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Laguna Resort Singapore becomes latest European Tour Destinations venue

27th October 2022
Laguna Resort Singapore,  one of Asia’s leading golf resorts, has become the latest venue to join the European Tour Destinations network. Opened in 1993 and situated on Singapore’s east coast, Laguna Resort Singapore has a rich history of hosting European Tour Group events and in February 2023 the DP World Tour will return once again as part of a three-year agreement to be the home of the Singapore Classic. Mark Bates, Director of Golf, said: “After completing upgrades on the Masters Course, re-designing the Classic Course and launching our new clubhouse and five-star hotel resort, we are excited to welcome golfers from all over the world. “Guests playing at Laguna Resort Singapore will have the opportunity to play two courses, which have the distinction of being venues on the DP World Tour. “Being part of European Tour Destinations will help us to elevate our standards and connect to global golfers through a network of true world-class facilities.”   Ian Knox, Head of European Tour Destinations, added: “We look forward to working closely with Mark and his team to capitalise on the benefits of Laguna Resort Singapore hosting the DP World Tour Singapore Classic over the next three years and continuing to elevate the venue as one of Asia’s top destinations.” Located within 10 minutes of Singapore’s Changi Airport, Laguna Resort Singapore is home to 36 holes of golf, in the Classic and Masters Courses. The Classic opened in 1993, before a full redesign in 2017, and is one of the most dramatic tests of golf in Asia, featuring more than 140 bunkers, five water features and undulating greens, while the Andy Dye-sculpted Masters Course places a premium on accurate approach shots and astute course management. Golfing guests now also have the opportunity to stay at the five-star Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore hotel, comprising 198 tastefully decorated rooms and suites, eight pavilions, indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces, as well as a variety of gastronomic options. Other facilities include three swimming pools, three tennis courts, a putting green, gym and Dusit Thani’s signature Devarana Spa. For more information about Laguna Resort, Singapore, visit: www.lagunaresort.sg

TPC Network Announces Partnership with European Tour Destinations

19th October 2022
The PGA TOUR’s TPC Network today announced an agreement with European Tour Destinations, a network of world-class golf venues which all have a close association with the European Tour Group. Through this alliance, members of the TPC Network and those of European Tour Destinations will have the benefit of being able to play at any of the championship courses in both networks. This partnership also acts as an extension of the relationship between the PGA TOUR and the European Tour Group– providing eligibility for European Tour Destinations to enjoy privileges of the TPC Passport program. “We are extremely excited to strengthen our relationship with European Tour Destinations,” said John Hugghins, senior vice president of TPC Network operations. “This partnership adds incredible value, as we can offer the most consistent level of experience at the highest rated golf courses – no matter where you are in the world.” PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 14: A general view of the 17th green is seen as fans look on during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 14, 2022 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)   Members of European Tour Destinations and TPC Network clubs now receive access to world-class golf venues spread out across the world. This premium concierge program is designed to deliver the consummate golf experience for members when they travel, offering playing privileges at all the private, resort and destination properties in both networks. “With the strengthening of relationships between our two Tours through our strategic alliance, working with the TPC Network seemed an obvious fit” said Ian Knox, head of European Tour Destinations. “We are delighted that members at our network venues will now have access to the TPC Passport program and we look forward to welcoming TPC members to many of our world-class destinations.” To learn more about the PGA TOUR’s TPC Network, please visit www.tpc.com

Golf venues rethinking memberships to protect against rising cost of living

14th October 2022
European Tour Destinations venues around the world are putting campaigns and initiatives in place to mitigate against the rising cost of living. Membership across the network of 28 world-class golf venues increased by an average of 10% over the last 12 months as golf continued to enjoy post-pandemic demand. However, with many members’ household expenditure spiralling this year, these destinations are well aware of the danger of becoming an expendable luxury. Ian Knox, Head of European Tour Destinations, explains: “A recent BRS survey found that just over half of 13,000 respondents viewed golf as a necessity rather than a luxury, so despite the positive figures we are seeing in the annual audit of our venues, it is not a time to be complacent.” ‘Rethinking Membership 2022’, a new multimedia feature, explores the strategies of four leading European Tour Destinations to not only retain new and existing members but access new demographics: London Golf Club, England – adding value to memberships (including offering family membership that extends beyond the household) which has helped bring the club to full member capacity Hidden Grace Golf Club, China (formerly Genzon GC) – reacting to an increasingly younger membership and a shift in demands Diamond Country Club, Austria – attracting new golfers and families to its 9-hole course (which has seen around 3,000 rounds from non-members in two years) with a flexible, affordable membership option Linna Golf, Finland (pictured above) – offering reduced annual subscriptions for people under 30, a move it describes as a huge success “Minimising attrition is always important,” Knox continues. “But with the global economic landscape looking increasingly unsettled heading into 2023, it’s vital that venues have strategies in place to maintain strong numbers and ride out the storm.” For more information about European Tour Destinations, visit: www.europeantourdestinations.com

Genzon Golf Club renamed as Hidden Grace Golf Club

13th October 2022
One of China’s most exclusive members only clubs, Genzon Golf Club recently announced its rebranding to henceforth be known as Hidden Grace Golf Club. Located in Shenzhen, Hidden Grace has been a member of European Tour Destinations since 2019 and has hosted several European Tour events. The golf club was originally designed by Neil Haworth, one of North America’s leading golf architects and the 36-hole championship facility is surrounded by the 1,000 acres of Dragon Lake. In addition to its great facilities and unbeatable services, which continue to distinguish it from its peers, Hidden Grace takes great pride in its GEO Certification, awarded in October 2020, making it a leader in China for the development of an environmentally friendly and sustainable golf. At the press conference launch Deng Xueqin (pictured below), Genzon Group Chairman and President shared his vision that the change to Hidden Grace marks a new strategic brand view, aiming to highlight the strong bond between golf, the mindset required to play the sport, and the deeply rooted Chinese culture of the brand. Ali Kong, the General Manager at Hidden Grace, stressed that as the club embarks on a new journey with a new name, the dedication to the golfing community, delivering high quality services, and driving the evolution of the game of golf remain unchanged.

Costa Navarino partners with European Tour Destinations to elevate global reach

13th September 2022
Costa Navarino, Europe’s newest golf destination, has become the latest venue to join the European Tour Destinations network. Located across the Messinian coastline in Greece and created following the principles of sustainable development, Costa Navarino features four signature golf courses including two new José María Olazábal designs at Navarino Hills, which opened in February this year. Olazabal’s creations include the world’s first International Olympic Academy Golf Course and the neighbouring Hills Course, which complement the well-established Dunes and Bay Course layouts designed by Bernhard Langer with EGD and Robert Trent Jones Jr respectively. Golfing guests currently have a choice of three five-star hotels – The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and the newly-opened W Costa Navarino – while the destination will add to its luxury accommodation next year with the unveiling of the first Mandarin Oriental hotel in Greece. Ian Knox, Head of European Tour Destinations, added: “Having been recognized as a leading example of sustainable tourism, Costa Navarino is undeniably a sought-after, eco-friendly destination in the heart of the Mediterranean – and one we look forward to be working with.” Nuno Sepulveda, General Manager at Costa Navarino Golf, said: “We are thrilled with the positive response from our international markets to the golf destination we are creating, and we aim to continue upgrading the golf and hospitality experience we offer to our guests. We are positive that by joining European Tour Destinations’ established network, we will amplify our story globally.” A short and scenic drive from Kalamata International Airport, Costa Navarino showcases an abundance of leisure, cultural and wellness activities, as well as dining and authentic local experiences. The destination is developed with respect to the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Costa Navarino is now becoming known also as a place to live. It features a collection of luxury villas for private ownership developed across distinct neighbourhoods, as well as “The Residences at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino”, a number of fully furnished resort apartments.

Turning followers into fans

17th August 2022
The DP World Tour’s cutting-edge content is now amassing over 2 billion impressions each year across social media. Head of Content at The Tour, Will Pearson, outlines why creating a two-way conversation with followers has been pivotal to the tour’s continued growth, and how resorts can emulate its success as they look to build their customer base.

Big green money, big green priorities

17th August 2022
Over €25trillion is now being put into environmentally responsible investments as concerns about climate change impact grows among high-net worth individuals.  As resorts and developments strive to play their part in the move towards net-zero, how are appealing to their customers’ increasingly green senses? Principal at Global Design Firm HKS and recent speaker at the European Tour Destinations Conference, Ben Martin, explains.

New real estate strategy sparks sales surge at Pirin Golf & Country Club

17th August 2022
With global forces impacting the availability of building materials, labour and energy, Pirin Golf & Country Club, in Bulgaria, has employed the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) to expand its real estate portfolio. A move which is proving hugely popular with buyers and investors, as Owner and CEO, Ina Kanazireva explains… A combination of post-pandemic uncertainty, unease in the East and increasing inflation has made obtaining raw building materials a difficult process. The availability of bricks, concrete, roof tiles, paints and electrical products have all been affected, resulting in longer build lead times, especially for European markets heavily reliant on the Far East for their materials. Surging energy costs and a shrinking skilled labour pool are compounding the challenges. However as other resorts struggle to revise their master plan, Pirin Golf & Country Club, in Bulgaria, is sidestepping supply issues with the help of modern methods of construction (MMC), as Owner and CEO, Ina Kanazireva, explains: “We found that our MMC approach, which we’d adopted way before the pandemic, bucks these shortage trends and meets the increasing demand for new properties.” Modern methods of construction (MMC) is the umbrella term applied to different types of construction involving significant portions or all of the building being manufactured in a factory setting and joined together on-site. Benefits of such a method include: Less material waste – and therefore more efficient use of stock More sustainable and better-quality housing Improved lead times – it is estimated construction time is reduced by 20-60% [1] “Initially, we didn’t build using modular techniques but when an investor approached us with a request for 20 houses, we realised we needed a quick and efficient way to deliver such a project,” added Ina Kanazireva, explaining that lead times for MMC project completions at Pirin Golf & Country Club can range from six months to a year, depending on a client’s needs. “We also needed a quieter and less intrusive method of building, as we didn’t want to inconvenience our members and golf clientele, and of course one that met the same industry regulations.” MMC builds are growing in popularity as lenders realise it meets the same regulations, codes and guidelines as traditionally built homes and therefore are more readily providing finance for such projects. “People were sure bricks were better insulators and thicker, but it turned out this wasn’t the case. We learned plasterboard was more efficient, it’s quieter, and it brings the same qualities,” continued Ina Kanazireva. “Modular building has also enabled us to continue building throughout the winter, when we didn’t want heavy construction materials on site.” Demand for Pirin Golf & Country Club’s pre-fabricated, modular-built wooden constructions is strong. The Bulgarian resort two hours south of capital Sofia is currently building 17 more Chalets, adding to the 24 units that were sold in just the last 12 months. The level of interest has spurred on the development of much larger Eco Chalets that will be built solely from locally-sourced materials, underlining the resort’s commitment to a more sustainable
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