Review Elea Golf Resort
Played and reviewed by Golfshake ambassador Rob Treanor - Oct 2017
Golf came to Cyprus relatively recently but those in the know have been enjoying some top quality golf on the island over the last ten years. The Nick Faldo design at Elea ranks very highly in the top courses on the island since opening in 2010 and given that Golfshake last visited in 2012, it was high time to return to see how the venue has matured.
The par 71 course, which features commanding views over Paphos, provides a fantastic challenge for golfers of all abilities. Given its proximity from the sea (central Paphos is just ten minutes away in the car), the breeze often provides a glorious complement to the pleasant Cypriot weather.
Entering the Elea estate, the drive uphill to the impressive clubhouse winds past the outskirts of the course providing a tempting glimpse of what is to come. The service from the staff is outstanding, barely are you out of your vehicle and your clubs are being whisked away and loaded onto a waiting buggy ready for the round.
There is equally efficient and friendly service in the pro shop and if you have a moment it is worth visiting the balcony to savour the views out onto the course and beyond to the Mediterranean sea.
The course has first class practice facilities, with a very large driving range, chipping area and putting green, which should ensure you reach the first tee primed and ready for action.
Front 9 Overview
The 9th Hole at Elea Golf
There are many standout holes at Elea and one of its defining features is how inviting it is off the tee. The fairways are all of generous proportions, which provide confidence off the tee, but the real trick of this course is how it demands ever greater control and accuracy the closer you get to the green.
The first tee is a great example of this and when stood looking down onto the long, wide fairway with the sun on your face, it is impossible not to smile. A good tee shot should see you to where the hole turns left on this gentle par-4 start, where another inviting downhill shot awaits.
There are some unique features around the course, such as the stone wall that runs parallel to a ditch across the second fairway; the beautiful Mediterranean herbs and shrubs which line the holes, and the large amount of sand which waits to capture wayward shots on almost every hole.
The sand is beautifully fine and well maintained allowing consistent shots back into play. If you make it round the full 18 without having found any bunkers you will have done very well.
Although there are so many cracking holes, the par-5 9th really stays with you. At 453-yards from the yellow tees, the green can be reached in two. However, water sweeps in to interrupt the fairway and surrounds the green to the right meaning you will really need to pause and think about what shot you want to play. This hole is lots of fun to play and it demands you to think over every shot.
Back 9 Overview
The 15th Hole at Elea Golf Resort
The greens provide a great test with many hazardous multi-layers and tricky slopes to read and contest with. It is this subtle need for precision, which makes Elea such an enjoyable challenge and means a carefully planned strategy needs to be considered for each shot.
The short par-3 14th looks so inviting from the tee but will punish without mercy any shot that doesn't find the correct level on the green.
The final four holes are gorgeous and, in keeping with how the course increases in difficulty the closer to the hole you get, Elea really toughens up for the final few holes.
The 15th is called "Perfect" and is an absolutely gorgeous par-4 played downhill with Paphos in the distance. For the next tee shot you hit uphill towards the clubhouse, which dominates the landscape.
The 17th has a comprehensive guide to the hole on the tee - and with good reason owning to the 80-yard ravine, which runs through the fairway. Only the best drive will make this green reachable in two strokes and even that depends on what the breeze is up to. This hole provides a stern challenge towards the end of your round and, again, strategy and precision will prevail!
Following the round, the clubhouse has outstanding facilities and feels luxurious and exclusive. Sitting on the sun drenched balcony enjoying an ice-cold refreshment, or two, while looking down to the course comes highly recommended.
The views from many of the elevated tee boxes are lovely and the planting of Mediterranean herbs mean there are pleasant sights and smells all the way around. The course is definitely walkable but buggies provide shade when the weather is warm.
This course stays with you. No sooner had I started my journey away from the clubhouse, I felt a longing to play it again. It is tempting from the tee but requires thought, precision and no small amount of skill to score well.
It has matured beautifully in the past few years and given its proximity to Paphos, the year round sunshine and the fact there are several other great courses nearby, Elea will surprise and delight you. I can't wait to visit again.
Top tips for success:
- Plan your strategy carefully for each hole
- Practice bunker shots as part of your warm up
- Stay mentally strong throughout - the toughest test arrives towards the end of the round.
Overall Rating – 9
Course (Conditions) - 9
Course (Hole variety/layout) - 9
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8
Club facilities & 19th/clubhouse - 9
Practice Facilities - 9
Friendliness/Hospitality - 9
Course (green condition) - 9
Pace of play - 9
Value for money – 8
For more information and to play your visit check out: www.eleaestate.com
|Elea Golf Club
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