I just played this outstanding golf course last week. In a mist and in bright sunshine it is beautiful from start to finish. I tend to be difficult to please and tend to note negatives more freely than most and think that is what keeps the spread of the top courses, the drawbacks or places for improvement.Routing of El Saler is so well-thought out, it is forever re-orienting so that wind direction can be difficult to ascertain. Deception in a golf course is a great positive. Blindness, especially in the first nine is an integral part of especially the tee shot. The only negative to the routing is that the practice area is located between holes 16 and 18 and consequently the natural contours of the rolling dunesland is minimised most on the sixteenth, just below the range. The hole is still interesting but it stands out for this difference.The first nine is far more wooded in more places and currently are a little rough and neglected but not to a degree affecting course character. The conditioning of the turf of the fairways is not what one expects in a course of such pedigree, but it is an area often given too much emphasis in modern times. Green surface turf is however mostly free of the inconsistency of the other areas, they putt extremely well/ The green and green complexes are wonderfully designed and require top reading skills to putt effectively.Bunker sand is dense, firm, local sand and can be managed once again requiring true skill to negotiate, none of this modern manufactured preened artificiality.One hole merits special discussion. The short Par 4 eighth has a larger version, mirror-image postage stamp green complex requiring bold position seeking off the tee. A marvel of a hole that you might miss. No one can miss the greatness of 17 and 18. There are several others, but I wanted to single out #8.So, perhaps there is a lesson to be learnt here, architectural trumps all, conditioning is so over-rated. This is joy to play. AS good as I have seen in Spain.
Date: December 17, 2015