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FOLLOW The Sun, the title of the biopic about legendary American golfer Ben Hogan, is a life philosophy being adopted by more and more of the sport's enthusiasts.

A week or two each year golfing without the need of an umbrella and waterproofs was once the desire of those heading abroad. Now there is a booming trade in holiday and/or residential homes built on golf complexes.

The Spanish have embraced these sporting migrants and in Hacienda del Alamo, near Fuente Alamo in Murcia, they have a resort at the forefront of the market through the quality of its facilities and properties and the breadth of choice.

Conceived eight years ago, at its heart are two championship-standard golf courses – one built, the other at the early stages of development – and properties which cater for the younger element looking for an apartment lifestyle on a sporting haven and those seeking the tranquillity and space of a luxurious villa. All will benefit from Pueblo Espanol – 47 commercial units ranging from supermarkets, bars and quality restaurants to a doctors' clinic and first aid centre to be completed by next March.

However, in a region boasting 180 beaches and the historic cities of Murcia and Cartagena, all within 40 minutes' drive, it is unlikely Hacienda's residents will restrict themselves to life constantly in camp.

Prices start at £116,300 for apartments, £221,000 for town-houses and £231,800 for villas and VIP visits (two days/one night) are available at £89 per person covering the cost of flights, transfers to and from most UK destinations, a tour of the resort and region, and accommodation.

A short stay at Hacienda emphasised both the quality and toughness of the Dave Thomas-designed course – at almost 7,000 yards off the yellows the word "testing" seems inadequate – and gave a glimpse of the lifestyle available to those with the means to buy at the higher end of the market.

Our four-bedroom, four-bathroom Orion villa boasted a sizeable swimming pool  and backed on to hole 12, a demanding par three across water. For those wishing to be better prepared for the course's demands the next time round, there is both a six-hole practice course and an academy with a two-tiered driving range offering outstanding views of the local hills.

Proof that Hacienda's vision extends beyond golf is evident in the planned development of a sports academy comprising football pitches, and tennis, basketball and handball courts, plus flat green bowling.

Hacienda will really know it has arrived if it achieves one of its primary targets – by persuading the European PGA to stage one of their events at the resort.

Ryder Cup player Miguel Angel Jimenez represents the resort on tour and believes the dream will be realised sooner rather than later.

Which means players such as Jimenez and fellow Ryder Cup stars Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia and Colin Montgomerie could be playing golf one day at the end of “my" garden.

Hacienda del Alamo, Spain

Published: November 3, 2007

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