Area guide: Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria

Courses and Travel

Chris Bertram assesses the unknown quantity of Bulgaria’s key golf area, Cape Kaliakra

Lighthouse Golf Resort & Spa

This is the place to stay on this three-course break – with a very fine course of its own on site

Lighthouse cannot compete with Thracian Cliffs for views but it is a solid, playable design by Ian Woosnam that offers a nice contrast. Rather than a spectacular, exposed clifftop course with dramatic elevation change, it is a pleasant parkland over rolling land punctuated with mature trees.

It is sufficiently testing to keep strong players interested but higher handicappers will always be able to see a way to negotiate their way down a hole. Water plays a part but not in an overtly intimidating way. It is is fabulous condition too – which is happily a distinctive aspect of all three Cape Kaliakra courses actually – so, in short, a real pleasure.

It has been sculpted notably well by Woosnam and his shapers, with the fairways rolling naturally and the humps and hollows around the greens finished really well.

Lighthouse Gold

Bunkers being sunken into those mounds and thus partially hiding the green are a nice feature here; a visual and mental challenge without being too exacting. The tough par-3 5th is one such example of that feature.

The 13th also illustrates the excellent shaping, with mounds and a bunker front left. It is followed by a very long par 3 that plays parallel to the coastline even though you can’t see the sea. Again it is really nicely shaped.

Lighthouse is not always a totally typical resort course and perhaps the odd testing tee shot – such as the tight drives off the 9th – is hardly a surprise given Woosnam was such a good driver of the ball and might like a few challenges in this regard.  There is water and sand up at the green on this long hole, that plays up to slightly elevated green and is one of the Lighthouse’s tougher challenges.

But the visual pick of the course come at the 7th, which plays down towards the cliffs with a super backdrop as well as the par 3 that follows, giving you two infinity greens and thus some lovely views in a row.

The Lighthouse is the best base for your trip to the area, but don’t make that at the expense of playing the course too, because it indubitably worthy of your time.

Cape Kaliakra travel guide continues on the next page…

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