Archive for September, 2016

Italian Golf leads the way as Play & Stay destination…

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Italian golf - Marco Simone Golf & Country Club Buca

NEW EUROPEAN GOLF RANKINGS REINFORCE ITALY AS LEADING PLAY-AND-STAY DESTINATION 

The reputation of Italian Golf courses as some of Europe’s key golf tourism destinations has risen to new heights after 10 of its leading golf venues were included in an eagerly-awaited new list of the continent’s premier places to play and stay.

Of the 49 countries eligible, only 18 were represented in Golf World magazine’s inaugural ‘Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe 2017’ rankings, with Italy providing an impressive ten per cent of the venues selected.

Italian Golf – On the up…

Boosted by the launch this spring of the new Italy Golf & More project and being selected to host the 2022 Ryder Cup, Italian golf has enjoyed a record rise in overseas bookings this year, and its growing status in the European golf travel market is reflected in the latest rankings.

The magazine’s judging panel of seven international experts marked each resort in five different categories – golf courses, accommodation, amenities, practice facilities and accessibility.

Verdura Resort in Sicily was rated highest of the Italian entries, claiming fourth place in the influential industry list, with resorts from no fewer than six different regions – Piedmont, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Tuscany, Sicily and Sardinia – all featuring.

And key figures in Italian golf tourism have high hopes that the country will enjoy an even bigger presence when the rankings are published again in two years’ time, with four of the 10 resorts that the magazine highlighted as just missing out on the Top 100 list also being in Italian.

Italian Golf – What they said…

Bruno Bertero, project co-ordinator for Italy Golf & More, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many of our top resorts included in the new list, and this is a further indication of the high regard that Italy is held in across Europe.

“The worldwide profile of Italian golf is bigger that it has ever been before and rankings such as this can only be positive in helping to attract more and more golfers to our shores to enjoy the many delights we have to offer.”

Featuring no fewer than 141 18-hole courses, Italy is the ideal place to combine a golfing break with the chance to experience many of its other historic, cultural and gastronomic delights.

Helped by the creation of Italy Golf & More and the Ryder Cup announcement, the number of international golfers visiting has increased by record amounts in 2016 – with a further period of growth forecast in the coming years.

Italian Golf – There’s more…

Italy Golf & More is a collaboration between 11 private sector partner regions, the Italian Golf Federation and the Ministry of Tourism (MIBACT), who have come together to embark on a seven-figure investment to increase awareness, and future golf tourism traffic, from key European markets to Italy.

The partner regions consist of Friuli Venezia Giulia – the leading partner region of the project – Lombardy, Piedmont, Lazio, Veneto, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Sicily, Marche and Umbria – who together boast 115 of Italy’s golf courses – with seven further regions falling under the investment of the Italian Golf Federation.

With 20 airports in the UK now operating regular flights to all over Italy, the country has never been so accessible, while its warm climate and mixture of mouth-watering cuisine, fine wines, spas, history, culture and beaches make it the perfect location for a golf break.

For further information on Italian golf courses, please email info@italygolfandmore.com or download a brochure at www.italygolfandmore.com


By Peter Simm

 

 

 

Stoke Park renovations…

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Stoke Park renovationsBACK-NINE BOOST FOR STOKE PARK’S HISTORIC COURSE!

Stoke Park renovations…

Following a widely acclaimed renovation of its first nine holes last winter, Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel, in Buckinghamshire, is to follow suit on holes 10 to 18 from November.

In keeping with the work undertaken on the Colt course last winter, the scheduled refurbishment of the Alison course, comprising holes 10 to 18, will see every bunker fully renovated.

In addition, there will be new tees and an extensive reworking of the water features on holes 12 and 17, plus some cosmetic tweaks to the water hazard on 16.

The Alison will, consequently, be closed until the spring, but 18 holes will remain open throughout as members and visitors can combine the nines of the Colt (holes one to nine) and Lane Jackson (holes 19-27) courses.

Stoke Park renovations – What they said…

Stoke Park renovationsStoke Park’s director of golf, Stuart Collier, explained: “When we began the renovation last year it was always a three-year plan, with one of each of the nine holes being refurbished each winter.”

“The work on the Colt course has been a spectacular success and we’re now looking to bring the second nine holes in line with the first, both in terms of design consistency and playability.”

Additionally, we’re looking to create a truly world-class finish on holes 16 to 18, without losing the feel and aesthetic that Harry Colt was kind enough to leave us. And, in doing that, we need to also ensure the course can be played and enjoyed by golfers of all levels.

He went on to say, “We achieved that aim on the Colt nine and firmly believe we will, ultimately, attain the same high level of design aesthetic and playability on the Alison, to ensure the course is at peak condition for the 21st century golfer.”

Stoke Park renovations – What about the ‘James Bond’ hole…

Included in the Stoke Park renovations are the holes famously recorded for posterity in the 1964 James Bond classic Goldfinger – the 17th and 18th – when the eponymous ‘baddie’ was beaten by Sean Connery’s 007, in front of the clubhouse. So the legend remains!

The stunning course is laid out across 300 acres of parkland created by the celebrated Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – the 300th anniversary of whose birth is currently being celebrated nationwide – and was designed by the equally revered golf architect Harry Colt, 1908.

Stoke Park renovations – How much is it costing…

This winter’s Stoke Park renovations, the middle section of a three-part project, is the latest instalment of a seven-figure investment in a facelift of the whole course by owners the King family.

The work begins on November 1 and the Alison course will be reopened to members on April 21, 2017.

Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel is one of just two five-AA Red Star golf clubs in England and the historic land on which it stands is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

It was awarded the accolade of ‘Ultimate Members Club’ at the fifth annual 59Club Service Excellence Awards, held earlier this year.

The historic course played host to the PGA Matchplay in 1910 and has a thriving golf club with around 800 active members.

For more information go to www.stokepark.com

By Dave Bowers

——————————————————————————————

London Golf Show – Beef Johnston…

Monday, September 12th, 2016
Beef Johnston & TheSocialGolfer.com

Beef Johnston & TheSocialGolfer.com

As always, we like to bring you the best from the London Golf Show each year and this time we were especially flattered that TSG were asked to the Press Junket by the organisers.

London Golf Show – Beef Johnston…

And were given the chance to meet and interview the main man right now Beef Johnston – so another feather in the TSG cap!

European Tour star Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston won his first  event in 2016 – the Spanish Open but also he won a host of new fans at this year’s show.

Having arrived at 1pm for his interview, Beef stayed way longer than anyone anticipated, staying until gone 6pm.

He spent much of his time having the obligatory ‘selfie’ with both exhibitors and visitors to the show but all with a smile on his face – this guy is the real thing!

The 27-year-old, Beef Johnston, who is based at North Middlesex Golf Club, found time to be interviewed by us, as well as holding a question-and-answer session with a dozen or so golf journalists.

beef-johnston-thesocialgolfer-com-4London Golf Show – Beef Johnston, What he said…

Commenting on his first visit to the show he said: “It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the youngsters here…you want to get as many kids involved as possible – if there are no kids coming through, then there is no future for golf.”

“They’re the most important thing, you need them to play and to develop, and they’ll fill up all the golf courses around. They’ll then get their kids involved and that’s the cycle you need. And shows like this help to get them enthusiastic about the sport and keep them interested.”

When asked why you wanted to come along to Bluewater he said “I’m just having fun here; it’s nice having fun and meeting new people. It’s great to be able to send people home with a smile on their face – that’s important to me. I love watching the golf trick-shot boys.”

“I always go home and try to hit those shots and I can’t … I can’t hit one on the volley! They’re amazing and really cool. I’ve enjoyed the whole show.”

During his visit, the Spanish Open champion also faced a series of questions on the event’s stage from youngsters who had participated in a pre-show online campaign.

One asked him if he knew how many tees he could hold in his impressive beard and the affable Londoner even allowed them to try to find out.

He wasn’t planning on going home to better the result, although he laughed: “I think I’ll wait until next year and maybe I’ll come back and we’ll have a really good go at it.”

London Golf Show – Beef Johnston – What they said about him…

beef-johnston-thesocialgolfer-com-4The organisers of the show were thrilled with his input…”Beef Johnston was incredibly generous with his time, signing autographs, posing for pictures – with stand-holders as well as visitors – and generally helping people enjoy themselves.”

“There aren’t many top sports people you can imagine who would allow kids to insert golf tees into their beard! He is such a refreshing change from the norm and his personality is a shot in the arm from which golf can only benefit!” said Simon Jones – Events Director

Follow Andrew @BEEFGOLF


By Ian Mullins