Travel Guide: CanariesJanuary, 2013
A resplendent island cluster as diverse as it is beautiful
It would be an oversight of epic proportion to ignore the Canary Islands when discussing Spanish golf.
Not just because of the oft mentioned year-round sunshine, or the pristine landscape into which some of the most beautiful courses are crafted, but because they boast as rich and intriguing a golfing heritage as you could ask for.
Golf has had a home in the Canaries for longer than at any other Spanish province. The Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas in Gran Canaria was founded in 1891, and is even more famous for being Spain’s oldest golf course than it is for its current location – the plains of Bandama, where it sits adjacent to an extinct volcano.
But as startling as the resort is, it scarcely scratches the surface of what the Canaries have to offer. Any one of its islands could claim to be the jewel in the crown, but in terms of golfing attractions, it is a battle between Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
Golf Las Americas lies in the south of Tenerife, and is a flat, easy-walking course where, even with your back to the sea, it is impossible to avoid water.
Streams and ravines are strewn across the course, and the green on the par-3 13th is imprisoned by three lakes so a poor tee shot might require the donning of your swimming trunks.
A short trip north west takes you to Seve Ballesteros’s aptly named and awe-inspiring Buenavista course, while the greens at Dave Thomas’s Abama design must be seen to be believed.
Gran Canaria boasts its own array of gems Not to be outdone, Gran Canaria boasts its own array of gems. The Maspalomas Golf layout has hosted two tour events, the second of which was won by Jose Maria Olazabal, while the recently inaugurated Anfi Tauro resort offers a truly special backdrop, complete with waterfalls and mountains.
The other islands are not to be overlooked: La Tecina course in La Gomera is remarkable for its sheer… sheerness. The course starts on top of an enormous hill – there’s a bus, don’t worry – and meanders its way down to the bottom, offering unparalleled length off the tee.
Hotels are available within reach of a number of courses and deals can be found extremely cheap, especially when you consider that green fees are often included.
The islands straddle the middle-ground between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and as a result the culinary face of the Canaries is as varied as the golf. While it has its own rich tradition, the islands also offer the very best in Italian, Argentinian and even Japanese. Golf aside, you can relax in the countless jacuzzi and spas or perhaps just laze on the beach.
YOUR QUICK GUIDE
When to go: It’s warmest between June and September, but not by much. The islands enjoy fantastic weather all-year round
Time difference: GMT
Must-play courses: Abama, Buenavista, Golf Las Americas
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Super Travel Golf have over 15 years’ experience tailormaking golf holidays, and offer a range of packages to the eversunny Canary Islands.