Why Autumn is a Great Time for a Midweek Golf Break
WHEN booking a golf break most of us opt for weekends, but now that autumn is here there are some incredible midweek deals to be had at some the best golf resorts in the British Isles - and there are plenty of good reasons to consider a midweek golf break. With golfers desperate to get away after being locked up for so long earlier in the year, weekend availability is pretty restricted but there are lots of venues ready to welcome golfers during the week - and on Sundays.
If you followed the European Tour’s UK Swing you will have seen just how spectacular The Belfry, Celtic Manor and Hanbury Manor are. They challenged the best players in Europe and you can play them at bargain prices.
There are lots of reasons for considering a midweek break, including greater tee-time availability and special offers at some of the most famous golf resorts in the UK. On top of that, because corporate business levels are low, there is a very good chance that you will be offered free room upgrades, enjoy less crowded facilities and favourable dinner reservations times.
And, unlike foreign travel, the chances of being impacted by travel restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 - other than those we already know all about - are extremely slim. In other words, it is a no-brainer.
The Belfry, Celtic Manor, Hanbury Manor, Carden Park, Portmarnock and even the world-famous Turnberry are just six of the resorts that you should consider. And you can find great deals for all of them at Golfbreaks.
The Belfry is best known as the host course for the Ryder Cup. It was the scene of much drama but, in 2020, it is a much improved course. For starters, the thousands of saplings are now mature trees, framing the narrow fairways. Follow in the footsteps of some Ryder Cup legends. Attempt to emulate Seve Ballesteros by driving the green at the par-four 10th, try Christy O’Connor’s magnificent approach across the lake at the fearsome 18th or attempt to hole Sam Torrance’s winning putt on the final green from 1985, or Paul McGinley’s on the same surface from 2002. It is a challenging course and it will test every part of your game but a round at the Brabazon is an experience you will never forget.
There is a wide variety of rooms and suites to choose from, with the signature and superior single, double and twin rooms all boasting a wide range of amenities. The Belfry also offers a wide selection of restaurants and bars. If you are looking for fine dining, head to The Ryder Grill. For something little more casual, check out Rocca’s, which specialises in pizza and pasta. The Brabazon Bar, located in the heart of the hotel, offers afternoon tea, tapas, light bites and cocktails.
Celtic Manor hosted the Wales Open and, famously, the 2010 Ryder Cup, when Colin Montgormerie’s European team secured the most thrilling of victories against the USA thanks to the heroics of Graeme McDowell. There are three courses, but the jewel in the crown is the Twenty Ten course, designed and built specifically by Terry Matthews to host the Ryder Cup. The course measures 7,493 yards from the back tee and is a par 71. There are water hazards on half the holes, so make sure you take plenty of golf balls. Accuracy will be rewarded. This is a unique layout, with a links feel early on, featuring punishing rough and the greenside swales that make it such a perfect venue for tournament golf.
This is a five-star hotel featuring an award-winning spa, luxurious accommodation, six restaurants and three championship golf courses. Clay pigeon shooting, fishing and mountain biking can also be arranged.
Turnberry, lest you need reminding, was the setting for the Duel in the Sun, the 1977 Open Championship during which Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus spent four days thrilling the golf world with a display the likes of which we had never witnessed before. Since then, millions has been spent on the world-renowned Ailsa Course, turning it into one of the best links in the world.Turnberry has two 18-hole courses and a nine-hole course.
The Ailsa now measures 7,489 yards and is a thing of rare beauty, located on the Ayrshire coast. It was renovated by Martin Ebert and is widely recognised as being one of the best courses on the planet.
In 2017, the King Robert the Bruce Course was opened. It measures 7,203 yards and features beautiful views of the stunning coastline, castle ruins and Turnberry lighthouse. Check out Matt Holbrook’s review of what Turnberry has to offer.
Unsurprisingly, the accommodation is out of this world - and offers amazing views. The rooms all feature 65-inch flat screen TVs and chandeliers. Guests can enjoy world-class food in the 1906 Restaurant or relax in the Grand Tea Lounge and Bar. The spa has an infinity pool with great views of Ailsa Craig, a range of relaxing treatments and a fitness studio.
Hanbury Manor Golf Club hosted the recent English Championship, which was won by Andy Sullivan with an astonishing winning total of 27 under par. It features a Jacobean-style Manor House set in 200 acres in Ware, Hertfordshire.
The hotel offers a variety of treatments at its spectacular spa, an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and a leisure centre with heated swimming pool and gym. Guests can choose from a wide range of food and beverage options, from afternoon tea to a more relaxed meal at the golf club. Expect complimentary parking and valet dry-cleaning.
Carden Park nestles in 1,000 acres of Cheshire countryside and features a newly-opened luxury spa. It has two championship golf courses, the Nicklaus and the Cheshire, along with a PGA Academy, custom fitting studio, practice facilities and clubhouse with well-equipped professional’s shop. Carden Park really comes into its own when it comes to food, boasting a rosette-awarded restaurant, as well as The Vines, which has been inspired by the onsite vineyard, where you can enjoy more informal dining. You can also eat at Jack’s Bar in the clubhouse and at Morgan’s Bar. Activities on offer include tennis, a children’s playground, quad biking, laser clay shooting and archery.
Located on one of Ireland’s most beautiful stretches of coastline, Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links is located just 15 minutes from Dublin airport and overlooks a five-mile stretch of golden sandy beach. It is not to be confused with Portmarnock Golf Club - this course was designed by Bernhard Langer and opened for play in 1996. Set in the grounds of the old Jameson Estate, the course has played host to a number of tournaments, including the Ladies Irish Open.The course has recently been extensively upgraded to include the creation of a short-game area, the riveting of traditional links pot bunkers and enhancements that make full use of the dunes and natural terrain.
The hotel has a spa and two award-winning restaurants. On the doorstep are the delightful villages of Malahide (which also boasts a wonderful golf course) and Howth, and Dublin is just a 20-minute drive from Portmarnock.
What all of these locations have in common is that they combine world-class golf courses with fabulous accommodation - and a midweek autumn golf trip will not break the bank.
For more information and deals, visit Golfbreaks.
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