Blog Travel Blog – Teeing it up in the Algarve

Summer is here – Time for a bit of Golf & Travel

“My body is here, but my mind has already teed off.” A quote often uttered by the working class. Well we can safely say – with the weather of the summer finally upon us, we can all relate.

The first port of call on the Travel Blog is the sun drenched southern coastal district of Portugal that is no stranger to any golf fanatic or casual part-timer. The Algarve district is famous for many reasons: beautiful sandy coves, white-washed fishing villages, Atlantic cliff beaches and perhaps most importantly (for us anyway) a plethora of golf courses and resorts.

Algarve Coastline
Algarve Coastline

Attractions of the Algarve

During the 1960’s the coastal area between Lagos and Faro was transformed. Now densely populated with villas, hotels bars and restaurants that include major attractions such as Portimao, Alvor, Vilamoura and Albufeira.

Now, onto the most important thing; golf in the Algarve. Average temperatures in the Algarve are over 15° C from March to November which provides us with plenty of time to satisfy our travel and golfing needs. Some of the best golf resorts and courses can be found along the southern coast of Portugal and are all easily accessible through Faro Airport – where ClubstoHire have their Flagship store to provide you with the best rental golf club sets available on the market.

Monte Rei Golf and Country Club

The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club is widely considered one of the best golf resorts in Europe. Set in the picturesque foothills of the eastern Algarve with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Serra do Caldeirão Mountains to the north the Monte Rei Resort is certainly one for the travelling golfer ‘Bucket-list’.

Monte Rei Clubhouse
Monte Rei Clubhouse

The North course designed by ‘The Golden Bear’ himself is a track worthy of the ‘Jack Niclaus signature course’ title given to it. With a warm welcome from arrival to departure and The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club will not leave you disappointed.

Dom Pedro Vilamoura

Next up is the Dom Pedro courses of the Algarve, with a cluster of 5 courses to the north of Vilamoura the Dom Pedro Hotel Vilamoura provides a shuttle bus for convenient transfer to either the Millennium Course, the Victoria Course, The Old Course, the Laguna Course or the Pinhal Course. The Victoria Course and the Old Course are a class above the other three but make no mistake the golf on offer on all of these courses is of high quality. The Victoria Course is this year’s host venue of the European Tour’s visit to Portugal with the Portugal Masters.

Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course

Quinta do Lago

Finally we take a look at Quinta do Lago, a resort that is a short drive to the west of Faro.  The Quinta do Lago Resort is home to 3 beautiful courses The North Course, the Laranjal and the South Course. The North course is a new course designed by the renowned American golf architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with Paul McGinley and is set to become one of the stars of European Golf.

North Course at Quinta do Lago

Voted Best Golf Course at the Portuguese 2011 Travel Awards, Laranjal opened in 2009 as the newest course in Quinta do Lago. Originally an orange grove, this beautiful par 72 championship course is situated in the Ludo valley, just 2km east of the resort.

The South Course at Quinta do Lago

The South Course is regarded as the jewel in the Quinta do Lago crown. Having hosted the Portuguese open no fewer than eight times. Designed in 1974 by William Mitchell, who was the first to introduce American-standard greens, tees and bunkers to the Algarve. It soon gained a reputation as one of the foremost courses in Europe and remains to this day one of the flagship European Tour Courses.

Best Golf Drivers 2015

So, It’s coming up to Christmas, you’re making your New Year’s resolution, and once again you are assuring yourself that this is the year you will drop your handicap by 4. You’re planning to get golf lessons, improve your swing, but then you realise you have to convince your loving partner that it’s all because of your rubbish driver. After dropping several hints and “accidentally” leaving golf magazines open on the table, you unwrap your beloved new club on Christmas morning, but which club will it be?

From adjustable club faces to interchangeable club weights, here’s my top 3 golf drivers on the market.

In no particular order, here’s my review on the best golf drivers of 2015:

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Review

Every golf lover will recognise the name of the Big Bertha, and it’s for good reason. If you want quality, adjustability, and aesthetic beauty, this is the club for you. Adjustable weights and club face angles in the head of the club makes for easy solutions to hooks, slices, loft control and spin control off the tee box. All of these features are independent to one another, so you can fine tune everything to suit your game. Callaway have used a lighter, more flexible composite to create a beautifully sleek black club face. The club is significantly lighter than last years model, and this is impressive considering the features they have added included a central weight to change the centre of gravity. With a price tag of $450, this is an amazingly unique golf club, ideal for fine tuning your game off the tee box.

Nike Vapor Flex Review

Nike have developed this club based off the Nike Vapor Speed/Pro models. Nike’s new concept for the Vapor driver is counterintuitive, yet the science behind it is so simple that it works beautifully. They have stiffened the clubhead, which makes the club more flexible. In theory, it sounds like the engineers at Nike forgot basic principals of physics, but instead, they have developed an extremely clever way of exerting energy into exactly the right place. By stabilizing the sole of the clubhead using two parallel beams in a cavity, they have made the front of the clubhead (particularly the face) much more flexible, without losing any energy from the rear of the club.

This means off centre strikes will be more consistent, and we do not sacrifice any power in our swing. The main difference between the Flex version, and the previous two versions, is that we can change loft angle and spin without adjusting the club face, which is quite unique. For example, if the 10.5 degree gives you the perfect loft, but not the right amount of spin, you can change the centre of gravity of the club by moving the weight slug in the sole. The further back the slug is, the more loft you will achieve. With a price tag of $500, this golf club without a doubt uses some of the best technology on the market.

Taylor Made M1 Review

This is the club that all the experts are talking about. The TaylorMade M1 is composed of Titanium and 7 different carbon composites. This creates lightweight, controlled, power. The weight of this club is significantly lower than most drivers, which creates a low sense of gravity, along with adjustable 25g weights in the clubhead. The aesthetics of this club are astounding, and are matched by a crisp sound upon the strike of the ball. This combination of science, beauty, research and development has created what we know as the TaylorMade M1, and it is amazing. Clocking in at $500, this, In my opinion, is the best driver available on the market right now.

This concludes my article on the Best Golf Drivers in 2015, and hopefully this is a good way to start lowering your handicap!

Druids Glenn Golf Day June 24th

Druids Glenn- Golf Day

June 24th marked the highlight in social calendar in 2016, the annual golf day hosted this year in the fabulous setting of the Druids Glenn golf resort and hotel. A first point that has to be made and this was view held universally across all participants in the day was just how immaculate the course was looking. From the moment you drive in you are struck by fabulous surroundings and for this all the staff must be congratulated on their excellent work.

Over 80 golfer’s friends of both & Zurich insurance set out in 20+ four ball groups, with the first tee box looking like something fresh from the European Tour. The lovely staff at Druids Glenn provided each participant with a breakfast bap and fresh coffee so this ensured everybody was fuelled to take on the challenges on course & the challenges the elements were ready to throw at them. In general the weather held out for us, with just a few heavy downpours to keep everybody on their toes throughout the day.

While this day was a celebration for the clients and partners of & Zurich Insurance Group, there was an element of seriousness about the day. For the winning group there was 4 brand new TaylorMade M2 Drivers up for grabs and the runners up prizes were not to be sniffed at either. The tension was never more apparent however than on the 12th tee-box, manned wilfully throughout the day by golf pro Niall Kearney. Each golfer was afforded the opportunity to pit themselves against one of Irelands finest golfers, Kearney would shoot first the goal was to land your tee shot closer to the hole than his shot, easier said than done. A select few did manage to land their tee-shot closer than the Pro’s and were rewarded in the prize giving ceremony afterwards.

The ultimate goal of the day was to reflect on past partnerships fondly and look forward to continued affiliations, or so people would have you believe. The real aim for everyone heading on that morning was to not only stitch the ball inside the pro’s tee shot on the 12th, there was more at stake. For anybody who could combine the incredible luck and skill to nail a hole in one they would have driven home in a 162-D Volkswagen Golf GTI. The camera crew, the car gleaming with a sheen of fresh rain and one of Irelands finest golfers all at your back when you stood up to the 12th really gave the day a sense of occasion. Alas nobody could do the near impossible and the car did not go home with a proud new owner. The closest anyone came to claiming the fabulous prize of offer was the commander in chief from Zurich Insurance, Conor Brennan. He sent a beautiful tee shot spinning towards the hole and there were a few audible gasps as the shot looked to be heading straight in only for it to come up a 2ft short, a fantastic effort nonetheless.

When the golf concluded the real business could start! The staff at Druids Glenn once again excelled and the BBQ laid on was gladly received. The food and setting created the perfect atmosphere and by the time the band came on everybody began to loosen up (free bar). The prize giving ceremony was the last call of business for the day, Tony Judge, Gerry McKernan & Conor Brennan all spoke eloquently and put in to words how successful the day. The plans seem set now for a renewal of this event every year, roll on 2017 I say!

Cian McCabe

Spotlight: Palma Majorca

Opening Hours, Stock & Collection Details.

Please place your order online on
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UK (Free) 08000988021,
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Open 0700-2300 seven days a week.

Palma Hotspots.

Boasting impressive year round sunshine, scorching summers and balmy spring/ autumns Palma is the ideal location for a golf getaway. The island itself is a mix of young revellers partying the night away and holidaymakers looking for that vital break to escape the office. This mix ensures there is always a vibrant feel on the island. With over 20 + golf courses packed in just 3’640 km² there are fantastic golfing opportunities right across the board. Prices in Mallorca can range from €35/€40 in the low season (Jun-Jul) all the way up to €150 a round in the high season (Sep- Nov).

We currently stock Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno & Wilson clubs ensuring we have a set to suit all golfers whatever their handicap!

Golf San Gual

Laid out across beautiful Mallorcan terrain, just east of the capital Palma, Golf Son Gual is the realisation of one man’s dream. Adam Pamer, a double-glazing magnate and a self-confessed golf nut has been visiting the island since 1974 and purchased a holiday home there in 1994. Frustrated with the poor condition and service he experienced at many of the island’s courses, he set out to build his own dream golf club and employed three-time German Amateur Champion, Thomas Himmel, to create it. Himmel has worked wonders and delivered an exquisite golfing experience that blends seamlessly into the local landscape.

Golf San Muntaner Golf

The Son Muntaner 18-hole golf course, situated some 400 metres from the Son Vida golf course, offers all the facilities which a golf player could ask for, including a peak area, a driving range, a putting green, and 3 practice holes.
The course was designed by Kurt Rossknecht who has more than forty courses to his credit in Europe, and has worked together with Bernard Langer on several of his projects.
The Son Muntaner has a par of 72 and a modern design with large greens and a wide variety of holes.
The course is surrounded by magnificent pine groves and has some unusual trees like the ancient olive on the tee of the 15th.
New faster greens await players as do the new lakes will present players with a major challenge. The tees has also been significantly improved and the bunkers have also been strategically designed and located.
The Son Muntaner will also appeal to players with less experience as Kurt Rossknecht has designed an unobstructed and fair course.
The clubhouse is in the typical Mallorcan style and offers all the facilities which players could wish for and unbeatable views of the golf course and the Sierra de Na Burguesa mountain range.
The luxury Hotel Son Vida is situated on the Golf Son Vida/Son Muntaner resort.

Son Vida Golf (Arabella Golf)

This par-72 course is situated in the beautiful Son Vida residential estate, 3 km from the city centre of Palma.
The course is surrounded by rich Mediterranean flora and offers great variety, with narrow holes alternating with wider ones, and slightly undulating holes with flat ones, making it very pleasant to play on. It also offers wonderful views of Palma Bay and the Sierra Tramuntana mountains.
In 1990 and 1994 Severiano Ballesteros and Barry Lane were the winners of The Balearic Island Open that was held in Son Vida with great success.

Spotlight: Edinburgh

On booking you will receive (within 48 hours) an email from our handler giving further information regarding the meeting point at Edinburgh Airport. For an additional fee (as agreed with the handler) delivery and collection of your rental equipment may be arranged to and from your hotel (subject to availability). This can be quoted and arranged direct with our handler once you receive their e.mail.

Opening Hours 7am-11pm



Edinburgh Top Golf Spots


Similar to our other location highlighted in this month’s ezine Edinburgh may not provide the hours of sunshine or high temperatures some of our other locations can. It can however provide a prospective traveller with an unforgettable experience in what is considered the ‘Home of Golf’. The history and majesty pours from the fabulous historic city of Edinburgh out in to the rolling hillsides and over the golf courses that bless the surrounding regions. A brief synopsis of some of the finest courses within range of Edinburgh is provided below.

Bruntsfield Links

The Bruntsifield Links (pictured above) is one of the most prestigious golf courses in Edinburgh and in recent times hosted the Open Championship qualifying. The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society is the fourth oldest in the world having been founded in 1761. Situated six miles to the north west of the city in beautiful parkland it offers outstanding views over the Firth of Forth. Primarily a members club, visitors and guests are always offered a warm welcome.  The clubhouse has been carefully extended and refurbished over the years and offers everything from a refreshing drink to a light bite or dinner on a Saturday evening.



Merchants of Edinburgh

Merchants of Edinburgh is known as the “thinking golfer’s” course. Situated on the south of the city but close to the city centre it keeps golfers on their toes with twists, turns and deceptive gradients. Boasting superb views across the Lothians, Fife and many of Edinburgh’s famous landmarks the course is open to both members and visitors. Its bright and modern clubhouse offers welcome refreshment at the end of play and is also available for private hire for small events.


Baberton Golf Club

Baberton golf club is the furthest course on our list out from the city centre. It is surrounded by magnificent views with the Pentland Hills to the south, the Forth Bridges and Ochil Hills lying to the north and Edinburgh’s beautiful cityscape and view of the castle lying to the east.  Its well constructed and beautiful layout on rippling ground is suitable for all golfers regardless of their skills. On our writer’s last visit, he was pleased to see a Roe deer on the fairway albeit, it was making a dash for cover. The club is delighted to welcome visitors of all ages and ability and offers a variety of refreshments in comfortable surrounds for players to discuss the finer points of their game.

Walker Cup 2015

This year’s instalment of the Walker Cup took place on the 12th & 13th of September 2015, Team UK & Ireland had revenge on their minds after 2013’s heavy defeat. The score over that ill-fated weekend, for team UK & Ireland, was 17-9. With the victorious US captain Jim Holtgreiver a native of Fort Myers, California overseeing the biggest win since 1997. The USA do have a far superior record in this bi-annual competition than their counterparts from across the Atlantic, the record currently standing at 35-9. However this competition since 1989 has been fiercely competitive, The Britain and Ireland team regained the Walker Cup with its highest points total, beating the United States, 16 ½ to 9 ½.

The competition which started officially in 1922 in the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York, took place in at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England. This year’s instalment saw team USA will face a strong UK & Ireland outfit .The UK & Ireland team included a record number of Irish players with five representing the Emerald Isle. Gavin Moynihan, Gary Hurley and Paul Dunne announced after the competition that they were leaving the amateur days behind them and turning pro.


GB&I team: Ashley Chesters, (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire), Paul Dunne, (Greystones, Ireland), Grant Forrest (Craigielaw, East Lothian), Ewen Ferguson, Jack Hume (Naas, Ireland), Gary Hurley (West Waterford, Ireland), Jack McDonald, (Kilmarnock (Barassie), South Ayrshire), Gavin Moynihan (The Island, Ireland), Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon), Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass, Ireland)


Ashley Chester’s and Paul Dunne were two of the most high profile members of this year’s team, following their remarkable performances at this year’s open championship, with the pair finishing 12th and 30th respectively. Paul Dunne a native of Greystone’s, Co. Wicklow in particular had a fairy-tale championship, the quality of his play saw him in top spot heading in to the final round, before eventually falling away to finish a more than respectable 30th.


With the meteoric rise of former Walker Cup players like Danny Willet who was part of the 2007 & 2011 teams, this year’s competition gave all golf fans a chance to see the best young talent coming through the amateur ranks in the US, UK & Ireland.  With the record breaking points haul from team GB & I, people will have to keep a very close eye on players like Jimmy Mullen who won all four matches he played in the two-day amateur event. It was superb weekend of golf and a very satisfying result for people who have a keen interest in the amateur game in Great Britain and Ireland.


Everyone at would like to congratulate Team GB & I on their fantastic win and wish them all every success for the future.

Spotlight: Lisbon

Opening Hours, Stock & Collection Details.


In Lisbon we stock sets in Male (right/left) and Female (right/left). The sets range in price from €35 for the Wilson Vectors to €45-60 for the TaylorMade Range. Which includes the brand new M1 Set from TaylorMade.

(Sets range from €35-60, brands TaylorMade, Wilson & MD Golf.)


We have opened a shop full time in Lisbon, which is open daily from 7am-11pm. Our friendly and helpful staff will have your sets ready on arrival and will assist with any queries you may have.


Three Hot Golf Spots in Lisbon


While Faro Airport and the surrounding area’s may be more synonymous with golfing breaks in Portugal, that does not mean Lisbon hasn’t lots to offer. See below a brief insight in to some of Lisbon’s hottest golf courses and resorts.


Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club

Your expectations will be matched by the beauty, the quality and the challenge of our course. Located close to the picturesque village of Azeitão, and just 20 minutes south from Lisbon, Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club offers the finest golfing experience. This “Parkland” course has been marvellously integrated in the landscape with the Arrábida Hills. It was the venue for various international golfing events and is ranked on The Top 100 European Golf Courses. Various European Countries have chosen Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club as a training base in preparation for the competitive season.



Oitavos Dunes Natural Links Golf

In 2001, the focal point of Quinta da Marinha was the Championship golf course Oitavos Golfe, designed by Arthur Hills to surround a 5-Star Hotel which opened in fall 2010. As the golf course became recognized internationally as a links experience, the decision was made to change the name to Oitavos Dunes to reflect the natural sand dunes, the impact of the Ocean and Scottish like playing conditions, which all contribute to the way many view Oitavos Dunes as a “Natural Links Golf experience.”





Penha Longa Resort


The Penha Longa Resort is ranked high in the top 30 courses in Continental Europe. The Penha Longa Resort’s 27 holes were designed by the famed Robert Trent Jones jr.
With its bold drives, courageous approaches and artful greens, Penha Longa is both an adrenalin rush and a soothing journey through one of Portugal’s most inspiring landscapes. Exciting at every turn, this championship challenge and host to the Portuguese Open, is a master of variety and thrills. New buggies also are available.

Spotlight: Punta Cana

Punta Cana


In Punta Cana we operate a handler system, this means our representative will meet you on the arrival of your flight and hand over the rented set outside of the AIRPORT terminal upon arrival of your flight in Punta Cana International Airport. Delivery available upon request, charged locally for an extra fee.

We stock Male and Female sets here, the TaylorMade Aeroburner range, €80 per week.Steel/Graphite Available



Three Hotspots in Punta Cana:


Punta Cana located on the east coast of the fabulous tropical island is arguabaly the most visually stunning location we supply clubs to across our 26 locations. The year round 25 plus weather, white beaches and crystal clear water all make for the ideal location to destress and more importantly play some golf. Speaking of golf please see below three of Punta Cana’s top golf courses.


Punta Espada Golf Course

Punta Espada Golf Club is ranked as the best golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico by GolfWeek.  It is the only course in the Dominican Republic that is home to a PGA Senior Tour Champion’s Tour stop. Punta Espada is an exclusive championship golf course located inside the Cap Cana Real Estate project. This 7,000 yard par 72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course has 8 holes along the Caribbean ocean and you can see the ocean from all 18 holes.

Punta Espada was designed to incorporate the natural features of the landscape into its topography; the bluffs, the Beach, the waterways and the foliage. The design guarantees that golfers of all levels are accommodated, including those playing at world championship level. Enjoy spectacular sea views and close-up encounters with nature while you tackle these challenging links.

Corales Golf Resort

Designed along the natural cliffs, bays and coves of the sea, the inland lakes and coralina quarries the Corales Course rates among the World’s finest golf experiences. The exhilarating challenge culminates playing the Devil’s Elbow, Corales’s last three holes. The Devil’s Elbow features the striking eighteenth hole with a dramatic forced carry over the cliff lined Bay of Corales, an inspired capstone to a memorable and breathtaking golf experience.

The Corales residential community features a private enclave of luxurious homes and golf course side estate lots. The seven hundred acres of the Corales community are just a part of the extensive acreage of the PUNTACANA Resort & Club.


La Cana Golf Club
La Cana’s ocean front and sea view holes are a sight to remember. This P.B. Dye golf course now offers 27-holes on Tortuga, Hacienda or Arrecife you will always find the charm and challenges that P.B. Dye designs offer. With turquoise waters, winding and rolling fairways and hidden bunkers, you will truly love to experience this great golf course.

Niall Kearney On Tour

As you know we are a sponsor and good friend to up and coming Irish Professional Niall Kearney. He’s had a hectic schedule and some great results in recent weeks and we’ve asked him to share some of his stories from his last four weeks on tour.

What a couple of weeks. My defence of the Irish PGA Championship couldn’t really have gone better and my trip to Woburn for the British Masters was simply fantastic. Sometimes, what can be a lonely road of the professional golfer leads to weeks like these and all seems worthwhile!

Irish PGA championship 2015 – Dundalk Golf Club

As many of you will know, some golf courses just suit your eye and others don’t. Sometimes for no good reason a course just feels comfortable and the game seems that bit easier. You hear on TV when golfers comment that the course suited their eye and they shoot low scores in that venue. I haven’t played Dundalk that often and indeed hadn’t played it for a few years so I really didn’t have expectations either way of how I would do. It was an hon-our to win the championship in 2014 and an honour to attempt its defence.

My game was good going into that week but to shoot 22 under on a course that’s challenging to say the least was terrific. My tournament got off to a great start with a really solid first round and I was tied for the lead with my great friend Eamonn Brady.

“The last few weeks have been really satisfying. Between the winning of thePGA Cupwith my GB & I colleagues, the defence of my Irish PGA title and the Woburn adventure I must say I’m delighted that hard work is paying off.”

Heading into round two, I knew that with Eamon and other top players in the mix, nothing would come easy. I was surprised to have a healthy lead at 11 under after round two and subsequent rounds of 5 and 4 under respectively gave me a winning margin of 14 shots.

All in all an amazing week and it was great to catch up with friends from the Irish region that I don’t see too often.

British Masters Woburn Golf Club

Having played in the cauldron of the BMW Championship in Wentworth earlier this year I was somewhat mentally prepared for the British Masters in the beautiful Woburn Golf Club. I felt really comfortable all week and although putts weren’t dropping with the same regular-ity as the previous week I played solid golf and felt at home at this level. This is where I want to be week in week out and where my goals are set. The prize money from Woburn will help enormous-ly with my expenses as I head to Asia for a 10-week stint involving 7 or 8 tournaments. Good form over the coming weeks would see me retain my full Asian Tour Card and get me into the hugely lucrative co-sanctioned events next year. These are tournaments run joint-ly by the European and Asian tours. Venues are spectacular and prize money very good.So all in all the last few weeks have been real-ly satisfying. Between the winning of the PGA Cup with my GB & I colleagues, the defence of my Irish PGA title and the Woburn adventure I must say I’m delighted that hard work is paying off.

Once again I have to thank you all for the support. I’ve received literally hundreds of messages of congratulations and support and I really appreciate it.