La Manga Club - The ultimate golf resort
When you think of golfing overseas certain places jump into your head quicker than most, the Algarve in Portugal, Le Touquet in Northern France, Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus or perhaps further afield like the Florida swing courses or the west coast over at Pebble Beach.
However none should be as quick as La Manga Club, the golfing Mecca in Southern Spain which has been the top choice for many a holidaymaker for way beyond 40 years, meaning quality is assured.
Sitting in one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, the Spanish region of Murcia is a haven for golfers. With 300 sunshine days per year, La Manga Club is Murcia’s heartbeat and it’s no wonder as the award winning resort just keeps on getting better.
Voted ‘Best golf resort in Europe’ in 2011, 2012 and 2014 the development and the demand to keep on improving gets bigger every year.
Last month the resort announced plans to redevelop its driving range and practice facilities into one of the best teaching academies in the world. Phase one of the project was completed recently as the impressive new short game facility, incorporating a putting green four times its original size, was officially opened during this month’s PGAs of Europe International Pro-Am.
As well as the new short game area, significant investment also includes a new Leadbetter Golf Academy – the only one in mainland Spain – and an extensive upgrade of its other driving range facilities, with all the work due to be completed in June 2014. The range is to be lengthened by 330 yards with 20 more mats being added outside to double the size of the grass teeing area, meaning up to 100 golfers will be able to use the facility at one time either in covered bays or in the open air.
As part of the redevelopment programme, the driving range is being realigned 60 yards to the right, which will mean the 17th hole on La Manga Club’s North Course will play as a risk-and-reward par-4 over water in the future.
As well as the North Course there are two other courses (the West Course and the South Course), all of which are of championship quality with the South Course having hosted Spanish Opens in the past. What’s really impressive is that they all offer something slightly different, and it’s hard to separate them in terms of quality
The South Course is generally considered to be the resort’s flagship course and was remodelled back in 1991 by the king himself, Mr Arnold Palmer.
Golfshake writer Nick Bonfield recently visited the resort and wrote: “The course is quite open, but stray significantly off line and you will be punished by lakes and strategically placed bunkers and barrancas. The course finds the perfect balance between providing a difficult test and ensuring that good play is rewarded and low scores are achievable.
The greens are quick, smooth and true, making putting a very enjoyable test. As is so often the case in Spain, the putting surfaces are sizeable, with some easily 100 yards from front to back. Putting is the key to scoring well on the South course. It is fairly long, but the fairways are generous, and many of the holes play downhill”.
For a more detailed look at the South course see Nick’s review - Click Here
Many people’s favourite the West Course is the most picturesque and possibly the resort’s most challenging. The tight woodland style course where accuracy is everything with plenty of water hazards await along the way. The set-up means you can only safely hit driver on the par-5’s as the tree lined design will punish you if you’re offline on the shorter par-4’s. The par-3’s also offer up a unique test and collectively they offer up the best shorts holes anywhere in the world.
The course is ‘unique, deceiving and possess distinctive character’ says La Manga Club, setting it aside from its neighbouring brothers. A true test of golf through the undulating land makes the West a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf.
The North Course is perhaps the easier course out of the three. Unlike the West, it is relatively open and it’s shorter than the South but don’t let this fool you. The North bites back on its greens which are large and undulating with varied amounts of movement in them. The course calls for more precision than length with water hazards and more barrancas to catch you out. A silky touch around the greens is needed here on this gem of a track.
La Manga Club is set over 1,400 acres of land with varied accommodation options and virtually every sports and activities under the hot Spanish sun to keep you entertained.
The Hotel Principe Felipe is an elegant five start hotel with golf course and pool views available from its 192 rooms. The hotel was a finalist in the World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2009, and you can even choose something called the Royal Club, which is in a dedicated private wing of the hotel offering personalised attention that you wouldn’t receive anywhere else.
The four star Las Lomas Village offers up 171 self-catering apartments and hotel styled guestrooms all with varied views. With villas and apartments that sleep up to a maximum of ten people, it’s perfect for couples and large groups alike.
Away from the golf courses you certainly won’t be bored as there’s something available for everyone. There are world class facilities for numerous sports including football and tennis, which regularly entice professional teams from around the world.
The resort is also blessed with spa options to rival the best, with Jacuzzi’s, sauna’s and steam rooms accompanying a 25m pool along with 50 treatment choices to help you unwind after your time on the fairways. There are also a number of top class bars and restaurants to choose from, with Italian, Asian, American and traditional Spanish cuisines all on offer.
David Leadbetter Academy
The new David Leadbetter Academy opened at La Manga Club in September 2014 and boasts a brand Academy building as well as a new practice ground, puting and chipping green.
David Leadbetter is known across the globe for innovative and creative teaching techniques. His coaching has spanned three decades and he has often been recognised as the “man who invented the golf instruction industry”.
The academies’ coaching philosophies are simple, and suitable for both beginners and professionals alike. The philosophies are based around core fundamentals, cause and effect and, ultimately, coaching the individual, as we are all different in many aspects.
Academies are staffed by a hand-picked team of the world’s best golfing instructors. To become certified, Leadbetter instructors must complete successfully a rigorous one-year training programme. Supervised under the personal guidance of David Leadbetter and senior staff, trainee instructors must pass a series of tests to meet LGA’s exacting standards.
Golfshake recently spent some time with David Leadbetter at his La Manga Club Academy - Read the exclusive interview - Click Here
Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights to Alicante from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton, East Midlands and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £39.99 one way (£97.98 return). For further information, please visit www.monarch.co.uk
Golfbreaks.com have a selection of great packages available to La Manga, with 3 night breaks starting from £165. For more information - Click Here
For more information please visit the La Manga Club website - Click Here
|La Manga Club Resort
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