Golfing Breaks

Posted on: 24 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus grab a pencil and let us mark your card.

You may never get the chance to grace the turf at the new Wembley, scrum down at Twickenham, slog your way to a century at Lords or serve for the title at Wimbledon.

Well not unless you’re Wayne Rooney, Jonny Wilkinson, Kevin Pietersen or Andrew Murray.

But golf is different. You can grab yourself a bag of clubs, a green fee and possibly a handicap certificate to prove you can hit the ball in the air, and you too can walk in the spike-marks of the game’s greats.

With European and international golf tournaments taking place almost all year round, did you know that almost all of the great courses the professionals play are open to ordinary Sunday golfers?

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus grab a pencil and let us mark your card.

In The UK

The UK has golf courses to suit every level of player, so whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned golfer, you don’t have to look far for the perfect golfing holiday.

We’ve selected five of the best golf venues from around the UK, from Dalmahoy on the fringes of Edinburgh in Scotland to La Moye in the Channel Islands.

The Belfry, West Midlands

The Belfry is one of Britain’s leading golf venues – its Brabazon course is the only one to have hosted the Ryder Cup four times, most recently in 2002.

The venue best suits low-handicap players, and has three courses, most notably the 6,407-yard, par-72 parkland Brabazon, designed by Dave Thomas and Peter Allis in 1977.

Thomas also designed the 6,365-yard PGA National Course, which is allied to the OGA National Golf Academy.

The third course at The Belfry is the par-70 Derby, measuring just over 6,000 yards and suitable for beginners as well as experienced golfers. The Belfry is also equipped with an AquarSpa complex.

Sample package: Two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at The Belfry costs £98 per person twin-share in mid-August. A round on the Brabazon course costs between £70 and £165.

Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Edinburgh

18th at DalmahoyThe long-established Marriott Dalmahoy is one of Scotland’s best golf venues. It has two courses, the longer of which is the 7,475-yard, par-72 East Course, home to the Charles Church Scottish Seniors’ Open.

The other is the 5,168-yar, par-68 West Course, which has some testing holes with tight fairways.

The West Course has five par-three holes, ranging from just 110 yards upwards, with beguiling names such as Wee Yin and Witches’ Lair, and just one par-five – the 531-yard Lang Dalmahov.

The Dalmahoy is one of nine Marriott resorts in the UK offering the Learn to Play Golf programme. The six-lesson course is for total beginners, combining PGA professional tuition with video analysis

Sample package: Marriott's midweek Escape Golf package at Dalmahoy includes accommodation in a deluxe room on a twin-share basis, with three-course dinner and breakfast, plus two rounds of golf for £250 a night during September. Access to the hotel's Leisure Club is included.

Woodbury Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club, Devon

Woodbury ParkOwned by ex-Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell, Woodbury Park offers 27 holes of golf.

Guests can play the par-73, 7,314-yard Oaks course, purchased by Mansell in 1994 and characterised by tree-lined fairways, top class greens and views of Dartmoor.

The gentler Acorns circuit is a nine-hole, par-32 course with its large greens and waiting bunkers. There is also a 16-bay driving range with views across the Exe Valley.

The property, near Exmouth, is ideal for those who want to fit a round in between business commitments. After the business, guests can visit the World of Racing museum, which houses some of Mansell's cars and trophies.

Sample package: Two nights' midweek accommodation with breakfast at Woodbury Park costs £110 per person on a twin-share basis in mid-September, in a standard room overlooking the Oaks course.

Stoke Park Club, Buckinghamshire

Stoke Park is another prime golfing venue featuring 27 holes – three nine-hole loops on the Stoke Poges course – along with an award- winning spa in the Grade I listed Palladian mansion.

The parkland course made Golf World magazine’s top 100 courses a couple of years ago and is celebrating its centenary in 2008.

The signature seventh hole, now complete with lake and waterfall, is the one visitors talk about most. The 12th hole at Augusta in Georgia, revered home of the US Masters was modelled on it.

Non-golfing partners can relax in the hotel's luxury spa while the other half tees off.

James Bond, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Layer Cake and Wimbledon are a few of the blockbuster films that have been set from Stoke Park.
18 holes in midweek during summer will set you back £140, though you can play a midweek round between November and February for £50.

Sample package: Stoke Park's one-night Golf Break package includes accommodation in a Club Room with three-course table d'hote dinner, breakfast and one round of golf for £540 a night for two people.

La Moye, Jersey

1st at La MoyeLa Moye is a links- style course, meaning it runs along the coast. It has all the traditional qualities associated with a links course – pot bunkers, extensive sand hills, firm and fast greens and areas of thick rough and gorse.

The rocky outcrops on some of the fairways present a hazard, and there is often a strong wind blowing off the sea to make staying under par even harder.

Located at St Brelade, the course is 6,797 yards long and players can enjoy views of St Ouen's Bay.

La Moye has been in place for more than a century, having been created to take the overflow from the prestigious Royal Jersey. It now figures on the European PGA Seniors Tour.

Golfing guests may find themselves treading the fairways with Tony Jacklin or Ian Woosnam, who are both honorary members.

Sample package: Premier Holidays offers a four-night break with breakfast at the four-star Atlantic Hotel in a room overlooking the La Moye course, for £379 in October. The price includes ferry travel with own car from Portsmouth.

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