Tee Off in Sunny Cyprus
According to some lively golfers in the clubhouse she actually emerged holding a golf ball
Golfers are delighted to learn that in Cyprus their sport can be played all year round as the sunny winter days are comfortably warm and it is very rare for rain to stop play. Golf in Cyprus can be enjoyed by experienced players, those wanting to improve their game and those who have never played before, as all the courses have a professional golf instructor on hand, and several have practice ranges, too. All the golf courses have equipment hire as well as accessory shops and all have a great 19th hole, which offers great food in a relaxing atmosphere.
Situated at Yerskipou on the outskirts of Paphos, Elea is the island’s newest golf course and is an 18 hole, par 73 course which was designed by Sir Nick Faldo, who has made the most of the many natural features. The course is part of Elea Estates and has won awards since its opening, and Sir Nick is confident that it will make Cyprus one of the top European golfing destinations. The course has an excellent clubhouse, golf academy and for those who want to combine good golf with the Cyprus sunshine, beautiful residences for sale too.
The course that is viewed by many golfers as being Cyprus's best is Aphrodite Hills, which lies just east of Secret Valley and is a championship course. The golf course was designed by Cabell Robinson and is an 18 hole, par 71 course that offers golfers spectacular scenery with its fairways perched on cliff tops and the azure waters of the Mediterranean seemingly stretching to infinity.
This golf course is certainly a challenging one – for example the 7th has a downhill slope and a wooded ravine to cross to reach the green, which in turn is surrounded by olive trees. Aphrodite Hills is a sizeable course, so the use of buggies is obligatory for all players.
Aphrodite Hills has been designed to be a combined golf and leisure resort as it has an Intercontinental hotel, villas and townhouses for sale and rent, and a small village square with restaurants and shops. A great deal of thought has been put into its design to make it attractive to non-golfers who can relax and enjoy The Retreat (Spa), the tennis academy or go sight-seeing whilst their partner is on the golf course. There are also many beautiful properties overlooking the course that can be either bought or rented.
The oldest golf course in Cyprus and formerly known as Tsada Golf Course, the recently re-named Minthis Hills is situated in the hills just north of Paphos. The course lies at an altitude of 500 metres and is situated in the grounds of a 12th century monastery and is pleasant even on hot days as there is usually a breeze,
Minthis Hills was designed by Donald Steel, measures 600 metres and is a Par 72 course. Opened in 1994, it was certainly in a challenging location for David, who had to design a course that incorporated all the natural features - the result is a double nine hole loop. It is a challenging golf course with plenty of tricky shots and offers a good game to all abilities, although a club rule is that non-handicapped players can only play in the afternoons. For non-golfers there is a restaurant and swimming pool.
Secret Valley Golf Course is situated midway between Limassol and Paphos and very close to Petra tou Romiou, where, it is said, the goddess Aphrodite come ashore. According to some lively golfers in the clubhouse she actually emerged holding a golf ball.
The golf course measures 6,120 metres and is an 18 hole, par 71 course and follows the course of the valley that gives it its name. The course was designed by Iacovos Iacovou. A huge bonus is that the valley attracts a good onshore breeze most days. Work has recently started on Secret Valley Two which will be a second 18 hole course situated further up the same valley and which has been designed by Tony Jacklin, who is also adapting Secret Valley One to incorporate some exciting new features. The work on the golf courses is being very carefully carried out in stages so that golfers will not lose a single game.
Situated east of Limassol, on the edge of the village of Limassol Kellaki is the Vikla Golf Course which is a privately-owned 12 hole course (with 18 tees, so golfers repeat the last six holes). The golf course was designed by its owner, Robin Houry, and it was opened in 1992. Vikla has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and restaurant and swimming pool facilities which are very popular. This is a very sedate golf course and there is a free introductory lesson for all new golfers at the course.