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 Rimmer
Played both courses twice last week as part of a deal which included accomdation at the nearby hotel. Firstly, the location is great - 5 minutes from Girona airport and we got a great deal. The Tour Course is much easier to score on - we averaged 8-10 pointsmore that the Stadium primarily because its a lot shorter. I would also say that the front 9 is the prettiest of all the 9 hole loops. The Stadium Course is tough to score,6600 of Yellows with no run on the fairways and many uphill shots. Whilst overall the courses are good, the whole experience is badly let down by fairways which are absolutely saturated by overwatering - we had to play preferred lies and came close to losing balls on more than one occasion as they were very heavily plugged.Putting surfaces are OK, but again as they are overwatered they are covered in pitch marks which people don't bother too repair or can't because the surfaces are so soft. Worth playing if you can get a good deal but appears to be overhyped and overrated.
September 22, 2009
6 / 10
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max king
Played this last weekend after hearing lots of rave reviews about it and wasn't dissapointed. Great course, lovely condition, fast greens and interesting layout although the fairways were a little soft in places. For 70 odd euros a round including buggy it represents great value, and am sure it woudl be 3 times the price if it was in the Costa del sol region. Just goes to prove great golf in Spain doesn't have to cost a fortune if you stay away from teh south. Only thing i'd say is that its not a 45 minute drivefrom Barcelona as some suggest. It took us nearly an hour and a half from central Barca to get there...next time i would fly into Girona...its literally next door to the airport.
July 22, 2009
10 / 10
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Tim Gorman
I cannot disagree with any of the other comments. I have played Valderrama, Royal Sotogrande and Las Brisas (the first two many times) and no question the Green Course belongs in their company. More of a corporate feel to the administration but the course itself is superb. We are due there again in 4 weeks and such was the impression it made we are playing it twice. The Green Course has been re-named the Stadium Course while the Red Course is The Tour Course - slightly confusing! With the two Emporda courses not far away (Links & Forest) the Girona area caters for some high-class golf tours.
February 24, 2009
10 / 10
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sandsaver
a class act.very good value.the sand in the bunkers is like icing sugar.shoot your best round and pretend you made it onto the european tour.the red course is good and alittle easyer.
November 04, 2008
10 / 10
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James Clark
What an amazing golf course the best i've ever played on the condition was out of this world the location is superb, many elevated tee's so the hole you get a great view of each hole the greens were lighting and the fairways were as good as the greens at Kingsbarns that i played in early august with Augusta like sand pure white it is truly a special course .The club house is due to be finished next year and there is also another course the red one to try out i'll be going back next year for definate!!
October 08, 2008
10 / 10
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Phil Bonsall
I have played this course on many occasions. I love it. I have played lots of courses all over the world, and this is my favourite.Very tough for the average player, but the design is magnificent.Lots of water in play, the course is played through huge pine trees. Nearly every tee is elevated, so you get a really good look at the hole sweeping away in front of you.You must play this course.
September 26, 2008
10 / 10
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J
I played this golf course last summer after a few days of constant rain. The course was very wet and soggy, but this was understandable. Some hole designs were magnificent and the golf course was long and testing off the back tees. An absolute must play course if you are in the region.
July 23, 2006
8 / 10
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Bernhard Koehler
A perfect golf course. Great Design, great condition. There ist nothing more to say. It was so much fun to play there.
July 19, 2006
10 / 10
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Valentijn
September 24, 2008
The best European course i've ever played on, greens are super, surroundings as well.