Written by: Libor Ševčík
Golf-lovers in this country don’t have it easy – for three to five months a year they can’t play because of the weather. This fact tipped off investors in the Canary Islands, who have been making large investments in golf courses, hoping to attract new clients.
ALTHOUGH the Canary Islands belong to Spain and are therefore part of Europe and the EU, their climate is purely African, affected by hot winds from the Sahara. Weather steadily at a pleasant 20°C, a maximum of sunny days, and very rare precipitation make them a tourist’s paradise. The developers were also able to count on the money invested in expensive development being quickly and bountifully returned to them, thanks to year-round operation. The undying interest of golfers, including Czechs, has confirmed their expectations.
The best golf conditions in the entire Canary archipelago are currently found on Tenerife, where you can choose from eight high-quality courses. The oldest is the eighteen-hole Real Club de Golf de Tenerife. The new Buenavista course and three new nine-hole courses in Costa Adeje are definitely worth visiting. Another beautiful eighteen-hole course, Tecina, is located on the nearby island of Gomera; you can reach it by ferry, play a round, and return in the evening to Tenerife.
The oldest golf club, in Spain as well as in the Canaries – Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas – is on Gran Canaria Island and was established by an English businessman in 1891. There are four other courses on this island, but two of them – El Cortijo Golf Center and Anfi Tauro Golf – are just short par-three courses intended for short game training. And El Cortijo has one other unique feature: you can play at night, as it has perfect lighting. By year’s end, two more championship eighteen-hole courses will have been opened on this island. One is being built next to the existing Salobre and the other near Anfi Tauro. There is also a course on Lanzarote, but it isn’t very good.
A round on an eighteen-hole course with a cart costs 60 to 100 euros. Many travel agencies, such as Čedok and Fischer, now offer golfing trips, and Intercontact also has a good golf program. But you can be independent and arrange everything with a group of friends over the internet. One good website is www.golf.de, which gives you all the necessary, up-dated information. You can play on a different course every day or return to your favorite. The reservation system is perfect, and the courses offer volume discounts.
The author is the editor of Hospodářské noviny’s IN magazine.
Real Club de Golf de Tenerife, tel.: +34 922 636 607, www.realgolfdetenerife.com
Golf del Sur (18 holes), tel.: +34 922 738 170, www.golfdelsur.net
Amarilla golf (18 holes), tel.: +34 922 730 319, www.amarillagolf.es
Golf las Américas (18 holes, very busy), tel.: +34 922 795 005, www.golf-tenerife.com
Golf Costa Adeje (three combinable nine-hole courses), tel.: +34 922 710 000, www.golfcostaadeje.com
Los Palos (simple par-three nine-hole course), tel.: +34 922 169 080, www.golflospalos.com
Buenavista Golf (18 holes), tel.: +34 922 128 044
Abama Golf (18 holes), tel.: +34 922 746 002, www.abamahotelresort.comGran Canaria
Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas, (18 holes), tel.: +34 928 350104, www.realclubdegolfdelaspalmas.com
El Cortijo Club de Campo, (18 holes), tel.: +34 928 684890
El Cortijo Golf Center, (18 holes, par 3), tel.:+34 928 684890
Campo de Golf de Maspalomas, (18 holes), tel.: +34 928 762581
Salobre Golf Resort, tel.: +34 928 010103, (18 holes), firstname.lastname@example.org
Anfi Tauro Golf (9 holes, par 3), tel.: +34 928 128 840
Information on most courses is available at: www.grancanariagolf.org
Your favorite golf course?
“A simple question, at first glance, but if one is to give a concrete answer it turns out to be impossible without ‘offending’ all the wonderful courses that have appeared in the republic. And I’m reminded especially of courses where there were good times and good results. Because the longer one plays recreational golf the more he or she comes to appreciate the sport’s social nature. I like our old, classic courses, their majesty… Šilheřovice comes to mind. Or the new, difficult courses that I call ‘Lord Golf Course’, like Čeladná. I like playing at Konopiště, in this country, and at our Austrian neighbors’ Fontána. In the off-season, my friends and I like playing somewhere warm. And each course I play for the first time provides a truly thrilling experience. Golf is about getting know not only courses, but also people. Perhaps one day I’ll get to know my very favorite course. I’d like to spend a long time looking for it.”
Park Golf Club Ostrava, Dolní 412, Šilheřovice, www.golf-ostrava.cz
SHOP: Golf USA
This golf clothing and equipment store opened about a year ago, and quickly earned a good reputation as well as many customers. The shop’s selection includes all the basic equipment – bags, clubs, shoes, balls – and accessories. You can find fashionable items from Cutter & Buck alongside simple range balls and amusing or useful gifts for golf enthusiasts. The shop stocks renowned brands like Wilson, Callaway, FootJoy, Titleist, and Cleveland, and seasonal clearance sales are great for budget-minded golfers. They’re also glad to check your sets, change grips, or lengthen clubs.Golf USA, Obchodní 126, Čestlice, www.golfusa.cz