The RSHE Club de Campo can trace their roots as far back as 1901 – attaining royal status in 1908 – and it was one of the founder members of the Spanish Golf Federation in 1932.
Club members were, once upon a time, able to play polo and hockey but nowadays, they have to confine themselves to horse riding, swimming, and racquet sports (as well as golf, of course).
There are two courses on the property – North and South – both laid out by the prolific American architect Robert von Hagge – who was also responsible for another Spanish 36-hole layout at Emporda, near Girona, in 1991.
The North course was redesigned in 1997 and it now stretches to 7,162 yards from the back tees. Most fairways are gently undulating and tree lined – but not restrictively – and water comes into play at four holes (10, 11, 14 and 17) on the back nine. The are no fewer than seven left dog legged holes, the best of which is the 387 yard, par four, 4th where a creek runs diagonally across the fairway to a pond in front of the green.
It is laid out on a huge scale across naturally undulating and sometimes hilly ground. These elevation changes provide for an interesting and thought provoking round. Set out in two loops of nine, the North course played host to the 2007 Madrid Open (Open de Madrid Valle Romano) where Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup won, claiming his maiden European Tour title. In May 2010, the North course at RSHE Club de Campo played host to the Madrid Masters for the first time. The event immediately followed the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, so the Madrid Masters attracted a much stronger field than usual. The tile went to England’s Luke Donald who edged Welshman Rhys Davies by a single shot claiming his first title in four years.
Immediately after lunch and the 18 holes at the South Course, we started our round at the North Course (this time with cart) and although I was tired it was fun and enjoyable. The piece of land is similar, but this course is much more challenging, with many level changes and some very demanding tee shots as well. I feel there is not even one weak hole, although there are some which are excellent.
In this way of making reviews to try and show the future visitor what he is going to experience, will try to highlight the best holes:
- I loved par 3 2nd, short one but with a demanding green complex with 2 front grass bunkers and a surface tough to read!
- 4th and 5th are two great short 4s, the first one with a stream dividing the fairway in two and a short lake at the green while 5th has a demanding tee shot and an even tougher approach shot.
- 6th another short 4, but different as it is slightly uphill and with the toughest green on the course. reachable if you can fly it 260yds.
- 9th is a great par 5, 3 shooter for almost everyone and a tough green to approach.
- 10th is a typical Von Hagge Green, a downhill par 5 where if you drive it correctly you will get home in 2. It was an eagle for me!
- Great 11th, an easy tee shot and then despite a short iron to a well protected green with water on the right, a miss can be big numbers.
- 14th a nice par 3 protected by water on the right side. You have to be smart and not over attack it, par is a great number!
- 16th is a very good par 5, reachable where a very well designed green can even complicate a short approach shot.
- 17th a very good uphill par 3 to a demanding green. A Narrow miss will leave you a necessary creative approach.
- 18th is one of the best holes on the property, downhill tee shot and with water on the left and then many bunkers challenging the approach to a very sloped green.
An amazing experience having played these 2 courses in one day, excellent maintenance standard, greens tough and a sunny day made it a perfect experience. An elevated terrace provides very nice views for you 19th hole (37th in my case).
I imagine this course set up in championship conditions and not many scratch golfers will easily break 75.
RSHECC, Madrid, Spain. Real Sociedad Hípica Española Club de Campo was first founded in 1901. The course was built in the center of the city of Madrid, and years after had a new “Club de Campo” built 16km up north of downtown.
Club de Campo is still at the city and turned public. RSHECC remained private and is composed out of two courses. Both of them, “North” and “South” were designed by Robert Von Hagge, a golf course architect credited with the design of more than 250 courses in over 20 countries. Von Hagge participated in the design of many award-winning golf courses, including: Doral “Blue Monster” (Miami), Boca Rio (Boca Raton, Florida), The Woodlands TPC (Texas), Walden on Lake Conroe (Texas), The Cliffs (Texas), Buenos Aires Golf Club (Argentina), Bosque Real (Mexico City) and many others like Le Gold National (Paris), venue for the Ryder Cup 2018.
The course hosted Madrid Masters 2010 where Luke Donald got the title of winner.
It is hard to tell if the most pleasant moment of a day full of golf in this oasis in the middle of the dry landscape is a gatorade with dry nuts halfway on the 10th tee hole by the chipping area or a beer in the terrace of the club house sharing a good time while enjoying the delicatesen menu served by “Mallorca’s cattering” – A really well-known group in the country.
Apart from golf, the club has also invested in having a great facility for horse-back riding with a big space for jumping competitions, crocket, two soccer fields, a mini golf, great tennis and paddle courts and a fun big area for the kids to be distracted at and watched out after, while the parents are enjoying their round. The gym facility is also outstanding and so are the three swimming pools that the club is composed of. Both of the locker rooms have saunas and there is a nice game and chill area to watch some golf on the TV.
The practice facilities are really well prepared- having two big putting greens and a nice 280 meter long driving range with views to the mountains. The main side gets iluminated at night and has a studio full of equipment for training such as track man, video recording,…
The academy of the course is now managed by Marta Figueras-Dotti- Ex LPGA player, and first Spaniard winning a British Open. She is apart from an extraordinary player, really good Friends with Annika Sorestam and one of the first females who went to earn a university degree in the US with a golf scholarship. In fact, she has been co-captain at the Solheim Cup 2017 this past summer. Furthermore, together with Bosco James (Trained in the United States) they are doing a great job with the younger players.
Moving on to some course details… It is hard to determine which golf course is better out of these two. I personally enjoy playing the north course better, but that is just because I have got to compete in that course more often. The greens of both are always in great shape. They are quick and have some good nice breaks easy to read for the most part. If you drive the ball straight, you will be able to attact some fun pins, otherwise you will not enjoy looking for golf balls on deep hard rough.
The holes that stand out the most from the north course are the 4th-par 4, in which two fairways are available to be chosen before reaching out to a green protected by a little lake. Both fairways are divided by a lateral hazard. The 6th hole is also a fun par 4 since the green is reachable in one even though it lies in an uphill. Whoever dares will have to drive the ball over a forest and lose sight of it until getting there… The par 5 of the 10th hole is stunning thanks to the water that protects the green and so is the case for the 14th hole. An island green! Pros often do not like to play all the way from the back since it is hard to stop the ball in such a small green from 190 meters away. Specially since the tee box is just as high as the green – but that is something the committee of the club is looking forward to invest on and re build it up a bit higher up.
18th hole of the north course with the club house in the back
The downside about the South course is that the finishing hole is completely uphill, making it a little challenging to walk for the average amateur who finishes a little bit tired. The second shot is normally longer than 140 yards out and the green is protected by many bunkers on the left side- making it a tough finish. The most interesting par 3 is on the 7th hole. A down hill shot towards a green with the shape of Mickey Mouse. It will remind you to a cheap version of the 19th hole of Legence, South Africa.
All in all, this club composed of members offers and excellent quality service since the staff is not allowed to receive tips, they all work just as motivated, trained by really good managers. You should really be forward to trying their “tinto de verano” (sangría), by the club house!
Written by: Fátima González Carriles
November 30, 2017
Beautiful course and layout. Interesting to play in hilly terrain, but not too difficult. Greens/course in perfect conditions. Played in August during the week, hardly anyone on the course. Guests are made very welcome, during the week no problem to play as a visitor. Great practice facilities.