Welsh Lady Golfers and Desert Springs

Lady golfers in Wales have adopted 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, as their base for winter training camps.

The news follows the success of visits for pre-season training by the Elite Women’s and Junior Squads of the Golf Union of Wales (GUW). Now more are planned.

Nigel Edwards, director of player development and coaching at the Newport-based Golf Union, first visited Desert Springs soon after the GUW was established in 2007. This followed the merger of the Welsh Ladies Golf Union (founded in 1904) and the Welsh Golfing Union (founded in 1895).

“From the outset I was impressed by the Indiana golf course at Desert Springs and all the facilities in the resort,” says Nigel. “When our players and selectors told me they loved it as well, it was an easy decision to make it our pre-season practice venue.”

Players who have trained at Desert Springs during the winter months include 12 players in the under-18 Girls Squad. Now up to 10 lady members are planning a visit early in the new year to benefit from the resort’s Golf 4 Women programme led by leading PGA coach and Desert Springs’ ladies’ golf ambassador Christine Langford [MORE DETAILS BELOW].


Enthusiastic about Desert Springs is 21-year-old Breanne Loucks, a member of Wrexham Golf Club, pictured here kissing the South African Amateur Strokeplay Champion’s trophy she won this year (2008)


Among Welsh enthusiasts for Desert Springs is 21-year-old Breanne Loucks, a member of Wrexham Golf Club who is expected to turn professional soon.

In the past year Breanne, who has been playing since she was nine years old, has carried off the trophies for both Match Play Champion and Stroke Play Champion in South Africa, as well as Irish Champion, Welsh Order of Merit Champion and best Amateur in Wales.

Breanne describes the calibre of the course at Desert Springs as “millionaire’s golf.”

She said: "The Desert Springs Golf Academy offers specially designated practice areas specifically designed to allow you to practise every challenge of the game. There is a great chipping green and a fantastic putting green. The short game bunker practice area is ideal for practising your bunker play. On the course, the fairways are excellent and the greens are like carpets.

“I also like the way that the layout of the resort has been carefully planned so that all the golf and other facilities are close to hand, without having to walk miles!"

Golfing holidays specifically tailored to the interests of lady players at Desert Springs include three-day tuition packages – with lessons by Desert Springs’ ladies’ golf ambassador and PGA coach Christine Langford – and bespoke hen party golf weekends. Also available are three- and seven-day breaks, some including health and beauty treatments in the Day Spa at Desert Springs.

  • For details of Golf 4 Women holidays and events at Desert Springs call +44 (0) 1242 680 116 or visit the website, www.almanzora.com
  • To find out more about the Golf Union of Wales call +44 (0) 1633 436040 or visit the website www.golfunionwales.org


Background notes about Christine Langford & Desert Springs


PGA coach and Desert Springs’ ladies’ golf ambassadorChristine Langford who has pioneered Golf 4 Women at Desert Springs in Spain.


Christine Langford

In the past 20 years Christine has successfully pioneered a host of activities and events planned to encourage more women to take up the sport.

Christine, whose professional golf career spans 30 years, is the ladies golf ambassador at Desert Springs. Drawing on the experience of 15 years playing in major tours around the world, and her role as a founder member of the Ladies European Tour, she now devotes herself to coaching more women to play.

At Desert Springs she has launched a series of specially packaged tuition and competitive events and holidays under the Golf 4 Women banner, attracting growing numbers of all-girl groups to visit for a week’s golf or learn to play for the first time.

Simon Coaker, director of golf at Desert Springs, says that the resort’s pioneering Golf 4 Women programme makes it unique in golfing circles.

“For too long golf clubs have been boys’ clubs rarely catering for the golfing needs of women,” says Simon. “But we recognise them and are doing all we can to encourage more visitors and property owners at Desert Springs to enjoy the sport.”


A view of the golf course at Desert Springs which lady golfers in Wales have adopted as their base for winter training camps.


The resort

Desert Springs is Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain.



The Golf Club House at Desert Springs. For details of golfing holidays and breaks call +44 (0) 1242 680 299 or visit www.almanzora.com


The resort occupies more than 300 hectares (750 acres) on an elevated plateau over the Rio Almanzora, near the coast of the municipality of Cuevas del Almanzora.

The first phase of the resort – already up and running – includes the Indiana Desert Golf Course and Club House and its international award-winning El Torrente Restaurant, as well as the Crocodile Club family restaurant and bar, with its pools, sun lawns and sand play bunkers.

Also open is the Sierra Sports and Fitness Club which has facilities for tennis, paddle, gymnasium and football.



Growing numbers of would-be women golfers enjoy an introduction to the sport at the Desert Springs Golf Academy, pictured here. For details call +44 (0) 1242 680 299 or visit www.almanzora.com


The golf

At the heart of Desert Springs is its 72 par 18-hole USGA Indiana golf course designed by former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Team Captain Peter McEvoy. He was inspired by the desert courses of Arizona and California.

The dramatic nature of the Desert Springs fairways, set in a landscape of cactus, rock and flowering desert, is said to have taken golf in Spain to a new level of excellence.

Golf Club joining fees for Non-resident Membership, for a family of up to four, are waived in the case of Almanzora Bay Group’s own property purchasers.

The club runs a year-round calendar of tournaments for members as well as open tournaments including The Indiana Masters, The Desert Classic and The Professional Challenge Cup. In 2004 and 2007 it hosted Europe’s most prestigious amateur tournament, the King’s Cup – the Copa Del Rey – which is the Spanish International Amateur Open.

From October 30 to November 1 this year (2008) the Sir Ian Botham Charity Golf Classic was held at Desert Springs, raising more than €70,000 for Leukaemia Research. Sir ‘Beefy’ Botham was joined by celebrities and professional sportsmen captaining their amateur teams.


The climate
The resort 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.


Getting there
The Almanzora region is easy to reach, thanks to three international airports. The current journey time from Almeria International Airport to Desert Springs is around 50 minutes by road. Other international airports are at Murcia – 70 minutes by car on the new toll motorway direct to the Almanzora Valley (the toll is €11.5) – and Alicante which is less than two hours by road.

For further information contact: The Almanzora Group
E-mail: tag@almanzora.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 1242 680299