Hidden away in the northeast corner of Catalunya, the Platja de Pals course is a timeless classic routed through a dense forest of umbrella pine trees, adjacent to the Playa de Pals beach.
The Spanish Open was held here way back in 1972 (this was the first tournament ever played on the PGA European Tour) when Antonio Garrido won, but the course has in more recent times been used by the European PGA as one of their final qualifying schools.
Designed by Fred Hawtree in 1966, the 18-hole layout is situated on a flat piece of property with excellent, free draining sandy soil that ensures the narrow, tree-lined fairways are never water logged, even after the occasional heavy Mediterranean downpour.
Apart from the trees, the main defenders of the Platja de Pals course are the strategically placed fairway and greenside bunkers, most evident at the half a dozen doglegged holes on the course.
There are five par fives on the card which help to push the par for the 6,263-metre course to 73. The first three holes are all par fours less than 350 metres in length and they are intended to give a relatively gentle introduction to the round. The last three holes, however, are very demanding – two long par fives either side of the 369-metre, par four 17th that doglegs right.