The Real Club de Golf El Prat was established in 1954 and for almost half a century the members played on a course designed by Javier Arana beside the airport to the south of Barcelona city centre. The Spanish Open was last held there in 1999 and Jarmo Sandelin won it.
When the city airport was extended at the end of the 1990s, it was time for the club to seek new land for their golfing pursuits. A new site was acquired to the north of the city, between Terrassa and Sabadell, and the Greg Norman design team was called in to create not one, but two 18-hole layouts with a 9-hole practice course thrown in for good measure.
Constructed on relatively flat land, the 45-hole complex effectively consists of five sets of nine holes (Abajo, Arriba, Piscina, Bosque and Vallés), each built to USGA stadium specification. They are big, bold and brash – perfect for holding national and international competitions.
The Open course, which staged the Spanish Open in 2011 and 2015, comprised the Abajo and Arriba nines and can be stretched beyond 7,300 yards from the tips.
Fairways on the Pink course are generally wide, sometimes plunging quite dramatically. Greens are large with subtle borrows and tricky run-off areas. Trees line five holes on the front nine and at the 14th and 15th holes on the inward half. Fairway and greenside bunker complexes threaten both tee shots and approach play and golfers will find them suitably penal when encountered.
The front and back nine start and end with very strong par fives and in between, there are two sets of tough par threes, only one of which is less than 180 yards in length.
The two main 18-hole courses combine the Arriba and Bosque nines to form the Pink course and the Piscina and Abajo nines make up the Yellow course.
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Greg Norman Golf Course Design was established in 1987 and in three decades since then, the company has worked on more than a hundred projects across thirty-four countries in six continents.