Perfect your putting somewhere different this year with one of these top golf options
1. CHILL OUT AT LA CALA
La Cala Resort is a 1,000 acre estate between the mountains and the Med on the Costa del Sol, 20 minutes from Marbella, with no less than three 18-hole golf courses and a five-star hotel. There’s an Irish connection too – insurer FBD is behind it. Stay four nights, and play three rounds of golf, from €269 with Skytours Golf.
Skytours Golf, 40 Baggot St Lr, Dublin 2. tel: 01-5543642, skytoursgolf.com
2. OLD WORLD CHARM AT ST ANDREWS
On the Conde Nast Gold List this one, the Old Course Hotel sits above St Andrews famous championship course The Duke’s, in Scotland. A night’s accommodation in the hotel, which has a terrific spa, plus breakfast and a round of golf, costs from £285 (€354) per room, based on two sharing.
The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Scotland, tel: 00 44-1334474371, oldcoursehotel.co.uk.
3. MANOR BORN AT ST PIERCE PARK
Still in the UK, St Pierre Park is a 14th century manor house, now a hotel and country club, on 400 acres of picturesque parkland in the rolling hills of south Wales. Its Old Course, which occupies a former deer park, has hosted the British Masters a number of times.
There’s a shorter second course too, the Mathern. Superbreak.comhas golf packages here from £122.50 (€150) pps including two rounds of golf.
St Pierre Park, Chepstown, Monmouuthshire, Wales, tel: 0044-1291635205, marriott.co.uk.
4. TOP-CLASS CLINIC AT SALGADOS
Topflight can tailor a group golf clinic in the Algarve for you and your buddies, staying at the Salgados Grande Hotel & Spa, a five-star property on the Algarve. The package includes flights, transfers, five night's B&B, your very own golf pro to go with you around the Salgados and nearby Morgado courses. Departing 12th September, prices start at €1069.
Topflight, Jervis Hse. Jervis st. Dublin 1. tel: 01-2401784, topflight.ie
5. FESTIVAL FUN IN TAVIRA
Portugal is synonymous with golf for Irish holiday makers and the East Algarve Golf Festival takes place from 1st to 8th December this year. Cassidy Golf's package includes seven nights in the Hotel Vila Gale Tavira with rounds at Benamor, Castro Marim, Quinta da Ria, Quinta do Vale and Monte Rei golf clubs, including apres golf events and car rental, for just €615, excluding flights.
Cassidy Golf, Liffey St, Dublin 1. tel: 01-8725000, cassidygolf.ie.
6. IDEAL BREAK IN BELOURA
Still in Portugal, the Pestana Sintra Golf Resort & Spa is a four-star property in Quinta da Beloura, with an 18-hole golf course plus spa, indoor and outdoor pools and tennis courts, a few minutes' drive from Estoril and Cascais. Book by June 30th and you can stay three nights, with two rounds of golf at Beloura, in September and October, for €175 pps, excluding flights.
Golf Holidays, 11 North Frederick St., D1.
tel: 01-8746443, golfholidays.ie.
7. SAMPLE SUPERB STEENBERG
The stunning Steenberg Golf Estate in South Africa is a 20-minute drive from Cape Town, but a world away from city life. One of the top golf resorts in the world, it has two-night golf and pamper packages, staying in the five-star heritage hotel, including a cellar tour on the adjoining winery, from 3155 ZAR (€304) pps B&B. The rate includes a round of golf and one dinner.
Steenberg Estate, Cape Town, South Africa, tel: 00-27-21-7132222, steenberghotel.com.
8. GO FOR IT AT GLENEAGLES
Kingsbarns - a traditional links course along two miles of spectacular coastline - and Scotland's golfing Mecca Gleneagles, have teamed up to offer short breaks. Stay at Gleneagles, playing a round on its PGA Centenary, King's or Queeen's courses, plus a round at Kingsbarns from £427 (€533) per person, per night. Stay three nights for more golf, for £875 (€1092).
The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland. tel: 0044- 1764662231, gleneagles.com.
9. OPEN TEST AT TORREY PINES
The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a luxury hotel and golf resort in San Diego perched on the cliffs above the Torrey Pines State Beach. It also sits right on the 18th hole of the Torrey Pines Golf Course, site of the 2008 US Open. The hotel is currently offering a free round of golf with three night stays from $399 (€312) per night.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla, Californa. tel: 00 1-858-4534420, lodgetorreypines.com
10. SEE RYDER CUP ACTION AT MEDINAH
This year's Ryder Cup takes place at the Medinah Country Club in Chicago in late September. Sky Tours Golf has packages that can get you there, with tickets and five nights accommodation, from €1640, excluding flights. They can arrange for you to play at nearby Cog Hill if you fancy that too, for an extra €660 per person for three nights accommodation and three rounds of golf.
Sky Tours Golf, Dublin. tel 01-6856566, skytoursgolf.com. - SO'C