Words by Matt Bates
BEING an avid golfer, I’d knew all about Polaris World.
I’d read about the millions being ploughed into the project. Seen its TV adverts with Jack Nicklaus – the world’s greatest ever golfer, and now one of its most-loved course designers.
It seemed a mystical place; a luxury playground in the city of Murcia, Southern Spain, filled with beautiful courses, top-value apartments and five-star hotels all lit up in permanent sunshine whatever the season.
So while Britain froze, I packed the shorts and t-shirts, jumped on a flight to Alicante and found out for myself.
Stupidly, a spontaneous visit to Coventry’s own luxury playground - The Kasbah - had occurred the evening before and I was dreading the flight.
But the Monarch Jet I travelled on was as comfortable as they come. The extra legroom seats ensured that, as did the complimentary profiteroles.
And after a short drive to La Torre Golf Resort in a taxi full of journalists - enough to break even the most devoted teetotaller - I’m raring to go.
We reach the classy Intercontinental Hotel, our base for the break, and I’m quickly shown to my room.
Its 200 sq ft of heaven, with a moreish double bed and an array of bathroom products that would make Kate Middleton weep with happiness.
But for me it’s straight to dinner and a magnificent five-course meal that sets the tone for the whole trip.
Next morning, we head to our first course at the nearby Mar Menor Resort, a par 72 which I’m told is one of the easier courses here. It’s a beautiful morning – hot enough to bring out the shorts but cool enough to leave the sun lotion and still get a healthy tan come the evening.
I’m off in the first group as the dozen hungry-for-golf hacks watch on, leaving me trembling at the knees.
The inevitable happens, and my first shot is a ‘topped’ drive that goes 40 yards at most. The second? Same result.
They somehow avoid bursting into laughter and instead watch on in silence, making the whole experience twice as humiliating. Still, at least my surroundings are brilliant.
The course is a rolling, bunker-filled masterclass of modern course design from the legendary Nicklaus, with soft greens and winding fairways the epicentre of an utterly superb resort.
The same could be said for all of the Polaris World resorts - each course with its own style, and each resort with its own blend of luxury. All are packed to the rafters with apartments, hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and everything you could ever want from a golfing getaway.
It’s not like there’s nothing to see in this part of the world. The fantastic sandy beaches and grand old cities – such as Cartagena, a half-hour drive away – are enough. But I could have stayed a whole week – maybe two – inside our La Torre base and I genuinely wouldn’t have got bored.
There was the spa for starters, with massages available along with a sauna, steam room and pool. The restaurants are top quality and you’re guaranteed a tasty night out, whether it’s at the exclusive Ginkgo or a more family-friendly venture like Trattoria Acacia.
You could of course just keep it simple, get the Guinness in and have a karaoke sing-along at the Clover Irish Bar.
We did anyway, and we loved it. Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me, Eminem’s Without Me and Nizlopi’s JCB are all delivered in a drunken tone which merely enforces the bemused locals’ pre-conceived Brits Abroad stereotype.
Yet somehow, next morning the usual hangover accompanied with mixing red wine and the Black Stuff is replaced by a desperate urge to pick up my golf clubs and get back on the course.
Maybe its the gorgeous view from my room that gets me jumping out of bed, or the fresh Spanish air rasping into my lungs? Whatever the reason, I want it bottled and sold.
It would certainly ensure a quicker recovery from my next venture into Coventry city centre on a cold weekday evening.
Visit polarisworld.com for more information on Polaris World, including property prices.
For flight information visit monarch.co.uk – the airline flies to Alicante from Birmingham, London Gatwick, Luton and Manchester.
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