Darren Clarke Golf School


PGA Instructor Jack Murgatroyd fourth from left with 8 transition students from the Darren Clarke Golf School during their first visit to the Desert Springs Resort for a 7 day intensive winter training camp.

“I really love the challenge of the golf course, I’ve never played a course like it, and the greens were fantastic”  

That is the verdict of 16-year-old Michael Ryan, one of 8 transition students from the Darren Clarke Golf School based at Greenmount Campus, Northern Ireland, who have returned from their first visit to the Desert Springs Resort for a week long intensive winter training programme to develop their individual golfing skills.

Darren Clarke Golf School PGA Instructor Jack Murgatroyd accompanied five boys aged 16 years and three girls aged from 15 to 17 years for 7 days of warm weather winter training at the resort between 27th November & 4th December, while experiencing a golf course, which offers a challenge to players at all levels.

The training camp utilised the excellent practice facilities at the Desert Springs Golf Academy where Jack Murgatroyd was able provide one-to-one tuition and take advantage of the use of the GASP Academy Studio to analysis each of the students’ swings.

One of the students having their swing analyzed at the GASP Academy Studio at Desert Springs.

Amy Condon aged 15 remarked of the Academy facilities:

"Having practice balls there and waiting in a pyramid reserved for me was cool”

The Desert Springs Golf Academy facilities utilized by the attendees of the Darren Clarke Golf School Winter Training Camp.


Sophie Harrison aged 17 said:

“Our apartment was great, and the chance to use the gym in the evenings helped us to get the most out of our training”

Jack Murgatroyd Darren Clarke Golf Instructor commented;

“The standard of the accommodation was excellent and met our needs perfectly. We utilized a combination of self-catering and meals from the Clubhouse restaurant which was excellent.

The facilities at the Golf Academy were brilliant and met all of our requirements; we particularly liked the fact that all the practice facilities were contained in one area, which made management of our time very easy.

The golf course was a stern test for several of our young players and was presented in perfect condition.”

A view of the 1st Tee at the Indiana golf course at Desert Springs, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain.

On returning to Ireland, Jack Murgatroyd reported back to his senior staff saying that:

“The resort was fantastic and served our every purpose, the staff were very helpful and couldn’t do enough for us.”

The Darren Clarke Golf School return to Desert Springs between 8th – 12th January 2013 with 28 full time students and 3 professional staff for a four day winter training camp, with a further one week training camp scheduled for 7 transition students and their coach between 22nd – 29th January 2013.

Andy Peoples, Head of Operations at the Darren Clarke Golf School said:

“The warm weather training opportunity at Desert Springs provides the students with the opportunity to practice and bond together in an environment that allows quality practice and golf performance.”


  • For details of Golf & Sports Training Camps, Corporate Golf Events and Meetings at Desert Springs call 01242 680 116 or visit the website, www.almanzora.com
  • To find out more about the Darren Clarke Golf School visit the website www.darrenclarkegolfschool.com

Additional background Information

Warm weather winter training camps at Desert Springs

Desert Springs, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course, is proving to be one of the most popular destinations for warm weather winter training camps among the growing number of schools with their own golf academies and teams, currently estimated at around 90 in the UK. In addition to Darren Clarke Golf School pupils, visiting groups have included golfing pupils from, Millfield School, Reading Blue Coat School at Sonning-on-Thames, King Edward’s School in Bath and Loretto School at Musselburgh near Edinburgh.

All school golf trips to Desert Springs are bespoke. If desired, the programme can include time away from the golf course for some local sightseeing in what many regard as ‘the real Spain.’

During their stay pupils have opportunities to swim, play tennis and use the gymnasium, trim trail, jogging tracks, paddle tennis and beach volley ball courts.

Desert Springs is easy to reach from the UK, thanks to three international airports. They are: Almeria Airport, around 40 minutes away by road; Murcia Airport, 80 minutes by car, and Alicante Airport which is a drive of less than two hours. Airlines currently flying to the region from the UK include easyJet, Monarch, Ryanair, Jet2, Jetair Fly and Thomas Cook.

Already well known as a resort specialising in family holidays, Desert Springs is gaining popularity as a centre for warm-weather training for cricketers and footballers, as well as golfers.

Accommodation is provided in the apartments and villas available for holidays and short breaks at Desert Springs. Meals are served in the resort’s Croc Restaurant, part of the family-friendly Crocodile Club that is geared up for a wide variety of leisure activities and the award winning El Torrente Restaurant at the Club House.

A spokesman for Desert Springs said that, depending on the size of the group and its requirements, the total cost of a four-day trip for warm weather training, including flights, would work out at between £350 and £400 per person.

The Desert Springs Resort & Golf Club

Facilities already completed and in use at Desert Springs include:

  • a 72 par 18-hole USGA Indiana golf course designed by former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Team Captain Peter McEvoy who was inspired by the desert courses of Arizona and California;
  • a golf academy whose PGA qualified teaching professionals cater for several international teams, for the women’s elite squads of the Golf Union of Wales and for many of the English County Union’s elite squads; PGA European Tour and LET players.
  • two hard tennis courts, two paddle courts, beach volley ball and two football pitches – one is a full-size grass pitch; the other is designed for five-a-side games;
  • a Spanish colonial style Golf Club House with a lounge, bar, restaurant, locker rooms, TV and reading rooms, and a Ralph Lauren Golf Boutique;
  • The Crocodile Club which provides family fun at the heart of the resort with pools, equipped sand play areas, a kid’s battery powered John Deere Gator circuit and a games room as well as a jacuzzi, sun lawns and a pool bar;
  • a health and fitness club and spa.


In 2005 Desert Springs won the Daily Mail Best Almeria Award and the Bentley International Property Awards for the Best Spain Development and Best Architecture.  In 2006, it was awarded the Spanish National Madera Verde Prize for Environmentally Sensitive Development.   In 2007, the El Torrente Restaurant received the New Millennium International Gastronomy Award for the Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry. This award was created by the Trade Leaders Club with the aim of distinguishing companies from all countries, for the outstanding quality of their products or services.

The climate of the Almanzora coastal region

Desert Springs takes it name from the region’s desert microclimate, which is unique in Europe. It has the warmest winter weather on the continent with an annual average of more than nine hours of daily sunshine and maximum daily temperatures of between 16°C (60°F) and 30°C (86°F) throughout the year.  Annual rainfall is less than 200 mm.  The Almanzora’s coastal waters are among the cleanest and warmest in Europe, attracting both fish and diving enthusiasts.


 Reader enquiries:

Simon Coaker

The Almanzora Group Ltd

The Manor, Boddington,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL51 0TJ

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 680116

e: tag@almanzora.co.uk