Category Archives: Golf courses
The joy of visiting South Africa is terrific and we long to return there as soon as we can!
It is a wonderful place to stay, with great friendly people, delicious food and some of the World’s finest wines. Now that is a recommendation!
Here are a few specific spots here that we love, starting in Fransceok, about an hour and a half from Capetown.
The accommodations in and around Fransheok are very good, and it is a lovely town surrounded by mountains and Vineyards. We really enjoyed staying at the Franschoek Country House and Villas, where the rooms are delightful and the food and service is great. We took a great half day wine tour that they organised for us taking in some really excellent local wineries all run by the nicest of people.
We really love Thelema red wines but there are so many great wines to choose from all over the area. One small but brilliant vineyard was Stony Brook and a wine there called The Max, wow!
Restaurants in Franshoek are all good but we did enjoy an evening especially at The Restaurant at The Grand Provence Estate, but everywhere we ate was terrific. If it is special occasion I cannot recommend highly enough a great Jewellers Shop in Franschoek too. It is called Tracey’s Diamonds! Just the most helpful people.
Wherever you look the scenery is stunning ,so here are few of watercolours of the area and the distinctive houses..
THE GARDEN ROUTE
Travel East from Capetown and head for Hermanus(enjoy lunch at “Burgundy” restaurant if you can), from there you will be beginning the beautiful and spectacular Garden Route. It is a long journey to George and beyond and there are many diversions to extend your journey but it is very worthwhile and from George the coast is beautiful with great places to stay and see.
We love staying at the Fancourt Hotel, but then we are golfers and it has three great courses and views to make them very spectacular to play.
From George Herolds Bay and Knysna are not to far and Wilderness beach is amazing.
We have eaten a few times at a fabulous restaurant at Wilderness called “Serendipity”, one of my all time favourites, well worth a visit.
CAPETOWN AND THE CAPE
There is so much to see and do in and around Capetown, including the must do visit to Robben Island and to find out more about the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the father of modern South Africa.
There are great restaurants too, at the Waterfront and all around the area. We especially liked “96 Winery Road” at Somerset West where the Kudu and Steaks were amazing and great value too.
A visit to the Cape area is well worthwhile , maybe to see the Penguins at Boulders Bay or to see the Twelve Apostles Mountains towering over Camps Bay
South Africa is vast and a superb holiday location,. I haven’t even mentioned the Safari opportunities, more of that some other time.
This coming week sees The 150th Open Championship being held at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews and so I thought a short post with just a few paintings of that Course and a couple of other Open Golf Venues would be in order.
The Old Course at St Andrews was first established in 1552, 470 years ago!
First of all the view from the Swilcan Bridge up to the Clubhouse on the Left and the 18th Green
Many think that The Old Course at St Andrews represents the ultimate golf challenge with its narrow bumpy fairways, small or in some case double greens, and fearsome rough in the summer.
And add to all that the changeable and often strong wind that blows on the East Coast of Scotland and this is a truly formidable challenge to any golfer.
With the World’s finest Golfers taking on the Challenge this coming week ,and trying to win the coveted Claret Jug it will be four days of massive excitement around the world.
Across on the West Coast of Scotland lies the fine Golf Course at Turnberry. With it’s great views of Ailsa Craig off the shore and long, fast fairways, deep rough and again very tricky winds this is also a very difficult previous Open Golf venue. Turnberry was last a Venue for the Open in 2009 but is not listed at present for future Opens.
In 2019 and previously in 1951 The Open was held at Royal Portrush Golf Course in Northern Ireland. It will host the 2025 Open as well.
Founded in 1888 The Club achieved Royal patronage in 1895 from the then Duke of York.
This watercolour shows the 5th Green and Whiterocks Bay beyond.
Portrush is on the spectacular Antrim Coast Road in Northern Ireland, featured on this blog many times.
Scotland is a Country of magnificent scenery and over 580 Golf Courses. There are countless wonderful beaches too and to give you some examples here are just two watercolour of places at the far North of Scotland, painted for commissions some years ago.
If like me you will be watching and enjoying The Open Golf I hope it turns out to be exciting and fun for all involved. If you don’t play golf just enjoy the Scottish scenery.
There are quite afew new watercolours for sale on my Www.Artfinder.com/brianswatercolours Site
Please do check them out
At last , The Masters Golf Championship returns at it’s normal time of the year!
Whilst it was good to watch the Masters last November it is so much better in April with the course looking so beautiful, the Azaleas in bloom and the greens once again playing very fast to make the golf even more interesting.
It has become a habit for me to post some of my Augusta watercolours whilst the Tournament is progressing but this year I have just painted a new one.
The view is from behind the 12th Green looking toward Ray’s Creek and The Hogan bridge. The 11th fairway is in the background.
Some patrons are back watching again, lucky them!
So here a few from the past and the new one above for you to enjoy as we all watch the drama unfold over the next few days.
I do hope you get to see some of the golf and the marvellous scenery. Maybe one day I will get there to see it at first hand!
In the meant time, stay safe and well, and I hope we can all look forward to better days and travel once again.
I would like to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and Good wishes for the New Year.
I very much appreciate you looking at, and following my blog and for your comments and interest in my watercolours.
Its been a busy year with a lot of new watercolours being created and it’s been exciting to ship quite a lot to homes around the world, where I hope they will be lasting memories of travel and good times.
Winter in the UK has been a wet affair with no snow in my area yet, but maybe we will see some in the next few weeks.
With that in mind I painted this scene a few days ago, of our local golf club and it seems appropriate for this last post of the year.
Enjoy the holidays wherever you are.
Readers of this post will have seen images of my watercolours of the North Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland before.
Shane Lowry the brilliant Irish Golfer has just won The Open Golf on the Dunluce Links of Royal Portrush Golf Course on that beautiful coast.
Congatulations to Shane and all his team!
The Open was last held there in 1951 and for it to be there once again is a great achievement of many people over many years.
I could not help wanting to post some watercolours of the coast of Antrim and to start with a new painting of the 5th Green on the Dunluce links which is right next to the shore. This hole is next to White Rocks bay and is often called that. It is challenging like the whole course and this weekend I am sure we will all see much excitement on the course from all the world class golfers assembled there.
But Portrush is only a part of the wonderful coast line that starts in Carrickfergus and stretches all the way to Donegal. Here are selection from the many watercolours that I have painted over the past years. The whole coast is such a delight to visit due to it’s proximity to the sea, the wonder of the Antrim Glens and amazing places like the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and its many excellent golf courses.
And when you have seen all the sights you can happily retreat to the Bushmills Inn for great food and drink and good company.
Enjoy watching The Open, I will!
Last weekend we enjoyed watching the amazing Master’s Golf on the TV from Augusta. As ever it was fantastic spectacle, and made even more so by Tiger Woods once again winning the Trophy.
While watching I sketched these three small watercolours as the scene of the course with the Azealeas is as always so wonderful to see.
These are simple line and wash watercolours, each one about 9 inches by 8 and on Khadi watercolour paper in the sketchbook.
It could have been one of my ” Places I would like to be” posts and maybe one day we will visit there to see the beauty of this golf course at first hand.
I hope you like them , and if you play golf that the quality of the play from the Professionals will inspire your game too.
CONTACT ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org for commissions and to purchase any of my paintings
Escaping the British winter if only for a short time is always part of our plan!
We had never visited Tenerife before so the lure of sun and good golf brought us to the Abama Resort in Tenerife
In fact the weather was perfect for golf and warm enough to enjoy time lazing by the pools.
We even managed some touring about on Tenerife to get a feel for some of the island and it’s scenery.
Tenerife is dominated by the Volcano, Mount Teide although there hasn’t been a significant eruption for over a hundred years.
Tenerife is very mountainous and to get to the North of the island we had to go over a 3800 foot pass with its very, very windy roads. The cliffs at Los Gigantes are spectacular and big as their name suggests and they sweep down to the sea from the mountain range that we travelled over to go to Garachico and the North.
In amongst the golf and relaxation there was time to paint a few watercolours in the sketch book which is now my favourite medium when travelling. A quick pen and ink sketch followed by some watercolour washes gives me a good record of a place or landscape. Of course the plan is to paint larger watercolours at home. However the sketches work pretty well for the blog.
The Abama golf course is also very hilly and challenging with unforgiving greensand very fast greens to make it even harder. Luckily eveybody uses a buggy as walking the course would tire a mountain goat!.
Our trip to the north and especially the little town of Garachico yielded a very pleasant lunch experience in a little family restaurant called “Candelaria” in Garachico. Their home made bread and enjoyable menu and owners made the lunch great. If you are ever there do go and find it and try it, it was really nice. It is at the back of the town about 100 metres from the main Square
Our time in Tenerife was brief but enjoyable and we did find the sun!
If like me you have been avidly watching The Players Golf Championship at Sawgrass this pas weekend then you will know all about the famous 17th Hole.
Congratulations to SW Kim on his win and to Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen on coming joint 2nd – great achievements.
Alas I have never been to Sawgrass but if you have ever been golfing in South Africa and have visited Legends Golf and Safari in the Limpopo region then you will recognise this replica hole there with the Entabeni mountains in the background.
Legends Golf and Safari is a remarkable place with a large game park, home to the Big 5, and a signature Championship Golf course. But maybe it is best know for it’s Par 3 hole, “The 19th” , the highest I think in the world , where to play it you have to go up to the Tee in a helicopter and then the green is 400 metres below you and is in the shape of Africa. It is amazing!
We have been lucky to have been there twice and once for the Wedding of our friend’s, and great golfers, Ian and Lynnette which held on top of the mountain by the 19th Tee! A World First and a magical experience.
Have a look at their website. legendhospitality.co.za/
Here is another watercolour of the Mountain from the Lodges at Hanglip, a wonderful place to stay in the Resort.
Golf and Holidays in South Africa are wonderful experiences, if you have been then great, if not get it on the list!!
Some time ago I posted about “Places that I would like to visit”. The first one was of Lake Bled, Bellagio and New Zealand and my thanks to those who enjoyed seeing the paintings and the post.
This is the second in this occasional series of watercolours of places that I do hope to visit one day.
This post is about The Master Golf Championship at Augusta in Georgia in the USA, and the far North West of Scotland.
Being a keen golfers for many years I have watched the Masters Golf each year and that yearning to visit returns each year. It isn’t just for the golf ,the course looks both amazing and very beautiful at this time of year with flowers and Azaleas in full bloom.
From a photo, taken of the TV screen, I painted the watercolour above, a few years ago, which I hope you will like.
Maybe one day I will visit but until then just watching and painting has to be enough!
By next Sunday we will know who is this year’s Winner and Augusta National will disappear from our screens for another year but the memory of the course will remain. Good luck to all the golfers who are playing this magnificent course.
The second pair of paintings were gifts to some friends who love to spend time in the far North West of Scotland, near Durness and Cape Wrath. Painted from photos they try to capture the beautiful coastline at Balnakiel Bay and Sandwood Bay. The coastline of Britain is spectacular and these two parts of Scotland are more places that I would like one day to get to.
I’ll just add them to my bucket list!
Happy painting, Travelling and Golfing!
Each year we are fortunate to travel overseas for a great golfing week with some wonderful friends.
Over the years we have golfed in South Africa, San Diego, Mauritius, France, New Zeeland and Portugal, and every time we have great fun.
This year was no exception and our golfing group met at the Costa Navarino Resort in the Peloponnese region of Messenia in Greece.
Ian Goldleman who runs Pro Golfing Tours ( www.progolfingtours.com ) creates our trips which include excellent tuition and lots of golf.
The weather this year was a little mixed but we all had great time. Many thanks to Ian for organising everything and Bruce Framer who came along to help us with our golf tuition. Sadly Lynnette Brooky could not be along this year but we look forward to seeing her another time.
I won’t bore you all with the golf outcomes as this is a travel and painting blog after all, however the resort was very nice in a lovely area of Greece. Located near Pylos in the south western end of the Peloppones, it is about 4 hours drive from Athens, and about an hour from Kalamata.
We managed some sightseeing and visits to some ancient monuments in the area too, principally Olympia, Methoni and Messene. Olympia was very atmospheric and really enhanced by the lovely wild spring flowers.
There are also some very good restaurants around the area and two were really outstanding. In Pylos there is the Taverna O’Koukos, and in Gialova, La Cucina Italiana. Two quite different restaurants but both really very good!
O’Koukos was absolutely splendid and the food prepared and organised by Kosta and his mother Maria was delicious, and served by the terrific Roland! If you are ever in this area do go along there as it is such a treat!
Like all our holidays I took the opportunity to take along the watercolours and managed to complete some pictures, which I am delighted to say our group have now taken home with them!
However I always keep a photo record so here are some of my weeks watercolours.
Nearby to Navarino Bay is the extraordinary beach at Voidokilia, here painted from an aerial photo and below from photos taken by me on the beach itself. It is an amazing sight and the clear waters are popular in the summer. No swimming in March though!
South of Pylos there is the quet little town of Methoni. Once an important Venetian port and the scene of many battles. Methoni Castle is vast and at the seaward end has small castle on an island, which can easily be visited. From there the view across to the island of Sapientza gave me a nice back drop for the painting.
Navaroni Bay is protected by the Island of Sphacteria and a string of smaller islands. They can be seen from all over the area but the view from Pylos castle is the one I have used here for this painting. In the summer I believe there are boat trips from the harbour to the islands which I am sure would be great.
Pylos is a very nice little town with a bustling central square and many restaurants. However do not miss going to O’Koukos restaurant at the northern approach to the centre of the town.
Of course our main aim of being at Navarino Bay was to play golf. The Bay Golf Course has many great views of the area and below is just one . Again the islands and Pylos are in the painting but this time from the fairway of the 2nd hole on the Bay Course.
I have come back with so many more photos that I hope to paint of this lovely and interesting area of Greece but they will have to be for another post.
I hope you enjoy this one and if you have been or plan to be in this area maybe they will serve as reminder of the lovely area and it’s very friendly people.
Happy travelling, (and golfing!)