standards an incredible choice of challenges, including Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club, a Rocky Roquemore-designed layoutrated among the top 100 courses in Europe in the highly-respected Golf World magazine rankings between 1999 and 2014.
Ribagolfe – a host of the European Tour Qualifying School since 2009 – is regarded as one of the finest in the Lisbon region and was once described as the ‘Valderrama of Portugal’, while Aroeira was the venue for the Portuguese Open in 1996 and 1997.
Golfers can also play the 7,000-plus yards challenge at Santo Estêvão and the nine-hole course in Oeiras, which is located just 15 minutes from Lisbon’s centre.
ORIZONTE commercial director, José Maria Cazal-Ribeiro, said: “2018 is looking like it will be one of our best years judging by the projections as bookings are already up by 20 per cent on the same period in 2017.
“It follows on from a very strong second half of last year, which saw a 12 per cent rise on the same six months of 2016. Economically it has been a very testing time for golf courses and numbers across Europe for many reasons, so this is great news for us and shows our courses remain hugely popular with visitors from all over Europe.
“The UK and Ireland remain our key markets, but the French market is getting really strong for us and we expect that to continue to grow further with such good flight options into Lisbon.”
Offering outstanding value and choice on an array of stay-and-play packages and golf passports in and around the Portuguese capital, ORIZONTE has everything for the perfect golf break, whether visitors want to enjoy the delights of Lisbon or relax on the sandy beaches when they are not on the fairways.
One of the most popular breaks is the ‘Derby & Golf Weekend’ for those who love golf and football. The package from May 4 to May 7, 2018 includes three nights at the city centre SANA Malhoa hotel, two rounds of golf at Quinta do Peru and Aroeira courses, golf transfers and a ticket for the fierce and passionate ‘Derby de Lisboa’ between Sporting and Benfica.
There is also the chance to add an extra specially discounted round of golf at either of the prestigious Ribagolfe courses.
For golfers looking for a more relaxing base then there are two hotel options in Sesimbra, a picturesque fishing village nestled in a sheltered bay in the Setúbal District, while there is also the chance to stay in Caparica, a lively and modern resort town boasting stunning coastline views.
For more details about ORIZONTE – Lisbon Golf and its available golf packages, please e-mail email@example.com or visit www.orizontegolf.com