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Real Puerta de Hierro (Abajo)

Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid

Established in 1895 in Madrid, Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro is one of the oldest, most traditional and most exclusive golf clubs in Spain. Six years after the club's formation, nine holes were ready for play at the Hippodrome la Castellana.

In 1907, fuelled by golf's growing popularity, a new course was laid out at Cuarenta Fanegasone, one kilometre from the Hippodrome, but the city's expansion forced the club to relocate in 1912 to a much larger site in the neighbourhood of Puerta de Hierro a few kilometres north west of Madrid city centre.

The club commissioned Harry Colt to lay out the first 18 holes, which were ready for play by 1914. Ten years later, Tom Simpson was called in for a remodel and in 1931 Colt was called back to make further changes. Interestingly, Tom Simpson lived at the club between 1946 and 1949, adding nine new holes to the original eighteen. In 1968 John Harris added a fourth nine and re-routed the holes to form today's 36-hole configuration.

The Abajo (Lower) course comprises of three holes (#1, #3 and #4) from Colt's original course, and a selection of others from both Tom Simpson and John Harris. In the late 1990s, Robert Trent Jones Junior (mainly executed by Kyle Phillips) renovated the Abajo, creating a lengthy, strategic and testing layout with trademark Valderrama-like white sand bunker complexes and large contoured greens throughout. In the new millennium, Phillips returned to the club to fashion a standalone 9-hole course called Buena Vista, which opened for play in 2018.

Like the Arriba course, the Abajo starts with a par three (one of four on the course) though a short hole here translates to at least 175 yards to the pin from the back tees at all the par threes. There is a particularly demanding run of six holes around the turn from the 7th to 12th holes. Two holes (8 and 11) are exacting par fives and the others are punishing par fours, each measuring between 440 and 470 yards.

Puerta de Hierro may not open its doors to the general golfing public (unless they are a guest of a member) but it has embraced the professional player over the years, hosting the Madrid Open nineteen times between 1972 and 1993. Incredibly, three men who each won three times – Seve Ballesteros, Manuel Pinero and Howard Clark – claimed almost half of those titles.



Established in 1895 in Madrid, Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro is one of the oldest, most traditional and most exclusive golf clubs in Spain. Six years after the club's formation, nine holes were ready for play at the Hippodrome la Castellana.

In 1907, fuelled by golf's growing popularity, a new course was laid out at Cuarenta Fanegasone, one kilometre from the Hippodrome, but the city's expansion forced the club to relocate in 1912 to a much larger site in the neighbourhood of Puerta de Hierro a few kilometres north west of Madrid city centre.

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Course Architect

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Harry Colt

Harry Colt studied law at Clare College, Cambridge. Twelve months after his 1887 enrolment, he joined the committee of the Cambridge University Golf Club and in 1889 became the club's first captain.

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