Review for Praia D'El Rey

Reviewer Score:


Because the course was so busy the afternoon I teed it up here, I played the back nine first – which made the more unexciting front nine appear a little insipid in comparison to what had gone before, so I recommend that you don’t reverse the nines if you can help it!

Regarding the front nine holes, the 2nd and 3rd have ocean views but they’re not particularly strong holes, the first doglegging Praia D'El Rey Golf Course - Photo by reviewer down and right past a large hillside irrigation pond and the second playing slightly downhill to a rather bland par three.

Thankfully, things improve dramatically after crossing the road to venture further inland, with a great sequence of roller coaster holes from the 4th to the 7th and these get progressively tighter as you move from one to the next, culminating in a lovely raised green site at the par five 7th hole (pictured).

The 8th is a terrific par three – played from a seriously elevated tee position amongst thick native vegetation to a distant green that sits behind a sizeable pond – and it requires an “all-or-nothing” tee shot which is better long than short to avoid the risk of playing your next shot from the drop zone.

Moving onto the back nine, the first two holes really Praia D'El Rey Golf Course - Photo by reviewer only function to get you away from the clubhouse to the coastline, where the main action takes place between the 12th and the 15th. It’s just a pity some may think the big residential development to the north of the property diminishes the longer views along the coast at this point.

I really liked the linksy, lived-in feel along this stretch, with rickety wooden fencing in the left rough to keep the sand from encroaching onto the fairways and the old disused buildings next to the 14th green (pictured) – it’ll be hard for some to stay focused when there are huge waves crashing onto the beach so close to where they’re playing.

After such a thrilling sequence, it’s only natural the last couple of holes back to the clubhouse will appear lacklustre in comparison but you should still have a strong feeling of elation when walking off the 18th, having just completed a memorable round on one of the best courses in the country.

Jim McCann

Date: September 02, 2018

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