Having a second house on the Torremirona golf resort, I am often playing De Pals golf course when I need a variation and often when having golf friends visiting us. De Pals is one of the oldest courses in the northern part of Catalunya. It is not the greatest course in the world, but uniquely build into an old umbrella pine tree forest. It is a very quiet place to walk. Even with many players on the course you kind of feel that your group are the only ones on the course
It is not a difficult course. You don’t need a lot of course management thinking or shot making skills. If you can keep the ball in fairway – no matter whether you are a short or long hitter – your score basically depends on your approach shot.
What makes me play Pals is basically 3 things.
1. It is really a nice walk on a course where I feel connected with the nature.
2. It is not overly difficult.
3. Sitting on the terrace before the round with a cup of coffee, between 9 and 10 for a refreshment and after the round having a beer is fantastic.
Here you sit between tall trees and can follow players teeing off from the 1st and 10th tee, and players putting on the 9th hole. That’s a good day – not spoiled.
Besides of that; see a more detailed evaluation of the course below
I like courses where “what you see is what you get”. That is, when you are standing on the tee, you know exactly what is in front of you. You can see the ideal landing area – for you, and you can foresee how the ball will bounce and roll. No hidden bunkers, water, streams or the like.
On Pals you will find very few, if any, holes where you cannot see what you get.
I also value holes with 2 different routes to the green. Either from the tee or, for the second shot, that is where to place the ball to get the optimal position for the approach shot to the green.
For most of the holes there are basically only one option.
And I value holes offering risk – reward decisions. That is, if I chose to cut the corner, go over the lake, make a draw or fade to curb the bunker, then I either win a shot or can add one or two extra to the card.
You will find very few risk-reward holes.
Next. I like contoured greens, but not too contoured, just enough to test the reading skill and just enough to make the position of the hole important for where to land the approach shot.
That is true for most of the greens.
I like to walk when I play golf and – in that context – the possibility of flow. What promotes flow? You can find your ball if in the rough, you are not in doubt of the route to the next tee and you don’t have a long walk from green to next tee.
A great Pals golf course fulfill all of these criteria.
The nature is important. Whether the course is forest, links, park land or anything in between is not that important. It should be a walk in a landscape of its own, a course sheltered from modern civilization – e.g. noise from cars, airplanes and buildings that do not architecturally fit into the landscape.
Playing this course is like being isolated from modern civilization.
The final thing. To me it is also important that the course pursue a high level of maintenance of all parts of the golf complex, with fair and homogeneous greens. Attention to details is important for the overall impression.
This is the weakness of course. Greens are not always the best when it comes to a fair roll and attention to details is not the strongest part of the green keeping work.
Date: April 17, 2020