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GOLF B U SINESS


Neil Johnson Sales & Marketing Director Muirfield Travel


What do you do? We are a golf tour operator based in North Berwick offering golf adventures of a lifetime to Scotland and Ireland. Our sister Company IGL also provides outbound trips for our customers to golfing events including the Masters and the Ryder Cup.


What differentiates your company from your competitors? Attention to detail, local knowledge and a truly personalised service. We have also invested in interactive technology and systems, which we will be launched on our website soon.


What does your company do better than anyone? We allow our clients access to the best golf courses together with the best Scotland has to offer in accommodation and cuisine. Because we have our own fleet of vehicles and drivers we’re able to get to know our clients and their requirements quickly.


What’s the best trip you’ve ever hosted? We took 12 Californian golfers (some of whom hadn’t been to the UK before) on a trip of a lifetime, golfing at Turnberry, Muirfield and Old Course in St Andrews with helicopter transfers. The highlight was an impromptu evening with Brandt Snedeker, the US tour pro, in a North Berwick bar. Brandt is a friend of the company and a very social guy so was able to regale the guests with tour stories.


Where is the best place to play golf? East Lothian.


What makes the perfect golf holiday? Three friends with a competitive streak, a great (but quiet) Championship golf course followed by some fine food and wine, and lots of laughter.


What’s your top golf course? Royal Portrush Golf Club.


What is your favourite golfing memory? Winning a Junior Foursomes competition at Royal Portrush only because the real winners played off the wrong (back) tees! A harsh lesson but rules and etiquette are a very important part of the game.


What will you be doing differently in 2018? We will be concentrating more resources around The Open at Carnoustie in 2018. The highlight will be the rare opportunity to play the Championship links two days after the Claret Jug lifted. We will also be using our new systems and technology to the benefit of our customers.


What are you most excited about in the golf world in 2018? The Ryder Cup — we are an approved supplier.


Can you give us one prediction for the golfing year ahead? A win for Europe in the Ryder Cup and hopefully a first time at the Masters for me. muirfieldtravel.com


Cannes


Pascale Despieres Associate Partner, Parcours & Voyages


What do you do? We tailor-make packages according to client’s needs, it’s not about selling mass-market trips — we try to get the best partners across the world, in terms of both hotels and golf courses.


What differentiates your company from your competitors? I think ‘a la carte’ is part of our DNA. The entire team is made up of passionate golfers and travellers and we try to reflect this passion in what we offer our clients. We sell special packages that fit not only golf but also their other interests so it could be golf and art de vivre in France. Wine tours, shopping tours, Formula 1 in Monaco, the French Open or the Ryder Cup 2018 are all part of our menu too.


What is the best trip you’ve ever hosted? We held a great convention in Cannes few years ago with 60 tour operators and media. Not only did they discover the French Riviera from Monte Carlo to Saint-Tropez but they also enjoyed exclusive services such as Ferrari transfers and petanque competitions.


St Andrews


Where’s the best place to play golf? There are so many France so but it’s hard to beat Le Chateau golf course Terre Blanche; Taulane golf club; or


Le Golf Country de Cannes- Mougins — three amazing courses.


What makes the perfect golf holiday? First, the destination must be where you really want to go — I see so many people going to a place because it’s trendy, not because they want to go. When you’re on holiday, you just want to relax, enjoy the landscape and play good golf. Golf courses shouldn’t too far from the place you’re staying and should offer different styles: links, parkland, hilly etc. I call this the holiday selection. And in the evening, you want the best restaurants and bars. On top of this, you want at least one or two days of excursions to discover the local area.


What is your top golf course? Sperone in Corsica for the scenic views and Majlis course at Emirates Golf Course in Dubai.


What do you love about golf? Every day is a different story. One day, you feel like a champion, and another day, you hate it. Not many sports offer the same humility.


What are you most excited about in the golf world in 2018? The Ryder Cup 2018 in Paris will be the most exciting moment for me as I will be volunteering! I’ve just received the confirmation and I’m going to be like a kid in a candy shop. parcours-voyages.fr


countrybycountry.com


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