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Donnafugata partnership with Darren Clarke Tour to scale new heights in 2015

The Darren Clarke Golf Tour has enjoyed great success in a short space of time, and organisers are aiming to continue helping some of the new stars of European golf thanks to its blossoming relationship with Sicily’s five-star Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa.

Clarke, the winner of 22 tournaments worldwide including the 2011 Open Championship, opened a new Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence (DCCOE) at the deluxe resort in the spring – the first facility of its kind in continental Europe.

As part of its new partnership with Donnafugata, the winner of the 2014 Darren Clarke Golf Tour – which is run by Darren Clarke Golf – also won a luxury four-night holiday to the Resort.

The Darren Clarke Golf brand has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2010, developing players such as Allan Dunbar and Paul Cutler, who progressed onto the European Tour, and organisers believe it will continue to flourish in the years to come, with Donnafugata playing a leading role.

Andy Peoples, operations manager at the Darren Clarke Golf School, said: “I am very excited about the growing relationship between Darren Clarke Golf and DCCOE.

“I have spoken to many people including students, parents and members of the public, who have shown a keen interest in the new partnership with Donnafugata. I think there is excellent potential for DCCOE to be a stand out facility, both in terms of the golf courses and practice and teaching areas.

“The current teaching facility offers a wide range of options for practice and teaching, and is capable of coping with large numbers. There are also a number of future improvements that have been earmarked, and that will certainly help to take it to another level again.”  

Peoples was at Donnafugata earlier this month to discuss plans for 2015 with the Resort’s golf team – director of golf Guy Roberts, head golf professional Davide Terrinoni and golf operations director Sebastiano Torrisi – and gave a glowing assessment of the award-winning 36-hole venue and its golf facilities.

He added: “The resort offers plenty in terms of a customer experience and is a very relaxing place to be. At every point, the staff were engaging, friendly, attentive and professional. It is five-star, without a doubt.

“The Darren Clarke Golf School will continue to grow next year as both a golf school and brand. We have already begun recruiting for our student intake and are ahead of where we were at the same time last year.  DCGS will also expand and grow its junior golf tour events, and we hope to link one of these with Donnafugata in the future, as well as holding some training camps at the resort.”

Roberts said: “We’re delighted with how the relationship partnership has progressed over the last nine months. Donnafugata offers visitors the chance to use some of the best new golf facilities in Europe, as well as being the ideal venue to hold a group training camp, and we’re very excited at the possibilities that lie ahead.”

This year’s Darren Clarke Golf Tour, supported by TaylorMade, saw more than 100 youngsters compete at eight events in two regions – four in Northern Ireland and four in southern Ireland – for the chance to qualify for the grand final, with 13-year-old Darren Scott being crowned overall champion.

As well as enjoying four nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, Scott will also enjoy three rounds of golf on a choice of Donnafugata’s two 18-hole championship courses, the Links and Parkland – host of the Sicilian Open in 2011.

Opened in 2010, the Resort has quickly established itself as one of the most talked-about luxury venues in Europe, with its new Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence offering a variety of tuition packages and individual lessons for golfers of all abilities aged six and above.

Located just 15 minutes from Comiso airport and set in the beautiful area of Donnafugata, a natural reserve and famous tourist destination known for the imposing castle which bears the same name, the Resort also boasts a number of fantastic historical cities nearby. These include Val di Noto, the heart of Sicilian baroque; Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Siracuse Noto and Scicli. All are deemed fitting of UNESCO World Heritage status.

As well as its outstanding golf facilities, Donnafugata Golf Resort & SPA has 202 rooms, an award-winning 900mq spa and health club, two swimming pools, two private beaches and three restaurants offering a broad selection of ‘0km food’ locally-sourced gastronomic delights, well accompanied by perfect Sicilian wines to enhance flavour.

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