Blazing the heathland trail down south

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Five of the finest heathland courses in southern England have joined forces to market themselves as the Southern Counties Heathland Golf Tour.

West Sussex (pictured), the number one course in the county, Hampshire’s top heathland layouts of Liphook and Blackmoor, and Hindhead and Hankley Common in Surrey, will together present a formidable golf tour in the heart of the English countryside.

It is the aim of these traditional, yet forward-thinking, clubs that this new offering will act as a catalyst to open up the allure of heathland golf in the area to UK golfers whilst at the same time showcasing a stunning grouping of heathland courses  to the international golf market.

These established tracks all bear the heathland trademarks of sweeping swathes of vibrant heather and gorse and fairways lined with pine trees and the occasional magnificent oak which all combine to form some of the most picturesque courses around.

Meanwhile the fast-draining sandy soils and typically-undulating landscapes of heathland layouts make the terrain ideal for fast, challenging golf.

“With the launch of the Southern Counties Heathland Golf Tour, we have put together a trail of some of the most authentic, yet natural heathland courses of England which until now have been a fairly well-guarded secret as far as the rest of the world was concerned,” comments Andy Stubbs of West Sussex GC.

“For any golfers wishing to discover the sheer pleasure of playing classic, well-designed heathland layouts, our collection of courses would be an ideal place to start.”

To launch the initiative, the Southern Counties Heathland Golf Tour has joined Golf Tourism England (www.golftourismengland.com) to give itself some immediate profile to the international golf travel market.

Indeed Andrew Cooke, founder of Golf Tourism England, has been instrumental in encouraging the group to link up and to promote themselves as a premier heathland tour to national and international golfers alike.

“These clubs are together leading the way in marketing themselves as a credible golf tourism offering to a wider audience and helping to reinforce the country as one of the foremost golfing destinations in the world,” says Cooke.

The five clubs in the Southern Counties Heathland Golf Tour can all be found within an hour of each other and are easily accessed via the M25 and A3 and are within striking distance of both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

The Old Thorns Manor Hotel Golf & Country Estate near Liphook is centrally located to act as a base for golfers taking on the new tour. Set in 400 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside, the Hotel offers a range of rooms and apartments, a spa, various bars and restaurants ideal for the requirements of golfers.

*For more info visit  www.golftourismengland.com/where-to-play/view/southern-counties-heathland-golf-tour

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