Archive for March, 2019

Golf On A Budget by Golf Escapes…

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Golf On A Budget, costa-adeje, the social golferKeeping your next golf trip affordable can sometimes be tough, so we asked TSG travel partners at Golf Escapes to write a piece for those looking for golf on a budget and how you can beat the high prices!

Golf On A Budget by Golf Escapes…

Of course, everyone wants to play the best courses and stay in the nicest hotels possible, but often, it cannot be done for the set budget.

If you can be flexible with your dates, then there are always some little periods in the year where there is a deal to be had.

So here are our top tips of when to stay and play at certain hotels and courses for the 2019/20 season.

Golf On A Budget – The Courses – Spain…

Our first visit is to Las Colinas golf course on the border of the Costa Blanca and Murcia regions.

Voted Spain’s best course 3 years in a row at the World Golf Awards, this is one that should be on everyone’s list to play.

Littered with bunkers and huge water hazards, it is a course that is very pleasant on the eye.

With little else around the course too, it is a peaceful experience, which helps as you work your way around this challenging course.

But when should you play it?

September. Las Colinas class September as their ‘low season’, even though it is a lot of regions most popular month for golfers.

They cut the prices by 25% and makes one of Europe’s best courses a very affordable round of golf.

Coming in at below £80 per person with a buggy included too, you have to include it in your itinerary for anybody staying from La Manga right up to Benidorm.

It is well worth the journey.

Next is an option for groups on a budget. Mar Menor Golf Resort in Murcia is a resort that continues to baffle everyone here at Golf Escapes, but for all the right reasons.

Golf On A Budget, the social golfer mar-menor

The resort has a 5-star hotel (4-star apartments) a good selection of bars and restaurants.

Oh, and a lovely Jack Nicklaus golf course all within ‘a stone’s throw’ of each other.

Yet the apartments are known as ‘The Residences at Mar Menor’ is one of the cheapest and best value packages available in Europe.

The resort is cheap all year round and perfect for those looking for golf on a budget.

However,  to make it even better, they class the ‘peak season’ of May as their ‘low season’.

So let’s talk numbers. 3 nights 2 rounds from £159 & 7 nights 4 rounds from £309 in May, yes May!

Not only is there a great course on site, but there are also 6 other courses that you can play for no extra cost.

And all golfers can use the free shuttle bus provided by the resort to take you there too.

We hope to see you there in May because we will be.

Golf On A Budget – The Courses – Portugal…

The next stop off is in the Eastern Algarve and we are going to talk luxury.

Not just luxury accommodation, but a golf course to match it too.

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is one of Portugals finest golf resorts, perhaps even the best.

Its huge Villas are traditional in design with modern touches throughout, making it the perfect place to relax before tackling the demanding course on site.

The Nicklaus course of Monte Rei is a Golf Escapes favourite and has to be considered a bucket list course that competes with some of the best courses in the world.

Perfectly maintained all year, stunning surroundings and a level of service you can’t imagine is why this course is so superior to many others.

Sounds expensive right?

For a resort this good, it is worth paying for, but in the prime golfing period between 1st – 14th March.

For instance, you could do 3 nights and 2 rounds (with buggies and range balls) from £359 per person!

So, I bet we can guess where you will be going next March!

Praia D’el Rey. I am sure most of you have heard of the resort north of Lisbon and most would think of it as a prestigious golf course.

That’s because it is. It has recently had a rather good addition to the resort too.

West Cliffs golf course opened 18 months ago and has quickly become one of the most ‘sort after’ courses in the country.

These two courses mixed with Royal Obidos and Bom Sucesso (all within 15 minutes of each other) makes for one of the best selections of courses to play in Europe.

However, back to the question of when to visit though…Golf On A Budget, the social golfer praia-del-rey

To be honest, we’ve cheated with this one. Go at any time.

Anywhere from April until June and from September until the end of October is when we would recommend though.

It can be a bit chillier here in the lower seasons, so nice to wait until the weather warms up, but when it does, it is a place of stunning natural beauty.

Prices at either the 5 star Marriot Praia D’el Rey Hotel or the Praia D’el Rey Village (apartments and villas) are fantastic value for money during these periods.

It is another resort that is hard to understand why it is so cheap considering the quality of golf courses.

With 4 nights and 3 rounds staying in the village starting from £245 this package would be at least double the price if the resort was based in the Algarve.

Golf Escapes really can’t applaud this resort highly enough as it is a truly unbelievable destination for the keenest of golfers.

Last but certainly not least… The Conrad Algarve.

Voted in the top 5 hotels in the Algarve on TripAdvisor, a Michelin Star restaurant and awards under its belt such as having the best spa and the best hotel suite in Europe.

The hotel is situated in the perfect location of the classy town, Quinta do Lago.

Opposite bars and restaurants and 3 world class golf courses (Quinta do Lago North, South & Laranjal) within 5 minutes, this hotel has everything to offer.

The hotel is luxury in every sense of the word and is one of the most expensive hotels in the Algarve and rightly so.

It is quite simply outstanding.

Of course, it wouldn’t be in this article if it didn’t have a sneaky period where it becomes a place where anybody can visit.

This period is from the beginning of March until the beginning of April, the perfect time of the year for golfers.

It is literally half the price in March compared to June & September.

A Golf Escape of pure quality throughout is very possible, and more than affordable in the month of March.

And if you wanted to treat yourself next year, get it booked sooner rather than later for even further discounts.

Golf On A Budget – The Courses – The Canaries…

Golf On A Budget, costa-adeje, the social golfer

Known for its steady warm temperatures all year round, making it a fantastic winter golf destination.

Get away from the rain, wind and snow in the UK for some golf in the sun.

The golf courses know this though and for that reason, their high seasons are from October through to April.

So why don’t we go there in May or September? Same weather, same golf courses, but a fraction of the price.

For example Costa Adeje Golf in Tenerife… 

If you were to play this course on the 1st of May or September, compared to the 1st of November or February you would save over £35 per round!

The same for Salobre Old Course in Gran Canaria.

You would save over £25 per round at this golf course.

These are just two examples, but similar savings are to be had at all courses in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura during the ‘summer’ months.

It seems strange to think things would be cheaper at these times of the year, but it really is the case, we promise.

When you think of a good time of year to play golf abroad, most people would say April, May & September give you the full package.

Sun, but not too hot and also not paying the high hotel prices that June, July and August bring.

Golf On A Budget – The Courses – Greece…

Nestled right in the centre of Paphos new town is the Dionysos Hotel and this property offers unbelievable prices for those looking for golf on a budget and especially in April.

Peak golf season and with average temperatures 21°, this has to be the perfect opportunity to visit such a fantastic golf destination.

Golf On A Budget, the social golfer dionysos

The 3-star hotel in a perfect location is £20 per person, per night cheaper in April that it is in September!

This hotel paired with the fabulous courses the island has to offer.

Aphrodite Hills, Secret Valley, Elea and Minthis make for the perfect golfing getaway for couples and groups alike.

They very much look forward to welcoming you in the most wonderful Cypriot manor.


We hope this might have helped plan your holiday for this year and next.

Be as flexible as possible with your dates and you never know what deals might just be a few days away from the dates you were first thinking.

By Stuart Ridley

 

 

Golf in The City: Golf Singapore…

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Golf in the city - Golf Singapore - The Social Golfer v3

In a new series of articles, this month sees Scottish Bob turns his attention to explore golf in the city with the first focus on the south-east Asian in ‘Golf Singapore!’

Over to Bob…


Golf Singapore – The City…

So in a change to the usual focus on just one golf club per feature, I am starting this collection with the beautiful country (and city) of Singapore.

Singapore  is made up of a number of islands with the city being the largest island in the country as well as being the capital

There are a few of the smaller islands including Sentosa, Palau, Ubin, Palua Semakau, Sisters island plus few more.

All these islands can all be reached from the mainland by boat or ferry.

Golf has had a big influence in Singapore for over one hundred years starting with the founding of the Singapore Golf Club on the 17th of June 1891, and many clubs were formed shortly after.

However, while researching this article, I came across some interesting facts and figures which made me think…

Singapore Island is approx. 721sq kilometres and whilst land is at a premium.

The City now has 19 golf courses, including some of the most beautiful and interesting courses you could wish to play.

Most of these golf courses are approx. just around half an hour’s drive from one another.

The changing face of golf in Singapore could affect other golf clubs in towns & cities around the world too.

With a population of just under six and a half million people, there are approx only 36k golfers in the country which is less than 1% of the population.

Golf in the city - Golf Singapore - RafflesThis beautiful city of Singapore is a bustling & exciting city to live in.

Golf Singapore – The Clubs…

Unfortunately the Jurong Country Club which was founded in the early 70s was the first to close its doors on 31st of December 2016.

Alas, with over 40 years of history and fond memories, this beautiful Country Club was renowned for its hospitality and friendliness to all who came to play golf there.

The Raffles Country Club which only opened in 1988 and was one of Singapore’s oldest clubs, closed on 31 July 2018 soon due to the new High-Speed rail link project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

This project has seen the acquisition of the entire Raffles Country Club.

However, I am glad to say that the Famous Raffles Hotel which was established in 1887 by Armenian Hoteliers, the Sarkies Brothers, and named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles the founder of Singapore is still operating.

New refurbished, the hotel will reopen sometime in 2019 after major renovations, needless to say, you will still be able to enjoy the famous Singapore Sling which is widely regarded as the national drink of the country.

The drink was created by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915, and I must admit I had the pleasure of indulging myself with one in 2011 and most enjoyable it was.

Rumours have it that by 2021 The Keppel Golf club with over 100 years of golfing history may also be gone.

But with other golf clubs like The Beautiful Tanah Merah Country Club and The Singapore Golf & Country Club also due to lose some of their prime lands, its a tough time for golf in Singapore.

Golf in The City –  The Future…

It is sad to say that both time and people’s attitudes are changing.

Some of the people are no longer in favour of the sport being played by an exclusive group, using so much land.

And sadly, while I am sorry to see the closure of these wonderful golf courses, I fully understand the reason why it had to happen.

There are still quite a good number of beautiful & prestigious golf courses open for business in Singapore though.

These include Sentosa Islands Serapong Course, which was ranked at 79th among the World’s greatest golf courses by Golf Digest 2018.

There is also The Singapore Island golf clubs “New Course”, The Laguna Nationals “Masters” & “Championships” courses.

The golf course – I was going to feature in this article –  The Changi Golf Course with plenty of its own history is only 5 kilometres from the infamous Changi Prison.

The institution still remains open today and would be well known to many allied soldiers, but that will require a whole new article!

that is a story for another day.

I hate to say it but Its “Bye Bye Birdie” from me and sorry to say from many of these golf courses.


Til Next Time…

Scottish Bob - TheSocialGolfer.com

Scottish Bob
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Begin playing golf – FIVE reasons to start in 2019…

Friday, March 8th, 2019

begin playing golfGolf is one of the oldest sports out there, yet a ton of people have a hard time with it because of the steep learning curve but why should you begin playing golf?

However, you can’t just pick up a set of clubs, head out on the course and shoot ‘Par’ on the day.

But there are some important upsides to the practice of golf.

So, for all of you out there who are looking into doing something different this summer, golf might just be the solution for you.

Here are five reasons why you begin playing golf in 2019:

Begin playing golf – 1. The great outdoors…

One of the major perks of golfing is enjoying the scenery and the sun beaming down on the luscious grass.

This winter was rough on everyone and there is no better way to fully take in the gorgeous weather than going out there.

Even on a bad day on the fairways, you can rejoice in the fact that you are breathing in some fresh air while taking in the best that mother nature has to offer.

You can opt for the fast cart ride to make your round a short and sweet one. But you can also go the healthy way and march the length of the course to admire your surroundings.

Begin playing golf – 2. Perfect for a healthy lifestyle…

But there are more than visual benefits to walking the course.

You also get a great deal of physical activity when you choose to go cartless for your 18 holes.

The average golfer will walk a total of 6 miles (9.6 kilometres!!) when they decide to leave the cart at the clubhouse.

But for our cart friends, do not despair, you can also get a good workout from using your explosive hip movement when striking the ball.

An 18-hole round will take 4-5 hours, but it will also become a great way to get some decent active time for your body and your mind.

begin playing golfBegin playing golf – 3. Fun for the whole family…

When you begin playing golf, one of the greatest perks of golf is that it can be played by everyone.

Golfers of all ages are welcome to most golf clubs allowing for a superb family activity on weekends.

Most of all getting started early is the key to becoming successful in golf. Starting early with the family will ensure a prosperous development through the years.

Best of all, you can find some pre-owned golf clubs in order to set up everyone’s equipment for a reasonable budget.

Begin playing golf – 4. Top of the chain equipment…

Talking about golf equipment, one of the greatest perks of golf is to use the newest and keep up to date with the most revolutionary technologies.

Technologies like adjustment weights twist face and the speed injected face have all revolutionized the sport in the last few years.

These innovations were created with the idea of helping golfers get into the game and make better contact on the ball.

It is the perfect time for you to get into the sport and take advantage of the best clubs in the world.

Begin playing golf – 5. Stay safe…

One of the most underrated advantages of golf is the conservation of the mind and the body.

Most physical team sports will expose the body to head trauma and possible severe physical injuries.

But golf will almost entirely shelter you from those dangers.

Of course, injuries are not entirely avoidable.

But if you make sure to stretch out properly, as you should always do before going out on the field, you will most likely never experience any pain from the sport.

As for head trauma, simply make sure to look out while you are on the course and open your ears to the “FORE!” calls of other golfers.

Finally, the only real enemy you’ll have on the course will be the sun.

Make sure to apply a good amount of sunscreen before heading out for the weekly round.

Begin playing golf – And finally…

Hopefully, this has convinced you to pick up the great sport that is golf.

It is the ultimate sport for the summer as you get to enjoy the beautiful weather.

You can also keep the legs fresh while walking around on the course.

Moreover, it is a great opportunity to bring the whole family together for an afternoon activity.

Finally, you get to benefit from the best engineering in the world while having the peace of mind that you are not slowly grinding your health away.

 

By Ian Mullins