A Spanish Golf Holiday to beat the winter blues

November 6th, 2013

The fantastic summer of 2013 is now a distant memory and, with the passing of the shortest Autumn ever, we now seem to be witnessing the early onset of Winter. A winter which the Met Office are forecasting will be cold and harsh. Lovely!

So it’s time to draw the chair closer to the fire, power up the laptop and start to plan a few great golf holidays in the sun with PackYourClubs.com.

But where best to go for that winter golf holiday?

The two obvious choices for winter sun golf holidays are of course Portugal and Spain. There is a fantastic range of golf holiday accommodation in Portugal and an equally impressive range of self catering golf apartments and golf villas on offer in Spain. Plus both offer a superb range of holiday golf courses.

How to choose between them?

There is much talk of how the travails of the Portuguese economy have forced the hotels, bars and golf courses on the Algarve to reduce their prices to attract customers and personal experience proves this to be true with some excellent bargains to be had on golf holidays in Portugal (outside of Vilamoura which is always busy and where a game of golf will still cost you €90!).

However, what I fancy this winter is a Spanish golf holiday and, specifically, a golf holiday on the Costa del Sol.

The Costa del Sol has a range of self catering golf holiday accommodation to suit any requirement (ranging from cheap golf apartments to green side luxury golf villas), plus there are top quality holiday golf courses to rival any in Portugal and the après golf is just that bit more varied and that bit cheaper.

So, after a brief consultation with my fellow golfer, it was decided – a Costa del Sol golf holiday for us this winter…

Finding the right golf holiday accommodation was easy, PackYourClubs offers a wide range of golf villas on the Costa del Sol and a decision was quickly made (very reasonably priced it was too).

Getting there is easy, British Airways, Easyjet and a host of others offer cheap flights to Malaga and the hire car was arranged direct with Malaga Car (good price, a good car and pleasant service – but I’ve since heard others complaining of bad service!).

As for the golf, we’ll La Cala Golf Resort is a perennial favourite on any golf holiday – a choice of three great quality, reasonably priced holiday golf courses and a fantastic clubhouse offering good views, cold beer and lovely food. Our other choices were the beautiful golf course at the Santana Golf & Country Club and of course Mijas Golf Club (another beauty of a golf course).

I’m looking forward to it already – a comfortable golf holiday villa, superb golf courses, good company, great off-course fun and sun on your back into the bargain. What winter blues?

Murcia, the perfect golf holiday antidote to the English Winter

September 18th, 2013

Murcia, forming part of the Spanish ‘Costa Calida’ (or ‘Warm Coast’), is a beautiful region stretching down along the Mediterranean coast one hour south of Alicante.

Sheltered by the magnificent Sierra del Puerto mountains and tempered by the warmth of the Mediterranean Murcia has its own ‘micro climate’. Here you can expect an average of 320 days of sunshine per annum with an average winter temperature of 15c, plus of course clear blue skies.

All easily accessible from UK airports with flight times of a little over 2 hours.

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… not really a surprise then that Murcia is the most popular destination for golf holidays in the whole of Spain.

Currently the Murcia golf region boasts sixteen luxury golf holiday resorts including world famous names like Roda, Hacienda del Alamo and the Jack Nicklaus Polaris Resort courses at La Torre, El Valle, Mar Menor and Hacienda Riquelme plus the Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature’ Course at Alhama.

The majority of these resorts follow the same guiding principles – one or more high quality golf courses built as the focal point of a self-contained holiday resort, typically offering a huge range of golf holiday accommodation from golf holiday apartments to luxury green side golf holiday villas, plus swimming pools, tennis courts, cycling routes, shops and of course, multiple bars and restaurants.

So a fantastic destination for a family holiday with something for everyone and, of course, a round or two of golf, or the centre for a 100% focused golf break with friends.

Where to Stay? The range of golf holiday accommodation in Murcia is simply enormous but, whatever your requirement, from a cheap golf holiday apartment for a golf break on Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort up to a luxury front line golf villa on El Valle Golf Resort, you can find a fantastic selection at the golf villa holiday rental specialist PackYourClubs.com

So, in summary, backdrop of beautiful mountains, looking out across the azure blue Mediterranean, huge range of golf holiday accommodation, fantastic golf courses, 320 days of sunshine, and only 2 hours from the UK. What’s not to like?

The worst spring golf weather ever?

June 12th, 2013

It’s not just me. I haven’t suddenly sunk into a state incapable of appreciating the wonders and goodness of the world, but it’s official, the weather so far this year in the UK has been terrible for golf (and BBQs, but that’s another story).

According to the MET Office (they who can be trusted on counting and measuring, just not forecasting) the average monthly temperatures year to date have scaled the majestic heights of, wait for it…:

January 3.3C

February 2.8C

March 2.5C

April 6.6C

May 10.1C

June 12.8C

Whoopee. There you have it, March colder than either January or February (apparently the coldest March in 50 years!) cruising into a veritably chilly May and June. I know, I know, you’re still wearing your winter golf gear in June.

So, what’s to be done? Well a golf holiday to sunnier climes of course.

France, Portugal and Spain have all seen spring and early summer weather which is simply perfect for golf holidays. Warm, sunny days, manicured golf courses and friendly staff to welcome the stick white legs of most English golfer (perhaps we should pay more attention to the sartorial look we convey before bearing our legs to tanned Mediterranean types).

So, congratulations to those canny golfers who took advantage of the excellent golf holiday accommodation offers at PackYourClubs this spring. Having avoided the cold, damp UK spring and you can gloat to your compatriots about the fantastic time you had, but just remember to spread the word about the excellent range of golf holiday accommodation available at PackYourClubs.

And now for the advertising – PackYourClubs.com, the golf holiday accommodation specialist, offer a superb range of golf holiday accommodation at ‘direct from the owner’ prices. Holiday accommodation including Luxury Frontline Golf Villas on the fantastic Monte Rei Golf Course in the hills above Tavira, golf holiday apartments on Vila Sol Golf Resort or Vale do Lobo with the nightlife of Vilamoura within easy reach.

So for a cheap golf holiday in Portugal look no further than PackYourClubs.com

Time for an Algarve Golf Holiday?

January 19th, 2013

How much golf have you played since early December?

Not a lot is my guess!!

First the rain, then the frozen greens and now we have the snow!

Is it not time to pack your bags for a golf holiday on the Algarve?

Surely a little sun on your back as you stroll across the green acres of an Algarve golf course is exactly what’s required.

Algarve Golf holidays offer everything you could wish for in a golf break – sunshine, friendly people, good food, miles of beaches and some of the best golf courses in the world; and all this at under 3 hour flight time from the UK.

And the best bit? PackYourClubs.com, the golf holiday accommodation specialist, offer a superb range of Algarve golf holiday accommodation at ‘direct from the owner’ prices. Holiday accommodation including Luxury Frontline Golf Villas on the fantastic Monte Rei Golf Course in the hills above Tavira, golf holiday apartments on Vila Sol Golf Resort or Vale do Lobo with the nightlife of Vilamoura within easy reach.

So for a cheap golf holiday in Portugal look no further than PackYourClubs.com

The Algarve for Golf Holidays

The Algarve, although only 90 miles long, offers year round sunshine, beautiful beaches, still active fishing villages, history and charm, plus some of the most iconic golf courses in the world.

Traditionally when golfers talk of the Algarve they really mean the Central Algarve, the area from Faro (and the airport) towards Lagos in the West. This is where Sir Henry Cotton started the trend with the development of his masterpiece, the Penina Championship Golf Resort, but the trend continues to this day with more recent additions of Vale Do Lobo, twice the host of the Portugese Open, San Lorenzo, voted No. 2 in Europe, Vila Sol Golf resort, two times venue for the Portugese Open plus the simply superb Oceanico Amendoeira Golf Resort offering the fantastic Christy O’Connor designed ‘Lakes’ course plus the equally stunning Nick Faldo designed ‘Hills’ course.

However, the Central Algarve is now seeing its title of ‘Golf Holiday Central’ being challenged by its previously less known sibling, the Eastern Algarve (from Faro to the Spanish border in the east). Here you will find a much more laid back holiday environment. The beautiful historic town of Tavira, the original capital of the Algarve, dozens of small fishing villages offering fantastic food and wine at prices often half of those generally found in the rest of the Algarve, a beach, arguably one of the best in Europe stretching all the way to the Spanish Border, plus some fantastic golf courses – the lovely coastal courses of Benamor, Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima are complemented by the fantastic Castro Marim and Costa Esuri Golf Club (technically across the bridge into Spain!), but the crowning glory has to be the superb Monte Rei Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus designed ‘signature’ course set in the hills behind Tavira.
Eastern Algarve or Central Algarve? They each offer a different feel, a different holiday, but both offer sunshine, beaches, nightlife plus of course a superb range of golf courses. All of which, combined with our cold, wet weather, makes Algarve golf holidays so appealing!

See Tom Lewis defend Portugal Masters Golf title at Vilamoura Oct 2012

August 7th, 2012

Never heard of Tom Lewis? Shame on you!

Tom Lewis is one of the rising shining stars of English professional golf.

Born in 1991 and hailing from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, Tom rose to prominence by winning the Boys Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s in 2009.

Retaining his amateur status, 2010 saw Tom lose in a play-off to Peter O’Malley for the New South Wales Open and come 12th at the Australian Open. Then 2011 saw him win the St Andrews Links Trophy and shoot an impressive five under par 65 at the Open Championship at Royal St George’s (the lowest single round score by an amateur in Open championship history !).

Turning professional in September 2011, Tom finished 10th at the Australian Open and, only one month later, we watched Tom Lewis steady himself after day 1 and shoot an impressive 70, 64, 68, 65 to win the Portugal Masters at the Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Algarve. Not bad from the 20 year old Englishman.

And now we’re here again. Tom will be defending his title at the Portugal Masters at the Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Algarve from 11 – 14 October 2012.

For those of you who have never been to a European Tour championship I can say they are relaxed events. For only €15 you get the opportunity to stroll along in the sunshine watching top class golfers at close range, listening to them discuss the shot with their caddy and seeing their reactions (unlike the typical UK golf event where, having paid £60, you are kept so far back from the action that you end up watching it on the big screens in the refreshment area! ).

So, why not plan your escape from the horrible non-event of the 2012 English summer by booking a golf villa in Vilamoura for a few days, or a week, in mid-October with a view to relaxing in the sunshine (still usually 20c in October), getting a few games of golf in on one or more of the superb Algarve golf courses followed perchance by a plate of grilled sea bass and salad washed down with a cold, refreshing beer or two.  Happy daysJ

PackYourClubs.com has the best selection of golf holiday villas in the Vilamoura area – golf apartments, golf villas, all manner of golf holiday accommodation available for 3, 4, 5, 7 day or more rentals.

Tickets for the Portugal Maters Golf Championship can be purchased from the European Tour website.

20% Off Spanish Golf Holidays

May 23rd, 2012

While the Euro crisis marches on with steadfast resolution towards its destiny with the cliff you’re left with two thoughts:

1/  Thank god that we didn’t sign up for the Euro.

2/  Whoopee 20% of Spanish golf holidays :)

I know that being cheered by the thought of cheap Spanish golf holidays (or Portuguese golf holidays come to that) is not politically correct, but there has to be some silver lining to the misery created by the Euro crisis, and it seems that a Sterling Euro exchange rate of 1.25 is such an event.

Not two years ago the exchange rate was near 1 for 1. Now with the Euro cheaper it means everything from golf holiday villas to golf green fees to food, beer and wine is 20% cheaper.

So, before the Euro crisis is resolved and before the next Sterling crisis arrives, get one or more golf holidays in Spain on the go. Go on, you know you deserve it…

PackYourClubs has a fantastic range of Spanish Golf holiday accommodation, golf apartments in Murcia, golf villas on the Costa del Sol all perfect for Spanish golf holidays.

No meerkat needed to find discount golf holidays on the Costa del Sol

May 3rd, 2012

You don’t need to be a meerkat to get a cheap golf holiday on the Costa del Sol, just check out the golf holiday accommodation at PackYourClubs.com. Golf villas and golf apartments, on the golf resort or in the beach resort – we’ve got the lot. And, meerkats look away, they’re all available at ‘direct’ prices. No commissions or booking fee from us, just a great selection of Costa del Sol golf holiday accommodation.

If you want to know a bit more about what the Costa del Sol has to offer for golf holidays check out the Costa del Sol Holiday Guide at PackYourClubs.com.

If you already know the Costa del Sol as a golf holiday destination and want to find the golf villa which is perfect for you then check out the list of Costa del Sol Golf Holiday Rentals at PackYourClubs.com.

And, as if that wasn’t enough. There’s even the chance of last minute Golf Holiday Special Offers to be had, but get them soon before the school holidays booking season starts and the prices rise with the temperature!

Bargain golf holidays in Spain and Portugal

April 27th, 2012

Reading the latest on the European debt crisis has left me pondering what next! We’re creeping (slowly) out of the bog but Spain is back in recession with a staggering 50% of under 25s unemployed and Portugal is also struggling.

So you start to think about how you can help, and it’s obvious. You need to book a golf holiday in Portugal, a golf holiday in Spain or perhaps a golf holiday to both Portugal and Spain. Genius…

But, whilst smugly congratulating yourself on your ingenious solution to help your fellow Europeans – you get a golf holiday whilst redistributing some of your money to those in need – you suddenly remember that you’re not exactly flush with cash yourself! What a bummer, and it was such a great idea.

Then your brain kicks in again and you think – If I could get a Special Offer on Golf Holiday Accommodation ie a golf holiday which doesn’t cost a fortune then it all works again.

A quick check of the Golf Special Offers at PackYourClubs shows a golf apartment for six people near Benamor Golf Club, Algarve on offer for £250 for the week, a three bedroom frontline golf villa on Bonalba golf and spa resort, Spain for €495 and others.

So, £40 – £60 per person for a week in your own golf apartment or golf villa. Unbeatable value!! Check out  the deals for yourself at PackYourClubs Golf Special Offers (and then book some…)

Golf holiday in Vilamoura: Packyourclubs or not Packyourclubs?

April 3rd, 2012

Whilst once again trying to get blood to flow to my extremities following a game of golf on a very cold January day in England the suggestion of a short golf holiday in Portugal was vaguely muted, quickly seconded and then unanimously agreed.

Having been voted in as the golf holiday organiser via an almost unanimous count (I voted against!) I began to consider the options.

I quickly settled on the Vilamoura area of the Algarve as the range of golf villa holiday accommodation around Vilamoura available at PackYourClubs.com was simply fantastic (plus there were several Golf Holiday Accommodation Special Offers available – always an attraction…).

With the golf villa rental sorted the next step was to book the flights.

Faro airport is well served by scheduled flights from Gatwick so the flights were easy (or should I say easyjet?) but then the first problem – an additional £50 per person for taking our clubs! Extortionate!

But wait, don’t ClubsToHire have an outlet in Faro Airport? Yes indeed they do. So no carrying golf clubs for me, a few clicks of the keyboard and I had arranged for a nice set of Taylormade R11s to be waiting for me on my arrival at Faro Airport. Both easier and cheaper than lugging my own clubs to the Algarve – result :)

Now, where to play?

We’d all heard great things about the golf courses at Quinta do Lago where all three courses receive rave reviews (North, South and the new Laranjal course) and a local agent called Peter Lester Golf offered a good discount package on the golf tee times.

Plus, Peter Lester himself is a PGA teaching professional. So, to round off the trip we organised a golf swing tune up whilst in the sun.

So, how did it all go?

Well, the first bit of the plan (jetting off, away from the cold and into the sun) didn’t work quite as expected as we left an unseasonably sunny England basking in 20C temperatures and flew 1,500 miles to a sunny Vilamoura basking in temperatures of 20C. Ce la vie!

However, all else was perfect. Golf clubs collected from a smiling lady at Clubstohire at Faro Airport in under two minutes, golf holiday accommodation fantastic, Laranjal Golf Course probably the prettiest and best golf course I’ve ever played, Quinta do Lago South Course also impressive (but round a little slow) and golf lessons with Peter Lester great and very beneficial (I know I said we wanted a golf swing tune up, but if I’m being honest I needed a lesson not a tune up!).

Plus, to cap it all, we even found a local Portuguese restaurant on the road behind Vila Sol Golf Course where grilled sea bass, potatoes and salad cost €9 and a large beer cost €1.80 (less than half the price charged on the resorts). Happy days…

So, great golf holiday in Portugal but here’s the conundrum: golf holiday accommodation in Vilamoura from PackYourClubs but golf club hire at Faro airport from Clubstohire.

So, is the answer PackYourClubs or Not-PackYourClubs?

Answers on a postcard please.

Volvo World Matchplay at Finca Cortesin Golf Club 2012

March 26th, 2012

Matchplay has got to be the best competition format for spectators in golf.  Mano-a-mano, watching the battle sway back and forth, shot by shot, hole by hole until the victor emerges (in anything from 2 – 5 hours!).

It is fantastic to watch, to be able to pick a match and then follow those specific players around the course in the sunshine, watching their personal battle against each other unfold until the war is over and the victor emerges is simply heaven.

And, luckily for us, the Volvo World Matchplay at Finca Cortesin Golf Club on the Costa del Sol is back for 2012 on 17th to 20th May.

For those of you not familiar with the Costa del Sol, where have you been! This region of Southern Spain offers over 120 golf courses, all but perfect year round weather and breath-taking scenery. As a consequence it is recognised as one of Europe’s most popular golf holiday destinations.

And just South of Marbella you’ll find Finca Cortesin, one of the best golf courses in the world. This 18 hole championship course was designed by Cabell Robinson and is a massive  7,442 yards off the back tees. But it’s not just long. meandering through rugged coastal terrain with huge variations in elevation, each hole provides breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and Estepona Mountains. This is a superb course.

You can of course watch the Volvo World Matchplay 2012 on the TV, but believe me nothing compares to combining a few days on a Spanish golf course with a few days watching the best players in the world fight it out for the World Matchplay crown.

Last year Ian Poulter seem to deny probability to come from behind in every round to win a nail biting final against Luke Donald. The field isn’t announced yet (it’s invitation only based on world ranking) but it will inevitably contain the current top 12 with the remaining 12 places arguably still up for grabs with a few extra world ranking points.

This will be a fantastic spectator event. Don’t miss out.

See PackYourClubs for a superb range of golf holiday accommodation on the Costa del Sol, golf apartments, golf villas and other golf accommodation for rental. Then book your tickets and add a few rounds of golf for yourself. What a way to get into the swing of summer.

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