Playaway: Royal Waterloo GC, Belgium.

10th green La Marache course, Royal Waterloo GC.

11th green La Marache course, Royal Waterloo GC.

ON JUNE 18th it will be 200 years since the bloody battle of Waterloo took place. The battlefield is a fascinating place to visit at any time of the year, but what makes it doubly of interest to golfers who enjoy their history is the close proximity of a superb complex of 45 holes just five miles away at Royal Waterloo Golf Club. Continue reading

Playaway : Ladybank Golf Club, Fife

Ladybank GC 16th hole.

Ladybank GC 16th hole.

LADYBANK IS A SPECIAL course. Whereas most visitors come to the Kingdom of Fife to head for St Andrews and its historic links a good many of them will be approaching the old grey town via Cupar on the A91 which is just a few minutes drive away from Ladybank and this venerable and immaculate track. Continue reading

Playaway: Brora Golf Club, Sutherland, Scotland

Brora GC

 

ROYAL ASHDOWN FOREST members know from personal experience that a course does not have to be long to be tough as well as beautiful. Hugging the North Sea coast some 20 miles north of Dornoch lies another classic challenge of golf although only 6,110 yards long. Welcome to Brora, a James Braid design and one of the finest links course to be found north of the border. Continue reading

Playaway: North Berwick West Links, East Lothian, Scotland

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SOME GOLF COURSES are not only spectacular to play they are also enormous fun. Situated on the Firth of Forth with stunning views across to Craigleith Island and Bass Rock, North Berwick West Links most certainly falls into this category.

The West Links club prides itself on making visitors ‘members for the day’ and the first thing the green fee payer will appreciate is the extremely warm welcome one receives on arrival at the portico of the old stone clubhouse. A full time greeter is on hand to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable day and knows the dos and don’ts of this historic old club. Continue reading

Play Away: Royal Zoute, Belgium

Dsc02041FOR GOLFERS LIVING in East Sussex and Kent it is almost as quick to get to the famous old Flemish city of Bruges, as it is to get to North London. And, as well as avoiding the horrors of the M25, within 30 minutes of Bruges it is possible to play one of the great courses of mainland Europe at Royal Zoute Golf Club.

Like so many clubs in mainland Europe the original club, founded in 1899, was largely down to British involvement with Charles Warren becoming the club’s first professional after returning from fighting in the second Boer war. Continue reading

Play Away : Onyria Palmares, Lagos, Portugal

Praia #27 greenTHESE DAYS course designers are becoming increasingly obsessed with creating American style courses. Recent European Ryder cup venues are archetypes of stateside design and there is no shortage of them in Portugal, a favourite amongst British golf visitors, with the likes of Almondeira and the Victoria course at Vilamoura presenting massive challenges with huge bunkers and potentially card wrecking lagoons. Which is what makes Onyria Palmares in the western Algarve such a satisfying change. Continue reading

Play Away: Sligo Golf Club, Rosses Point, County Sligo

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EVERY NOW AND THEN, if one is very lucky, it is possible to find a terrific golf course that has slipped under the international golf traveller’s radar. Somewhere that will offer superb golf in a splendid setting whilst providing a warm welcome and excellent hospitality in the club house; and where it will not take you five hours to get round. Sligo Golf Club, on the windswept Rosses Point peninsula, is just such a place. Continue reading

Play away: St Enodoc

St Enodoc Golf ClubTRAVELLING GOLFERS the world over are constantly seeking that ‘Wow!’ factor when it comes to playing new courses and St Enodoc provides plenty of them. From the very first tee this majestic old course opens up with a roar like the start of a Beethoven symphony.

Golf has been played on this ruggedly beautiful stretch of north Cornish coastline since 1888 although it was not until 1907 that James Braid created 18 holes. And, with relatively few alterations and diversions, the course remains very much his magical creation to this day. Continue reading

Play away: Valderrama

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SOME OF THE more recent European Ryder Cup venues have not fared too well. The Belfry in Warwickshire was sold for a knockdown price to a US consortium in 2012 by its owner who was in prison at the time whilst there have been more than occasional distress signals emanating from the K Club which has seen heavy losses as the Irish property market collapsed. Continue reading