Italian company looking at building a new golf resort in Perth, Australia

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An Italian entertainment company is snooping around Perth, looking for property where it can build what’s been called “one of the biggest family resort and theme park operations on the planet.”
The search is being conducted by a division of Ermes Technologies, which believes its to-be-named, $4 billion resort will attract more than two million visitors a year. The resort, which has been compared to Walt Disney World in Florida, will include two theme parks, as many as four hotels, a shopping area, restaurants, theaters, night clubs, and a pair of 18-hole golf courses.
“The resort will be a dreamland,” said Enrico Petrucci, the CEO of Ermes’ themed entertainment division, in a comment reported by the West Australian. “Totally self-contained to reach, to rest, and have fun for two or three days. Where people can return home with unforgettable memories and the desire to come back again.”
Ermes – the word is an acronym for European Research & Manufacturing of Engineering Solutions – is involved in a wide variety of activities. It designs drones for military uses, builds supercomputers, and provides engineering services for the defense and aerospace industries. It created its themed entertainment division in 2009, to increase the market for its animatronics capabilities.
So far, at least, the company is being encouraged by tourism officials in West Australia, who are eager to attract vacationers.
“It sounds like a bold and exciting development that would be welcome in Western Australia,” the region’s tourism director told the West Australian.
But while Petrucci thinks Perth is an ideal location for the resort, he isn’t putting all of Ermes’ eggs in one basket.
“If we find Perth is not interested,” he noted in what appears to be a negotiating ploy, “the second city we are looking at is Melbourne.”

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Italian company hopes to build a massive golf resort in Perth, Australia

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An Italian entertainment company is snooping around Perth, looking for property where it can build what’s been called “one of the biggest family resort and theme park operations on the planet.”

The search is being conducted by a division of Ermes Technologies, which believes its to-be-named, $4 billion resort will attract more than two million visitors a year. The resort, which has been compared to Walt Disney World in Florida, will include two theme parks, as many as four hotels, a shopping area, restaurants, theaters, night clubs, and a pair of 18-hole golf courses.
“The resort will be a dreamland,” said Enrico Petrucci, the CEO of Ermes’ themed entertainment division, in a comment reported by the West Australian. “Totally self-contained to reach, to rest, and have fun for two or three days. Where people can return home with unforgettable memories and the desire to come back again.”
Ermes – the word is an acronym for European Research & Manufacturing of Engineering Solutions – is involved in a wide variety of activities. It designs drones for military uses, builds supercomputers, and provides engineering services for the defense and aerospace industries. It created its themed entertainment division in 2009, to increase the market for its animatronics capabilities.
So far, at least, the company is being encouraged by tourism officials in West Australia, who are eager to attract vacationers.
“It sounds like a bold and exciting development that would be welcome in Western Australia,” the region’s tourism director told the West Australian.
But while Petrucci thinks Perth is an ideal location for the resort, he isn’t putting all of Ermes’ eggs in one basket.
“If we find Perth is not interested,” he noted in what appears to be a negotiating ploy, “the second city we are looking at is Melbourne.”

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PGA Champion Keegan Bradley was encouraged by his family and his upbringing as son of PGA Head Professional

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Keegan Bradley wins PGA Championship

Keegan Bradley wins PGA Championship

Saying newly crowned PGA Champion Keegan Bradley was practically born to play golf is like saying Barry Bonds got a headstart by being Bobby’s son.

His father, Mark, is currently the PGA Head Professional at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club in Wyoming after stints in Boston and Vermont. Bradley got plenty of lessons and all the time he needed at the practice range, free of charge. Turns out he was schooled, as well, by one of his aunts, who knew plenty about the game and even more about the tenacity it takes to play golf at the highest levels.

That would be LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley, whom renowned sports psychologist Bob Rotella once called the toughest player he ever saw.

“I grew up going to Pat’s tournaments, totally idolizing her and wanting to be like her out there,” he said, with the Wanamaker Trophy perched nearby.

“I remember as a kid going out to her tournaments and literally staring her in the face, and I’m her nephew, but she was so into it, she wouldn’t even recognize me. And I thought that was cool,” said Bradley, now 25.

Some of that coolness apparently made it into Bradley’s DNA. The last time a golfer won a major in his first try was Ben Curtis in 2003, and before him, Francis Ouimet in 1913. And until late Sunday afternoon, it looked possible another century might even slip by before it happened again. Bradley began the day trailing third-round co-leaders Jason Dufner and Brendan Steele, a good pal, by only a stroke; by the time he stood on the 16th tee, though, he was down five shots with only three holes to make up the differential.

Yet some of that familial toughness revealed itself as he walked toward No. 16 after dumping a ball in a pond at the 15th and carding a disastrous triple bogey.

“I remember walking off that green thinking, ‘You know, the last four holes are so tough here that somebody could have a five-shot lead. It doesn’t matter,” Bradley recalled.

The gap closed when Dufner, who played the final four holes at 3 under through the first three rounds, made three bogeys over that same stretch in the last one. Bradley sealed the deal in the three-hole playoff with two straight birdies, closing with a very workmanlike par.

“I kept thinking about the playoff I won at the Byron Nelson, and the same thing happened to me in that. As soon as I realized I was going into a playoff, I completely calmed down,” he said.

During the family’s time in Vermont, Bradley did a fair share of ski racing as a youngster, but didn’t need long to decide between the two sports. He was 12 years old and looking down the barrel of a tough slalom run in Killington when the decision was practically made for him.

“It was raining, cold, sleeting and I’m at the top of this mountain going, ‘This is not as much fun as golf. I love golf so much more.”’

As Bradley recalled that moment, his mother, Kaye, sat in the back of the interview room, alternately nodding or chuckling at the memory and crying tears of joy.

“He always said he was going to do this,” she said. “I still have a letter he wrote in the first grade saying he was going to be a PGA pro. I’ve got pictures of him on the range at four. Grandma Bradley sent over his first set of clubs — plastic, of course — for Christmas, and Keegan almost wore those out. He was so devoted. He wanted this so badly. I used to worry what would happen if it didn’t come to pass.”

She often looked to her husband to be the detached voice of reason any time the discussions turned to Keegan’s career.

“But he wasn’t much help that way,” Kaye Bradley said. “He used to say all the time, ‘He’s the real deal.’ But I didn’t want it to be this or nothing. I made sure he got his college degree.”

Yet it was Kaye who was unabashedly proud to revive a Bradley tradition. When Pat won her first tournament, in Australia, it was the middle of the night back at the family home in Westford, Mass. Determined to celebrate, Pat’s mother ran up and down the streets ringing a cowbell and waking up plenty of her neighbors.

“The bell is actually in the Hall of Fame now,” Keegan Bradley said. “My mom has started her own, new tradition, a takeoff on that. She runs up and down the street like a crazy woman with wind chimes.

“Might have to get that bell out of retirement,” Bradley mused a moment later. “I’d like to hear it ring at least once.”

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Opportunity for all visitors to receive a free round of golf

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NationalGolfShowEvery visitor to the National Golf Show will receive a free round of golf at the fantastic Nailcote Hall.

The midlands venue hosts the Open Par 3 Championships and annual Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, meaning the complimentary rounds will see golfers treading the same fairways as the great Tony Jacklin, a host of former Ryder Cup players, European Tour stars and celebrities such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Jasper Carrott and Len Goodman.

To collect their free round all visitors have to do is visit Nailcote Hall on stand S24.

And the complimentary visit could be put to good use as practice for the new series of Open Par 3 Championships taking place at Nailcote Hall, the winners of which will be rewarded with a place alongside top professionals in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship.

Golfers will also have the chance of winning a fantastic golf break at Nailcote Hall as a daily prize on the show’s nearest-the-pin competition.

Free golf for every visitor makes the golfing extravaganza even better value for money with advance tickets costing just £7.50 and coming with a host of exclusive promotions to redeem at the event including a £50 voucher from Your Golf Travel.com and a further 10 per cent off the Watch Hut’s show prices.

The National Golf Show takes place from April 15-17 and a strong focus on visitor participation will mean golfers are greeted by a host of opportunities to swing a club, with free tuition from fully qualified coaches and the chance to win fantastic prizes on a variety of innovative fun and games among the show’s main features.

All the latest equipment from big brands will be available to test and buy as well as the latest training aids and apparel, with the show bringing together all elements of the golfing world.

For more information or to buy tickets call 0844 581 0801 or go to www.nationalgolfshow.com.

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After repeat win, Sebastian Vazquez considered best Amateur in Mexico

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Sebastian Vazquez

Sebastian Vazquez

With an undeniable victory, Valle de Mexico and Sebastián Vázquez endorsed the titles won last year in La Loma de San Luis Potosi. The partnership will retain the Challenge Cup for another year, while Sebastian may be considered the best amateur in the country.

During the awards ceremony, Manuel Queijeiro, President of the National Tournament Committee and International Federation, thanked on behalf of Fernando Ysita, President of the organization, the presence and support of associations who sent their players to the tournament. “With the support of regional associations, the Federation can meet its objectives, among which is the organization of tournaments to settle the national amateur champion, the highest distinction that golfers can reach,” said Queijeiro.

Valley of Mexico swept the Challenge Cup score, with five first places in seven categories and 15 Top3 in total.

Championship. Sebastian Vazquez, Club de Golf Mexico (Valle de Mexico), repeated at most successful, by adding three days in 216 strokes, a pair of field. Five of distance was Luis Munoz de Cote, of Chapultepec (Valle de Mexico), with 221 in total. The third was to Mauritius Ancer, North, with 232 hits

The key to the success of Vazquez was in the second round, as he spent the first nine three above. But when starting the last nine holes of the tournament, Muñoz de Cote a shot, a player from Mexico linked birdies at 10, 11 and 12, plus an eagle at 13. And like his fellow squad had a double bogey is the same hole 13 January, there and wrote the story of this victory.

“Hole 5 was the hardest work I took in the tournament,” said Sebastian at the end. “The three days I played in seven above, while the rest of the camp was spent in seven below. This is golf, but I’m very happy with this win,” he said upon receiving his trophy.

AA. Juan Carlos del Val, the Chapultepec (Valle de Mexico) finished with 11 strokes ahead of Camilo Aguado, of Chiluca (Valle de Mexico), who had the best round of the day, with 76 hits. Rodrigo Flores finished in third place, the Yucatan Country Club (East), with 243.

A. An interesting final in this category, as Enrique Payén of Vallescondido (Valley of Mexico) had the best round of the tournament with 71. However, could not reach Rolando Garay, also Vallescondido (Valley of Mexico) who finished the tournament with 230 strokes, one fewer than his club colleague and association. The third was for George Lopez (Real Wood), with 233.

B. Horse reaches wins. Came back today José Luis Simbeck of Tabachines (South) to tie for the lead with Javier Mexia, of Vallescondido (Valley of Mexico) The two totaled 251 strokes in three rounds, so they had to go out and play a tiebreaker. After three thrilling holes Simbeck got the silver trophy. The third group was Mauricio González-Rul, of Mexico (Valle de Mexico).

C. Carlos de la Fuente, Tabachines (South), won the rest of the category with 258 strokes, three less than Turham Madanoglu of Chiluca (Valle de Mexico). Miguel Lozano, also Chiluca (Valle de Mexico), went to third with 263.

D. At the end of three rounds, Leopoldo Leyva, the Country of Mexico city (Valley of Mexico) won the trophy at the end with 257 hits, nine fewer than Pablo Jimenez, Vallescondido (Valle de Mexico). Third place went to Viviano Francisco Cardenas, Miralta Lakes (North), with 275 in three rounds.

E. Luis Chorene, Royal Forest (Valley of Mexico), won this category of end points. To 86 today, the best card of the tournament for this group totaled 270, nine fewer than the golfer Campestre de Morelia, Abel Maldonado (Centro). A 14 away, with 284, ranked Luis Angel Gamez, of Chiluca (Valle de Mexico).

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Pound Ridge Golf Club Officially Opens for 2011 Golf Season

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Pound Ridge

Pound Ridge

Pound Ridge Golf Club Officially Opens for 2011 Golf Season

Daily Fee, Pete Dye Course Rides New York City Metro Area’s First Wave of Spring-Like Weather

(POUND RIDGE, N.Y.) – Pound Ridge Golf Club – the daily fee Pete Dye course in Westchester County – will officially open for the season on Friday, March 18, riding the New York City metro area’s first wave of Spring-like weather.

Through April 30, local golfers can experience the state’s only Dye design at its “offseason” rates of $150 and $100 after 2 p.m. Tee times can be reserved by calling the golf shop at (914) 764-5771 or booking online at www.poundridgegolf.com.

“We are excited to enter our third full year of providing Metro area golfers with an upscale, daily fee golf alternative offering design and conditioning equal to the very best private clubs,” says Todd Leavenworth, General Manager of Pound Ridge. “As our course has matured agronomically, Pound Ridge has emerged as one of the true modern marvels of Dye’s legendary portfolio.”

In 2011, Pound Ridge will present a diverse menu of price points and playing options appealing to a wide spectrum of players. Effective April 1, new nine-hole rates will go into effect that include full use of the driving range and short game area, a cart or pull-cart, bottled water, a player’s towel and a souvenir yardage book. Weekday advance rates (Mon. – Thurs.), introduced in 2010, will be continued this season, catering to golfers who are flexible in planning the day and time they wish to play.

For a full overview of rates and rate periods, visit www.poundridgegolf.com/rates-policies.

About Pound Ridge Golf Club

Opened in 2008, Pound Ridge Golf Club is the only course in New York designed by the legendary Pete Dye. Located in Westchester County, it is less than an hour north of New York City and less than 15 minutes from Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut. Pound Ridge Golf Club is the premier upscale daily fee course in the metropolitan New York area, considered a “must play” on any golfer’s bucket list.

Crafted by Dye, his son Perry and long-time Dye construction manager/lead shaper Michael Langkau, Pound Ridge Golf Club is a full bentgrass facility, hewn from 172 acres of magnificent cliffs, streams and wooded hills. Dramatic rock formations and boulders were left onsite, creating one of the most visually stunning settings for golf in the U.S. More than 14,000-linear-feet of rock wall frames the course as it winds through hardwood forests and fescue mounds and open meadows.

Pound Ridge Golf Club plays to a par-72, has five sets of tees and measures 7,171 yards from the Black tees. It houses a practice range, short game area and putting green. The property features some of the highest points in Westchester County, with a number of tee boxes offering expansive vistas of the surrounding countryside. Notable holes include the par-5, 13th – home to “Pete’s Rock,” a giant boulder that rests in the middle of the fairway – and the par-3 15th – dubbed “Headstone” – which is flanked on the right by a large rock outcropping that protrudes into the elongated, 9,000-square-foot green.

Accolades for Pound Ridge Golf Club Include:

- “No. 1 New York City Area Golf Course, 2010″ – AskMen.com – “America’s Best New Courses, 2009″ – Golf Digest – “New Golf Development of the Year, 2009″ – ABTA Golf – “Top Ten You Can Play, No. 2, 2008″ – GOLF Magazine – “Best New Courses, 2008″ – LINKS Magazine – “America’s Best New Courses, 2008″ – Golfweek

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Legend Golf & Safari Resort has been awarded No. 1 golf resort status on the African continent

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Legend-Golf-Safari-ResortLegend Golf & Safari Resort has been awarded No. 1 golf resort status on the African continent by the respected African Business Review magazine.
The multi-award-winning leisure venue, situated at the heart of the Big 5 Entabeni Safari Conservancy in the Waterberg area of Limpopo, has added yet another prestigious accolade to its portfolio of industry acknowledgements.

Legend was hailed as the Continent’s Best Golf Resort in the February 2011 edition of African Business Review and its world-class Signature Golf Course was declared “truly spectacular” by the acclaimed industry publication.

Beating off illustrious competition from Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, Sun City’s Gary Player Country Club, Egypt’s Taba Heights and Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in the Review’s rundown of the top 10 golf resorts in Africa, Legend Golf & Safari Resort scooped first place thanks to its “thrilling” world-famous Extreme 19th golf hole as well as its innovative 10-hole Tribute Course.

The continent’s No 1 golf resort title is just the latest in a long line of awards for the South African sporting destination. It scooped the World’s Best title in the category of best golf course at the highly prestigious and fiercely contested 2010 International Property Awards and was named Africa’s leading sports resort and South Africa’s leading golf resort at the 2010 World Travel Awards.

For more information about Legend Golf & Safari Resort go to www.legendgolfsafari.com

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Southern England’s Other Premier Links Courses highlighted with hosting of the The Open Championship at Royal St George’s

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Atlantic Links February 2011: The hosting of The Open Championship at Royal St George’s on the Kent coast in July will highlight the abundance of premier links courses that can be found elsewhere in the south of England over the next six months.

With The Open Championship so often staged in Scotland – it returns to St Andrews every five years for example – and North West England, some of southern England’s oldest and most beguiling links rarely fall under the golfing spotlight during the only major championship staged in this country.

England’s Atlantic Links in the south west of England is however hoping to benefit from Open attention and attract more visitors this summer as golf fans extend their trip to Royal St George’s with some links golf of their own.

Visitors will not be disappointed if they make their way to England’s Atlantic Links which comprises the five premier links golf courses in the region; Burnham & Berrow in Somerset, Royal North Devon and Saunton in Devon, and St Enodoc and Trevose in Cornwall.

This tantalizing trail of ancient links golf, set amid the wild and unadulterated landscape of north Atlantic coastline, offers some of the most challenging and exciting links golf in the country.

Nick Faldo, arguably England’s greatest golfer, once said of the Saunton links, “I’ve no doubt that if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent it would have hosted an Open Championship by now”. Praise indeed from Faldo who has been a fan of Saunton since playing there as a boy. No wonder then that Saunton’s East Course was awarded 21st spot in Golf World’s “Top 100 Golf Courses in the UK” in 2010.

The other four clubs also have great pedigree and three have also hosted a number of top amateur championships over the years.

The 2009 Tillman Trophy was staged at Burnham & Berrow whilst later this year will host the R&A Boys Championship and The Brabazon Trophy – for the fifth time – and in doing so enter golfing history in 2011 by becoming the first course to hold both championships in the same year.

Trevose staged the 2008 Brabazon Trophy, the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, whilst St Enodoc’s Church Course hosted the 2002 English Ladies Amateur Championship 2002 and the 2005 English Counties Championship.

Royal North Devon meanwhile is England’s oldest links course and a must for anyone interested in the history of golf. The course, still on its original site, is like taking a step back in time to see how golf was played a hundred years ago whilst the memorabilia and history found in the clubhouse is rivalled only by that found in the Royal & Ancient clubhouse in St Andrews.

Together these legendary, award-winning championship courses have firmly established themselves as one of the most prestigious links destinations in the UK.

“The staging of The Open Championship in southern England for the first time since 2003 is a great opportunity for England’s Atlantic Links to grab a share of the attention of the golf world in 2011,” comments Mark Evans, Secretary of Royal North Devon.

“Like Royal St George’s, our courses offer golfers the chance to experience traditional, championship links golf at its best. What’s more, our green fees average out at around £70 per round which is excellent value in light of the quality of the courses.”

In addition, England’s Atlantic Links’ courses boast the combined appeal of history, tradition and variety which is complemented by numerous off-course activities along the Atlantic coastline.

England’s South West is simply bursting with attractions including pretty coastal towns like Ilfracombe in North Devon, bustling market towns such as Wadebridge and Barnstaple and charming fishing villages like Port Isaac, Rock and Padstow along the north Cornish coast whilst historic towns like Weston-super-Mare and Bath, near Burnham & Berrow in Somerset, are ideal destinations to round off a golfing adventure.

The region’s rich culture features the inimitable Barbara Hepworth Museum and Tate St Ives, displaying the very best in modern and local art, the renown Eden Project and fascinating Lost Gardens of Heligan whilst outdoor activities such as surfing around Newquay and walking and horse riding in Exmoor National Park are as good as anywhere in the British Isles.

The gastronomic delights of the South West are not to be missed either, from the exceptional Padstow seafood restaurants of famous local chef Rick Stein and a variety of other Michelin-starred restaurants, to real English ale and authentic pub grub in an abundance of traditional country pubs.

The temperate micro climate allows year-round golf with the gentler winter conditions enabling the greenkeepers to maintain their courses in immaculate condition throughout the changing seasons.

Meanwhile the overall standard of accommodation in the South West has risen dramatically in recent years and there are now a host of comfortable, character hotels like Woodlands Country House Hotel, beautifully restored stately homes such as the Bath Spa Hotel, modern seaside hotels such as Saunton Sands and the St Moritz Hotel & Spa and delightful, friendly bed-and-breakfasts.

In terms of travel, the nearby M5 motorway and A39 “Atlantic Highway”, and international airports at Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter and Newquay, ensure easy accessibility for all visitors.

For further information on England’s Atlantic Links, visit www.atlantic-links.co.uk.

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Spanish Golf Holidays can be your favorite golf destination

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Atalaya Park Golf Hotel Resort

Atalaya Park Golf Hotel Resort

English-owned Costa del Sol golf course, Estepona Golf, is leading the fight-back for affordable Spanish golf holidays.  Now offering a 7-night play and stay with unlimited golf and range balls for just 299 euros per person, there’s no excuse for golfers not to return to their favourite golfing destination.

PGA golfer Darran Clark is Marketing Consultant for the concept and comments, “Unrealistic green fees forced many golf holidaymakers to vote with their feet and head to the fairways of upcoming Turkey and Egypt.  The problem is however that most Northern European golfers prefer the Costa del Sol, feel comfortable here, are familiar with the 70-plus courses and favour the short flying times.  Estepona Golf, in partnership with fabulous accommodation in course-side Alcazaba Hills, is inviting these golfers to come back to Spain and in return we pledge never to be beaten on value for money.”

Estepona Golf began flying the flag for Spanish golf when the global financial crisis was at its peak in 2009.  Membership deals of unlimited golf for 99 euros per month and unlimited weekend golf for 49 euros per month were emblazoned across Costa del Sol motorway billboards and 100 new memberships were signed-up within two months of launch.  Spanish golf was back in business and affordable once more – much to the vexation of neighbouring golf courses charging upwards of 99 euros for just one solitary 18-hole round.

Darran finishes, “In a downturn companies must listen and adapt to their clients’ needs, golf is no different.  Courses have to be realistic in their pricing if they want to stem the tide of golfers testing out non-eurozone golfing destinations.  Our message at Estepona Golf is that the Costa del Sol is open for business and 7 nights play and stay in year-round sunshine for just 299 euros per person is simply a low-cost flight away.”

And with 600 Danish golfers already booked into the Estepona Golf / Alcazaba Hills package for this summer, it looks like the fight-back is really on.

About Alcazaba Hills – Alcazaba Hills is a luxury residential development in a peaceful rural setting on the outskirts of Estepona Golf.  With 100 apartments of whitewashed Mediterranean architecture, the gated resort is set in tropical gardens including a fabulous swimming pool with waterfall, hydrojets and rainforest showers.  There is also a putting green and driving range with unlimited balls for guests.  The two bedroom two bathroom (sleep four) and three bedroom two bathroom (sleep six) apartments have spacious sea view south facing terraces, wifi internet, satellite TV and DVD, hot and cold air-conditioning, fully equipped kitchens to include washing machine and microwave and underground parking.  Midweek clean and linen change.

Moments from the beach, 30 minutes from fashionable Marbella and Puerto Banús, and even less from chichi Sotogrande with its polo fields and stylish marina, Alcazaba Hills is ideal for exploring the Costa del Sol when the sun has set on another day at the fairways.  The International Airports of Malaga to the east and Gibraltar to the west are equidistant at one hour’s drive, with Malaga in particular offering a vast choice of low-cost flights to Northern Europe.

About Estepona Golf – Offering 18-holes of golf set amongst peaceful undulating Spanish countryside, Estepona Golf has incredible sea views from many areas of the course.  Providing a fair test which is enjoyable for players of all standards, the course is renowned for its superb, consistent putting surfaces and wide variety of holes including some very strong par 3s.  English-

owned, the golf course has for many years focused on the visiting golfer from overseas and its multilingual staff always offers a warm friendly welcome.  The Clubhouse has recently undergone a 400,000 euro renovation and a fine selection of food and drinks is available in the comfortable restaurant, bar and sunny terrace.

To book your 7-night play and stay with unlimited golf and range balls for just 299 euros per person, contact holidays@esteponagolf.com, visit www.esteponagolf.com or telephone the Alcazaba Hills team on 00 34 952 93 76 93.

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Nicklaus Golf Club Anguilla saved by Middle East money

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Nicklaus Hotel In Anguilla

Nicklaus Hotel In Anguilla

Thanks to a little money from the Middle East, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Anguilla has new life.

The club made a big splash in the spring of 2008, when, during a three-day sales event, its developers rang up deposits on more than $70 million worth of membership packages that included some prime real estate on Anguilla’s southern coast. There were 27 buyers, each of whom pledged $1.6 million or more to join what was arguably going to be the world’s most exclusive golf club. As it was conceived, Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Anguilla was to be a link in a chain of 25 ultra-luxurious private enclaves built on properties personally selected by Jack Nicklaus.

As they dreamed about playing golf on delectable courses in some of the planet’s most desirable locales – Tuscany, Patagonia, Scotland, and St. Lucia, among others – the buyers were most likely all thinking the same thing: Membership has its privileges.
Of course, just months later, as a spokesman for the club now puts it, “the world fell apart.” Money disappeared. Economies collapsed. Fairmont, the Canadian company that had signed on to operate the club’s hotel, bailed out. Those 27 deposits had to be returned. And Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Anguilla, like so many splendid and ambitious real estate ventures, sank into development limbo.

It has been rescued. Its white knight is Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, the Dubai-based, government-controlled hotelier. Jumeirah, a division of Dubai Holding, has agreed to operate the 140-room hotel on Anguilla and become a part-owner of it.

This is welcome news not only for the club’s developers, a group that operates as Conch Bay Development, Ltd., but for golf projects in need of revival all over the Caribbean. Joyce Kentish and George Lake, Conch Bay’s principals, hope to break ground on the hotel this year, with an opening tentatively scheduled for 2014.

At build-out, Jumeirah Anguilla Resort will also have 460 Jumeirah-managed houses, a spa, meeting space, restaurants, the usual recreational amenities, and two private beach clubs. The 370-acre site includes about two miles’ worth of beaches and offers views of nearby St. Maarten.

Nicklaus has designed a 7,363-yard, links-style track for the property, with a few holes to be located along the water. For now, Conch Bay says its course will simply be a Jack Nicklaus “signature” track. However, a source close to the negotiations tells us that the parties are trying to work out a financial arrangement that will maintain a Jack Nicklaus Golf Club on the property.

If that happens, it would also be welcome news for Nicklaus and his partners, as their club could use a revival of its own. Though it was once viewed as a can’t-miss proposition, today there are barely a handful of Jack Nicklaus Golf Clubs in operation, and two of them – the ones at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio and Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida – were built before idea for the club was hatched. A club in South Korea opened last year, but the Great Recession has claimed most of the others. The club has a website, JackNicklausGolfClub.com, but no news has been posted on it since 2009.

The golf course on Anguilla is being developed by PN Holdings LLC, an entity formed by companies affiliated with Nicklaus and Robert A. Petrallia, a New Jersey-based developer. Nicklaus and Petrallia have been doing business together for years, since they tried unsuccessfully to build a Jack Nicklaus Golf Club on St. Lucia.

Howard Gintell, one of Petrallia’s partners and the marketing coordinator for Conch Bay, tells us that work on the golf course could begin this year. The course will be just the second on Anguilla, joining the Greg Norman-designed layout at Temenos Golf Club. And if you’re wondering whether the club’s members will have to share the course with the hotel’s guests, the answer is yes.

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