Wednesday, October 23

Health & travel: golfing in Denmark

- September 27, 2011

Lynne Edwards takes in the sights and the golf at the Lübker Golf Resort, Denmark

As you leave the comforting bustle and civilisation of the university town of Aarhus and head further east into the hinterlands of Djursland, the ‘nose’ of Eastern Jutland melting into the Kattegat, a tingle of anticipation fizzes through your limbs. It was from this peninsula of proud pines, cascading hills and gentle coasts that intrepid bands of Danish Vikings sailed forth to bestow a plethora of Danish place names upon neighbours near and far. The Norman town of Aptot, for instance, derives its name from the present day Ebeltoft, a mere 30 km from Lübker Golf Resort.

Having navigated our way to the Lübker resort, with little help from the sparse signage, we were greeted politely at reception and escorted to our spacious two bedroom apartment, which was furnished and equipped to a very high standard (Bang & Olufsen electronics) in modern Danish design. Although it was tempting to prepare our own meals and enjoy them on the massive hardwood deck overlooking the closing green of one of the three nine hole layouts comprising the golf courses, the delights of the brasserie restaurant beckoned seductively.

Our first foray into Danish cookery at the Lübker restaurant was a starter consisting of a moreish cold potato soup liberally laced with smoky bits of ham hock. Our main course was an epic rack of local lamb befitting the denizens of Valhalla. Mild in flavour, these plump, unctuous chops were easily the most enjoyable bit of lamb we have ever eaten. The turbot was cooked and seasoned to perfection, and we washed it down with very good house Umbrian red and white wines. Dessert was a trio of crème brûlée laced with tarragon (extraordinary!), a cube of fatally gorgeous chocolate cake with a large spoonful of vanilla ice cream, all accompanied by generous glasses of 2006 Reserve port. They cook with pride here, and to a high standard, without derailing into fussiness. For lunch, head for the brasserie, where the menu encompasses familiar brasserie favourites such as chilli con carne, burgers, club sandwiches and more, all served in satisfying portions and with a wink of Danish surprise. Everything was served with friendly professionalism, and menu items were explained in fluent English. In fact, English appears to be the default language at Lübker.

We welcomed the opportunity to work some calories off on the three pristine nine-hole layouts at Lübker, aptly named Forest, Sand and Sky. These Robert Trent Jones II tracks vary in distance and difficulty. The European Challenge Tour would be playing the Sand and Sky courses the following week, of which the latter is the most technically challenging, with long carries over hazards, into stiff breezes, and with narrow approaches requiring good club selection and accuracy. The Sky’s finishing hole is a Nordic mythological monster of over 600 yards played into an ever-present headwind. An 18 handicapper will do well to reach this green in regulation. It is truly Thor’s anvil, and we can still hear his hammer ringing in our ears. Or is that his laughter? The Sand course was the most enjoyable as its wider fairways afford the opportunity to open one’s shoulders, while The Forest, the shortest of the three courses, is perhaps the easiest to play to your handicap. These courses are among the very best we have ever played, and they were recently ranked 14th in Golf World magazine’s top 100 Continental European courses in 2010. They may not be the easiest courses you will play, but rest assured that they will be among the most enjoyable.

So where does Odin go with his sore, stiff and battle wearied muscles? The spa at Lübker Square has been constructed and furnished to create the optimal setting for relaxation, enjoyment and memorable experiences for the entire family. Children of all ages can spend hours playing games and meeting new playmates in the underground level. At the ground level there is fun and entertainment for the entire family in the subtropical baths, while the top levels are reserved for relaxation and self-indulgence. If you wish to pamper yourself, the first floor is pure paradise for beauty treatments, massage and various forms of therapy. If your body is begging for more punishment, you can visit the well equipped fitness room. Alternatively, enjoy the spectacular views from the roof terrace.

Lübker Golf Resort, Trent Jones Allé 3, Nimtofte, Denmark, DK-8581,
+4538408000, www.lubker.com


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