Fontanals is located away from the well-worn golfing tracks around the capital and along the Spanish Costas, but it’s well worth the effort to seek out and find 18 holes of wonderful parkland golf.
Located in the north west corner of Catalonia near the border with Andorra and France – in an area better known for its skiing facilities – the course is laid out near the small town of Soriguerola, at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level.
The Spanish golf architect Ramon Espinosa created Fontanals in 1994 and it extends to 7,100 yards, routed over pleasantly undulating terrain in the Cerdanya valley with the Pyrenees as a magnificent backdrop.
Water comes into play in the form of ponds at several holes, but it also features at many holes in the shape of a traditional farming irrigation system that uses channels controlled by gates to regulate the flow across the property.
Fairways are wide and generous with little rough or encroaching trees to speak of and greens are generally large and relatively flat with greenside bunkers cut back from the putting surface. The main obstacle at Fontanals is length and not one of its four par three holes are less than 180 yards – and two of its four par five holes are in excess of 600 yards from the back markers!
It has a very tough finish too with the 202-yard, par three 17th hole sandwiched between the 413 yard, par four 16th (stroke index 1) – played to an island green with water front and right and bunkers to the left – and the 435 yard, par four, 18th (stroke index 3) which doglegs right, slightly uphill to a green with protective bunkers to the front.
The Fontanals club is located in the region of Cerdanya, in the Catalan Pyrenees, very close to the border with France and Andorra.
The course is fun and the maintenance is really good, although, being located at about 1200 meters of altitude, in the winter months the game is limited and is played on many occasions in provisional greenes.
As for the course itself, the existence of small irrigation ditches stands out in some of the holes, which oblige to consider the strategy in order to avoid them.
And, above all, I must emphasizes the imposing landscape, with the mountain range of the Cadí and Moixeró in the horizon in all the holes.
Along with the old Cerdanya course, just about 3km away, it is an interesting golfing option in the Pyrenees, although the green fee is a bit high.