Slaley Hall, in Northumberland, and Woodbury Park, in Devon, have been selected as the regional final venues for the 2016 Morocco Matchplay, powered by HowDidiDo – with the qualifiers from those contests earning a seat on a plane to Marrakech.
Thousands of golfers from across the UK entered the event in four competitions – singles, pairs, mixed pairs and senior pairs -and will play several local matchplay matches before emerging as regional finalists.
Event organiser and PGA professional Neil Clarkson said: “Once again we have managed to secure two prestigious venues with an excellent golfing reputation for our regional finals. Those competitors who have managed to battle their way through to their respective regional final will experience a tough, but enjoyable challenge – and, of course, the rewards are well worth the effort.”
The finalists will all be looking to earn a place in the grand final in Marrakech, to take place in February 2017. In total 32 golfers from the two regional finals will enjoy complimentary return flights from Gatwick to Marrakech courtesy of the event’s partner British Airways; five nights’ luxury bed-and-breakfast accommodation; four rounds of championship golf; a welcome cocktail reception; and a last-night gala dinner and prize presentation.
The 141-room Slaley Hall, in Hexham – set in 1,000 acres of Northumberland countryside – is QHotels’ flagship golf resort and has hosted no fewer than 18 European Tour and European Senior Tour events, with the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Retief Goosen among the list of winners.
It boasts two championship courses – the tricky Hunting, and the Priestman, renowned for its water hazards – and was named the north of England’s best golf resort in the 2016 Today’s Golfer Travel Awards.
Woodbury Park Hotel & Golf Club, near Exeter – founded originally by former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell – sits in 350 acres of beautiful Devon countryside and also offers two courses. The 7,314-yard, par-73 Oaks winds its way through mature woodland and around attractive lakes, while the contoured nine-hole, 2,308-yard Acorns course offers some of the finest views on any track in Devon.
The Morocco Matchplay, powered by HowDidiDo, is once again being sponsored by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (MNTO), and is, this year, celebrating a partnership with British Airways.
Previously, the event – formerly known as the HowDidiDo Matchplay – was played in Rabat, in 2015, and Essaouira, earlier this year. And, as part of the continued partnership with the MNTO, the competition continues to visit different areas of the beautiful North African country.
The burgeoning Kingdom of Morocco has 37 golf courses to be enjoyed in year-round sunshine – plus eight more under construction – and, with flight times of less than three-and-a-half hours from the UK and Ireland, it is a hugely attractive alternative to the more traditional golf destinations of Europe.
HowDidiDo is Europe’s largest golfing community, holding in excess of 21 million rounds of golf along with the handicaps, results and scores of more than 1,300,000 UK golf club members. Around 2,000 golf clubs and more than 460,000 golfers currently use the HowDidiDo system.