Verdura Resort has further cemented its place among the continent’s elite golfing venues after retaining its position as Italy’s number one in Golf World magazine’s new rankings list of the ‘Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe’.
Home of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, the deluxe resort was rated sixth in the latest benchmark industry poll of Europe’s premier places to play and stay, one of eight Italian resorts to be included in the updated list.
Assessed over five different categories – golf courses, accommodation, practice facilities, accessibility and amenities – Verdura scored a total of 91.6 points of out of 100, with the magazine’s judging panel praising the venue for being “high calibre in every category.”
The Top 100 panel said: “Verdura is a stunning Sicilian resort and, like most of the destinations in the top 10, boasts two high-quality courses. The East is ranked 61st in our Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe while the adjacent West is hammering on the door.
“The East is comprised of two returning nines, while the West enjoys a links-style, straight out and straight back design. Both enjoy spectacular sea views courtesy of Kyle Phillips’ intelligent routing that sends several holes of both out along the cliff edges.
“There’s also a nine-hole par-three course crafted by the same designer. Overall, Verdura is high calibre in every category.”
Nestling adjacent to the Mediterranean in 230 hectares of stunning landscape, Verdura’s world-class golf facilities include two outstanding 18-hole championship courses – the East Course and West Course – as well as a par-three nine-hole course, double-ended driving range and first-class academy.
The award is the latest top international honour to be bestowed on the exclusive resort – a Rocco Forte hotel and European Tour destination – with other accolades including being the recipient of an ‘Editors’ Choice Award for Best International Resorts’ from Golf Digest magazine, the world’s best known golf title, for the last three years.
Antonio Castelo, director of golf at Verdura Resort, said: “The new list features some of the biggest and most celebrated names in European golf, so to be ranked inside the top 10 and retain its place as Italy’s top-rated golf resort is a huge honour, and testament to the high-standard of facilities and service that we continue to offer our golfers.
“Verdura may still be relatively new compared to other resorts but, having hosted a European Tour event the last two years, it is now firmly established among the world’s premier luxury golfing venues and we’re determined to continue building on our success in the coming years.”
Situated on Sicily’s southern coast between Agrigento and the fishing city of Sciacca, an 80-minute drive from Trapani and Palermo airports, Verdura Resort features 203 rooms and suites, all with a sea view, as well as six villas which offer a perfect solution for family holidays, each with its own private swimming pool.
Away from the fairways, the resort features an array of other luxury sports and lifestyle facilities, while guests also have the opportunity to sample, on and off-site, a taste of the gastronomy, wine, history and culture that has made Sicily famous across the world.
European Tour Properties venues have claimed six of the Top 10 rankings in the latest Top 100 Golf Resorts Continental Europe 2018 ranking released by Golf World (UK) magazine.
With a total of 12 venues across the Top 100, the European Tour Properties network of world class golf venues has made a strong impression across the continent, demonstrating the calibre of the destinations in its portfolio and further establishing the brand as a stamp of excellence, on and off the fairways.
The No. 1 and No. 2 spots were secured respectively by European Tour Destinations Terre Blanche, situated in the hills of Provence close to the French Riviera, and PGA Catalunya Resort, home to Spain’s no.1 course, located in north-eastern region of Spain’s Costa Brava.
Other European Tour Properties that ranked in the Top 10 are Quinta do Lago, Portugal (5th), Verdura Resort, Italy (6th), Finca Cortesin, Spain (8th), and Maxx Royal Golf & Spa, Turkey (10th).
On the eve of The 2018 Ryder Cup, host venue Le Golf National, France, enjoys a rise of eight places to No. 15.
Iain McInally, Director of Operations, European Tour Properties, said: “Our network features some of the most prestigious golf and lifestyle resorts in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and this ranking underlines our position as the world’s premier golf and real estate brand.”
He added: “It also affirms that golf travellers worldwide can put their trust in our brand when booking a golf break, able to rest assured that any venue in the European Tour Properties network will deliver first-class facilities and tournament-quality golf.”
Also featuring in the Top 100 from European Tour Properties were Lighthouse Golf Resort & Spa, Bulgaria (52), Linna Golf, Finland (67), Diamond Country Club, Austria (88), and Villaverde Hotel & Resort, Italy (95).
Regarded as the authority on European golf courses and resorts, Golf World compiled a panel of 18 industry experts to review and judge resorts from across the Continent.
The categories taken into account included: The Golf Course(s), The Resort Experience, Location, Practice Facilities, and Amenities.
To find out more about European Tour Properties, visit www.europeantourproperties.com
To book a golf break to venues within the European Tour Properties network, visit The European Tour Travel Club website: www.europeantourtravelclub.com
PGA Catalunya Resort underlines its position as one of the finest golf experiences in Continental Europe
PGA Catalunya Resort, home to Spain’s No.1 course*, continues to be recognised as one of Europe’s finest golf experiences, underlined by its rise in one of the game’s most influential rankings lists, published today.
In the newly revised Golf World Top 100 Resorts of Continental Europe 2018, PGA Catalunya Resort’s rise to No.2 has been aided by the positive impact its ongoing €53 million development programme has had on the European Tour Destination.
Enhancements include a bold clubhouse refurbishment, recognised by Golf Inc magazine in the USA as ‘Clubhouse Renovation of the Year 2018’, a new Forest Adventure Park that provides thrills for all of the family, and the opening of the new LAVIDA Hotel, a contemporary, new establishment aimed at golf and activity enthusiasts.
The estate’s evolution also includes a maturing vineyard which will produce fine wines for residents and guests in the coming years, and will include the opening of a new Academy and the development of a man-made recreational lake for water sports.
David Plana, Chief Executive Officer of PGA Catalunya Resort, commented: “We continue to significantly enhance the visitor experience and it is encouraging to see the investments we are making are being so positively received by leading experts in the game, and our golf and leisure visitors from across the world.”
Nick Wright, Editor of Golf World Magazine, added: “PGA Catalunya Resort remains one of my favourite getaways in Europe. It is a pure golf retreat. With two spectacular courses and some of the best practice facilities you can find anywhere, it’s a place you can fully immerse yourself in.”
In addition to its world-class golf facilities, PGA Catalunya Resort is fast becoming one of Europe’s premier luxury lifestyle destinations, with a 300-hectare forested estate offering multiple dining options, state-of-the-art sport and leisure facilities, nature walks and bike rides, offsite adventure outings and much more, located within easy reach of charming Girona, vibrant Barcelona and the stunning beaches of the Costa Brava.
* As ranked by top100golfcourses.com
The pedigree of Le Touquet Golf Resort, home to France’s No. 1 links course*, has been recognised in an influential ‘Top 100 Golf Resorts of Continental Europe 2018’ ranking that sees it enter the Top 20 for the first time.
Recognising the successful transformation of the historic resort, experts at Golf World Magazine said the renovation work at Le Touquet Golf Resort had ‘transformed the entire visitor experience’, and by opening up the stunning dunescape it has ‘restored its original grandeur and revealed its original personality’.
It’s position at No. 20 in the new ranking was underpinned by the exquisite restoration of La Mer (The Sea) Course, including the recovery of four of Harry Colt and Charles ‘Hugh’ Alison’s original holes lost to the dunes during WWII.
The resort has received industry-wide praise since its ambitious renovation project began in 2011 and has also culminated in the rebirth of the charming Le Manoir Hôtel as a modern, boutique establishment as well as the construction of a new, striking architect-designed clubhouse.
Laurent Boissonnas, Chief Executive Officer at Le Touquet Golf Resort, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see the wealth of positive feedback and accolades we are receiving and it also underlines the important steps we have taken to position the resort as one of Europe’s must-visit golf destinations.”
Le Touquet Golf Resort provides 45 holes of outstanding golf surrounded by a natural landscape of sand dunes, pine forests and big skies.
Only an hour’s drive from the Eurotunnel’s Calais Terminus along the A16, it is an easily accessible destination for golfers from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France.
In recent months it has also claimed ‘Redevelopment of the Year 2018’ from Golf Inc. in the USA, seen rises in La Mer’s position in both Golf World Magazine and Top100golfcourses.com rankings, and Le Manoir Hôtel has been voted ‘France’s Best Golf Hotel’ for the second successive year by readers of the UK’s biggest-selling golf magazine, Today’s Golfer.
Visitors to Provence are now able to enjoy a lot more golf for their euro after Golf International Pont Royal signed up to the Provence Golf Pass, which offers savings of up to 30 per cent of tee-times in the region.
There are 24 partner golf courses affiliated to the pass in addition to the Severiano Ballesteros-designed championship course at Pont Royal, which welcomes the Challenge Tour's inaugural Hopps Open de Provence this month (September 20-23).
Among those where holders may benefit from reduced green fees are Terre Blanche, Golf de Dolce Frégate Provence, Golf de Servanes, Golf du Luberon, Golf de Roquebrune, Golf du Château de Taulane, and many more top-quality courses.
Seasonal passes - autumn/winter and spring/summer - are available in either two- or four-green fee formats, at courses of the golfer's choosing, offering as much as 30 per cent discount on normal green-fee prices, with a two-round pass starting at just €66.
Few, if any, can match Pont Royal for its accommodation and leisure options, however, making it the perfect base for any Provence Golf Pass holder. Its traditional Provençal-style domaine includes restaurants, bars, and shops, surrounding a village market square; water parks; a picturesque lake; and France's only Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course.
Its accommodation options are manifold, too, with the four-star, 102-room Moulin de Vernègues, part of the Châteaux & Hôtels Collection, the three-star L'Hôtel du Golf, or self-catering apartments, villas and houses within the pedestrianised Pierre & Vacances village.
And all of this lies within a region offering scenery which has inspired and entranced many of the world's greatest painters down the years. What's more, each pass purchase comes with a privilege card entitling the holder to a number of advantages and deals at partner hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities.
Pont Royal's director of golf, Jerome Lauredi, said: "The Provence Golf Pass is an ideal way for visitors to the region to enjoy a round on France's only Seve Ballesteros-designed course, take advantage of the accommodation options here on the domaine, and add in an extra round - or three - at other top-quality courses in Provence.
"This is very much an up-and-coming region in terms of French golf and the Provence Golf Pass is an excellent way of seeing it."
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.
www.golf-pontroyal.com | www.provencegolf.com
St Enodoc Golf Club in the heart of Rock, north Cornwall, is offering a range of three-round, two-night golf getaways this autumn that combine golf over its mesmerizing championship links, the nearby courses at Perranporth and Bowood Park and overnight stays at either the Port Gaverne Hotel or Molesworth Arms.
Available throughout September and October, the packages are priced from just £258 per person representing amazing value for money given that St Enodoc’s Church Course is regarded as one of the top courses in England. Top 100 Golf Courses, for example, currently ranks St Enodoc at number 11 in the country.
The club’s location on the high sand dunes of the north Cornwall overlooking the Camel River and Atlantic coast means the Church Course is set against the backdrop of some of the greatest sea and estuary views of any 18 holes in the world.
Founded in 1890, St Enodoc Golf Club is home to one of revered architect James Braid’s finest designs that is characterised by numerous blind shots, testing fairway undulations, firm greens and its distinctive and fearsome Himalaya Bunker on the 6th hole, which is reputedly the highest in Europe.
However it is the 10th that is referred to as the signature hole as it winds its way towards the 11th century St Enodoc Church, where poet laureate Sir John Betjeman lies buried beside his favourite course.
Golfers can choose to play all three rounds at St Enodoc, although there is the option to play Perranporth and/or Bowood Park. Another of James Braid’s designs, Perranporth is a natural links course set on high ground giving stunning views over Perran Bay. Though challenging thanks to a plethora of blind shots and tricky greens, Perranporth regularly charms visiting golfers though when a severe sea breeze whips up, it becomes a truly severe test of golf.
In striking contrast, Bowood Park is set in rolling hills and woodland, designated an area of Special Landscape value. With well-drained greens and abundant water hazards, the signature hole is the 385-yard 12th, the Azalea hole, which is a challenging par 4 with an island green reached by a covered wooden footbridge reminiscent of New England.
In addition to great golf, this part of Cornwall is a wonderful destination for a wide range of activities. Referred to more and more as England’s St Tropez, Rock has easy access by ferry to the lively, well-known fishing port of Padstow, where the ubiquitous TV chef Rick Stein established his first seafood restaurant and now runs a variety of food and accommodation enterprises in the town.
For those who love the outdoors, it is an excellent place for long walks along the nearby beaches of Polzeath and Daymer Bay, which are also perfect for watersports such as surfing, paddle-boarding, windsurfing and water-skiing.
A little further along the coast, culture vultures can enjoy a visit to the Tate St Ives, featuring local as well as international artists, and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and for garden-lovers there are the fascinating Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project.
Sample St Enodoc Stay & Play Packages* include:
For more information on St Enodoc Golf Club, please visit www.st-enodoc.co.uk and for information on St Enodoc golf breaks, click on www.st-enodoc.co.uk/visitors/devon-and-cornwall-links/
All packages are available from Countrywide Golf Holidays which can be contacted at Info@countrywide-golf.com or call +44 1637 879991.
Market-leading Clubs to Hire has seen its bookings through partner agent Your Golf Travel (YGT) grow by more than 400 per cent, year on year, during 2018.
The two companies have been working together, largely on an affiliate basis, for nearly five years. But, in autumn 2017, a club-hire option was introduced during the YGT sales process and the growth in bookings has, consequently, increased exponentially.
Clubs to Hire co-founder Tony Judge is, unsurprisingly, delighted with the increase in business and said: "Since YGT's clients have had the ability to book everything in one go, the response has been hugely positive. We've had some great feedback from both YGT and its customers and the sales team are confident we will continue to see growth through September and October and, hopefully, into 2019.
"From our perspective it's massively encouraging to know that golfers can now have everything on the one booking confirmation. And it's also encouraging for other operators."
His view was echoed by YGT's director of product, Andrew Smith.
He added: "We have seen a very positive response from our sales team over the last 12 months to the concept, with clients enjoying the security, value and professionalism that Clubs to Hire has brought to the market over recent years - long may the partnership continue."
Clubs to Hire handles more than 300,000 annual visits to its website and more than 80,000 bookings for rental clubs at 27 locations worldwide, including popular golfing regions in the USA, Thailand, Australia, South Africa and five countries across the Mediterranean, offering the latest clubs on the market, from leading brands such as TaylorMade, Callaway and Mizuno - for men and women, left- or right-handed - from just €35 per week, a potential saving of up to €125, with none of the hassle.
Le Touquet Golf Resort’s Le Manoir Hôtel – voted France’s Best Golf Hotel in 2017 and 2018* – has concluded phase two of its major refurbishment project, with a chic modern bar, lounge and reception area marking a new era for the historic hotel.
Long fashioned after a traditional English manor house, Le Manoir Hôtel, has been reborn as a contemporary boutique establishment.
Refurbishment began in 2016 with the hotel’s restaurant, Le Table du Manoir, which was revived in an elegant winter garden theme. Phase two sees the ground floor completely transformed. Dark wood-panelled walls and rustic furniture have been replaced with an open-plan bar and lounge area, drenched in light, with bold colours accentuating exposed beams and original manor-house features. Rich hues of blue and yellow are punctuated by vibrant patternwork and splashes of orange and purple, bringing accent to the hotel's new contemporary design.
CEO Laurent Boissonnas said: “Le Touquet Golf Resort has such a rich history and enduring reputation among golfers, but it is thrilling to watch our investment raise the standard of quality across the resort and create a genuine 21st century golf destination.”
The refurbishment of Le Manoir Hôtel is part of an ongoing multi-million Euro renovation programme across Le Touquet Golf Resort, which has already seen the award-winning restoration of La Mer (The Sea), France’s No. 1 links course, and construction of a bold new architect-designed clubhouse.
Le Touquet Golf Resort provides 45 holes of outstanding golf surrounded by a natural landscape of sand dunes, pine forests and big skies. Only an hour’s drive from the Eurotunnel’s Calais Terminus along the A16, it is an easily accessible destination for golfers from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France.
For more information about Le Touquet Golf Resort visit www.letouquetgolfresort.com/en
Quinta do Lago is set to position itself as one of the world’s leading sports and leisure destinations with the up-coming completion of The Campus, a state-of-the-art sports base that will provide athletes and sports enthusiasts with everything they need to succeed at the highest level.
The prestigious resort, situated in the sun-kissed Algarve, has long been regarded for its golf with three highly-acclaimed championship courses, but the multi-million investment in The Campus will ensure Quinta do Lago is one of the elite global performance centres.
Phase One of the project has already been completed and now boasts a high-tech Desso Hybrid Grassmaster pitch, known for its premium quality that adheres to top international governing body standards, complimented with a technical area that will welcome a host of top athletes, football and rugby teams over the next few months.
Olympic triathlete silver and bronze medallist Jonny Brownlee was a recent visitor and Chinese Super League outfit Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC, one of the world’s wealthiest clubs, have also used the facilities as part of a two-week training base, as have Austrian Bundsliga side SV Mattersburg and English Premier League Burnley as part of a mid-season camp.
At the heart of The Campus is the top-of-the-range acrylic and synthetic clay tennis and padel courts, which cater for guests of all levels, while the completion of the Bike Shed, a social hub at the heart of the complex, is the gateway to a host of scenic routes to suit recreational and competitive cyclists and triathletes.
And the final works on the stunning 45,000 sq foot location, which is situated in the secluded grounds of Quinta do Lago, is expected to be completed by Septemberwhen the fully-equipped multisport training, performance, recovery, rehabilitation, aquatic and hydrotherapy centre will be fully open.
“We are very proud of The Campus project that further elevates what is already one of the finest sports and leisure destinations in the world,” said Sean Moriarty, chief executive of Quinta do Lago.
“It is an exciting addition.The designs are stunning, and we have used the finest technology, material and expertise of the very top professionals across the board. As a result, we have created a state-of-the-art base to meet the needs and demands of professional athletes; one that is equipped with the latest in sports technology.
“Our centre is home to our team of active living and sports physicians, which consists of a qualified team of coaches, trainers, doctors, physiotherapists, and performance analysts that is the perfect location for athletes and coaches to fulfil their goals
“But the beauty of this complex is you don’t have to be a world-class or even professional athlete, as we also cater for guests who simply want to use the facilities at their leisure for fitness or as a hobby.”
Quinta do Lago, which is located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, is the perfect leisure and lifestyle destination and benefits from a year-round temperate climate with stunning yet contrasting views of the sea and the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
The resort also prides itself on delivering some of the finest dining with 10 restaurants offering an array of delicious world food such as Casa do Lago, which serves locally-sourced fish, as well as Casa Velha, serving fine French cuisine or Bovino, a refurbished steakhouse that is one of the most exclusive dining experiences in the Algarve.
Quinta do Lago also offers some fabulous accommodation options from luxury rental villas to the newly-acquired The Magnolia Hotel, a boutique hotel that boasts a fully-equipped gymnasium, sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, outdoor swimming pool and Wellness centre. It is also home to a LIVE kitchen, which makes a range of delicious and healthy food that is tailor-made for every individual.
The first golf resort in Turkey to feature 36 holes and having played host to some of the biggest names in the game, the PGA National Turkey Antalya Golf Club is regarded as one of Europe’s premier golfing venues.
Situated across 1,350 acres in Belek in the heart of the Turkish golf Riviera, the resort features outstanding facilities including two 18-hole golf courses – the PGA Sultan and The Pasha – two five-star hotels and an extensive range of sports and lifestyle amenities.
The host of numerous high-profile tournaments including the 2012 Turkish Airlines World Golf Final – which featured the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and eventual winner Justin Rose – the resort raised its global profile further in 2017 by joining the select group of courses to receive the official endorsement of The Professional Golfers’ Association, being renamed as the PGA National Turkey.
Opened in 2003, the par-71 PGA Sultan course measures 6,477m from the back tees and players must negotiate a number of hazards to score well on the narrow, challenging layout, including no fewer than 12 lakes and 122 bunkers. The Pasha, which was also designed by David Jones in association with European Golf Design, is wider and more inviting as it meanders through a mixture of towering pine trees and woodland.
Complementing the golf courses are extensive practice facilities while, under the terms of its partnership, The PGA will oversee a significant upgrade of the resort’s golf academy in 2018, adding radar ball-tracking, video analysis and custom club-fitting facilities to the existing 300-metre driving range and associated short game area.
Located less than 30 minutes from Antalya international airport, the PGA National Turkey features two outstanding hotels – the 176-room luxury five-star Kempinski Hotel The Dome and the 442-room five-star Sirene Belek Hotel, both offering luxury accommodation on an all-inclusive basis.
As well as offering access to an extensive array of other sports and leisure facilities including tennis, football, numerous swimming pools and watersports, a water park, kids’ clubs, and two luxury spas, hotel guests can experience an array of opulent culinary experiences at the resort’s variety of bars and restaurants.
www.agc.com.tr / www.kempinski.com/belek