Documentary evidence exists to show that the now defunct Orotara Golf Club was organizing competitive golf matches in Tenerife at the end of the 19th century but it took until 1932 to formalize the game on the island with the establishment of the Real Club de Golf de Tenerife.
Situated in the green, lush north east corner of the popular Canarian tourist destination of Tenerife, Real Club de Golf de Tenerife is laid out on hilly terrain near the old North Tenerife airport with holes rising over 400 feet in elevation from the clubhouse to the highest point on the property.
The layout plays to a par of 71 with five strong par threes on the scorecard, only one of which (the short 7th) measures less than 185 yards from the back markers. The first five holes all play uphill away from the clubhouse but what goes up must come down and the thrilling closing sequence from holes 15 to 18 is well worth the early climb.
The club was honoured to host the Spanish Open in 1964 (won by Angel Miguel) while, in more recent times, the course was the venue for the Canary Islands Championships four times in the 1990s, with Sergio Garcia winning the last of these in 1997.
Being able to drive away from the pedestrian golf that infects a number of courses on the south side of the island which is laden with golfers on holiday -- a venture to Real Club de Golf de Tenerife is a clear departure as you sample a golf club that exudes Spanish charm.
Sadly, the routing is handicapped by a site more useful for winter skiing. One must slog straight uphill for a series of opening holes. Conversely, when holes attack a hillside by going straight up -- you then have a number of holes doing the exact opposite. So much of this happens because the parcel of land is extremely narrow so that one is left with such a straightjacketed routing. The best holes are those -- few in number I might add -- that are not routed in such a back-and-forth manner.
Jim duly noted some of the more engaging holes in his review -- but the level of excitement is tempered with how much patience one must show for the banal golf one must endure.
M. James Ward
The par three 16th is a great hole, its green cut into a hillside on the left with a bail out bunker placed on that side to capture overly cautious tee shots trying to avoid the severe drop off to the right. It’s followed by hole 17 with an extremely elevated tee position where the hang time of the tee shot seems to last a very long time before the fairway is reached. It’s always nice to end a round strongly and that certainly was the case at Real Club de Tenerife. Worth the 2 hour round trip away from the newer tourist golf course sites on the south side of Tenerife to sample a traditional Spanish golfing experience. Jim McCann