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H O L I D AY T Y P E S


Intermediate


◉ In many ways, the high-handicap stage is the sweet spot of a golfer’s development. Those frustrating days of not really knowing how to play are over, and birdie opportunities are no longer a mere fantasy. Further improvement is within grasp, too, given the right challenge and opportunities to practice. Conversely, discouragement is never far from the surface, and high-handicappers would be best advised to look for courses that off er a challenge that tests and enhances their abilities without killing their confidence.


CLOSE TO HOME


FRANCE Country: Despite its impressive variety of courses, many of which can hold their own with Europe’s best, France is oſt en overshadowed as holiday golf destination by Spain and Portugal. From Provence, in the far south, to Alsace, on the German border, Europe’s largest country boasts everything from parkland layouts to tough but fair coastal off erings. Course: Part of an impressive new fi ve-star resort in Provence, the course at Domaine de Manville is well-suited to high- handicappers. Designed by architect Thierry Sprecher, the layout makes the most of the natural terrain to produce a test that challenges without infl icting torture. Although the fairways are tight, there’s lit le water and the course length — just over 6,000 yards — is short by modern standards. Green fee: £49. domainedemanville.fr


36 ABTA Golf 2017


FURTHER AFIELD


VIETNAM Country: Snaking sinuously down from the Chinese border to the Gulf of Thailand, the country’s patchwork of towering peaks, emerald paddies and seemingly endless coast has provided a fertile breeding ground for some of Asia’s best golf courses. The action is particularly vibrant on the country’s central coast, which has become the nation’s hub for luxury tourism. Course: The newest layout on the central coast is Bana Hills. Laid out in rolling foothills, the challenging but fair course, designed by Englishman Luke Donald, features natural elevation changes, ravines, streams and mountain backdrops. The front-nine contains a number of highlights, not least the par-3 8th, a gem of a downhill short hole. The closing stretch of the layout off ers outstanding vistas and golf in equal measure. Green fee: £103. banahills.com


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