Playing A Round In Cyprus

April 2nd, 2007

 

 

Dear Mum,

Golf is a game played with two balls, one of them 1½ inches in diameter, the other 8 thousand miles in diameter. The object of the game is hit the little ball without hitting the big one.

Now that Spring is upon us, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of golf, as Alfred Lord Tennyson so nearly wrote.

Not that many people other than myself would regard me as a young man any more, but I tend to live by the maxim that ‘Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional‘.

And not that I’ve actually got any golf clubs here in Cyprus either, which is a minor handicap!

So  –  where to play? How many golf courses are there in Cyprus, and where are they? How many are there near Larnaca, and how much does it cost?

'Ow d'ya spell Golph?The starting point, as always these days, is to get on the internet and do a search for some golf links (punny guy! – ed.). So I typed in ‘cyprus golf’ and the first site listed was CyprusGolf.com. That should have absolutely everything that I need to know. Great!

I knew it was too good to be true! The site was owned by Cyprus Golf Resorts and only gave details of the two courses that they own, Tsada and Secret Valley, both near Paphos at the other end of the island, and about two hours drive. No use to me!

A vague notion stirred within me that even if I find a course near Larnaca, my lack of vehicular transportation could be a serious handicap to add to the one I’ve already got in not having any golf clubs! Maybe I should end this line of questioning and take up darts!

But no! Indoor toxophily has never appealed, and I love golf  –  so onwards and upwards to the next link! Which turned out to be the Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, describing itself as ‘exclusive‘.

It’s not that I have an inferiority complex, but I immediately took this to mean that I’d be excluded, if only on the grounds of cost. Exclusive usually means expensive, and is a polite way of saying ‘No riff-raff‘. And sure enough, a round of golf at Aphrodite’s costs £78 this time of year. That’s nearly a fiver per hole! It would cost me £1 every time I hit the ball. It almost encourages you to play badly just to get value for money! You also need an official handicap to play at Aphrodite’s, which I no longer have.

Its location also excludes me from playing there without transport  –  it’s between Limassol and Paphos. The only thing that I’m not excluded from is driving a golf-buggy, for which the minimum age is 16. But I was horrified to read,

The use of a golf-buggy is compulsory

I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never used a golf-buggy in my life, and I’m not about to start. Half the enjoyment of golf for me is the exercise! I fully admit that I hate walking at the best of times, but give me a set of golf clubs (and a golf course!) and I’ll walk for miles. The very idea of using a golf-buggy for this wonderful sport is totally anathema to me. I pour scorn, ridicule and contempt on people who use golf-buggies (except for the elderly or for medical reasons). They should be made illegal! And perpetrators of this heinous crime (mostly overweight Americans presumably) should be tied to the nearest flag and flogged to within 2.54cms of their lives with a cat-o’-nine-irons.

So what could be the reason for this extraordinary mandate? Golfers needing to sit down after the shock of having to fork out £78? Maybe there was a clue in the name  –  Aphrodite HILLS. Hmmm! That might exclude me from playing there too. I’ve played on courses before where you need a spare set of legs for all the hill-climbing, and believe me, it’s not much fun. Perhaps a buggy could have its uses after all. But compulsory?

The course occupies two plateaux divided by a dramatic ravine.

Dramatic? Could that possibly be a euphemism for ‘very steep, very deep and very life-threatening‘? I’m not sure how a buggy’s going to help though, if you drive over the edge! It’s still going to accelerate you to an untimely end at 32 feet/sec². Maybe it’s so exclusive that the buggy’s are equipped with parachutes! That’ll be it! Why didn’t they say so?

This was getting me nowhere. All I wanted was an inexpensive golf course near Larnaca.

Which brings us on to Exhibit A  –  a map of golf courses in Cyprus which I found on a site calling itself Golf In Cyprus. As you can imagine, I was delighted to see that there are two courses just outside Larnaca. Fantastic!

?

Sadly, this map is about as much use as a chocolate teapot! Whoever stuck the flags in it must have been playing Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey at the time. The Secret Valley flag is where Tsada should be; the flags for Secret Valley and Aphrodite Hills should be between Paphos and Limassol; and the Vikla flag should be just outside Limassol, not Larnaca!

Which leaves us with Tersefanou. Right on the outskirts of Larnaca! The flag is surprisingly accurate. It’s in exactly the right place. Woo Hoo! All I need to do is find a like-minded playing partner who owns a car and has a spare set of golf clubs, and we’re in business. Problem solved. Woo Hoo again! And Yippety-Do-Dah!

Just one tiny fiendish-thingy in the ointment. Tersefanou Golf and Country Club won’t be completed until at least 2010.

Which now leaves us with Vikla as being the nearest golf course to Larnaca  –  about 50 to 60km.

This golf club is one of the more relaxed in Cyprus and prides itself on customer service; the dress code is casual and a handicap certificate is not required

Sounds like my kinda place!

Prices from £15 per round

Still sounds like my kinda place! And I can hire clubs there too.

The clubhouse has an excellent standard of drinks

It’s an odd expression, but at least we’re on the same wavelength!

Now you know why I play golf!They don’t have any golf-buggies either, which I’m now thinking is a bit of a shame. This ageing, overweight Englishman was just starting to come round to the idea that using a buggy in a hot climate might not be such a bad thing after all. Especially if I can find a partner like this one to play a round with!

One slight drawback is that Vikla only has 12 holes instead of the usual 18, so you have to play six of them twice. But what the hell  –  as long as I can get out there in the fresh air and get some exercise and play some golf and have a beer afterwards in some good company, then isn’t that what it’s all about? The actual golf itself is almost incidental to having a good day out.

So there we are! Vikla it is then.

Let’s hope the standard of their drinks is as excellent as they say it is!

 

ps since writing this a few days ago, I’ve discovered that someone I’ve known for a while, with a car, also loves golf and excellent drinks  –  this may yet actually happen!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

To anyone thinking of playing golf in Cyprus, this link will take you to a site which in turn has links to all four courses on the island. Or, if you ignore the map, Golf In Cyprus has some useful information.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you’re into snorkelling and don’t like having to splash out on new golf balls, then Coeur D’Alene Golf Course in Idaho is the place for you. I imagine the bottom of the lake round this floating green has a few thousand errant golf balls sitting there.

And it’s not the buggies that are compulsory here  –  it’s a boat!

 

©MPB 02/April/2007
Photos – not a clue as usual!
Eeyore appears as himself

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5 Responses to Playing A Round In Cyprus

  1. trevor says:

    15 quid a round? get lost

  2. Priapus says:

    Yes, we did get lost on the way back as it happens. But then all those mountain roads look the same!

    It cost me 18 pounds for the grren fee, which included the hire of clubs. It would have been 20 pounds for a non-resident of the island.

    The greens were well kept, but the fairways were in a dreadful state. But there’s a severe water shortage on the island, so there’s really not much they can do about it. Not their fault. You just have to adapt your game to play with an unusual set of conditions. It’s not golf as we know it, but still an enjoyable day out. And a challenge!

  3. If you ever want to hear a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn msn to find the missed bits. Thank you, anyway!

  4. Chris says:

    Limassol Cyprus – A Great Place To Visit And A Better Place To Live!

  5. Can’t ask for a representative to help you find the best paphos car hire in Cadiz is a great city in Europe. Try to take the total number of agencies for carhire in Dubai. The business makes a profit of about 3, 500 years ago. It is blazingly fast from what we asked of it. If that wasn’t enough, you’re dropped straight through a hole at the end of your rental. Roberson and Hendley survived a playoff with Sumin Yu, assistant professional at Firewheel Golf Park.

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