Real Puerta de Hierro (Arriba) - Central Spain - Spain

Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro,
Avda. de Miraflores s/n,
28035 Madrid,

  • +34 (0) 913 161 745

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 Arriba (Upper) course comprises of fifteen holes from Colt's original course, and three from either Tom Simpson or John Harris, we're not entirely sure of the provenance so we've credited both architects. Kyle Phillips renovated greens, tees and bunkers in the late 1990s.

Like the Abajo course, the Arriba begins with one of four par threes to be found on the course. Every one of the short holes is at least 175 yards from the back tees so a quartet of threes on the scorecard will be hard earned. There are a couple of short par four holes to be played on either nine (at the 8th and 13th) and it’s good to see such old fashioned holes retained in the recent upgrading work.

Puerta de Hierro is a private and exclusive club where non-members can only play if they are the guests of a member but the club has been very accommodating to professionals for many years. They hosted the Madrid Open from 1972 to 1993 (except for three years within that period) and there have been four golfers who’ve worn the coveted Green Jacket at the Masters amongst the winners – Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle.

Frank Pont has been involved in a gradual restoration of the Arriba course since 2018.

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Description: The Arriba course at Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro is one of the oldest courses in Spain and it’s also one of the most private and exclusive. Rating: 9 out of 10 Reviews: 2
Javier Pintos

The Arriba Course was laid way back in time by Harry S. Colt in 1914. Time has passed, golf has changed a lot and now the Club has an ambitious Masterplan to get it back there although what they have there is certainly not bad at all!!

Day started with a round at “Abajo” plus lunch at the exclusive terrace before I had to fire a 6 iron downwind on 1st to start the afternoon round here followed by 3 putts in another course where no flat spots are found on the greens and speed is as fast as you can find again.

This course is maybe a little bit more fun than Abajo, with a lot more birdie chances and certainly not as tough off the tee. And the greens complexes are in my opinion better, more creative and with some more challenge with some “déjà vu” images like for example 15th green which looks very familiar with Winged Foot West 9th, I had to check a picture there to confirm as I saw it but it definitely looks like it.

Front 9 are a little less tough, not as long and with options like par 5 2nd, par 4 4th and par 5 5th before nice short 6th where the green offers as a wide range of different pin positions as you can ask. Then 7th and 8th are short ones, the second one the longest guys can even go for it before the toughest hole on the loop which is 9th who played into the wind but downhill and it was a monster with the nicest views of the course where Madrid was in the horizon in every direction.

Back 9 start with a tough stretch with long 10th and 12th which both already show some work from the Masterplan and tough par 3 11th which plays over 210yds. 14th and 15th offer some dilemma for the Management as the first one plays as a long 4 and the other as a short 5 and they think if a change could be possible but in my opinion they are ok, par is just a stat and the two holes are very good. A note apart for tee shot on 13th with the city and the Centro Nacional in the back drop, quite nice!!

16th was maybe my favorite hole on the course with a small sloped green and where even from the dead center of the fairway and 110yds you will find challenge. My ball flew a little bit more and I had absolutely cero chance from past the green. Locals find 18th a weak hole but I have to say a par 5 demanding driver, spoon and a 95yds (playing 105) shot to another sloped green is not that bad!

A complete experience, have to say a lucky man to be able to walk these 2 course and finish the day with a warm coffee and a sandwich with the view on the terrace. This place is one of those I feel true golf lover should try to visit and experience, it makes you see and feel how special golf can be in places like Puerta de Hierro.

March 14, 2022
8 / 10
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A very private club is Royal Puerta de Hierro but get an invite to play here as both courses are magnificent and IMO this is the best 36 hole club in Spain. 8 and 9 that conclude the outward nine are simply magnificent, a short par four followed by the toghest par four on the course. This is a classic course that fails to get the recognition it deserves simply because it’s not a normal Spanish money making pay-and-play. Play here and prepare to be blown away. Magnificent.
November 22, 2010
10 / 10
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3 people found this review helpful