Tenerife - a prize Canary for golfers
Lying off the African Atlantic coastline, the beautiful volcanic island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, benefits from a remarkable climate, average year round temperatures of 23° C (73° F) and very little rain. Boasting fantastic beaches, breathtaking scenery, dramatic mountainscapes, a wealth of outdoor activities and guaranteed lively night life, no wonder it has become one of the most popular short haul destinations for UK visitors. And the golf isn’t bad either!
Click here for a map of Tenerife
|Buenavista Golf Course in northern Tenerife
Tenerife currently has eight high quality golf courses designed by the likes of John Jacobs, José María Olazábal or Sevariano Ballesteros and another Donald Steel creation on the neighbouring island of Gomera which is easily reachable by high-speed ferry.
We were recently invited by the Tenerife Tourism Corporation to play three of these lovely courses and watch the Pros in action at the Tenerife Ladies Open which took place from 24 to 27 September 2009 on the spectacular coastal course of Costa Adeje, host to the event for the third time. The golfing week began with two days of official practice. On the Tuesday, a welcome cocktail was held at Siam Park and on the Wednesday the Pro-Am for the press and golf tour operators. Four days of competitive play culminated with Felicity Johnson being crowned a first-time winner on the Ladies European Tour by two shots.
Click here for full report
|Siam Park, the new Thai-themed water park in Tenerife
||The 6th tee, on the last day of the 2009 Tenerife Open
||The winner, Felicity Johnson from Wales
Golf Costa Adeje
Close to the buzzing resort of Playa de las Américas, Golf Costa Adeje offers truly beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, the neighbouring island of La Gomera and the rugged Adeje mountains.
The Pepe Gancedo designed course is regarded as one of Tenerife's premier golfing destinations, and boasts 27 holes featuring large undulating greens where reading the grain properly is vital and obstacles such as ravines on the 18-hole Old Course, and lakes on the shorter but technical 9-hole Los Lagos course.
Unusually, the Old Course features 6 par 3s, 6 par 4s and 6 par 5s and begins and ends with a long
par 5. The 8th is one such long par 5, a dogleg to the right, downhill to start with, then uphill; keep the ball left all the way to avoid a huge sand bunker and a scrub-filled ravine.
Particularly impressive among the six par 3s is the 5th, requiring an uphill tee shot over cacti, and the toughest hole of the course, the 7th, where you have to carry the ball over the ravine surrounding the green. (See image gallery)
The Old Course is most memorable for its step-like stone walls which divided the former banana plantation and now challenge golfers, and for its coastline holes, the highlight of the course visually. The par 4 fourth is a fine example of both, as it slopes gently downhill toward the sea offering stunning views and is crossed by a myriad of stone walls.
A buggy is highly recommended to save your energy for your swing and enjoy the stunning views.
Click here for full details of Golf Costa Adeje
Golf del Sur
|The spectacular ravine running along the third and fourth holes (North Course-Golf del Sur)
Golf del Sur, originally designed by Pepe Gancedo, later remodelled by Manuel Pinero, has hosted many tournaments including the Tenerife Open, since it was first opened in 1987.
The challenging 27-hole championship layout affords great views over both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mount Teide volcano. The wide fairways on the three loops are forgiving enough, but blind shots, severe slopes, lava waste areas and tricky water hazards can severely damage your card.
Most memorable for its difficulty and beauty is the 525 yard-long par 5 third hole on the North course which runs along an impressive desert style canyon with spectacular indigenous cacti on the right and a lot of sand on the left (See picture above).
Golf del Sur pays special attention to the conservation of its flora and fauna and it has been certified by TÜV on standard ISO 14001 Environment and Golf of the Biosphere.
Click here for Golf del Sur course details
Located in the north west of Tenerife, the Seve Ballesteros-designed Buenavista Golf Course is laid out on striking cliff tops between the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Teno Mountain range and the breathtaking deep blue Atlantic Ocean.
It will take you roughly 90 minutes to drive there from Las Americas along a road overlooking beautiful rugged shoreline or alternatively you may take the narrow, twisting mountain road from Santiago del Teide. You will be rewarded by unbelievable scenery if you do, but there is a sheer drop and the drive is not for the faint-hearted - although we witnessed the driver of an articulated lorry negotiating a hair pin bend and driving past our parked coach with one hand while the other held his mobile phone to his ear!
Although Buenavista is off the beaten track it is well worth the effort, as it is arguably the most spectacular course on the island and a real must. Whatever your game, the views will make up for any disappointment!
The course consists of six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. The par 4s are generally long and challenging and the par 3s require accuracy, especially the cliff top 15th and the 17th holes. The course goes right down to the ocean and you may even get splashed by the waves crashing onto the rocks when putting the 10th and 13th greens. Most tees are elevated and you will have to be precise to avoid the thick vegetation bordering the relatively wide fairways. It is a coastal course and will get more difficult if, unlike us, you play it on a windy day. Water also contributes to the challenge and comes into play at several holes as the course surrounds a large central lake between the 9th and 18th holes (See picture gallery), while water also affects the 1st and 5th at the top end of the course.
The on-course views are magnicent, but take the time to relax afterwards and admire them also from the clubhouse, which offers superb panoramic views over the entire course.
Click here for Buenavista Golf course details
Click here for details of all courses in the Canary Islands
THINGS TO DO
Apart from golf and other outdoor sports, there is a wealth of things to do in Tenerife, including deep sea fishing or dolphin and whale watching - there are 25 species of sea mammals between Tenerife and its neighbour La Gomera island, and exploring Mount Teide National Park, the most popular park in Spain.
| Valle de la Orotava, view towards Mount Teide
Mount Teide National Park
The National Park which covers Mount Teide’s vast crater is dominated by the 12,200ft high volcano, Spain's highest peak, which is often snow-capped and can be seen from everywhere on the island including the beach.
It is well worth tearing yourself away from the beach to walk the park trails, admire its gorges, its rocks and the breathtaking views of Gran Canaria, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro on a clear day. Make sure you check the weather at the top before setting out and take warm clothes with you, as well as plenty of water and sunscreen.
Access to the volcano, which last erupted in 1909, is either by foot, bike, hire car, coach or by cable car that will carry you almost to the very summit.
National Park Offices
c/ Emilio Calzadilla, 5
Tel: (+34) 922 29 01 29
Office Hours: 9:00am - 2:00pm
Website for Cable Car: www.teleferico-teide.com
Siam Park: the best water theme park in Europe?
The new Thai-themed water park is based in Adeje in the south of Tenerife. As well as having a Sea Lions enclosure and show, water based rides such as Ride the Dragon, the Mekong Rapids or the Tower of Power for an “incredible supercharged adrenaline rush”, the park also offers themed restaurants and cafe bars.
Tel: +34 902 060 000
Tenerife, as well as the other Canary Islands, is a partly tax free area. So tobacco, spirits and perfumes are cheaper here than in other EU countries. Tenerife is a spender’s paradise, so why not treat yourself at one of the numerous luxury jewellery and fashion shops?
When choosing a beach in Tenerife, you will be spoiled for choice between black volcanic sand or white sand, quiet or more lively; what they have in common, though, is the quite stunning clarity of their water. The most popular are along the South coast: “Los Cristianos” and “Las Américas”.
Natural pools – another way of enjoying sea water
On reaching the sea, the lava flowing from the volcanoes has formed natural pools, mainly in the north of the island such as Bajamar or Punta del Delgado. The water is renewed each time the tide comes in.
Night entertainment is limitless and ranges from open air bars to lively clubs, from discos to shows, concerts and casinos, and of course you should also try the food in local tascas. The hottest nightlife is to be had in the south - everything, including the climate, is said to be slightly cooler in the north.
WHAT TO PACK
The average temperature in Tenerife is 73°F (23°C) and there are 300 days of sunshine. However, in addition to your beachwear, sun protection and summer clothes, make sure you pack a woolly or light jacket if you decide to go up Mount Teide for instance.
WHERE TO STAY
We can recommend:
Hotel Sir Anthony *****
Av. de las Américas s/n
38660 Arona - Tenerife
Tel: (+34) 922 75 75 00
Fax: (+34) 922 75 75 45
Contact Form: hotelsiranthony.com/contacto.php?idioma=en
The seafront 5 star Hotel Sir Anthony is located 17 km from Reina Sofía Airport in South Tenerife. It is an intimate, deluxe 72 room hotel where all rooms have a pool view. The hotel is part of the Mare Nostrum Resort, whose extensive facilities residents are welcome to use.
As well as its 12 restaurants the Mare Nostrum Resort also offers bars, four pools, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a gymnasium, tennis and squash courts, billiards, mini-golf, boutiques, a top class health spa, a casino, evening shows and a dedicated children's pool and play area.
For a wider choice of hotels, please consult the Tenerife Tourism Corporation (details below).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Tenerife Tourism Corporation
Telephone freephone: +
800 100 101 00 (No international code is required)
Photo credits: www.webtenerifeuk.co.uk - Felipe Pérez - Tenerife Tourism Corporation - www.siampark.net - GolfToday