It is not easy to face a 36 holes day immediately after a 12.5hrs long haul flight without almost no sleep and drive directly to the Golf Course. Although I have done it before, it is demanding and not the best but somebody has to do it!
I arrived on a Thursday and received by my clleague Fátima (a very good golfers and member there) who took me to the Club for a quick breakfast before a 2 rounds day. Before teeing off I found some time for a proper walk inside the Club House and the facilities which I found great, very charming and comfortable and with the proper space for hosting not only golf tournaments but also corporate outings. The initial sensation of a golf course with views of the snowed mountains sorrounding Madrid was awesome.
With almost no warming up, just a few putts to test the fast greens, we went directly to the first tee. I can of course not ask for a good round after the trip, just tried to focus on enjoying and analyzing Von Hagge's design and maybe compare to other of his designs I have played in the past. But this ondulated piece of land sorrounded by mountains was something very different of what I have played from him. And although it is said North course is better, I really liked this one as well.
First hole is an "easy" par 4 to start were placing the tee shot is the most important thing. Then second hole is a bit tough to understand from the tee without yardage book or a garmin device (I had both, no excuses!). Par 3 third over water is the first tough demand the course puts you in front of and one great par 3. Upright 4th hole is one of the best, challenging and were tee shot is a great percentage for success. Reachable par 4 5th is another one of the good ones, you can lay up or go for it where missing to both sides will lead to a bogey. 6th hole offers a sort of semi blind tee shot, where you need to aim over some trees to get to the fairway and where maybe driver is not the best option.
Then par 3 7th with an elevated tee box to a well protected green is a hole where although having the correct distance chosing the correct club needs extra thinking. 8th over water dog leg left offers a good ecuation of risk/reward options and the upright second shot is one of those I loved to hit. Par 5 9th will be a 3 shots hole for almost everyone, just make sure to lay up correctly.
11th with its new tees which my Arccos App did not have was in my opinion the best par 3, over a stream to a very well protected green. Short par 4 12th is a sort of break, where mid to long hitters will be able to go for it but approach shot if missing is extremely precise.
Loved the 17th par 3 with the two level green breaking sort of Redan Type. Downhill 18th offers a great end to a fantastic golf course, another great green design by RVH.
All in one a manicured mantained golf course, with the perfect balance of challenge, creativity and playability to make it a fun course to play for every handicap in the game. Speed of the greens was almost 10 feet, some downhill putts were just insanely tough!
Spain may be famous for Seve and some other courses (Valderrama, PGA Catalunya, Real Pedreña, Sotogrande, Puerta de Hierro) but this course is one of the ones you need to consider if playing in Madrid.
Date: May 31, 2018