April News Roundup

• Improvements continue at La Cala Resort with investment in extensive new golf buggy fleet

La CalaWith the arrival of a superb new buggy fleet, La Cala Resort continues to improve and develop its tremendous golfing product. Situated in the foothills of the beautiful Mijas Mountains with breath-taking views of the stunning Andalusian countryside, La Cala’s superb 60-hole resort offers an idyllic rural retreat just 20 minutes from Marbella and only 30 minutes from Malaga airport.

La Cala Resort has invested in a superb new fleet of buggies to operate over its three Championship courses.  80 Clubcar Tempo buggies have arrived that include Lithium batteries, the first Clubcar buggies with Lithium batteries to arrive in Spain, and the Visage GPS system fitted into 60 of the buggies that will be put into operation on Campo America.

The addition of the new buggies on Campo America, complete with Visage GPS system, follows a major renovation programme on the course in 2018, which, among many other things, has seen all bunkers refurbished to enhance the aesthetics, and a remodelling of the 4th and 15th holes.

The Visage GPS system on the Campo America buggies is a high resolution fully sealed and weather/ impact protected LCD display that will not only give golfers accurate yardage information and an electronic scoreboard but will also allow La Cala to monitor the position of buggies and to manage the fleet more effectively.

Clubcar Tempo buggies with Lithium batteries are super-efficient and powerful, will charge faster and hold a charge for longer. They are also about 200kgs lighter, which will reduce compaction on the golf course.

The investment on the buggy fleet marks another positive step towards confirming La Cala as one of Europe’s premier golfing destinations. After the renovations to Campo America, plans are already in place for similar projects on both the Asia and Europa courses this year and in 2020. With this year seeing the 30th anniversary of La Cala, the resort is going from strength to strength.

“We have invested in this state-of-the-art buggy fleet as we are determined to continue to enhance the golfing product we offer,” says Robert Mitchell, Director of Golf at La Cala Resort. “With the work that has already been undertaken to Campo America, work that is set to be replicated across our other two layouts, we are on the right path to placing La Cala at the very pinnacle when it comes to European golfing destinations.”

The three superb championship courses at La Cala - Campo America, Campo Asia and Campo Europa - each present unique challenges and slot seamlessly into a natural, undulating backdrop of trees and flowers, rich with birds and wildlife. Designed by famous golf course architect Cabell Robinson, each 18-hole layout has been created to ensure a truly exhilarating experience.   Although America has come to be regarded as the resort’s premier and most requested layout, all three courses serve up spectacular mountain vistas, great playability and views down to the coast. An additional 6-hole, par-3 course and world-class golf academy complete the La Cala offering.

La Cala resort boasts accommodation of the highest standard, including a newly renovated 107-bedroom hotel, a selection of on-site properties for sale; from attractive 2-bedroom apartments to opulent 5-bedroom villas spread throughout the estate of approximately four million square metres. Residents can enjoy the luxurious spa and a selection of excellent restaurants and bars. There are also further leisure opportunities with a FIFA-standard football pitch, running circuit, gym, tennis and squash courts.

Nestled between the arresting beauty of the Sierra de Mijas Natural Park and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea, La Cala is a genuine haven of tranquillity. It’s the perfect base for exploring Andalusia and Spain’s fascinating cultural cities like Granada, Seville and Malaga.

For further information on La Cala Resort please visit www.lacala.com.


• Arabella Golf Mallorca goes plastic-free in continued sustainability efforts

Arabella Golf Mallorca is firmly committed to caring for the environment and reducing plastic waste across its portfolio of golf courses: Golf Son Muntaner, Golf Son Vida, and Golf Son Quint.

All three courses are ceasing the sale of plastic water bottles and, instead, will provide players with reverse osmosis purified, mineralised water fountains that dispense both still and sparkling water.

Each pro shop is selling refillable aluminium Arabella Golf Mallorca water bottles for €5 that golfers can use to refill on the course and around the property as often as they wish.

The introduction of the new water bottle policy is yet another sustainability measure that the resort has undertaken as part of its environment plan which has led to the reduction of CO2 emissions by 6.6% year-on-year in 2018, as measured by environmental specialists, CRM Synergies.

In fact, Arabella Golf Mallorca has had a beneficial impact on the environment, absorbing substantially more CO2 than it releases, with a positive differential of 1,980 tons - the equivalent emissions of roughly 400 cars over the period of a year.

The extensive and revolutionary grass upgrade that the resort implemented on Golf Son Muntaner to radically reduce water consumption has been a major factor in compensating the CO2 emissions of the company.

Bernat Llobera, Area Director, Arabella Golf, commented: “We have made it a priority to invest in ecological measures wherever possible, and our commitment to remove plastic water bottles at our courses is another example of how we are implementing this. We fully embrace our role in helping to make positive changes and are proud to offer a first-class golf experience that goes hand-in-hand with sustainability and caring for the environment.”

The investment and commitment into being environmentally-friendly has enabled Arabella to be the only golf course in Spain accredited by ISO 14001 and EMAS (Community Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) with the System of Environmental Management certification.

For further information on Arabella Golf Mallorca visit www.arabellagolfmallorca.com.


• Europe’s largest Pro-Am celebrates 25 years at Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot

Home of France’s No.1 links, Le Touquet Golf Resort, and sister venue, Golf d’Hardelot, are among the four venues on France’s northern coast celebrating 25 years of Continental Europe’s largest Pro-Am tournament, The International Opal Coast Pro-Am, 24-27 April 2019.

The tournament, which has hosted 10,000 players since its inception in 1994, has been contested at Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot for the length of its history.

While Le Touquet’s La Mer (The Sea) has been on the rota every year, the event has been hosted by both of Golf d’Hardelot’s courses, Les Pins (The Pines) and Les Dunes (The Dunes), with the latter receiving a leg of the Pro-Am for the second time this year.

Christophe Cantegrel, Founder of Golf First, organisers the event, said: “The upgrades and restoration work at both Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot over recent years have been very effective, and have only made the tournament more exciting and challenging.

“La Mer at Le Touquet Golf Resort is the longest and most demanding course in the event. A true championship layout. Restoring the four lost holes and bringing the layout back so closely to Harry Colt and Charles Alison’s original design has been an incredible achievement.

“The work carried out at Golf d’Hardelot has also been well-received by the Pro-Am players. Les Pins’ architectural mastery now shines through, while Les Dunes’ recent modifications have made it probably the most pleasurable to play – like a mini Augusta.”

The format of The International Opal Coast Pro-Am, which is also France’s oldest Pro-Am tournament, has remained unchanged throughout its 25 years, taking place across four days, on four golf courses, and hosting around 400 players each year. 

Professionals and amateurs travel from France, the UK, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands to compete for a prize purse of 73,000 €, working their way down the Opal Coast as they play courses at Le Touquet Golf Resort, Golf d’Hardelot, Belle Dune Golf Course and Wimereux Golf Club.

Christophe Cantegrel added: “The event is just such a pleasure to organise, and I think that pleasure is passed on to the golfers and spectators. The players get together every night to socialise, and there is such a genial and friendly atmosphere around the whole tournament, I believe this is what makes it so unique and popular.”

Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot are easily reached from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France, by road and rail; both located less than an hour’s drive south of the Eurotunnel terminus on the A16 autoroute.

For more information about Le Touquet Golf Resort, visit www.letouquetgolfresort.com/en/
and for Golf d’Hardelot, visit www.hardelotgolfclub.com/en


• Foremost Reveals 2018 Member Award Winners

Foremost Golf, the U.K’s largest retail and marketing services group, has announced the winners of its prestigious Foremost Golf Industry Member Awards for 2018.
The group’s member awards recognise some of the most dedicated and hard-working Foremost member professionals and are awarded based on a thorough and transparent point-scoring criteria.
Pat Smith, from Kidderminster Golf Club, in Worcestershire, received the most coveted award: The Foremost Professional of the Year.

Commenting on his award, Smith said: “Winning this award means everything to me, and I could not have done it without the hard work and support of my team. To be recognised as Professional of the Year really shows that we are moving in the right direction and all our hard work has paid off.”

As an extremely proactive Foremost member, Smith supports the Elite Marketing Programme (EMP) and approved partner suppliers as well as taking a leadership role within the group by presenting at member workshops.

Andy Martin, Foremost Managing Director, commented: “Pat is a worthy winner, as a team player and real ambassador for the group we are delighted that he is a Foremost member.”

EMP Professional of the Year was awarded to Andrew Richardson from Blackpool North Shore Golf Club.

“It’s a great achievement, which means even more to me having finished second the last two years, and something I’m very proud of,” said Richardson. “Really embracing Foremost’s EMP services, like the newsletter and video monitors, has been a crucial part of our business, keeping our members informed and engaged with the shop.”

A strong group supporter for a number of years, Richardson has consistently produced the highest quality content for his golf club members through the use of the EMP platform.
“Andrew is a top professional who goes above and beyond for his members and customers and is fully deserving of this accolade,” continued Martin. “He has fully engaged with the new EMP Premium, embracing the latest additions and array of services to great effect.”

Andrew Earlam capped off a fantastic year at Saddleworth Golf Club in Lancashire by winning Breakthrough Professional of the Year, an award which recognises members that have recently made significant improvements to their business.

In 2018, Earlam modernised and expanded golf services to his community by opening a state-of-the-art performance studio and fully utilising EMP to engage with customers and promote his new facility.

“I’m absolutely delighted to win the award. It’s not something I expected to get after just two years here at Saddleworth, but it’s a great reward,” he said. “I’ve worked really hard to build up the membership and earn the trust of the club and committee, so I’m excited about what the next 12 months will bring.”

Martin commented: “Andrew is fantastic role model for any up-and-coming PGA professional entering our trade. What he has been able to accomplish in 2018 has been incredibly impressive, I have no doubt he will continue to progress in 2019.”

For more information on Foremost, visit grip.foremostgolf.com or follow @ForemostGolf.
If you are interested in joining Foremost, please contact Leanne Spence on 01753 218 891 or email leanne@foremostgolf.com.


• Fun for all the family at Wycombe Heights Golf Centre grand opening extravaganza

Wycombe Heights Golf Centre, a BGL Golf venue, officially opened its brand-new driving range to the public on 13th April with a fun-filled and action-packed grand opening event.

The launch extravaganza featured a BBQ, live music from cover band, The Deps, and the opportunity to be one of the first people to give the new driving range a try, as well as fun competitions, including the chance to win a golf membership worth £1,000.

Featuring exciting state-of-the-art Toptracer Range technology, the stylish new driving range was open to all, with the launch event serving as a great opportunity to come and try the golf practice and entertainment experience at Wycombe Heights.

The thriving High Wycombe club has two golf courses and offers tuition from its experienced team of professionals, as well as a comfortable setting for beginners to take up the game or have fun with friends and family.

Sarah Blunden, General Manager at Wycombe Heights, commented: “I look forward to welcoming people from the local area and across the county to give the driving range a go, and I can’t wait to show off our new facility.

“We had some great challenges and competitions running at the grand opening, and with plenty of food and music it was a lively atmosphere and a really fun day for all the family.”

The club’s investment into the new range has been extensive, becoming the only club in the area to adopt the new Toptracer ball-tracking technology and the latest high-tech range equipment.

For more information on Wycombe Heights Golf Centre, visit www.wycombeheightsgc.co.uk.


• 59club award winners trust Golf Genius

Golf Genius, the leading global provider of cloud-based tournament software, is trusted by the majority of winners at the 2018 59club awards to support their golf event needs.

The annual 59club Service Excellence Awards recognise some of the world’s leading venues for setting the standard in customer experience and service.

Speaking on behalf of Golf Genius, Craig Higgs, Managing Director of Golf Genius International, commented: “It’s fantastic to see so many of our customers rewarded for their commitment to providing first-class customer experiences.
“Golf Genius constantly strives to meet the needs of our customers and help them provide outstanding golf events that stick long in the memory.”

Golf Genius venues were awarded 15 Gold Flags, seven Silver Flags and three Bronze Flags, in addition to taking home some of the most prestigious awards.

Simon Wordsworth, CEO at 59club, added: “Very simply from an agent’s perspective it’s a powerful tool allowing you to easily manage, and impress a client. From the golfer’s perspective it means more interaction and more fun.”

Dubai Golf’s portfolio of venues collected 10 total awards, including Golf Group of the Year. Chief Executive Officer, Christopher May commented on the impact of the tournament management software: “Golf Genius has allowed us to engage with members and guests on a daily basis, improving our levels of communication and overall tournament experience.”

Trump International Golf Club, Dubai scooped Overseas Golf Operation Team of the Year. General Manager, Casper Schonfeldt has seen the importance of using Golf Genius to manage tournaments and corporate events: “It is a 5-star offering which meets our clients expectations and for those previously not aware of this service it is a great value-add.”

Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club both earned Gold Flag Members Club awards and Group General Manager, Ed Edwards said: “Golf Genius helps us run all our member, group and corporate tournaments and events in a professional way. I would have no hesitation in recommending Golf Genius.”

Clubs interested in receiving a free Golf Genius demo should contact Craig Higgs at craig@golfgenius.com.