Make your golf dreams come true
Cardiff. The capitol of Wales is a mere two-hour drive from London and is accessible via its own international airport. No visit to Cardiff would be complete without a trip to the impressive 74,000-seat Millennium Stadium, which hosts a variety of sporting events and concerts. Wales Millennium Centre, which is host to seven major art organizations, including the Welsh National Opera, is also worth a look, as is Cardiff Bay’s Techniquest (like Epcot, but a lot better). Outstanding golfing opportunities are also available in the Cardiff area, most notably at the nearby Celtic Manor, home of the 2010 Ryder Cup. This 330-room luxury hotel and spa boasts 36-holes of championship golf, as well as a top-notch golf academy and unique par-59 academy course.
Harlech Castle. One of the most spectacular sites in all of Wales, Harlech Castle dates back to the time of King Edward I (1283) and was constructed as part of England’s “iron ring” of castles which protected the vast Welsh area of Snowdonia. Today, the amazing structure hasn’t changed much from the days when it was the focus of endless sieges from both English and Welsh alike. One of the greatest ways to enjoy the area of Harlech is to take a tour of the Castle and then descend into town and play a round at Royal St. David’s, one of only two Royals in the entire country. A premium-quality layout, St. David’s provides a championship test with the unique experience of having a view of a 13th-century castle.
The Grove. Formerly a country estate, this ultraluxurious resort (managed by Troon) features five-star accommodations and a terrific course designed by Kyle Philips of Kingbarns fame. Located just 30 minutes outside London, the Grove offers an English parkland feel, great golf and the opportunity to spoil yourself with comfort.
Perrry Golf www.perrygolf.com
Haversham & Baker www.haversham.com
5 Great Places To Stay
1. Old Course Hotel
A true luxury facility that offers a premium spa, fine dining and legitimate five-star accommodations and services.
2. Gleneagles Hotel
Located in the heart of Scotland, Gleneagles not only has first-class golf courses, but also a variety of other interesting diversions, including skeet shooting, horseback riding, falconry and off roading.
3. Westin Turnberry Resort
A classic Scottish hotel that features a first-class spa and traditional, elegant dining and decor. No visit to Scotland is complete without a stop here.
4. Adare Manor
An ultraluxurious Irish manor/castle that’s sure to take your breath away.
5. Celtic Manor
This huge, somewhat corporate facility provides guests with the utmost in comfort. Fantastic rooms, a choice of fine dining experiences and solid golf are all available.
5 Hidden Gems
Designed by famed architect James Braid, Brora’s traditional links provide golfers with a great combination of outstanding golf and amazing Scottish Highlands scenery.
You probably haven’t heard of it, but Golspie offers one of the most beautiful settings in Scotland. A pleasing mix of links, heathland and parkland holes make it a winner.
This isn’t one of the better-known tracks in Ireland, but it’s one of the most fun. Unique features like palm trees and casual dog walkers provide character.
An unusual links perched high on a promontory above the sea, Pennard offers golfers a stunning setting, some wacky bounces and free-roaming Welsh horses.
Considered one of the oldest courses in Wales as well as one of the best.
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