Forget lying on a beach Steve Singleton takes to the fairways of Tenerife.
It’s tee-time in Tenerife!
For the biggest and best known of the Canary Islands does not have to be all about suntans and sangria…it can also be about birdies and bunkers, woods and wedges….
Tenerife needs little introduction as a holiday hotspot which has no problem in attracting more than 10 million sun seekers a year, most of whom traditionally head straight to the seaside resorts in the south of the volcanic island.
With Spain’s tallest mountain, Mount Teide, providing a spectacular backdrop, the “Island of Eternal Spring” is well known for beautiful beaches perfect for families, picturesque villages, spectacular landscapes, boundless daytime activities, water sports and non-stop night life.
But, the island, which boasts the best climate in Spain, is fast gaining a reputation as an excellent all year round golf destination – with more and more tempting deals coming to the fore.
Airlines, holiday companies, tourism chiefs and hoteliers are teaming up – confident that golf is set to take off on Tenerife with nine courses to choose from and a further three on the drawing board – and most importantly there is guaranteed sunshine and a constant 18-23 degrees for visitors to enjoy.
One of the major plus points for the UK’s knowledgeable and well-travelled golfing fraternity is that all the courses reduce their rates considerably during the summer– so a Tenerife golf holiday from May until late September can be much cheaper – even – than on mainland Spain.
And there are some real gems to play, each with a spectacular style and unique terrain, which both the enthusiastic and expert golfer will find irresistible once they make this escape to the sun. The journey from Manchester typically takes around four-and-a-half hours and there are plenty of flights and no clock changing to worry about!
Our bags came to rest at the five-star Hotel Las Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa, located in the Golf Las Américas golf course, in the south of the island, which proved the perfect touring base. The three-storey colonial style hotel proved to be a true oasis of relaxation… just a 10 minute stroll – but worlds apart – from the hard partying centre of Playa de Las Americas.
Rooms are elegantly furnished and decorated. There are tropical terraces with a top class restaurant overlooking a sumptuous swimming pool and a top class spa, including Turkish bath, whirlpool and sauna to ease those aches and pains after a hard day’s club swinging.
Even more impressive is the hotel’s lift access to the golf course – where your very own golf buggy awaits in the basement locker room waiting to take you to the first tee. Golfing holiday experiences don’t come much better than this and golfers enjoy reduced green fees at the Las Américas. There are guaranteed starting times as well as a bookings service for other golf courses on the island.
The championship course, designed by John Jacobs, is a highly manicured showpiece that sits in a natural amphitheatre with views of the Atlantic Ocean and the distant island of La Gomera.
While its palm-fringed fairways are sheltered from winds by a range of hills, there are streams and lakes which zigzag the 6,051- metre long course that means water comes into play on no less than eight of the holes – so as well as being picture postcard perfect it’s an excellent test of golf that can be enjoyed time and time again on any holiday.
Just as scenic , a short drive away, is Golf Costa Adeje, venue for the 2003 Spanish Open, that has a unique layout which has preserved some of the old banana growing farm terraces that slope down to the sea in its design and framed them with original dry stone walls. The 6,258m-long course even has a lift to take golf buggies down to the driving range.
The rugged Adeje mountains loom large over the course which has an equal number of six par 3s, par 4s and par 5s , that widens the appeal to golfers of all standards – but beware, there are obstacles such as gorges and lakes to negotiate, with several dog-legs adding to the experience.
Equally challenging in the peaceful south west of the island is Abama Golf, designed by Dave Thomas, which has generous large greens and wide fairways, again with spectacular ocean views.
The course climbs from 78 metres above sea level to a staggering high of 480 metres to the signature 10th hole which dog legs left with course boundaries on the right plus a series of lakes to serve up one of the toughest tests of golf on the island. Peppered with more than 90,000 palm trees and 22 lakes, the 6,271m Abama should not be missed on any Tenerife golf break.
But when the final putt does eventually drop – it would be a shame to miss out on some of island’s other popular attractions which have made it such a firm holiday favourite. Activities range from scuba diving to whale watching, cycling and hiking plus there are water parks and wildlife sanctuaries and a host of carnivals, festivals and fiestas in a packed annual events calendar.
Not to be missed is the often snow-draped ‘Pico del Teide’, at the heart of the Teide national park that dominates the island with its bizarre lunar landscape, regularly used by movie makers.
Mt. Teide, which rises 7,500m above the ocean floor and is among the world’s largest volcanoes, has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, and is an absolute must.
To climb to the summit is a unique experience. The fact that part of the route can be done by cable car allows anyone, no matter what their physical condition, to make the ascent.
So whether you’re a high or low handicapper looking to hit new heights, both on and off the greens, then maybe it’s time to have a fresh look at Tenerife for the perfect holiday solution.