The winners of this year’s World Golf Awards

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 25, 2023 10:16

Here are some of the winners at the World Golf Awards in Abu Dhabi.

The 10th annual World Golf Awards ceremony was hosted at the exclusive Radisson Blu Hotel Yas Island and Yas Links Abu Dhabi, and rewarded excellence in the golf tourism market.

The ceremony brought together industry leaders from more than 65 nations across Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, North America and Oceania.

Apes Hill Barbados was a star performer, with the Caribbean resort and residential community winning in four categories, including ‘World’s Best Golf Real Estate Venue’ and ‘World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility’.

The venue’s critically acclaimed new golf course was also named the best in both Barbados and the Caribbean, completing an impressive quartet of wins.

Sunil Chatrani, executive chairman of Apes Hill Barbados, said: “We are honoured to be recognised in multiple categories in the most prestigious awards in our industry.

“Together with Ron Kirby, we set out to build one of the best experiences in golf, and recognition as the best course in not only Barbados, but the whole Caribbean, means a great deal to us as we strive to establish one of the region’s leading destinations.

“Ron’s passing in August was felt by all who he touched the hearts of at Apes Hill Barbados – and the wonderful golf course he created has left a lasting legacy on the island of Barbados. We would like to dedicate these awards to Ron’s life.

“We are also very pleased to see our sustainability work recognised, while our relatively new real estate offering being named the best in golf so early into this project is proof of the unique work we are doing to build a true community.”

The Dunas Course at Terras da Comporta was crowned as the ‘World’s Best New Golf Course’ and ‘Europe’s Best New Golf Course’.

The par-71 layout near Lisbon claimed the prestigious accolades less than five months after its soft opening, with Terras da Comporta director of golf Rodrigo Ulrich on hand to receive the awards when the winners were unveiled.

UIrich said: “We’ve been very excited about this project for many years. It’s incredibly satisfying to be finally open for play, and to see so many golfers enjoying what is a spectacular course, both in terms of its location and its design.

“It’s a great thrill and honour to receive two such respected awards, which are hopefully the first of many, because the course is going to get even better as it settles and matures. We’re looking forward to welcoming golfers from all over the world.”

Quinta do Lago received three major honours at the awards, claiming the title of ‘Europe’s Best Golf Venue‘ as well as the acclaimed South Course once again named as ‘Europe’s Best Golf Course’ and ‘Portugal’s Best Golf Course’.

Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, was on hand to receive the accolades and said: “It’s an honour to be recognised at the World Golf Awards once again. Despite enjoying a lot of great success in recent years, the resort is not one to rest on its laurels – we’re always looking to move forward.

“We have taken a lot of pride in making the South Course even better, which makes this recognition even more rewarding. To be named as ‘Europe’s Best Golf Venue‘ also speaks volumes about the fantastic resort that we have become and the array of world-class amenities that we offer to our members and guests in addition to three terrific golf courses.”

This is the second year running that the South Course, an eight-time host of the Portuguese Open, has been named ‘Europe’s Best Golf Course’. In 2020, the layout was the subject of a €7 million upgrade, and winning the award last year was a fitting way to sign off Quinta do Lago’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

La Hacienda Links Golf Resort‘s redesigned Links course was named ‘Best Golf Course in Spain’.

Javier Illan, president of Millennium Hospitality Real Estate, said: “We are extremely proud to receive this award, which is a recognition of the amazing work carried out by everyone on the La Hacienda team and by Kurtis Bowman, who has masterminded one of the most special courses in southern Europe. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the course, the green complexes, the bunkering, and the exceptional views that surround us.”

Javier Jimenez Casquet, director general at La Hacienda Links Golf Resort, said: “This award is so important to us, and recognises the efforts of all the professionals who have participated in the renovation of our Links course and, of course, its designer Kurtis Bowman, who has done a magnificent job of the redesign, together with the Acttua Golf Servicios team, and our magnificent staff here.

“This latest success would not have been possible without the firm commitment of the Millenium Hospitality group, and especially of our president Javier Illan, who has had the clear objective from the start of positioning the resort as one of the best in Spain and Europe. He always saw the potential of the resort, and that is why not only our flagship Links course been renovated, but in addition to a rebranding, next summer will see the opening of the “Fairmont la Hacienda” hotel project, a complex hotel that, with its choice of luxury accommodation, will undoubtedly be a driver for tourism in the area.”

INFINITUM in Spain was named ‘Europe’s Best Golf Real Estate Venue’.

Joaquín Mora Bertrán, director of golf at INFINITUM, said: “While our golf courses have enjoyed a growing reputation over the last 17 years, we are a relative newcomer to the world of real estate, so it is an honour to receive this prestigious award so early in our journey.

“We have worked exceptionally hard to stand out, through our modern and sustainable approach, and are excited to see what the future holds for the second phase of our real estate project.”

Elsewhere, Serapong Course at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club emerged victorious by taking the coveted title of ‘World’s Best Golf Course’, while Greg Norman was named ‘Golf Course Designer of the Year’, LIV Golf Adelaide took ‘World’s Best Golf Event of the Year’ and LIV Golf took the ‘World’s Best Golf Innovation Award’.

Country winners included Trump International Golf Links, which was named ‘Scotland’s Best Golf Course’. The Belfry won ‘England’s Best Golf Hotel’, with its Brabazon course was voted ‘England’s Best Golf Course’.

Other PGA-branded properties, along with The Belfry, were also among the winners.

Golf Adriatic (PGA National Croatia) was named as the ‘Best Course’ in Croatia, while the Kempinski Golf Adriatic was awarded the country’s ‘Best Golf Hotel’.

Aphrodite Hills (PGA National Cyprus) came away with the ‘Best Course’ in Cyprus award, while Oaks Prague (PGA National Czech Republic) won the same accolade for the Czech Republic for the second year running.

Elsewhere, the PGA Sultan at Antalya Golf Club (PGA National Turkey) took home the prize for Turkey’s Best Golf Course.

Ayrshire’s Dundonald Links was crowned ‘Scotland’s Best Golf Hotel’.

Ashley Pheasant, head of golf for owner Darwin Escapes, said: “We’re thrilled to be named Scotland’s best golf hotel for the first time, as our ambition since 2019 has always been to achieve that status.

“Our course speaks for itself, but we felt that it deserved world-class accommodation, dining and facilities to match. A prestigious award like this one demonstrates that we’ve succeeded on that front, but we’ve never stopped thinking about ways to make the resort even better.”

Viya Golf, a business of Dubai Golf, clinched three prestigious accolades.

Yas Links, the jewel in Viya Golf’s crown, was honoured as the ‘UAE’s Best Golf Course’, Yas Acres Golf and Country Club, the newest of the Viya Golf properties, was awarded the coveted title of ‘UAE’s Best New Golf Course’ and Saadiyat Beach Golf Cub was bestowed with the title of ‘Abu Dhabi’s Best Golf Course’.

Julian Danby, cluster club manager for Viya Golf, expressed his delight, saying: “We are thrilled to receive these accolades from the World Golf Awards. These recognitions are a direct result of the dedication that our entire team puts in daily in order to deliver the very best golfing experiences across our venues.

“This really motivates us to continue working hard to further improve our offering, maintaining the highest possible standards, and creating unforgettable memories for our members and guests. We’re grateful to the World Golf Awards for recognising the progress and quality that we have achieved, and these awards mark a significant milestone in Viya Golf’s journey, inspiring us to set even higher standards in the years to come.”

Le Château Golf Course at Heritage Golf Club, Mauritius, has become a nine-time winner of the ‘Indian Ocean’s Best Golf Course’ accolade.

Commenting on the latest award, Jonathan Menteath, general manager of Heritage Golf Club, said: “We are thrilled Le Château Golf Course is once again the Indian Ocean’s Best Golf Course. This tropical parklands track has stood the test of time. Designed within the grounds of a 19th-century Château and with its pristine conditioning year after year, it is hard to beat.”

Costa Navarino, the sustainably driven destination in the Greek region of Messinia, southwest Peloponnese, received the coveted accolades of ‘World’s Best Golf Venue’ and ‘Europe’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility’, in recognition of the destination’s continued sustainable commitment and its establishment as Europe’s newest golf destination.

Chris Frost, managing director of the World Golf Awards, said: “With the investments that it continues to make, Costa Navarino stands out among the world’s top golf destinations. There is simply no other venue like it in Europe, and these awards are deserved recognition for the long-term commitment that it has made in developing a world-class golf tourism destination using a fresh and innovative approach to sustainability.”

David Ashington, general manager at Costa Navarino Golf, said: “It is a great honour to accept these global awards on behalf of everyone at Costa Navarino. As a team, we are committed to offering the highest-quality facilities and service to all our guests, and we will continue to strive to deliver the best customer experience possible to our growing family of golfers across the world.”

The full list of winners can be found here.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 25, 2023 10:16
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