Former Manchester United and England midfielder Lee Sharpe loves a lads’ golf trip away and is as happy in a beachside hammock as he is a luxury hotel
My first ever holiday was to… the Isle of Wight. My mum didn’t like to fly, so we always went to places closer to home. I loved it there though. It’s like stepping back a few decades to a simpler time. My first ever golf holiday was to Scottsdale in Arizona – which isn’t a bad place to start!
My most recent golf holiday was to… Dubai for the Dubai Classic. It’s always been one of my favourite places to go on holiday, especially for the golf.
My favourite golf course is… Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, although it’s hard to pick just one, as I like a lot of courses for different reasons. I played TPC Sawgrass with a couple of mates a few years ago and thought that was stunning, as is Valderrama. I also like the courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but Portrush nicks it because of the history and I love links golf.
My most memorable best round was… at the Emirates Course in Dubai a couple of years ago. I shot two under par and missed two six-footers on 17 and 18 for birdies to shoot four under – I totally bottled it! My best round is a 66 at Manchester Golf Club.
My favourite golf resort in the UK is…. Gleneagles in Scotland. Three superb courses and five-star hospitality all the way. Further afield, I’d pick Sun City in South Africa, while in Europe I’d go for La Manga in Spain. A mate of mine lives out there, so I go there to see him once or twice a year. He has a bar too, so it’s a good trip on and off the golf course.
I always travel with… my golf clubs. What else do you need? Oh yes, my Orange Whip training aid!
The best hotel I’ve ever stayed is… the Hotel Villa Maria in Ravello on Italy’s Amalfi coast. I got married there last year. It’s simply stunning.
My favourite city in the world is…Bangkok. There’s nothing like it and the golf is great too.
My most memorable holiday meal is… brunch in Dubai. Friday brunch is something of a tradition and way beyond the traditional ‘breakfast at lunchtime’ combination. I also had a great paella in Spain a couple of weeks ago. I’d played at Villaitana against the club professional and won on the last hole, which always makes the post-match meal taste even better!
My worst holiday experience was… while travelling around Thailand. I caught a tummy bug and was curled up in a ball, vomiting for three days.
The golf course I’d most like to play is… Augusta. Isn’t it top of everybody’s list?
I’ll planning a golf trip… for my 50th birthday next year, but given the current Covid restrictions I’m still undecided about the destination. I am planning on playing in three tournaments in Spain in January.
My top travel tip is… enjoy the journey and remember your holiday starts the moment you leave the house. Oh yes, and don’t take the kids!