The former Olympic 50m swimmer, who plays off a 10 handicap, never leaves home without his clubs in tow

My first ever golf holiday was to… La Cala in Spain. Eight of us go away every year and we do a North v South Ryder Cup competition, although most of them are from the North, so I’m not sure how that works out! But we have a lot of fun and play some competitive, if not always great, golf. We went to La Quinta last year, and La Cala before that. I’m not sure where we’re going this year – we might try Portugal.

My most recent golf holiday was to… Almenara in southern Spain. We played Finca Cortesin, Valderrama and a few others. It was a really top notch, although the courses were extremely tough.

My favourite golf course abroad is… Finca Cortesin. There’s not a weak hole, and the views are spectacular, as is the service off the golf course.

Finca Cortesin is one of Costa del Sol’s top resorts

The favourite course in the UK is… The Grove in Hertfordshire. It’s a championship course which can be set up to let amateurs get around without embarrassing themselves too much, and the condition of the whole course is tour standard.

My best ever golf trip was to… Pebble Beach in California. Myself and seven friends went there for my 50th birthday in 2020. We stayed there for a week and played the Golf Links, Spanish Bay, Cypress Point, Poppy Hills and Spyglass Hill. It was amazing.

My ideal holiday fourball would include… Martin O’Neill, Bradley Walsh and Brendan O’Carroll, from Mrs Brown’s Boys. That was the funniest four-ball I’ve ever played in. I’ve also got three good mates who I enjoy playing with, but that’s more of a grudge match.

The Grove is Mark’s favourite course in the UK

I always travel with… my golf clubs! Back when I was swimming competitively I’d always take my own my pillow. I needed to have a good night’s sleep the night before a race and some hotels have terribly uncomfortable pillows.

The best hotel I’ve ever stayed in was… Hope Springs Resort in Palm Springs, California. It’s a minimalist motel in the San Jacinto mountains that has its own spring-fed geo-thermal pools. It’s the perfect retreat from the stresses of the world.

My favourite holiday destination is… Santa Monica, California. I also love a city break and am a big fan of Barcelona and Rome, because there is so much to see, so much history, and great food to eat.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

My most memorable holiday meal was at… The Good Earth, a Chinese restaurant in Chelsea which serves the best crispy duck pancakes.

My worst holiday experience was… at a hotel that will remain nameless in Lanzarote, where my room was full of cockroaches.

My top travel tip is… if you are going somewhere hot, make sure you take a sunblock with a high factor.

Mark Foster is an ambassador for the Legends Tour’s wapp Celebrity Pro-Am Series, with the next event taking place ahead of the Staysure Senior PGA Championship at Trump Links in Scotland from August 23-27. To find out more, visit