Established in 1904, Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro is one of the oldest, most traditional – and most exclusive – golf clubs in Spain. The Abajo and Arriba courses are sited a few miles north west of Madrid’s city centre and both impeccably maintained layouts are considered to be two of the very best in the country.
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.
Due to the expansion of the Madrid motorway system in the area during the mid-1990s, Robert Trent Jones Jnr was commissioned to redesign the Abajo course, re-routing a number of holes on the property. It is now a lengthy, strategic and testing layout with trademark Trent Jones white sand bunker complexes and large contoured greens throughout.
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.
It is by far one of the greatest courses in Spain and just 5 minutes away from the city center. Problaby not taken too much into considaration due to its extremely private and members only policy.
Always in perfect shape, with really fast greens. The views to the Madrid mountains, and the new skyscpapers from the 7th tee are wonderful.