We arrived at the course on a windy and cold December day and knew it was likely to prove a hard test of golf. From the moment of arrival the service was smooth and easy and it was clear we were at a high class establishment. The clubhouse and practice area is 1st class, especially the putting green which is one of the largest I’ve ever seen.
The course begins with an beautiful down hole par 4, dogleg, left. You can take on the corner and cut of a significant chunk of distance, and if played well should get off to a par or birdie start. It’s important to bag a par early as the course gets increasingly difficult.
The characteristics of this course are great conditioning, cunning bunker placements, firm, true and fast greens and intimidating water hazards, designed to punish golfers who play with more gusto than precision. All of the greens are very well protected, mostly by deep bunkers, so it will take precise play and nifty short game to keep on the right side of par on most holes here.
There are some really demanding holes on the front 9, some which involve water hazards down the right of the fairways and greens. You have to be confident to play to a low score as the architect has challenged any shots that lack commitment. There aren’t many opportunities to play the ball along the ground here, as it’s a target golf course. That said, the greenside lies are tight in places, so, if the opportunity exists, the Texas wedge is a sensible option for the less confident chippers.
You’re treated to some glorious elevated teeing positions throughout, as most of the tee boxes give fine vantage points with expansive views of the fairways and greens in front of you. There are plenty of opportunities to open the shoulders on some of the later holes, with the 14th being an fine example. A strong finish awaits, with a devilish down hill par 3 followed by an uphill 18, both requiring solid shot making to close out the round.
If you like the courses on the Costa Del Sol you’re sure to like La Reserva, as it’s true to the region with high drama and impeccable conditioning. With so many classy and quality neighbouring courses in the area, La Reserva holds its own and should certainly form part of any golf tour in the region.
Date: January 13, 2020