Designed by Blake Stirling and Marco Martin, the course at the Font del Llop Golf Resort lies 15 miles inland from Alicante airport and it’s part of an ambitious residential development which saw the golfing component of the project come to life in the summer of 2010.
Fairways nestle within a steep-sided valley and holes blend beautifully into a landscape, where a small river (once used in local beer production) runs through the course, linking a handful of small irrigation ponds that occasionally come into play.
The front nine at Font del Llop (translated from Spanish as “Wolf’s watering hole”) culminates in a long, gently uphill par five and its teasing split fairway lies on either side of a water hazard that threatens the length of the hole from tee to green.
Feature holes on the back nine include back-to-back par threes at the 16th and 17th, with each of these “short holes” measuring almost two hundred metres from the back tees.
I played this one during a Pre Fam for IGTM and without my clubs which were delayed by the airline, so after a rusty trip and very tired was not able to enjoy it but remember the course was a very good one with the typical features of the area and in very good shape.
It is tough for many courses to get to the standards of Valderrama or Real Sotogrande, but this one has a good taste, clever design and fun for golfers of all levels.
I played the course on January 2nd, 2015, and I can testify that this course will stand the test of winter with high colors. It was a very nice day, but still wintery (i.e., the sun shone but the temperature never reached 20°C). The condition of the course was immaculate, the design is most pleasant if a little unreal as the hills looking onto the course were much barer and stonier than the lush fairways and rough. If the maintenance keeps up at this high level, I have no doubt that this club will achieve top position in the region.
The opening two holes at Font del Llop are a little similar in the fact that they are dog-legs to the right with the second a little longer in length (both are ideal for the fade from the tee). There is a tough tee shot at the par-5 5th with anything left likely to end up in no-mans land. The 7th is one of those short par-4’s that are normally a joy to play, this is too but with eight bunkers within 100 yards of the green, a four still has to be worked for. The strongest hole on the front-9 is the 9th – a tough par-5 with water in play from start to finish; the lake near the tee narrows eventually to a stream and is in play on every shot to the green – add in a tricky sloping green and this is a memorable hole. There a couple of par-3’s over water on the course, with the pick of them coming at the 12th.
My thoughts overall of the back nine are mixed - I liked it in places but for me there is a negative at the 16th and 17th …. these are back-to-back par-3’s running parallel with each other on the only part of the course that looks dis-jointed to the rest. You will need to play it to see what I mean I think. All faith is restored at the 18th hole – a brilliant par-5, heavily bunkered on the left-side and water back in play for the last 150 yards down the right and at the green. Drinks on the terrace over looking the 18th green is a must to end your time at Font del Llop - For now the course is a decent 4-ball rating – there is scope though to become a 5-ball I think as the course matures.