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London Golf Club launch Junior Development Programme ‘The London Cubs’

6th April 2021
London Golf Club are excited to continue developing their Academy and are delighted to introduce a new junior coaching programme to give children the opportunity to gain fantastic golf skills, build social networks, and develop their physical and mental health in a safe environment. Using specific training programmes designed to build skill, strength, and fitness, London Golf Club will develop the next generation of golfers. The juniors have been aptly nicknamed the London Cubs as a tribute to the course designer Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear. Throughout the school term, each class will focus on the key areas of golf whilst incorporating games or other activities to compliment the learning experience and allow the children to have fun at the same time. Juniors will hone their skills over the course of six school terms and will be rewarded and recognised for their improvement and progress at an end of term awards presentation. Assistant PGA Professional Lewis Matthews, together with Head PGA Professional Paul Stuart, will monitor individual development with the goal of providing each pupil with their own roadmap to becoming a well-rounded golfer. It is the hope of the venue that throughout this programme the children will gain invaluable social and sporting skills, whilst at the same time aiding their mental and physical well-being. As the juniors grow in their ability and age, they will be encouraged to join the newly introduced academy membership category, which will allow them to participate within the Kent County teams. This programme will be introduced exclusively to existing members of London Golf Club, giving their children a fantastic opportunity to learn the fundamentals of golf and to eventually play alongside their parents enjoying the many benefits golf has to offer. Following a successful roll-out to membership, the LGC Academy will be eager to introduce the programme into the local area surrounding the club.

Two of Europe’s top resorts extend their partnership with European Tour Destinations

26th March 2021
PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain and Portugal’s Quinta do Lago have both renewed their long-standing partnership with European Tour Destinations, allowing them to continue to benefit from the expertise provided with an alliance with the European Tour. Set in a stunning landscape against a breath-taking mountainous backdrop, PGA Catalunya was recently voted in the top 3 golf resorts in Continental Europe and number 1 in Spain by Golf World magazine.  Located just an hour from both Barcelona and the French border and 20 minutes from the historic city of Girona, the resort has experienced a surge in demand as it leads the way in physical and emotional wellbeing initiatives. The Wellness Centre due to open in April, will further cement the resort’s position as a leading golf and wellness destination, offering next-generation therapies alongside traditional, natural treatments and rituals. PGA Catalunya is renowned for its two golf courses, the Stadium and the Tour, which regularly feature at the top of any golf rankings and is also home to 5* Hotel Camiral, four restaurants, outstanding practice facilities at the Golf Hub plus real estate opportunities ideally situated within the courses. David Plana, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort said, ““Our longstanding relationship with European Tour Destinations is a stamp of approval and an assurance of the tournament quality experiences home buyers and hotel guests can expect on our two world class golf courses, at The Golf Hub and across the resort.  “The opening of our new Wellness Centre in April will further enhance the experiences on offer and underlines our focus on the physical and emotional wellbeing of residents and customers. Our vision is to become one of the world’s leading golf and wellness destinations and our partnership with European Tour Destinations remains an important factor in our ongoing and future success.” Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, on Portugal’s Algarve coast, Quinta do Lago is a multi award-winning venue recognised the world over, with all three championship golf courses consistently voted in the Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe by Golf World magazine.  Investment in the resort is a key focus at Quinta do Lago both on and off the golf courses.  The North Course had a total redesign in 2014, while the South Course is currently undergoing a €7 million investment in collaboration with GEO Foundation to ensure sustainability and reduce environmental impact, which will see it reopen in September 2021.  The golf courses are complimented by impressive practice facilities including the Paul McGinley Golf Academy.  Off course, The Campus is a state-of-the art performance and innovation environment that attracts both the top athletes in the world as well as sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.  The resort also offers twelve different dining opportunities and the stylish, boutique Magnolia Hotel, in addition to the range of luxury real estate developments that surround the courses. Ian Knox, Head of Operations at European Tour Destinations, said: “It has been a busy start to 2021 and we are

Austrian Golf Open added to 2021 European Tour schedule

23rd March 2021
The European Tour today announced the Austrian Golf Open will be played at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg from April 15-18, 2021. The tournament returns to the European Tour’s schedule after last being played in July 2020 when it marked the Tour’s resumption following a three month suspension in the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Austrian Golf Open, which has a prize fund of €1million, moves into the date vacated by the Tenerife Open at Golf Costa Adeje, which will now take place from April 29 – May 2 following the postponement on Friday of the Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, in Vilamoura, due to ongoing travel difficulties.  Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have had to be agile with our scheduling and today’s announcement is another example of that.  “We are naturally grateful to Diamond Country Club and the Austrian Golf Federation for once again helping us to continue to provide a full schedule and playing opportunities for our members. “Diamond Country Club is obviously a venue that we know very well, and we look forward to returning there next month.” Dr. Peter Enzinger, President of the Austrian Golf Federation, said: “We are very proud that the European Tour has, once again, chosen Austria to host a European Tour event and that the Austrian Golf Federation is able to contribute. “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose major challenges for international sporting bodies, but in spite of this, working together with our partners in the Federal Ministry of Sport, we have been able to provide all the necessary information, in a very short space of time, to the European Tour making their decision much easier. “Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg has distinguished itself many times as an excellent host already and we are very happy that Europe’s elite will be teeing off again this year in the region of Lower Austria. Obviously, the tournament will go ahead in compliance with the strictest Covid-19 prevention measures, but they will definitely not detract from the delight of the game of golf at its best.” Christian Guzy, President of Diamond Country Club, said: “Our long-standing collaboration with the European Tour stems from, and is based on, mutual trust, especially given the difficult circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Last year, along with the European Tour, we showed courage in hosting the first European Tour tournament of the COVID-era, a challenge we mastered beyond expectations. “With this year’s tournament, we hope to once again showcase golf in Austria and use the international media presence to support local tourism as the summer season is nearing. “I am grateful to the everyone at the Austrian Golf Federation and the Ministry for allowing us to represent our country internationally. Of course, we are also grateful to everyone else who has made it possible to organise the 2021 Austrian Golf Open within such a tight timeframe.” The Austrian Golf Open was first played on the European

Global trends drive new demand for golf real estate

18th March 2021
A global increase in demand for green spaces, wellness and the opportunity to work from home is driving new interest in golf properties in the wake of the pandemic.  Buyers, many of whom are leaving cities, are attracted to golf resorts for their nature, fresh air and five-star services. These are the findings of a new international audit by European Tour Destinations, a network of 30 world class golf venues, highlighting shifts in consumer behaviour and emerging trends, and published in a new multimedia feature: New Era for Golf Real Estate The audit reveals: At Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UK property buyers now account for 40% of real estate sales, up 10% year-on-year The number of domestic buyers at Quinta do Lago, Portugal, has nearly doubled from 11% to 20% PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain, is opening a new Wellness Centre this spring, one of four resorts (also Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort, Bulgaria and Quinta do Lago, Portugal) investing over €25 million (combined) in new wellness amenities European Tour Destinations real estate consultant Sandra Ruttle, who conducted the audit, said: “It’s long been the case that non-golfers make up the majority of residents in golf communities, typically 66%. But new buyers are now realising that residential golf communities offer much more than golf. “In the case of European Tour Destinations, these are resorts with world class amenities and services, communities with shops, restaurants and spa facilities. They are safe, secure, peaceful places to live – and they are proving highly attractive places to live and invest in.” Ruttle highlights how golf property buyers are increasingly from local and domestic markets, often quitting city homes and making their purchase a permanent home, rather than an investment. The New Era for Golf Real Estate feature also highlights in-depth case studies from PGA Catalunya Resort, Terre Blanche, France and Pirin Golf & Country Club, Bulgaria.

Verdura Resort to launch 20 new villas on April 1, 2021

16th March 2021
April 2021 will see the launch of Rocco Forte Private Villas, consisting of the first 20 branded independent villas overlooking the sparkling bay of Verdura Resort, Sicily. The new villas will guarantee ultimate privacy and security for those who seek exclusive accommodation combined with the unique services that have made Verdura Resort famous throughout the Mediterranean. The Rocco Forte Private Villas are set on the resort’s expansive grounds, perched on a hillside from which guests can take in the entire 230-hectare estate, the championship golf and stunning bay of Verdura. Ideal for multi-generational stays and ranging from 200sqm to 300sqm, the Rocco Forte Private Villas are divided into two categories, with 3 or 4 bedrooms respectively, large private pools set in landscaped gardens and individually tailored services depending on guests’ wishes. Each of the Rocco Forte Private Villas have been individually designed and styled by Olga Polizzi, Director of Design at Rocco Forte Hotels. The villas’ architecture is inspired by Sicily’s natural beauty and incorporates the characteristic features of a traditional Sicilian ‘baglio’ building: wooden beams, flat roofs and external stairs. Warm earth tone colours are weaved throughout and beautifully combined with the traditional natural tuff stone that is used as the main material in the villas architecture. Arranged over two levels, each villa offers a bright living area and fully equipped kitchen. All bedrooms lead onto a balcony and have direct access to the private swimming pool in each villa’s panoramic garden. The villas’ décor pays homage to emblems of Sicilian art, such as the gilding of the late Byzantine mosaics at the Palatine Chapel of Palermo and the perfect geometries seen in the floor of the island’s Monreale Cathedral. The sweeping views over the championship golf courses and the glittering sea are breath-taking. The resort’s private beach, bars and restaurants, award winning spa, championship golf courses and tennis courts and Kids’ Club are just minutes away from the villas, accessible by golf buggy, electric bikes or on foot through the verdant landscape of Verdura Resort. Sir Rocco Forte, commenting on the launch of the Villas: “This is our first venture into villa accommodation and we have carefully studied the market to ensure we deliver the highest standards of design and service. The same meticulous attention to detail which we provide in all our hotels will be enhanced by an added level of tailored opportunities. The villas will offer further choice to our Verdura guests, enabling them to enjoy an even greater level of privacy whilst still having full access to all the amenities of the resort”. Guests may plan ahead of their stay and choose an enhanced level of servicing including weekly fresh produce supplies from Verdura’s own gardens, or the assistance of a daily housekeeper for individual cleaning and laundry and the preparation of a leisurely poolside breakfast each morning. A personalised concierge service may also be available for the organisation of private in villa dinners, unique experiences and extraordinary sightseeing trips around beautiful Sicily. A series

Linna Golf and Estonian Golf & Country Club renew with European Tour Destinations

3rd March 2021
European Tour Destinations are delighted to announce that our two most northern venues in Finland and Estonia, Linna Golf and Estonian Golf & Country Club respectively, have extended their long running affiliation with the network. Located 100km from Finnish capital Helsinki and ranked 60th in the Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe in the recent Golf World rankings, Linna Golf is home to a spectacular 18-hole Championship golf course with clubhouse, superb practice facilities and a great selection of other outdoor pursuits which can be enjoyed throughout the long summer days.  There are three restaurants at the venue alongside the Vanajanlinna Hotel & Club Rooms, where the hotel offers atmospheric rooms in the main building to modern suites in the golf club area.  Esa Honkalehto, CEO of Linna Golf said, “Linna Golf has been a member of the European Tour Destinations network since 2005 and renewing our partnership is testament to both the work they do and support they provide.  As we enter another phase of our relationship, we look forward to continuing to grow Linna Golf and showcase our venue on a global scale by being part of the European Tour family”. Estonian Golf & Country Club is situated just 25km from the capital Tallinn in a rural, coastal environment beside the Baltic Sea.  Home to the 18-hole Championship centerpiece, the Sea Course and its sister, the 9-hole Stone course, the venue has been a constant in the European Tour Destinations network for over a decade. The Sea course meanders more than 7,000 yards through virgin forest which reaches out to the beach and along the Jägala River with the Stone course lying on a limestone plain between junipers, restored stone fences and a protected national heritage site.  During the winter season when the golf courses are closed, a 5.3km ski trail that weaves through the Sea course opens to guests. There are also a variety of exclusive and distinct real estate opportunities available at the resort, with each development divided into ‘villages’, where a different architect has designed a unique property cluster. Hanno Kross, CEO at Estonian Golf & Country Club said, “For a young golfing nation like Estonia, we are very happy and proud to be part of the European Tour Destinations network.  Estonian Golf & Country Club has hosted the World Cup qualifiers twice plus multiple individual and team European Championships and working with the European Tour has given us the chance to get the knowledge and expertise required to achieve our goals.  The new contract to extend our relationship is another great point in our 15-year history which allows us to continue our development and service delivery that we pride ourselves on in Northern Europe”. Ian Knox, Head of European Tour Destinations, said “We are delighted to start off 2021 with Linna Golf and Estonian Golf & Country Club both renewing their membership with European Tour Destinations.  Having our two Northern European venues extend their long association with us shows the value they place in

Why sustainability matters to your brand

15th February 2021
A rise in environmental consciousness is changing the way customers think. GEO Foundation’s Jonathan Smith explains why sustainability should no longer be an ethical afterthought, but a fundamental part of your resort’s brand. Ten to 15 years ago, sustainability was something of a buzzword, but it’s proven to be quite a complex set of issues that continue to have more and more importance. There are significant environmental, ethical and social challenges and pressures around the world which are sadly not declining. The way we all live, run our businesses and play our golf is, increasingly, driven by sustainability. There’s far more recognition that we depend on the environment and the resources and services the natural world gives us. A consumer demand In the last decade, these challenges have come closer to consumer demands and, in turn, business performance. Being greener is less something you’d like to do and more of an essential element if you want to thrive both now and in the future. Research shows that more and more people want products and lifestyles that are greener and more sustainable, which they equate with being healthier. That strength of feeling is moving from ‘we hope that business will be greener’ to ‘we expect that business to be greener’. It’s becoming a demand from consumers. Golf and travel Sustainability is very relevant to land and community-based businesses like golf, and not just thinking about meeting expectations, but exceeding them. Where resorts and destinations are concerned, around 30% of the global tourism market is now owned by eco-tourism or sustainable tourism. It used to be that eco-tourism was relatively low-cost, low-impact, but now it’s moving into the realm of sustainable travellers spending more and being higher-value consumers. What this shows is that sustainability is fast becoming associated with quality and prestige. Consumers are willing to spend more on travel if it meets their expectations around sustainability. And that matters to your brand. Benefits of being sustainable If you integrate sustainability well across your business, from your operations to your marketing, then you can find these key benefits: Efficiencies – unpicking what you consume and how you consume it, and how your staff are engaged in operations, can result in a multitude of cost savings. Experience – the quality of the golf experience. Increasingly, resorts are integrating nature into the golfing landscape to improve the product experience. Also looking at multi-functionality in that rich natural environment such as walking, cycling, mountain biking. Studies show that people are appreciating natural environments more than ever, particularly in the last year during the pandemic. Popularity – sustainability credentials are an attribute and added appeal to your marketing, communications and branding activities Partnerships – a really exciting space for establishing mutually beneficial commercial and non-commercial partnerships with sustainability at the core A telling factor is that big accounting firms are now talking about sustainability. They know it helps the bottom line. A recent report by Ernst and Young showed that sustainable businesses are more robust, more

The European Tour: Gaining new fans in 2021

15th February 2021
After a heavily disrupted 2020, The European Tour is back with grand plans to expand its global audience even further. Its Head of Marketing, Tom Johnson, who spoke at the recent European Tour Destinations Annual Conference, explains more… Like many businesses, when the pandemic struck last year, all the plans we had made for brand building in 2020 were put to one side. However, what we found was that in the face of those challenges there was a surging interest in golf and a huge opportunity to grow and build our brand and take it in some slightly different directions. Our starting point It’s one thing to recognize an opportunity to grow and another thing to realise it. Around four or five years ago that we started to question how much we knew about our consumers and how they can add value to the business, not just in terms of selling directly to them but in value for stakeholders. They’re crucial currency in our business. We needed to know more about global golf fans, and in 2019 we commissioned a substantial research project with Ipsos Mori. It featured 6,000 participants across eight key markets – the UK and Ireland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, USA, Korea and Japan, and it has given us a huge amount of information. It’s not just people telling us what they like doing; it’s about identifying barriers, knowing what’s stopping them buying tickets to our events, or watching TV or following online. If you don’t understand the challenge, you can’t build the solution. We are using this research to shape and grow our brand around the world. For example, we always knew that the South Korea was a big potential market, but the survey has made us ask ourselves how we can turn it from a potential market to being a focus market. We needed a plan in place, so we have expanded some licence deals to gain a more active footing. Golf for Good With many of our plans derailed by the pandemic, we had an opportunity to take a look at ourselves and find other strengths in the organisation that we could bring to the fore in our messaging. Charity and social good was a critical one, and I think most businesses were looking to pivot into this area. Our iteration is Golf for Good, which we launched when tournament golf returned last summer. It’s based on three pillars: supporting global communities; celebrating local heroes and promoting golf for all. It’s borne out of a genuine desire to help the communities in which we play, and it has been incredibly successful, raising over a million euros throughout the year. Golf for Good has become an incredibly important part of our DNA, and I’d urge all brands to include social good in their core messaging. It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do or it’s good PR. It’s energising and it’s inspired our team here. Growing in 2021 When we’ve launched our schedule in
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