Designed by Greg Norman, the fairways of the Lakes course at the Infinitum Resort are routed around the Sèquia Major wetlands, close to the Mediterranean town of Tarragona. The course is complemented by another challenging 18-hole layout of championship standard called the Hills, along with a 9-holer named the Ruins.
Golfers of a hydrophobic disposition might want to give the Lakes course a miss, actually, as no fewer than seven holes on the front nine and six on the back nine feature water hazards either off the tee, by the side of the fairway or around the green.
The 493-metre left doglegged 18th is probably the pick of these aquatic holes. Not only is there water to contend with on the left side of the fairway, an enormous sandy waste area has to be carried off the tee and three protective bunkers have to be avoided in front of the home green.
For those who love the excitement that water hazards bring to a round of golf then the Lakes course at Infinitum is the place for you. Including the 11th hole, where an overzealous approach shot could reach the lake, there are no fewer than fourteen holes with water in play. In addition, there are over a hundred well-designed bunkers of varying shapes and sizes and a handful of sandy waste areas to avoid en route to some of the best kept greens I’ve putted on this year.
This may all sound rather penal as there are undoubtedly a number of technically difficult holes but most fairways offer width from the tee and there are plenty of bale-out areas around the greens for those that wish to play safe on what is predominantly a flat layout.
Favourite holes on the front nine would include the 3rd and 5th. Both are short par fours that offer a risk and reward element, as does the narrow 13th where a line of bunkers and a sandy waste area make for a dangerous hole for the overly ambitious. Another hole of note is the par-three 4th which plays some 178 yards from the yellow tee. This is an attractive hole where water to the right and three large bunkers do a solid job protecting the green.
On the back half, I particularly enjoyed the 12th and 15th, two excellent par fours where water threatens the approach shots. The 15th also has the added danger of water being in play for a wayward tee shot. The 16th, a monster par five with water running its full length is certainly memorable, as is the 18th, another fine par five with a vast bunker running down the left side of the hole. Halfway down the fairway the sand changes to water which continues to the left edge of the green.
The Lakes is predominantly flat but there is the occasional long walk between green and tee which may encourage some to take a buggy, particularly on a hot day.
I slightly prefer the more undulating and tree-lined Hills course at Infinitum but the Lakes is certainly an action packed round but possibly not for the faint hearted. As with the South and West courses at La Manga, the huge difference in style between the courses is a real positive for the resort.
The Lakes course is a similar looking course to some of those in Dubai with plenty of bold bunkering that is very visual from the tee boxes. Around five years old now and this course hosted the European Tour’s second qualifying stage last year and is a technically sound set of holes and in my opinion will be liked by better golfers rather than higher handicappers. This is a very modern looking course, not much elevation change but with plenty of bunkers and water hazards to negotiate on most holes. The first hole that I like is the 5th, a short par-4 with lots of water on the left and ten bunkers up near the green with four positioned to protecting the big tee shot to the green. If I am honest, I prefer the back nine holes and the opening three of these are all par-4’s and great to play with the 12th being the pick; bunkers left and right at landing point and then the hole moves right and a difficult approach awaits; more water left and behind the green and a monster bunker (around 90 yards long) also down the left-side. The very next hole is another short par-4 and probably the best of its type on the course; six bunkers and water running the length being the biggest challenges plus a great shaped green with some obvious tricky pin position choices. The final hole is memorable; a tough par-5 that dog-legs left and yet again water and clever bunkering are the biggest problems on your way to hopefully signing for a well-earned par. I am sure there will be plenty of drama on the hole as the left edge of the green is un-believably close to the water. My overall thoughts of the Lakes course is that it can only get better as it looks a little young at the moment and as I said at the beginning better players may prefer the Lakes to the Lumine’s other course, the Hills – for me though, there is so much more fun to be had on the Hills.