With the dust settling on another fantastic Masters, golf season is in full swing once more. The PGA tour will see five tournaments take place in May, followed by another five in June and six in July.
When it comes to golfing in Europe, the courses of Spain and Portugal have long enjoyed a friendly rivalry, with both countries vying for the crown of Europe's best golf destination.
Spain's credentials lie not only in its fantastic courses, but also in the excellent value for money that it offers to golfers. The recent Avios Airmiles Value Tracker, which calculates the best value destinations around the world, saw Palma de Mallorca and Alicante take two of the top three spots (with Gibraltar in at number two) for value for money golfing destinations.
Portugal made fourth place on the list thanks to the Algarve's courses, with Lisbon ranking sixth (after Tenerife took the fifth spot). Spain grabbed one further entry in the top ten, with Malaga being ranked number nine.
While Spain may have cornered the value for money market in the Avios rankings, Portugal has just romped home to victory after being named the world's best golf destination at the 2015 World Golf Awards.
While the two countries continue to vie for the top spot, both are benefitting hugely from the money that comes with golf tourism. Martin Dell, Director of leading Spanish property portal, Kyero.com, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, comments,
"Golfers are certainly not shy about spending when they travel abroad to play. Restaurants, shops and spas all do well when located near to a successful golf resort. Golf properties are also incredibly popular, with many commanding a price premium, particularly if they are part of an integrated golf resort development."
According to figures from the European Golf Association, there are some 1,400 golf facilities in European Mediterranean countries, 170 of which have been considered as part of coastal integrated golf resorts by KPMG's Golf Resorts in the European Mediterranean Region report. The report includes Portugal, as while it does not technically belong to the European Mediterranean region, its golfing credentials are too significant to ignore.
Properties on these resorts are highly prized, many of them as second homes for keen golfers who use them frequently throughout the year. Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of prestigious Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, comments,
"Our golf properties are always incredibly popular and the panoramic sea and golf views at resorts like Avalon, near Marbella, really do take some beating. Spain's excellent value as a golfing destination extends to its golf resort market as well - a two bedroom, luxury apartment in Avalon, which is located in the prestigious Los Arqueros golf course, costs from just €305,000, which is fantastic value for a property of this calibre."
According to the 2014 IAGTO Golf Tourism Report, global golf holiday sales grew by in excess of 20% between 2011 and 2013. Based on feedback from IAGTO member operators, Spain was ranked the number one top golf destination globally, followed closely by Portugal in second place. Both of these countries offer a wide choice of residential golf properties and the KPMG report highlights the growing shift from purely hotel based golf resorts to those offering residential accommodation options as well.
Interestingly, KPMG identify the fact that many of those who choose to live in a golf resort property do not necessarily play golf themselves. Instead, they are attracted by the beauty and serenity of the surroundings, the golfing lifestyle and the prestige that comes with owning a luxury pad beside a course. Chris White, founding director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, comments,
"We have certainly found that many of those considering purchasing a golf property don't actually play, though some plan to take it up in the future as part of their retirement. The golf resort homes available means that buyers looking for a stunning, landscaped environment have their pick of some of the best properties that Portugal has to offer. In Lisbon, a four bedroom home on the Quinta do Peru golf estate (which made European Golf Magazine's top ten golf courses league table) can be picked up for €590,000, while in the
Algarve a three bedroom villa on the Vale da Pinta course costs just €439,000."
For those who enjoy a regular round on the fairway, a golf resort property offers the perfect way to pursue their hobby from the comfort of their own home, either as a fulltime residence or as a second home for use with family and friends. According to the KPMG Golf Resorts in the European Mediterranean Region report, "numerous studies have indicated that golf courses come second only to waterfront sites as the most desirable location for a housing community." Given the plethora of such sites available in both Spain and Portugal, no wonder the two countries are neck and neck in their quest to provide Europe's best golfing experience.
For more information please contact:
Taylor Wimpey España: UK +44 8000 121 020 or Outside UK 0034 971 70 69 72 | www.taylorwimpeyspain.com
Ideal Homes Portugal: +44 800 133 7644 or or 351 289 513 434 | www.idealhomesportugal.com