Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande
Until recently Real Club Valderrama was always voted the number one course in Spain but now faces competition from PGA Cataluyna has been ranked above it. This course is steeped in golfing history and although its not cheap to play here it should be on every serious golfer must play list. There is an atmosphere of exclusivity and top quality here and from the moment that you arrive you will relish one of Europe’s great golfing experiences. The vision required to turn what was a distinctly average golf course into this gem is amazing however when Jaime Patino bought it and got Robert Trent Jones to redesign and expand it also took a large budget, but it was money well spent and its truly a great golfing experience.
Real Club Valderrama – Home Of The Ryder Cup
The first thing that strikes you is the sheer quality of the course. It is hard to find a divot anywhere and the grass seems to be greener than normal and you feel that you are in a very special place. It hosted the Ryder Cup in 1997 and has been the venue for so may professional tournaments that the course seems familiar for having watched it so many times on television.
Often quirky in places with umbrella pines appearing in some strange places that you have to avoid and it demands great accuracy and quality ball striking to get any sort of reasonable score here. The satisfaction you get from playing some of European golf’s most iconic holes is overwhelming. The 17th is a classic risk and reward par 5 with a green that is protected by water at the front and a sloping green that can give you the yips just looking at it!
Everyone asks is it worth the money to play here and that obviously depends on your budget and circumstances but if you are wanting to play on one of not only Europe’s but the world’s most iconic golf courses then it most certainly is.
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