If all municipal courses in Spain are like this one in the Logroño then be prepared for an upsurge of good golfers in the years to come as the facilities are second to none for ordinary players. I was rather taken aback by the quality of what I found when I played here recently. I had expected the design to be pretty decent, having visited two new 18-hole layouts that course architect Marco Martin fashioned in Marrakech and Casablanca a couple of years ago, but I was also delighted to find out the conditioning of this course more than matched its architecture.
There’s lots of width to the fairways, sandy waste areas are kept to a minimum, and the large greens are of a sufficient size to allow for a multitude of pin placements. The nines are beautifully routed, each of them rising up to a high point before returning back down again towards the clubhouse. And because the course is situated in the middle of a large protected area, there are no residential intrusions or interference from passing traffic, which is not always the case when playing so close to a city.
The par five 4th is the course’s calling card for the more macho-orientated golfer, billed as “the longest hole in Spain and one of the longest in the world,” but the degree of difficulty attached to this hole is not just related to its length – it also rises steadily from tee to green, the prevailing wind is normally in your face, and the offset putting surface slopes away markedly from front to back so, with that little lot to contend with, anybody carding a par or better here can truly be called a good golfer.
The par five 12th and par four 18th are terrific holes on the back nine, each of them requiring the second shot to a carry across a wide gorge that’s overgrown with vegetation. The par three 16th (pictured above) was my favourite short hole on the card, played across a native wetland area to a green that’s benched into a small hillside. I also really liked the 14th (pictured right), playing every centimetre of its 434 metres from the regular tees – it’s never easy to make an uphill par five hole attractive and this one’s a beautifully bunkered gem of a hole.
I must thank my host at Logroño, the unassuming Director of Golf David Bedia Reventún, who pointed out lots of little improvements that have been made recently to the layout during our round. He also demonstrated how good players can score well here by rattling in half a dozen birdies (three in a row from the 12th on the back nine) as he displayed all the talents acquired during his formative golfing years in Pedreña. I’ve heard that particular coastal village has more professional golfers per head of population than anywhere else in Spain and David’s performance with me did nothing to dispel that assertion!
Date: April 09, 2018