Where excellence is par for the course

Where excellence is par for the course

Gordon Murray has been a Bondholder for just two years; not so long, but the Holiday Property Bond has been in the Murray family since Gordon’s parents invested back in 1998. “My mother and father passed the Bond on in 2010,” says Gordon. “And we’ve made full use of it since; but to be honest we were before, too! We were pleased to be able to use their spare Holiday Points whenever possible; and they, I hope, were pleased to be able to let us.”

Police officer Gordon, together with wife Alison, a health visitor, and children Ellie and Robbie, have enjoyed HPB holidays at Rocha Brava in Portugal’s Algarve, La Reserva de Biniorella in Majorca, HPB Tenancies in the Algarve and Spain, and Encosta Cabo Girão in Madeira – to which the Murrays have returned on several occasions. “The flights are expensive at times, but it really is well worth it,” he enthuses. “The on-site facilities are fabulous, the staff are friendly and efficient, the island walks are spectacular and the capital Funchal is both lively and charming. For an outdoorsy family like ours, it’s got everything: walking, swimming, tennis… My son Robbie wants to go back again and again; he just loves the crazy golf!”

Ah, yes; golf. We caught up with Gordon, a son of Scotland though a long-time scion of Cambridgeshire, on a golfing get-together (“we try to make it annual”) with three non-Bondholder friends – two retired police officers and a City of London businessman – enjoying a week of male bonding at HPB’s Barnham Broom home in Norfolk. The county boasts myriad attractions, but for Gordon and his chums it’s Barnham Broom’s two Championship-standard golf courses that provide the real draw. “We’ve done a few golfing trips in northern France,” says Gordon. “But with the poor sterling-euro exchange rate it was just getting too expensive. However, Barnham Broom is far from an inferior option; the two courses really are very good, both pose difficulties, and over the past 12 years the Hill Course has matured to become every bit as challenging – and as rewarding – as the Valley Course. We’ve been here the last couple of years, and it’s hugely enjoyable; the off-course facilities are really good, and very reasonably priced. And sharing HPB’s not-for-profit weekly User Charge – essential for maintaining and improving the ‘HPB Standard’ – makes the whole experience easy on the pocket.

“Mind you,” he adds, “36 holes of golf every day proves quite a challenge at our age!”

For the future? More golf, obviously, and more family HPB holidays: “We’re booked into Sibton Park in Kent just after Christmas, which we’re looking forward to. I’d also love to take the children to Tigh Mor Trossachs in Perthshire; my parents, who live in Edinburgh, had a place in nearby Aberfoyle, so it would be a homecoming of sorts.

“Looking further ahead, to when the kids are no longer of school age,” he continues, “we’ll be more flexible in terms of where we can travel and when; and we want to take full advantage of HPB’s shortnotice Points-free holiday opportunities.”

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