Seven groups have indicated interest in taking over P.E.I.’s four provincially-run golf courses, says the province’s tourism minister.
The deadline for expressions of interest from the private sector closed last week, and the seven separate groups want to either buy, manage, or lease the courses from government, said Rob Henderson.
“The bulk of them tend to focus more on management or a lease arrangement,” he said.
The province operates Mill River Golf Course, Rodd Brudenell River Resort, Dundarave River Golf Course and the Links at Crowbush Cove — all four of which are tied to Rodd Resorts.
The most recent budget shows taxpayers took a $1-million loss on the courses last year.
Henderson said he’s hopeful a deal can be worked out.
“You know, I’d love to say this will be finalized before the golf season next year, so that whoever the successful organizations or entrepreneurs would be, that they would have every opportunity to promote their particular golf course in the proper fashion so that they can be successful right at the start of the season,” Henderson said.
But at the same time, Henderson said he’s not going to rush the process.
He won’t name the seven interested parties, but he did say they are all Canadian, and a couple have Island connections.
James Alyward, the Opposition’s tourism critic, is openly skeptical. he says he’s worried about the future of the courses.
“They were on the comeback. They are world-class golf courses. They’re known internationally,” Alyward said.
Henderson says most interested buyers would want government to continue to cover operating losses, at least for the time being.
“That would be something that’s on the table, but as the minister of tourism that’s responsible for the golf courses, this is the whole concept, to try and minimize those losses,” Henderson said.
Those who were golfing at Mill River Monday said they didn’t want the government to hand over the golf courses to the private sector.
“I think it’s important to keep tourists coming to P.E.I., and if you have proper courses like this that are top notch up against any other course in Canada, I think it’s important,” said Desmond Arsenault.
“The reason they’re losing money because they’re running at a high expense. They have employees that they don’t need, which is probably the government’s doing,” said David McInnis.
“To try to pay down the mortgage on this and try to run this golf course, I don’t think they can do it,” said David Moore.
The next step for government will be to assess the financial viability of the groups, and their knowledge of running golf courses.
“We want to make sure that the standards of the courses and integrity of the courses are maintained,” Henderson said.
Henderson says it’s possible that some or all could be in the hands of private business by this time next year .
This is the season for golf in Myrtle Beach. Mild, warm spring weather, cool ocean breezes and a diverse array of golf courses continue to keep Myrtle Beach one of the most popular golf destinations in the world. from the finely crafted courses of North Myrtle Beach to the naturally beautiful and scenic courses of the southern portion of the Grand Strand there is something for every golfer of every skill level.
Myrtle Beach is located on the Atlantic shoreline in South Carolina approximately thirty miles from the North Carolina and South Carolina border. it is at the center of what is known as the Grand Strand. there are some one hundred plus, golf courses scattered throughout the Grand Strand which starts in Georgetown South Carolina and stretches through Pawleys Island, Litchfield, Murrells Inlet, Garden City, Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and continues to the North and South Carolina border.
The golf courses in the southern portion of the Grand Strand and into Myrtle Beach are known for their historical value. Many are built on what were once rice plantations in the heart of the old south and offer the experience of enjoying resting in restored Southern Plantation homes between rounds. The courses have wide fairways, and are beautifully landscaped with huge oak trees hung with Spanish moss, giant azaleas, magnolias and are in themselves a step back into time.
There are newer courses to the North most notably in Barefoot Landing. These courses were designed by some of the well-known greats such as Tom Fazio and Greg Norman. These Challenging courses provide a finely tuned edge to the game of golf.
Myrtle Beach SC always has several courses listed in Golf Digests top 100 Public Courses. in 2007 there were ten listed as follows:
No. 28 The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach
No. 41 Tidewater Golf Course and Plantation, NMB
No. 46 Heritage Club, Pawleys Island
No. 53 Barefoot Resort love Course, NMB
No. 62 Rivers Edge Golf Club, Shalotte, NC
No. 73 Tiger’s Eye Golf Links, Sunset Beach, NC
No. 76 Myrtle Beach National’s King’s North Course, MB
No. 86 Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, Pawleys Island
No. 87 true Blue Plantation, Pawleys Island
No. 92 Barefoot Resort Fazio Course, NMB
Myrtle Beach is home to many major golf tournaments annually. One is the World Amateur Handicap Championship. The tournament is the world’s larges amateur golf tournament with more than 5000 players and played on more than sixty of the area’s courses.
Although Myrtle Beach has no public transportation interstate highways and air travel can easily access it. US Airway, Delta/Comer, Delta/ASA, Continental, Spirit Airlines, Air Tran and Pan Am are some of the carriers that fly into the Myrtle Beach Airport from all over the world.
Most golfers who come to Myrtle Beach take advantage of economical Golf Vacation Packages that also include accommodations. there many different types of accommodation available from motel rooms to affordable privately owned condos and luxury oceanfront penthouses all along the Grand Strand.
Most Golfers along the East Coast of the United States, Canada, and Mexico have had the experience of Golf in Myrtle Beach and Keep coming back for more. Myrtle Beach welcomes all golfers from around the world and across the USA to come down and play some golf in South Carolina. We’d love to have you.
Summer is a time of year in which many individuals cut back in their work schedules and seek leisure, vacation, and time with their families. one of the predominant activities that affluent and educated people pursue in their free time is golf. A recent study about golfers provides an interesting vista into the lives of those who pursue this sport for recreation.
- The average golfer has an annual household income of over $80,000
- Over 50%of golfers have some college experience
- Over 90% of golfers own their home
- Over 50% are Baby Boomers
These demographics allow an analyst to pinpoint the characteristics that describe a typical golfer as well as provide information that can lead to a strategic investment. Before being able to name that investment, we must first do a little more research about the golf industry.
Within the United States, there is currently a decrease in interest in the sport of golf. This decrease can be measured in several ways, one if which is the demand for access to housing near golf courses. The logic of this relationship is that some individuals who are passionate about golf will attempt to live near golf courses so that they can frequently and easily enjoy their sport. This statement certainly doesn’t apply to every individual, but in a population of golfers, it stands to reason that at least a small percentage would attempt to be as close as possible to their hobby. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal paints a very interesting story about this relationship. It notes that at one time, there was a strong demand for housing near golf courses, but a decrease in popularity of the sport has led to a decrease in demand for nearby housing. This article gives a description of the industry and points to the fact that it is both overbuilt and experiencing a decrease in interest.
A very simple experiment can be conducted to determine if, in part, the decrease in golf is true. A powerful way of gauging public interest in a particular topic is to examine what people search for on the internet. The reasoning is that if people are interested or passionate about a topic, they will frequently search for news, advice, or information about their chosen field. below is a chart of a simple Google Trends search for "golf." I have added a simple line connecting the peak demand for the product to reveal the current trend.
Several interesting conclusions can be drawn from this data, but the primary two are that golf demand peaks during the summer and the public demand for information on golf is decreasing. With such a clearly-painted picture, a contrarian-minded individual would be wise to look for ways of investing in this situation. If there are companies which profit from the golf industry, they are nearing the height of their seasonal demand. It stands to reason that their profits are at a seasonal peak and their stock price should eventually price this in.
A company that I believe is particularly prone to a continued downturn in the golf industry is Callaway Golf Company (ELY). Callaway is one of the premier names within the golf paraphernalia industry and according to its annual filing, "The Company generates substantially all of its revenues from the sale of golf-related products" (page 23). In other words, the majority of the company’s revenue comes from an industry which is in decline. The annual filing substantiates this by further saying "if golf participation or the number of rounds of golf played decreases, sales of the Company’s products may be adversely affected" (page 23). These statements are found in a portion of the filing known as Risk Factors. Essentially this is where the company tells investors what the worst-case scenarios could potentially be. It is my claim that even though the company has a strong name and a lasting brand presence, this will not be enough to sustain the current stock price. I believe that Callaway Golf Company will suffer over the coming years as the decline in golfing interest continues. This said, I do not believe that this type of short opportunity is found by looking strictly at the balance sheet but rather by examining the entire industry. I believe that Callaway Golf Company at the current summer price levels provides an excellent long-term shorting opportunity.
The reason that I believe Callaway will perform poorly rather than its primary peers is that it already "has a significant share of worldwide sales." Given its current position as the seller of premium golfing items and the fact that its primary demographic has been hit particularly hard by the recent financial crisis, I do not see it being able to continue to grow in the face of a downturn. Callaway already recognizes that it is losing position in its risk disclosure by stating that sales are at risk of not growing or even declining in the future. In the event of a global downturn in demand for golfing, Callaway is not in a position to grow market share. It is my argument that this global downturn is currently occurring and Callaway has already exhausted its competitive expansion. since it has already achieved market strength, it does not have expansion room and industry demand directly affects sales going forward, as it has noted. This said, Callaway represents a strong leader in the declining golf industry. its position denotes a good opportunity to sell into the weakness of golf as a sport.
In the markets, I prefer to think fundamentally and execute technically. This said, I believe that the most logical time to enter the market is when market price action actually agrees with your fundamental analysis. I believe that the chart seen below shows a chart experiencing breakdown in which a downtrend is starting. The bulls have defended the $5.20 per share point for the past quarter and I believe that if prices were to fall through this barrier, we could see the continued decline in share price.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a short position in ELY over the next 72 hours.
Apart from being one of the foremost tourist attraction spots in the entire continent of the United States, Florida happens to feature a lot of golf courses in which you may participate in somewhat of relaxing sportsmanship. As a matter of fact, there are over 1,400 courses to choose from, and in the event you happen to be a golf freak, you might like to visit Florida. below are 10 of the very best courses you may visit:
- World Woods - This golf course is situated in Brooksville, which is just 45 minutes north of the Tampa International Airport. This also happens to be deemed as a golfer’s paradise, enabling those with a good love for the sport to relax in such a natural setting which makes it possible for them much liberty in their play time.
- Orange County National – This golf course in Orlando has essentially hosted the PGA Tour Q-School Finals in the past, and features numerous areas in which you may enjoy playing golf in, such as the crooked Cat and Panther Lake courses.
- Polo Trace, Delray Beach – located in Delray Beach, this is a golf course which brings you back to back to back par 5s, and also gentle elevation changes in the course.
- Southern Dunes – This course in Haines City is among the top 100 in the whole state of Florida, and is in fact built on a sand dune. you get to be subjected to rolling fairways surrounded by foliage, hence proving to be a challenge for any golfer.
- Southwood - This is based in Tallahassee and was essentially built over a former plantation. it is viewed as the most effective course for all types of players, consisting of pastures and oak trees.
- Crandon Golf – Featuring mangroves and holes which lend enough of a challenge for any golfer, this Key Biscayne course not only enables you to enjoy your game, but the scenery as well.
- Kelly Plantation - This Destin-based course is in fact adjacent to Choctawhatchee Bay and extends all the way to the wetlands of South Florida.
- Waterlefe – Bordering on the Manatee River, this golf course in Bradenton has a natural design that may truly enable players to get pleasure from a game of golf in peace. You’d also get to catch sight of several manatees strolling along the 15th hole.
- Eastwood - you won’t need to be bothered about hitting windows with your golf balls since there are no homes surrounding this golf course. you also get to see the rare wildlife in here.
- PGA Golf Club – in the event you visit Florida and want to participate in some golfing, this course located in Port St. Lucie provides you a number of choices. you get 54 different holes and terrific learning facilities.
All through the year, Los Angeles is the place to be. Thousands of tourists and businessmen come to LA every day. There is a lot that the city offers to its visitors. some come for the atmosphere, some for the beaches, some others for the culture, a lot of them for the history, and some even come with hopes of attaining stardom. Whether you are here for pleasure or for business, the numerous golf courses and golf clubs of Los Angeles are as captivating and appealing as the city itself. There are more than 60 beautiful, landscaped golf courses and golf clubs in the LA city.
The Lost Canyons Golf Club is the perfect place to settle back and cool off after a busy day of meetings and traffic or wind up a day of entertainment. This club with golf courses that are fully fledged with beach-side landscape and ocean views, provides its golfers with some of the best golfing experiences.
The prevailing coastal breeze keeps this golfing course cool during the summer and warm during the winter; making it a perfect place to play, be it any season.
An amateur, beginner, or a veteran golfer; the Lost Canyons Club offers everyone the best place to golf. This elite course has been a landmark in Los Angeles for several years. the tee-boxes boast above 7,000 yards from the back tees and more than 4,000 yards from the front tees, which are set up this way to equally excite the power hitters as well as the beginners. it also provides a chipping area in addition to a great putting green.
The fees are also reasonable, and it provides an 18 hole regulation length course. the Sky course at the Lost Canyons Golf Club is definitely one among the most challenging courses in the country.
Though parking is plentiful in this club, with it being a public course, finding a parking space can be sometimes difficult. however, there are plenty of cheap car rentals in LA which assists the tourists a lot, when it comes to moving in and around the city.
The Lost Canyons Golf club can be easily reached from Los Angeles City Center. however, being a public course, advance reservations might be necessary at this golf club. it is best that you plan in advance and book your convenient tee times online with the Lost Canyon Golf club site.
Palmer Ranch in Sarasota, Florida is a beautiful community to live in for anyone who loves nature and being surrounded by beautiful trees and lush natural landscaping. It is set amid more than 10,000 acres of beautiful central Florida forests and wetlands. Everything has been designed and carefully planned for the preservation and protection of the wildlife, land, greenery, preserves and the wetlands.
Palmer Ranch is conveniently located just a few minutes from all of the great Sarasota beaches, arts and cultural events/activities, world-class shopping and entertainment, and all of the downtown attractions that Sarasota has to offer.
Perfectly located, you can enjoy several golf courses, large clubhouse, movie theater, a fitness center, heated pool, the lighted tennis and basketball courts, walking, hiking and jogging trails, parks and green belts, wooded areas and the wetlands. This is truly a very sophisticated and well planned community made up of many diverse neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods may be more family oriented, while others may be more to the liking of singles, retirees, seniors, or avid golf players. there are homes here for just about any lifestyle or budget. even within each neighborhood you can find amenities not found in other neighborhoods.
Sarasota’s largest planned community of Palmer Ranch offers the discriminating home buyer a selection of real estate residential options that range from starter homes, condos, villas, golf course homes, to multimillion dollar estates. In some neighborhoods, many of the higher-end homes can be purchased with custom amenities like pools, covered patios, cathedral-vaulted ceilings, and extra large master bedroom suites. there are wide ranges of lifestyles and prices to choose from here.
Palmer Ranch has designed many of it features for the benefit and enjoyment of children. The parks, sports and recreation facilities here offer first class options for children and children’s safety. The schools here are first class, from K-12, all are award winning educational institutions. They are modern and feature all of the latest technological advances in education. all sports programs are featured and the schools all have modern sports & recreation facilities. The residents of Palmer Ranch take great pride in their children’s safety, well being and in their education.
There are dozens of unique communities within Palmer Ranch, each with beautiful homes, condos, villas and very upscale and elegant homes on a golf course, overlooking a pristine lake or behind gates, or maybe all of these. This is a premier planned community and a great place to visit so you and your family can experience the unique and famous Sarasota Florida lifestyle the way it is meant to be. Sunshine, warm tropical breezes, the beaches, boating, golfing, tennis, shopping, entertainment, culture and arts, and leisure options, and they are all right here at Palmer Ranch in beautiful Sarasota Florida.
PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. — true Blue Golf Plantation and three other award-winning golf courses along the southern shores of the Grand Strand are offering a Fall 2012 “South End Stay-and-Play Special,” from Sept. 6-19. the all-inclusive rate of $425 allows for rounds of golf at Founders Club, Heritage Club, TPC Myrtle Beach and True Blue Plantation, with accommodations for three nights at true Blue Resort.
Reservations can be booked through Caledonia Golf Vacations at (866) 954-8311 or online at caledoniagolfvacations.com.
“This is a fantastic fall special that gives everyone a chance to experience an unforgettable golf getaway at a great rate,” said Bob Seganti, director of golf at Caledonia Golf Vacations and true Blue Golf Plantation. “True Blue is a must-play for those thinking about visiting the Myrtle Beach area.”
Golfweek recently ranked true Blue Golf Plantation the sixth “Best course You can Play” in South Carolina for 2012. Three of the courses listed – true Blue Golf Plantation, Heritage Club and TPC Myrtle Beach – are among the 12 courses that comprise the Waccamaw Golf Trail. the Waccamaw Golf Trail is one of the most awarded golf trails in the country, and all of the courses are within a 20-mile stretch.
About true Blue Golf PlantationTrue Blue Golf Plantation, 7,126 yards, par 72 is located on the site of the historic true Blue Plantation, a famed 19th century indigo and rice plantation. Designed by architect Mike Strantz and opened in 1998, true Blue emphasizes the natural beauty of the area, utilizing native grasses and vegetation and maintains much of the character of the South Carolina Lowcountry it was built upon. true Blue has received countless awards, including being named one of “America’s Greatest 100 Public Golf Courses” by Golf Digest. it also is one of the South Carolina Golf course Raters’ list of “50 best Courses.” and it is one of Golf Magazine’s “Top Ten Places to Play” and “Top 25 Courses in the South.” Golfweek also awarded true Blue as being one of the “Top 100 Courses in America.”
About the Waccamaw Golf Trail The Waccamaw Golf Trail is the designation assigned to the most southern region of Myrtle Beach, S.C. the Waccamaw Trail encompasses Murrells Inlet, Litchfield and Pawleys Island, home to 12 highly awarded golf courses and one of the America’s premier golf resorts on the Carolina Coast – Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort.
The collection of golf courses that make up the Waccamaw Golf Trail are: Blackmoor; Caledonia Golf & Fish Club; Heritage Club; Litchfield Country Club; Pawleys Plantation; River Club; TPC of Myrtle Beach; Tradition Club; true Blue Plantation; Wachesaw Plantation East; Wedgefield Plantation and Willbrook Plantation. Most of the courses on the Trail were built upon the sites of 18th and 19th century rice and indigo plantations, set amid ancient moss-draped oaks and tidal rivers.
For More Information, Contact:Craig Smith or Tim Gavrich at the Brandon Agency, (843) ,
As boutique providers of upscale golf travel to exceptional destinations worldwide, we take the opportunity from time to time to share our findings regarding some of the great new courses in our footprint, which covers the U.S. West Coast including the Pacific Northwest, Europe and Argentina, among other dynamic destinations. One needs to be prudent when booking golf vacations outside the U.S. as you might also find with hotel properties, you simply can’t believe everything you read in a guide book or on the Internet. have you ever been to a hotel or resort that hasn’t met your expectations or is living on past glories? probably so! That’s why we personally play and inspect the courses we recommend to our upscale clientele.
In the past year, we have either played or inspected more than 40 golf courses in Spain and Portugal. while Spain golf and Portugal golf experiences are tops in the continent, what we found was surprising. Specifically, we uncovered some very strong new courses we had never heard of both in golf-rich regions as well as provinces not known for golf. Additionally, we found some much-heralded courses that no longer make the grade, in our professional opinion. with careful planning and expert counsel, your Spain golf vacation or Portugal golf vacation can be the stuff of lifelong memories.
So here are the unvarnished reviews of what we consider to be the top Destination Golf Courses in Spain and Portgual. our criteria are based on a U.S. perspective from the point of view of a golf professional or scratch amateur (yes, I am a former PGA professional), which means we match our courses with the wishes and abilities of our guests as we place the highest value on the following course attributes:
Spain Golf – Destination Golf Courses:
When Americans and Brits think of Spain golf, they naturally think of the Costa del Sol, which straddles the Mediterranean coast from Malaga to near Gibraltar. yes, some of the best golf courses lie in this year-round resort area, but golf in Spain is about much more than the Costa del Sol. One can experience championship golf in the Barcelona area, in Seville, and we even found very strong courses in the Basque region (most notable are Izki Golf, a Ballesteros design, and Jose Maria Olazabal’s Golf Artxanda). Here’s our take on the best of the best of Spain golf:
o RCG El Prat is the private, but accessible, Greg Norman-designed complex of 45 holes set in the upscale western suburbs of Barcelona. as all of the nines were designed and constructed simultaneously by the same architect, players can forge ten distinct 18-hole combinations that fit together seamlessly. as expected from Norman, most fairways are reasonably wide, but trouble lurks beyond their borders and approach shots challenge your iron skills. You will feel like a member for a day when you experience Real Club de Golf El Prat. this is a lovely setting and very relaxing getaway from the energy of Barcelona.
o PGA Golf de Catalunya is one of several properties owned and operated by the PGA European Tour, and is the only one in Spain. It’s easy to fall in the love with this place that is located in the Costa Brava (“Wild Coast”), just 75 minutes from Barcelona. There are two courses on the site, Green and Red, with the Green being the longer and stronger test of the duo. the Green is a big, tournament-ready course nestled in the forest just a bit inland from the Costa Brava shore. Mature “umbrella” pines and cork oaks line the well-manicured fairways, and the smooth but undulating greens will test one’s short game. the Verde is simultaneously challenging and fun. There are quite a few elevation changes on these tracks and the scenery is outstanding. There’s just something about those symmetrical umbrella pines that spells relaxation.
o Valderrama arguably is the finest course in Continental Europe. the course is located in the upscale Sotogrande development that includes some of the finest golf courses in Spain. Sotogrande is located approximately 45 minutes from Marbella, the gem of the Costa del Sol. Valderrama is literally a legend in mainland Europe, having hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup, the World Golf Championship and countless Volvo Masters tournaments. That tournament elevated the stature of Spain golf to completely new heights. this Robert Trent Jones, Sr. gem is a must-play for the serious golf enthusiast touring the Costa del Sol. One can easily be distracted by the spectacular scenery and mesmerizing cork oaks that line the fairways, but this course demands your undivided attention. You can measure yourself against the best players in the world as you tackle the infamous 17th. the service is outstanding, the design is challenging and the conditioning is nothing short of world class. this is European golf at its very best and a must play for any Spain golf vacation! Maximum handicap: 24 Men; 36 Women.
o Sotogrande is the granddaddy of Costa del Sol golf and perhaps of Spain golf. Sotogrande is Valderrama’s older and less-menacing sibling, located at a lower elevation than most of the others courses on the Sotogrande property. Approximately ten years the senior, she provides wider landing areas and less intimidating greens complexes. nevertheless, the ever-present breeze is enough to heighten the challenge on this nearly-seaside track. although Valderrama tends to overshadow it as the best of Spain golf, Sotogrande remains one of the top five venues in mainland Europe.
o La Reserva is an impeccably-maintained and relatively new private club on the Sotogrande property. this Cabell Robinson design stretches to more than 7,300 yards from the back tees. Fortunately, there are four additional sets of tees from which to choose, so choose appropriately! La Reserva’s length is somewhat mitigated by meticulous grooming and generous fairways and greens, so relax and enjoy the wonderful Costa del Sol setting. Few courses offer such incredible curb appeal. the course straddles the rolling hills of the Western Costa del Sol, making this one of the most beautiful golf courses in Spain. the course view from the drive to the club house alone is worth the trip.
o Santana Golf is not a course you read so much about as it is new, but rest assured that it is one of the most talked-about new golf courses in Spain. Set in the hills above the coast in a beautiful, former avocado orchard, Santana is the young upstart of the Costa del Sol golf scene. this track blends a beautiful setting, quality design, attentive service and splendid conditioning to create a grand Spain golf experience. Santana Golf is easily walkable, employs water hazards and bunkers prudently and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the Mediterranean. the par-72, 7,000-yard Cabell Robinson design offers four sets of tees so that you can bite off as much or as little as you desire of this wonderfully-diverse layout. If you are in the Costa del Sol, experience Santana while it is young and relatively undiscovered.
o Finca Cortesin is another newcomer to the Costa del Sol. the course is located near the mountaintop “white village” of Casares, which looms like a beacon amidst the majestic Sierra Bermeja mountain range. this new Spain golf course opened in early 2007 and is quickly making a name for itself as one of the best golf courses in all of Spain. the Cabell Robinson design offers a challenging variety of holes, as evidenced by the scenic par-4 13th that confronts the player with two water hazards, yet sooths with eye-pleasing green complexes. as bonuses, the routing remains unspoiled by development, the modern practice facility is quite extensive and the customer service is absolutely among the best we have encountered in all of Spain. We suggest that you play this one before the word gets out about one of the best new Spain golf courses!
Portugal Golf – Destination Golf Courses:
As is the case with Spain golf, Portugal golf is much more than a slew of courses situated in one location, which, in this case, is the Algarve. sure the Algarve has long been known for great golf and great beaches! Quieter and less overbuilt than the Costa del Sol, the Algarve is experiencing a bit of a golf course building boom. There are no fewer than 10 Algarve golf courses either under construction or on the books. But there also are some very strong golf courses on or near the coast in Lisbon. Here’s our take on the best available Portugal golf experiences:
o Vilamoura-Old course is the elder-statesman of golf in the Algarve. Owned by the Oceanico consortium, this landmark course was constructed in 1969 by Frank Pennink and has been consistently refurbished over the years; however, it has not lost its original and classic parkland charm. the many umbrella pine trees that border the fairway corridors are definitely in play, the rolling landscape challenges your club selection and the undulating greens test your short game, but all the difficulties are mitigated by meticulous grooming. Add to all that the soothing views of the surrounding hills down to the coast. We love this property.
o Monte Rei is a course that you definitely will hear quite a bit about if it hasn’t already come to your attention. this delightful new Jack Nicklaus design, located in a pristine natural setting in the eastern Algarve not far from the border with Spain, is winning the hearts of all those who play it. the first of two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, Monte Rei North, opened in 2007 to rave reviews. the second is in the advanced stages of construction. Nicklaus has utilized the natural landscapes to sculpt a unique layout of approximately 7,200 yards, with eight par 4s, five par 3s and five par 5s – of these eighteen holes, water comes into play on eleven. Monte Rei is a must-play on the Portugal golf scene, especially while it remains somewhat undiscovered. That won’t last long!
o San Lorenzo Golf Club is located in the central Algarve, which is the most developed part of the region. this Joe Lee design undoubtedly is one of the best Portugal golf courses, as it combines a fabulously diverse layout with a gorgeous setting. You will likely use every club in your bag as you traverse this track of slightly less than 7,000 yards, and you will believe that the scenery cannot get any better until you reach the 17th and 18th holes, which are set in the serenity of a bird reserve. On the downside, San Lorenzo gets quite a bit of play, but once you experience it, you will understand why.
o Praia d’El Rey is links golf at its best and ranks near the very top of the Portugal golf list of best courses. in 2003, Golf World ranked it the 13th best course in Continental Europe, and we do not argue the point. Cabell Robinson has done another masterful job creating a Portugal golf course that exemplifies tasteful diversity. Ten holes meander along the coast in a links fashion, as the other eight twist their way through a thinly-forested section. To top it off, all the holes offer strategic bunkering and quick greens with plenty of movement in them to keep your attention. There has been some recent real estate development on the perimeter, but so far, not so much as to destroy the ambiance. Praia d’El Rey is Portugal golf at its best!
o Oitavos Dunes is a newcomer to Portugal golf, having opened in 2001. this Arthur Hills design is one of the most intriguing that you will find anywhere and it reminds us quite a bit of Bandon Dunes in Oregon. the design itself is excellent, as the par-71 layout can stretch to more than 7,000 yards and the fast, undulating greens challenge even those with the finest short games. Add all of this to spectacular ocean vistas on one flank and mountain views on the other, and you get one very special property. You might not want to worry about your score here, at least not after your first round, for the course’s challenges and the distracting scenery can create some high numbers. Oitavos Dunes is a great addition to the Portugal golf scene and is worth every additional stroke!
So that’s our take on the best of the best of Spain golf and Portugal golf. the Ryder Cup at Valderrama in part contributed to a golf course construction boom on the Iberian Peninsula. Thankfully, we’ll be back there soon to check out new courses such as the second course at Monte Rei and Nick Faldo’s Oceanico course, also in the Algarve.
Entry forms for the 17th annual Octogenarian Golf Tournament are now available. The entry forms may be picked up at any of the seven Rec Centers golf courses in Sun City West.
The tournament is open to all area golfers 80 years old or older, or those who turn 80 anytime during 2012. Both men and women are welcome. Handicaps will be used for those golfers who have them, and for the less active golfers without handicaps a “Calloway” type system will be used.
The tournament will be held Nov. 3 at Echo Mesa Golf course in Sun City West. The shotgun start will be at 8 a.m.
An awards banquet will follow the tournament that evening at Briarwood Country Club. A social hour will start at 4:30 p.m. and the meal will follow at 5:30. Awards and prizes will be given after the meal.
Entry fee includes: round of golf, valet bag handling, coffee; fruit and donuts, range balls, prizes and awards.
The fee this is $60 for players and $25 for banquet guests.
For any further information, call 623-337-5099.
Scotland has over 500 golf courses and several hundred golf hotels. Famous throughout the world as the Home of Golf, Scottish Golf Hotels provide a warm welcome for anyone who wants to play some of the world’s greatest golf courses and parkland courses.
There are several luxury golf hotels in Scotland of which Turnberry resort, Gleneagles and St Andrews Old Course are perhaps the most famous.
To the East lies The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, just a few minutes walk from the famed St Andrews Old Course. this is the course on which many famous golfers have won the Open Championship. being on Scotland’s East Coast the majority of courses here are links courses – a mix of grassy and hilly terrains dotted with bunkers strategically placed to challenge the best of golfers. The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews is the perfect choice for a golf break at a Scottish Golf hotel with over eight championship courses in easy reach of the hotel.
To the West, on Scotland’s West Coast, lies Turnberry Golf Resort. Also home to several Open Championships, Turnberry has three links courses offering a range of golfing experiences for all types of players.
With three championship parkland courses and a smaller nine-hole course ideal for beginners or relaxed family golf, Gleneagles offers a quite different experience. Located inland at the Gateway to the Highlands, these courses have sweeping vistas of trees, moorland and mountains in the distance. The majestic parkland courses of Glenagles offer a different, yet equally thrilling golfing break in Scotland.
For an all inclusive luxury Golf break at a Scottish Golf Hotel, Turnberry, Gleneagles and The Old Course Hotel St Andrews would be an excellent choice – each has it’s own spa and leisure facilities as well as excellent restaurants and golf tuition packages for all levels.
Discover more about golf breaks and Scottish golf hotels when you visit luxuryscotland.co.uk/golf/