GOLF might have a reputation for being an older man’s pursuit, but with so many resorts launching new spas and property developments, it seems like the old country club vibe of golfing properties is experiencing a renaissance. Take PGA Catalunya, close to Barcelona, that launched the development La Selva apartments last November and the Palheiro Estate in Madeira that opened a state of the art spa in May. Clearly these old greens are doing more to appeal to families and partners who would rather not golf.
Anne Marchington of the Palherio Estate explains that historically their properties haven’t attracted younger people and families, but that this is starting to change: “Madeira’s lack of sandy beaches has probably kept young holiday makers away in the past, but I reckon people are starting to see that as an advantage.” The island, of course, offers lots for younger people. Its hilly landscape allows for hiking and mountain biking and there is diving and snorkelling in its Atlantic waters.
And it’s not just kids that these resorts are widening the net for. PGA Catalunya has been advertising how close it is to Barcelona’s city centre. Its marketing tries to win over non-golfers with the promise of high quality shopping, great nightlife and 21 Michelin star restaurants less than an hour away.
The golf club properties are now aesthetically more attractive to non-golfers. The La Selva apartments were designed by Damian and Francisco Ribas to give homeowners the best view possible. With glass walls and sun terraces looking out on the famous 19th hole Stadium Course fairway, those with no desire to swing a club can enjoy a breathtaking views without ever having to step out on to the green.
Considering luxury golf property as a financial investment isn’t a bad idea either. While it is still predominantly a lifestyle choice for the retired, there is a growing marketing in people buying to rent. Andrew Hawkins, Chesterton and Humberts’ head of international property, says: “This part of the luxury market has really held its value over the last few years’ financial turbulence, even in places like Spain and Portugal that have taken a hammering lately.”
With these resorts offering a more comfortable and convincing package for non-golfers, with better leisure activities, nicer homes and strong financial potential, now might be time to try to convince your partner that it’s the golfing life for them too.