Golf Features News Roundup

Red Bull UK hosts Longest Drive competition in partnership with Inrange Golf

The global energy drink brand took to the driving range with Inrange Golf, and hosted the fan favourite Longest Drive competition

When you think of Red Bull UK, golf is not the first thing that comes to mind. And the brand that is known for its innovative and groundbreaking campaigns, is at it again. This time, they’ve entered the digital driving range. They joined forces with the number 1 market disruptor in the driving range technology space - Inrange Golf - to host a competition for players and invited guests 

The event was a resounding success with every guest enjoying the chance to have a swing and try win the overall men’s or ladies’ category, as well as contributing to a team score competition - all set to the backdrop of London’s city landscape at one of Europe’s busiest driving ranges 

The champions on the night were Harry (Men’s winner - 379 yds) and Angelina (Ladies’ winner - 249 yds), and will both be invited to a Red Bull experience in 2023 with friends. There were also lucky draws and a social media competition on the night.

The after party went on late into the night, which is something Inrange partners have become used to since adopting their Experience Range Concept. Marketing Manager of Inrange, Ian Blunt, has been a crucial part of ensuring this new range concept is working for all parties, and attended the Red Bull UK event in London:

“We’ve already successfully shown that the range is no longer just a bucket of balls business - it has to be an experience. Partnerships like this one with Red Bull UK allow us to successfully bring new people to the driving range, some who may never have been before, and most importantly these are the customersthat play more often, stay longer and spend more money.”

Without a doubt, this is not the last time we will see Red Bull UK on the driving range and the two companies are targeting a series of events across the UK in 2023. Watch this space. 

To learn more, please visit www.inrangegolf.com or follow them on LinkedIn for future announcements and campaigns.

Junior Masters champion crowned as Close House continues support of rising stars

The champions of this year’s Junior Masters event have been crowned at Close House, following an exciting grand final which was the biggest to date.

A group of 68 talented juniors competed on the iconic Championship Colt course, as Close House continued its support of young golfers and their development within the game.

Three age groups were represented at the grand final: 12 and under, 15 and under, and 18 and under. The age group winners were George Curry/Abigail Scott (12 and under), Oliver Goodison/Evie Coatesworth (15 and under) and Joe Mulroy/Rebecca Evans (18 and under) - with Abigail taking the overall victory.

Throughout May to September, junior golfers across eight counties in the UK battled it out for a space in the grand final, with nine qualifying events taking place and producing the best turnout in the history of the tournament.

Close House’s attached professional, Lee Westwood, played a big part in the initial development of the Junior Masters, with the vision to help grow the game and create more competitive opportunities for keen young golfers. 

“I am a really proud supporter of the Junior Masters,” he commented. “They are great events, played at some top courses in the UK. Providing young golfers with competitive opportunities is invaluable, and everyone involved in these events is extremely committed to supporting junior golf – it is a privilege to be involved.”

Jonathan Lupton, Managing Director at Close House, added: “The Junior Masters series is a huge part of Close House’s efforts to help develop the future generations of golfers, giving youngsters an invaluable opportunity to play competitive golf. From personal experience it’s fantastic to give these juniors the chance to play the final on a championship standard golf course, whilst also having fun and enjoying the event.”

In addition to hosting a qualifying event and the final, Close House has also given free school coaching to children at 15 local schools. 

The 2022 events also saw PING Europe continue its support of the tournament, providing all the prizes at the grand final and helping to make it a truly memorable experience for the juniors involved.

St Andrews practice facility transformed thanks to Toptracer Range 

In just two short months, St Andrews Links has seen dramatic results at its range facility through the new installation of Toptracer Range - a move which has led to higher usage from golfers of all ages thanks to the innovative, experiential offering now available at The Home of Golf. 

As part of a long-term partnership between the world’s number 1 range technology and the world-famous St Andrews Links, Toptracer Range has completely transformed the practice facilities on-site. 

Since August of this year, St Andrews’ practice facility has seen almost 1 million balls hit on Toptracer in over 10,000 sessions, fulfilling the high-priority goal of the partnership in reaching a broader audience at the venue, while providing more insights to support player improvement. 

Danny Campbell, Commercial Director for St Andrews Links, explains: “There is no question that Toptracer is the dominant force in range technology. They literally invented the space and as a result reinvented the range experience. It’s clear that through this wealth of experience, they’ve come to understand operator challenges, how to transform practice areas into experiential destinations and how to build a seamless platform that provides a valuable experience to all golfers. 

“This has led to a big change in how our range is being used. We’ve seen golfers stay in bays longer and newer golfers engaging further with the technology, whilst game modes like Toptracer30 have given more experienced visitors the chance to test themselves and work on their game.

“It is an important role that we play here at St Andrews Links, both to get young people to enjoy the game more and to provide a world-class offering to the experienced golfer. Our members and visitors expect the very best at every turn and at 600 years old, have a responsibility to uphold the traditions of the game, while making sure we innovate, move forward, and never stand still - and Toptracer is a big part of that.” 

What’s more, the partnership has seen the world’s most iconic golf course, the Old Course at St Andrews, become exclusively available to play virtually at Toptracer Range enabled golf courses around the world. 

Ben Sharpe, President at Toptracer, commented on the landmark opportunity: “We are delighted that the partnership between Toptracer and St Andrews Links has begun so successfully. Our aim is to encourage more people to play and help range owners improve their business, and it’s exciting to see The Home of Golf put their stamp of approval on Toptracer Range. We’re delighted to hear about the improvements St Andrews Links have seen since install, and it’s yet another example of how Toptracer Range is transforming the driving range experience.

“Furthermore, bringing arguably the world’s most famous golf course, the Old Course, to the world’s number 1 range technology on an exclusive basis means that more golfers than ever before will have access direct from their bay in any of our 750 sites across 31 countries worldwide.”

La Cala Cements Position Among Europe’s Top Golf Resorts

Judges from the industry-leading Golf World Top 100 Rankings have recognised La Cala as the 13th best golf resort in their recently published Top 100 European Resorts list. The rankings also placed La Cala as Spain’s leading 4* Resort and the country’s third best Resort overall.

A distinguished panel compiles the Golf World Top 100 list – one of the golf industry’s most authoritative and respected rankings. Judges include expert journalists as well as specialists from within the travel industry. Resorts are judged against four categories: Courses, Accommodation, Amenities and Setting, with points awarded for each. 

La Cala made a huge jump in the 2020 Golf World Rankings, a reflection of the significant improvements made at the resort in recent years. This year’s ranking of 13th is a recognition of the solidification of that progress.

The resort finalised renovation works on the stunning Europa Course in 2021, as well as putting finishing touches to works on the beautiful Asia Course. And that all followed improvements made to the striking America Course a couple of years ago.

In Golf World’s Ranking, La Cala scored particularly highly in the courses section and the panel referenced the completion of recent course improvements as being a factor in that.

Commenting on La Cala’s courses, Golf World said, “Few are as comprehensive in terms of courses, with 54 very evenly balanced holes at La Cala: America, Europa, and Asia. All have been renovated in the last four years, giving the golf a fresh look that so many resorts would be wise to follow.”

The panel also commented on the excellent amenities and dining options at La Cala, stating, “There is a spa that is better than most in this ranking, as well as tennis and football. The large swimming pool will appeal to many and, thanks to the climate, you can be lazing around it for as many as eight months of the year. Another key attraction are La Cala’s restaurants; La Bodega’s tapas is our favourite in a very competitive field.”

La Cala Resort General Manager, Sean Corte-Real, said of the ranking: “We are very proud to place so highly in this prestigious ranking. It’s an industry benchmark and we are delighted that the efforts we have made in recent years to complete significant improvements on and off the course have been recognised by the distinguished Golf World panel. But we certainly won’t rest on our laurels. We will continue to work hard to offer our guests the very best facilities and service.”

As evidence of that ambition, the resort is currently making improvements to the clubhouse, extending the terrace area and improving the inside area. Recent improvements have also been made to the Panoramic Bar.

This is the latest in a series of accolades received by La Cala Resort. Golf World recently ranked La Cala as 73rd Best Golf Resort in the world. La Cala also received an Outstanding Service Award from the global golf tourism organisation IAGTO, in recognition for their extraordinary efforts to provide partners and guests the highest levels of customer service through the pandemic.

Situated in the foothills of the beautiful Mijas Mountains with breath-taking views of the stunning Andalusian countryside, La Cala’s superb 54-hole resort offers an idyllic rural retreat just 20 minutes from Marbella and only 30 minutes from Malaga airport.

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 B. Robinson, each 18-hole layout has been created to ensure a truly exhilarating experience. 

La Cala resort boasts accommodation of the highest standard, including a 107-bedroom hotel, plus a selection of on-site Real Estate for sale and rental. 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