Emporda Golf Club is located just to the north of Barcelona on the north eastern coast of Spain. It was the brainchild of a few Catalan businessmen who got together in 1988 and decided to develop a high quality golf venue. They purchased 125 hectares of land and within a couple of years their first nine was ready for play. They entrusted the design to Texan architect Robert von Haage.
Today, Emporda boasts four loops of nine holes (formerly known as the Blue, Green, Yellow and Red) these loops have now been married up to create two distinct courses called the Forest and the Links. Both courses are good, but for our money, the Forest pips the Links by a short nose and this is purely due to the drama provided by a majestic forest of umbrella pines.
These pine-flanked holes at Emporda are amongst the most lovely in all Spain and, with some bold bunkering, a sprinkling of water and many raised greens, the Forest is an absolute must-play venue.
On Emporda you got 2 courses. Forest and Links. Forest is, yes, a forest course, and links – not a really links, but close. Flat and open with loads of bunkers. A real von Hagge/Rick Baril course. I have played Emporda many times. I prefer to play the Forest, but then it also depend of the weather. If no wind Links is a great course. If wind, I chose the Forest. Here you are sheltered by tall pine trees and it is a golf course with many great holes.
I like courses where “what you see is what you get”. That is, when you are standing on the tee, you know exactly what is in front of you. You can see the ideal landing area – for you, and you can foresee how the ball will bounce and roll. No hided bunkers, water, streams or the like.
I also value holes with 2 different routes to the green. Either from the tee or, for the second shot, that is where to place the ball to get the optimal position for the approach shot to the green.
And I value holes offering risk – reward decisions. That is, if I chose to cut the corner, go over the lake, make a draw or fade to curb the bunker, then I either win a shot or can add one extra to the card.
Next. I like contoured green, but not too contoured, just enough to test the reading skill and just enough to make the position of the hole important for where to land the approach shot.
I can mention more factors that, to mee, constitute a great golf course. But here, just one more. I like to walk my golf and – in that context – the possibility of flow. What promotes flow? You can find your ball if in the rough, you are not in doubt of the route to the next tee and you don’t have a long walk from green to next tee.
In my opinion the Forest course give you all these options and challenges. It is not a very difficult course. That is, if you play it in accordance to your factual skills. The low handicapper will have a lot of challenges suited to his/hers skill and the high handicapper to his/hers.
Only negative is that the maintenance is not always in top. Part of some tee areas, paths, green and fairway areas are kind of worn down. Playing the Forest course is a great walk in the forest, but here and there the greatness is impaired by this.
One of two courses at Emporda Golf Resort near Girona. This course is a classic parkland course with narrow tree lined fairways. Some really beautiful holes, but the condition of the course was not as perfect as for example at PGA Catalunya resort which is not far away.