The number of European golf projects that American architect Robert von Hagge has been involved in is now in double figures and Is Arenas (although one of his newer layouts) is regarded as one of the best – and that’s saying something as they are all of a very high standard indeed!
Opened at the start of the new millennium, the course is situated near the west coast of Sardinia, between the magnificent Robert Trent Jones Pevero course to the north of the island and the wonderful Is Molas 18-hole layout on the south coast.
The 6,960-yard Is Arenas course has juniper and pine trees framing every hole as it winds its way intuitively over a gently undulating, sandy-soiled, landscape. The signature hole is the long, downhill, par four 17th which doglegs left to a green that is heavily protected by bunkers short right and long left of the putting surface.
Speaking of what it takes to produce a course of such quality, its designer says “all the natural elements that it offers: sand dunes, forest, water and an exceptional climate are a perfect combination for a unique experience… Is Arenas is an unlimited carpet of colours, fragrances and vital energies”.
I was a bit disappointed of Is Arenas. Not that it's a bad course. But after playing Pevero the day before and expecting Is Arenas to be even better (according to the ranking on this site) it was quite a letdown. Is Arenas is a Resort course in the middle of nowhere. The course is in a pine tree forest behind the beach. And it has perfect sandy soil although on fairly flat terrain. The course design is of Quality, there are many interesting holes. But it doesn't Play very hard, as you would exepect from a Resort course. The Greens were in good condition, but the rest of the course was not well maintained. The clubhouse is a barrack and there are no seaviews since the course is winding zigzag through deep forest with many longer walks between holes.