A decade after José "Pepe" Gancedo fashioned Golf del Sur on the island of Tenerife in the late 1980s, he created another 18-hole layout along the coast at Costa Adeje. Often referred to in his native Spain as the “Picasso of golf” for his original designs, Pepe laid out a fine course incorporating original low stone wall farm terraces across some of the fairways that slope down to the sea.
And like Golf del Sur, he used local black volcanic sand in all the waste areas and greenside bunkers, adding a stunning visual impact to the golfing landscape at Adeje – incredibly, though, the club decided in late 2008 to replace the contents of the greenside traps with white sand – sacrilege!
Somewhat unusually configured with six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, the course is routed in two distinct patterns – the fairways on the front nine largely run uphill or downhill and the back nine holes are laid out mainly across the hillside.
The 187-yard par three 7th hole is rightly assigned stroke index 1 on the scorecard as the tee shot must carry all the way across a barranca to the green so it’s all or nothing here. Interestingly, the 240-yard par three 10th is marked stroke index 2 on the back nine – now when did you last play a course where the hardest two holes were par threes?
Having played Adeje many times over the years I thought it deserved a review. Some reviewers see it as a holiday golf course which seems unfair, there’s plenty of challenge for most golfers, fairways are wide but if you miss them the rough or waste areas will add shots to you score. Highlight holes for me are the 4th and 5th with most of par 5’s joy to play. The greens are always fast and course was in great condition even in May when courses in Tenerife often see maintenance after the peak winter season. Pace of play is normally good and the buffet in the clubhouse great value.
For those seeking a golf "activity" while on vacation a visit to Costa Adeje will fill out your agenda. The course is geared towards the holiday golfer. Shotmaking elements are simplified to keep the parade moving. The challenges -- should one call them that -- are purely pedestrian in nature. The weather clearly assists when playing but those looking for something more will need to search elsewhere.
by M. James Ward
I played Adeje last week and cannot agree with this review. I played in a fourball with handicaps of +1, 0, 4 and 5. We were given permission to play from the back tees and I would call the "challenges" from them, tough to say the least.
You need to use every club in your bag and despite us all being long hitters, the par 5's become much harder and getting home in two blows on them is a significant feat.
The course was in excellent condition and from the tees we played from, very challenging and an excellent test of golf.
With all due respect, if you assess Costa Adeje as "very challenging and an excellent test of golf" then you need to play a good many more courses. I stand by what I said -- the layout is meant to speed people along and have minimum impediments to do so. In sum -- a resort course for the masses -- many likely not going to be core golfers. Nothing wrong with that -- for me I just have no desire to fly from the States when I can play mediocre golf in my neighborhood. Far too often people ascribe design pedigree because of the quality of the turf and the speed of the greens. Some people assess a facility because of how good the locker rooms are or if the buffet is something to tout. My fixation is with the architecture. Check out an earlier comment from Pat McEvoy.
I don't know if you or your group played Abama but that is miles beyond Costa Adeje in terms of shotmaking challenges. I'd rather even play Buena Vista for what it provides.
Unfortunately only two courses in Tenerife were played this time, the other being Golf Sur and I have to say everything about this course made it a better place to play for me.
The greens for starters are excellent only Hindhead played earlier this year had better greens and of course this meant a few too many three putts. Definitely a course you need to have played before.
The course starts easy with the 1st and 2nd and then from the 3rd it gets really going. The 3rd is a great par 5 with fantastic views followed by a great par 4 4th. 5 and 7 are lovely par 3s and don't be mistaken by the length when we played you needed a lot more club than you think. The course continues in fine form until 11 were it remains enjoyable but in my mind not quite so tough, but then 15 through 18 are really fun again, the 17th in particular stands out as tricky with its length. 18 is a par 5 that gives the opportunity for a long (3 wood in my case) shot to try and make in two.
Be warned you can not chip and run you will end up short every time. Definitely a better course to me that Golf Del Sur. This should be ranked much much higher than it is and of course with the likes of Garcia, Poulter, Olazable etc all having played here there is a little bit of history too. Would like a four and a half here but going to round up not down.
I’ve played this course several times since it was opened and enjoyed every previous visit. However, I was more than a little disappointed to find out the club have just replaced the distinctive black sand in the greenside bunkers with a snow white equivalent – ay dios mio!!!
What were they thinking of, removing such an integral element of the original design???
I must admit this desecration (along with the encroaching urbanization) entirely overshadowed my latest visit and I don’t know if I’ll return on my next holiday visit to Tenerife.
I’m afraid such acts of folly deserve to be cold shouldered by any visiting golfer with the slightest understanding of what golfing heritage is all about.