Posted by & filed under Golf Travel.

Few things can be better than jetting off on a relaxing golf holiday in the summer sun. Be it in Europe or perhaps further afield, the best golf holidays all have a few things in common—gorgeous greens, challenging holes, and—of course—stunning views for that post-round drink.

If you’re thinking of taking your clubs on your next holiday, there are plenty of all-inclusive resorts around the world to choose from.

Here are the 10 best golf holidays and destinations for summer 2023.


1. Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

As golf holidays go, you can’t go wrong with this five-star resort in Mauritius. With two excellent golf courses (Links and Legend), white sandy beaches and clear blue skies, this island resort provides real escapism.

There are also multiple restaurants and bars, as well as a spa and a gym—so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind between your golf rounds.

Nearest airport: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (approx. 40 miles)


2. H10 Costa Adeje Palace, Tenerife

Located on the seafront, within 15 minutes of four golf courses, this resort occupies an idyllic part of Tenerife. There’s also a great line-up of bars and restaurants here to enjoy between rounds.

The resort’s all-inclusive packages include golf options at all its nearby courses.

Nearest airport: Tenerife Sur Reina Sofia Airport (approx. 13 miles)


3. Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Mexico

Mexico might not be the first country you think of when it comes to the best golf holidays or destinations, but to describe the Moon Palace resort as luxurious would be an understatement.

Situated on the gorgeous Cancun beachfront, the resort is home to a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. There are also various other golf courses dotted around the local area, perhaps most notably El Camaleón, currently a LIV Golf venue—the first of its kind in Latin America.

Nearest airport: Cancun International Airport (approx. 7 miles)


4. Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort, Bulgaria

With its unique collection of courses, Bulgaria is fast becoming one of Europe’s best golf holidays. Not only does the Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort have its own course, but it’s also only a short drive from Thracian Cliffs and Black Sea Rama Golf—two more courses offering a great experience.

The Lighthouse Resort offers packages with unlimited golf rounds.

Nearest airport: Varna International Airport (approx. 40 miles)


5. Barceló Bavaro Beach, Dominican Republic

This Caribbean hotel resort has placed the majority of its rooms facing the beachfront, so it’s the ideal place for sitting back and admiring the view.

It’s not a bad place for a golf holiday, either. The Lakes Barceló course, in particular, is one of the more recent additions to the Dominican Republic’s growing golf offering. You’ll find 25 inland lakes and 122 sand traps on this course!

Nearest airport: Punta Cana International Airport (approx. 13 miles)


6. Pestana Delfim Hotel, Portugal

The Algarve is renowned for its golfing experience—there’s no denying that Portugal is one of Europe’s best golf holidays.

This four-star hotel is located conveniently near several golf courses and one of the best beaches in the Algarve—Praia dos Três Irmãos. It’s also close to the beautiful town of Alvor, so there’s plenty to do both in and around the resort.

Nearest airport: Faro Airport (approx. 50 miles)


7. Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, Morocco

This unique Moroccan resort has so much to offer. From fine dining, a nightclub and even a casino, you’ve got everything and more at your fingertips here.

When you book a stay at this all-inclusive resort, you can select an unlimited golf package for the Mazagan Golf Course, where you can play right next to the beachfront and soak in the views.

Nearest airport: Casablanca Airport (approx. 65 miles)


8. Sirene Golf Resort, Turkey

Sirene Golf Resort in Turkey has two of its own courses and is located close to the National Course. If you book a stay here, you’ll be able to get free transfers over to the National Course, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to practice your golf.

Nearest airport: Antalya Airport (approx. 14 miles)


9. Marconfort Griego Hotel, Spain

This four-star hotel resort is one of only a handful of all-inclusive destinations in the Torremolinos area of the Costa del Sol.

With several golf courses dotted around the area and rounds included in the resort’s package options, it’s definitely a spot worth considering if golf holidays are your thing. Of course, you’ll also be very close to the beach so you can unwind after playing.

Nearest airport: Málaga Airport (approx. 5 miles)


10. Aphrodite Hills Hotel, Cyprus

Set in the Cyprus countryside overlooking the Mediterranean Coast, this stunning resort has plenty to offer people looking for that ideal summer getaway.

Located near the PGA National Cyprus, this resort should be on the bucket list of any keen golfer.

Nearest airport: Paphos Airport (approx. 7 miles)

Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

There are many different formats of golf to make the game more interesting and varied. Greensomes golf is one of them.

Greensomes is a variation of Foursomes (where alternate shots are played from the tee), where both players tee off, and then one of the two tee shots is chosen. From there, the player whose ball was NOT selected then plays the next shot, and each shot thereafter is played as alternate shots.

So, put simply, it is played as Foursomes after the tee shots. You can play under any scoring format, such as stroke play, match play or Stableford.

The hardest part, however, is working out the handicaps. After that, Greensomes is a very straightforward, fun, and tactical game.


Greensomes: How to work out handicaps


It’s recommended that the handicaps should be 0.6 of the lower player’s handicap and 0.4 of the higher player’s. If both handicaps are the same, simply halve the combined total.

For example:

  • Team 1: (0.6×6) and (0.4 x10) = 3.6 + 4 = 7.6
  • Team 2: (0.6×12) and (0.4×16) = 7.2 + 6.4 = 13.6

The difference is exactly six shots, so six shots are given. If the difference were 6.4, though, you would round it down to the lower number.

If you’re playing a Stableford or Medal, use the same calculation to work out your Handicap Index as a pairing. Some competitions might insist on each player hitting a certain amount of drives, so bear this in mind, as you don’t want to be left with one player having to hit a good one up the last.


Other names and versions of Greensomes


Different clubs and countries have different ways of describing versions of the game. For example, you may see Greensomes referred to as things like Scotch Foursomes, Canadian Foursomes, or even Foursomes with Select Drive.

According to the R&A, there are several variations for how to play Greensomes. Pinehurst Foursomes is where both players tee off, switch balls for the second shots, and then play alternate shots with the preferred ball. 

A Chinese or St Andrews Greensomes is another variation where, before the start of the round, you decide on who plays the second shot on the odd holes and who plays the second shot on the evens. So, both players drive, but you know who’ll be playing next. From there, you then revert to playing alternate shots.


Greensomes tactics


If you get a choice of partner, pick one who complements your game. Some high handicappers can be great off the tee, and they would be an ideal partner—getting the ball in play and giving the team some shots—or you might have a low handicapper who can leave much shorter approach shots in.

You have to gel and get on as you’re playing one another’s ball. You never want to be saying sorry after a shot or feel under any undue pressure. This will inevitably happen as it’s golf, but find a partner with a similar personality to keep you both ticking along. 

As for the ball itself, it might be a good idea to play the same ball as long as neither of you has too strong a preference.

You’ll both be hitting drives, so if one of you is wild off the tee, make sure that the other will be able to put the ball in play. Greensomes is genuinely fun, so there will be the option of both of you trying to take on a short par-4 off the tee, but you still need to play the hole.

It’s also best to decide your order before playing—play to whatever suits you as a pairing. It might be that the steadier player tees off first and frees up the longer, more erratic driver of the ball. Or vice versa. There’s a strong school of thought to get both balls in play and then pick the best line in should you both find the short stuff.

It’s slightly misunderstood that Greensomes suits low scoring, but after the tee shots, you’re playing Foursomes, which is considered one of the trickiest formats to score well at. One of you might be a strong iron player, so lean on this as a pairing. If you’re 20 yards apart and the better player has a similar shot in, then, depending on how you’re playing, you might want them to play the approach.

Similarly, think of who the best chippers are on the team and think who might give you the best chance to get up and down should you miss the green.

If it’s a par-3, for example, and you’ve both hit the green, then, again, think about who will give you the best chance of making a par (or birdie). If one of you is a brilliant long putter (or a terrible short putter), try and play to the team’s strengths.

Golf is not a game of perfect, and Greensomes certainly isn’t either. You’ll find yourselves in some odd spots with some strange decisions to make. At times, you’ll get into a lovely rhythm where everyone is playing to their strengths, the game will feel easy, and the points and holes will be flying in—then, at other times, it will feel like you might not even score another point.

If you haven’t played Greensomes before, it’s well worth trying, as it’s a great way to stimulate your golfing brain and engender some team spirit.  

Posted by & filed under Blog.

The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

Alwoodley: 6am. The first players haven’t even teed off in the second round of the English Senior Men’s Amateur Championship but Toby Thorne is already looking ahead.

England Golf’s deputy championship director is plotting round the venerable layout performing a vital part of tournament administration: golf course set up, checking, and planning.

It’s an exercise in beating the clock – a set of tasks that must be performed with precision – and judging where the field will be as he traverses the 1st to the 18th. If he gets it right, the competitors will barely see it happen.

It’s importance, though, can’t be understated. He’s doing two things: inspecting the tees and pins for that day’s play and making sure they are in the right places, and then setting new flag spots for the pivotal final day.

You might think the former is merely a rubber-stamping exercise but it’s anything but.

With 288 players playing a round each at Alwoodley and Pannal, the test that every player needs to face should be comparable. A player turning out at Alwoodley on day two shouldn’t be playing a course 100 yards longer than those who did on day one.

They shouldn’t be hitting into flags that are in a completely different spot. The greenkeepers have had their instructions – and they carry out their maintenance work diligently – but nothing is left to chance.

And so Thorne checks every tee. Are the markers where they were planned? Has anyone moved them? Are they adequately spaced? Can a player, whether they are left or right-handed, play from each extreme of the markers – even if that means them standing outside of the teeing area?

He will check every hole, pacing out the distances (for example, 27 on, eight left) to ensure they are where he asked they should be.

Those numbers have already gone out to the players the night before in their round information, so they must be accurate.

Then the forecasting begins. By Thursday, Thorne had been on site for nearly a week. Long before the players even thought about putting their clubs in the boot, he was scouting Alwoodley – carrying out set-up and course marking duties and thinking ahead about where holes might go on each day of play.

At that stage, they were just thoughts. Weather forecasts, wind, and all manner of conditions nature can throw at you means it’s wise not to get fixated.

But now – still 24 hours before the final day’s players will take to the course – he’s looking to put down more concrete plans for the round where the trophy will be on the line.

It is not simply a case of wandering onto a green, sticking a finger into the air, and picking a spot. He’s looking at green positions. If the flags have been in more forward places over the first two days, he might look more to the rear of a green this time around. If they’ve been central, this time he may consider moving more towards the left or right side of the green.

Slope is hugely important. Break is fine, but he’s looking for the hole itself to be in a relatively flat spot. As a guide, he’s gauging no more than two per cent gradient.

Using a paint can as the hole, he then checks how that position will play. He rolls putts, and runs balls, from all around the proposed cup to see how they react.

He looks around the area where that hole will be. How does the green look? Is there a congregation of pitch marks, or irregularities, that might hinder a player’s putt? Are there any old hole plugs in the area that could prove a distraction? If what he sees is not to his liking, he will think again.

All the while, he’s checking where players are as the day’s play continues – always making sure he’s several holes ahead of competitors.

It takes as much as three hours to complete and it is a behind-the-scenes job you may never have thought about if you’ve never played, or watched, a top-class competition. But the reason is that Thorne, and his England Golf colleagues at the governing body’s events across the country, make sure it’s that way.

Posted by & filed under Debates.

The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

Picture some of our most venerable clubs and you’ll conjure up images of a golfing church. The only hymns you’d normally hear come from birds chirping. It’s not the place you’d expect to be subjected to an impromptu rock concert.

Yet the peace and quiet of one stunning links was recently interrupted and led the historic club to issue their own environmental health warning.

It seemed that groups had been spotted out on the course playing music on Bluetooth speakers. Worse still, the noise could be heard by other players across the holes.

The club concerned sent out a stern message, reminding golfers that speakers were not allowed. Their club. Their choice and I’m sure many people will congratulate them for their stance.

But it also got me thinking about what the rules say about music on the golf course and what the etiquette should be when it comes to broadcasting your Spotify playlist when playing a round.

You might be surprised to learn that the rules themselves do not ban the playing of music on the course. You can listen to audio and you can even watch video as long as it’s unrelated to the competition in which you’re playing. Background music is specifically cited.

What isn’t allowed is listening to music, or audio, either to help block out distractions or to help with swing tempo.

I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about here. What we’re imagining is people having a good time, probably chugging a beer or two, and enjoying their day.

The rules do say you should show consideration to others and that your conduct should not distract the play of another player. I’m not sure how whacking on your Sonos and turning up the dial complies with that.

But though the rules do allow it, what does etiquette say? I suppose it depends where you are, for a start. I read at Bethpage State Park – home of the famed Black course – they equipped their buggy fleet with Bluetooth speakers.

If the club are up for it, and everyone knows what to expect, then no harm no foul. What about, though, when there are no such measures laid down and it becomes a choice?

Firstly, ask your playing partners. If they’re not up for you belting out Slipknot then the whole thing is moot. Secondly, if your group are amenable, make sure only you can hear it. If it’s loud enough that the group behind, or on another fairway, can tell that your guilty pleasure is My Heart Will Go On then you are causing a distraction.

Thirdly, if you’re determined to do it, get some consensus on what to play. You may love Meghan Trainor, but if you’re playing partners aren’t All About That Bass then you’re going to have enough problems in your fourball – never mind what anyone else on the course might think.

If push comes to shove, stick in your headphones. Yes, the rules allow this too – subject to the restrictions we’ve already covered.

I know, though, that you’re not going to let me sit on the fence on this one. What do I think? Honestly, if you want to listen to music, go to a concert. Leave the songs for the journey home.

Posted by & filed under Blog.

If you’re nuts about golf, the life of a Tour caddie might well look seriously appealing. You’re inside the ropes at the big tournaments, working cheek by jowl with a tour player, travelling the world (usually following the sun), and, if you’re especially lucky, earning a very tidy sum.

The story that Steve Williams was the highest-paid sportsperson from New Zealand when he caddied for Tiger Woods was not a myth. But how do you make this seemingly desirable life in a game you love a reality?


How to become a golf caddie

The short answer is: there is no short answer.

Caddying has no college, no training centre, no qualifications and no ladder, so there are several routes to becoming a golf caddie. The most important thing you require—arguably—is luck.

That said, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of ending up on the bag of a Major winner; a fat cheque in your pocket and the status that goes with being part of a ‘team’ that won one of the ‘big ones’.

A love of golf is a prerequisite to becoming a caddie, as is plenty of knowledge about the game. So far, so obvious—except you WILL categorically find caddies on tour who aren’t hugely into the game. They are exceptions, though, and being a golf nut definitely helps.

how to become a golf caddie

Being a good player yourself isn’t a bad thing either; whenever Rory McIlroy is asked about his caddie Harry Diamond, he always says what a fine player he is. Nick Faldo’s caddie through most of his Major wins, Fanny Sunesson, is a strong golfer, too. Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster—who has also looped for everyone from Seve Ballesteros and Tiger to Greg Norman, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke—is also a low-handicap player.

Reading putts is a key part of being a caddie, so your ability to read your own putts successfully is a bit of a guide in this regard. Other technical qualities you need to become a golf caddie include the ability to ‘club’ the player—adding in the wind, elevation, temperature, and ground conditions to the actual yardage.

Less technical (but just as valuable) is the nous to determine whether the golfer needs to attack or play safe, and whether adrenaline may be affecting their state of mind.


What the pro caddies say

how to become a golf caddie

“You need to be able to read your golfer, whether they’re about to play their approach at the 18th in The Open while in contention or whether Chuck from Nashville is hacking his way up the 5th hole at Kingsbarns, having lost six balls already,” says former Ladies European Tour caddie Paul MacMichael.

“The need for a combination of awareness and emotional intelligence is crucial,” adds MacMichael, who has caddied for the likes of Anna Nordqvist in various ladies’ Majors.

He’s a former PE teacher whose route into caddying is not untypical in its sliding doors moments.

From driving courtesy cars at the McDonalds Ladies Championship of Europe at Gleneagles, he got to know Maria Hjorth, and through her, Karin Sjodin. He agreed to caddie for her at the Women’s British Open final qualifying—and fast-forward eight years; he’s looped for the likes of Pernilla Lindberg, Nordqvist, Birdie Kim, Michele Thomson, and Laura Murray (now Beveridge), walking the fairways at several Women’s British Opens, Ladies Scottish Opens and the Irish Open.

“My route into caddying was simply being around tournaments and speaking to people,” he says.

“As in most walks of life, personal contacts are invaluable, and most caddie-golfer arrangements come about through word of mouth and sometimes social media.

“However, the best route to becoming a caddie is arguably to know a golfer who is about to break into the lofty ranks of the tour and to hold on to their shirt tails.”

how to become a golf caddie

Hanging around the top amateur events, getting to know the next generation of superstars, and perhaps carrying their bag for a round or two is a sensible way to give yourself a chance of a toe in the door. And when your man or woman turns pro, they might just give you the call-up.

MacMichael’s experience and reputation on the LET may well have led to him having success on the more lucrative European Tour.

The LET is another good option; money is tight there, and the players won’t usually have a caddie, but offering your services and building up a reputation and experience there is a wise move. MacMichael went in another direction, though. He now caddies for ‘Chuck from Nashville’ et al. at Gleneagles.

“Any venue that runs a caddie programme will have a Caddie Master—they’re the person to contact,” he explains.

“Most courses will have their caddie roster for the year finalised for the beginning of the season, so any approach is probably best made during the month of March. Some venues will arrange a training programme for new recruits.”

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment.

To be serious about golf, it pays to be clued up on your golf brands. Investing in premium gear from the best golf brands can make all the difference to your game.

We take a look at some of the best golf brands on the market today—from how they first started to how they built their trust and status in the golf game.

How many of these feature in your golf bag?


The best golf brands


1. Titleist

best golf brands

Phillip E. Young founded Titleist in 1932 when he missed a short putt, X-rayed the ball and found that the centre was off. The first Titleist ball came out in 1935, and the brand won its first ball count at the 1949 US Open—the rest, as they say, is history.

The logo was the creation of office secretary Helen Robinson, who was known for her ornate handwriting.

The Pro V1 made its debut on the PGA Tour in October 2020 when Billy Andrade won the tournament using the ball. There are over 90 quality checks that go into the Pro V1 and more than 120 for the Pro V1x. Bob Vokey started working with Titleist in 1996 and now specialises in creating its wedges, while Scotty Cameron creates the equally exquisite putters.


2. TaylorMade

best golf brands

TaylorMade was founded in 1979 when salesman Gary Adams took out a $24,000 loan to form the company. One of its most ground-breaking technologies was released in 2004—the R7 Quad driver—which involved the Moveable Weight Technology.

TaylorMade was one of the first companies to offer custom-fitting with its clubs. Five years later, in 2009, its R9 driver allowed golfers to play around with the loft, lie and face angle. These days, its leading lights include Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Nelly Korda and Tiger Woods—the latter joining in 2017 before winning The Masters in 2019.


3. Callaway

best golf brands

Callaway Golf was founded in 1982, and its most famous club is the Big Bertha Driver, named after the German Big Bertha Howitzer. At the time, its design was considered highly modern and a huge leap away from persimmon heads. It had a head volume of 190cm³ which was ground-breakingly large—but the legal limit is 460cm³ nowadays.

Roger Cleveland joined Callaway in the 1990s and has been designing its wedges ever since. Other brands, such as TopTracer, Odyssey, Toulon Design, Ogio, TravisMathew and Jack Wolfskin, also come under the Callaway umbrella. Jon Rahm is its star turn.


4. Ping

best golf brands

The Ping story goes back to 1959 when Karsten Solheim, a Norwegian engineer, sketched the design on the dust jacket of a 78 record of what he believed to be the perfect putter. The brand’s iconic Anser putter, the name of which came from his wife, Louise, was released in 1966. Today, Ping has a gold putter vault to commemorate a player’s win using one of its putters.

Ping covers all areas of the game and is renowned for its fantastic club-making. In fact, it was the first brand to bring out high-quality cast clubs. Ping’s ‘Major hope’ (in the men’s game, at least) would be Viktor Hovland.


5. Bridgestone

best golf brands

Bridgestone is generally known for its tyres, but it has also produced golf balls since 1935. However, it wasn’t until 1972 that Bridgestone also began manufacturing clubs.

Today, its tour team includes the likes of Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Lexi Thompson, Fred Couples and Matt Kuchar. Needless to say, the most interest in the brand follows Woods, who uses the TOUR B XS ball.

Bryson DeChambeau previously played with a Bridgestone ball, but that relationship ended following his move to LIV Golf.

Bridgestone affixed its name to one of the WGC events on the PGA Tour from 2006-18, a tournament that Tiger won four times.


6. Wilson

best golf brands

A great stat about Wilson Golf is that the brand has won a Major in every decade since the 1920s, thanks to Gary Woodland’s US Open victory at Pebble Beach in 2019.

Even more impressive is that it has even more Major successes (62) using its other equipment. This was helped massively by Gene Sarazen playing with Wilson in seven of his first eight Major wins. He was on Wilson’s books for 75 years, which, unsurprisingly, is the longest-running sports contract in history.

Wilson Staff is its premium golf brand, aimed at tour pros and elite players, such as Padraig Harrington—a long-time Wilson devotee. 


7. Mizuno

best golf brands

Japan-based Mizuno started selling baseball equipment before moving into the golf business in 1933. It opened its first US factory in 1961 before setting up factories in Germany, France, Scotland and Hong Kong.

Mizuno soon forged a reputation for quality club-making with its now famous irons, using two moulds rather than one.

Brooks Koepka won his first four Majors using Mizuno JPX 919 Tour irons, while Tiger Woods also collected his first Major with a set of Mizuno irons in the bag. Luke Donald, a long-standing staffer, reached World No.1 in 2011 with a bag full of Mizunos. 


8. Cobra

Cobra Golf has proved to be an innovative brand, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. Two years after launching, it brought out the first utility wood with the Baffler, and it has incorporated this technology into its newer utility woods.

In more recent years, Cobra has brought out a 46-inch driver and one-length irons, helped by an association with Bryson DeChambeau (which ended in 2023).

The American’s now boss, Greg Norman, helped rocket Cobra into people’s thinking in the 90s, as he was once a part-owner and global brand ambassador. Cobra Golf and Puma began a golf partnership in 2010. 


9. PXG

PXG (Parsons Xtreme Golf) burst onto the golfing scene in 2014 when American entrepreneur Bob Parsons launched his own golf company. He claims he spent $350,000 a year on unsuccessful golf gear, so he wanted to build better clubs.

Former PGA Tour player Mike Nicolette was involved in the designs, and by 2015, Ryan Moore was using a set of PXG prototype irons and wedges on tour.

Parsons served in the Vietnam War, and PXG’s club naming is inspired by the military occupational code as a tribute to the Marine Corps. The brand now offers a full line of equipment, including drivers, woods, hybrids, wedges, irons and putters. 


10. FootJoy

No list of golf brands would be complete without including FootJoy—the market leader in golf shoes and gloves, in particular.

The American team wore FootJoy golf shoes at the first Ryder Cup in 1927, and the brand won its first shoe count on the PGA Tour in 1945.

Acushnet, which owns Titleist, acquired FootJoy in 1985 and sold its 50 millionth glove in the mid-nineties.

FootJoy was the first brand to use Cabretta leather in its gloves in 1980. Another notable date in FootJoy’s march was in 2003 when it introduced the MyJoys range, through which golfers could customise their shoes. Tiger Woods stunned the golf shoe world when he played the 2022 Masters in a pair of FootJoy Premiere Series Packard shoes rather than his usual Nike ones.