El Cortijo was the first course I played last week during a visit to all the golf facilities on Gran Canaria. First impressions count for a lot when arriving at a club and the place looked rather run down as I parked up in front of the clubhouse. It was early on a Sunday morning so I didn’t expect it to be exactly heaving with golfers but there were only another couple of cars parked up ahead of me, which kind of set the alarm bells ringing a little.
What was also in the back of my mind were a couple of recent reviews from golfers who said much the same thing: El Cortijo was living on past glories – the Spanish Open was held here in 2002 – and the owners were not investing in the club. Of greater concern to me was the unhappiness of one reviewer that this website was featuring the course too highly in its Canary Island charts, which was posing a big credibility question.
Well, I didn’t play the full 18-hole course as I’d seen enough on the front nine. They obviously have the bones of a good course here as it was designed by the reputable design firm of Blake Stirling and Marco Martin but the course has been sadly neglected for a while now. The fairways and greens must be cut from time to time but that’s about it as far as I could see. There’s no bunker maintenance and the empty irrigation pond has vegetation pushing through the torn liner – it’s really a sad and sorry state of affairs, to be honest.
I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t tell things as they are. I think I’ve only ever awarded a 1-ball mark once before but El Cortijo now becomes the second course with that rather dishonourable distinction. I don’t know what problems lie behind the situation the club finds itself in but they really must be addressed if El Cortijo is to continue on an equal footing to the other golf courses promoted by Gran Canaria Golf in its brochures and on its website.
Date: June 12, 2019