After a number of years of stagnating or declining participation, golf saw a resurgence across the globe in 2020, a fact that was particularly evident in the United Kingdom, where research led by The R&A, together with England Golf, Golf Ireland, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf, demonstrated that adult golfers increased from 2.1 million players to 5.2 million players, the highest figure recorded this century. It was a similar situation across the Atlantic, with 2020 seeing the largest ever increase in new golfers in the USA. Latest figures haven’t been released, but the trend is expected to have continued in 2021.
Golf benefitted from new and existing players experiencing the mental and physical benefits of the game during the pandemic and the increased interest has also seen a new generation of golfers falling in love with the sport. A third of adult golfers who tried the game for the first time in the UK in 2020 were under 25 years old.
From clubs to equipment to accessories to experiences, here’s a look at the latest luxury launches in golf to enable you to embrace this ancient game.
An unforgettable luxury golfing experience at world-renowned Sotogrande
Sotogrande is an ultra-luxury residential golf and leisure enclave in the province of Cádiz in Spain, where, around the Guadiaro River, it occupies an area that covers twenty square kilometres stretching all the way from the Mediterranean Sea to the foothills of the Sierra Almenara.
One of the most exclusive parts of Sotogrande is La Reserva Club, an exclusive private gated community in the heart of the area, that pitches itself as ‘the epitome of Andalusian living’ providing an opportunity to ‘immerse yourself in this unique Mediterranean lifestyle’.
That lifestyle includes a variety of residential options giving exclusive access to a state of the art country club with the La Reserva Golf Course at its heart. This is a stunning 18-hole championship course, carved into the hillside with arresting views to the Mediterranean Sea and the Andalusian mountains. Off the championship tees it is a par 72 at 6,721 yards. Designed by Cabell B. Robinson, the challenging and attractive course features expansive undulating greens, multiple water hazards, dog legs and large bunkers.
In addition to golf, the country club provides a top class gym and associated fitness classes, tennis and padel courts, with an academy for coaching, the only inland private beach club in Spain with its sports lagoon, several restaurants and an equestrian centre with extensive nature trails within its gated perimeter. La Reserva offers luxury villas, which, especially during the pandemic, have become extremely popular either as principal or second homes, as people reassess where they want to live and with more business conducted virtually, there is a new flexibility on where you can base yourself for work.
Villas, which are part of the ‘El Mirador’ development, start from €5.8 million. Villas within ‘The Seven’ start from €14 million and are a collection of unique villas designed by seven of the world’s most famous architects on expansive plots and in the highest area of La Reserva Club enjoying panoramic views to the Mediterranean Sea and Gibraltar.
Sotogrande has now launched a ‘Stay and Play’ package which enables golfers around the globe to have the opportunity to experience the amazing Sotogrande lifestyle. The all-new package allows guests to experience the world-class golfing triumvirate of Real Club Valderrama, La Reserva Club and Real Club Sotogrande – while enjoying a luxurious stay at the brand-new five-star SO/ Sotogrande hotel. This is a luxury golfing experience like no other.
The four-night package has been crafted to highlight the region’s premier golf offering and the potential of the Sotogrande lifestyle. Guests will tread in the footsteps of some of the greats of the game as they tee it up at 1997 Ryder Cup host venue and Europe’s number one ranked course since the 1980s, Real Club Valderrama, as well as ARAMCO Series host, La Reserva Club, and the globally renowned Real Club Sotogrande.
In addition to 54 holes of championship golf, guests will enjoy a number of exclusive services, including private transfer shuttles and TrackMan practice sessions with PGA qualified professionals. At La Reserva Club, each golfer will also receive a personal locker room containing a La Reserva Club and TaylorMade Golf goodie bag. There will be physio sessions available as well as an open bar for guests to enjoy food and drink during their visit.
Away from the course, guests will be treated to four nights of accommodation in the resplendent, five-star SO/ Sotogrande hotel. This brand-new hotel offers a spectacular setting, overlooking the foothills of Sotogrande and the Mediterranean Sea. A haven for relaxation, SO/ Sotogrande is also a gastronomic paradise, with restaurants and bars that offer innovative culinary delights in stylish, modern settings.
At the southern tip of Europe, Sotogrande is one of the continent’s most desirable and distinctive destinations. Fusing Andalusian culture and history with a world-class lifestyle, the magic of Sotogrande lies in its unique mix of tranquillity, elegance, action, style, and serenity; all set within a spectacular location.
Marc Topiol, chairman of Sotogrande SA, commented: “We are delighted to be able to welcome visiting golfers to experience the Sotogrande lifestyle with our exciting new Stay and Play Package. The golf offering in the region is absolutely first-class, and features courses that are not only some of the best in Spain, but some of the most revered in Europe. The on-course experience combined with a stay in the wonderful, new SO/ Sotogrande hotel is sure to leave guests with memories of Sotogrande that will last a lifetime.”
The ’Stay and Play’ package costs from around £2,100 per person.
High performance golf clubs from Bentley
Bentley is, of course, most famous for its luxury cars, a sought-after automobile marque which has over one hundred years of heritage, having been founded in 1919 by W.O. Bentley. Since that time, Bentley has gone on to become a global by-word for performance and luxury, crafting its iconic motor cars at its home in Crewe in England. With its famous racing pedigree and its commitment to craftsmanship of the highest standards, Bentley produces vehicles which combine beauty, craftsmanship and power. Bentley cars are an exquisite blend of elegance, opulence, speed and exhilaration and are exemplified in the magnificent Continental GT.
Taking inspiration from the design of the stunning Continental GT, Bentley has revealed its latest luxury set of Bentley golf clubs designed for professional and amateur golfers alike. This is a new collection of high performance clubs, known as the Tech Collection, which reflect the Continental GT through combining cutting-edge technology and craftsmanship.
The Tech Collection uses multi-material technology to maximise performance. The irons, as an example, feature titanium faces and carbon-fibre backs to deliver power and versatility. The putter combines high-density steel, super-soft aluminium and carbon-fibre detailing offering support for off-centre strikes to aid every level of player.
The clubs are designed to blend the traditional and contemporary. Motifs from the new Continental GT appear on the club grips and faces in the form of Bentley’s distinctive knurling. Meanwhile, the iconic styling-line of the car haunches is reflected through the crown and sole of the woods. Distinctive ‘B’ screws – an emblem of modern Bentley – are placed with trademark precision, while Bentley’s heritage is unmissable in the wood heads and grip ends which feature replicas of the unique wheel centre from the famous Le Mans winner, the EXP Speed 8. The look-and-feel of the clubs echoes the modern design language of Bentley, while paying tribute to the brand’s renowned heritage.
Bentley designer Chris Cooke says: “The design of the Tech Collection pulls inspiration from the brand’s past, present and future. These elements come together to create a range that reflects Bentley’s philosophy of unrivalled design and exceptional craftsmanship.”
Bentley Golf first launched in 2016 with the Classic Collection, which utilises traditional Japanese one-piece forging techniques. You can now register your interest in The Tech Collection, the price of which is yet to be revealed. However, the Bentley Golf Centenary Collection which launched in 2019 to celebrate Bentley’s 100th year and was limited to 100 sets, cost £12,000.
One of the world’s most expensive golf clubs from Alexander Kirkwood and Son
Alexander Kirkwood & Son has a long history with golf. The near 200-year-old prestigious Scottish business was involved with the design of early medals for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews as far back as the 1830s.
The original founder of the business, Alexander Kirkwood, was regarded as one of the finest die cutters in the United Kingdom – dies being the intricately designed and engraved steel metal discs from which medals are struck. Alexander created the dies for the William IV and Queen Adelaide Gold Medals of the R&A in 1836 and 1838 respectively.
Alexander Kirkwood and Son also produce what must be one of the most expensive golf clubs ever made. Whilst Bentley’s Centenary clubs are £12,000 for the set, this special single club from the historic business will set you back £12,500. It’s not a club that you are likely to pull out of your golf bag and use for your drive off the first tee however. For the rare club is a replica antique long nosed silver driver, each club is bespoke, handcrafted and made entirely from hallmarked sterling silver and includes intricate hand engraving at the client’s request. This is an absolutely beautiful display piece which will certainly be a talking point amongst golfing friends.
Silver clubs by Alexander Kirkwood and Son have been previously made for the likes of the exclusive Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia, host to numerous prestigious tournaments including The PGA Championship, US Women’s Open, US Open and the Ryder Cup.
The silver club commissioned by Atlanta Athletic Club was also made with silver golf balls attached to it to commemorate the presidents of the club and featured a single gold golf ball in memory of Robert Tyre Jones, more commonly known as Bobby Jones, the great American golfer. Jones was a lifelong Atlanta Athletic Club member, a co-founder of Augusta National and The Masters and a four times US Open and three times Open Championship winner.
The stunning silver clubs are individually made and can be commissioned from £12,500.
The ultimate luxury golf watch from Tag Heuer
Swiss luxury watch brand TAG Heuer has introduced its TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition watch, which will also be seen on the wrist of professional golfer, Tommy Fleetwood, following a partnership between the brand and the 2018 US Open and 2019 Open Championship runner-up. This is a luxury golf smartwatch for the sophisticated golfer, looking to have data to hand to improve their game.
TAG Heuer’s CEO Frédéric Arnault explained: “Playing with a TAG Heuer Connected is a true game-changer that will give any golfer an immediate competitive edge. And it does so without compromising on elegance and style.”
TAG Heuer Golf has unique mapping technology, displaying interactive 2D maps on the watch, as well as realistic 3D courses on your accompanying phone. You can enjoy simulated shot trajectory for better post-round visualization on your phone, the overall feel and design making the experience as good as the visuals seen on telecasts of professional tournaments. The driving zone feature, unique to TAG Heuer, automatically shows players the landing zone of their previous tee shots, helping them adopt the strategy that suits them best when tackling the course.
Professional golfer and TAG Heuer brand ambassador Tommy Fleetwood said: “I love wearing this watch both on and off the course. The features are really well thought out, making the game more precise and I can’t think of a golfer whose game wouldn’t benefit from it. If I could choose one stand out feature for me, I really enjoy the distance shot feature, I see how my drive is performing on the golf course taking into account the real conditions I am playing in, the timing of this has worked perfectly for me as I’ve been testing my new clubs.”
The TAG Heuer Golf app has accurate, up-to-date maps of more than 40,000 courses around the world and can accompany any player no matter where their love for the sport takes them.
One of the most exciting new features on the watch is the innovative club recommendation tool, which suggests the right club based on distance to the flag. The shot tracking feature notes the score whilst also recording shot distance as the player walks to the ball. Shot trajectory is then simulated and displayed on the 3D maps on the phone for post-round analysis.
The TAG Heuer Connected watch combines the refinement of luxury watchmaking and the look and feel expected of a watch from TAG Heuer, whilst also incorporating state-of-the-art digital performance.
The watch features an ultra-lightweight 45-mm black titanium case that reflects the design and refined finish of the brand’s renowned chronographs. It is crafted in the purest watchmaking tradition, with a state-of-the-art, custom-designed digital experience geared towards performance. Delivered in exclusive packaging, The TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition comes with a dedicated travel pouch and golf accessory box. It offers customers a striking and versatile digital wristwatch to enhance their individual lifestyle and golf game.
This high-tech luxury Connected watch is presented on a special white rubber strap with green stitching and a texture that resembles the pattern on a golf ball, as well as a black perforated rubber alternative for everyday and more formal uses. With its intuitive interchangeable bracelet system, with a single clip motion, the wearer can effortlessly change the watch’s look, purchasing other styles for the strap.
The experience on the wrist is complemented by the TAG Heuer mobile companion app that allows for even greater personalisation and insights into the wearer’s other sport activities, such as running, cycling or fitness.
The special edition TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition retails at £2,100.
Luxurious golf shoes worn by the world’s top golfers from ECCO
ECCO is one of the world’s leading shoe brands with a focus on combining style and comfort, delivered through products developed with a great fit and made using top-quality leathers. The family-owned Danish company launched into golf shoes a number of years ago and now produces some of the best golf shoes on the market.
ECCO golf shoes are worn in competition around the world by the likes of Open Champion Henrik Stenson, European Ryder Cup winning captain, Thomas Bjørn, Masters champion, Fred Couples, former women’s No 1, Lydia Ko and major championship winner, Minjee Lee.
The latest launch from ECCO is the BIOM H4 golf collection. These golf shoes allow golfers to walk more comfortably from tee to green, as well as experiencing advanced motion control throughout their swing.
The shoes make use of a new technology that enables the foot to move naturally, close to the ground, and forms like a second skin around the foot. A new specially designed outsole includes three sections to provide the ideal blend of traction, stability, and rotational support, while ECCO’s proprietary comfort technology ensures a finely-tuned balance of cushioning and rebound to deliver dynamic comfort.
The shoe’s uppers are crafted from premium, durable and thin ECCO performance leather, made in ECCO’s own tanneries, providing natural protection from wind and water. This is enhanced with 100% waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX technology that keeps feet dry and comfortable in all conditions.
These are some of the most stylish, comfortable and practical golf shoes on the market.
ECCO’s Biom H4 shoes start from £160.