50 years of QDL – the amazing golf, leisure & lifestyle resort in the Algarve

The ‚Q‘ stands for uniqueness and highest quality

With 36 golf courses, the Algarve is one of the destinations with the highest golf course density in Europe. Three of them are located in the Quinta do Lago Resort, which beginnings date back to the early seventies. In five decades, a multitude of luxurious villas and flats, hotels, restaurants, an internationally recognised golf academy and a campus with a multi-sport facility have been built at this exclusive resort. Combining luxury with sustainability is not a contradiction here, but lived practice. 

The resort extends over an area of 465 hectares, with a large lake, the Lago, in its middle. To the south, the resort borders on a nature reserve, the Ria Formosa Natural Park, from which you can reach the Atlantic Ocean with its golden-yellow, kilometre-long sandy beach via a wooden walkway.

Palm Springs sends its regards

It takes just twenty minutes by car from Faro airport to the Magnolia Boutique Hotel located at the the northern edge of the holiday oasis. The architecture and design of the main building, surrounded by palm trees, is reminiscent of Palm Springs in California. The pink lettering and the huge figure at the entrance already catch the eye during the day. They look even more striking when their neon lighting is visible from afar in the dark.

The Magnolia Hotel at day and night (Photos Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The other areas of the four-star hotel are also dominated by pastel colours and shapes of the well-known Mid-Century Modern Style.  

Similar to a motel, you can park your car on one side of the buildings directly in front of the room’s entrances. A small terrace leads to the functional, modernly furnished rooms, which have the usual amenities. They are clean, the beds just as great as the extremely fluffy towels.The complex includes a couple of cottages, in matching colours, in complete tranquillity at the back of the premises. These are also very popular, as we can see during our visit. The U-17 team of the Portuguese national football team is staying here during the qualifying tournament for the European Championship 2023 and finds optimal training conditions in the resort’s sports campus.

Heated swimming pool of Magnolia Hotel (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The hotel’s heated outdoor pool, its spa & wellness centre and its tennis court provide plenty of variety. 

We are also pleased by the hotel’s gastronomic offer. The breakfast buffet, the freshly squeezed orange juice and different á la carte options are the perfect start to our golf rounds. The quality of the evening menus follows on seamlessly from this. The Chicken Piri-Piri, famous for the region, is of course not to be missed.

There are a total of 12 restaurants in the resort. We especially like the Bovino, which is not only known for its great steaks, but also for its creative cocktails. The Asian-style OMAMI, which is our favourite both culinary and visually, presents itself in an unique way.

Asian cuisine at its best at UMAMI and the drinks are also outstanding (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The Magnolia Hotel is within walking distance of the ‘Q’ roundabout and of two shopping centres. What takes some getting used to is the Christmas decorations at 24 degrees and bright sunshine.

Christmas decorations of Q-roundabout (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

All good things come in threes

The South, North and Naranjal golf courses belonging to the resort are among the best the Algarve has to offer. They occupy top positions in the relevant rankings. 

They date back to the initiative of entrepreneur André Jordan, who founded QDL with the aim of developing a resort in the American country style. Just three years later, in 1974, the 18 holes of the South Course and 9 holes of the neighbouring North Course were opened. Their original designs are credited to the American William Mitchel, who designed more than 150 golf courses and brought tees, bunkers and greens to the Algarve according to American standards. The Naranjal Course was opened in 2009, designed by Portuguese architect Jorge Santana da Silva.

The courses have four and five different tees respectively, all with the same elegant obelisks with information about the holes.

Impressive signs on all three courses (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Portugal’s flagship

The South Course quickly rose to fame, as the Portuguese Open was held on it for the first time in 1976. Seven more tournaments were held on it as part of the European PGA Tour until 2001, when it continued as the Algarve Open.

In 2020, the course was closed for more than a year and underwent an extensive redesign. With an investment of more than seven million euros, it was brought up to the latest standards, including a new irrigation and drainage system. Sustainability is the focus of all innovations. The fairways were sown with Bermuda hybrid grass, the bunkers were renovated and several holes were redesigned. 

After the renovation, the 18-hole par 72 course with a length of 6,416 m from the black tees is now also suitable for long hitters. It is undoubtedly the gem of the golf triumphant and not only a feast for the eyes with its partly huge pine trees.

The fairways are mostly surrounded by tall trees, which are repeatedly interrupted by imposing villas. These, however, sit discreetly in the background. Level holes are a rarity. Most tee shots are either downhill or uphill. 

World-class conditions on the South Course (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Its state of maintenance is exceptional. The feel-good factor begins on the perfectly mown tee boxes and continues on the immaculate fairways, which run over sandy soil. The transitions to the asphalted paths are just as uncritical as the partly huge areas covered with wood chips between the courses or under the trees. The high quality of the bunkers and of the fast greens fits seamlessly into this assessment.

Tee boxes like greens (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The course requires precise tee shots, because the less accurately hit ones quickly disappear in the not very high, but extremely dense rough. Or the balls come to rest on the well-kept areas with wood chips, from which further play is not easy. The highlights of the course are its last holes, when water comes into play. On the 15th, the tee shot from the elevated yellow tee is 166 m carry over the lake into an immaculate green. A large wooden bridge leads to it.

Tee box and green of 15th hole ( Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The green of the 16th ends in front of the lake with views to the Ria Formosa Natural Park and the tee shot of the 17th is also to be played over the lake.

Currently named Europe’s number one

In November 2022, the course was named not only the best Portuguese course, but also the best course in Europe at the World Golf Awards. 

One clubhouse for both courses

The modern, spacious clubhouse is located in the middle of the resort. We can reach it from the hotel in a good five minutes. From its large terrace we have a great view over the entire first fairway of the South Course.

The omnipresent Q in front of the clubhouse’s entrance and the clubhouse terrace with an amazing view of the first hole (Photos Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The well-equipped pro shop is where we register and get our score cards for the North and South Course. The new metallic painted and leatherette equipped buggies are of course equipped with GPS. We meet friendly and helpful staff in all areas.

Close to each other

The North Course, whose former name was Ria Formosa, has also been extensively rebuilt and redesigned. This was last done in 2014 by golf course architect Beau Welling in collaboration with former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, who also founded the resident Golf Academy. The investment volume was approximately nine million euros. 

All tees, bunkers, greens and cart paths were renovated. In addition, the course received a new irrigation and drainage system that allows the water to be reused. 

Its first tee is located just a stone’s throw from the clubhouse, opposite the 10th of the South course. The slightly hilly course runs through different areas of the resort. At 6,140 m from the back tees, it is the shortest of the three resort courses. Due to the sometimes quite long distances between the holes, a buggy is recommended. One leaves the course several times when crossing the streets of the resort. However, this does not dampen the enjoyment of playing it.The fairways offer ample approach opportunities and are often lined by umbrella pines whose crowns resemble broccoli heads. The greens are ondulated but play well.

The fairways live up to their name (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Water only comes into play on two holes. Particularly memorable is the 12th, a 372 m long par 4, which winds as a dogleg to the green around a lake into a strongly ondulated green.

Signature hole of the North Course (Photo QDL Resort)

A special experience

Finally, we play the Naranjal Course, which is located two km east of the resort in a former orange grove in the Ludo Valley. In 2011, it won the ‘Best Course’ award at the Portuguese Travel Awards.As soon as we enter the tee box of the first hole, we understand why. We start shortly after sunrise, when the course, still virgin with dew, spreads out before us through the open, spacious grounds. The atmosphere is unique.

The early bird catches the worm (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Unlike the other two courses, its fairways are not surrounded by buildings, but are harmoniously placed next to each other in the slightly hilly terrain. Only the outer boundaries have partly dense tree cover.

Its spectacular fairways are just as impressive as the five lakes, the harmoniously placed umbrella pines, cork oaks and orange trees. The greens are also impeccable.

Among its special features are the huge bunker landscapes that already come into play on the second hole, a par 3. Its tee shot is to be played deep into the green, which is protected on one side by abundant sand that leads directly into the lake.

With a length of 6,480 metres, the demanding course with its five par 5s, eight par 4s and five par 3s demands the utmost concentration and accuracy. Its layout inspires us just as much as its state of maintenance.

Signature Hole of the Naranjal Course (right) (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Offers that are hard to beat

The short drive from Faro to the hotel, the quick accessibility of all golf courses, their designs and well-kept conditions convinced us as well as the excellent hotel and gastronomic offers and the exceptionally high standard of care throughout the resort.

The Magnolia Hotel offers various extremely attractive packages. Or you can opt for the golf offer valid until the end of January 2023 to play the North or Naranjal Course for € 114,- including half a buggy.Golfer’s heart, what more could you want.

European Challenge Tour

Challenge Tour announces 2023 global schedule

The European Challenge Tour today announced its global 2023 Road to Mallorca schedule, featuring a record overall prize fund and a minimum of 29 tournaments, staged across three continents in 18 different countries.

Players will compete for total prize money of €8,200,000 on the 2023 Road to Mallorca, which will begin with the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open in February, the first of four co-sanctioned events with the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

India returns as a host country for the first time since 2013 with two events in March, the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge followed by The Challenge presented by KGA.

The Challenge Tour also returns to the United Arab Emirates in April for the first time since 2018 with back-to-back events, including the Abu Dhabi Challenge, as part of the European Tour group’s long-term partnership with the Emirates Golf Federation.

The Challenge Tour will head to Spain in May for the Challenge de España, which will kick-start a run of 20 tournaments in 22 weeks and see the Road to Mallorca travel through 15 countries in Europe, including Italy for the Italian Challenge at Golf Nazionale, the venue which will then host the first two days of the 2023 Junior Ryder Cup in September.

The 2023 season will conclude with the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A, at Club de Golf Alcanada from November 2-5, as the top 45 players on the Rankings battle it out for one of the life changing 20 DP World Tour cards.

Those 20 players who benefit from this formal pathway to the DP World Tour will then be eligible for the DP World Tour’s Earnings Assurance Programme, guaranteeing them minimum earnings of $150,000 for the 2024 season if they play in 15 or more events.

The top five graduates will also benefit from the John Jacobs Bursary, similarly designed to provide security and a strong platform for their first season on the European Tour group’s top tier.

Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “Our expansive global schedule gives our members the opportunity to play for a record total prize fund and benefit from our formal pathway to the DP World Tour, as we continue to provide an incredible platform for the next generation of golf’s superstars.

“I would like to thank the integral support of our promoters, national federations, and tournament sponsors, who have helped make this possible. The fact that 20 of our current national federations and promoters have extended their support through to next year is testament to their commitment and the strength of our Tour heading into 2023.

“We are also very grateful for the commitment of Rolex, The R&A, and DP World through their title partnership of the DP World Tour, all of whom have helped us to provide this comprehensive global schedule for some of the brightest talents in world golf.”

In 2022, 25 former Challenge Tour players won on the DP World Tour – including 2021 graduates Ewen Ferguson and Yannik Paul, while five finished inside the top ten on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex. Sean Crocker became the 200th former Challenge Tour player to win on the DP World Tour when he secured a wire-to-wire victory at the Hero Open, while the total number of wins by Challenge Tour alumni is now 544.

The full 2023 Road to Mallorca International Schedule can be viewed below or by clicking here.

European Tour

Keith Pelley named Chairman of the International Golf Federation

The IGF was founded in 1958 and is the recognised International Federation within the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.

Keith Pelley wants to present golf as a “sport for all”

Pelley said: “I am very honoured to accept this important and prestigious role and I look forward to working with Annika and Antony Scanlon, the IGF’s Executive Director, as well as the individual member Federations and Tours, to continue to develop our sport globally. 

“I have always said that I believe golf is the most inclusive of all sports and the IGF, through its relationships with these member organisations and the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, undoubtedly has an important part to play in promoting this internationally and showcasing golf as a sport for all.”

Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of the IGF, said: “We are grateful for the leadership of Keith Pelley and Annika Sörenstam as we continue to encourage the international development of the sport of golf. 

“As two prominent members in the international golf landscape, Keith and Annika will bring extensive experience and knowledge to our overall strategy and we are thrilled to have them in these key roles. I also want to thank PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan for his tenure as the IGF Chairman and we’re delighted to have him continue on the Board moving forward.”

In August 2015, Pelley became the fourth Chief Executive in the 50 year history of the European Tour group, which incorporates the DP World Tour, the European Challenge Tour, the Legends Tour and the G4D Tour, and is the Managing Partner of the Ryder Cup in Europe.

During his time in the role, the Canadian has overseen a period of significant evolution through the European Tour group’s commitment to Driving Golf Further and its guiding principles of being innovative, inclusive and global.

This includes the introduction of the Rolex Series, a landmark partnership which saw DP World become the title partner of the group’s main Tour, and the creation of a global pathway system through partnerships with international Tours and an  operational joint venture with the PGA TOUR. The latter partnership also led to the Genesis Scottish Open becoming the historic first co-sanctioned event between the two Tours this summer. 

Pelley has also overseen a closer collaboration with the women’s game, including co-sanctioned events such as the Volvo Cars Scandinavian Mixed, and the introduction of the ground-breaking G4D Tour (Golf for the Disabled) in conjunction with the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA), of which he is a Board member. 

Prior to joining the European Tour group, Pelley was President of Rogers Media in Toronto where he was responsible for leading the overall operations of the company’s diverse portfolio. Before that, he was Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning at CTVglobemedia, President of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club and President of The Sports Network in Canada.

Sörenstam, who has 97 worldwide professional victories during her prestigious playing career, was re-elected for a second two-year term as IGF President, which she’ll serve from 2023-2024.

During her 15-year, Hall-of-Fame playing career, Sörenstam rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foundation, which provides golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

(Text: DP World Tour)

European Tour

The DP World Tour and BMW Group sign five-year partnership extension

The DP World Tour and BMW Group have signed an extension to their partnership that will see the leading premium automotive brand BMW remain an Official Partner, and the Official Car, of the DP World Tour until the end of the 2027 season.

As part of the agreement, BMW will also remain as Title Partner until 2027 of both the BMW PGA Championship – a Rolex Series event – and the BMW International Open, where it will remain the promoter of the tournament.

This partnership extension cements BMW as one of the Tour’s longest standing partners. The relationship dates back to 1989, when BMW ran and promoted the first BMW International Open in its hometown of Munich. BMW then became Title Partner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2005.

BMW Group underpins position as global partner in golf

As an Official Tour Partner, BMW will benefit from highly visible branding and product placement at DP World Tour tournaments each season and across the Tour’s media and digital platforms. BMW will also enjoy access to the Tour’s premium hospitality services and Pro-Ams to create unique customer experiences. As Official Car of the DP World Tour, BMW will continue to supply its luxury high end and fully electric vehicles to the DP World Tour and make a valuable contribution to a sustainable tournament experience for players, staff and fans.

“The close collaboration with the European Tour group, which started back in 1989 with the inaugural BMW International Open, played an important role in the BMW Group becoming one of the most reliable and dedicated partners in international golf. We are delighted to continue along this successful path with the DP World Tour, and to bring innovative developments to both the sport and our events,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, Senior Vice President BMW Group Europe. “The BMW International Open and the BMW PGA Championship are tournaments that are very popular with golf fans and players alike, thanks to their long tradition and the excellent sporting and BMW brand experience. Based in two core markets in Europe, these events will form important pillars of our worldwide commitment to golf going forward.”

Guy Kinnings, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Commercial Officer of the European Tour group, added: “The BMW brand stands for luxury, innovation, and sportiness – all values that closely match our own and the Tour benefits significantly from partnering with such an iconic brand and respected partner of the game of golf. Over the last 33 years we have developed an extremely close working relationship that continues to drive strong value to BMW’s global engagement in sport. With this extended partnership, we will have ample opportunities to use the DP World Tour to showcase both their range of products and our collective leadership credentials in passion areas such as sustainability and technology innovation.

Together, we will also make sure that the BMW PGA Championship and BMW International Open keep innovating to elevate the fan experience and continue to be key moments on the sporting and entertainment calendars in Germany and the UK each year.” 

(Text: DP World Tour)


Cyprus: Spectacular golf courses on the island of the gods

Pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine 

The former British crown colony is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and has been a member of the European Union since 2004. With up to 340 days of sunshine, Cyprus is a year-round holiday destination. We are heading to the south of the island, where Greek and English are spoken. There we would like to get to know four golf courses. Pleasant temperatures around twenty degrees in December increase our anticipation.

Oasis of well-being directly on the beach

As a starting point, we decide on the five-star Columbia Beach Resort, which is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It is located in complete tranquillity in the dreamy village of Pissouri with direct access to the two-kilometre-long pebble beach. The water is glassy and invites you to swim even in December. It takes us just under three quarters of an hour to reach it by car from the airport in Larnaka via the not very busy, well-developed motorway. We quickly get used to the left-hand traffic. 

The main building and the 169 suites are terraced in the shape of a Cypriot village around the pool area with two pools and a large garden. Everything is very well maintained.

Inviting pool and Executive Suite with sea view (Photos Juergen Linnenbuerger (left) and Columbia Beach Resort)

The round arches of the high ceilings, the high-quality and tasteful interior made of local materials, and the natural stone floors of our Executive See View Suite create an extremely authentic and pleasant atmosphere.

The warm rays of the sun and the sound of the gentle waves already gave us the first feeling of well-being on our balcony in the early morning. This continues seamlessly at breakfast on the terrace of the Bacchus restaurant, where we can almost dangle our feet in the pool. The buffet and á la carte offerings are varied and of high quality. 

After our daily rounds of golf, we return at dusk, as the sun sets at 4.45pm at this time of year. On our return trips, we look forward to the extensive leisure facilities, which include floodlit tennis and squash courts, a gym and an indoor pool. The huge Hebe Spa offers a variety of treatments and has won several awards. 

We take our dinners from the resort’s talented chefs on the terrace of the Apollo Tavern restaurant. These impress us, as do the tasty Cypriot wines and the creative cocktails in the stylish Ouzeri Bar.

Particularly noteworthy is the great friendliness and constant attentiveness of all the service staff, with whom we have excellent conversations in English. 

Minthis Golf with wow factor on the back nine

The first course we play is Minthis Golf. It is located about 40 minutes from our hotel and a good ten minutes from the Town of Paphos in the luxurious new resort. At an altitude of just under 600 metres above sea level, it is the highest course with impressive views of the Troodos Mountains towering in the background. Temperatures here are usually a few degrees lower than on the other courses that are close to the sea. The altitude has the advantage that pleasant play is possible here even in the warm summer months.

The par 72 course runs past walnut, almond, olive and carob trees through the hilly terrain of the resort. Excellent wine is also grown here, the quality of which we can convince ourselves of in the modern clubhouse after the round, as well as the delicious dishes.

Opened as the first course in Cyprus under the name Tsada Golf in 1994, it was originally designed by architect Donald Steel. Between 2017 and 2020, it underwent a major overhaul by the firm Mackenzie & Ebert and reopened in 2021. It received a new layout, harmoniously integrated into the landscape, and new greens according to USGA standards. Sustainability is a top priority throughout the resort. It owes its current name to the historic 12th-century monastery, which is located behind the green of the fourth hole. A short detour into its inner courtyard is worthwhile.

Fantastic mountain scenery behind the tenth hole (Photo Juergen Linnenbürger)

The view at the start over the wide, open course has an extremely calming effect on us and contributes to a pleasant start to the soft front nine. But from the ten, the course really turns on. Here we encounter some unusual holes with tee-offs from elevated tee boxes that are sporty and visually impressive.

The wow factor on entering the tenth hole can’t be topped. With its spectacular tee shot over the ravine (see photo above left), it alone is worth the round. The service behind its green also makes an impression, as a buggy takes golfers who don’t use one of their own back to the other side of the course with their trolleys to the next tee.

Deep down into the fairway of the 11th hole and ancient monastery in the backyard  (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

From here, it’s a steep downhill slope to the green on the left, with another great view over the course.

14th hole – The secret signature hole (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

We also like the 14, a risk and reward par 4 designed as a dogleg, where our successful drives roll from the terraced tees far into the vicinity of the beautifully laid out green. The following par 3 with the great island green follows seamlessly.

We enjoy the round in absolute tranquillity in the midst of the natural surroundings and the course, which is sporty to play. The fair rough and the fast but true greens also contribute to this.

Service is written in capital letters throughout the club. We are greeted in a particularly friendly and humorous manner by the caddy master and the starter. We can literally tell that they enjoy their job.  

In November 2022, Minthis Golf Club was voted the best golf course in Cyprus at the World Golf Awards. It is the first GEO-certified club on the island and the only one to have received this award twice.

The goddess of love and beauty 

The name Island of the Gods comes from the legend that Aphrodite is said to have risen from the foam of the sea at her birth in Petra tou Romiou. The rock named after her is one of the most visited tourist spots on the island. We visit it early in the morning and have it to ourselves. We do not swim around it three times and hope that eternal love is assured even without this sporting feat. 

The most famous rock of the island (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Less than five minutes away is the Aphrodite Hills Resort, named after the goddess. Its par 71 course is part of Cyprus’ first leisure and golf resort. It has 290 hotel rooms as well as an extensive real estate area with villas and flats. 

The resort offers not only golf but a range of other sports. It wants to contribute to making Cyprus an attractive destination for these as well. These include tennis, basketball and football as well as horse riding and cycling. In November 2022, for example, the amateur road cycling race L’Etape Cyprus by Tour de France was held here for the first time with participants from 22 countries.

Part of the DP World Tour

Its championship course, the PGA National Cyprus, gained international attention in October 2020 when it became part of the European Tour (now DP World Tour) and hosted the Cyprus Open and Cyprus Showdown on two consecutive weekends. 

Its layout is credited to Cabell B. Robinson, who developed it over five years. It was opened in 2002. The course stretches over two plateaus separated by a huge canyon. The sign behind the second hole makes it clear why buggies are compulsory on the course: 950 m to Tee 3. 

Nothing for scaredy-cats (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

We almost missed the small tee box of the professionals on the way there, because they play their drive 200 m carry over the huge, deep canyon. We drive around it with our buggy and look back from the third tee with admiration at the performance of the professionals. 

Winding path to the tee-box and to the green of the 7th hole (Photo Jürgen Linnenbürger)

It also gets exciting after the sixth hole, because two holes follow that will remain in your memory. First, the path runs steeply downhill in serpentines to the tees of the seventh (see photo above right). Afterwards, on the way to the eight, the view back to the seventh green and the winding path to it is impressive.

Hole Eight – the signature hole (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The eight is the signature hole of the course. Originally, you could look out over the entire fairway across the full width of the green to the sea. In the meantime, however, the development has advanced to the green on one side.

Relaxed back nine in very well-kept surroundings (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The back nine gives the opportunity to make the score friendly. It leads uphill and downhill through the hilly, well-maintained terrain with beautiful views all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The state of maintenance is without any criticism on the whole course. 

Arizona sends its regards

On the same road, only a few kilometres further in the direction of Paphos, lies the entrance to the Secret Valley Golf Course. The par 71 course is located in a long valley surrounded on both sides by high mountains. The setting and scenery are magnificent.

Fairways embedded in a mighty mountain massif (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The origin of the course dates back to 1996. It was redesigned in 2013 by Hans-Georg Erhardt and Snorri Vilhjalmsson of Golf and Land Design, together with four-time Ryder Cup Captain Tony Jacklin. 

Hit and hope (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

With its approximately 350 members, the Members Club has more than half of all club members of the four clubs played. The partly small landing zones, tee shots that have to be played blind, the dense stand of olive trees and bushes as well as the doglegs require great precision. Added to this are the fast greens.

Green bunker of the 11th and fairway of the 12th hole along the lake (Photo Jürgen Linnenbürger)

Many holes are also visually very attractive. These undoubtedly include the eleven with the greenside bunker leading directly into the lake and the fairway of the twelve along the lake with the shot over the water into the green. 

Final hole at sunset (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

Not to forget the 18th, where the red colouring of the mountain massif by the setting sun reminds one of Arizona’s courses. The good state of maintenance also makes the course an experience.

Sir Nick Faldo’s preference for sand

The Eléa Golf Course is located in the middle of the Eléa Real Estate complex very close to Paphos. The clubhouse, impressive both from the outside and the inside, is enthroned at the highest point of the course. From its observation tower, we have fantastic views over the spacious, open course, the Mediterranean Sea and the nearby Town of Paphos.

Wide fairways and huge greens (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

It was opened in 2010, designed by Sir Nick Faldo, the six-time Major winner. The result is an 18-hole par 71 course with wide fairways, tricky greens and countless, huge bunker landscapes surrounded by carob and olive trees. If you love bunkers, this is the place for you.

Plenty of sand on the course and no shortage of rocky waste areas (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

We start the round with a tee shot deep into the valley. The two also continues downhill. After that, it becomes more level. The course spreads out in full size below the clubhouse and leads back uphill to it on the last holes. The fairways are often intersected by stony and rocky waste areas, which have to be played over. 

Fairways, bunkers and greens are well maintained. Every hole, including the four short par 3s, has its charm and should not be underestimated. Strategy and precision are required throughout the course.

The most difficult hole and the impressive clubhouse (Photo Juergen Linnenbuerger)

The last three holes are as impressive as they are challenging. The blind shot into the elevated green of the 16th, the tee shot of the 17th past a huge bunker landscape as well as the shot over a canyon into its green require full concentration once again. The same applies to the shot into the green of the 18th, which is protected by a huge bunker. 

We look back very satisfied on wonderful days, spectacular, extremely varied golf courses and excellent hotel and gastronomy. Our visits to the archaeological park with its impressive mosaics and the tombs of the kings in Paphos contribute to this just as much as the excursion to the original mountain villages of the Troodos Mountains. 

Juergen Linnenbuerger, December 2022


McIlroy returns to the K Club for the Horizon Irish Open

World Number One and reigning Race to Dubai champion Rory McIlroy will return to the site of his first professional victory on Irish soil when he tees it up in the Horizon Irish Open at The K Club from September 7-10, 2023.

The four-time Major Champion secured a famous victory at the County Kildare venue in 2016 after producing a stunning birdie-par-eagle finish to win the island of Ireland’s national open by three strokes.

McIlroy ended a stellar season in style last month as he won the Race to Dubai for a fourth time – adding to his FedEx Cup triumph on the PGA TOUR – and reaching the rank of World Number One for the ninth time.

The Horizon Irish Open will form part of McIlroy’s final preparations for next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome and fans can now purchase tickets to see his return to The K Club here.

“It’s where I’ve had the most success”

“The Irish Open is a tournament that I grew up not just watching on TV but attending as a kid, seeing all my favourite players there over the years,” said McIlroy. “It’s always been such a well-supported event. I’ve had my fair share of support and great memories at that tournament and going back to The K Club, it’s where I’ve had the most success and I’m obviously excited to get back there.

“The atmosphere was electric during that final round in 2016 and I’m looking forward to seeing the fans out in force at The K Club once again.”

History was made at the Horizon Irish Open last year as Adrian Meronk became the first winner from Poland on the DP World Tour when he claimed the title at Mount Juliet Estates. First played in 1927, the Irish Open is one of the world’s most famous national opens, with Meronk adding his name to a list of former champions that includes Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Pádraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Jon Rahm.

Fans are urged to secure tickets for the Horizon Irish Open well in advance as demand is high for the five-day festival of golf, starting with the Pro-Am on Wednesday September 6. Premium Experiences are also available for all for tournament days and can be purchased here.

(Text: European Tour Group Communications)

European Tour PGA Tour

DP World Tour, PGA Tour, Japan Golf Tour announce formal pathway

The DP World Tour and PGA TOUR jointly announced today a new landmark partnership with the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) that will see the top three players on the JGTO Order of Merit earn membership onto the DP World Tour for the ensuing season, beginning with the 2022-23 campaign.

The formal pathway further enhances the existing global pathway system, as the leading 10 players on DP World Tour’s Race To Dubai Rankings [in addition to those already exempt] will earn cards on the PGA TOUR, beginning with the 2024 season, as part of the operational joint venture partnership between the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour announced in June.

“We are delighted to establish this formal pathway” – Keith Pelley (CEO, DP World Tour)

In addition to these new formal pathways, which also includes access to DP World Tour Qualifying School for leading players not otherwise exempt, the JGTO will work alongside the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR on other key business areas, including strategic development and commercial growth, as well as further discussion about future areas of collaboration and support. Among those is a continued commitment to the ISPS HANDA – CHAMPIONSHIP, which is set to make its debut on the DP World Tour schedule next April 20-23, 2023, at PGM Ishioka GC in Omitama, Japan.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the DP World Tour, said, “The Japan Golf Tour Organization has produced many incredibly talented players over the years, and we are delighted to establish this formal pathway as part of golf’s meritocratic system, defining clear routes for players from the other international Tours to earn status on the DP World Tour and potentially go on to play on the PGA TOUR.
“There are players from 34 different countries exempt on the DP World Tour in 2023 and, alongside our first tournament in Japan next April, today’s announcement further underlines our position as golf’s global Tour.”

Monahan sees the PGA Tour as “game’s highest stage”

Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, said: “Japan has a long, storied history of producing world-class golf talent that deserves the opportunity to compete on the game’s highest stage, and today’s announcement is recognition of that. Over the past 30 years, 25 players have claimed at least one victory on both the PGA TOUR and Japan Golf Tour, including current Japan Golf Tour Chairman Isao Aoki, who in 1983 became the first Japanese-born player to win on the PGA TOUR when he holed out for eagle on the 72nd hole to win the Sony Open in Hawaii. His legacy continues today with eight-time JGTO winner Hideki Matsuyama and will now endure for years to come under this new pathway.”
Isao Aoki, Chairman of the Japan Golf Tour Organization, said, “We are proud of the rich tradition the Japan men’s golf tour has established over the last 40 years, and this development is the next step in the journey of our organization. Our players have made significant contributions to the global game since our tour’s inception in 1973, and we are excited that the next class of Japanese players will soon be able to reap the rewards that their predecessors helped create for them. We are looking forward to working with both the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour on the next era of professional golf development in Japan.”

(Text: European Tour Group Communications)

Equipment Products

TaylorMade P-Series: P-7MB – “The Ultimate in Shot Making”

The all-new P·7MB was designed for the best ball strikers in the world who demand surgical control and precision shot making. Each strike with P·7MB is sensory overload, delivering unfiltered feedback and best-in-class feel.

As a result of detailed fee dback from testing with Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa, P·7MB features a shorter blade length, brand new sole geometry, and progressive offset to create a minimalist profile that’s designed to control shot shape and trajectory.

TaylorMade P-Series: P-7MB – narrower sole, slightly more bounce

The sole of P·7MB is one millimeter narrower than previous, meaning TaylorMade engineers had to add slightly more bounce to the leading edge which creates a completely different sensation through the turf.

Total effective bounce is a combination of sole width and bounce angle, which engineers were able to perfect by increasing the bounce angle to keep the sole from getting caught in the turf.

“The narrower sole width of P·7MB is a direct result of testing and feedback from Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and our TaylorMade Tour pros. Rory and Collin worked with us to identify the right sole geometry and bounce to match what they were looking for and we perfected that with P·7MB. Having two of the best players in the world being a driving force behind the design of this iron have us extremely excited to bring it to the marketplace.”
(Matt Bovee, Director, Irons Product Creation)

TaylorMade P-7MB: “blend of traditional muscle back with a contemporary look”

P·7MB is a seamless blend of traditional muscle back iron performance with a contemporary look and design. The shorter blade length of P·7MB allowed TaylorMade engineers to create an updated backbar using symmetrical geometry. This allows for more mass to be positioned directly behind the face to support the point of impact and elevate feel. This design creates a timeless look both in the playing position and in the bag. P·7MB also features the Compact Grain Forging and machined face and grooves that are also seen in P·7MC.

TaylorMade P-7MB Specifications, Pricing & Availability

P·7MC & P·7MB are available for preorder on December 6 and at retail beginning January 20, 2023 for an RRP of £165 / EURO 220 / SEK 2,286 / NOK 2,200 / DKK 1,643 / CHF 229 per iron. P·7MC & P·7MB are offered in 3-PW and come equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
Press Release by TaylorMade Golf

Equipment Products

TaylorMade P-770: “Built For Those Who Love The Grind”

The all new P·770 features a compact, tour proven shape with a thinner top line, less offset in long irons and a shorter blade length when compared to P·790. With its hollow body construction and forged L-Face, the 2023 P·770 yields elevated distance, forgiveness and excellent feel in a smaller sized head.
P·770 features FLTD CG™, a strategic design that positions the centre of gravity (CG) lowest in long irons and progressively shifts it higher throughout the set to the shorter, weaker lofted irons. The tungsten weighting scheme in the long and middle irons has been redesigned, shifting more weight to the longer irons’ low tungsten mass, and a reduction in the middle irons’ tungsten, resulting in an ascending CG through the set.

New TaylorMade P-770: Forgiving long irons and sportive scoring clubs

This encourages easier launch and playability in the long irons, while optimising trajectory and spin in the scoring clubs. The intuitive concept promotes consistency and control from top to bottom.
The sound and feel of P·770 is pristine with the addition of SpeedFoam Air™, the technology introduced in 2021 with the launch of P·790. SpeedFoam Air dampens sound and strategically supports the face with a material 69 percent less dense than SpeedFoam, which was seen in the prior generation of P·770.

In addition to the added speed made possible by the thinnest P·770 face TaylorMade has produced, the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket™ and Inverted Cone Technology help unlock increased ball speed across the face and forgiveness low in the face, where mis-hits happen most commonly.

TaylorMade P-770: “A clean and classic iron”

“P·Series irons need to be technical, elegant and timeless and the new P·770 design has all of that in spades. We wanted to take as much performance and hide it on the inside of the iron to where you look at it and it looks like a clean and classic iron with the pearl satin chrome finish and a hint of mirror on the toe. On the inside, the technology we have poured into this iron creates a product that we believe is truly one of one in this space.”
(Matt Bovee, Director, Irons Product Creation)

TaylorMade P-770: Specifications, Pricing & Availability

P·770 irons are available for preorder on December 6 and at retail beginning January 20, 2023 for an RRP of £ 165 / EURO 220 / SEK 2,286 / NOK 2,200 / DKK 1, 643 / CHF 229 per iron. P·770 is offered in 3-PW/AW and comes equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X 130g, S 120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black.
Press Release by TaylorMade Golf

Equipment Products

TaylorMade P-7MC: “Play as Good as They Look”

With precision playability and a hint of forgiveness, every angle of the all-new P·7MC is meticulously scrutinised to meet the performance demands of the game’s best ball strikers.

The tour-inspired P·7MC fits the eye of discerning players. With minimal offset and perimeter weighting, this classically shaped iron delivers ultimate control and precision. A narrow sole and tight leading edge ensure consistency through the turf.

TaylorMade P-Series: P-7MC – “sophisticated craftsmanship comes to life”

TaylorMade’s Compact Grain Forging™ process uses 2,000 tons of pressure, more than double the industry standard. Used in both P·7MC and P·7MB, the additional force gave TaylorMade engineers precision control at a micro level, producing a tighter grain structure for the best possible feel and strength properties.

Compact Grain Forging delivers a refined composition inside and out. The sophisticated craftsmanship comes to life with a satin finish and forged “Metal-T” within the cavity back, creating the unmistakable aesthetic of a premium TaylorMade iron.

TaylorMade P-7MC: “There’s no better feeling than a solidly hit forged iron”

Precision in P·7MC is paramount, which is why the face of this iron is continued to be machined. Machining the face ensures precision and quality with TaylorMade’s most aggressive score line geometry for exacting shot making.

“There’s no better feeling than a solidly hit forged iron. For pure ball strikers, the consistency of P·7MC rivals anything in the marketplace today and has been a favorite among skilled golfers. For players who chose to combo, our cohesive design language allows you to seamlessly pair it with either P·770 or P·7MB. No two golfers play the game exactly alike, and one of the things I love about our P·Series family is the ability for golfers to personalise a set to match their needs and maintain aesthetic unity.”
(Matt Bovee, TaylorMade Golf, Irons Product Creation)

TaylorMade P-7MC Specifications, Pricing & Availability

P·7MC & P·7MB are available for preorder on December 6 and at retail beginning January 20, 2023 for an RRP of £165 / EURO 220 / SEK 2,286 / NOK 2,200 / DKK 1,643 / CHF 229 per iron. P·7MC & P·7MB are offered in 3-PW and come equipped with KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S120g) as well as Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 in Grey/Black
Press Release by TaylorMade Golf