After tennis golf is my other favourite sport. The more I play the keener I get. A recent trip to Tunisia playing on some superb golf courses has not only improved my game but now I want to play more often.

Watch this space for the latest travel articles where to play golf in Portugal and Tunisia.

Published articles

The French are pulling out all the stops for this year’s Ryder Cup

The French are pulling out all the stops to ensure the success of this year’s Ryder Cup at the famous Le Golf National venue which takes place on Friday 28th to Sunday 30th September. The par 72 Albatros is the course where all the Ryder Cup action will be played out and is designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge. By all accounts this is not only an exciting and challenging course to play but it is also designed to allow spectators good views from all angles of the course. It was only a couple of years ago when this golf resort was voted as France’s best golf destination.

Golf is thriving in Turkey

More and more golfers are looking further afield for interesting and exciting golf destinations, and some particularly enjoy combining a golf trip with visits to famous cultural sites and monuments. Recently I arranged a trip to Antalya, Turkey, a region which boasts fifteen world class golf courses and is also famous for its fascinating collection of historic sites and ancient ruins – dating back thousands of years.

George Clooney’s favourite Golf Club in Lake Como

The idea of playing a round of golf on the same course George Clooney claims his favourite was all I needed to persuade me to find out more about one of Italy’s famous, and the country’s second oldest golf club. The historic Menaggio & Cadenabbia club lies on the shores of Lake Como between the two pretty villages, Menaggio and Candenabbia after which the club is named. A mere two hour drive away from Milan’s Linarte airport, Lake Como’s spectacular scenery and surrounding towering mountains, often covered in snow even in the summer months, are some of the many reasons this region has become increasingly popular with British tourist and celebrities from all over the world, especially those who, like the Clooneys, are attracted to its healthy climate and quietly unpretentious way of life.

Park City – Unlimited Golf

It was an unexpected surprise – returning to a place I had once visited some twelve years ago. Park City is a leading ski resort in the States only when I was last there everywhere was covered in thick layers of snow and I spent several pleasant days whizzing down a variety of slopes designed for Olympic disciplines. The Guardian newspaper had commissioned me to write a pre-view on the 2002 Winter Olympics hosted by Salt Lake City, and what an experience that turned out to be. This time, by contrast I was here to write about golf in the middle of summer. Underneath the ski runs I had once skied down lay miles of verdant green meadows which each year transform into several challengingly designed golf courses and in my opinion one of Park City’s best kept secrets.

Where to find the best winter golf in the Algarve

Harsh winter months are not the best time to play golf and last winter’s frequent heavy rain falls and strong winds didn’t help, with many courses forced to close and some badly waterlogged holes out of action for several weeks. After one particular gruelling game I ended up with more mud on my trolley, clubs and shoes than the course – conditions were unbelievably dire and dragging a mud-laden trolley was often extremely exhausting. This is why I chose to spend a few pleasant days playing golf in warmer climes.

Hidden golf gems of Catalonia

Another of Spain’s best kept golf secrets is Catalonia in the north eastern part of Spain and where its vibrant capital Barcelona can be found. This is a region that is fiercely proud of its identity, culture and language. To the north are the trendy Costa Brava resorts which were created in the early 70’s after the introduction of cheap package deal holidays although much has changed since those heady days and the region is now as popular for golf as it is for its sandy beaches and rugged coastline. Golf is everywhere. Not far from Barcelona is the famous PGA Catalonya golf resort and part of the 2022 Ryder Cup bid but has sadly lost out to the surprise choice of Rome although it has to be pointed out that this is Italy’s first time to host the Ryder Cup.

Golf and Greece’s best kept secret

Greece is a country steeped in history and fascinating mythology, and as creator of the Olympic Games many of our modern day sports have originated from Greece. And even the popular film Mama Mia gave Greece that feel good factor with its endless idyllic scenes of sandy beaches, whitewashed villas with pretty blue shutters, and lots of swimming and sailing. But as for golf, I had quite frankly never considered Greece as a golf destination. This has to be one of the country’s best kept secrets.

Cool Caribbean – Spring 2015

My last visit to this quintessentially Caribbean island was back in the late 90s, but since those days Barbados has gone through a number of significant improvements and changes. My worst fears were of discovering the island I had fallen in love with had succumbed to the blight experienced by other holiday destinations of rampant ‘modernisation’ resulting in ghastly convoluted mazes of concrete monstrosities. What a relief to find little had changed with this friendly and fun island, and even the Grantley Adams (enlarged and vastly improved) cavernous airport had lost little of its former old-fashioned charm.

THE PLATINUM COAST. This time round my destination was the plush golf resort of Royal Westmoreland on the west coast, known as the ‘Platinum Coast’ because this is where most of the exclusive and expensive hotels and elite villas reside. Nevertheless, along the narrow coastal roads from the airport the small, quaintly coloured houses remain and while the hotels of my former visits have had vast amounts of money spent on refurbishment, the welcoming Barbadian charm is still in evidence. No wonder that so many enjoy coming back to this little piece of paradise.

Winter Golf in the Algarve – May 2015

English winters are depressingly long and any excuse to escape to warmer climes is something keen golfers are eager to find – and I’m no exception. An unexpected invitation to spend a few days with friends in the Algarve last winter was an offer I couldn’t refuse and a perfect opportunity to investigate golfing opportunities in Portugal’s warm winter sunshine.

It was late February and I was in desperate need of a break. So in no time I found myself flying to Faro airport and heading towards Boavista, a small village not far from Lagos – an area that boasts several excellent golf courses. As soon I felt the warm sun on my face I had to remind myself that only a few hours earlier I had been battling the winter elements in England.

Golf in Austria’s Bad Kleinenkirchheim – February 2015

""It’s not all Slope Style skiing in Carinthia and once the thick snow melts, some of these undulating lower ski slopes metamorphose into verdant green meadows and re-emerge as excellent golf courses and where each year greens are tenderly re-sown and bunkers re-sanded.
With golf clubs in tow I flew to Klagenfurt airport in early September. This is the region where former Olympic skiing ace Franz Klammer hails from and once retired from professional racing, learnt to play golf playing on local courses and now boasts a handicap of seven.

Crans Montana – March 2014

""In early February this year I spent a few pleasant days skiing in one of Switzerland’s top ski resorts, Crans Montana. Some six weeks later I found myself winging my way back there only this time instead of skis I had bought with me my bag of newly acquired Wilson Staff golf clubs. Arrangements had been made to pIay the Severiano Ballesteros golf course, one of Europe’s oldest but intricately designed courses, and where the clubhouse of Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club serves not only as a delightful end-of-run restaurant for skiers during the ski season and also as the ‘19th hole’ for golfers in the summer months.

South Africa – Golf, Gourmet and Game Parks – November 2013

2013_tee_times_thumbSouth Africa is becoming an increasingly popular destination for discerning golfers. Here is a country full of beautiful landscapes, endless sandy beaches, fascinating game parks and vibrant cities but more importantly boasts some of the world’s best golf courses. In the past some of these courses have hosted major championships, while others may not be as well known but are equally challenging to play. Best is choose an itinerary which fits individual tastes as there is so much to see and do.

Troia Resort – May 2013

2013_tee_times_thumbWith over twelve hundred acres of holiday paradise set in a stunning nature reserve,Troia resort is located on the sandy Trioia Peninsula, and is by far one of Portugal’s lesser known holiday resorts yet boasts the country’s most famous golf course, and is only a half an hour’s drive from Lisbon’s international airport – ideal for any keen golfer. With its sandy subsoil and endless white sandy beaches, the whole island enjoys a holiday feel and this is precisely where it is now positioned – a classic Portuguese get away, many having bought holiday homes including ‘the special one’ Jose Mourihno.

Golf Clubs to Hire – March 2013

april_tod_golf_clubs_thumbWhen I accepted an invitation to stay with friends in the Algarve it was requested rather than suggested that I bring golf clubs with me. My immediate reaction was to search the internet for suitable flights to Faro and to my surprise discovered that there was plenty of ‘NO FRILLS’ airlines flying in and out of Faro airport. Which is wonderful, but if like me you are checking in clubs together with luggage, the overall price of your ticket could increase by up to £50.

Golf in the Algarve – November 2012

Golf in the Algarve (PDF, new window)For as long as I can remember the Algarve has been a popular destination for keen golfers yet despite several previous visits I had yet to test any of its famous courses. Admittedly earlier visits had mostly consisted of sun, sea and the odd game of tennis and once an invitation to a rather grand opening of the then Roger Taylor Tennis Centre in the resort of Val do Lobo only this time my visit was purely for golf reasons and trusty tennis racket had been replaced by golf clubs.

Golf and Thailand – October 2012

Golf in Thailand (PDF, new window)Golf in Thailand has been one of its best kept secrets for a long time but now golfers from all over the world have access to spectacular courses across the country. Surprisingly the game of golf was first played here some hundred years ago and clearly why it is now a top golf destination. Overall the country boasts 260 golf courses but apart from golf there is also its innate beauty, fascinating culture and intriguing traditions to take into account. It was with these thoughts in mind that I found myself embarking on an adventure of a lifetime not only to play golf but also to visit some of the country’s famous places of interest.

Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open Golf Tournament – Portugal – July 2012

Watching the ‘Seniors Open’ at the Belas Clube de Campo in south west Portugal last year brought back many a fond memory of the times when friends invited me to watch the occasional professional golf tournament in the 80’s. Now some thirty years later those very same players I had watched all those years ago still had me in awe and were still entertaining and enthralling crowds with their inherent expertise and golfing skills.

Undiscovered Essaouria – May 2012

These days an amazing number of golf resorts are attached to exotic destinations and the Moroccan fishing village of Essaouira is no exception. This is a delightful seaside resort that has grown naturally into a thriving holiday destination having lost none of its mediaeval quaintness and charm.

Gambling, Glamour and Glitz – Tee Times – June 2011

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I would end up playing golf in Las Vegas, a city regarded by most as the gambling capital of America. But surprisingly this famous metropolis also boasts some thirty exquisitely designed golf courses, all within easy reach of the city and all with stunning views of the surrounding Nevada desert.

Magical Madeira – Tee Times – November 2010

Magical Madeira by April Tod Devastating storms hit the small Portuguese island of Madeira towards the end of last year, destroying houses, roads and river banks in its wake. Only a few weeks earlier I had been playing golf on the island and was instinctively relieved to find out that the golf courses had suffered little or no damage, and had been left relatively unscathed.

Ladies, Golf and Tenerife – October 2010

Ladies, Golf and Tenerife (PDF, new window)Tenerife is the largest of all the Canary Island and famous for its year round temperate climate, sweet bananas and delicious wine but more importantly forits nine intricately designed golf courses. This is where each year the Tenerife Open part of the Ladies European Tour (LET) is staged and the other important reason for my visit.

Gothenburg and Golf – September 2009

There’s always an element of eager anticipation when visiting places you have not been to before not dissimilar to golfers trying out a new course for the first time. Well, that was the predicament I recently found myself in when I was unexpectedly invited to visit the Swedish seaside town of Gothenburg on the south west coastline.



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