‘You got Tenerife, and I get Telford?’ So said Mrs Wilkes when I revealed we were off to Telford Hotel & Golf Resort for a dinner, bed and breakfast deal with a round of golf.
I could see her point, as the last time I was invited to review a course, it was the Seve Ballesteros-designed Buenavista Golf course nestled by the ocean in north Tenerife.
Thankfully Spanish-style houses line Great Hay Drive, where the hotel is located, so morale was high when we rocked up at the resort and were greeted by friendly reception staff.
We requested a room with a view and certainly got one, with our window overlooking the 18th green – and more importantly, the outdoor terrace of The Gorge bar, where we enjoyed a quick drink before heading to the spacious and luxurious pool and spa area.
A quick swim, sauna, steam room and nap on heated seats got us nicely in the mood for the evening meal, which we chose off the new menu, which has an abundance of excellent choices.
The bar and dining room was fairly full for a Thursday evening, which is always a good sign, and our delicious food was washed down with a refreshing gin and tonic served by welcoming waiting staff.
We were back in the main restaurant for breakfast, and daylight offers stunning views as the dining tables overlook the incredible Ironbridge Gorge.
The sun had put his hat on, so after nailing a fantastic full English breakfast, I headed off for the first tee while Mrs Wilkes joined a large number of new visitors arriving for spa treatments.
I spoke to a guest who was staying with his wife and teenage son on a two-night, dinner, bed-and-breakfast break with two rounds of golf (available from £135 per person), and he was relishing his return to the course for round two.
So after collecting my bag from the golf shop and getting some inside knowledge, I set off to take on the 72-par, 6,741-yard challenge ahead of me.
The first two holes are fairly forgiving, and thankfully I nailed my early drives down the middle. Then comes the short third hole, which is fine if you stay out of three bunkers guarding the green.
The 382-yard, par-four eighth is the show-stopping hole on the front nine, and once you’ve negotiated the dog-leg, you need get over a gorgeous-looking pond to find the green.
The course was wet under foot following Storm Brian, but the greens were in immaculate condition and I thankfully had my putting mojo in full flow on true, fast surfaces.
Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but the 13th hole was my personal favourite, probably because I absolutely creamed my drive, hit a nice four iron and bagged a satisfying four with a decent pitch and putt.
The 17th provides a mental challenge as a decent, accurate tee shot is absolutely vital to scoring par, and the 18th hole has The Gorge bar as its backdrop, so it’s all smiles by then.
After analysing the round with the shop staff, it was back to the Spa to meet Mrs Wilkes, who was in high spirits and had forgotten all about Tenerife after a nice relaxing massage.
With 114 bedrooms, four-star status, state-of-the-art facilities, and plenty to do in the local area, Telford Hotel & Golf Resort is a jewel in the QHotels crown, with the company having 10 hotel/golf venues around the country and membership starting from just £295.
To book a stay at the Telford Hotel & Golf Resort in Sutton Heights, Salop, TF7 4DT, click here – or ring 01952 429977.
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