It is entirely possible to mix a great golfing holiday for the men folk with a fabulous fun break for the family. One family shares how they took advantage of their holiday to make it into a golf break for dad, while ensuring that the resorts they chose to stay at on Tenerife and Gran Canaria put them in a great place to enjoy some quality family time as well.
Although Mark doesn't get the opportunity to play as much golf as he'd like to these days, being a busy husband and dad, his family surprised him on the occasion of two of his birthdays by booking golfing holidays to celebrate. His partner, Lisa, knew how much the opportunity to play golf in the Spanish sunshine would mean to Mark. She also knew that by choosing her holiday locations and resorts carefully, she wouldn't need to become a 'golf widow'... Their time on Gran Canaria and Tenerife saw Mark and Lisa each enjoying some time to themselves, as well as spending many happy hours with sons, Harrison aged 16, and Connor aged 12, together as a family.
Anfi Emerald Club, Gran Canaria
"I used to play a lot of golf - I had to learn how to play it while working for IBM where the corporate events tended to be golf orientated. I loved it and used to play off a handicap of 14," Mark said. "I don't get to play as much as I'd like to these days, I play off a mid-range handicap now, so when Lisa surprised me with a golfing holiday on Gran Canaria for my birthday to brush up on my handicap I was absolutely thrilled.
"Lisa had done her homework. She booked us into Anfi Emerald Club (RJ17) where there was an 18-hole course as part of the overall resort complex. Being situated at Tauro, on Gran Canaria's sunny southern coast, the weather was stunning. The course was in great condition. From our amazing apartment, I would watch the green keepers caring for the greens and looking after the course which, I would say, was certainly on a par with championship course standards.
"The course itself was raised up, really high, which made concentrating on my swing difficult because the views were spectacular. The vistas were truly exceptional from that Anfi golf course. Some of the holes were up on a mountain from where I could see right down to our resort, and beyond along the coast. Just as well Anfi Emerald was geared up for its golfing guests, as we did have the use of golfing buggies, very necessary on that terrain and in that heat!
"That was a great thing about both Anfi Emerald Club (RJ17) and Pearly Grey Ocean Club (1786), where I enjoyed another birthday break two years later, they both provided golf clubs and equipment hire so you didn't need to concern yourself with checking them in as hold luggage."
Mark estimates that he spent roughly 25 per cent of his time on the golf course, leaving the majority of his break for family time. However, his boys ventured onto the course with him to follow in the golfing footsteps of their dad, as Mark explained: "I played the front nine holes at Anfi with my eldest son, Harrison; then played the back nine with Connor. They both play golf but it's a tough school and they have to learn, so I had to win!
"Seriously though, they are both good golfers and confident players, so it was tough on me too. For me, being able to get out on a golf course like that, in such a fabulous location, with my boys, was a real highlight of my holiday and a really special time."
Pearly Grey Ocean Club, Tenerife
"My second birthday golfing holiday was at Pearly Grey Ocean Club (1786) on the south side of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. It is close to the wonderful Old Town of Adeje where there is so much to do out and about in the area around the resort. On this occasion, our eldest, Harrison, chose to holiday in Turkey with his friends, while Lisa, Connor and myself travelled out with another family who are really good friends of ours.
"The course here wasn't on resort, but it was only a ten-minute drive from our resort, and we had hired a car to get around this great destination, so it wasn't a problem. I played on the Golf Costa Adeje course (pictured in the header of this blog) which, although not a mountain golf course, benefitted from wonderful and truly memorable views down to the ocean. Again, like the Anfi Emerald course, the greens at the Golf Costa Adeje course were very well manicured and a real pleasure to play on. My friend and I had no complaints and thoroughly enjoyed playing these beautiful greens under the Canarian sun."
The family had no complaints either... The accommodation at Pearly Grey Ocean Club (1786) was also above par for this family, as Mark noted: "Our apartment was one of the corner ones which overlook the ocean. It was an incredible feeling to be celebrating my birthday, up on our generous balcony with the waves crashing in on the rocks below. Actually, one of my favourite memories of that holiday was lying in bed at night and listening to the waves, it was just so relaxing.
"In fact one night, Connor was Facetiming his brother, Harrison, who was in Turkey. During their conversation, Harrison asked if we had taken a cruise instead, because he could see the ocean views from our balcony and could hear the waves rising and falling below!"
The girl's eye view of a golfing holiday
Lisa was happy with her own experience of a golfing holiday, and happy that Mark got to play his favourite game in two of the most amazing locations in Europe. She said: "There was absolutely no reason for Mark to feel guilty about indulging in his hobby. I knew both of these resorts, so I was sure that the boys and I would have a great time away.
"There was a well-organised children's play area at Pearly Grey Ocean Club (1786) resort, as there are at many of the timeshare complexes. That was great for me, as Connor was more than happy to go and play with his new-found friends, while I took myself off a few times to chill out on a lounger by the pool with a cooling cocktail in hand, followed by a lovely lunch. It was a time for me to take some time out for myself; to enjoy some peace and quiet, as well as indulging in one of my favourite pastimes - people watching! I had my friend and her children with me at Pearly Grey, and so while the men went off to play a few rounds, we had some lunches together with the children."
Lisa's experience proved you don't have to be a 'golf widow' when your other half picks up their clubs and heads out for the greens. As she says, these can be holidays for the whole family to enjoy: "We went during the school holidays and so the days were very hot, which meant Mark preferred to tee-off in the early mornings or later evenings when it was much cooler, which gave us lots of family time together. And the boys loved being out in the golfing buggy up the mountain and playing golf with Mark on that first Anfi Emerald break; it was a real holiday highlight for them.
"Mark also likes to cook, so our timeshare accommodation was perfect for us, as a family. We had full kitchens and everything we needed. At Anfi, a bonus for Mark was pushing the bi-fold doors back and opening our dining area up to the golf course so he could dine while watching other golfers playing.
"My top tip would be to look out for offers which can make it a very reasonably-priced golfing holiday. I can also tell you that being a 'golf widow' has its benefits... cocktails and cabanas for sure!"
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