golf

Jack Nicklaus leads winners at 2017 World Golf Awards

Golfing legend, Jack Nicklaus, was voted Golf Course Designer of the Year at the 2017 World Golf Awards.

Nicklaus - nicknamed the Golden Bear - was the big winner at golf tourism's event of the year, which took place at La Manga Club earlier this evening, welcoming the elite of the golf hospitality industry to Spain.

Also among the winners was TaylorMade. The American manufacturer, whose mission is to create the best-performing golf equipment in the game, took the title of World's Best Golf Club Brand.

Elsewhere St Andrews Links (Old Course) in Scotland scooped the award for World's Best Golf Course, while The Belfry was recognised as Europe's Best Golf Hotel and Portugal picked up the trophy for World's Best Golf Destination.

Sky Sports Golf was also honoured during the red carpet event, winning the award for World's Best Golf Channel.

An extensive programme of events is taking place over the weekend, seeing guests invited to engage in three days of exclusive networking and to play the Robert Putman designed West Course and classic South Course at La Manga Club.

World Golf Awards Managing Director, Chris Frost, said: “The fourth instalment of the 2017 World Golf Awards has been the most successful to date, welcoming industry leaders to Murcia, Spain, for a weekend of golf, networking opportunities and our fabulous Gala Ceremony.

"It has been an honour to recognise so many world-class organisations here this evening and I offer my sincere congratulations to all our winners."

In a unique presentation, the World Golf Awards Academy honoured golf industry stalwart, Ian Baker-Finch, with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

One of the most popular and successful golfers and golf commentators, the Australian - who is known for his easy-going manner and his love for the sport - has more than 15 years in sports television and 17 titles under his belt.

Voting for the 2017 Gala Ceremony closed at the end of September, with a record number of ballots cast by leading golf industry tourism professionals.

These were tallied alongside the votes of hundreds of thousands of golf consumers around the world, with the winners revealed earlier this evening at the five-star La Manga Club - an unrivalled sports and leisure paradise in south-east Spain.

Find a full list of 2017 World Golf Awards winners on the official website: worldgolfawards.com/winners/2017

Notes to Editors

About World Golf Awards

World Golf Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world class courses and golf destinations.

While celebrating and rewarding excellence across golf resorts, courses and the golfing destinations throughout the world, the 2017 World Golf Awards strive to ultimately raise the golf tourist customer experience and stimulate both the domestic and international golf tourism market.

Votes are made by professionals working within the golf travel and tourism industry - senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media professionals. Votes may also be cast by the public (golf tourism consumers).

Votes are submitted online via the World Golf Awards website.

The winners of each national category will go head-to-head with the winners of the other countries before the unveiling of the World Winners.

World Golf Awards is the sister organisation of World Travel Awards, currently celebrating its 24th anniversary.

La Manga Club flying high with new BA Heathrow service

La Manga Club has long been a favourite hangout of sports and showbiz stars – David Beckham, Bjorn Borg and Gary Player have all stayed and played here – and the popularity of Europe’s number one sports club only looks set to soar this summer thanks to the launch of a new flight route from London Heathrow to Murcia.

That’s right. British Airways has joined Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2 on the arrivals and departures board by offering a twice weekly (Tuesday and Saturday) summer service from England’s capital into Murcia-San Javier airport making Spain’s flagship resort even more accessible.

The news comes as World Golf Awards has revealed that the five star La Manga Club resort will host its Gala Ceremony 2017.

The most prestigious awards programme in the golf tourism industry (www.worldgolfawards.com) will take place at the famous venue in Murcia from 23-26 November 2017.

Chris Frost, World Golf Awards Managing Director, said: “The team and I are beyond excited to be bringing the World Golf Awards to Spain for the first time.
 

"We look forward to welcoming industry leaders and luminaries to La Manga Club, Spain's most exclusive sports and leisure resort, in November and I know it will be a weekend to remember."

Set in an area three times the size of Monaco and just a 20-minute drive from the airport, the resort’s unique facilities include three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre, eight FIFA-approved football pitches and a new European Cricket Performance Centre.  La Manga Club (www.lamangaclub.com) also boasts an array of four and five star accommodation, a 2000swm wellness centre complex, more than 20 bars and restaurants… and an average pf 300 days of sunshine throughout the year.

"It's a great honour and privilege to be chosen to host the World Golf Awards for the first time, in what is a landmark year for the resort as we celebrate our 45th birthday,” commented José Asenjo, General Manager of La Manga Club.


"Every year the event attracts some of the most respected figures in the golf industry, and we're very excited to have this opportunity to showcase our numerous world-class golf and leisure facilities to a key global audience and look forward to welcoming everyone here in November."

 

Kaye Holland

Voting opens ahead of World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony 2017

World Golf Awards Managing Director, Christopher Frost, said: “Voting is now open ahead of the World Golf Awards 2017, as we begin preparations for the fourth annual event.”

“With voting now open it is down to you, the voters, to decide who we will recognise with our prestigious trophies.”

Now in its fourth year, World Golf Awards recognises and celebrates the crème de la crème in golf tourism, world-class courses and golf destinations from across the globe. The awards, voted for by golfers worldwide, aim to raise the bar for golf experiences and sit as part of the World Travel Awards, which have been rewarding quality across the leisure and tourism sector for 24 years.

Sir Nick Faldo was among the big winners at the 2016 World Golf Awards. The six-time major champion scooped the prestigious title of Golf Course Designer of the Year.

Also celebrating was England’s The Belfry, recognised as Europe's Best Golf Hotel, while Quinta do Lago took the title of Europe's Best Golf Venue at the event which was held at the five star Conrad Algarve Portugal.

Details regarding the date and venue of the World Golf Awards Gala Ceremony 2017 will be released once they have been finalised, with voting set to close on July 31st 2017.

For nomination information, please visit the official website.

Notes to Editors

About World Golf Awards

World Golf Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world class courses and golf destinations.

Golf tourism constitutes a vital segment in the global travel and tourism marketplace. The 2017 World Golf Awards will focus on the leading 130 nations who are shaping the future of this dynamic industry.

While celebrating and rewarding excellence across golf resorts, courses and the golfing destinations throughout the world, World Golf Awards strives to ultimately raise the golf tourist customer experience and stimulate both the domestic and international golf tourism market.

Votes will be made by professionals working within the golf travel and tourism industry – senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media professionals. Votes may also be cast by the public (golf tourism consumers).

The voting works on a first-past-the post system to ensure impartiality and independence. Votes are submitted online via the World Golf Awards website.

The winners of each national category will go head-to-head with the winners of the other countries before the unveiling of the World Winners.

World Golf Awards is part of World Travel Awards, currently celebrating its 24th anniversary.

Spotlight on South Korea


The vibe
East doesn’t just meet West in the Republic of Korea (ROK). Rather they collide in one almighty explosion, so expect a heady mix of traditional and modern. Buddhist temples, tea houses, historic palaces, hanbok (colourful silk costumes) and hanoks (traditional Korean houses) are juxtaposed alongside skylines of steel and glass, clubs playing K-Pop and chi chi boutiques - ensuring that South Korea truly has something for everyone.


The crowd
ROK has long been overshadowed by its larger neighbours - China, to the west and Japan, to the east - meaning that the country isn’t as clogged-up with tourists. Fast forward to 2017 though and ROK is finally coming into its own as a tourist destination, owing to its harmonious blend of technology and tradition and yes, it's rise as a golfing power. Our advice? Visit now - before everyone else catches on.

The golf
Spurred on by the success of Se Ri Pak - the first Korean woman to win one of golf’s major championships, the 1998 US Open - Inbee Pak, Hyo-Joo Kim and co, golf is seriously big business in ROK. There are two television channels dedicated to the game, while more than 250 courses dot the Land of Calm. Three of the best are:

Jungman Beach Golf Club
Situated on a seaside cliff, Jungmun Golf Club is ROK’s sole coastal course. It’s also the longest golf course in Korea, with a total of 18 holes and 72 pars, and one of the most picturesque: fairways are adorned with Jeju-grown foliage and subtropical plants. Green fee from 91,000 won (weekdays) -128,000 won (weekends) for 18 holes; www.jungmunresort.com

Nine Bridges Golf Club
Named one of the ‘Top 100 courses in the World’ by Golf Magazine, Nine Bridges’ name derives from the eight stone bridges built on the course - the ninth bridge is a metaphorical one connecting the club to its members and guests. Green fee from 140,000 won (weekdays) to 180,000 (weekends); www.ninebridges.co.kr/


Pinx Golf Club
Designed by renowned golf course designer, Theodore G. Robinson, Pinx Golf Club offers arresting views of both the Hallasan Mountain and the ocean. Year-round play is possible while over 30cmof sand paved beneath the greens, provides good drainage. Green fee from 85,000 won (weekdays) - 97,000 won (weekends) for 18 holes; www.thepinx.co.kr


The hotels
Hotels and motels abound in the major cities and on the volcanic island of Jeju - the largest of ROK’s many islands - offering all the amenities a modern traveller could desire. However homestays are arguably the best way to to experience Korean culture and customs first-hand. For a truly unique stay, check into a hanok (single story, tile roof, traditional Korean houses made out of wood and characterised by their traditional courtyards). 

PART 2: Essentials

When to go
Late spring (April-May) and early Autumn (September-October) is the ideal time to tee off in ROK, when temperatures are mild and rainfall is low.

Green fee
From £59- £124 for 18 holes.

Flight time
The average flight time from London to Seoul (ROK’s capital) is 10h, 45min.

Visa requirements
UK citizens are granted a 90-day permit on arrival, providing they have a confirmed onward ticket.

Health
There are no special vaccination requirements for visiting ROK, although immunisation against Hepatitis A & B is recommended.

Getting around
ROK boasts an excellent public transport system - reliable trains and buses link cities, towns and rural villages alike - that puts the UK to shame.

Contact
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr

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