PGA Catalunya (Stadium) - Northern Spain - Spain

PGA Catalunya Resort,
701 Caldes de Malavella,
17455 Girona,
Spain


  • +34 (0)972 47 25 77

  • David Bataller

  • Angel Gallardo and Neil Coles

  • Enric Lopez


The Costa Brava is the jewel in the crown of the Eastern Spanish coastline, nestling at the foothills of the Pyrenees and escaping the intense summer heat that burns the more southern parts of Spain. Catalonia (Catalunya), of which the Costa Brava is part, feels at times like a completely different country. The local food is very different - heartier than more southern Spanish fare – and the local Catalonian language has more of a French feel.

A visit to this area of Spain is a must for any golfer as there are a number of excellent courses that all offer thoughtful design in great surroundings. The various designers have created excellent challenges that are usually in superb condition due to the cooler northern climate. The best of these has to be the Stadium (formerly called Green) course at PGA de Catalunya, ranked in Europe's Top 100 ever since it opened at the end of 1998.

The Stadium course is the culmination of more than a decade of planning and design by the European Tour. They wanted to build their own Players Championship course to rival the PGA Tour's Sawgrass course. It has to be said that it was a decade well spent. The PGA is so good that within months of opening, it hosted the 1999 Gene Sarazen World Open and the Spanish Open in 2000. The Spanish Open returned to the Stadium course in 2009 (won by Thomas Levet) and 2014 when veteran Miguel Angel Jiménez extended his own record as the oldest winner in European Tour history winning a three-man play-off.

PGA Catalunya Resort is located 45 minutes north of the wonderful city of Barcelona and only a few kilometres from the regional airport at Girona, although this is never apparent as the course nestles in the Girona mountains just outside the quiet town of Caldes de Malvella. Utilising their combined 25-plus years of European Tour experience, the designers, Angel Gallardo and Neil Coles, have created a wonderful course that is a test for all standards due to the fact that every hole can be played from five different tees. Which is lucky as the course measures more than 6,500 metres from the championship tees.

Once on the first tee, the true majesty of the PGA de Catalunya is immediately apparent with an elevated drive to a dogleg left par four. Trouble waits in front of the tee and only a good, solid shot will provide the ability to reach the green with anything less than a long iron or fairway wood. For the handicap golfer, leaving this green with a bogey must be viewed as an acceptable result. From here on in, the course just gets better and better as it winds its way through the hills. Beautiful green fir trees, lush vegetation, scrub and an abundance of purple heather, frame each hole. The greens are well bunkered, undulating and always in excellent condition. Additionally, there are a number of large lakes on the course, which blend perfectly with the landscape and on some holes, the water is used creatively to form semi-island greens.

There are many "must-see" places in the world and the Stadium course at PGA de Catalunya should be on any serious golfer's "must-play" list. It's an absolute cracker. And their second course, called the Tour, is pretty special too.

In November 2014 the PGA Catalunya Resort was appointed as candidate venue for Spain’s bid to host the 2022 Ryder Cup. Spain was one of six countries bidding to stage the tournament – the Stadium Course was originally developed with a view to hosting such a major event. Unfortunately the Catalonian bid was unsuccessful with Italy's capital city of Rome winning the right to stage the 2022 Ryder Cup.

PGA Catalunya is one of our Top 100 Golf Resorts of the World

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Reviews for PGA Catalunya (Stadium)

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Description: The Stadium course at the PGA Catalunya Resort is the culmination of more than a decade of planning by the European Tour. They wanted to build their own Players Championship course to rival the PGA's TPC Sawgrass. Rating: 8.2 out of 10 Reviews: 38
TaylorMade
David
This is a beautiful course laid out through the forests outside of Girona. The condition of the tees, fairways, greens and rough are unsurpassed for a public course. The course is very highly rated, but it is not for the over 18 handicapper. In my book, a great course should also be walkable and playable for all levels and this course isn't. The architecture makes the course very penal with many forced carries, even if they are not long. I never saw a yardage guide in the pro shop unfortunately as this would be a great addition, especially on the second hole where the fairway runs out at 250 yards.I advise you to take a cart as its is long, very undulating and with most tees being elevated to enhance the views, you are climbing on nearly every hole. The whole set up is superb, with one of the best practice areas and short game practice facilities that I have ever seen. Club house is laid back and the pro shop excellent. Bring plenty of balls and hope that the wind doesn't blow....
April 22, 2013
8 / 10
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Maciej Nachtlicht
The course itself is great - no doubt about it. However, the biggest problem was the NOISE. Some holes border the national road. The highway AP-7 is on the other side of the resort (touching the Stadium Course). There are planes taking off from the Girona Airport every few minutes and when I played the course there was a motorbike competition in the vicinity. Not a very nice mixture!
March 25, 2013
6 / 10
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Aidan Healey
Cracking course, visited here in October 2012 and was unfortunate to have some wet and windy weather. However it is simply an awesome course, very very long but the special thing about this course is that there is 8 or 9 world class holes! The condition of it wasn't as good as the tour course maybe because of the weather or the fact it is used more but for €50 euros playing the 2nd best course in Europe is unbelievable. The hole round atmosphere of the place was incredible, the pro was fantastic and gave us some very handy lessons, the practice facilities and range are mind blowing and as for the shop well don't forget your credit card! Every golf fan should play here and I wouldn't be surprised with the recent changes to the course seeing it host the Ryder Cup in the coming years!
November 24, 2012
10 / 10
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Thum
Played in August 2012 for the 2nd time. Fantastic course, every hole seems to be a great hole. Course really has a wow factor. Played twilight rate at 59 euros, including rental clubs (new Taylor made) incredible value. Challenging, beautiful simply a great golf course and a great o play. Course was very empty in the aft noon quite amazing considering the course, no 1 rating in Spain and the value. Course worth every trip no matter from where. Deserves its rating.
September 01, 2012
10 / 10
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Denis
September 25, 2012
I can only agree with everything said in the previous review, an absolute stunning course and super value for money.The Tour course is not bad either.
Andy
I visited the Costa Brava for some golf in April 2011 and the Stadium course at PGA Catalunya was the highlight – in fact of the many hundreds of courses I have played around the world, this is one of the easiest 6-ball rankings that I have given. There is an obvious WOW factor here - this is a first class resort that is doing everything correctly on and off the course. The Stadium is a fantastically good looking course and each hole in its own right is a joy to play and the opening hole sets the scene early; elevated tee, dog-legging left and water protecting short and left of the green, just brilliant. PGA de Catalunya (Stadium) Golf Course - photo by reviewerThe 3rd is the first par-5 and with the green butting up against the lake, approach shot accuracy is needed. Another elevated drive is at the 4th and then an approach to a green not unlike the 17th at Valderrama. The 9th hole is the longest par-4 and also SI-1 – the approach is played across a valley to the trickiest green on the course; it doesn’t look that severe but trust me, the slope from right to left is there and with the greens running at 11.5, watch out. The par 5 12th hole has a very tough drive but if you get a decent shot away, then par is a comfortable score. Hole 13 is what maybe called the signature hole…another elevated tee on this par 4 but it is all about the approach; not quite an island green but water front, right and behind gives the hole a very daunting look. The last hole is a tough par 4, most will need a long approach and with five bunkers at the green, this is not easy but a nice finishing hole. The future for the resort should be bright as customer care is high, attention to detail is normal and the constant drive to keep improving the course is second nature. Some people are talking the course up and saying, Europe’s Augusta – well I am not sure about that but what I will say is that of all of the GB&I modern tree-lined courses that I have played, the Stadium course is in a different league – I cannot wait for the next set of Spanish and European rankings to be published as I think this will be pushing Valderrama now as the country’s best.
April 20, 2011
10 / 10
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Morton Rennick
This area of spain had gone through heavy rain before we played our three courses, the only one that still had functioning bunkers was the PGA. In fact you would never have guessed there was bad weather, such was the level of the course. The course is tight enough, with heavy rough off narrow fairways. We played in late Oct so no wonder greens were slower than normal, but still 25% quicker than the other courses we played. Had the course to ourselves Sun afternoon. The service was exxcellent in the clubhouse. Will be back in 2011.
October 21, 2010
8 / 10
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Frank Pennington
Fantastic, rating understandable, we will go back, can't wait. Great test but not for under 18 hcp. We are planning annual event. A course to play before you die!
August 18, 2010
10 / 10
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Ronan O'Driscoll
Without doubt the finest parkland course I have ever played. In my opinion even superior to Valderrama. The greens, fairways, tee boxes are beautifully maintained. Lots of tough holes carved out of a pine forrest requires precision and length off the tee. We flew on a penny flight to Girona and ten minutes later we were on the first tee. So convenient. Extremely good value too - and the on-site hotel is exceptional. Full marks! As good as it gets in Europe.
May 11, 2010
10 / 10
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Dave Murphy
Played The Stadium Course 3 Times last Weekend In a fourball. What a treat! All mid to low h'caps so played off the back tees.If your not straight of the tee your in big trouble. immaculate course only let down by the people playing it. Not replacing divots on the fairways and pitch marks on the greens - When are people ever going to learn! Always think of the person coming behind you!!!. All in all though the experience was superb.
March 04, 2010
10 / 10
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trevor philpott
I have played a lot of courses in Europe and this would rate up there with the best (Spanish Open held here). The condition was immaculate,greens and fairways like billard table. Each hole is carved thru pine forest,little margain for errors. Stiff test for any level of golfer. Avail of twilight rates (best value round i have ever played -33 euro,two years ago...
January 21, 2010
10 / 10
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