For all of Spain’s charm and widespread appeal, perhaps golf has received a short shrift from casual observers in discussions covering the nation’s allure. Like a hidden diamond in a showcase of gems, the golf courses are eclectic, entertaining and enjoyable, offering a variety of styles from an outstanding collection of architects.
Valderrama has played host to many European Tour events and the 1997 Ryder Cup. It’s consistently rated as the No. 1 course in Continental Europe.
Warm breezes, the fresh aroma of eucalyptus and beautiful scenery make the Mediterranean a desirable destination for golfers any day of the year. PerryGolf offers a variety of Cruises and Custom Tours to the region, enabling travelers to enjoy the arts, architecture and gastronomic delights so readily available. These five golf courses are certain to challenge and enchant all golfers.
Royal Obidos, the last course that Seve Ballesteros worked on prior to his passing last year, has now opened for play. The resort is located near Obidos, north of Lisbon, and represents an investment of €200 million; comprised of a 65 hectare golf course with holes overlooking Obidos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean and a 5 star hotel with spa. This is a welcome addition to the area that already has great golf in the shape of Oitavos Dunes, Praia D’el Rey and the courses at the Penha Longa Resort. The city of Lisbon is also well worth a visit; with the crooked streets of the old section to the tree lined avenues, squares and gardens of the modern region. There are also many interesting buildings to visit such as the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem Tower, the Castelo de Sao Jorge and the shaded arcades of Palace Square.
Although Seve is making steady progress and showing positive signs in his recovery from multiple operations to remove a tumour from his brain, he has been advised by his doctor not to travel to St. Andrews in July.
It is the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship, and a special 4 hole exhibition tournament over the 1st, 2nd, 17th, and 18th on the Old Course at St Andrews has been arranged for past champions on Wednesday 14th July; the day before the Open begins. Seve’s doctor advised that he should not be put under any undue stress or find himself in any situations which are potentially emotional – the thought of Seve playing the 4 holes with 3 other past champions and thousands of fans following him would definitely have been an emotional situation!
Six European nations have announced their intention to bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup; the deadline for which is April 30th, 2010.
With Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, France and Holland keen to stage the event, it’s going to be a Ryder Cup played at a mainland European venue for only the second time – with Valderrama in 1997 being the only other exception.
Seve Ballesteros, who captained the winning European team at Valderrama in ‘97, was yesterday given a standing ovation as he was unveiled as the patron of Madrid’s bid for 2018. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the other nations can top this…and even more interesting to see which country comes top of the pile when the host venue is eventually announced in early 2011.