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European Tour Destination Jumeirah Golf Estates to host tournament in penultimate week of 2020 schedule

24th November 2020
The European Tour has announced a new tournament, the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World, will be played in the penultimate week of the 2020 season, taking place on the Fire course at European Tour Destination Jumeirah Golf Estates from Wednesday December 2 to Saturday December 5. It will form a December Dubai double-header, preceding the fourth and final Rolex Series event of the year, the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which will be played on the neighbouring Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday December 10 to Sunday December 13. The tournament builds on the long-term relationship the European Tour has with Dubai, which began more than 30 years ago, and many of its Dubai-based Official Partners, including DP World, Dubai Duty Free and Emirates. Since the inception of the Race to Dubai and the DP World Tour Championship in 2009, the Tour has not only brought the world’s best players to the emirate for its spectacular season ending finale, but it has helped to increase the strength of golf domestically, whilst showcasing Dubai as a world class hub for both business and sport. The announcement of the new Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World completes the European Tour’s revamped 2020 schedule which now features 38 tournaments, including 15 additional events which did not exist prior to the season being paused between March and the beginning of July. It also means the European Tour will visit the United Arab Emirates four times in 2020. Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s Chief Executive, said: “It has undoubtedly been a very different and complex challenge to completely reimagine our 2020 schedule since March, but our team has worked incredibly hard behind the scenes, demonstrating creativity and agility. “The Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World is the final piece in this jigsaw and continues our policy of playing in geographical clusters. “Alongside the South African Open, it gives our players the option of ending the regular season at one of two terrific locations ahead of our season-finale, the DP World Tour Championship.  “I would like to thank the leaders of Dubai, DP World, Falcon and Associates and Jumeirah Golf Estates for helping to make this new event happen. “The creation of this new tournament reflects the evolution in our partnership with DP World, through their support of the DP World Tour Championship, the Emirates Golf Federation development programmes, our EDGA Dubai finale and, of course, as an Official Partner of the European Tour.” Daniel Van Otterdijk, Chief Communications Officer, DP World said: “As a long-term partner of the European Tour, DP World is proud to support the Golf in Dubai Championship. “Over the past 12 years our partnership has not only contributed to the success and prosperity of Dubai’s economy by driving inbound tourism, but it has also helped to grow the game in the UAE by opening it up to new audiences. “The new tournament is another great example of Dubai’s ability to host

Golf Real Estate market update

22nd October 2020
The pandemic sent shockwaves across the global real estate landscape but venues across the European Tour Destinations network are ahead of targets and reporting appreciating property values. Sandra Ruttle reveals how…

What’s behind Quinta do Lago’s big green investment?

22nd October 2020
Resorts across the globe have been forced to pivot and adapt in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. And while some have taken the difficult decision to shelve capital investment plans, others have pushed forward – recognising the opportunity to enhance the customer experience. Quinta do Lago in Portugal is one such example. Work commenced earlier this year on an ambitious €7m investment to its South Course, involving extensive turf resurfacing work, bunker renovations and lake upgrades. And following the launch of a new sustainability strategy in partnership with GEO Foundation, the investment is set to boost the resort’s green credentials with the installation of new irrigation pumps to improve efficiency and reduce reliance on non-renewable resources, and the planting of native species to increase biodiversity across the course. Why did the resort forge ahead while others were putting a halt on investment plans? CEO Sean Moriarty explains: “Investment to continually improve the experience of our resort is something we are committed to at a foundational level. “The South Course renovations began during the pandemic – with all measures in place for health and safety of our workforce, of course – because while the course was closed, we saw an opportunity to make improvements for our members and guests. “By taking early action in these works, we can ensure that our golf courses remain open and in pristine condition during the peak seasons. With an increased focus on physical and mental wellbeing since the start of the pandemic, the resort recognised the increasing value of its golf courses to members, visitors and residents. “Having had this long period of confinement, we are all more appreciative of time outside in nature. We understand that golf is a pastime that provides a source of great mental health for many in our community. “Our investments are made always with our community in mind and a value for enhancing quality of life for families.” Going green With the resort flanked by the Ria Formosa Natural Park and the renowned beaches of the Algarve, its connection to nature runs deep, and plays a central role not only in this phase of investment, but in its overall strategy. “Our social and environmental responsibility goes all the way back to our earliest moments as a resort, as we uphold a commitment to keeping just nine per cent of our territory available to develop. “This is a promise and we do not underestimate the trust our community has in us to protect this incredible place. “We want Quinta do Lago to become an inspirational, community-engaged and high-profile champion of sustainability,” added Sean.

European Tour Destinations secure commanding presence in new Continental Europe resort rankings

22nd October 2020
European Tour Destinations venues feature strongly in the latest Golf World Top 100 Continental Europe resort rankings, with three of the top five resorts and a number of notable high risers. Terre Blanche Hotel Golf Spa Resort in France was ranked No.1 for the third consecutive time, with Spain, Portugal and Italy’s top ranked resorts, PGA Catalunya, Quinta do Lago and Verdura Resort at No.3, No.5 and No.7 respectively. Newly announced Solheim Cup host venue in 2023, Finca Cortesin, claimed No.11, with France’s Le Golf National at No.21. The influential rankings, a barometer of excellence across golf, accommodation, amenities and setting, point to the strength of customer experience offered across the portfolio of partner venues. Mallorca’s top resort, Arabella Golf was ranked at No.33, ahead of a host of strong showings for emerging and established destinations across the European Tour Destinations network. Notably, Diamond Country Club in Austria leapt up the rankings to No.69, while Bulgaria’s Pirin Golf & Country Club entered the listings for the first time (No.74). Commenting on the release of the rankings, Head of European Tour Destinations, Ian Knox, said: “The performance of our venues is testament to the world class experience they deliver to customers both on and off the golf course. “While these are uncertain times, golfers choosing their next break will be assured of the first-class service, amenities and tournament-quality golf they can enjoy across the European Tour Destinations network.” European Tour Destinations featured in the Golf World Top 100 Continental Europe Resort Rankings: No.1 – Terre Blanche Hôtel Spa Golf Resort, France No.3 – PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain No.5 – Quinta do Lago, Portugal No.7 – Verdura Resort, Italy No.11 – Finca Cortesin, Spain No.21 – Le Golf National, France No.33 – Arabella Golf, Spain No.59 – Lighthouse Golf & Spa, Bulgaria No.60 – Linna Golf, Finland No.69 – Diamond Country Club, Austria No.74 – Pirin Golf & Country Club, Bulgaria

Proactive planning for the new normal

22nd October 2020
Effective budgeting is challenging at the best of times, but to establish an accurate financial blueprint for 2021, whilst managing the seismic twists and turns that covid-19 is bringing, makes planning for the new year a particularly difficult process. There are many facets of revenue opportunity to consider, and venues within the European Tour Destinations network are approaching 2021 with an understandable degree of caution, but with a high degree of focus. Business outlooks are ever-changing. In August there was a degree of optimism that venues would see a quick bounce-back after national lockdowns, but in recent weeks this optimism has become tempered by travel restrictions and the onset of prolonged economic downturn. The rise of the ‘staycation’ The downturn in air travel and the potential need to isolate after returning from an international holiday has laid the foundations for a growth in the ‘staycation’. This scenario is a contributing factor as to why venues across the ETD network are currently focusing their efforts closer to home, in what is being called the new ‘drive’ markets. Domestic sales and marketing efforts have resulted in significant boosts in business across our network. This has often emanated from new customers who are keen to escape densely populated areas to enjoy the health and wellbeing opportunities that golf and outdoor life presents. For resorts with a real estate component, sales enquiries also continue to be strong. I have even seen recent evidence of wealthy individuals making seven-figure property investments off-plan having never visited a resort, in a bid to secure a safe haven away from city life. Your marketing budget is crucial Smart businesses are maintaining marketing budgets in their plans for next year. Whilst they have often been the traditional go-to area for cost-cutting when times get tough, never will a marketing budget be so important as it will be 2021. As a guide I would recommend marketing spend make up at least 3-4% of turnover. At the very least. And with well-delivered campaign planning and product messaging, particularly around the development of customer channels in the new ‘drive’ local markets, this will be money well-invested. Venues need to go to market with a commercial message that is completely relevant to potential customers, it needs to resonate with them, and it needs to be laser-focused in its delivery. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we as businesses cannot continue doing what we have always done, and expect results to stay the same. From a wider budgeting perspective, many venues are aiming to create realistic targets for 2021, understanding Q1 and Q2 may well be very difficult, but building greater momentum towards the second half of the year that can carry into a more stable performance in 2022. Finding the correct balance with cost management Tough times require equally tough decisions, but the worst thing any venue can do right now is to cut too much cost from an operating budget, that subsequently impacts on the visitor experience. Whilst it

European Tour Destinations venues awarded in top 100

22nd October 2020
European Tour Destinations is proud to reveal that 11 venues have been included in Golf World’s Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe 2020. European Tour Destinations has 20 venues across Continental Europe, with over half making the illustrious list, including four in the top 10. Terre Blanche Hotel Golf Spa Resort in France was ranked No.1 for the third consecutive time, with Spain, Portugal and Italy’s top ranked resorts, PGA Catalunya, Quinta do Lago and Verdura Resort at No.3, No.5 and No.7 respectively. Newly announced Solheim Cup host venue in 2023, Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa, claimed No.11, with France’s Le Golf National at No.21. Mallorca’s top resort and newest European Tour Destination, Arabella Golf, was ranked at No.33, ahead of a host of strong showings for emerging and established venues across the European Tour Destinations network. Diamond Country Club in Austria leapt up the rankings to No.69, while Bulgaria’s Pirin Golf & Country Club entered the listings for the first time (No.74). Head of European Tour Destinations, Ian Knox, said: “The performance of our venues is testament to the world class experience they deliver to customers both on and off the golf course. “While these are uncertain times, golfers choosing their next break will be assured of the first-class service, amenities and tournament-quality golf they can enjoy across the European Tour Destinations network.” European Tour Destinations featured in the Top 100 Resorts in Continental Europe: No.1 – Terre Blanche Hôtel Spa Golf Resort, France No.3 – PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain No.5 – Quinta do Lago, Portugal No.7 – Verdura Resort, Italy No.11 – Finca Cortesin, Spain No.21 – Le Golf National, France No.33 – Arabella Golf, Spain No.59 – Lighthouse Golf & Spa, Bulgaria No.60 – Linna Golf, Finland No.69 – Diamond Country Club, Austria No.74 – Pirin Golf & Country Club, Bulgaria

Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa to host 2023 Solheim Cup

19th October 2020
European Tour Destination Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa has been confirmed as the hosts for the 2023 Solheim Cup – the first time Spain have hosted the biggest team event in women’s golf. A three-time host of the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012, Finca Cortesin’s acclaimed 18-hole Championship course was designed by American Cabell Robinson and is regularly ranked among the best layouts in Spain. Overlooking the Mediterranean to one side and the Casares Mountains to the other, Finca Cortesin opened in March 2009, set across 532 acres. The venue’s facilities include an elegant 67-suite hotel, Hotel Cortesin, a magnificent 18-hole Championship golf course with state-of-the-art Jack Nicklaus Academy, a 6,000sqm Beach Club and an award-winning spa featuring Spain’s only snow cave. Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf & Spa were recently awarded Best Luxury Hotel at the Beyond Luxury Awards 2020 – a prestigious accolade rewarding the hard work put into the venue over the last year. Vicente Rubio, president of Finca Cortesin Golf Club, said: “Hosting an event of this magnitude and worldwide importance is a tremendous honour and one that makes us all feel very proud and privileged.  “With the layout that Cabell Robinson has created and different challenges that it presents, the course lends itself perfectly to an event of this nature. With the work that has taken place over the last few years, it has never looked in better condition and every player is guaranteed an experience that they will never forget.” The Solheim Cup, the pinnacle of Women’s golf with the best players from Europe and the USA going head-to-head, was won by Europe in 2019 in a thrilling match by 1 point. The 2015 edition of the tournament was held at fellow European Tour Destination Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in Germany, also won by Europe. The tournament will be hosted September 18-24 2023.

Black Mountain Golf Club & Resort renews with European Tour Destinations

14th October 2020
European Tour Destinations are delighted to announce that Black Mountain Golf Club and Resort, who have been members since 2015, have extended their network affiliation until 2022. Black Mountain Golf Club & Resort was founded by Stig Notlov, who transformed pineapple plantations into an award-winning golf and Real Estate resort. Located 25 minutes west of Hua Hin, the golf course is set in a beautiful valley surrounded by black granite rock covered mountains. In addition to 27 holes of golf, the resort also features a clubhouse, from where you can enjoy a stunning 360 panoramic view of the golf course, as well as fine dining in the restaurant, proshop, locker rooms and a luxurious spa. The venue also offers an exclusive collection of villas, apartments and townhouses, available for purchase or rental, plus tennis and volleyball courts and a family waterpark. Black Mountain Golf Club & Resort have a history of hosting tournament golf, with Asian PGA tour events in 2009 and 2010 and The Thailand Classic in 2014, the first European Tour event to be staged in Thailand. Harald Elisson, Managing Director at Black Mountain Golf Club Club & Resort, said: “We are thrilled to renew our partnership with European Tour Destinations. They have been a great support over the last five years and by continuing our relationship, we will evolve as a venue and be able to showcase Black Mountain on a global scale”. Ian Knox, Head of Operations for European Tour Destinations, said: “2020 has been an unprecedented year globally and so, we are extremely happy and proud to continue our partnership with Black Mountain Golf Club & Resort, who are an important part of our network.  It gives us great pleasure that they are renewing and we look forward to an exciting and mutually beneficial working relationship in the years ahead”.
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