Cadiz Golf Blog
With the Costa del Sol and the Algarve in Portugal seeing increasingly bigger numbers over the last few years we are constantly looking for new destinations to offer our customers. In order for an area to be a successful destination it must have good accessibility from Ireland and there are currently plenty of flight options into Seville airport, approx 1 hour North of Jerez.
The Golfbreaks.ie team were lucky enough to be heading over to Cadiz and Jerez this week to see what the areas have to offer. Leaving Seville airport, we were on our way to the first stop on our trip, the Vincci hotel in the Cadiz area. We were met on our arrival by the hotel director Oliver who showed us around the hotel which is ideal for golfers. All the apartment style rooms offer views of the sea, golf course or the resorts pool. After a quick and very enjoyable poolside lunch here, it was time to head for a game of golf.
With a tee time for 15.30 at Novo Sancti Petri “A” course we had to keep moving. Located right beside the local hotels, the Novo Sancti Petri offers 36 holes as well as a driving range where players can get warmed up. Accuracy is a must off the tee around here as most of the holes are surrounded by pine trees, even the straightest of hitters are sure to get stuck behind a tree as some of them have made their way into the middle of the fairways.
After a very enjoyable round of golf which featured several birdies (all from my playing partners not me) it was time to see where we would be staying for the night.
The Iberostar has two hotels to choose from in this area. The 4* Royal Andalus and the 5* Andalucia Playa Hotels which will both cater to all guests needs. If you are lucky enough to stay in the Iberostar hotels you must make sure you get down to the breakfast and dinner buffet. One of the most generous I’ve ever seen on offer, from a classic fry to some delicious sea food caught locally on La Barrosa beach. Iberostar always have a quality offering and this did not disappoint. The rest of the evening was spent playing pool and listening to some live music in the hotels bar.
We had an early start on Wednesday morning, beginning the day by visiting some of the other hotels in the Cadiz area. Las Dunas Hotel is located on the beach with a private entrance through a nature reserve, the hotel features 300 rooms, 2 swimming pools and is also located near the local golf courses.
Similarly located along the beach are the Barrosa Park and the Playa Barrosa Hotel. Both offer modern rooms and a short walk from the centre of Novo Sancti Petri.
The plan was then to play La Estancia Golf Course, however with its competitive green fees and good location it was difficult to get a tee time. The course offers several challenging holes the main one being the 18th which I’m sure has ruined plenty of rounds over the years.
We were invited back to play the “B” course in Novo Sancti Petri by Simon the Iberostar golf director as an alternative. Similar to the A course there are plenty of pine trees lining the fairways with the addition of a lake that runs between 5th, 8th and 9th holes to add to the difficulty. The two golf courses in Novo Sancti Petri offer a very good standard and you can tell the amount of work that is put into them on a daily basis. We have a great selection of stay and play packages in the Cadiz region.
It was now the third morning of our inspection trip and we departed from the area of Cadiz and ventured back towards Jerez where we would be spending the final two days of our trip. We would be staying in the Hace Jerez hotel in the town centre. This hotel is surrounded by bars and restaurants all within walking distance. A perfect place for groups looking to enjoy the quality golf courses in the surrounding areas and take advantage of the nightlife around the town. If you are looking for a traditional Spanish restaurant I would recommend Meson don Paco which we visited both nights, an old style Spanish tapas bar with good atmosphere and even better prices.
There was a buzz around the town and when visiting both the NH Jerez and the Sherry Park Hotels we could see they were preparing for what was sure to be a busy week with the Feria de Caballo (the Jerez horse fare) which takes place every year in May.
Sherry Golf Course is less than 20 minutes’ drive from the Hace Jerez hotel. The clubhouse is an Andalucian style building that houses the pro shop, bar and restaurant and changing rooms with views to all the practice facilities including driving range and putting green. The demanding golf course is sure to test any level of player as there are plenty of water hazards and bunkers throughout.
Famously known for it’s sherry, equestrian centers and flamenco dancing it is also home to one of the best Golf Resorts in the south of Spain and one of the places I was most looking forward to visiting on this trip, the Montecastillo Golf Resort.
The Montecastillo Golf Resort offers great value deals for accommodation and low price green fees. One of the best courses I’ve played featuring some challenging par 3’s and the famous 18th finishing hole. The course has been host to the Volvo masters 5 times between 1997 and 2001. As we teed off on the first hole I was reminded that I still haven’t made a birdie all week. I was feeling confident that this would be the course as I remembered the previous Irish golfers who had been victorious here in the past years like Harrington and McGinley who between them had 3 second place finishes and a victory. Each hole is as good as the next and for the number of golfers that play the course daily it is impressive that the green keepers can keep the place in such immaculate condition. After the round, we returned to the Hace Jerez Hotel to make the plan for our final day of travel.
As we still had a few more hotels and courses to visit before we had to return to Ireland we were eager to get back on the road. In untraditional Spanish style the heavens opened and the rain poured down for the whole morning. The first stop of the day was Rota, a traditional Spanish town with high buildings and narrow roads. The two sister hotels we visited, the Playa da la Luz and the Duque de Najera. Both ideally located it is a town of two extreme contrasts. Guests can choose to walk along the beach which can be accessed from both hotels or take a stroll down the old town inside its ramparts which almost has a medieval atmosphere.
From here we moved on towards Costa Ballena Golf Course, just 15 minutes down the road from Rota. A small town with two main hotels, the 4* Barcelo and the 5* Elba. These hotels are located beside the Costa Ballena Golf Course which can be seen from both hotels. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to play the course as the rain was still bucketing down.
As we drove towards the final destination on our visit, the sun appeared. Arcos Gardens Golf Course is not just a Golf Course but more a sports facility. The traditional Spanish building which doubles as a clubhouse/restaurant is surrounded by tennis courts, basketball courts and AstroTurf pitches. Arcos Gardens is a unique Golf Course, similar to Monte Rei in Portugal it is built into the natural surroundings. The only hole you can see is the one you are playing. Not an overly long course it requires accuracy off the tees and around the greens as they are guarded by bunkers and water hazards.
As we approached our final hole of the week the two guy’s I was playing with had no problem reminding me that my best score on a hole was par and I was yet to make a birdie. Standing on the 512 meter par 5 9th hole the nerves had kicked in. To cut a long story short I found myself standing on the green with a 4-foot putt for birdie to stop the slagging that had been going on since the start of the week. Of course, I made it! (and they both scratched!)
To sum up the trip – The area of Cadiz and Jerez are both great destinations for a group of golfers looking for a new destination with top accommodation and a great choice of golf courses and I would have no problem recommending it as a destination.
Yours in Golf,
Phone : 01 697 5734
Thank you for reading & be sure to contact Golfbreaks.ie for your next golfing trip.