The final DP World Tour chapter for golf icon Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer, a golf legend with an illustrious career, will make his final appearance on the European Tour at the BMW International Open in Munich starting Thursday (3 July). This marks the end of an era in European golf as Langer, a player who has left an indelible mark on the sport, bids farewell to the tour.

Langer’s career, spanning five decades, includes 42 titles on the DP World Tour, making him Germany’s most successful player and second only to Severiano Ballesteros in titles won. He was also the first golfer to be ranked world number one, a testament to his exceptional skill and determination.

At 66, Langer continues to compete on the PGA TOUR Champions, where he holds a record 46 career titles. His final appearance on the European Tour at Golfclub München Eichenried marks his 513th tournament. Reflecting on this milestone, Langer shared his mixed emotions with the DP World Tour. “I don’t know yet how I will react,” he admitted. “I’ve never said goodbye to anything so far in terms of golf. This is going to be a first experience and I have a feeling it’s going to be very emotional.”

Bernhard Langer and his time in Portugal and Spain

Despite never securing a victory in Portugal, Langer’s success in Spain is noteworthy. He claimed the Spanish Open in 1984 and 1989, the Volvo Masters in Andalusia in 1994 and 2002, and the Madrid Open in 1990. These victories solidified his status as a global golf icon and endeared him to Spanish golf fans.

Earlier plans for his farewell at the Masters Tournament in April were delayed due to an Achilles tendon injury sustained while playing pickleball. Remarkably, Langer returned to competitive play less than three months post-surgery, continuing to excel on the PGA TOUR Champions.

Langer’s return to the BMW International Open, where he last played in 2012 and finished second five times, brings both excitement and challenge. The course, now longer than in past years, poses a significant test for him. “I’m getting shorter, and the course is getting longer and that’s not a good combination,” he noted. His return to this prestigious event after a long hiatus is a moment of anticipation and excitement for all golf fans.

Playing in front of a home crowd holds special significance for Langer, as the venue is near where he began his golfing journey. “I grew up about 45 minutes from here,” he explained in dialogue with DP World Tour. “I have a lot of friends, some relatives, and people who have supported me for many years in the game of golf. It’s the only one I haven’t won yet in Germany. So it was always tricky, but I’m glad to be back.”

Joining Langer are fellow German golfers Marcel Siem and Martin Kaymer, adding to the sense of a fitting and emotional farewell for one of golf’s greatest players.

The team at Tee Times Golf Agency would like to salute Bernhard Langer for his exceptional career on the European Tour. His dedication, skill, and, above all, his unwavering sportsmanship have inspired golfers worldwide and helped shape the game’s spirit.

Photo by: Revista Fairway.

Driving greatness: the impact of World Golf Awards

The 11th annual World Golf Awards, a prestigious event that sets high standards in the industry, will be held on November 21-22, 2024, on the scenic island of Madeira.

Since its inception in 2014, the World Golf Awards have become a benchmark for excellence in golf tourism and a prestigious gathering of the industry’s top courses, destinations, and tour operators. This exclusive annual event brings together the crème de la crème of the golfing world, including VIPs and leaders from the golf tourism sector, to honour outstanding achievements and set new standards in the industry.

Tee Times Golf Agency has garnered significant accolades, being named Portugal’s Best Inbound Golf Tour Operator in 2020 and 2021 and Portugal’s Best Outbound Golf Tour Operator in 2022. This recognition underscores the agency’s commitment to delivering exceptional service in a country renowned as a premier golf destination. Portugal has frequently been honoured as the World’s Best Golf Destination, adding prestige to these awards.

World Golf Awards: the importance of exemplary service in golf tourism

Providing exceptional service is paramount for golf tour operators. Tee Times Golf Agency goes beyond this, offering personalised experiences that cater to golf enthusiasts’ unique needs. Our dedication has not just set them apart in the competitive field of golf tourism, but it has also created a buzz among golf enthusiasts. A tour operator’s role extends beyond booking rounds; it involves creating unforgettable golfing experiences, ensuring seamless logistics, and delivering unparalleled customer service.

Shaping the future of golf

The World Golf Awards are not just a celebration; they play a pivotal role in shaping the future of golf tourism. By recognising excellence, these awards drive standards of quality and innovation across the industry, inspiring hope for a brighter future. The rigorous voting process involves golf travel and tourism professionals, ensuring that only the best are acknowledged. This year, Tee Times Golf Agency is in the running for Best Tour Operator in Europe 2024 (you can vote here), a testament to our continuous pursuit of excellence.

Acknowledging leaders in golf tourism

These awards significantly raise industry standards by spotlighting leaders in golf tourism. With extensive media coverage from partners like Destination Golf, TV5Monde, Bloomberg, and CNBC, the awards reach a global audience, reinforcing their status as the ultimate accolade in golf tourism.

Tee Times Golf Agency’s consistent recognition by the World Golf Awards highlights our vital role in the industry and our unwavering commitment to providing top-tier service. As we contest for Best Tour Operator in Europe 2024, our story continues to inspire excellence and innovation in golf tourism.

Azora expands its golf portfolio with the acquisition of Praia d’El Rey and West Cliffs

Azora, a Madrid-based European real estate investment manager, has significantly enhanced its presence in the Portuguese market by acquiring the prestigious Praia d’El Rey Resort in Óbidos, Portugal. This acquisition, executed through the Azora European Hotel and Lodging Fund (AEHL), includes the luxurious Marriott Praia d’El Rey hotel, two top-ranked golf courses—Praia del Rey and West Cliffs—and the management of 90 apartments and two food and beverage outlets.

The Marriott Praia d’El Rey, a 177-room, 5-star hotel, is a jewel in our crown. It will continue operating under the Marriott brand, managed by Blue & Green. The hotel, with its stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, direct beach access, and surrounding golf courses, offers a unique and luxurious experience. It boasts premium amenities, including four dining options, a renovated spa and wellness area, indoor and outdoor pools, a kids club, and extensive meeting and event facilities. The golf courses, recognized among Portugal’s top ten and recipients of the 2023 Golfer’s Choice Award from Leading Courses, are key highlights of the resort.

Azora leadership position

This acquisition is a testament to Azora’s strategic growth in Portugal. It expands our portfolio to include seven hotels and two golf courses with 36 holes. The Praia d’El Rey Resort, with its exceptional facilities and prime location, strengthens Azora’s position as a leader in the leisure and golf destination sector in Europe and underscores our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to our guests.

Azora’s portfolio now encompasses over 12,000 keys under management, cementing its status as a significant player in the European hospitality and leisure investment sector. Since its inception, Azora has invested over €3 billion in the hospitality industry, acquiring over 100 hotels and 26,000 hotel keys. The company’s strategy focuses on high-quality hotels and urban hostels, targeting assets that require active management and repositioning.

Launched in 2021 with €815 million in capital, AEHL has focused on the vacation hotel segment in major European destinations. The fund employs a value-add strategy, emphasizing asset transformation and active management of hotel operations. Recently, AEHL has also adopted an alternative hotel strategy for urban tourism, targeting a diverse range of travellers and aiming to revolutionize city tourism.

Concha Osácar, one of Azora’s founding partners, expressed confidence in the hospitality sector across the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. She emphasized that the acquisition of Praia d’El Rey Resort marks a significant milestone for AEHL, underscoring Azora’s commitment to high-potential markets and its belief in Portugal’s growing appeal to both European and American tourists.

For over 30 years, Tee Times Golf Agency has offered the best packages for those seeking Portugal golf holidays. With extensive industry experience, we provide unparalleled access to top courses, including the newly acquired by Azora, Praia del Rey and West Cliffs golf courses, ensuring a memorable and high-quality golfing experience.