Located between Balsicas and Roldán, the golf course at Saurines de la Torre Golf is one of six Jack Nicklaus-designed courses operating within a forty-kilometre radius in the Murcia region.
These new millennium golf facilities were built by the Polaris World holiday resort company and they’re all integrated into small, gated self-sustaining residential communities with their own on-site services.
Formerly known as Terrazas de la Torre Golf, Saurines is now operated by UGOLF, a leading European golf course management company which looks after more than fifty Spanish and French golf facilities, including three in Murcia: Mar Menor, Hacienda del Alamo and Saurines.
The Saurines course extends to 6,473 metres, though forward tees reduce the length to a more manageable 4,914 metres for resort golfers. The course is constructed in the style of a desert layout, characterised by vast sandy waste areas and low-lying dunes, with fairways routed around a couple of sizable lakes. Holes of note include the Redan-style par three 14th and the short par four 15th, which features a tricky raised green.
A new clubhouse is due to be constructed by 2020 and hole numbering will probably be subsequently re-sequenced to accommodate this new building.
The original course on the site was opened in 2011 but due to a number of issues around ownership and financial issues was allowed to become un-loved and un-played. New owners, new management and what seems to be a big pot of cash has seen the intriguing Jack Nicklaus design rise again. I played for the first time this August and although the new project is in the early days, the signs are there to say the course is in first class condition, several exciting holes and an air of quality all around.
The course is desert-style; lots of waste areas border the holes and the lush grass looks like quality rolled-out carpet – add in a number of water hazards and you have a very stylish course indeed. As a quick comparison, Saurines can be compared with Cascades at Somabay in Egypt and also Assoufid in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The course opens with a par-5 with water protecting on the right-side for the last 200 yards – this is a fairly intimidating opener. The next par-5 comes at the 4th – I like this hole because although fairly straight, there is plenty of elevation change all the way to the green. The 6th could be described at the signature par-3 – only playing 166 yards at most, you are playing across water to a very undulating green – as a comparison this hole is very similar to the 5th at BlackSeaRama in Bulgaria.
This ‘new’ layout at Saurines is very young but the signs are there to say this will be a very strong course in the region in the years to come – I have mentioned a couple of the par-5’s already but all four of them (1st, 4th, 9th and 13th) are very good indeed. As the off-course facilities develop, the Sauries offering can only get better. Look forward to see the course enter to Spanish Top 100 for 2020-2021
Sounds like this course has really upped it's game. We were there in 2013 and to be honest, it looked desolate - dozens of cranes laying idle on the back of the financial crash and although we thought the course wasn't too bad, the lack of on course facilities compared to the other "Nicklaus 6" courses left Saurines looking like the poor relation that you don't want to sit next to at the Christmas dinner table. Might have to revisit this course in the post Covid-19 era!