Real Club de Golf La Herrería was formed in the late 1960s when founding members acquired a 185-acre site to the north west of the capital (formerly used as cereal fields, or 'herrenes' in Spanish, hence the name La Herreria). Here they laid out an 18-hole course with the guidance of architect Antonio Gomez.
Situated on the south east side of the Guadarrama Mountain range, at the foot of Monte Abantos, the course sits beside the magnificent – and physically dominating – Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, constructed in the second half of the 16th century.
A woodland, somewhat hilly course, La Herreria was upgraded by Pepe Gancedo in 2000 when he replaced tees, putting surfaces and bunkers on the front nine, adding water hazards at holes 1, 2 and 4 for good measure.
Many consider the 381-yard, par four, 18th to be one of the finest finishing holes in Spain. “La Parrilla” (The Grill), is an uncompromising left doglegged hole where par is stoutly defended at the small, two tiered green by a tree on the left, a bunker on the right and out of bounds to the rear of the putting surface.
I must start by pointing out that, apart from golf, only the visit to the Escorial Monastery and the surroundings of the so-called Sierra de Madrid deserves, at least, a day visit.
As for La Herrería, the first thing I have to say is that the course, when we played it, was in a perfect state of maintenance, and that the attention of the club's staff was impeccable.
As far as the course is concerned, the truth is that, based on the reviews I had read and the glowing comments from other golfers, my high expectations were not fully accomplished.
Although the setting is incomparable, to which you may add, in many holes, the overwhelming presence of the Monastery, the course itself does not live up to its packaging, and some of the holes lack something of interest.
In my opinion as a simple aficionado, with a reform that put the emphasis on bunkering and the removal of some trees, the course would improve considerably. In particular, on a handful of holes there are trees on the line of play, and while that seems acceptable to me on an occasional basis, I think that the abuse of this hazard can be frustrating.
Still, there are some good holes, and the overall experience (setting, scenery, course presentation) is satisfying, but I can't shake the feeling that the course could be much better with a few well-chosen improvements.
Super Golf Course!! The best course I´ve ever played, challenging design and greens. The golf course has a unique location, in a typical spanish forest, and situated very close to El Escorial Monastery. Expectacular views of Madrid and the monastery. This kind of golf course that remains in your memory.
Real Club de Herreria is a beautiful, old style, parkland course. From its tree lined fairways one has great views over Madrid in the distance and the majestic El Escorial Monastery nearby. The old trees around the fast undulating fairways give a premium to well placed drives and shot-making. The course does not play very long but one has to think your way around the course and it is often better to leave the driver in the bag. The Par-3 7th across a valley and the 180 yard par-3 10th yard to an elevated green are beautiful holes requiring precise iron shots. Overall the course is delightful to play and highly recommended for any visitor to Madrid.