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The Belfry, Warwickshire: Play in the footsteps of golf champions

By Roger St Pierre

St. Andrews may be the birthplace and spiritual home of golf but these days the epicentre of the game in these islands can be found at The Belfry – the only venue to have hosted the prestigious Ryder Cup tournament four times and home to the Professional Golf Association headquarters.        

500 rolling acres of prime North Warwickshire countryside provide a serendipitous setting for three outstanding golf courses, headlined by the magnificent Brabazon, a 7,185-yd, par-72 challenge, voted England’s finest golf course in the World Golf Awards.

The majestic fairways and carpet-smooth greens of the Brabazon form a world-famous stage on which some of golf’s most exhilarating dramas have played out.

Here you are walking in the footsteps of golfing legends: Seve’s historic drive onto the 10th green, Sam Torrance’s famous putt that won the 1985 Ryder Cup match for the European Team and Christie O’Connor Jnr’s phenomenal two iron across the lake at the 18th are golfing history, while recent changes have seen the sixth hole become one of the most demanding, rated highly by modern-day great Lee Westwood.

And there’s more: the host to two European Tour events, the 7,030-yd par-72 Belfry PGA National is as yet the only PGA branded course in England.

Then there’s the 5,929-yd par-70 Belfry Derby, a beautiful parkland layout designed to suit players at all levels.

There’s even a 12-hole Ryder Legends mini course, inspired by classic Ryder Cup venues, as well as a golf academy, featuring a 34-bay driving range, a putting green, custom-fit suites and golf tuition.

The venue’s golfing credentials are attested to by a spectacular chandelier fashioned from no fewer than 120 golf clubs. But a recently completed £26 million refurbishment by American owners KSL Capital Partners helps spread the Belfry’s appeal far beyond its greens and fairways to the burgeoning family-break leisure market.

This is now a full-service luxury family resort providing a wide range of amenities, including a splendid fully-equipped playground for the little ones, as well as a delightful interactive woodland walk experience, featuring den building, wildlife spotting and bug hotels.

The Belfry’s spa features 12 bio-thermal rooms for the perfect retreat of a unique ‘Fire and Ice’ experience and also provides a state of the art lavishly equipped workout gym and an outdoor fitness trail among its extensive amenities.

319 signature guest rooms include walk-in power showers, HD wide-screen Sky TVs and high-speed internet access.

There are also 15 gorgeous suites, with generous living space and private balconies giving sweeping views across the golf courses, while, for ultimate luxury, there’s a private four-bedroom lodge that even has its own personal chef.

On-site there’s a range of wine and dine options, from the homemade pizza and pasta dishes of the family-friendly Rocca’s Italian eaterie on up to the casual dining at Sam’s Clubhouse, the lavish hand-crafted buffet at The Ryder Kitchen, and the succulent steaks, chargrills, spit roasts, fish and lobster offered by head chef Glen Watson at the AA Rosette winning Ryder Grill.

Other options are the plush Brabazon bar and the Bel Air nightclub and lounge.

Just minutes from the heart of the Midlands motorway network, The Belfry’s Sutton Coldfield location could hardly be more convenient – the nearby Birmingham International Airport means Belfast is less than two hours away door to door providing good links to UK regional and European destinations while there’s a wealth of train services and such attractions as the Cotswolds and Shakespeare Country are close at hand.


From Belfast Telegraph