In order to encourage tourism to return with complete safety, Andalucía is providing all non-resident international travellers with free COVID-19 insurance for stays at any type of officially registered (regulated) establishment in the region until 31 December.
The coverage includes:
- Medical, surgical, hospitalisation and pharmaceutical costs related to recovery from COVID-19. Those covered are the patient (the person diagnosed with COVID-19) and companions.
- Transportation and repatriation. If a patient needs to be transported or repatriated, their insured companions will also be covered by this insurance. The costs of transportation or repatriation, to their habitual residence or where the repatriated patient is hospitalised, will be covered. If the insured parties are minors or disabled and have no close and trusted companion, a responsible person will accompany them to the patient’s place of residence or hospitalisation.
- Transportation and repatriation in the event of death due to COVID-19. The insurance covers necessary arrangements at the place of the client’s death and the costs of the companions’ transportation to the place of burial.
- Costs for the extended hotel stay by the insured and companions. The insured party’s stay at a hotel following hospitalisation or under prescribed medical quarantine is covered.
In order for this insurance to be applicable you will have to stay in an officially registered (regulated) establishment. If you meet this requirement, you will be automatically covered while travelling, with no need for additional contracts. In case you need any coverage while travelling you will have to contact… although we will be able to assist you with any documentation or help you require.
It was an era when the early internet “bubble” was in vogue, when Google and Facebook were still notional concepts. “Golf will never be sold online”, was a common response I heard at the time.
Fortunately, they were wrong and the company’s other projects, in addition to Golf in Spain®, are still here – 60,000 bookings later. The path has certainly not been one that could have been envisaged 25 years ago, and there have been some difficult moments, including the current situation.
Nevertheless, our key principles have been discretion, financial solvency, and essentially working behind the scenes.
We are proud that we have had more than 18 million page visits and as many as three million online users who have discovered useful information about golf in Spain. Just think what this volume of business means to the sector, even beyond the 400,000 golf rounds that we have sold. Continue reading
Andalucía’s regional government is offering local-based tourists a 25% discount on travel accommodation, subject to certain conditions.
The getaway must be booked through a travel agency registered with Andalucía Segura (such as GolfinSpain) and include a minimum of three nights’ accommodation at an establishment also officially subscribed to Andalucía Segura.
Those taking advantage need to be registered as residents (albeit part-time) on the town hall “padrón” in the municipality where they live. No distinction is made between Spaniards and foreigners, provided they fulfil the above conditions, live in Andalucía and enjoy their holiday break in a different municipality to their home one.
We have already prepared several packages related to the offer, which is aimed at encouraging people in Andalucía’s eight provinces to enjoy “staycations” rather than travelling abroad or elsewhere in Spain. With over 100 golf courses – considerably more than any other region in Spain – Andalucía is ideally placed to offer golfers, especially, a memorable getaway experience, at a welcome discount!
The voucher (available up to a maximum of €300) was introduced from 1 October and can be used until 31 May 2021. It covers hotels, tourist apartments and rural rental properties, but is not valid for restaurants or other services.
If you are interested in subsidising a golfing (or other holidays) in Andalucía by applying for this tourism voucher, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you learn where it is valid and how to apply.
Yesterday we attended the formal presentation of the Solheim Cup, which will be held for the first time in Spain from 18 to 24 September 2023. The venue, Finca Cortesín, had been revealed previously, and yesterday the dates were also confirmed officially – one week before the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.
This is excellent news for Spanish golf, which once again has the opportunity of hosting an event at the highest international level. The coup follows three years of hard work and effort by the main person behind the initiative, Íñigo Aramburu, managing director of Deporte & Business, a company which has been organising Ladies European Tour events since 2002.
Costa del Sol Tourism joins PING and Rolex as the main sponsors, while Andalucía Tourism, Acosol, Marbella Town Hall and Benahavís Town Hall are the official partners. A key union of forces without which it would not have been possible to host the event…
The initial project proposed hosting the event in Marbella, but in the end it was decided to opt for the Casares course – once again highlighting Finca Cortesín’s great vision in always aiming to maintain its status as a top-level competition course.
This is the second part of our report outlining the conclusions of a survey we held among international golfing clients in early-September. The survey was conducted by personal email invitation to verified clients, and attracted 1,000 replies from clients in 28 countries (74% of them European). We explained some of the technical aspects in the first part and in the complete survey report.
In that initial report we analysed data in reference to cancellations, while here in the second part we compare the conclusions that can be drawn when it comes to respondents’ perception of Spain’s diverse destinations, as well as the key measures they take into account when assessing our bookings.
This is one of the initial conclusions drawn from a survey we held among international golfing clients, with the aim of learning how bookings had been affected this year – as well as determining medium-term travel plans and the current perception of Spain’s main destinations.
The survey was conducted by personal email invitation to verified clients, and the preliminary results are based on 1,000 replies from clients in 28 countries (74% of them European) from 20 August.
It should be borne in mind that autumn and spring are the golfing high seasons in Spain and – although there are no official figures for golf’s impact on the economy and tourism sector – it is estimated that the market generates €2,400 million in directly related business revenue and 2.6 million tourists a year. Spain is the premier golf destination in Europe, with an estimated market share of 35%. A total of 28% of those surveyed indicated that they make more than three getaways a year to Spain or Portugal to play golf.
35 years since its foundation and 25 individual events of the European Tour held on its pristine course. But numbers fall short when trying to convey the meaning of the Real Club Valderrama for Andalusian, Spanish and European golf.
Valderrama was founded in 1985 thanks to the efforts and vision of Jaime Ortiz Patiño, who hired top designer Robert Trent Jones Sr to renovate the old Las Aves course and the surrounding land with the intention of creating the best golf course in continental Europe. Valderrama debuted as a European Tour venue soon after that, since in 1988 it held the Volvo Masters, an elite field event that brought the curtain down on the European Tour season.
Taking a quick look at its winner list (from Sir Nick Faldo, its first champion, to world-class golfers such as Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, among others) it’s easy to understand its importance. On the fairways and greens of Valderrama, unforgettable moments such as Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie’s draw in 2002, Miguel Ángel Jiménez’s albatross in 1994 or the exciting playoffs between Ian Poulter and Sergio García in 2004 or Fredrik Jacobson with Carlos Rodiles the previous year. In total, 16 Volvo Masters in which the Real Club Valderrama acted as a fair but demanding judge.
After being elevated to a well-deserved glory and gaining international prominence thanks to the 1997 Ryder Cup in which Seve Ballesteros captained the European team to victory, the Sotogrande club hosted another key event on the international schedule, the WGC American Express Championship. The field, again, was outstanding. In 1999, the number one in the world, Tiger Woods, needed a playoff to beat a tough rival carried by the cheering locals, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, while in 2000 Mike Weir, a Masters winner, conquered the title.
The Andalucía Masters, currently sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Junta de Andalucía, followed up with the great tradition of elite tournaments at Valderrama and Graeme McDowell, who had won the 2010 US Open winner, beat the field that year. Golf fans had to wait until 2011 for the first Spanish victory at Real Club Valderrama when Sergio García managed to overcome the resistance of Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
In 2016 the Open de España took over and the field faced a course that, as always, made no concessions. This time, fan-favourite Andrew Johnston won the title but could not beat Valderrama because he finished over par, something that had not happened since Sandy Lyle won with +3 in the 1992 Volvo Masters.
In the following two years, Sergio García continued his love affair with Real Club Valderrama by winning two consecutive Andalucía Masters titles, becoming the first player to obtain three individual victories at Valderrama. The Borriol golfer accumulates 14 top ten in 15 appearances at Valderrama (2 in the WGC American Express Championship, 7 in the Volvo Masters and 5 in the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters), an impressive record.
In 2019 the South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout broke Sergio García’s streak and managed to hold off the assault of the many Spanish players fighting for the title since five Spaniards finished in the top 7 of the event.
The 2020 winner, therefore, will have the honor of being crowned in the 25th European Tour event played at Valderrama. Without a question, he will be a worthy heir to the tradition that so many illustrious international champions have written with their talent in one of the best courses in the world.
We want you to continue travelling, playing golf and enjoying all our services without any financial loss. In these post-coronavirus times, travel insurance is becoming more important than ever – especially as it has to cover cancellations, infections, quarantines, etc., due to the virus.
We have been studying and comparing various travel insurance options that cover these aspects related to COVID-19, and we have incorporated the possibility of contracting coverage with all our bookings.
Here we highlight two travel insurance options with COVID-19 coverage…
- Holiday COVID (national):
- Travel cancellation costs up to €900
- Medical assistance up to €1,500
- Including reasons for contracting COVID-19 before travelling or during trip
- Repatriation due to airline bankruptcy
- Refund for cancelled holiday
- Coverage for pets
- Substitute vehicle for accident/breakdown
- Sending professional driver
- Coverage of sporting and adventure activities
- From €9.55/person
- Force majeure à la carte – free withdrawal:
- Travel cancellation costs up to €600
- Medical assistance up to €10.000
- Cancelled holiday up to €3,000
- Valid for sport-tourism and/or adventure activities
- Includes coverage for COVID-19 assistance
- From €30.56/person
- Holiday COVID (national):
You can take out either insurance coverage at the end of your booking process but bear in mind that it is essential to request them at the time you make your golf reservation. We will include the price in the quote and we will contract the insurance coverage when you confirm your reservation. If you require any specific coverage, do not hesitate to contact us and we will recommend the insurance that best suits your needs.
Remember, in any event, that we also offer our new “Super Flexible” options, with free cancellation until the last moment.
Jon Rahm has always talked about how much of an influence Seve Ballesteros was on his career. From attending the 2007 Volvo Masters with his father at Valderrama (where Seve had captained Europe to victory in the 1997 Ryder Cup) as an awestruck 12-year-old to becoming European number one in November 2019… a feat only previously achieved by one Spanish golfer (Seve). And now he has once more emulated the legendary Spaniard by reaching the top of the world rankings. Again, neither José María Olazábal nor Sergio García (both US Masters champions) before him have achieved that.
Rahm is 25 years old (born in Barrika, Basque Country, on 10 November 1994); Seve had just turned 29 when he reached world number one in April 1986, and he went on to hold the top spot for 61 weeks in total. Rahm – a graduate of Arizona State University – was also the top-ranked amateur in the world during two separate periods starting in April 2015 (for a record 60 weeks in all). Seve followed a different path into the paid ranks, turning pro in March 1974 at the age of 16.
Of course, Rahm made sure he had to do it the hard – and spectacular – way, a la Seve. He entered the final round of the Memorial Tournament – Jack Nicklaus’s prestigious event at Muirfield Village in Ohio – four strokes ahead of the field.
During a roller-coaster last day ride, he had extended that to eight shots at the turn after two birdies, but then things began to unravel – with bogeys on the 10, 14th and 16th and a double on the 11th. He actually thought he had holed a magnificent chip on the 16th for a birdie, but after the round officials advised him that his ball had inadvertently moved as he addressed it (imperceptibly to the human eye but picked up on slow-motion, high-definition video) and he was penalised two strokes. That still left him with a three-over 75, a nine-over total of 279 and a three-stroke victory over runner-up and close friend Ryan Palmer (they had paired for victory in the 2019 Zurich Classic),
And that meant he overtook Rory McIlroy (who finished 32nd) at the summit of the world rankings – the 24th player to be crowned number one.
Later, he said, “I don’t know how to describe it. It’s been a goal since I was 13, 14 years old. I remember I heard a story on the radio from my swing coach back in Spain, Eduardo Celles. We were driving somewhere and he asked me what my goals were and my ambitions and this and that, and I remember telling him, I think 13 or 14 years old, it’s like, I’m going to be the best player in the world, and that’s what I set out to be. It’s pretty surreal to think it’s happened this quickly, right, in less than 10 years. I mean, how many people get to achieve a lifelong team, a short lifelong dream, in their mid-20s? It’s incredible.
“To be a Spaniard, the second Spaniard to ever do it, given there’s not many Europeans that have gotten to this spot, it’s a pretty unique feeling, so I’m going to enjoy it for a while.”
As for the penalty shots, he said, “I want everybody to hear it: It did move. It is a penalty. As hard it is to say for how great of a shot it was – as hard as it is to say that, I won’t finish double digits under par. But it did move, so I’ll accept the penalty, and it still doesn’t change the outcome of the tournament.”
He was also fully aware of the bigger current picture. “I have lost two family members to this pandemic, not for the virus, but the toll that it takes mentally for those people to be quarantined and just having to deal with the situation. And one of them was my grandma, the woman who next to my parents helped raise me. She passed away actually Wednesday of Travelers, and then yesterday is when they took her ashes to her family rest spot in Madrid. So emotional, you know. The other person was my mom’s aunt.
“It goes to show there’s more important things in life than me accomplishing what I accomplished today. We’re going through a pandemic. People are dying for whatever reason it is, and whether you believe it or not, it’s going to happen physically or mentally – it could happen to me, and still does sometimes.
You need to start thinking now about a golf trip – true?
We realise that, and to help you research and book your autumn golf getaway we’ve set ourselves to work to prepare offers which, as a main criteria, provide flexible cancellation terms.
New Superflexible Category
Our new SUPERFLEXIBLE category only includes offers that allow you to make a cancellation*, for whatever reason, no questions asked, just a few days before your scheduled arrival date. In some cases, up to 24 hours before.
Defining cancellations for reasons related to COVID-19
Furthermore, we have created a reference document outlining in great detail any cancellation terms related to your own case of COVID-19 or that of a direct family member – and which affect quarantine or mobility restrictions in your area or destination. We are asking all establishments to adhere to the document, and you will see this indicated in the terms for many of our packages.
Date extension for final payment
We have also extended the final date for full payment of your booking, to within just a few days of your scheduled arrival, so you will not have to pay this amount almost until the last moment. If the cancellation is made after your final payment, the amount paid (apart from the deposit) will be refunded* within a period of 20 days.
These options are limited and the terms will only be applied to offers included in the SUPERFLEXIBLE category while they remain valid.
If you have any doubts or would like us to call you, please get in touch.
* In the event of a cancellation, only the initial booking deposit (normally 10%) will remain as a credit in your favour, with no penalties, for any future booking within one year.