This was my third 18 holes round at Valderrama (I also played 9 holes twice more) and again was defeated by the course, although in a different way. On this time on a windy day and with some silly mistakes I was 5 over on 17th with the ball on the green in 2. 15 minutes later after a 3 putt and a double on 18th a disappointing 78 was posted on the scorecard, which tied my “course record”! But those 2 holes left me with a bad taste as I played a lot better than that, but that is what Valderrama is: tough to the limit and EVERY mistake will be punished, no matter if it is a small one, she will always win.
I will not describe every hole as all readers could get a more detailed description of the course on the internet, but will try to help golfers who will play it in the future to try to avoid the mistakes I made. On 1st Hole tee shot needs to be on the left, as the right hand side trees will block your approach shot. On 2nd hole don’t be long on the left of the fairway tree, again blocked. On 3rd I over clubbed and a nice double bogey appeared, always better short. 4th was described by RTJ as the best par 5 he produced and I could agree, but a short shot could come 50yds back and I would say it is the toughest 100yds shot I have faced. Tee shot on 5th needs to be on the right, if left buy an axe to eliminate trees if you wish the go away from the forest. On 8th tee shot has to be no longer than 220yds or blocked again, if you go for the green (only very long hitters) the chances of disaster are huge. On par 5 11th don´t miss the green on the left, death penalty! 12th in my opinion is the toughest hole on the course and there is nowhere to miss … from 220yds! Going for the green on 17th is not a guaranteed birdie chance as the putting from the back side is tough. And 18th is the narrowest fairway and toughest drive I have faced, including Pine Valley, Merion, Shinnecock and more really tough courses! I can´t give you some help, I consider a miracle to hit this fairway!
The previous is just a short advice on the mistakes you need to avoid some of the mistakes I made. The course is great: tough, challenging, maintained close to perfection, fast greens, attention to details as good as it can be and then lunch at the Club House ends your golf day in perfection. Many consider it expensive and the price yes is high but compared with some other famed courses and their prices, it is fair and it is owrth the visit. And as there is a lot of golf in the area, you will want to come back!
Date: June 28, 2017