Golf Travel Advisor: Caribbean golf in the Bahamas

When I went to the Bahamas years ago, I wasn’t after golf or lush green fairways. I wanted to sit by the pool, on the beach, have some tropical drinks and enjoy the sun. And I did exactly that.

There are however many more activities you can go for in the Bahamas and all of them excel even in combination with each other. The facilities are there, the weather is mostly picture perfect and what could be better than outdoor sports in this environment?!… Exactly, nothing.

While there is an abundance of water sports activities possible here on the islands, there is golf, too. And as you are most likely interested in golf, let me break down some must do’s when it comes to golfing in the Bahamas.

Point taken, the clubs are private to a certain degree and there might be some restrictions to get on and play a round, but sometimes this is no problem depending on the day of the week, the time of the day or the hotel you are staying at. So there’s still the chance to play some exquisite golf, you won’t be disappointed at all.

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With golfers in mind: Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel

One great golf trip almost guaranteed, if you happen to start it right. And that includes deciding for the best accommodation that caters all your needs as traveler, golfer and hedonist human being.

While the Castillo Hotel Son Vida could be described as the Grande Dame of the up-market community of Son Vida, 10 minutes outside of Palma, the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella, just a stone’s throw away from the Castillo on the other hand is the young, dynamic little sister.

It boasts a modern vibe, fresh design and contemporary facilities – together with a direct access to one of the most attractive golf courses of the island. So it’s arguably a good package, one that seems to tick all boxes. Is it true though?

Traveling to Mallorca is always a good decision. It’s even more advisable if you are not only interested in sun bathing and the general primrose path the island is offering but even more when you want to include some sports and wellness activities into your daily diary.

As the Castillo Hotel Son Vida is known for the sheer luxury of a golf hotel, the Sheraton is known to be a 5-star hotel complex, designed around the needs and requests from golfers, just in a younger package.

That starts with direct access to the Son Vida club but it luckily doesn’t end there. Depending on the package you book (there are now non-golfer packages as well for those who are after a holiday retreat but are not (yet) golfers) you have included full access to the different courses, to the training facilities, to the frequent shuttle bus and of course to all hotel amenities which there are plentiful.

Continue reading With golfers in mind: Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel

New Golficiency Service: The Golf Travel Advisor

This is the beginning of a new category of articles and posts which will, quite irregular to start with, surface here on Golficiency.

Over the years of golf travel and golf travel preparation, I was a keen collector of travel ideas and hence created quite a substantial golf bucket list. It grew longer and longer. So long that it’s easy to snip here and there and build a neat little golf trip around it.

As my list consists of international courses of all sorts, it should be relevant and interesting for a broad spectrum of golf enthusiasts, just like you!

I traveled for golf and I traveled with golf — and I’m sure you appreciate as well some well investigated golf course, travel and suitable accomodation information to have you all prepared for a great golf break with your partner, your mates or your family.

Could there be anything better than golf travel; get around the world, see new places, meet new people, play the best golf courses and stay at fantastic hotels and resorts? … See, there you have it! Nothing beats a great golf trip. Well, almost nothing.

Stay tuned for some great articles coming your way. Make sure to follow Golficiency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to not miss a thing.

The grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses: Golf Son Vida

As the weather turns colder and more miserable outside here in Central Europe, it fills me with great memories of late 2019, when I played golf during winter, which in Mallorca feels nothing but great with its blue skies and very pleasant and moderate temperatures.

At the same time it gives me a heavy heart as so much happened during the past months which did not turn well for golf in the Balearics or for the lovely islands in general. Of course I’m relating to the COVID-19 lockdown and all the unfortunate consequences that come with it.

This is a travel and course report of the better times when playing golf was an obvious thing to do in good weather and when every chance to play such a course is an absolute must.

Mallorca is a golf mekka, I don’t break this to you I’m sure. On this rather small island there are not less than 24 golf courses and the vast majority of them are publicly available to play.

The oldest, since 1964, and maybe hence the most original course of the island is Golf Son Vida, meandering around the famous Castillo Son Vida Hotel and through the posh and sophisticated Son Vida urbanizacion, just 10 minutes outside of Palma.

Nowadays Mallorca is famous as a golf destination all across Europe, if not the world — and it all started with Son Vida, the grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses.

Continue reading The grand dame of Mallorcan golf courses: Golf Son Vida

A golf hotel with rich history: Castillo Hotel Son Vida Mallorca

To be pretty clear upfront, I had a great time in Mallorca, couple of months ago. Playing golf in beautiful sunshine in the middle of the European winter, having great company with like-minded people – what else could you ask for?

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Well, you could want to live like a king while you are there? Exaggerated? Yes of course, but understandable at the same time.

Golf in Mallorca is a feast for the senses. People playing golf here are hedonists, longing for joy, fun, elegance and pleasure. And they get exactly that. The golf courses in the region cater for exactly those people, offering great golf and at the same time great amenities, great food and service.

Imagine you could play like a king, eat like a king and sleep like a king! Sounds promising? Then you should maybe consider the Castillo Hotel Son Vida Mallorca as one of your next golf trip destinations. Not only are the courses top-notch, the hotel seriously screams superiority, classiness and luxury. No wonder the hotel is part of the prestigious “Luxury Collection“, a sub brand of hotels that really live up to utmost luxurious requirements.

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The Castillo Hotel is run by the Marriott hotel group, sits on top of a mountain in the Urbanización Son Vida, the famous neighborhood of stately mansions, overlooking Palma and the bay.

Continue reading A golf hotel with rich history: Castillo Hotel Son Vida Mallorca

Night golf at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai

I’ve been to Dubai couple of times, always enjoyed it very much, did a lot of touristy things, did a lot of expat things, played a lot of golf—but what I didn’t do for some reason is night golf: golfing under floodlights.

See Iona Stephen in this Golfing World video teeing it off at the Faldo Course at the Emirates Golf Club Dubai to get some impression how that looks like. As I haven’t experienced this myself, it’s hard to assess how the actual feeling might be, whether it’s such a different game that it’s not real golf anymore. Watching the video, it does look like proper golf and I’m intrigued to check it out myself soon.

Continue reading Night golf at Emirates Golf Club, Dubai

Two beautiful rounds at Mallorca’s Golf Son Muntaner

Two rounds of golf at a fantastic Mediterranean venue, in such a beautiful spot in the world. What else could you ask for. Is it worth it though?

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The island of Mallorca has always been close to my heart. Not that I spent most of my holidays here, but when I first set foot on this island many years ago, I fell in love with the interesting complexity of it which seems to get forgotten sometimes when you read about Mallorca and its annual struggle to cope with the sheer amount of tourists coming here.

It’s an obvious beautiful island but also looking a bit deeper, it reveals so many great things, so beautiful spots, so tranquil places, so utterly fantastic stuff which stay more or less uncovered if you’d just spend a beach summer break or something alike there.

Cyclists know why Mallorca is special and golfers do, too.

Continue reading Two beautiful rounds at Mallorca’s Golf Son Muntaner

Adjustments to the 2020 golf plan necessary

With the year 2020 becoming more and more strange, this all is going differently than planned. Early May will be the first possibility to hit some balls and if all things go alright and there is no second COVID-wave coming our way the season will be shortened quite drastically anyway and requires some adjustments to the travel and game plan of 2020.

Courses I most definitely want to play this year in my area:

  • Frankfurt
  • Main-Taunus
  • Lich
  • Hanau
  • Hof Hausen
  • Mainz

In addition some others a bit farther away:

  • St. Leon-Rot
  • Mannheim-Viernheim
  • Stuttgart Solitude
  • Ulm

Originally I had some others on the list, some in Munich, a trip to Hamburg, another one to Berlin, one to Weimar or to the south-west of Germany.

Also, the original plan had open slots for travel to Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and Abu Dhabi at the end of the year to play some golf. I’m pretty sure this is not happening this year though.

Stay positive, play as much golf as you can and appreciate that you can play at all.

Operating some of the finest courses on the island: Arabella Golf Mallorca

imageFor those who don’t know Arabella Golf Mallorca so far, here is a quick reference.

The Arabella brand was founded by the German billionaire family Schörghuber. The empire was built on construction and beer—two things which not only go well together but apparently are very lucrative, if you do it right. The Bavarian Paulaner beer might be something you are aware of in that sense (and taste).

But they also ventured into hotels and golf, two things that also fit quite nicely. Under the Arabella brand there are hotel resorts and golf courses across Europe; predominantly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

For Mallorca in particular, there is a subsidiary bearing the name of the famous island in the brand itself: Arabella Golf Mallorca. They operate several courses in the Palma region and are respected as some of the best on Mallorca, if not Spain altogether.

Continue reading Operating some of the finest courses on the island: Arabella Golf Mallorca

Mallorca Press Cup 2019

The year 2019 ended well for me. After I basically stowed away all my clubs for the winter break – yes, you heard right, I don’t play in snow – just then I received the invitation to take part in the 2019 Mallorca Press Cup.

The cup itself is an annual gathering of European golf and golf travel writers of all sorts of media, to group them together in beautiful Mallorca and have them experience the great golf and great amenities available.

Playing hole 13 at Son Vida Golf, Palma de Mallorca

No question, I was all in for it, packed my stuff and off I went on a cold dark December morning to be greeted two hours later by Mediterranean sunshine, cosy temperatures, and last but not least by the chauffeur and his black S-Class Mercedes who was about to take me to my hotel.

Continue reading Mallorca Press Cup 2019