By German Ambassador, Markus Mueller
What many golf resorts on the Mediterranean promise, Tenerife actually delivers all year round: stable, good weather, sunlight and pleasant temperatures. The island is situated in the Atlantic, located at the same geographical height as Florida, the Sahara and Kuwait. There is a mountain range - with a peak of 3700 meters - which divides the island. It allows for some (welcome) clouds and sufficient rain development in the north and east of the island, while the south is generally considered the sunnier of the two.
In December, the sea temperature doesn't go below 20° C and during the day the outside temperature is usually around 22° C, even in winter. Although there can be some moderately strong afternoon winds in the south, they always calm down in the evening. Even in December, there are 7 hours of sunshine a day.
The island offers a large variety of vegetation. From cloud and laurel forests and the striking gorges of the Anaga Mountains in the north to extensive spruce pine forests further down south on the slopes of the Pico el Teide volcano and banana plantations near the Las Galletas coastline.
Water is a precious commodity in Tenerife and yet it is available in sufficient quantities to provide sufficient irrigation not only for agriculture but also for the striking number of golf courses so that they always appear brightly coloured. Fairways and greens never appear to be dry. The weather stability and water availability distinguish the Canaries Islands significantly from the coasts of Turkey, Greece or North Africa and attract golfers all year round!
By Florian Apfelbach (Ambassador Germany), Martin Hardenberger (Ambassador Sweden) & Leonard van Nunen (Evangelist Leading Courses).
It’s 40 minutes since the touchdown. Among what felt like hundreds of other golf bags, ours were luckily there. We took a taxi, paid just five euros and sat down at the Golf del Sur terrace enjoying a cold Estrella Galicia beer. It’s a bit windy, but a lovely 25 degrees, with the sun warming our skin for the first time in months. In short; this is why people have been coming to play golf in Tenerife for decades.
The terrace is in a wind-protected spot between the two traditional buildings that makes for Golf del Sur’s clubhouse. The beer celebrates the start to what will be a week-long, dreamy trip to play golf in Tenerife and La Gomera. Three ladies testing out clubs for their husbands in what must be the biggest golf shop on the island make us smile. They too seem to be enjoying life. And so will their husbands.
After the kind and helpful staff allowed us to watch the Formula 1 Final outdoors, we rush out onto the course. It is a quite hilly one with some spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean, and with lava sand as your main hazard. It makes for nice contrasts and with the addition of palm trees, it feels very exotic. To fully appreciate the design you probably have to play it a few times more. However, it makes for a great start to our trip.
After 18 holes and another Estrella Galicia beer, we head over to the Arona Gran Hotel, ten minutes down the road. After a wonderful buffet with every Spanish delicacy imaginable and some heavy sleep, we´re ready for the next adventure.
If you are in Tenerife and want to experience a real Island vibe we suggest taking the ferry to La Gomera. It's only 40 minutes by boat but it will feel as if you're in a different world. One where time stands still and you might never want to leave. We stayed at Hotel Jardin Tecina, a colonial style place with dozens of large rooms and apartments with beautiful views.
We played at Tecina Golf which is built on an old Banana plantation. To get to the first tee you have to take a 10-minute buggy ride or a 20-minute walk. You then play the entire course zig-zag down the hill descending almost 200 meters. Although the holes are parallel with the mountain the holes are not just boring or laid out next to each other. Some holes run straight down the mountain on this Donald Steel design.
The atmosphere is very laid back and there are big bunches of bananas that you can take as many from as you like. Take care with the boat times as there are not so many boats, stay at least one night on the island (two or more is better) to really experience it well. Also, in the afternoon the course is empty so it feels like playing a high-end private golf club.
Amarilla Golf & Country Club is one of the oldest golf courses in Tenerife, the family that owns the course also own the nearby marina and some real estate. The golf course meanders through some houses so better be straight or take a club less. There are some very nice holes, especially the ones close to the water where you can hit your shot over the ocean. The course was designed by Donald Steel who convinced the owner to throw away the initial plan. Now the golf course has more priority than the real estate. Amarilla is very close to the airport (10 minutes) so it's a great choice for the first or last day of your trip.
As the name says this golf club is located in Adeje, which is also a lovely city with some nice restaurants. When you get to the Clubhouse you see the entrance which proudly shows they hosted back to back European Tour Events in 2021 - and some more Ladies European Tour events before that.
You have two options to warm up, hitting some balls into a net - like in the UK - or using the elevator to go onto the driving range. It's recommended to have some practise putts, as the greens are quite fast and not easy to play. If you like to order a lunch box, this might be the best one you ever had at a golf course. The golf course at Costa Adeje consists of 6 Par-3's, 6 Par-4's and 6 Par-5's - the signature hole is #4 - playing downhill with beautiful sea views from the old terraces of the banana plantation and in the back the Island of La Gomera. If you're on the fairway also have a look back to the tee box and the mountains.
Overall the conditions at Costa Adeje are really good and greens are tough. Keep in mind that it's normally quite windy on the island so you need to take 1-2 clubs more, or less depending on the direction of the wind. Definitely a recommended course to play and good value for money.
Due to the green fee price (around €200) our expectations are really high. It looks like an easy start to the course on the first hole, but if your tee shot is not at the right position you're left with a blind second shot. There are big elevation changes on the Abama Course which means you have some of the best views of a golf hole and the Atlantic Ocean.
Some holes are really narrow and difficult to play - but the most important thing is to be close to the pin on the green. The greens have a lot of break and were running really fast. Have you ever seen Tiger Woods putting from the green into the bunker? Keep in mind that this could also happen to you on hole #13 for instance.
Abama Golf is a fun course to play and it has a lot of water hazards. This is the only golf course in Tenerife where it is mandatory to take a buggy - which is included in the green fee price. After the round, you can treat yourself to a meal from a 1-star Michelin chef at the clubhouse and enjoy the sunset.
When our prolific German driver takes us down the steep mountain, on a very winding road and through the old banana plantation, some of us are praying for our lives. We've only been driving for 45 minutes, but this place feels very distant from the mass tourism in the south end of Tenerife. Between thick banana leaves, we can see huge waves crashing on the barren rocks. The course is down there, in the raw nature by the rocks and the waves.
The ideal vacation means different things to different people and compared to other stops on the island, Buenavista is something for the explorer; the one who wants to see the unseen and who is willing to go a bit out of his way to find it. Here you go past where the highway ends to a place where the sunbeds are fewer and the waters wilder. But maybe it is also in this hidden corner of the Tenerife nature is the most striking. It’s hard to find a more dramatic piece of land to lay out a golf course, and therefore it is only fitting that one of the game’s most dramatic and charismatic characters was given the task. This Severiano Ballesteros designed course opened for play in 2003.
But already in 1976, a young Seve had won the Tenerife Open held at the Real Club de Golf de Tenerife, and now was the time to leave a long-lasting mark on the island. Typical for Seve the course consists of six par3's, six par4's, and six par-5's, and throughout the walk he has utilized the scenery to a maximum. From a designers perspective it may not be the most flawless design, but playing 18 holes at Buenavista Golf certainly makes for one of the most memorable golf experiences you can imagine – this is one of those captivating courses that made the whole group take photos like we were teenagers. And it is no coincidence that right after finishing on 18 we start talking about heading out there again. Maybe that’s the best review a golf course can get…?
After finishing our “emergency nine” one of us was so thrilled, he just had to get a logo hat of Buenavista Golf… Then it was time to pack our bags to head a few hundred meters up the hill to the luxurious Hotel Meliá Hacienda del Conde.
At check-in, we had complimentary champagne. Some of us brought these bubbles back to our rooms where they accompanied us in the bathtub. Oh, and the bathtub, it was so nice and big you could take a proper swim! In addition to big rooms with big bathtubs, walk-in closets and a view over the Atlantic Ocean, Meliá Hacienda del Conde offers great variety both for restaurants (2) and bars (2). As you may understand we all woke up well-rested and with smiles on our faces – our only regret was that we could not stay for longer.
By Sasa Nemanic, Ambassador from Slovenia
The Arona Gran Hotel is strategically located between a lot of golf courses, the airport, the boat to La Gomera, so a perfect spot for a golf vacation in Tenerife. They have beautiful pools, a great terrace for breakfast and drinks and almost every room has a beautiful sea view. In the bar they mix excellent cocktails and have all the sports channels if you want to follow your team. The rooms are spacious and the breakfast buffet is huge with plenty of fresh fruit and something nice for everyone.
Hotel Jardín Tecina is a 4-star hotel with 5-star service and amenities. This hotel has everything a golfer needs for a great golf vacation in Tenerife. The hotel is located on the cliff above the lovely Playa Santiago bay, a few steps from the main building and an underground lift will take you to the hotel's private Laurel Beach Club where you will find a seawater swimming pool with a nice beach/pool bar and El Laurel restaurant with delicious food. Just a short walk along the coast and you will find yourself in the small fishing town with the same name - Playa Santiago, where you can enjoy local bars, restaurants and shops. Besides golf with 18 holes overlooking the sea, you can relax in five swimming pools, pamper yourself in the open-air Ahemon spa, enjoy a rich culinary offer in its five restaurants or try hiking, tennis, paddle, squash and so much more...
The breakfast terrace with a view is a place to be and enjoy your first and most important meal of the day. Restaurant Tasca Fandango is the perfect place to feel the roots of the Canary Islands traditions and the Spanish gastronomy.
The "Banana station" at the hotel entrance offers free bananas from the local plantation for a delicious start of your stay. :)
Hotel Suite Villa María is a very nice 5-star hotel which offers its guests spacious apartment style hotel rooms with their own kitchen, living room and garden with nice views. You can choose among spacious 1, 2 or 3 bedroom suites and every room has its own bathroom so this hotel is also very convenient for families or groups of friends.
Breakfast offers a large variety of quality food while La Torre restaurant and its chef David Moraga Lorenzo (one of the Canary Island’s most well-known chefs) will make sure you enjoy delicious dinners too. The hotel is located right next to the 9-hole Los Lagos golf course (that is the 2nd course of Adeje but can also be booked directly via the hotel) and just a 1-minute drive to the very popular Costa Adeje championship course. The central location of Hotel Suite Villa María is one of the best in Tenerife if you like playing different golf courses.
Hotel Hacienda del Conde was my personal surprise of the year. I have been to many places and I have stayed in the best and most famous hotels around the globe but this one is one of the most pleasant surprises in my recent travelling career. The whole architecture and design in colonial style is just so beautiful and cosy, it is worth the trip just to stay here and play the Buenavista golf course.
The rooms are very spacious (mine was 55 m²) and offer nice views of the bay and Buenavista golf course from its private terraces. Super comfortable bed, living area with sofa and work desk, walk-in wardrobe closet and large bathroom with shower and bathtub are not to be overlooked. Paintings from local artists add to the final touch of the room. Besides the 18-hole Buenavista golf course designed by Severiano Ballesteros, this place is also ideal for bikers as the hotel offers a fully equipped bike center with parking area, bike wash area, workshop and professional repair support.
After all the activities you can take a dip in a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean or indulge yourself in the YHI Spa. The Ikko bar is one of the most impressive hotel bars I have ever seen, a place where a combination of colonial and modern design meet to blend into a super comfortable atmosphere. Patio Terrace in front of the Ikko bar and Salazar restaurant (upscale a-la-carte dining experience with a fusion of local dishes with Asian influence) with a large outdoor fireplace and beautiful views. If you like wine and tapas La Tasca Wine Bar is the place for you as it offers a selection of local and international wines combined with typical Spanish tapas. Breakfast and dinner are served at Buenavista Buffet where you will find a wide selection of tasty dishes. Service is excellent as was all the staff.
Las Terrazas de Abama Suites is located in southwest Tenerife in the Guía de Isora area and is the perfect choice for those looking for nice and spacious accommodation for their golf vacay with their families. It is also very convenient for a group of golf friends. Our three-bedroom apartment (each bedroom with its own bathroom) offered everything golfers need for a comfortable and enjoyable golf vacation. It had a very spacious living room with a large kitchen and dining area. There was also plenty of space to enjoy the sun on the two spacious terraces with nice ocean views.
The property has three different swimming pools. We were trying to minimize our golf tan lines at the main swimming pool which is located in the same building as the hotel reception. Here you will also find a fitness studio, Gourmet shop, Melvin restaurant and SunWay pool bar which serves excellent food. A place to relax and enjoy the Canarian sun and drink your favourite cocktail after a tasty meal while watching the Atlantic Ocean and La Gomera. If you indulge yourself here long enough you will be rewarded with an impressive sunset.
So to sum up Tenerife is an amazing golf destination, We have never played so many holes with ocean views located so close to each other. Normally when you play a course on the ocean like for example Troia in Portugal, you have 4 or 5 holes with an ocean view. Due to the steepness of the volcano island Tenerife on most courses you can view the ocean from every hole! The fact that most courses were built on old banana plantations had the advantage of relatively flat holes in a hilly surrounding. Also fresh bananas ripe from the tree taste a lot better than the ones you get in the supermarket at home…go there to experience golf in Tenerife yourself!
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