20 June 2017
Since retiring from professional tennis 10 years ago, Tim Henman prefers to spend his weekdays on the golf course and his holidays travelling the world with his family
My first holiday was to… the Algarve in Portugal, when I was six or seven. I remember going to the beach, swimming, and playing tennis and golf with my brothers, and the weather always being hot. We used to rent a villa, but my parents built a holiday home at the Vale do Lobo resort in 1980s, so our family holidays were always there.
No matter where I am I like… to play golf. It’s become something of an addiction to replace the tennis bug, and I like to play at least three times a week. I’m a member at Sunningdale, Queenwood and Huntercombe. I’ve managed to get my handicap down to plus one now, but it takes plenty of practice to keep it that low. I’ve had chipping area and an artificial putting green installed at home, so there’s no excuse really.
My favourite golf courses in the world are… Sunningdale Old, Kingsbarns, Pine Valley and Augusta. I was lucky enough to play at Augusta a few years ago, and it surpassed all my expectations.
My ideal travelling golf partners… are Sam Torrance, Jamie Redknapp and Terry Crawley, who is a friend of mine. I play with Sam at Sunningdale quite a lot and he has taught me so much about the game.
My best ever round was… a 66 at St Andrews in the Dunhill Links Championship, when Colin Montgomerie was my professional playing partner. It doesn’t get much better than that!
My favourite golf resort in the UK… is Turnberry. On a sunny day, playing the Ailsa course, with its incredible views and history, it doesn’t get much better than that. St Andrews is also right up there, but it’s not what you’d describe as a golf resort.
The best hotel I’ve ever stayed at is… the Singita Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. It was incredible to see the animals in their own habitat, but the accommodation, food and service made it unlike anything else. These days we prefer to stay in villas rather than hotels, as they are more family-friendly. We bought into a fractional ownership scheme called Hideaways a few years ago, which offers properties all over the world for up to six weeks a year. They have some wonderful villas all over the world. We stayed in one in Provence, overlooking the Cote D’Azur. It’s my idea of the perfect holiday home. It was a beautiful location, there was no-one overlooking us, and the house has kept its traditional features, but also had lots of contemporary touches.
My favourite city in the world is… Melbourne. It’s clean, there are lots of open spaces and the climate is superb. I also love Paris. Wine is one of my passions, and I’ve always enjoyed drinking it in Paris.
My most memorable meal abroad was… a huge fry up when I was on safari. But perhaps the best meal would have been at the Crown Towers in Melbourne, which has a great sushi restaurant called Koko. There’s a teppanyaki grill where Japanese chefs cook in front of you.
My worst holiday travelling experience was to… Dubai. We went to get some winter sun there a few years ago, and as we came in to land my younger daughter was sick on the plane. Then, every 24 hours after that, another person went down with the same stomach bug. There’s nothing wrong with Dubai, but in terms of a holiday experience, it was a bit disappointing.
My top travel tip is… to bring plenty of things to entertain your children, especially on long haul flights!
Tim Henman is an ambassador for The Hideaways Club, an exclusive property rental club. For more details, visit thehideawaysclub.com.