It’s safe to say bunkered competition winner Paul Carmichael will always remember his first taste of golf abroad.
The 51-year-old was selected as the lucky winner of the Macdonald Hotels & Resorts competition we ran earlier this year and took three of his closest mates away to Spain for a week with accommodation, flights and four rounds of golf all paid for courtesy of the luxury UK hotel company.
“I’ve entered quite a few bunkered competitions before but had never had any luck so this wasn’t a bad one to win at all,” chuckled Paul. “It’s safe to say I was shocked when I got the email to say that I’d won and I even did a bit of digging just to ensure it was legitimate.”
The quartet, made up by Paul’s mates Andrew, Keith and Colin, stayed in a two-bedroom apartment at Macdonald Dona Lola Resort with two tee times at Miraflores and their choice of two more tee times at Calanova, El Chaparral, Santa Clara or Rio Real.
As it turned out, Paul and his pals ended up booking another three rounds during their week-long stay to take to the course every day – but the week could have taken a different course entirely.
“When I found out I’d won the competition it was just a week before I went away on my family holiday for the year to Cyprus,” he added. “I was thinking I’d have to take my family again for this one but the prize stipulated that it couldn’t be taken during school holidays.
“It meant I had to take three of my pals instead, so let’s just say not being able to take the break during the school holidays was a blessing in disguise!”
As for the facilities and the group’s overall experience, Paul couldn’t speak more highly of those at Macdonald Hotels who dealt with organising their trip.
“The two-bedroom apartment was spot on and the guy at Macdonald Hotels who dealt with our booking was absolutely fantastic," he added. “It was the first time I’ve ever played golf abroad and it was excellent.
"It took a bit of getting used to going out to the course in shorts and sunglasses every day! It was all just very relaxed and hugely enjoyable, with all of the courses we played within a ten-minute drive of the apartment.
“Everything was first-class and we were really taken care of. I couldn’t fault anything about it and now me and my pals are looking to make it a biennial thing to go out to Spain for a golf break.”
For more information on Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, visit macdonaldhotels.co.uk.