Real Club La Moraleja was established in 1973 and the club’s original No.1 course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, was unveiled three years after its formation. The No.2 course followed in 1990, designed by Ron Kirby of Nicklaus Design.
La Moralaja’s ambitious expansion plans were financed by the sale of an 82-acre plot of land, allowing the club to develop another two courses (No. 3 and No. 4) in the nearby municipality of Algete, around 20 kilometers from its main sports complex near Madrid airport.
Moraleja (3) is a Jack Nicklaus Signature course and it’s tucked away in a secluded setting, with sand-capped fairways routed around four large lakes. A lot of soil was shifted during construction to create a little movement in a rather flat landscape and newly planted trees will add definition to the holes as they mature.Strategy is more important than length off the tee on this course, with the Golden Bear forcing golfers to think carefully about each and every shot in order to give the player a better option for the shot that follows next.
Played the course a couple of times over the last 6 months.
La Moraleja is a private club with four 18 hole courses, all designed by jack Nicklaus. It is quite posh and you need to be invited by a member. The No 3 course is the highest rated “signature course”. It is fairly new (2013) and in open terrain. A typical Nicklaus design with huge greens, little rough, wide fairways and 8 water holes. The terrain was originally flat and it is still open but they moved a lot of earth to give some undulations on many holes. The course plays extremely long (7500 yards) from the Championship tees (played with a long hitting 3 Handicap member who said he played it only once from the back tees and said it was too tough for him), but the member tees give an easier challenge. There are strategic options on all the holes which make it interesting to play, despite the open terrain making it less visually enticing than some other courses in the area. Example is the short 11th, only 123 yards, but water in front and the green shapes left to right, meaning a pushed tee shot will most likely be in the water and a slightly left iron will have you in the bunker at the back facing a downhill bunker shot towards a very fast green and the water. I was a bit underwhelmed after my first round, but warmed up to the course when playing it the 2nd time as the different ways to play became more obvious. Course conditions are excellent, the Greens were very fast (11 on the stimpmeter in October) and pose the biggest challenge to a low score. Over the years the trees around the fairways will grow in and make the course even more challenging and optically beautiful. The course will surely rise further in the ratings over time.