Founded in 1945, Llavaneras is the fourth oldest private golf club in Catalonia. The course is located 20 miles to the northeast of Barcelona and is routed across a relatively compact but pleasantly undulating 84-acre site.
F.W. Hawtree originally laid out nine holes for the club and then the Spanish design trio of Ramon Espinosa, Magí Sardà and Alfonso Viador expanded the course to 18 holes when further land became available some years later.
Golf Club Llavaneras is not a long course (measuring 5,000 metres from the medal tees), but what it’s lacking in length is more than compensated for by technical challenge and beguiling sea views. The opening hole, a drivable short par four, sets the tone for the round at Llavaneras – only the brave will reach for the driver, as this tee shot requires accuracy, anything hit too far left will likely result in a bogey or worse.
The first of five par threes arrives at the 2nd, a short, downhill drop hole that is well protected by three bunkers at the front, right and a left. Anything hit long will leave a tough up and down, so aim for the heart of the green. The 3rd is the first (and longest) of the three par fives on the card and at 500 metres it’s a genuine three-shotter for most golfers. Keep left is our advice on this hole as anything leaked right falls away. Don’t be too bold with your approach shot to this well guarded green as out-of-bounds lurks menacingly behind the putting surface.
With ten par fours that measure either less than or slightly more than 300 metres, Llavaneras is certainly not a slog. If you play the percentage game and find the fairways, scoring low is a real possibility. Spray the ball around and Llavaneras will sit up and bite back.Finally, we must mention the 17th, a 262-metre par four with panoramic views of the Mediterranean in the background. Many golfers have taken on this green over the years (and some have safely reached the putting surface) but many have ended up in one of the three deep bunkers that guard the greenside front. At the time of writing, nobody has ever holed in one… are you feeling lucky?
November 12, 2014