I knew the course existed but never made a big deal of it. I had the chance of making a call and go play it but really never got to read anything about it. Until my colleague David confirmed his trip to Argentina and was very keen to play it so had to read some past news about the course. And when I read how it was created and a local friend told me the story of how it was built, its original plans and how Matt Dusenberry made a jewel in this piece of land it was then that I realized a drive there and a round to play the course was necessary to learn more about how private courses are and how a great architect can do something really special even in small pieces of land. Because this “36 holes course” sits in a very small piece of land with just 9 greens and can really give you as many real golf holes as you want. And this is what makes it really special: being able to play decent golf and having played many of the top 100 shows you many different courses and this small piece of land you can imagine as many golf holes as you like, in any direction, short as 120yds or long as 620yds, whatever you imagine is possible. And the real fact is that this course is the most enjoyable golf you can play: no OBs, you can play in any direction so wind will be a factor, almost no trees to get unplayable lies and just the fun to create your own adventure. It was a 14 holes round, as we had to leave to another course but I hope to be back soon and play all 18 or even the other 18 layout. And one more thing: as nobody plays there, 18 holes will take no longer than 3 hours in a 4 players game so no wife complains for long time away from home!
The day started being received by the owner Gonzalo Pieres, one of the greatest polo players in history, plus his son Facundo (a current 10 hcp player), Pablo Erbin (former international soccer player and Ellerstina Trainer) and the maintenance team of the course for a short brief about it, how it is played and maintained and then off to the course. During the round Gonzalo Jr, another current top player, walked with us a couple of holes but couldn’t play as they had a Hurlingham Championship Game that afternoon. It was very enjoyable to listen to him about how high competition is in an everyday basis, how they used golf to relax and how they played the course in many different ways. As it is said, there is not a fixed layout and you can play in any direction you want holes from 120yds to 600yds long.
As almost all private estates with very little play, the course was more than perfect as it looked brand new: no divots, no pitch marks on the greens, no traces of carts or trolleys, just grass as pure as it can be in a beautiful setting. The Course is surrounded by oak trees and as we imagined when fall arrives in early April and these trees start to change colors the place turns stunning.
When play started we got a cart, a cooler with drinks, a yardage book with the 18 holes layout and each cart had a range finder in order to have exact distances at each shot. No other GPS system will work (watch, Arccos Golf, etc) as the course is not mapped. So extra features as inbound OBs were added to have a little more challenge when playing it, as Mr Pieres 3 sons are excellent golfers close to scratch handicap. He plays off a 12 and can really compete, hitting low stingers with his tee shots as he is very used to play in the wind.
At last, a little consideration about design: there are no fairways, just one single big one. Greens in the 4 corners are huge with more than one hole and with infinite pin positions. The ones in the center of the course are smaller, with only one flag. Bent grass greens, very good speed and tough to read as if you are not in the same platform where the hole is it will be like some courses in Scotland, just very tough!
A wonderful experience, even more when playing with the mentor and the person who introduced Matt Dusenberry to Mr Pieres was a perfect combo to listen to course history, how it was created and how it is used in a daily basis. Hope to be back, it was extremely fun and in early fall the pictures that you can get there will be just amazing!
Date: November 15, 2017