Our favorite golf resorts in the Med
Now that temperatures in the Med have cooled from the sweltering August heat, it is a perfect time for a slightly more active vacation. September, October and November are great months to enjoy a round of golf or two in beautiful, sunny surroundings. Here are our five favorite golf resorts, all with fantastic facilities and an amazing golf course.Terre Blanche, Provence, France
The golf facilities are particularly impressive at Terre Blanche. The two 18-hole championship courses which were designed by Dave Thomas and Le Chateau are particularly highly rated while Le Riou is reserved for members and hotel guests only. The David Leadbetter Academy is a large training center with Biomecaswing swing analysis, custom fitting of shoes and clubs in partnership with Taylormad, plus there are five pros on-hand to help you work on your game.
There is also a golf school for children between five and 17. The juniors program includes an hour and a half of training per week outside of school vacations, as well as access to the training center all year round.
With the luxurious, five-star Terre Blanche Hotel Spa and Golf Resort on-site, the LGA Academy in France presents a wide range of instructional programs designed to meet the needs of men, women and junior players – from beginners to amateur competitors to touring pros.ABAMA, Tenerife, Spain
The first-class 18-hole golf course is beautifully landscaped with palm trees, lakes and spectacular sea views from many of the holes. Dave Thomas put more than 50 years of experience of the professional golf industry into the creation of ABAMA’s golf course, now widely regarded as one of his greatest achievements. Rambling over 6,271 meters of ever-changing terrain, it features 22 lakes linked by impressive waterfalls and white-sand bunkers, and 25,000 palm trees. The course reaches a high point of 315 meters above sea level, and most holes provide spectacular views of the Atlantic and the island of La Gomera. The large greens provide an infinite choice of flag positions which, combined with the wide tee areas at each hole, makes the course accessible to players with high handicaps, and a challenge even for the most experienced golfer.Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy
Stretched between Borgo Egnazia and the Adriatic sea lies the San Domenico 18 hole, par 72, championship golf course with stunning sea views at every tee. Drawn in 1987 by architect Pierre Pancrazi, the Golf Club Borgo has 300 licensees and more than 150 members. The Golf Club Borgo offers a compact 9-hole course, a driving range and a putting green for golfers of all levels in stunning surroundings.Pine Cliffs, Algarve, Portugal
The immaculate 9-hole golf course, driving range and golf academy is built on the edge of a spectacular cliff, overlooking the sea. It lies perched 200 feet above the golden sands and blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. The location of the resort is unique. It extends across 168 acres of naturally beautiful land set above a stunning cliff top, beneath lies an expanse of golden sand beach and the deep blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. The dark red of the sandstone cliffs contrasts sharply with the immaculate green of the golf course above and the sparkling blue ocean below.
This is one of the country’s original golf courses, built in a pinewood setting, with tree lined fairways running parallel along the Atlantic Ocean, giving its guests breathtaking views along the Algarvian coastline. Architect Martin Hawtree’s main concern was to keep the natural surroundings as it was before the course was built.
The jewel of this perfectly kept course is the par three sixth hole. The championship tee, known as the Devil’s Parlour, is built over a ravine that requires a 198 meter carrying shot over the cliffs to a deep but narrow green.Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily, Italy
Leading golf architect Kyle Phillips, renowned for his championship courses at Kingsbarns in Scotland and The Grove in England, has designed an astonishing range of courses that work in close harmony with the beautiful Sicilian landscape. There are two championship-level 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course, all set amid olive and orange groves and with spellbinding views of the azure Mediterranean Sea.
The courses will inspire any novice player and set a challenge for the most experienced. A double-ended driving range features 80-yard tees at each end, creating the perfect practice conditions. There are also putting and chipping greens, practice bunkers, and PGA-qualified professionals for tuition.
In 2012, the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort hosted the prestigious Sicilian Open attended by 144 professional players. Challenging links courses featuring undulating fairways and deep bunkers combined with the island's pleasant temperatures to provide a unique golf experience for players and spectators alike. The Championship Course is a composite layout of nine holes of each East and West course (as played in the 2012 Sicilian Open) and is now open to all to play on.