THE two things that golfers want are sunshine and good golf courses and where better to find both than in Tenerife, the land of sunshine.
In the past year I have discovered the delight of golfing on this wonderful island and I have come to the conclusion that Irish golfers are mad not to head to such a fabulous golfing destinations where sunshine is guaranteed all year round.
I had to admit I no idea that there was such a plentiful supply of excellent courses scattered throughout this sun island.
I stayed in the lovely boutique Sir Anthony five-star hotel which is part of the Mare Nostrum complex on Tenerife’s south coast.
The hotel which is ideal for couples and adults is located by the sandy beach of Playa del Camisón, it is only a few minutes’ walk to bars, shops and restaurants.
The hotel has just 72 beautifully appointed luxurious rooms and suites with many surprise features.
I just loved the fact that I could enjoy the sunshine in the gardens and on the garden terrace with a glass of wine.
And with access from the hotel to the promenade and beach I was able to walk off the excesses of excellent food and wine.
Families will definitely find the four larger hotels in the group, which are close by, have wonderful facilities to cater for all ages.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and is an island of two parts.
The south is the tourist mecca with Playa De Las Americas and Los Cristianos the most popular resorts with sizzling nightlife and great restaurants and bars.
The north of the island is much more lush with woodlands, magnificent banana plantations and wonderful beaches.
The island is an exciting exotic place with giant cliffs, black sand beaches and volcanic landscapes all dominated by the giant volcano Teide and its national park.
It is indeed the island of eternal spring, a nature lover’s paradise and a sun seekers heaven.
It is truly the last of the European paradise isles offering lush forests, exotic flora and fauna, mountains, volcanoes and magnificent coastlines and beaches.
But I went to Tenerife to play golf on a Canary Island for the first time ever and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the quality and challenge of the courses while the 19th holes did not disappoint either.
Everyday, because of the weather, is a golfing day in Tenerife which has 9 magnificent courses.
I got to play three while there and my favourite was the Coste Adeje course which is challenging with an impressive 27 holes from the mountains down to the sea.
Located in the south of the Island overlooking the sea this spectacular course was designed by Jose Gancedo and opened in 1998. It is hard to believe that it is so relatively new as it has a maturity that belies its age.
A feature of note is the fact that the black sand bunkers have been replaced with white silica sand from Cadiz.
This course has a large colonial clubhouse ideal for those visiting the 19th hole and a 45,000 sq metre driving range on three levels with all mod cons including even a lift for the buggies.
The next challenge was Golf Del Sur which is an absolutely stunning course with wide fairways and challenging water hazards which weave around ravines and volcanic sand traps.
Dipping towards the sea, the views are simply breathtaking from many of the greens.
This course has a number of difficult holes most notably the 3rd par 5 and the 4th which is a par 4 on the northern part of the course.
The wide fairways are surrounded by a variety of natural flora making it a real oasis overlooking the sea. The impressive ravines provide a spectacular and colourful backdrop of massive coloured rock for many of the holes.
We headed up to the northern part of the island to another must play course, Tenerife’s own “Pebble Beach” Buenavista.
The journey while long passed amazing banana plantations, and wound its way through mountain passes with awesome sea views. If you decide to hire a car and explore the island a trip up here is not to be missed.
The course which was opened in 2003 was designed by Spain’s favourite golfing hero Seve Ballesteros.
Located on a cliff top, this course built on nature’s groundwork of the Teno mountain range is flanked by the impressive Teno Country park and overlooks the Atlantic.
Tenerife is easily reached with Aer Lingus operating regular flights from Dublin and Cork. If you book well in advance or avail of the many offers the national airline has during this its 75th anniversary year, you can get to the sunshine island easily. Aer Lingus always make the effort to ensure that its passengers are comfortable and receive the best attention on board so do check the website for schedules to Tenerife. Check out www.aerlingus.com.