Estonian Golf & Country Club

Estonian Golf & Country Club
Estonian Golf & Country Club

National tourism boom and Tallinn’s status as a European Capital of Culture drives new visitors to one of the continent’s Top 100 Golf Courses

Estonian Golf & Country Club
experienced a 10% increase in overseas visitors throughout 2011 on the back of a tourism boom in the Baltic State.

Tourism across the country was up 16% compared to 2010, with visitors drawn from across the continent by the capital Tallinn’s status as European Capital of Culture and the fact that low cost airlines increased the number of routes into the country.

Hanno Kross, Estonian Golf & Country Club Chief Executive, said:

“We are seeing more and more visitors from overseas,particularly from the UK. With Tallinn a mere 25 minutes away people are combining a visit to the stunning city with a round of golf at our first class European Tour Course.

“Our total number of rounds increased by 7% in 2011 compared to 2010 – the appetite for golf in Estonia is growing and it is testament to the quality of our facilities that people are choosing to visit.”

Estonian Golf & Country Club – featured in Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe – has two outstanding courses, both hewn from an ancient archaeological site: the championship 18-hole Sea Course – a challenging layout that winds its way through forests before opening out alongside the Gulf of Finland and the Jägala River – and the links style 9-hole Stone Course.

A single Sea Course green fee in 2012 will cost 70EUR (£62), while those wishing to stay on-site can enjoy one of the venue’s luxury Golf Villas, which can accommodate up to 12 people, with prices starting from 167EUR (£138) per person, including two rounds on the Sea Course.

Visitors to Estonia from the UK doubled over the course of 2011 according to statistics published in a report by Visit Estonia, which also showed a vast increase in the number of visitors from Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark as well as substantial growth in tourists from Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Flights to Tallinn from the UK are available through Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) from Luton, Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands, Edinburgh and a new route opening in April from Manchester.

For further details and a full list of stay and play deals visit www.egcc.ee.

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The Algarve – perfect for a Winter Golf Break

After the last two long, cold winters it has been relatively mild with just the odd few days being too bitter or wet for golf in the south of England.  But it takes more than mild weather to get me playing in December & January throughout the winter months. Friends tell me golf is an all-year-round game; and for them it is, but not for me.

I love a round of golf, but as much as I enjoy the game itself, I equally enjoy the relaxation, the fresh air, exercise, walk amongst countryside as an alternative to work and stress, the quiet over the madden crowd… and the sunshine and warmth on my skin. Equally, I prefer to play in a polo shirt, sunglasses and a cap rather than jumper, Gore-Tex waterproofs and a woollen hat.

Everyone agrees the perfect round of golf includes sunshine and a warm day.  But for me it’s more than an optional ingredient.  It’s as obligatory as several birdies, spectacular drives, and nothing more than 18 two-putts.  That’s a perfect round of golf as far as I’m concerned.

So relatively speaking, yes it is mild for this time of year, and this morning the sun was bright.  But the Mediterranean is where I want to be playing golf in Janaury, February and March.

Average temperature in The Algarve for this time of year is 15°C, increasing to 16°C in February, 18°C in March and steadily rising until a peak of 28°C in July and August. And though 15°C may not be overly appealing right now to some, it comes with more of a guarantee than the English weather.

The Algarve has been one of the most popular resorts for UK golfers for some time now; and due to the law of supply and demand, there are now more golf courses in this beautiful region of Portugal than ever before.  As well as choice, this also results in some great Algarve golf deals with offers for as little as £95 per person for a three nights, two rounds and bed & breakfast break.

Plenty of golf courses with a backdrop overlooking The Mediterranean, how can anyone not prefer to experience the sun, sea and relaxation on offer.

With flights only taking approximately two-and-a-half hours from London to The Algarve, gorgeous food, great accommodation, and top golf courses such as Parque Da Floresta, Tivoli Lagos, Penina, Tivoli Marina Portimao, Tivoli Carvoeiro, Pestana Carvoeiro and Val do Lobo, some with adjoining hotels.  What are you waiting for?

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Elea Golf Club in Cyprus partners with Mission Hills in China

Eléa Golf Club in Cyprus
Eléa Golf Club in Cyprus

An important new reciprocal arrangement with Mission Hills China will help to introduce golf in Cyprus to one of the most exciting golf markets in the world

Eléa Golf Club in Cyprus, part of the prestigious Eléa Estate development near Paphos, has signed a reciprocal agreement with the World’s largest golf facility, Mission Hills China.

The arrangement will see members of Eléa Golf Club receive privileges to use the members’ facilities at Mission Hills, – a development that boasts golf courses designed by some of the game’s modern-day greats including Sir Nick Faldo, Annika Sorenstam and Ernie Els. Mission Hills’ members will also be offered the same courtesy when visiting Cyprus.

Ross Robertson, Director of Golf Operations at Eléa Estate said: “Our aim has always been to create a golf course in Cyprus that operates and upholds the ethos and values of the great golf courses of the world – both Eléa and Mission Hills have golf courses designed by Sir Nick Faldo so we already have a common link.

“Mission Hills is, without doubt, one of the world’s great golf destinations and a development we are proud to have a reciprocal arrangement with. We look forward to a strong and valuable partnership and welcoming the first Chinese guests to Cyprus in the very near future.”

Eléa Golf Club, opened by six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo in October 2010, has rapidly built a reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting new golf destinations.

It recently won ‘Best European Leisure Development’ and ‘Best European Golf Development’ at the 2011 International Property Awards in London and has also been recognised by one of the World’s largest consumer golf journals, Golf Magazine in the USA, as one of the ‘Top 10 new international golf courses of 2010’.

Ross added: “China is set to become one of golf’s great superpowers in years to come and it is key Eléa Estate creates strategic relationships with major developers, like Mission Hills, going forwards. In just 12 months, Eléa Estate has helped create a global awareness of golf in Cyprus and associations like this are instrumental when introducing our brand to emerging markets around the world.”

For further information about Eléa Estate, visit www.eleaestate.com.

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The Cascades Golf and Country Club: the Red Sea Treasure

The Cascades Golf and Country Club
The Cascades Golf and Country Club

If you are looking for a golf course that offers sensational views as well as a challenging round with a difference, then you may like The Cascades Golf and Country Club, known as the “Red Sea Treasure” in the sensational Soma Bay.

The Cascades Golf and Country Club set within the boutique destination of Soma Bay offers world class golf in fantastic sunshine all year round. Designed by one of the ‘Big Three’, this spectacular Gary Player designed desert-style links course consists of an 18-hole, par 72 course, a PGA golf academy and an extensive driving range. Nestled in the centre of the course is the beautiful Residence des Cascades, making Soma Bay a perfect year round escape for the whole family.

Described by golfing legend Gary Player as the “Red Sea Treasure” the Cascades is the very first championship course in the Middle East, and has recently been ranked as the best golf course in the world, outside of Europe, for the third year running by the readers of “Golf Journal”. Offering spectacular scenery and lush green fairways, rugged desert mountains and azure blue water, the excitement of the course is as memorable as the views!

As well as the 18 hole, 72 par course, the immaculate Cascades also boasts a 9 hole, 3 par course for less advanced players, and a 60 bay driving range. For those who fancy trying their luck in an amateur tournament, this July The Cascades at Soma Bay is gearing up to host two of the most hotly anticipated tournaments in the golf circuit:

The Cascades Tournament

Red Sea Open Amateur Championship: 5th – 7th July 2011
Based on gross stoke play, this event is available for people with handicaps of six or better for men, and 14 or better for ladies.

La Residence de Cascades is offering a six night, seven day package from $1,065 per person (approximately £654pp), based on two people sharing a double room, half board, including green fees for the five days plus one tournament fee.

Soma Bay Stableford Tournament: 8th & 9th July 2011
Following the Open Amateur Championship, the format of the Soma Bay Stableford Tournament will be Net Stableford scoring, with no handicap limit.
La Residence de Cascades is offering a three night, four day package from $645 per person (approximately £396pp), based on two people sharing a double room, half board, including green fees for three days and one tournament fee.

The boutique hideaway of Soma Bay offers a range of other fantastic activities if guests and their companions need to resist the temptation of the golf course for an hour or too. For active guests, the worldclass kite surfing, snorkelling and diving will never fail to please, and the world-renowned thalasso-therapy spa will unwind and relax guests before a stroll or swim at the pristine natural sand beaches.

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Rick Wakeman’s Golf Classic in aid of Children’s Charity

Rick Wakeman (centre) is presented a cheque for 10,000euros following last year’s event at Estonian Golf & Country Club by Mait Schmidt (EGCC President) and Riho Rasmann - CEO of event sponsor Marfin Bank Estonia
Rick Wakeman (centre) is presented a cheque for 10,000euros following last year’s event at Estonian Golf & Country Club by Mait Schmidt (EGCC President) and Riho Rasmann - CEO of event sponsor Marfin Bank Estonia

The rolling green fairways of the Estonian Golf & Country Club will once again welcome rock music legend Rick Wakeman when he returns for his second Golf Classic at the renowned Tallinnvenue.

TheEuropean Tour-designed course will host the former Yes keyboard wizard and his 80 guests as they compete over the Sea Course – ranked in the Top 100 European Courses – in aid of children’s charity Sparks on Saturday, 18th June, 2011.

Following the event Rick Wakeman and his band will entertain guests into the night with a concert at the Tallink Spa and Conference Hotel located in the middle of beautiful Tallinn.

Estonian Golf & Country Club, the only European Tour course in Eastern Europe, will provide the perfect setting for those competing as The Sea Course winds its way through forests before opening out alongside the Gulf of Finland and the Jägala River, enjoying stunning views across the gulf.

The 18th hole of Estonian Golf & Country Club’s acclaimed Sea Course
The 18th hole of Estonian Golf & Country Club’s acclaimed Sea Course

“I have had the real honour of visiting Estonia at the height of summer and the height of winter, and in both cases I found Tallinn and the surrounding countryside absolutely beautiful,” said Rick Wakeman.

“I first saw the golf course when it was completely enveloped with snow, but when I saw it at the start of the season I simply fell in love with it. It is beautifully designed and a great test of golf for all standards of player. It’s certainly a course I would, and indeed have, highly recommended to friends to go and play, and to spend time in Tallinn itself.”

Last year’s event, combined with Rick Wakeman’s English golf day at Burhill Golf Club, helped to raise more than £40,000 for Sparks – a charity that helps all babies to be born healthy and stay healthy by funding high quality medical research into childhood diseases.

The Estonian Golf & Country Club will also stage European Qualifying for the Mission Hills World Cup in August.

For more information on Rick Wakeman’s Golf Classic, visit www.egcc.ee.

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