Costa Navarino and Monte Rei celebrate back-to-back WLG award successes

The stunning Greek resort of Costa Navarino, in the Peloponnese, has been honoured at the prestigious World of Leading Golf (WLG) awards for the third successive year.

WLG, an organisation representing many of the most renowned golf clubs and resorts in 17 countries, has held an award ceremony only for the past three years – and Costa Navarino is the only resort to have collected a ‘gong’ at each of the ceremonies.

In the first year it was for ‘best newcomer’; last year it was for ‘best service’; and this year, at a ceremony at Golf Son Gual, in Mallorca, it took the title for ‘best overall impression’.

The ‘environmentally responsible’ resort, in Messinia, comprises a number of distinct and complementary sites featuring five-star hotels, residences, spas and leisure facilities, including two stunning championship golf courses: the Dunes and the Bay.

But it wasn’t the only destination to get the warm familiar glow of award success, for Monte Rei Golf & Country Club, in the Eastern Algarve, took the top award for the second successive occasion. Last year it was titled ‘best member’ – this year the title was renamed ‘best overall venue’, but the outcome was the same.

Monte Rei features a championship Jack Nicklaus signature course in more than 1,000 acres of countryside, and was voted Portugal’s number one in the 2016 Golf Digest ‘best courses’ ranking.

Club de Golf Alcanada – the only course in Mallorca adjacent to the sea – received the award for ‘best service’, with particular emphasis being placed on the friendliness, competence and up-selling ability of its employees.

Its Robert Trent Jones Jnr course opened in 2003 and blends naturally into the typical Mallorcan terrain, while offering magnificent mountain and sea views, amid mixture of pine and olive groves. In addition, the club boasts a centuries-old Mallorca clubhouse with a sun-baked terrace.

For golfing gourmands, it did not come as too much of a shock to learn that the award for ‘best culinary offering’ went to Golf Club Beuerberg, in Eurasburg, Germany.

Beuerberg, located 20 miles south of Munich, opened in 1982 and is a former host venue of the European Ladies Open. The restaurant, under the experienced auspices of Urs Zondler, who has been in charge of the kitchen since it opened, is renowned not just for the quality and variety of food, but also the ambience and service.

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Links joined WLG only in early 2016, yet it created such an impression that it was awarded the title of ‘best course condition’.

Sprawled out along almost two miles of sandy Arabian Gulf coast, the Kyle Phillips’ design was the first links course in the Middle East. Measuring 7,414 yards off the tips, Yas Links took more than three years to construct and has eight holes abutting the coastline itself. It is ranked number one in the Middle East and #46 in the world by Golf Digest; and it sits at #62 in the world ranking with Platinum Clubs of the World.

The three-time Volvo World Match Play venue, Finca Cortesin – located just inland from the Malaga coast – took the honour of ‘best newcomer’, which seems to be a platform for future glories.

Its 6,802m, par-72 championship course opened in 2007 and is ranked as one of Spain’s best. Designed by Cabell B Robinson, it makes the most of its natural Mediterranean landscape and includes 20 varieties of flora and a forest. It also incorporates a Jack Nicklaus Academy and offers a golf-club valet and cleaning service, state-of-the-art practice facilities, buggies with the latest GPS technology, and an on-course buggy bar for ice-cold drinks.

Claus Feldt, WLG’s chief executive, said: “Once again we were able to reward the crème de la crème of WLG members. The standard of competition for all of these awards is probably the highest anywhere given that all WLG members have to attain amazingly high levels anyway; so to emerge victorious in any category is a real badge of honour for golf resorts.

“It makes you really proud to work in an industry where so many people take such immense pride in what they offer to their clientele. We should also give our thanks to everybody who came along to enjoy the evening’s activities and to Andreas Pamer and his team at Son Gual for the use of their stunning venue and their excellent hospitality.”

Alcanada’s director of golf, Kristoff Both, added: “It was a really memorable and enjoyable evening; a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people, and to exchange views and ideas in a very convivial atmosphere. To receive this prestigious award alongside so many other fantastic clubs is a huge honour for us.”

WLG and its member clubs are passionately committed to preserve golf culture, but not only by heeding to such things as rules, dress code and etiquette – they commit to the very highest of quality standards concerning the design and caretaking of golf courses and services, as well as the levels of ambiance and gastronomy.

(External source)

Lisbon Selected as Europe’s Best Golf Destination


Lisbon is the best golf destination in Europe. The Lisbon Golf Coast has been named Europe’s best golfing destination by IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators). The association’s 2,400 members include nearly 600 tour operators, as well as golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, airlines and tourism associations. The award is voted for by the specialist golf tour operators.

Currently, the Lisbon Region offers around two dozen golf courses. The Strategic Tourism Plan for the region includes the development of joint events and the creation of a “pass” for use at different courses. The sport also fits extremely well with the many other experiences that the region’s diversified tourism offer is able to provide.

“This is the second time Lisbon has received this award and we are very proud that, once again, the excellence, quality and diversity of the region’s golf courses have been recognised in this way. Each of our courses has been designed by a renowned architect and promises the golfer a unique experience”, says Vitor Costa, General Director of the Lisbon Tourism Association.

The golf courses in the Lisbon Region have all been carefully embedded into their extensive natural surroundings. They also benefit from a mild climate that allows golfers to play in comfort all year round.

The award for Golf Destination of the Year for Europe was presented to the Lisbon Golf Coast at a gala dinner held on 8 October at Siam Park, Tenerife, on the final night of the International Golf Travel Market event.

golf trips plan for 2012

now living in london, i thought golf would become more and more routine in my daily (or at least weekly) life, but when i look out of the window… i see snow. not much, but quite a bit. interestingly enough, because my english friends tell me that they had much snow last year and usually they wait for another 3 or 4 years for the next appearance.

anyways, it’s cold outside, my clubs are still in germany and i desperately want to be on a course, hitting some white balls!

there’s a saying: if the mountain won’t come to muhammad, muhammad must go to the mountain. therefore i’m currently in the process of planning some nice trips to play some awesome golf in the course of this year. thinking and writing about golf is not the same like playing, but i feel a positive thrill of anticipation! who wouldn’t?!

the first vacation of the year is scheduled and booked. we will travel to the south-west of the united states for a 3-week round trip and i’m very much looking forward to that. i’ve been to san francisco once, but making the way over the famous highways between los angeles, san francisco, las vegas and all the national parks in nevada and arizona must be so great. 3 weeks is a long time but there are a lot of miles to go. hence i don’t expect more than 2 rounds to play. maybe one in las vegas and another one somewhere at highway no 1 near pebble beach in the monterey bay area. that would be perfect. we’ll see. i keep you posted!

second trip i plan, and that is only penciled in, is a 10- to 14-day trip to portugal; to the southern golf eldorado ‘algarve’ at the atlantic coast to be precise. just like the turkish belek, the algarve offers a lot of nice courses (some are europe’s top courses) and a bunch of high-class golf resorts. one of them for instance is the ‘oceanico resort’ near albufeira. they offer a bunch of beautiful courses built by famous players like arnold palmer and nick faldo, just to name these both. and if you imagine such stunning golf scenery right at the atlantic coast, beautiful weather, viewed from the sun terrace of a 5-star luxury  hotel, spending the time with my girlfriend… then you know i’m in heaven!

ahhh, i must at least be dreaming already!