On the east coast of Spain, between Barcelona on the Costa Dorada and Valencia on the Costa Del Azahar, there are only a handful of top golf courses laid out over a distance of more than two hundred miles – Costa Dorada, Panoramica, Mediterraneo, Escorpion and – best of all – Club de Golf Bonmont Terres Noves.
With wonderful Mediterranean views and a magnificent Llaberian mountain backdrop, the course is situated a couple of miles inland from the Miami Playa to the south west of Tarragona. Robert Trent Jones Jnr – no stranger to Spanish course design – created Bonmont and it opened for play in 1990.
The Terres Noves site is part of the Swiss Bonmont group which has property interests – mainly tied into sporting activities – as far apart as Florida in the USA, Iguaca Falls in Paraguay and Nice in France.
The 18-holes are laid out on undulating terrain, with some deep ravines to be negotiated along the way. It is part of a residential complex so expect a mini-gallery or two of inquisitive residents and holidaymakers at any point during the round.
The front and back nine are configured in classic formation with two par threes, two par fives and five par fours giving a par of 36 for each half. Trademark Trent Jones bunkers (over ninety of them) come into play at most holes – not that you would expect anything else from one of his designs!
At 7,000 yards from the back tees, Bonmont is not for the short hitter though fairways are open, allowing a stout shot to be attempted on most tees. Apart from sand, the other major obstacles on the way round are several water hazards which will test your nerve on the approach shot.
Every year for the past 10 years our golf tour visits different areas of Spain and Portugal and play a selection of courses. Last year we had the pleasure of playing Bonmont for the first time. It was unanimously agreed that it was the best course that we had played on holiday and that includes a fair number of other courses very highly rated on this website.
The course is situated fairly high up into the hills overlooking the Mediterranean, as such, on-shore breezes do add to the level of difficulty which on this course is already quite high.
I would not recommend this course to be played by high handicappers unless they had a large basket of balls and an unending sense of humour as the stock of balls diminish while attempting each hole.
Numerous deep ravines run through the course and the player is asked to hit long straight shots in order to stay in play.
The par 3, 5th hole is stunning, cut into the side of a hill with a ravine facing you on the front and left hand side, you are asked to carry 170 yards to the middle of the green. Come away from here with a par and it will make your day.
There are many other great holes that meander through the estate; the residences rarely come into play if ever.
One cannot write a review without mentioning the 17th hole, probably the hardest hole we have ever played. The hole zig zags from the tee to two landing areas and then the green, again one has to hit about 200 yards to fly the first ravine to reach the first landing area and then turn right and hit 150 yards over another ravine to reach the next fairway and then turn left to hit to the green, guarded of course by another ravine, which tilts sharply towards you (and the ravine)! Surely one of the best holes in Spain.
The estate is still being improved with a hotel opening fairly shortly.
The club house is superb although strangely the 18th hole does not finish in front of the 1st storey bar which is definitely a design mistake.
If you are in this area of Spain, Bonmont is a course not to be missed.