Aphrodite Hills is an integrated 5-star luxury sports, leisure and real estate resort near Paphos, south west of Cyprus. It is the first resort of its kind on this very friendly Mediterranean island.
Last month, the Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort hosted the first ever PGA tournament to be staged in Cyprus. It was a showcase event that was very professionally organised by the Director of Golf, Nuno Bastos and all his team. The PGA had signed a two-year deal with Aphrodite Hills to stage the EuroPro Tour Championship Finale in 2010 and 2011, and if this years’ spectacle is anything to go by, I can see further PGA tournaments being held at Aphrodite Hills in the near future.
The Aphrodite Hills Golf Course
The stunning 18-hole championship course at the Aphrodite Hills Resort is the best kept golf course I have ever played. The resort is built on two plateaux 300 metres high and is complete with beautiful panoramic views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. With its exceptional quality fairways and green, it is worthy of PGA accreditation. The well designed course is a par 70/71 6,299 metres long. Littered with bunkers and challenging holes, it is a test for amateurs and pros alike.
Carob and olive trees line many of the fairways, a lovely Mediterranean touch, while the seventh hole is a chest-beating par 3 challenge that has the golfer teeing off across a ravine with only the green to aim for. Over hit your shot or pull it to the right and you could end up in one of three bunkers. Under hit your tee shot and your ball will drop into the ravine, itself. I was relieved to see my ball bounce on and just roll off the left-side of the green beneath an olive tree, allowing me to hit my second shot within three feet and par the hole.
Being a perfectionist, there is only one thing wrong with the 7th hole and that is – one you’ve played it once you want to play it again and again. The whole course is a dream to play and finishes with a long par 5 with the 18th green situated behind a precariously placed pond.
The warm and inviting clubhouse includes bars and a restaurant, with terraces and a function lawn overlooking the 18th green. Below the clubhouse is a large well-stocked Pro Shop. To the rear of the Pro Shop is where you collect buggies and hired equipment. I hired shoes and a full set of clubs. The shoes were as new, soft and very comfortable. As a left-hander I am used to seeing my right-handed colleagues being offered a selection of hire clubs while the one set of left-handed clubs are over in one corner. Not at Aphrodite Hills. I hired a brand new set of R9 Taylor Made irons, driver, 3 & 5 fairway woods and putter. Now I couldn’t blame my clubs for any wayward shots!
There is also a Golf Academy with resident PGA qualified golf porfessionals where golfers of all levels as well as children of all ages are welcome. It includes a three academy holes academy and plenty of space to practise. There are short game practise target greens complete with bunkers and a 350 metres double-ended driving range with target flags and bunkers.
The three-hole academy consists of two Par 4 holes and 1 Par 3. This is not only used as part of the academy but can be booked and is ideal for a quick game with friends or family.
I thought the academy would be a great way to introduce my younger son to golf, while my older son would love the challenge of the 18-hole golf course.
Visiting Aphrodite Hills any time of the year will offer a perfect golfing holiday but there is plenty more to do than simply play golf. The resort also includes a tennis academy and a renowned spa retreat. It has several restaurants and bars and the choice of a 5 star luxury hotel or self-catering villas to rent or buy. Everyone working in the resort was very friendly, not just willing, but pleased to serve you. Of the golf resort holidays I have been fortunate enough to take, Aphrodite Hills is up there with the very best. It’s true, ‘if the gods played golf…this would be their temple!’