Major period ahead for Kent golf

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Visit Kent, Golfbreaks.com and Shepherd Neame have forged a significant, high-profile partnership to open up Kent – host county of the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s Golf Club – as a top golfing destination that is the closest to London.

The county’s official tourism website (www.visitkentgolf.co.uk), in tandem with Golfbreaks.com – Europe’s largest golf travel company – and the renowned Kent-based brewer, pub and hotel operator, will be promoting a fantastic array of carefully selected golf breaks and special-offer packages featuring many of the UK’s best and most stunning courses, including the 2011 Open Championship venue, Royal St George’s Golf Club.

The tie-up with the ABTA-bonded tour operator and Britain’s oldest brewer is strategically designed to “promote Kent as a premier destination for golf breaks,” according to Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Chief Executive of Visit Kent.

A wide selection of the Garden of England’s most celebrated links and parklands courses, and high-quality, graded hotel, guesthouse, inn and B&B accommodation, will be playing their part in promoting the county’s myriad tourist attractions by participating in the scheme.

Among the premium-standard golf courses participating are the celebrated ‘Regal Golf Coast’ quintet of Royal St George’s, Prince’s (home of the 1932 Open Championship), Royal Cinque Ports, Littlestone and North Foreland – all situated along Kent’s picturesque south-east coastline – along with London Golf Club (a European Tour venue near Brands Hatch racetrack) and Chart Hills (designed by the legendary Sir Nick Faldo).

So far, 16 golf courses and 27 venues offering accommodation have signed up to the partnership at this initial stage with more to follow in the coming months.

Shepherd Neame – the award-winning brewer of the Spitfire, Bishops Finger and Asahi brands – boasts an impressive collection of more than 350 pubs across the south-east, including 11 hotels/pubs in Kent, that can be booked at specialrates through the initiative.

Each offers golf tourists the opportunity to relax and unwind in comfortable surroundings while enjoying fine food and Shepherd Neame ales. They are also ideally placed for visiting many of Kent’s popular attractions, such as Canterbury Cathedral, Leeds Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover.

The initiative – which features an unlimited combination of specifically tailored golf packages and special offers – is due to be officially launched at the popular annual Golf Live event, held thisyear at Kent’s much-acclaimed London Golf Club, in May.

Around 40 packages will be promoted through initial promotional material with moreavailable via the Visit Kent website and dedicated 12-page Golfbreaks.com brochure, also from May.

Golf fans can also find out more information by picking up a copy of the brochure at the Visit Kent stand when they attend the Open Championship at Royal St George’s in Sandwich, from July 14-17. The golf breaks and special-offer packages can be booked through Golfbreaks.com staff who will be supporting Visit Kent at the event.

Highlights of the packages and special offers include:

· Stay and play golf breaks (from £90): Play at Princes Golf Club and stay at The Lodges at Princes (opens July 2011) – from £110 (Sunday Special, one night’s bed & breakfast).

· Mid Kent golf tours (from £109): Play London Golf Club, Chart Hills Golf Club and Etchinghill Golf Club courses with accommodation at the Holiday Inn Maidstone-Sevenoaks Hotel in Sevenoaks – from £270 (two nights’ bed & breakfast).

· Kent coast (Sandwich) golf tours (from £134): Take on the Royal St George’s Golf Club and Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club courses and stay at the Royal Hotel in Deal – from £339 (one night’s bed & breakfast).

· Coastal (Canterbury) golfing tours (from £149): Play the Littlestone Golf Club and Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club courses and book in at the Millers Arms in Canterbury – from £215 (two nights’ bed & breakfast).

*For more information on events in Kent, visit www.visitkentgolf.co.uk. For further details on Golfbreaks.com and Shepherd Neame visit www.golfbreaks.com and www.shepherdneame.co.uk